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Remember last year when we were trying to sell the house ahead of the baby’s arrival? Well we never met that deadline and wisely decided to pull the house from the market a few weeks before Michelle’s due date. It’s Spring again though, and that meant it was time to give this real estate thing another go. Easy right? Just find someone to buy our current house at a price that won’t lose us too much money, and somehow time it just right that we find our dream house at the same time to place the winning bid..

Well it worked just like that. Ha! Sort of.. well close enough. Anyway, we’re now in the super fun phase of packing up all our stuff (how did we get so much stuff???) and preparing for the big move. Thankfully we were able to get early access to the new garage which has allowed us to start moving things over bit by bit now.

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A fifth of our bikes already done!

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Seriously where did all this stuff come from? Fortunately we’ve had plenty of help to get it all packed up and moved over.

Confession: Most of the stuff… lives in the garage.

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All these years of turning wrenches and scouring craigslist for parts means I have a healthy collection of tools, gizmos, and gadgets. and dust. so much dust.

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Yet one by one – truck load by truck load, things are making their way over.

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We’re also the proud new owners of my grandfather’s riding mower. Like all things him, it’s in perfect condition and meticulously maintained. And still teaching me lessons… after a slight incident while loading the tractor where I maybe dumped it off the ramps and it maybe fell on me I thought some more about the procedure and came up with a solution to ensure no issues this time around.

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Nailed it.

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Last but not least, all this packing was a clear sign we needed to ditch some stuff. Yard sale time! Another fun adventure of schlepping a bunch of crap out to our driveway to haggle over a dollar!

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They never cease to amaze.

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Just a few more weeks…

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My daughter knows three words; yeah, yeah, and duh.

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But considering our last post was titled “Coming Soon!”, let’s catch up a bit.

 

 

September 17th, a date strategically chosen to honor Porsche’s first overall wins at Le Mans with the 917, is the day our lives changed forever. For months I tried to imagine what it would be like or how it would affect me, but there really is no way to explain it or comprehend it ahead of time.

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Even now, I’m at a loss for words to adequately describe having every emotion possible sprinting through your body at once. And then it happens, and you hear her for the first time and see her for the first time and feel Michelle’s hand in yours and all at once – lose your shit.

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The days following fly by like minutes. Everything is new. Everything is the first time.

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This is it. The moment you trained for. Trained for? Oh those classes you took? Hahaha

Get the kid home. Relief. Wait. Where are the nurses?! Hold on I’ll Google it…

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OMG Michelle is incredible. She’s a natural, obviously, and amazes me every day. The nursery is beautiful and becomes the headquarters of our now round-the-clock operation. Cadence instantly loves this baby as if she were her own.

Time seriously flies. I nickname her A10. It’s a hit. And the most badass bomber jet ever.

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The Porsche? It’s fine. We’ll talk about that later. She’s now able to interact with us. Game changer! Baby’s first Christmas. We didn’t get her anything. Are we bad parents?

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More interaction. More learning. Every day is the most exciting day of her life. We start with real food! On taco night! Then do yoga!

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Namaste, bitches.

Holy cow (fingers crossed) I think we’re starting to get the hang of this. <- that’s what I say every time before everything completely changes. Again. But we’re in a good sweet spot now, and I guess that’s why I’ve finally written this post. Parenthood is awesome.

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flower crown photo cred: Laura Olivia Photography

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, as we prepare for arrival it’s time to power down your electronic devices, stow all carry ons under the seat in front of you, and please bring your seat backs and tray tables to their upright and locked position. That’s right, folks, we are only days away from delivery! Well, it could be more like a week and a half but you can count that in days too. Regardless of when she actually shows up, time is running out to finish our preparation so this three day weekend was a race right from the start.

It even started well before the weekend as earlier in the week I made one last use of the truck (more on that later) and picked up our new side door and storm door from Home Depot. The entry door off the kitchen is our everyday coming and going door and we’ve wanted to replace it for years. I think it’s original to the house and features single pain glass, a dynamic width, and a door knob that falls off.

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We finally made it a priority and reached out to our friend Joe Jetta for help. Joe is one of my close VW friends and previously worked as a general contractor. He occasionally does side work like this and was the perfect guy for the job. Plus he doesn’t mind letting me help with hold things.

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Joe made quick work of pulling the old door, and before you knew it there was a gaping door shaped hole in the wall! We continued working to clear all remnants of the old door and get the new door in and lined up. I kept reminding Joe that taking pictures of him working is practically the same as me working too. He just didn’t get it though. Luckily for him, Michelle and Cadence came out to help too!

