Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Perils of Ambition

Thirteen years ago today I climbed a 18,700 foot volcano. I flew to Mexico City (I had points I needed to use or lose) after leaving work early on Thursday and got back to my desk Monday. That was a challenge, but satisfying, even today. This week I realized I’m engaged in a similar struggle, but the payoff is like a lineup at Disneyland – temptingly close but deceptively so.
This past week I took a few days off of work and went to fit the side doors. The side doors had to be fitted because, nearly three years’ ago, the rusty sills were removed with the tracks attached, and hastily thrown out. Thus it became necessary to make new ones. The forward-and-back contour of the doors needed to be determined in order to make a new floor track. I was previously informed that the doors had been test-fitted when the body work was done. I know that the rails that bolt to the doors were used because they had been scratched up in the process. But when we installed them again this week, guess what? The doors wouldn’t fit. Not even close. The left one is especially bad. The problem seems to be that the aft section of the wheel arch is in too far, thus the leading edge of the door has about a 1.5” gap.
I think this would be upsetting in any circumstance, but now – after weeks of bodywork, sanding, and applying high build primer – it’s more than that. Fixing it means cutting and welding and generally moving backwards, and I’m tired of blowing vacation days, neglecting family responsibilities, and of course, blowing after-tax income. It was all avoidable too. When it became obvious the doors weren’t going to fit I just look at the gray hulk of metal I own and wondered if my sister had room for it in her garage. At least in mountaineering head trauma comes swiftly!

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