Mark's Off Road Warehouse Fire Thread (1 Viewer)

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65swb45

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In the midst of all the drama of having two of my family’s properties on the market at the same time (selling ANYTHING real estate in LA during Covid comes with an unhealthy dose of drama) I just had two fond flashbacks of my dad’s idiosyncrasies.

One of my dad’s favorite pasttimes as a child was going to the theater, back in the 1930s and 1940s. And he loved spy movies. His shop was in a very old building on Broadway, built before 1900. It looked like one of those buildings from Ghostbusters. And all the offices had those old metal Venetian blinds from the 40s.

On the occasions where I went to work with him, and it was just he and I closing up things at the end of the day, sometimes he would step over to the window and rapidly flash the blinds open and shut, like Morse code. I asked him what he was doing, and he said it was something he saw in a movie!

And then, when we got to the door, he would take a small strip of cardboard from a matchbook cover, fold it in half, and carefully put it into the hinged side of the door jamb as he was closing the door. He said it was his way of telling if the management let themselves into the office during the night!

He said he only found it on the ground once.

Maybe I should start a thread in chat about idiosyncrasies. :idea:
 
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65swb45

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Well, it’s been over a month and, as is often the case, a lot of things can happen in a month. I guess first and foremost is that I closed escrow on my mother’s house. The Brady Bunch house is no longer in the Algazy family. I posted a couple of pictures of the remodeling work I did there in the “Ideologies” thread in chat. I’m pretty proud of that work. The house I grew up in fell out of escrow, the listing expired, and I now have a new listing due to start in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, the tinnitus I’ve pretty much had my whole life seemed to be getting slightly worse, which I learned a while back can be a sign of high blood pressure. So I bought a Fitbit and a blood pressure monitor ( for less than a visit to the doctor costs) and determined that while my heart is well below average (resting heart rate 54-55bpm), my blood pressure isn’t great (I have to be still for over 20 minutes to get under 130/85). I also figured my fast-food, high sodium diet wasn’t helping.

So I ramped up my daily exercise routine (Fitbit now estimates I’m burning 3400 calories a day) and am trying to eat more store-bought salty food instead of drive-thru fast food (I hate extreme measures!) In the last 2.5 months I’ve lost 10lbs (190 from 200) and brought my blood pressure down 4 points. I am very satisfied with both my diagnosis and my prescription. 😉 My wife, who is also a good generator of aphorisms, had this to say: If YOU are not THE expert on you, you’ve got some work to do.” Smart lady there.😊

Whiile I was trying to stay a few steps ahead of the realtors and the shark buyers, I split my time between working on Landcruiser parts (self-imposed moratorium on working on vehicles) hiking and cycling to include a new remodeling project: I added a mini deck to the front of the office. I miss my time camping in the desert, hanging out at old mining cabins. And since I am always scrounging weathered lumber to do repairs on those cabins, I decided to use a little for myself!
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It’s not quite done yet, but only the two vertical 4x4s and their concrete anchors are new; everything else is recycled from other projects. And I’d always wanted to do something with a wood pallet, so just last week I grabbed one from a neighbor up the street and in 15 minutes turned it into a picket fence! The two plants in the pic both came from my mom’s house. :)

As always, please hit the like button so I know you’ve dropped by. Unfortunately I had to disable the reply function.
 
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So now I’m sitting here realizing that a big piece of MY history, the house that has been a part of my life since before I could walk, will soon be no more. 😭

Anyone here know the Dan Fogelberg song “Souveniers “?

“Here is a key to a house far away
where I used to live as a child
They tore down the building when I moved away
and left the key unreconciled “



"...The ghosts of the dawn
Moving near.
They pass through your sorrow
And leave you quite still...
Sitting among souvenirs." - Dan Fogleberg

Yes, a great song by a great artist. The first album I ever purchased with "my own money that I earned" was Nether Lands. I still have it, although it hasn't been out of the cover for over 35 years.

I used to write down his lyrics to try to decipher their meanings. As time goes by, and my life goes on, I realize that I may never really totally understand them. Even if I live them, I'll only understand what they mean to me.

It's sad to hear about your childhood home being destroyed. Keep your memories fresh: write about them.

W
 

65swb45

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Wasn’t planning on posting again for a while, but my daughter sent me a picture I just had to share. A true ‘candid camera’ moment (dating myself!) of Olivia, after she swiped a pair of daddy’s glasses, trying them on in front of a mirror.
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65swb45

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Breakthrough!