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After a quick break for General Tso’s chicken, we finished up the install and I took a few more pictures of everything but the new door.

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Speaking of the truck, and we were, the other main event that occurred earlier in the week was the listing of said truck for sale. It’s hard to believe the brodozer has been one of the longest cars I’ve ever held on to! I purchased it 4 years ago from my best friend while still only mid way through the rabbit project!

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The years have flown by, and the brodozer has seen many different versions, however, a version I wasn’t content with was dust collect/storage bin. With time and space even more precious these days, I made the decision to pass it on to a new owner. It didn’t take long to find one, and Friday night while working on the door my phone was a flurry of messages. Long story short, a 15 year old kid and his dad showed up bright and early Saturday morning to see it. The kid’s older brother and even the dad each had their own rabbit pickup, and the brodozer was to be their project over the winter while junior waited to get his license. How can you say no to that?! Well I didn’t, and after a few hiccups with Uhaul, they loaded the truck and drove off into the (noon) sunset. *the truck was running fine he just couldn’t drive it home because he doesn’t have a license yet!

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The rest of Saturday was a blur. We ran all the errands. Ikea is awful on the weekends. The mall is even worse.

Fast forward to Sunday, and Michelle was out the door early to spend the day prepping freezable meals for us with her mom. The idea being that she can make a ton of food now that we can easily defrost and heat up once the baby is here. It must have been a full on food factory over there as she brought home 10 servings of veggie lasagna, 7 stuffed peppers, 2 chicken pot pies, and a whole pot of chili. #dadbod

Meanwhile, while I was cutting the grass I kept noticing a bunch of classic cars and hot rods driving by. A quick google search revealed there was a local charity car show benefitting a fallen police officer. After cleaning up, I headed over to the show to check it out.

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As you can see it wasn’t my typical subject matter, but part of me loves old American muscle and these cars were all really well done. One of these days you’ll see either a 64 1/2 Mustang or a 65 GTO in our garage..

The car show also gave time for paint back in the current garage to dry. Signal Orange is a big commitment, so I tested a similar shade of orange on the new bumper. What do you think?

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Kind of like this:

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Anyway that (finally) brings us to today. As if Michelle’s mega meal prep wasn’t enough, I was up early to get the smoker going with a pork butt. My barbecue always ends up going late so I took the calculated cook time and doubled it. This meant meat’s on at 7am.

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This was our last day of the weekend so after a surprisingly pleasant cup of coffee on the patio, we hit a full agenda. On deck was a full house clean, like really clean even vacuuming underneath stuff and mopping the floors and shampooing rugs clean! Also to-do was swap out the black coffee bar for a white one, put away and organize all these piles of baby stuff, and maybe 96 loads of laundry.

Ikea hack: fancy up your book shelf by screwing feet to the bottom!

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Ikea hack #2: power tools!

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My co-worker, Dave, also generously donated his mega fancy baby rocker. He lives nearby and even delivered it to the house today!

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Michelle isn’t as stoked as Joe to have you taking pictures the whole time, but I managed to snap this one of a freshly finished room. We did eventually complete most of the items from the list.

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..just in time for perfectly timed barbecue!

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Nailed it!

 

I think this might be a good time for an update. Actions have been set into motion; actions which have direction and consequences and price tags. As you may have seen, I recently began the slow process of disassembling the impacted body panels and their peripherals. I’ve said this many times before, and not surprisingly have seen it in other Porsche threads, but it’s so surprising how cooperative these cars are when it comes time to unbolt things. Many people might not appreciate that, but for anyone that’s torn down an old watercooled volkswagen, you can truly understand the happiness that emanates from a nut or bolt that needs nothing more than lefty loosey to be removed.

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With work life and personal life seemingly spinning out of control these past few months, I often only have time to fit in 1 hour sprints with the car. One hour at the time though, the parts are coming off, the fasteners making their way into baggies, and the exposed areas getting scrubbing and treated. My rabbit pickup has somehow also volunteered to help it’s older brother out by storing all of these items in its rapidly overflowing bed.

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We recently had a local car show that often attracts a pretty diverse swap meet. I originally had thoughts of driving the truck, with a full bed of parts, to the show with hopes of selling something here or there. Michelle, however, in her infinite wisdom reminded me that spending a whole day confined to your swap space is rarely an enjoyable Saturday. She suggested that I instead list the items online and deal with the shipping if they actually sell. Good idea right? And really, who’s gonna buy smashed up body panels?

