it occured to me that i owe you all some pictures. unfortunately there are only old camera phone pics at the moment, but here is one of the best ones of the engine stand:
last night's attempt at removing the clutch was a failure. the bolt head is a twelve-pointer, i still do not have my fancy ratchet set back, and my little piddly 10 mm socket wrench does not offer enough leverage to break the bolts free. despite all this, i was able to get one bolt off (at the cost of a knuckle). many thanks to my friend morning_bell for his assistance. i still have to get my tools back, but in the meantime . . .
last night i also tried and failed to disassemble the front suspension. in my frustration in failing from earlier, i simply attacked it without consulting the shop manual first. big mistake; nearly an entire precious hour was completely wasted. i suppose the lesson has been learned, however. tonight i hope to disassemble the front suspension in preparation for cleaning. sometime in the next few days, the clutch will come off and work can begin in earnest.