Rob’s Blog: Learn to Choose your Battles

Gail and Rob Caveney at the British Car Club Hawaii 2018 Holiday Luncheon.

If ever there was a time when the garage based “man cave” was allowed to be expanded into the living quarters, now would be that time. It may be a stretch to do a complete engine rebuild on the living room floor, but surely a carb teardown on the kitchen table is within the current rules defining what is acceptable, and what’s not. I often have greater success initiating such questionable projects under the equally questionable philosophy, better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. At least with this approach, the parts will already be covering the table and the only reasonable thing to do is re-assembly, which is what you were going to do anyway. 

Gail and I have reached a workable agreement surrounding these situations. I don’t make any attempt at interior decorating, and she’s agreed not to remodel the garage. I know why I need so many different screw drivers, but it’s difficult to understand how the same argument applies to tongs and basters. Evidently it does, and I’ve learned to accept that. In spite of this agreement, one of my long term goals is to have a fully functional Jaguar engine as a glass covered coffee table in the family room. Imagine those beautifully polished cam covers framed  between a set of triple HD8 SU’s on one side, and two, gleaming porcelain exhaust manifolds on the other.  “What a great conversation piece,” I insist. Her disapproving look speaks louder than any verbal reply, and we defer to the kitchen/garage agreement. It’s important to pick your battles.

If you haven’t already guessed, there will be no Tech Session this month, and the club meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 7th is also canceled. During these unusual times of isolation and social distancing, maybe we could share some personal stories of our automotive past. For example, what was the fastest you have ever gone in a car and the circumstances surrounding the experience? Or, what was the scariest thing that ever happened to you in a car. Don’t be limited by the facts. At our age (at least most of us) fading memories can only enhance reality. For me, it was 110 mph and I was in the back seat of a Porsche 911. The scenery was going by so fast I had to peek over the driver’s shoulder. The needle was pegged and I knew it was a benchmark moment. That was back in 1968 and it still stands.

I hope all of you are coping well and are observing the new normal when it comes to hand washing and cleanliness. There seems to be no end to the cautions necessary to stay virus free. I still don’t know if it’s safe to share the tube of toothpaste. Maybe it’s best to fail on the side of caution.

Stay safe friends. We will be back together soon with some stories to tell.


One thought on “Rob’s Blog: Learn to Choose your Battles”

  1. Thanks for one story with two happy endings. I can’t believe that after you realized you knew the cop, you still tried to outrun him. I think your chances were a lot less than 50/50. Thanks for sharing.

    Jack and Sheree Childs

    “Well I guess I should be brave enough to tell one of my car stories, I’m afraid I do have a few, but I will just tell one right now.

    My daily commute to work was on a beautiful country road. This road had a lot of sharp turns and fun hills, which I was able to expertly maneuver with a little extra speed in my 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, as to not be late for work or to get home from work in record time. Well, this was never a problem until one rainy day.

    Even though it was raining I was still driving along at a pretty good pace when I came around a turn and down a hill to realized at the bottom of the hill that water from the lake had started to overflow across the road. As I was trying to slow down I then noticed that there was a police car parked across the street from the lake! I then look towards the edge of the lake and see the policeman as he was trying to cross the road to get back to his patrol car.

    At this point I had no choice but to drive through this pond size puddle which would undoubtedly send a huge wave of water over the policeman! And boy did it ever!

    Now I’m through the puddle and look in my rear view mirror and saw the policeman run to his car to chase after me, and it is then that I realize this is someone I know. I lived in a small town and the police chief was my cousin, so I did know most of the town police.

    I was so embarrassed and thought well I’ll just keep going to the next road intersection around the next corner. I figured he would not know if I went left or right and that I would have a fifty-fifty chance.

    Well I lost, he picked the correct direction and pulled me over.

    I rolled down my window, waiting for him to come up to my car. He doesn’t even look in the car and just says very sternly “License and Registration”, which I promptly gave him. He takes one look at my license and then leans down and looks in the car and says “Sheree is that you!?” And I say “Joe I’m so so sorry, I didn’t mean to splash you!”

    I looked out at Joe and he was just soaked! Well, he was kind enough to not give me a ticket, which he said would have been for trying to drown an officer, and then we did have a good laugh about it. He was really nice.

    Now fast forward to 10 years later. This same policeman and his wife were kind enough to give Jack and I a ride home from our wedding reception. Because you see, Jack was a little nervous that day and locked his keys in his car! The only ones left at our reception that could help us out was Joe and his wife. On the way home Joe had fun telling Jack about the day I tried to drown him. So there it is, a kinda high speed car chase with no ticket and a ride home from our wedding reception.

    We are enjoying all the stories, and we hope everyone is staying in and are safe and healthy!”

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