Monday, June 30, 2014

Way Cool

I've lately realized how very much I would like to have a garage, or at least a carport. Neither is likely, given the size of my parcel, but I am beyond tired of all the crap that winds up on my car.

I've been noticing this apparatus, which shelters two cars on Spring Street. It's simple, yet elegant. I have three built-in anchor points alongside my driveway (a tree at the corners of my gazebo), so with only one post, or perhaps a cantilevered affair like above, I could keep most of the debris off my car.

I believe the Tarnowers used to live in the house. If anyone can tell me who lives there and how to get in touch with them (or if you see this post and recognize your house and choose to contact me), I would be eternally grateful. I'd like to find out the particulars of the triangular cloth that was used. Is it repurposed sails? Was it expensive? Where can I get some!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Polishing Compound to the Rescue

Garages aren't all that common here in Pine Lake. Most of us park our cars out in the open, where they are subject to being blanketed by leaves and pine needles, covered with sap and insect secretions (and  occasional bird poop), and the weathering effects of the sun.

And snow. Let's not forget snow!

Over time a car's finish becomes oxidized and glazed and looks dull. Fortunately, buffing with a light abrasive can bring the paint back to life. It's for this reason the car goddess created polishing compound.

Polishing compound is not the same as rubbing compound, which is more abrasive. It's far more gentle, but even so it's best not to overdo it. A light buffing with a machine or moderate rubbing by hand with a soft, dry cloth will work wonders and won't damage the finish.

In the photo above I had just finished polishing the trunk of my 19-year-old Mazda Miata. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can better see the polished trunk and the untreated fender.

Before polishing I had my car hand-washed for five dollars at the coin-operated car wash across the street from the chiropractor's office. The next morning I washed it again, using detailing clay, which is great for picking up crud.

My car was clean and shiny, but it didn't stay so after an afternoon rain. I had to wash it again the next morning and wait for it to dry before I could apply synthetic wax. The wax must sit for 10-12 hours for the polymers to bond properly, but that didn't happen. I tried again the next day, with the same result. I felt I was going backward.

Fortunately, my next door neighbor Barbara Whitlow told me I could use her carport while she was out of town. It was amazing how much faster things went with the car under cover. I applied two coats of polymer and, after it had cured, followed it with carnuba paste wax. My car looked great!

For about five minutes! With it back in my driveway it gets covered with leaves and gunk. Fortunately, it looks good again after a quick wash, and will until the wax wears away.

Here's my favorite photo of my car. I took it two years ago at Fontana Lake, NC.

The Lake is Looking Summery

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ducks on the March

For years now these ducks have made a daily pilgrimage from the lake to a house just past Dogwood Road. Their route takes them up Pine Drive and past my house. After they cross the intersection at Dogwood (no doubt looking both ways), they take a left and go somewhere behind the house on the corner. It always gives me a kick to see them saunter by.

Geese and Gosling at the Lake