Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recap II


Hotel Riviera

Gondola Ride

Cooking School

Brunelleschi's Dome

Part Two in chronological order:

We flew in to Venice via Zurich. The Venice airport is located on an island off the coast. We took a water taxi from there to the island of Lido where we spent two nights. As I was to discover, bicycles were everywhere. A lot of them looked like they had spent there whole life chained up outside. This one was cool because it had the generator set on the front wheel. Bikes ranged from old three speeds to modern city bikes equipped with full chainguards and skirt guards on the back wheel. Any fancy road bike must have been taken into the house to prevent theft. Just the commuters were outside.

We stayed in the Hotel Riviera while on the island. Nice place. I really like this picture - captures the essence of the place I think. Bikes, scooter and stylish hotel. If I was looking for a place for a nice, quiet extended vacation, Lido might be a good choice. Lots of people out in the evenings for a stroll or conversation.

We took an optional gondola ride while in Venice. A ride goes by the hour rather than per person. It's usually about 100 euros but Elizabeth negotiated a little better deal - everything seems to be negotiable in Italy - and with 5 or 6 people in each gondola, it worked out to 18 euros. Money well spent. The gondolas are beautiful. Each one reflects the owner's style and taste. They're dolled up with brass trim and fancy furniture inside. The one-sided propulsion is pretty cool. The boats are built asymmetrically to take into account the driver's position on the back. That way when he pulls on the oar the boat goes straight rather than to one side. I think the man said they have 425 gondola license's there.

We went to Florence next. We went to a cooking school and made our own dinner. Meatloaf and pasta, salad and bread. The meatloaf had boiled eggs down the center. Tasty stuff. The photo shows the lovely young lady who was in charge of our group snatching the bottle of olive oil away from Kevin before he drowned the meatloaf. Kevin is the man responsible for the trip. He did a helluva job getting things all arranged and making the trip possible. We've done a lot together over the last few years most notably the Detroit half-marathon. He's all aces, that boy. Thanks, Buddy.

The last photo is the dome designed by Brunelleschi. It's quite famous and the church upon which it rests is stunningly beautiful. One of the most notable buildings of the Renaissance, I was glad I had a chance to see it and now I need to read up on a lot of this stuff to get a better understanding of the building techniques and to put all of this in perspective. Amazing stuff in Florence.

They also have a football game they play annually in the Piazza. They truck in a bunch of sand and then have at it. It's kind of combination of rugby, soccer and mixed martial arts. There's a You Tube video here that explains the whole deal.

Beautiful city and the home of Michelangelo, by the way. We heard quite a bit about him as you would expect. More to come.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Italy Recap

Superintendent Of Schools

Statue With Fig Leaf Added

No Explanation Needed

Iron Gate at The Vatican

Roman Forum

Tour Guide (on left)

I'm back at work and suffering from a little jet lag or old age. I slept pretty good last night and actually was asleep when the alarm went off this morning. I'm taking that as a sign that the sleep pattern is approaching normal again. That's a real good thing since I'm heading to Indy Thursday night for the Golden Gloves and won't get home 'til late. I don't think I was cut out to be a jet setter. Besides the sleep thing, that air travel really screws with my ears. I'm still not 100% good there yet. However, it was well worth the aggravation.

Looking at the photos starting from the top:

I just can't look at a horse's ass without thinking about the superintendent. And since this one looks pretty well used up, even more so.

It looks like all the statues in the Vatican have been either surgically altered in the naughty bits region or they've had a fig leaf strategically placed to cover things up. I should have asked our local tour guide, Marcus. I'm sure he would have had the answer.

Pretty lady on a bicycle, just one of a million. Lots of good looking men and women over there. Lots of them ride bicycles and scooters. Italy must have a helmet law for motorcycles because everyone was wearing one. I'm a staunch proponent of wearing a helmet but the image stuck in my mind is the pretty girl on the scooter with her hair blowing in the wind. Take another look at the photo - just wouldn't be the same with one of those dorky bicycle helmets on either.

Lots of ironwork in Italy, some old and some new. This is a classic example of the old but the new stuff looks pretty cool too. Interesting blend of the architectural styles in the cities. Everything seems to mix well, from the ancient to the ultra-modern. I didn't see any houses from the Seventies with fake Mansard roofs or Spanish arches like some of those architectural turds I installed railings in before I started teaching. Almost everything is made of block or stone and stuccoed. Even the barns that I saw when we were moving about. Lots of nice looking little farms out in the country there.

We made it to the Coliseum and the Roman Forum in Rome. I did a little "Friends, Romans and Countrymen" thing here. It's really hard to imagine the historical significance of the places we visited. Most of the time when somebody around here mentions Caesar, they're talking Little not Julius. I even stood on the Appian Way. How cool is that?

The last photo shows our tour guide, Elizabeth talking to the headphone lady. A couple of times we had headphones to listen to our local guide. Elizabeth was not allowed to talk about the monuments and important things. You have to hire a local guide for that. If she got caught, she could be fined and lose her license. The local guide's union must be pretty influential. All of the local guides knew their stuff. We had a total of four. I noticed one of them had a bag with an internet address on it. If your interested in the guide deal and can read Italian, check it out here.

