Monday, December 24, 2007

To dream.

I remember, when Wally was taking me to Odessa, telling him how I will always push the envelope, how I will always strive to reach the stars, how I will dream the impossible dream. I say this all the time, it is a familiar theme you can find many times in this journal. The theme song from the “Man of La Mancha” has become one of my favorites in my mind though I can only remember small little pieces of it. It’s the spirit I cling to. One of these days I’ll have to get the soundtrack. I read on the homesteader forum that the original book was written in 1600. If I ever read it I don’t remember. I think there is a play or maybe even movie based on it and that is what the music goes to.

The point is, I will not acknowledge my disabilities. I will always attempt what the doctors and others say I am unable to accomplish. In many ways this is setting myself up for failure, but I believe it is better to try and fail than to not try at all. I already live far beyond what the doctors said I would but it is frustrating none the less when my limitations are thrown in my face. The fact that I am doing the throwing by putting my self in these positions doesn’t make it any easier. But to admit defeat, to hang my head down and say “I’m not capable” is to die inside. Oh I must acknowledge failures to accomplish a task but each time I fail I learn more and move another step forward, improve a little more. But I will not give up. I might understand I am unable to do a particular thing but I will continue to fight, to strive. There is a rock song I really enjoy because the refrain says “I get knocked down, I get up again, I get knocked down, I get up again”. Yeah, I know, there’s more to the lyrics but that’s what I remember now. It holds true for me. I get depressed, I get demoralized, I fail when I should succeed, I am constantly reminded I cannot do what I once could. And I pick myself up, regroup, and get moving again. Sometimes it takes a few days but I always get up again. One of the many blessings I have is that I retained much of my former intelligence, the ability to analyze and recognize things apart from the emotions and to make decisions based on that.

Why am I writing this? What brought this on? The U-joints did. There was a time this would have been an easy job. I’ve replaced many U-joints in the past. Hell I’ve rebuilt motors, installed transmissions, and so many other things on cars. I remember the blazer I had set up for snowplowing in Toledo. The motor blew up on it so I found a deal on an LT-1 Corvette engine and put it in. That was a sweet motor, had solid lifters, high compression, and idled at 2500 RPM. Oh and I fixed it up on top of that with an Edelbrock intake manifold and lots of other performance parts. I can remember I did all these things but don’t remember how. That’s the strange thing about my memory loss. When I woke up I could remember my home phone number but not my address. It’s like someone drew a line through my brain and said “You can have this but you can’t have that”.

So you know I went and got new U-joints from reading the earlier post but they were again the wrong ones. Or at least I think they were. The suckers were too big to go in. Disgusted I got on the phone and called around to see what other parts places had. The first thing I asked was if they had U-joints that were not made in China. No such luck so I called a place that sells “Genuine” GM and other parts. I liked the fact he asked for the Vin number of the truck to determine what part I needed. I didn’t like the price he came back with. The U-joint that cost $8.99 at AutoZone was $62.00. Ouch. That’s the cost of American made? So I went to Advance Auto parts. He had to bring out several U-joints to find one that was the right size. Great, I got two.

I was happy, confident I finally had the right parts and would soon have the truck running. But putting the U-joints on turned out to be harder than it should have. I had a problem figuring out the right sequence of putting it all together or something. At one point things got stuck and I was afraid I’d have to break it and buy another U-joint. I was relieved to get through that and finally got to the point where I could put the driveshaft back on the truck. Finally I was on the last step and would soon be finished. It felt good.

Good that is till I got to the very last part. When I went to bolt the rear U-joint on the axle…it was the wrong part. I couldn’t understand how that could be so I dug up the old U-joint to see. There are several definitions for “cognizance”. A simple one is being aware of your surroundings and comprehending what you see. I don’t know if I forgot or just didn’t recognize the different ends on that particular U-joint. Come to think of it the one I returned to AutoZone could well have been the right one. So this makes two days I’ve been doing a job that should have taken an hour. Now I have to wait till the store opens after Christmas. First I must repress out the U-joint that is wrong.

It is discouraging. But I gonna get this damn thing done one way or another. I just went and looked at this journal. I took the drive shaft off Friday so it's been four days I've been working on this. This kind of thing is typical for me and another reminder of the brain injury. You see, the short term memory problem really affects my sense of time. I’ve mentioned many times how I am unable to put a time stamp on events. It’s hard for me to know if a memory happened a few hours ago or yesterday. I can remember doing something but the when isn’t clear. That’s one of the big motivations for me to keep this journal.

Enough whining. Have a merry Christmas Y’all


Nate~ said...

don't feel bad Rob, I had a u-joint let go on me in my chevy plow truck last summer and I chased the "correct" u joint around town for 2 days buying 5-6 different ones only to find out the driveshaft was farked up where the joint goes in the yolk so I got pissed off and said to hell with it and welded the u-joint caps to the driveshaft... totally irrelevant but I figured you would get a laugh out of it. anymore it is best not to rush things and go at your own pace and just do the best you can, if it takes you a week so be it, hell I have been dicking around with the turbocharger on my dump truck for 10 days now and still cant make it work right.

good luck

Dandydon said...

Just remember what I told you a couple of weeks ago. You can't keep a determined man down. Merry Christmas.