Sunday, October 23, 2011

A strange coincidence

As I'm sure we all know, fathers are put on this planet for one, and only one, primary purpose which is, of course, to embarrass our children whenever and wherever possible. This is a function calling that I answer with the utmost dedication and diligence. Opportunities have arisen far less often as Egg has grown to an age where she pretty much has a life of her own and doesn't accompany her old man with the frequency of past years, but events transpired this week such that we found ourselves doing some shopping at my favorite bulk food warehouse, Gordon's Food Service. As we were making our way to the checkout, Egg grabbed a little plastic cup containing a free sample of some form of candy product. Happily munching away as I took care of the purchases, she started chatting with an idle cashier who shared that it had been her that had to manually fill all of those little cups with candy.

"Don't worry," she assured young Egg, "I'm sanitary."

To which I replied, "What a coincidence! I'm sterile!"

Perhaps you can imagine the mortified look plastered on young Egg's face, but I tend to doubt it.

Now, you may be tssking in disapproval this very moment, but you have to know that Egg will not rest until she gets even. In fact, I'm pretty sure she did that every evening. As we were driving home, I heard the unmistakable tacky tacky tacky of her exchanging text messages with someone. I asked her what was going on and she told me that she was telling one of her girl friends about the manner in which I had ensured that she could never again shop at GFS.

"I don't get it; she thinks you're funny," she said with a confused tone.

"Well, I've always felt that she is mature beyond her years."

A brief pause.... two hands cupped over an area in which young women seem to have great deal of concern about physical development....

"You mean here?"

Me, every bit as mortified as Egg had been just a few minutes before, "NO!! I meant her sense of humor!!"

I'm pretty sure that was a cunning and deliberate payback.

Egg was always a pretty fun child to hang around with, but it just keeps getting better and better. I'm sure going to miss her next year when she goes off to college.

That eventuality is what ate up most of the weekend. Rather than watch football or work on the plane, we made a trip down to Lancaster to look for a place for her to live next year. The college she will be attending there is too small to have dorms, so we need to find an apartment for her. Preliminary internet searches did not bode well - it seems that there are no apartments to be had there. Fortunately, we were able to drive around enough to find a few promising locations conveniently located near the school. We also found the mall. Wherein we found a dress shop. Wherein we she found a dress.

Between finding housing and clothing, we both found the trip to be eminently satisfactory.

Sunday morning was also devoted to a road trip, this time to a car dealer about eighteen miles west of Columbus to look at a potential replacement for the Miata. It wasn't a Mustang, though. At the urging of Co-pilot Egg, I have agreed to consider a Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible. This trip, alas, was a complete bust. As it turns out, the car dealer in question is not particularly diligent about keeping their online inventory page up to date.

It was after 3:00 Sunday afternoon before I was able to make it out to the hangar, despite the fact that I had been itching to get out there all weekend. Sure, I'm just going to be sanding and sanding and sanding for the next few weeks, a job that typically holds no appeal whatsoever, but this time is different: I had a new tool that I was desperate to try out.

One of the challenges of sanding along the front of the canopy is that the area needs to be formed into a curve with a roughly 2" diameter. Van's suggests using a block of round wood or something to attain that shape. "Bah!" says I. I intend to use something far more sophisticated. I hereby introduce you to the Skil Octo(tm):

I hear you. "Calm down, Fella, it's just an electric sander!"

Well, true, but note this: it has a dust collector! That's a pretty big deal when sanding fiberglass in the hangar; if not captured, the dust will migrate into the adjoining hangars and get all over the neighbors' airplanes. To which I'd normally say, "Yeah? So??" but it's different now that I am my own neighbor. I don't want to have to be dusting my RV-6, after all.

I hear you. "Calm down, Fella, it's just an electric sander with a dust collector!"

True, but check this out: it has a collection of attachments. First, and most important, the 2" radius:

And for those tight areas, the pointy-skinny attachment:

Cool, huh?

It came with a bunch of sandpaper, including a nice 60 grit perfect for the first rough sanding. I knocked that out in about an hour, but it soon became apparent to Pete and me that this job was going to require more than sanding; there was also going to be quite a bit of filling. The worst parts are along the top of the sides and the trough along the front of the canopy.

We had plenty of time and thought we'd mix up a batch of filler to apply, but we ran into a problem. The plans tell us to mix up a batch of filler using epoxy and micro balloons, and we have no micro balloons. We have flox, but that's not the same thing. That was it for the day; I had to place an order with Aircraft Spruce for a pound of micro balloons. The picture in the catalog looks like a hand-filled bag - I sure hope whoever fills it is sanitary!

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