Monday, March 30, 2009

Incontrovertible proof...

...that I have readers.
The title of my blog stems from my early professional years, when I was a Product/Facilities Engineer at a manufacturing plant. There was a good group of 20-something peeps that all got along well. So well, in fact we still hang out together from time to time as schedules, babies, and lives permit. There's a pile of good stories that can be told, but this is not the purpose of this post.
Since we all pretty much hated our jobs and felt like the man was beating us down on a daily basis, we called the company 'The Sweatshop,' and the good group of peeps was 'The Sweatshop Crew.' Generally speaking, Fridays were group lunch days, and since I was in Plant Engineering I was always stuck in the shit and had to get paged over the P.A. system that everyone else was waiting for me. This wouldn't have been a big deal except the P.A. was used for all support requests, which meant that everyone heard every page. Like a really bad game of telephone, whatever was heard was relayed over and again. At some point somebody from the factory floor paged me as "Andy Messner" so the name stuck. It became somewhat of a game to me to correct people and since I can be that harsh, I would walk up and tell the offending pager that the N in my name was silent. My humor was lost on them, based on the blank stares I regularly got.
In any event, other variations were also paged so my Crew decided it was funny to page me in the same fashion. Mesner, Mefner, Muffler, Mexner - any concoction of letters, they said it. One of my friends took a liking to Mexler so that anytime we had to put our name in for a restaurant Mexler was given. And so it stuck.
The werks part of it is from my German heritage, and the fact that I dig Bavarian Motor Works, which is long for BMW. As I've previously posted, I'm somewhat handy, and tend to do things myself. Coincidentally, same friend that coined Mexler also began saying I had a shop for cars based on the work I did to my cars, etc. The German word for shop can loosely be translated into Works, or spelled with an 'e' in German parlance soooooo..... 1 + 2 = 3... Mexlerwerks is born.
There's more to that story but again, that is not the purpose of this post.

No, the purpose of the post to prove that this viral marketing on the interweb is a real phenomenon.
For several years now, I have been sponsored by Crank Brothers for my cycling endeavors and every order I place, my name is written by me correctly spelling my last name. Never once have I hinted at an alternative spelling. To my enjoyment, I laughed out loud when I saw the address from a recent package from Crank Brothers:

Now either people have a hard time reading the letters I typed in the computerized form I filled out (ie, did not hand write anything) or this blog actually has readership. For ego's sake I'll take the latter.
So for those readers out in Cali - Laguna Beach in particular - You make sweet pedals. And a lot of other sweet bike parts. And sweet apres' ride gear. Keep it up. Thanks.


-the ATM

Monday, March 23, 2009

...In my spare time

I never cease to amaze myself how I'm able to cram so much crap in my life. Specifically, How much crap I try to (and generally do) get accomplished - not the least of which is this blog.
I realize it's at the expense of sleep, but that's why God created coffee.
Which is nice.
Several years ago, I at least figured out the root of my predilection in that I pretty much can't stand having something done by someone else when I can do it myself, and in my head I can do it better, for cheaper. Plus I generally feel better knowing that I know how to do something.
Rebuild a Ford V8 from my brother's boat?
Rebuild Toyota Landcruiser engine?
Design and build trailer hitch for my last two cars?
Work on bikes?
But of course.
The list goes on, so at the risk of sounding too arrogant I'll stop there. I like to say I'm a jack of all trades, master of none. Aside from being a cool dude. Pretty much got that one dialed.

So my latest project involves my car, and in particular the summer wheels. As a long term plan when I bought the car, I knew I would need to refinish the wheels after the original tires wore out since the wheels had been poorly repainted and that paint was flaking off. I like to keep my whips tight, so flaking wheel paint is a no-no.
I've repainted wheels before but a light scuffing with sandpaper was all that was needed for those. Having flaking paint would require much more effort, and rather than have a not-so-smooth finish from hand sanding (not to mention probably 20-30 hours of hand sanding) I had a local blast shop media blast the wheels (cheaper to have them do it then buy a sand blast cabinet. I looked.). As expected, they got a little hot with the media in a few spots so some filler touch up was required.(Note red marks to indicate where to fill).

After looking around at options, I decided on Glazing Putty and got to it.Glazed, but not sanded.

Center rough sanded, outer ring not sanded.

It's been a two day (well, an hour each night) process so far, but I'm encouraged with the progress and how smooth the test areas are turning out. With any luck, I'll have some freshly painted wheels in a week or so, thus allowing me to get back to some normalcy so I'm not rocking the 15" squishy snow tires when spring fully hits.

Stay tuned for more progress pics.


-the ATM