We bought my daughter and SIL a small table and chairs as a holiday gift for Olivia and baby A; Becky and Daniel had something similar when they were small. We had to wait almost a month for the ‘all clear’ just to deliver it to their backyard.☹️ Figured it was going to be another pleasant lunch with Becky (from across the table) which it was.

I no sooner agreed to assemble the table and chairs than Becky went in the house and brought Olivia out! She was absolutely wide-eyed to see us. The kids have been SO isolated, Olivia has no memory of anyone other than mommy and daddy being in her world. And we were ecstatic to see her!

I was sitting on the ground, assembling components with a pair of small wrenches. We could all tell she was fascinated with me. Not the table or chairs, which of course she didn’t comprehend until they were assembled. But that facial hair! :p We of course didn’t try to touch or hold her, but she approached Tina several times, touching her colorful blouse and buttons with curiousity. It was absolute heaven.

And we got to watch her little mind working when she dropped something under the new table I’d just assembled. She went under the table to retrieve it, but more importantly, took her time, being VERY careful, to get herself out from under the table without touching her head on the underside of the table. It was extra amusing because she of helmet COULD be the LEAST worried about banging her head. Absolutely adorable. I’m still warm on the inside writing about it five days later. :)
 
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65swb45

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Well ,it's been almost three months since I logged off of MUD, and a lot of things can happen in three months. And a LOT of things have happened. First and foremost of those would have to be that Tina and I have become grandparents again! A grandson was born to us yesterday. Not to be outdone with their previous naming whimsy, our new grandson is named Atomic Bowie Avenger Malkin. No clue why, or what it means. But we are being told he is a very healthy and happy baby.

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65swb45

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I am done with the majority of the trustee duties that kept me not only sidetracked from my business, but placed such heavy stress on me. I certainly have no fondness for my enemies. But I would not wish on ANYONE the level of drama it took to close escrow on my parents' properties and begin the process of closure on their tangible legacy. The intangible part? Well I hope that remains with me forever.😊

The hiking and increased cycling I started last fall to deal with the stress has now lead to a loss of 15lbs, down to 185 from 200. Blood pressure is near normal again, and with the removal of the stress, my outlook is vastly improved.

However, that said, my outlook is also in flux. While I was certain when my mom died last summer that it would have no REAL effect on my future, I have to admit I have started doing some serious thinking about the future of Mark's Off Road. I honestly had no long term plan, no "exit strategy", as Marv Specter put it a year before he passed. I figured I was a long way off from having to think about such things.

But the cosmic two by four of mortality has hit me, and is taking its own toll on my plans, or lack thereof. I am not going to be strong forever, and there are many, many projects I wish to have the satisfaction of building for myself, and there is the beginning of finite-ness to both my time and energy that now begins to feel like it is competing head to head with the services all the Landcruiser people still wish me to do. I still have a sense of satisfaction at being able to do those things for which I worked so long and hard to get my reputation. But that satisfaction is now being tempered by the list of things I want to do for myself.
 
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65swb45

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The fact that I will be turning 60 soon, and doing so with all the elders in my family now gone has had it's own effect. 27 years ago I started playing volleyball with a group of seniors that called themselves "Recycled Teenagers" I told several of them on various occasions that when they executed a particularly crafty or strategic play, I could see the mischievous gleam of a 10 year old in their eyes. They blessed me one and all for being able to see it.

Now, 27 years later, I have come to understand what it means to look out at the world through timeless eyes, knowing that the world sees you very differently than how you see yourself. I am grateful to have the words to describe this. But at the same time, a little sad.
 
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65swb45

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The combination of my new/increased recreational activities and home improvement projects is leaving me with less than 2 hours a day to deal with the shop. Returning phone calls from people that leave messages looking for "a part", or the one thing nobody else has is gone. Tech follow up isn't far behind. I just don't have the energy to use on them and still move the projects forward that continue to show up on my doorstep.

To @Tacocrazy , @mcjb , @DJ45 , @merbesfield , @tuloyuser , @Shoelessjoe , @Webster , @gmr76 , @DuckFJ40 , @eaj71 and all the others who have left me private messages since I last logged out, please respect my signature line and leave a voicemail on my shop phone if you still require assistance. I have now resorted to locking my private message box, something I thought I would never need to do. But know that if you're looking for an unspecified “part", a rare part nobody else has, or tech assistance, the odds are not good that I will call you back. This is MY new reality, laid out square, open and honest on the table. If my honesty equates with signing the death warrant of Mark's Off Road, I will take that consequence. Like I told @Trollhole after his heart attack, health must come first.
 
