28th Nov2011

Thanks and praise for our days

by Jason

Wow, it’s been a long time.  I had 50+ spam comments to delete when I first logged in.  Yeah.  I’ve been a little busy.

Doing what you might ask?  Let’s review.

You’d be tired too.

There’s a few updates to come on what we’ve done to the van, what we plan to do to the van, but that’s all going to have to wait until after I remember where I put my regular life.

It’s been an amazing season.  We’ve made some great memories, met some wonderful people, and ate like kings.

15th Sep2011

Work hard, play hard

by Claire

We started here.  With this:

When Jason told me his plans to turn this beat up, dirty, rusty, nasty old electrician’s van, I have to admit I was a little concerned for his mental well-being.  Generally, I support his crazy ideas whole heartedly, but I just kept envisioning this thing turning into some kind of home-built Partridge Family van with a bunch of stickers from the Wal-Marts stuck all over it.

Luckily, Jason and Thomas both had the kind of vision that I lacked.  The van went from that mess seen up there to… Well, the only word that seems adequate is “stunning”. Over the course of the week, the crazy vents and patches on the side of the truck got bondo’ed and sanded.  The biggest of the dents were pulled and popped until they looked halfway decent. A giant paint booth was built in our warehouse out of plastic and duct tape.  And then the primer went on.  I think I’ll let the pictures tell the story for a minute.

It was a lot of work.  The craziest part of it is that we got it all done in one weekend.  It started on Friday evening with the primer coat.  Saturday morning we sanded and then Thomas layed down several coats of the two stripes.  The kids ran around in the shop yard, getting filthy and having a blast.  We broke for the afternoon to let the paint dry and watch the first half of the Georgia game, promising to return at half time to tape off the stripes and start on the garnet paint.  We were hoping we’d be so far ahead it wouldn’t matter so much not getting to see the end of the game. That didn’t really work out like we’d hoped  (Note to self:  Might need to find a good cardiologist if Carolina keeps playing games like that.)

Thomas ended up bringing his projector, hooked up Jason’s laptop and Verizon wifi to stream the game on ESPN.com and watched it projected on to the big bay door of the warehouse.  We took turns ducking in and out of the paint booth, alternately taping up the sides of the van and screaming at the door like a bunch of Bull Street escapees.  I fully admit to not getting any work done at all the last 5 or so minutes of the 4th quarter. But! Carolina finished with a W, thankfully.  Could you imagine how awful it’d feel if we lost the game and still had to finish the paint?

It took until after 2 o’clock in the morning, but the painting did get finished.  We met back up on Sunday, peeled off all the tape and paper and pulled that van out in the sunshine to see the finished product.  It looked good.  Damn good.  But we weren’t done yet. All day Sunday was spent adding details.  The bumpers had to be spray painted and details had to be painted on the doors.  Our hats off to Shelley, the steadiest hand in the west, for the amazing job on all those logos.  The block C logo on the back is especially awesome.  I can’t look at it without grinning.

Since Sunday, we’ve slowly been finishing things up here and there.  There was some touch-up work done, the logos on the side and front, and the rims to fix up a bit.  But she’s mostly finished on the outside and ready to head to Columbia on Saturday for the home opener against Navy.  As I said on Facebook, I’m so proud of us.  None of us are trained at painting or body work or design or anything like that.  And yet we have this amazing looking tailgating vehicle.  Right now it’s getting a car wash out in the driveway, and we’ve already had a neighbor stop by to see what it’s all about.

I don’t want to turn this into an academy award style speech, but we truly could not have gotten it done without lots and lots of help.  Agustin, Edgar, Phil, Justin, Oscar, Todd, Thomas, Vicente,  Bob, Jason, and Shelley–we’ve all had a hand on it at some point.  The plan is that when we do the interior, we’ll have a special wall for “The Crew” to sign to memorialize what an amazing thing we’ve accomplished.

The Roost has been born.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to show her off.

07th Sep2011

Design by committee

by Claire



We spent part of today finalizing our plans for the paint.  The sanding is nearly finished and tomorrow we start primer.  So finalizing our plans is kinda important.  We plan on painting the whole thing garnet.  A black stripe of about 2′ wide will run about three-quarters up on both sides with the word “Carolina” written in white.  On the back we will attempt the angry chicken from the block C logo.  On the front above the windshield we will write “The Roost” in white.


Done and done.  Frankly, I’m kind of over debating it and ready to just see the whole thing come together.






The more complicated part is the layout and design of the interior space.  We all have very different ideas about what we want out of our van.  I think we’ve come up with a layout that we all can live with and that meets our needs.  Our needs being, in no particular order

  • storage for big items (tents, tables, chairs) so they don’t slide around while moving
  • storage for little items (knives, batteries, first aid kit, paper plates, etc.)
  • TV
  • ample seating
  • toilet room
  • kitchen area
This is what we’ve come up with:
Thanks to Thomas for drawing it to make it all pretty.
So what are y’alls thoughts?  Are we missing anything essential? Weigh in over on our Facebook page.
05th Sep2011

A long way to go

by Claire

I’m writing this the day after the first game of the season against ECU.  As the van’s top speed has been clocked at 57 mph, we’ve decided to not attend away games this year.  Which is a good thing, as the van is far from ready.  Between a crazy summer work schedule, vacations, and keeping our families from forgetting what we look like, the van’s refit progress has been close to zilch.

The only thing we’d done up until last week was remove all the old shelving and cabinets that the previous owner used.  And swept.  Not exactly huge progress.  Right now some of the van’s rougher edges have been bondo’ed, about half the sanding is complete, and we’re planning on having a painting party this weekend while listening to the Georgia game.  Hopefully we’ll have two big reasons to celebrate next Saturday–the Gamecocks pummeling the Dawgs, and one garnet-painted van, ready for tailgating.