We recently added a new to us (aka used) Nissan to our garage. And since we took delivery I’ve been itching to get out some tools to fix some of the issues I saw. These were some “picky” things that I wasn’t willing to let the lowest paid employee at the dealership (the car “detailer”) try and correct. Turns out the dealer wasn’t willing to try to fix the issue any way.
Look at the photo below. Starting at the reflection of the light fixture and working down you will see lots of finer scratches going from right to left (actually from the front of the car to the rear of the car).
The problems in the paint… “tunnel scratches”
These are what I call “tunnel scratches”. Why? It’s what happens when you repeatedly go through those auto car washes. The scratches could be anything from overhead brushes to drying cloths that hang vertically to dry your car or, even recycled water that was improperly filtered.
I have been a Meguiar’s fan for few years. Participating in the forums I have learned a lot from the many skilled professionals and car crazy auto appearance fanatics on techniques to enhance and protect the finish of your car. If you want to learn a little about ways to protect and enhance your car’s finish follow along with me. You’ll also see some pictures of our newer car and what I did to improve the appearance.
Step 1: Washing is Not Cleaning and Cleaning is Not Washing
Maybe you are asking yourself if Rob has lost his mind but, the first thing that the Meguiar’s gang would love for you to know is that when you wash your car it’s only the beginning of getting your car/paint clean. And how you wash it will very much determine if you will remove dirt and not add additional scratches to your car’s paint. So, what do you do to prevent additional scratches to your paint? Wash your car with two buckets! Two buckets? Yes, two buckets. Preferably a 5 Gallon Wash Bucket with Grit Guard
Here’s a video with some highlights on washing
Step 2: To Clay or Not to Clay, That Is the Question
After you have washed and dried your car it’s time to find out if you need to clean it with a Clay Bar Kit. This is the real cleaning and what determines if you will get the car really ready (if needed) for polishing (correcting) and waxing (protecting)
So, we have washed, dried and clayed the car. Now, we will work on the defects in the paint. Now, if your car is parked in the driveway or, you don’t want an absolute show car shine this step might be one where you spend a little less effort. But, what is absolutely essential is that you match the correct polish to the type of paint and problem you are trying to correct. Don’t just assume that the one clearcoat safe polish you have will do the trick… especially if you have more than one car. In fact, for this Nissan I tried a total of three products before deciding to use…
Yesterday marked our start into the world of squarefoot gardening (aka raised bed gardening). For a number of years we hemmed and hawed around the thought of having a vegetable garden and this year was the year. The increasing price of fuel, seemed to make the idea a little more palpable. Applying some knowledge gained from reading various copies of All New Square Foot Gardening
.. we’ve gone headlong into establishing our garden.
Read along as we plan, build and plant in just a few hours.
Our plan was not an exact squarefoot garden in the purest sense but, we did follow squarefoot gardening principles. In a true square foot garden it’s most often square (duh!). However, we did plant for efficiency and space optimization.
So, with plan in hand, plants/seeds purchased we headed out
Our family fitted with footwear and ready for gardening action.
So, the first step was to locate a North facing site for the garden which gets 6+ hours of sun. This is no small order in our tree filled yard. My loving Wife scoped out several sites and with that research complete it would be on the perimeter of our backyard. We laid out the pieces to see what it would look like.
The next step I decided on was to remove the grass in the area so we could level the area. This is not mandatory if you have a level location. If you can avoid this step.. do it! We almost did. Removing this grass was the most labor intensive part of the project!
Lily approves of the layout. You can also see the corner blocks which accept the side panels for hardware free assembly (genius!).
See that tool with the green handle? … it’s a gem… removes weeds without backbreaking contortions and I used it to help remove the sod from the area. It’s an Ames True Temper Gardener Two Pronged Weeder.
If it’s possible to love a tool.. my Wife and I both do! Removes weeds from landscaping beds with ease! But, sod was another thing entirely… this “little” area took some muscle. But, when it was done…
garden goodness with landscaping fabric installed.
The gardening gods smiled down on us. Because when we went to return the raised garden bed to Big Blue the Miracle Gro Garden Soil was $2.50/1 cu. ft bag. Sweet! We also picked up a bag of Black Kow Compost Cow Manure
… can’t have too much organic material in your soil.
Miracle Gro Garden Soil ready to go in our square foot garden
So, the next step was to mark off the squares for our (almost) square foot garden. There are lots of ways to mark off the squares (wood, old blinds, vinyl) We used what we had… Painter’s tape…
This being a blog from a Dad, I though it fitting to write about another “Father” who had another milestone today (as my amazing Wife reminds me). So, how do I know about this “father” (Robert Goddard) and what do I know about him?
In the second grade at Central Elementary School in Methuen, MA we had a Science Fair. Central Elementary was the former district High School and I recall details of my two years there with some vividness.
Central Elementary School (Via Google Maps)
The Science Fair in those days had no restrictions (unlike the rules we experienced with our little one which included: no water,animal or human subject unless supervised by a Scientist). So, what was my experiment/project?
A model replica of Robert Goddard’s liquid propelled rocket.
Robert H. Goddard on March 16, 1926
Besides, how bad could a guy be whose name was Robert? I remember my science fair model’s details with some foggy precision: constructed of plastic straws and a pencil then, taped to a piece of carboard. Simple and to the point.
At this science fair I didn’t win any prize (the same fate befell our kid recently). But, due in large part to my Mom we have remembered his successfull development and launch of a liquid fuel rocket on March 16, 1926 in Auburn, Mass. every year since that second grade science fair. That’s a gift far greater than a ribbon or certificate. If you want to read more about Dr. Goddard check out NASA’s info here.