Monday, August 13, 2018


The giant tenderloin. That bun is bigger than the average one you'd get at the grocery - more like one you'd get on a Whopper from Burger king. There's lettuce, pickles, onion, and tomato underneath there. And it comes with fries. Only in America!


Cuzzin Ricky and I went to the Silver Crown race at Salem, Indiana on Saturday. We stopped in Edinburgh for the BIG pork tenderloin sandwich on our way down. I forgot my camera but Rick took a photo of the two tenderloins and e-mailed it to me but for some reason I couldn't get it to load. Probably because it was too big - the sandwich was about the size of a manhole cover. I'll try and figure out what's going on with the photo. You really need to see these monsters.

The racing was good. I'd never been to the Salem Speedway before. It's a half-mile + paved track with some really high banking. Those champ cars really fly around there. 75 lap feature with 19 cars starting the race. Prior to the start they had the cars and the drivers on the grid and opened things up for autographs. They also had a stock car race prior to the champ cars and a some vintage cars between the races. Nice night at the track.

We took the long way home and headed west from Salem through Paoli and over to French Lick. We passed through Millersburg where my dad used to own some property but I couldn't remember where exactly it was or we'd have made a short detour and swung by. We stopped in French Lick to check out the Indiana Railway Museum, took a ride on the trolley from there to the hotel at West Baden Springs and did a bit of a walk-about. Beautiful hotel and grounds.

We headed west after the trolley ride and hit US 41 to head home so we could stop at the Big Peach for some fruit and produce and then stop in Terre Haute at the pie place for lunch. Pretty good tour of Indiana on a beautiful summer Sunday. Much more pleasant driving home on 41 than on I-65 also.

Back to work around the shack today with leftover tenderloin for lunch.

Friday, August 10, 2018


The bolts arrived for the Rickati. I installed them where they should go to make sure the lengths were right and installed the couple I needed for the 900 as well. I probably won't make much headway on the bikes in the next few days. I picked up the blocks to finish the well job and some lumber to get the veranda for the new barn to the point I can raise it into place. I came up a couple of blocks shy to finish the well, so I need to pick up a couple more to be finished but since they're laid dry it'll only take me a couple of minutes to finish up once I get the blocks.

I've still got a bit of lumberjack work to finish up. I'm going to try and get that done today after I take the missus to the eye doctor. Maybe work on one of the bikes after supper.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Last Load

Last load for the old Dodge - license plates expired Tuesday. It's just as well. I've got a brake dragging on the right rear that needs attention. I smelled it the other day when I went to pick up the 6x6 timbers for the barn veranda. I've got to decide if I'm going to swap out the tires from the Dodge to the new Ford. They're the same size and have about the same mileage on them. The tread pattern is a bit more aggressive on the old truck - might come in handy this winter. I don't know how the short wheelbase on the new truck is going to react in the snow. I checked on what it would cost to get the tires swapped out. Just need to decide if I feel it's worth it or not. If I decide to go ahead, I'll pull the drum off the old truck and see what's going on inside there while I've got the wheel off. Obviously I don't want to spend any money on the truck but I wouldn't want it to lock up on someone when they were driving it home either.

I picked up some blocks to build a protective wall around the new well when I got the timbers. I need to decide if I'm going to get a few more blocks and square off the corners or get enough to go all around it like it was a real well pit. I'll ask the Missus and I'm sure she'll say go all the way around. I'll see about picking those up in the next couple of days. I'm also going to make an herb garden using the little patch on the other side of those stones in the top right of the photo. That'll also give the cat some more dirt to roll around in.

While I was contemplating where to put the timbers, I heard a big crack and turned around just in time to see the big willow branch come down on top of the truck. Fortunately, it was mostly the soft branches that got the cab. The big piece just missed the hood. I figured I'd get over there and find the windshield broken but got lucky this time. Of course then I had to stop what I was doing and switch over to lumberjack mode. It's no wonder I never get anything finished. Even when I have the best of intentions, something always seems to come up to sidetrack me.

The stainless screws for the Rickati have been shipped. Not much else to report on that at the present time. Likewise, not much to report on the 900. I've started chasing wires, which is better than what I'm usually doing, which is chasing my tail.

