Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to Mickey Mouse Something

No, I'm not going to tell you how to jerry-rig something, or Mickey it, or many other expressions that folks use to exemplify the meaning of cutting corners. One of my old bosses always use to say the name Rube Goldberg, as in "boy, you Rube Goldberged that!".

Soon after I bought my '71 Cutlass, which I refer to as "Number 2", I realized that it was a shade tree mechanic's car - meaning that there was a whole lot of Mickey Mouse going on. Number 2 suffered from many small problems, which on the surface made it look like it was falling apart. When I started digging in, it became apparent that most of the problems were self-inflicted. Number 2 had become a victim of it's previous owner, whose name must have been Jerry Rig!

Here is an example of just one of the "high tech" fixes that I found on Number 2. Yes, that's a broom stick handle shoved in the end of the hose!

The rear view mirror was also broke, or so I thought. The mirror was pointing towards the floor and had a wad of duct tape wrapped around it, along with a length of copper electrical wire to "hold it up". I really wish I would have taken a picture of it, it was classic! It was so convincing that I really thought it was broke so I started to look for a replacement.

I managed to find a mirror on eBay and put in a bid, hoping for the best. Well, fate has a way of dropping hints, and after I lost the auction due to a last second bid sniper, I decided to remove the mirror to inspect it. After I peeled back the layers of sticky duct tape, I discovered something very interesting. The special screw that tightens the mirror to the arm was missing, and had been replaced with a wood screw. Unable to tighten the wood screw completely, the previous owner fashioned a hook out of some copper wire and then applied a generous layer of grey duct tape. Needless to say, the "fix" didn't work, so the mirror just hung there looking like some kind of Frankenstein dangling from the roof.

After a thorough cleaning I realized that all the mirror needed was the correct screw to properly tighten it up. I dug for hours through all my trim screws and my perseverance paid off. I actually found the proper screw for the mirror! Once I put it in, the mirror worked flawlessly. A definite eye opener for me, as I should not have judged a book by it's cover, so to speak. It could have been worse. I could have got in a bidding war and paid too much for a mirror that I really didn't need, so I consider myself lucky.

While were on the subject of being Mickey Mouse, there is one place that it's actually normal and accepted every day. Where you ask? Disneyland of course! While I have been to Disneyland quite a few times, I have never actually been to Disney World, which I hear is even better. I am planning on going soon, so of course I did some research. Just like my cars, I want to save as much money as possible. Most folks around here would probably go to the Auto Club to book their vacation or call a travel agent. Now I don't know about you, but I want to get the most for my money, especially while I'm on vacation. During my research, I ran across this publication:
Click Here!
Do yourself a favor and check it out. It could save you a bundle. See you in Fantasy Land!

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