A couple quick photos later, and my stuff was live on Pelican Parts. Then my inbox filled up? Jackpot! After a visit from a gentleman just north of me yesterday, I’m happy to have a much lighter truck and most importantly, another $800 in the budget!

What’s a point of all this rambling? Said gentleman not only took my front bumper, but also purchased my accordion rear bumper thus removing all remnants of the car’s impact bumper history. It’s official, we’re backdating.

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So often you get to Sunday night and wonder “where the hell did the weekend go?”. That’s the worst because you feel like you’ve wasted it. Not the case this weekend. In fact, I couldn’t believe how much awesome we got to pull out of just a few days.

Things kicked off Friday when I was able to get a new set of wheels and tires mounted up to the dadwagen. The car came with snow tires so I’ve been combing the internets ever since for the right deal on a summer setup.

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Friday also kicked things off because Jamie and I had planned an informal bachelor night with our bud, Eric. It seems like just yesterday we were posting on VW Vortex and busting knuckles on the Greenland Polo, but I’m really lucky to have those two as such close friends now.

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The game plan for Friday night was to surprise Eric with a limo ride out to Vegan Treats, then catch some action at the velodrome, and then see where the evening would take us.

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The velodrome was awesome, and we couldn’t believe how good the racing was. Pro level track racing with international riders all for $5 and a short drive from home! Cameras weren’t allowed for the rest of the night so I’ll jump right into Saturday morning.

The Deutsche Classic is one of my favorite car shows all year. It’s the only show around that features so many classic German cars in addition to your everyday VWs. The crowd is older, so there’s virtually zero mouth-breathing dubbers and NO VAPING! Unfortunately my 911 couldn’t make the show this year, but it seemed like everyone else’s could. The Porsche section was outstanding. I think I’ve definitely made up my mind now on signal orange 😉

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After the show, it was a quick long drive down to South Jersey for a graduation party that evening and some more beach time Sunday. The weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday, and we had one of the best beach days in years. Michelle also debuted her beach bump with a two piece bathing suit and looked awesome!

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We stayed at the beach a little late, so on the way we grabbed dinner to go from one of my favorite spots along the bay. The trip wasn’t complete without hitting a second local legend, and we happily obliged.

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You never realize how hard/weird it is to explain the raisin until you have to explain the raisin.

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Anyway, we finished the short drive back to my mom’s where we then ate our frozen treats and inhaled our clam chowder. Another solid weekend in the books!

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Is it technically summer yet? If not does that mean it’s still going to get hotter?

People seem to ask me one of two questions lately:
How’s Michelle?
How’s the car?

We spoke a little bit about the car last time, so let’s give Michelle some spot light. While the car story gets more complicated to explain with every passing day, I’m delighted when people ask about Michelle. Delighted because she’s awesome. Like really awesome. I’m not sure if we just haven’t reached the ’emergency trips to dairy queen’ or ‘put pickles on everything!’ phase yet, but so far so good. I obviously can’t speak for her, but at least I can broadcast out to the world how great she makes this experience for me. The summer heat is going to be a challenge for us, but I’m not opposed to working on my own #dadbod in the name of ice cream and a happy mama.

Speaking of happy mamas, we took a trip “down the shore” for KFong’s birthday barbeque!

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The blind starburst taste test challenge!

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Cliff notes: We’re 23 weeks in now. It’s a girl. The Porsche is wrecked. The house is still for sale.

 

So.. where were we? Well, we were on I-76 eastbound just past the Gulf Mills exit to be precise. It was early morning. The air was still damp and cool, and we were actually on schedule to beat traffic and make it down to South Jersey in time for Mother’s Day brunch. The car was running smooth, cruising through the gears and settling into a nice pace to keep the engine humming while not being too disruptive to other motorists or most importantly, my pregnant passenger. In an instant everything changed, as over the concrete median leapt a deer who landed directly in front of the car. Before I could even lift off the throttle to slam the brakes, we had already clipped the deer’s legs and sent it rolling across the hood and off the side of the car.

Still in shock, Michelle assured me she was ok, and we slowly moved over into the shoulder to stop and assess the damage. As driver and passenger we had barely felt the impact; a credit to the extremely low profile and aerodynamic body lines of the 911. In any other vehicle we would have made direct contact with the deer’s torso and surely deployed the front air bags. In the 911, however, we merely scooped under the deer and thankfully avoided collision with the windshield. After confirming again that Michelle was fine, I carefully opened the door and walked around to see how bad the impact was.

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Ouch.

