Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wheeling machine for Frankie

I am making solid models of my dad's English Wheel for Frankie Flood. Both good blokes and both good blogs. It looks a bit out of proportion but the Old Man's sketch was a little light on details. I'll run down and get the missing bits.  This is just to show a bit of progress. I hope to post more as I go along.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

TT Tea

Guy Martin enjoying a cuppa while waiting for the support lorry. Pic from Twitter...I can't recall where. Nor could I find it by searching. I'm a big fan of Guy.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

R.I.P. Tommy Ramone

A few of my favorite Ramones tunes from way back when Tommy was the drummer. Playing Rogers drums, no less. The last of the original members is gone. Gabba Gabba Hey.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What I did on my Summer Vacation 2014 edition

I took the first week of July off from work. Mostly to get things done around the house. I realize that's not much of a vacation but in reality it's all about your mindset. I didn't think much about my job the entire time, I was around my wife and kids most every day, and aside from one big storm the weather was fantastic. My only regret was I didn't ride my motorcycle enough. I did get some new boots on the old girl and while the tires were off I installed a new set of pads on the rear caliper. I spent what seemed like a lot of time cleaning the bike. Maybe that's because it wasn't particularly clean when I bought it. I did nothing to or with the Sportster.

So what did I do? I had planned on doing some work. Some of it got did, some not so much. Here's some of it...
- New faucet on the kitchen sink
- New door handle on the front storm door
- Finally installed the bathroom fan that's been taking up space in the garage for what seems like forever

- Fixed the wobbly leg on the swingset
- Ran an airline to my workbench
- Installed a florescent light in the garage
I think I'm forgetting a few but you get the idea.
No need to get into the gory details of all that but here's a couple points that stood out. 1) Actually using the construction materials in my garage and shed frees up considerable space that I don't have to fill with anything else. 2) Most of these "little" items are far from little. The bath fan involved running new wires from the fan through the attic into the wall cavity, knocking a hole in the wall to get to the wires, and then fixing the hole in the wall. If anyone ever gives you the option of crawling around in the attic of a home with trusses and a 4/12 pitch roof in July...pass.
I still have some big projects to tackle before the summer's over but I'm glad I made a dent. At the other end of the spectrum:
 - We went to the beach
Not the most spectacular photo but I was focused on hanging out with the wife and kids rather than photography.
 - My sister-in-law and her boyfriend came by to hang out on Independence Day.
 - I took my boys fishing.
Drowning worms in the shadow of Grandpas cable crane. 

So, I'm about a week back into the old routine, as it were. I still have a million things to do but... maybe I'll take the boys fishing again this weekend.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A mid-life crisis is much easier to deal with in a cool car.

Everything I own is broken or about to break. My 96' Outback has been leaking well, since I bought it 9 years ago. I love that car but I've been increasingly concerned lately about the distinct possibility of it catching fire. I spent about an hour cleaning oil off the bottom of the car the other day and realized it's time to find something else. So I did. Legacy GT Wagon. Grocery getter with a turbocharger. This car might be just a little too much fun for me. A mid-life crisis is much easier to deal with in a cool car. Well, cool to me. Some folks aren't too hip on wagons. I dig em. Especially ones with turbochargers.  I now own three Subarus with a combined mileage of over 411,000 miles. He he. My Dad, as always, helped me out by driving me down to Indy to get her. Thanks, Chief.
The AC unit in my house quit two years ago, the furnace is on it's way out, the well pump is about a minute away from failure, and my oven died two days ago. I could use the BBQ grill but a storm blew it over and broke the hinges off the lid. Maybe I should write a country song. It's a good thing I don't have a dog.
The Viffer is also acting a bit odd. I think it's just age related stuff. Hesitant to start but then when it does runs pretty good. Maybe a fuel pressure regulator? I love that bike and it needs to get the TLC it deserves. I've ridden it a half dozen times this year to work and that's just not enough. It needs a good going through, some fluids, some new boots, and a good wash. Man, that thing still smells like cigarette smoke. The PO used his garage as the dedicated smoking lounge and when I pull the cover off the bike it smells like a bar. I'm not known for washing my vehicles all that much but I've washed the bike. I need to pull the fairings and go over all of it. In a perfect world, I'd pull all the bodywork and have it painted like an RC30.
I've had a lot of compliments on the white paint. Thank you. I don't like it. It could be worse but I think the pearl white kind of takes the oomph out of the overall look. I guess that's why Honda sells bikes in different colors. I don't think it would be all that tough to add the red, silver, and blues to mine but...
HVAC, stove, well pump, you get the idea. Maybe I should toss it in the back of the new (2005) Subaru and scoot on up to visit Gymi and have him spray it for me this winter. Maybe on the way to Sno-Drift in Atlanta?  I'm guessing Gymi's got about as much free time as me these days.

 I need a time machine and a bushel basket of $100 bills.

All in all, things are good. I've been working tons of overtime so I have the cash to fix most of the stuff. I've got a great family and I'm in good health. All the broken stuff is just stuff. Except the VFR. That's about the only tangible object that helps keep me sane. Shit, maybe I can get my health insurance to pay for the maintenance as a therapy tool. Stranger things have happened.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

If I was spread any thinner, you could see through me.

I've got a lot going on of late and sadly, the motorcycles have to take a back seat. How's that for mixing metaphors? Between work, the cars, the house, some minor health stuff, helping out friends, and the start of the "Hey, don't forget we have 12 parties to go to on Saturday" season, I'm kind of busy. So here's a funny story about a motorcycle. My buddy Joe is recovering (well, thankfully) from cancer treatment. He must be doing well because he bought another bike. So I go over to visit and he asks me to help him take one bike off his stand and put another up. No problem. Small British bike comes down easy. Medium Bavarian bike goes up, also easy. The side stand comes out and is off the edge of the stand. O.K., lets put it on the center stand. I crawl up on the bike platform that is not very wide. I then realize the ceiling in his garage is pretty low. I'm balancing on my toes trying not to drop Joe's new 78' R100s. BANG - I whack my head into his fluorescent light fixture, one end comes off the chain and it comes swinging down and smashes one of the bulbs into the Beemer's tank. I put the stand down, give her a tug and up she goes on the center stand. Whew, that was a little scary.  Glass everywhere, tank is scratched, heart pounding... I didn't drop the bike and the paint wasn't all that great so he wasn't upset in the least. Neither one of us got cut, miraculously. It's funny in hindsight. Be careful loading bikes on and off your bike stand. Perhaps a helmet is necessary in some cases.