Wednesday, 31 March 2010

White Blueprint

Above is a/the blueprint for a 99 Mercury Cougar, looks pretty familiar to me.

The recent bad weather and excessive precipitation has taken it's toll on the wipers. The bearing in the motor right in the centre of the dash is screaming like Janis Joplin singing Annie Laurie. Spraying WD40 like a Tomcat hasn't silenced the roar of the worn bearing either. Two options are emerging, one don't go out in the rain or two, get it fixed.

The unspeakable third option is fixing it myself which may require the use of a screwdriver, disconnecting the battery and buying a FoMoCo WW motor on-line somewhere. I'm in faith for good weather to prevail for 40 days and 40 nights.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Many things I should have done

It has been another very busy, very full weekend and as usual the car has been well used and well neglected in equal parts. No checks, no cleaning or pampering, nothing nice just more mile munching and asphalt running across Fife and the Lothians. I promise to do better over the Easter weekend, somehow.

Milestone reached: 110,000 miles passed, not sure what day, possibly Tuesday.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Why you Dennis?

Much as I like Dennis Hopper I cant quiet understand how he figured in this commercial and how Steve McQueen got lumped with the Puma commercial. Should have been reversed. Strange choices. It's all a while ago now but the iconic images, memories and associations remain. They never could have included "Two lane blacktop" in the campaign either but Dennis Wilson would have been a good driver choice.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Just like the real thing

Not the greatest box top artwork I've ever seen. A stylised Cougar driving through the streets of Monte Carlo? Not convincing.

Meanwhile my mystery door leak is still leaking but it's tolerable. More posts soon.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Ford Torino

OK so this is not a Cougar, it's a Torino and a famous one at that, I just like the picture.

On a flat line of routine at the moment, work home, work, home but still very much enjoying driving the Cougar. It's the little moments that count, that extra kick that's there when you need to accelerate away from a slip road or overtake or just leave lesser vehicles in your wake. The steady and smooth cornering, the chunky and well constructed feel that gives the driver confidence. At the moment living with Mr C is good.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Hedge end

The annual hedge cull has taken place. A great green giant of a John Deere attacked the hedges last night and made a rather good job of giving them all a number two trim. The result was however that the material the chipper failed to capture ended up all across the roads, not quite filling the potholes and not quite lining the edges. I first noticed the piece of debris I'd picked up when the radio sound suddenly developed a scratchy tone and Mark Radcliffe becomes distinctly distorted. I stopped and in the fading light found that I was dragging a six foot piece of bent willow underneath the real wheel arch and getting the same effect as a kid does when cardboard is shoved into the spokes of a bike.

I drove to Greenock today and enjoyed (?) the many miles of never ending roadworks that cut across the central belt like some huge piece of scar tissue. I don't recall it ever being any different, a perpetual parade of cones and high vis equipment that lines the road edge where fields, trees and houses should be - all sinking in an upturned sea of brown mud. At least Glasgow was clear for once and West of the airport the road on to Gourock was as peaceful as sunny Port Glasgow on a Tuesday morning.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Open roads closed

There are open roads out there, I have seen them, once in a while I may even get to drive on them but they are rare as are the open road moments. Necessity driving fills the time, the Tesco and taxi runs, the commute and the grind.

Today I enjoyed a brief period of escape from the compressions of time, some chill out moments accompanied by a vanilla milk shake and the bright and warm March sun as the F1 season opened in Dubai. I was gone and uniterrupted, the open road was open.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Two days and two nights in an airport car park, blank and anonymous, set in a garden of grey concrete and predominately silver cars, buried. There have been times when having returned to the car park it takes me at least twenty minutes to find the car. I think the car hides, trying to avoid me, enjoying the peace and the long snooze that I have inflicted, sleeping like a cat, deeply but fitfully. That's an uncomfortable thought.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Clean Car

I actually cleaned the car today, well the bit that's outside. God I'm good.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Cat v Cougar

For reasons best known to themselves our cats have chosen to behave in a fairly disrespectful way towards Mr Cougar when he's at rest. This takes the form of them spending their empty evenings running across the car, roof, bonnet, windscreen and general body work with dirty, muddy little paws. The completed effect is as above and below. The windscreen in particular suffered from this feline vandalism but it's hard to capture it in a photo with my crappy camera. Funny how you always look through windscreens and never at them - helps you not to crash I guess.

Friday, 5 March 2010

In the shop

Tinted close up.

Jacked up.

I had a spare twenty minutes this afternoon so I got the longstanding slow puncture cured. It was the usual problem with older alloys, corrosion around the rim edges causing a poor seal and giving me a tyre that needed pumped up every fortnight. I've lived with it for six months, now the pain over, at least until the next re-occurrence. I also indulged in the "what alloys would I buy if I had a spare £300" fantasy as I browsed around the waiting area. I settled for a quote for two new front tyres, sometime next month I'll do the business.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

My blue heaven

I bought this gadget in New York, it keeps the ozone down, the vibes up and the cockpit ambiance at a nice level and extracts 38.7 mpg from the Cougar's computer brain, all for 25 Bucks. Of course I just like to think of that clear blue light watching over me and keeping me safe, always.

Monday, 1 March 2010


OK so I was tempted by a Saab, then an Accord VVTi, a Prelude and an Alfa Romeo. Then I came to my senses and decided to stick with the Ford and all its flaws, faults and idiosyncrasies. It was only a passing thing, a moment of weakness and a lapse of reason. The mist has cleared and I remain calm and for the most part in control.