There's a 50 mile bicycle ride that I want to do coming up in about a month. The only problem is the county decided to tar & chip all the roads by my house. Not bicycle friendly at all. Or motorcycle friendly either. Or friendly to someone with a new truck that he doesn't want to get all dinged up either. They just paved a section that I usually travel on my way to work and I'll bet even money they're going to cover up that lovely new black top with the crappy tar & chips. Looks like I'm going to have to start training for the bike ride using my mountain bike or throw my road bike in the truck and drive somewhere to ride my bike. How asinine is that? Oh well.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Jesus Saves

From Here
.... but Mikata gets the rebound.

Stan Mikata passed away yesterday at the age of 78. As a kid growing up in the Chicago viewing area, I listened or watched Cubs and Sox games in the summer and Blackhawks games in the winter. He was a household name for many years. I'm not one to buy a lot of team clothing or memorabilia but the one piece I do have is a Mikata jersey. Another of my childhood heroes gone.

Rest in Peace Stan.

Monday, August 6, 2018

B-25 Mitchell

I completed the hat trick of bomber flights yesterday with a ride in the B-25. Much different airplane than the B-17 and B-24 I went in previously. Sort of like the difference between a sportscar and a semi. Nothing I'd want to be in when the shooting started, just the same. This one was originally manned by a crew of eight. I would assume some of the crew would only have been in their late teens - meaning only a year or two older than the guys I used to have in my high school classes. It still amazes me that it's possible to fight a war with guys like I used to get in class, or still do, for that matter. In fact, the top photo is where I'll be reporting back to in a couple of weeks.

The plane in the bottom photo takes passengers on rides as well. This was the first time we saw this one. If it comes back next year we're planning on signing up for a ride. The cost is about the same as a ride in the B-17 or B-24. It ain't cheap but I am back working again. Besides, you only go around once, can't take it with you and all that.

Went to the wedding of my saddle pal/running buddy on Friday afternoon. I've been to a lot of weddings over the years but this was the first one I had to go through a metal detector to attend. The wedding was held in a federal courthouse and presided over by a federal judge. Small wedding with just a few close friends and family. I felt honored to be included. Her and I have known each other for 20 years now. Ours is a rather unusual friendship but one that I value highly. She married a very good man and I hope the two of them will be very happy together. 

Didn't get anything done on the projects this weekend. Temps climbed back into the nineties and I didn't really feel like doing much after the gym on Saturday and the plane ride yesterday - so I didn't. Some times I act just like a retired guy! Not for long though. Planning on getting some progress in the shop and around the shack this week. Need to finish up the Rickati to the point I can send the motor out and make some more progress on the 900. Got the Alaska trip fast approaching, so I'd like to have a few more things around the shack taken care of also.

Have a good week, get some exercise and save your money. You'll thank me when you're my age.

Friday, August 3, 2018


Busy day yesterday. Cuzzin Ricky bought himself another truck to add to his fleet, so I went with him to bring it home. It was worth a free breakfast and tee shirt, so that wasn't too bad a deal. By the time I got home the UPS man had been there and my fenders and tubing were waiting for me.

I took the old Preston Petty off and took a look at what it's going to take to mount the new one up. There's a bracket under the seat pan that will work. It was just tacked on so I put a couple more tacks on the front side, cut the tacks loose on the back side and then whacked it with a hammer until the angle was about right. I can move the fender forward a little bit yet but not much without hitting the battery box. Likewise I can shorten up the leading edge and rotate it around so I don't have quite so much sticking out the back. The frame loop around the back doesn't seem to look quite as "dorky" with the new fender but I'm going to bend up a new piece with a radius that will match the curvature of the fender and see how that looks. I'm sure it will look better as long as I do a decent job of bending it.

Not sure what I want to do with the front fender yet. I can mount it off the fork legs or off the bottom of the lower triple clamp like what you see on the cover of the AHRMA program Speed & Sport included in the box with the fenders. I'll keep working the back end and when I've got that dialed in I'll see about the front. Might want to consult with Surly before making any bold moves. One of these days this thing will be his anyway.

I am glad they threw the program into the box. It describes the various classes AHRMA runs currently. There have been some changes since I was a member, as you would expect. It does have the trials classes listed, so that's a plus. My original goal was to hook up my little trailer and head out to a few events after retiring. Throw the trials bike in the back of the truck, compete in the trials, enjoy the vintage road racing, and then come on home. If I keep moving forward on this project, that could be a reality for next year.

I've got another busy day on tap today - take the dog in for a haircut and then a wedding later in the day. It'll be a small ceremony in the afternoon and then dinner afterwards. I've got some things planned already for the weekend as well. August looks to be a busy month for me.