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65swb45

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As fate would have it, I may check into MUD a little over the next few days while I evaluate and recuperate from a bad fall I took this morning:frown:. This is not an excuse to call me out on the forum to answer your tech questions. But, lacking the ability to actually go do the shop means there's no point in leaving a message there right now anyways. I had my wife drive me in earlier this afternoon and bring the phone and the open work orders out to the truck so I could contact all the clients with work currently in the shop to let them know there will be additional delays in finishing their projects. All five of them were understanding.:):):):):)
 
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65swb45

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In all the great hiking and cycling Ive done over the last three months, I've had three stand-outs: First, a training hike with @Kofoed up Mt. Lukens in the snow in preparation for a return to backpacking. Second was the actual backpacking trip up Surprise Canyon to Panamint City, a trek I first made with Marlin and a dozen other people THIRTY YEARS AGO. And the third would be my return to Saline Valley, a mystical place @Land Cruiser Junky introduced me to 31 years ago, where I make people happy with my music.
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65swb45

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With all the inquiries about the accident, it makes sense to post up what happened.

The exercise regimen that I started last fall turned into training shortly after the first of the year, when I invited myself to join @Kofoed and his friends for a backpacking trip in Death Valley at the end of March. This was followed by the happy accident of four days of hiking in Saline Valley a week and a half later.

While in Saline I found out about an opportunity to backpack a remote section of the PCT that I visited in the course of some felony fourwheeling back in 1987! So the training continued.

While on a routine hike in the mountains near us on the morning of April 18, I stepped onto an off camber section of the trail to let some uphill hikers pass us. Unfortunately, that spot consisted of decomposed granite, which has the consistency of ball bearings as it erodes from its base.

I weighted my right foot to move sideways out of the main trail, and as the leg took the weight, my foot went out from under me, taking me down, weighted backpack and all, like a side-hit bowling pin onto the granite. The combination of the weighted hyper-extension and the impact immediately immobilized me in pain so severe that I almost went into shock. Moving was out of the question.

Fortunately, the trail is a very popular one, and the hikers who I moved aside for quickly and effectively engaged the local emergency services via cellphone. In about half an hour an ambulance came rumbling up the mountainside to collect me.

I refused to be taken to a hospital, partially because IH8doctors, and partially because I had already concluded that, absent the knife-stabbing pain of a broken bone, there was nothing to be ultimately gained from a hospital visit other than a precise diagnosis of what was torn.

The ambulance returned us to the parking lot at the bottom of the mountain and the EMTs helped me get into the passenger seat of our truck. Tina drove us home. I sat in the truck for almost an hour, adrenaline finally wearing off, while Tina borrowed some crutches from a neighbor. I hobbled on the crutches to our guest house, which has no stairs, and laid myself out on the futon.

I texted my cycling buddies while I was still on the mountain, and a few hours later one them showed up with a litany of medical devices, including an electro-shock TENS machine. That and 1200mg doses of Motrin got me through that day. 10mg of THC kept me down long enough for some much needed sleep that night.

By the next day the initial swelling had subsided enough for me to determine that at least three separate and distinct things had torn, which helped explain why so much of my range of motion was gone.

Through miserable pain I got back into the truck anyways and had Tina drive me to the shop, where I called people on a cordless shop phone from the passenger seat to tell them that their projects were all on hold indefinitely. Then it was back home to the futon and the Motrin/TENS/THC routine.

One of my few role models is a retired boxer/stuntman that I play volleyball with. He’s old enough to be my father, has broken just about every bone in his body, and just keeps going, like the Energizer bunny. The active recovery is his mantra. So three days after the fall I decided to risk aggravating my injuries and started moving around. The fact that I had a serious backlog of deferred maintenance on our property, which is due to be raided shortly for a party served as secondary motivation.

Yesterday I made the last use of a borrowed cane, after having made the unfortunate mistake of aggravating a injury to my right pec by using the crutches. The pec injury happened five days before the accident while moving a 2F engine in the shop. Now that pain rivals that of my leg, and may surpass it, as I continue working on that backlog. If my mother was still here, she’d be harping on me. Fortunately, my wife is much more understanding of my stubborn tenacity.



So that’s my story.
 
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