New engine in place, some work still needed to be done.

Rainy cold day, high in the 40s. No sun.

Morning began later today. I felt the press of last night’s champagne in my head. We never — or hardly ever — bring in a New Year with champagne, but last night was an exception after an exceptional year. Dog walk started in the light, rather than morning twilight. Arlene and I read for a little while to start the day, a habit that has persisted for years.

Aaron’s pickup needed a new motor. Or rather a replacement old used motor, and he had located one at a local salvage yard. A 2000-year Toyota 3400, 24 valve (I think) and a rock solid engine. The one that came out of the truck had some unexpected wear on the cams, and even though it ran nicely, taking it out and taking a chance on a new-old motor seemed reasonable.

He was coming over to finish the installation that we worked on together on New Year’s Eve, champagne following the handwashing and cleanup. For the most part, I was in charge of aiming the light at the areas of work, since Aaron is the ASE-certified automobile technician in the family. He’s efficient and knowledgable around cars far, far into their inner workings. And he has magical devices, like the top shelf scanner that can peer into the tiniest electronic spaces of a car and even reveal its history, at least somewhat.

It is a joy to watch skills run through a job like this — a job that he has not before done, though he has worked on cousins of his old T100 pickup. The engine came from a Forerunner, and it was practically a drop in, though Aaron and Derek did have to mess around with where the oil dipstick went. They drilled a new hole.

The new motor came right up, and was as smooth as silk.

But the problem was the radiator, which a previous owner had fitted with an extra transmission fluid cooler, and they ignored the troubles that friction might cause. The fins of the cooler rubbed against the fins of the radiator, and in our jostling of radiator and hoses, whatever weaknesses that were in place became worse. The radiator sprung a leak, and we saw a dribble of red coolant. The radiator is toast, but new ones are relatively cheap. It’ll be an easy swap — far easier than the whole engine.

This first day of photograph was an experiment with time-lapse photography. I trained the camera on the work we did today, setting the time-lapse camera to snap a shot every five seconds. I extracted some of the first round of thirty-six exposures from the pile of images. The two sessions yielded about 1525 or so individual shots, each session unfolding in about 25 seconds when viewed as a video. So, today’s harvest of images pushed toward 1600.

One thing I noticed during the day was that the automation of photography made the images feel like surveillance, and I think the circumstances of surveillance bear some thinking in coming days. The intentionality of “taking a picture” changes dramatically (I think) when your role in taking the picture is reduced to aiming a camera and setting a little computerized process into motion.

The camera — my old work phone, actually — ran out of juice after snapping about 750 shots. The old phone is on its last legs, but it’ll be gone soon like working life.