Another Day of Cleaning the Garage, and a bunch more Catch-Up material

Today Julie and I went over to her house to work on cleaning out the garage. This is no simple task, you see; this being the first real blog post on this site, I get to do some ‘splanin.

A few months ago, Julie’s family (aside from her sister, Liz) packed an enormous truck with stuff and “migrated” to their new home in Spruce Grove, Alberta. This is all well and good, but…

Unfortunately, what didn’t fit in that enormous truck was left for me, Julie, Liz (and whoever else cared to help) to take care of. You see, her family had a lot of stuff. Most of it was cool stuff, but the rest was just stuff that piles up over the years, like any family has (unless you’ve got an abnormal family that doesn’t keep a certain amount of stuff around). So it was left to us to determine what was cruft, and what was to be sent up to Canada on truck number two. We’ve pretty much got a hold on the main part of the house now; nearly the entire second level is clear, and most of the stuff downstairs is divided between stuff-to-donate and stuff-to-send-up. So with the confidence that we’re mostly done inside the house, we moved on to the garage.

Now the garage is an entire other story. The first time I saw their garage back within the first week I met Julie I was awestruck. Now, you must understand, this house had 8 people living in it, with no basement, only a tiny crawlspace. So they basically made their garage a basement. Not a problem really, I know many people who use their garage for exactly the same thing. Our task: Clean it out to be spic-n-span.

It’s not easy, I’ll tell you, but it’s starting to look better. We’ve thrown out a good amount of junk (unneeded cardboard boxes, broken things, leaking bottles of automotive fluids, etc), packed as many tools and hardware pieces as we can find into toolboxes (and we’re STILL finding more), and divided sections of “donate” and “send up to Canada”, just like we did inside the house. It’s looking quite good considering we’ve only been working on the garage for 4 days (2-3 hours each day).

The other task that I must complete is packing my own belongings to squeeze on Truck Two. I’ve got most of what I need in my room packed up, and everything from the basement that I want is mostly packed. I just have to take down and pack up the weather station and all of my computers. That could be done in a few hours if need be, but I’m planning to start that within a few weeks. That’s right folks, my weather station is moving from Gurnee to Spruce Grove.

Now onto the subject of transportation. My car, a 1988 VW Cabriolet, recently converted from an 8V 1.8L engine to a 16V 1.8L engine, and from automatic to manual transmission, is going to be our main (and only) vehicle on the way up there. Fortunately, I bought some new tires (Michelin Harmony’s) and had them installed by Sears Grand… not-so-fortunately, they discovered the rear suspension is shot (springs broken) and the front passenger strut is pissing oil over everything. So that’s $400 in parts and $200 in labor off the bat. To make matters worse, my rear main seal has been leaking oil for the past few months, destroying various clutches. I’ve replaced it twice myself and am now handing the job over to Anderesen Automotive in Grayslake, IL. They’re going to install what’s called a Speedi-Sleeve onto the crankshaft end to give it a new sealing surface. Let’s hope they do it right. They’re also installing a block heater for Canadian winters. Once that’s all said and done, I can finally take it to Sears again to get the alignment done, another $60 or so. We’re looking at around $1200 total and thank goodness my dad has agreed to pay for it, I don’t have those kind of funds available to me.

My new suspension parts are on the way and I should have the car ready in time, I’m depending on Anderesen to do a good job the first time.

Well, that’s all for now, I’ll post more tomorrow. Julie will also be posting now and again since she has the ability to do so.


  1. Fiz McFiz


    Andrew, you are gifted with this computer stuff! The site is wonderful! Reminds me of thre chronicles of the trip in June!

    Love you guys,

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