The grand scheme blah blah blah we’re ok and not injured at all. Still sucks to see something you’ve worked so hard at get destroyed. After collecting ourselves we made the necessary phone calls and arranged for a tow truck to take the car home. The state trooper was really nice too and even wished Michelle a happy mother’s day.

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Finally home safe, I pulled the cover over it and began the long (still active) insurance claim process. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

/scene.

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve also recently found out that our bundle of joy is girl!

To celebrate, we spent 6 hours at babies R us trying to figure out how strollers work.

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Thank you again so much to Michelle’s sister, Heather! She put up with us all day and basically conducted a hands on 6 hour ‘this is how you infant’ seminar.

That’s not to say that it’s been all work and no play. Brileen was back in action over Memorial Day weekend and hosted another of their backyard bashes, although with less midnight Adelle sing-alongs this time.

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not sure what the last photo is about but just go with it

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

It’s true. I’m 30 years old, and I’m excited. To celebrate, here are 30 of my favorite pictures from along the way:

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thanks!

It was somewhere amid the hail of sparks gently caressing my face Sunday morning that I became acutely aware of the fact that I never pull out the angle grinder after something’s gone right.

 

Lesson #1: Even the lightest of hammer taps will inevitably degrade the initial threading pitch of the alternator.

 

Lesson #2: Taking a cutting disk to your Porsche for the first time is exhilarating in so many ways.

 

But first, allow me to back up and start from the beginning. Yesterday began the eagerly anticipated re-assembly of my engine bay. After pulling the carbs for a rebuild, I bit on the “while you’re in there” bug and went after some components that were in dire need of a refresh and attitude adjustment. I stripped the paint from these pieces and re-painted in a variety of finishes that, in my opinion, better suit the car and better suit my tastes.

 

The offending color scheme:

 



 

And a quick test fit of the finished product:

  




I only ended up painting the fan, housing, fan shroud, and rain hats but the difference is night and day for me. As a bonus, my fan strap turned out to be a Rennline aluminum one that was previously installed upside down!

 

I had a quick scare bolting the fan back in place, but luckily the threads cleaned up without calling the grinder back in.

 



 

After a quick break to conceptualize, I set about task #2 for the day – fitting the MSD units to the relay panel. The units were previously mounted to the firewall with wires hanging everywhere. I can’t exactly shave the bay like a MK1 Volkswagen, but I can try to clean things up a little better.

 



 

Before:

 



 

Mock up:

 

 



With the MSD mocked in place and daylight fading, I jumped ahead to stretch task #3 – turning the key!

 



Well the key turned, the fuel pump pumped, and the right carb transformed from a freshly cleaned horsepower vortex to a beautiful fountain of gasoline. “oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck!” I whimpered while dashing back to the front of the car to turn the key off. It wasn’t clear at first, but something from the back of my mind slowly crept to the front..

 

Remember that float with a kink in it? It’d be fine right? Wrong. The introduction of fuel lead to the float being stuck and consequently the needle valve staying open. Rats! Shoot! Gosh darn it! I have a new float ordered that will hopefully be here by the end of the week.

 

Womp womp

 



Previously on AMC’s the walking dead – 

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When we last left off, I had just completed the cleaning and rebuild of my first carburetor. Motivated by an overwhelming sense of smugness, I didn’t shave once all week and entered nearly every problem solving situation feeling methodical as fuck. Need to pack lunch? – let’s break the contents one by one and assemble a great meal. Full inbox? – read and organize them into daily tasks. Stressed out wife? – identify the individual stressors and escape quickly to the garage.

That brings us to part two in the carburetor rebuild project. Over the weekend my goal was to finish the second carb, similarly clean and replace gaskets for the intake manifolds, and possibly start re-assembly. Progress with the second carb moved significantly faster than the first, since I was now fairly familiar with all the parts and their assembly.

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Progress stalled, however, when my attention shifted to the intake manifolds. For those without little girl hands, removing the awkwardly located nuts would be a challenge, and I would highly recommend a set of crow’s feet wrenches. For me the nuts came off relatively easy, but coaxing the manifolds off their mounting bolts was much trickier. Gentle persuasion came to the rescue, and it was clear that they had not been touched in a very long time.

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While you’re in there…

Something I’ve never been a fan (pun intended) of on my 911 was the previous owners mass application of red paint to the engine components. It was now or never to make the change so I eagerly unbolted the fan shroud and fan housing.

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And that’s where we’re left after a long Saturday devoted solely to the 911. The individual components have been stripped down and are currently receiving a refreshing and some new paint. Up next is re-assembly and the initial carburetor mixture tuning!

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