Elizabeth was fantastic. She's a little bit of a thing that's got more energy than anyone I've ever seen. She speaks like six languages plus sign language. She's got a couple of degrees and has lived all over the world. She's always laughing and had everything planned to a "T". The kids got together and bought her a little present and gave her a little donation for the charity work she does. She definitely earned our respect and love. I need to post another shot of her. She's a peach.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Arrivederci a Roma

Made it back to the good old US of A last night about 7:30. Great to be back - always good to go, always better to come home. I hit the sack about 11:00 pm, which put me to exactly 24 hours since I woke up in Italy to come home. I didn't want to sleep much on the plane so I could get back to my regular schedule easier. I'm afraid it worked a little too well. I woke up at 5:30 this morning which is pretty close to my regular 6:00 alarm time. I figured as long as it was still dark out and I was awake, I'd load a couple of rolls of film into the developer tank and then go back to bed. Well that was about an hour ago and I'm wide awake still. A nap might be in order later today, however.

Random thoughts on the trip:

Our tour guide, Elizabeth, was great. Very knowledgeable, organized and fun to be with. Told one of the funniest stories I've ever heard about one of the previous trips she guided.

Italian food: Great, as expected. I had pizza a couple of times, pasta with every dinner. Dinner always came with a dessert, which I'm always in favor of. We had cernia one night, which is a type of grouper. Probably the best fish I've ever had. Mild flavor, baked in olive oil, herbs and Parmesan cheese, I'm guessing. My only knock was they don't normally serve coffee with dinner or dessert. I'm real good with the wine for dinner but I like my coffee with my sweets. I also miss just grabbing a cup of Joe when I'm on the move. Espresso is the big thing there and you can get an Americano, which is good, but I missed my regular get a cup to go or after dinner cup. That obviously is just my bias and if I was there for long I'd get over that, I'm sure. Went to a McDonald's at the airport yesterday morning for a cup and got my Americano and saw liquor bottles behind the counter. They apparently serve mixed drinks there. There weren't any breakfast sandwiches like an Egg McMuffin, either. Croissants and brioches it looked like. When in Rome, do as the Romans.

Driving in the cities: We were in several old cities (Florence, Sorrento, Rome) and because they are several hundred years old, or older, the streets are very narrow. Many of them are barely wide enough for one car. I didn't see any parking meters any where and if there was a spot to park a car or scooter, there was one there. They park inches apart and if there was a parallel parking competition, I'd bet on the Romans. Little cars rule the road and I saw lots of Fiats, Alfa Romeos and quite a few of the Smart Cars. Lots of bicycles, as well. Gasoline about $8.00/gal. With the narrow streets, limited parking, mild climate, and expensive fuel, bicycles and scooters are a perfect mix.

Graffiti: The cities are covered with graffiti. The style looks like the same kind of crap you see in American cities. While I'll admit many of the graffiti painters are indeed artists, I'd just as soon see them doing something else with their talents. I'm not a big fan of defacing public or private property. That building your painting is someone else's art. Respect it.

Style: The Italians have it. Whether it's clothing, automobile, motorcycles or architecture, they have that flair. Even in this day and age, they still look good smoking a cigarette.

I shot about 750 photos on the trip. I need to cull quite a few and get them downloaded to the computer. Once I've got that accomplished, I'll try to get a few of the good ones posted.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ciao Bella

Greetings from Sorrento. Hiked up to the top of Mt. Vesuvius today and heading to Pompeii tomorrow. My Italian isn't getting better but my broken English has improved ten fold. Seems most everyone in a shop where we've been has someone who can speak English. Our tour guide has been most helpful for anything we can't figure out on our own. My two years of Latin in high school 45 years ago is actually helping a little, hard as that is for me to believe.

The road leading up to Vesuvius is extremely narrow and has a million switchbacks but our bus driver, Reno, is one talented dude. I wish I could speak some more Italian. He's a few years younger than I am but has a bright yellow Ducati. He gave me the heads-up when we passed the factory in Bologna. The people on scooters are absolutely crazy. They split lanes, pass on the right, pass on the left and some times do all of the above within three or four car lengths.

Saw the Leaning Tower yesterday. Went for a gondola ride the other night and have seen some incredible art and architecture. I've been shooting lots of photos and will post a few with a more complete recap when I get home. Writing this on my buddies computer, so I need to sign off.

Love you, Baby. Be home soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ciao, Babe

Today's the day - off to Italy. Got my debit card, passport and a handful of Euro's. The suitcase is chock full of underwear, socks and tee shirts. My carry-on bag has both digital and film, some reading material and my MP3 player loaded up with jazz and cowboy tunes. I got the Missus all tightened up with "Homeland Security". Didn't get the concertina wire strung but everything else is in place - dog, firearms, and a phone call to a friend who works for the local sheriff. Everything should be Jake.

Plane lands in Switzerland and then we change planes after a two hour layover. Should give me a chance to "mark my territory". That will give me another country I can honestly say I've been to. I've got most of the states under my belt but Canada's the only other country I've been to. Seem's kind of ironic that I'm leaving for Italy on St. Patrick's Day. I would like to go to Ireland someday. Paris and the Eiffel Tower someday as well. Actually, there's a whole big wide world out there I'd like to see someday. Too bad I wasn't born rich instead of good looking.

I'm not sure what the computer and time arrangements will allow for posting but I'll check in if I can. Arrivederci.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Packing It Up Here, Boss

I've got all my clothes packed and ready for the trip to Italy. I'm still trying to decide on which film camera to take. I'm leaning more towards my little Canon rangefinder. It's light and quiet and I'm real comfortable using it. It's not as versatile as the Nikon with the zoom lens but it takes really nice pictures and it comes in a small package. I shot a roll with it when I was in Virginia that I'm going to develop this evening after I get done with my nightly web crawling. That will probably be the deciding factor. If the negs look good, and there's no reason they shouldn't, I'll probably just say screw it and throw a roll of film in it. There's been millions of great photos taken with small rangefinder cameras, most notably, the Leica M Series. I should be able to get at least a few good ones.

If you check out the DeMotte Boxing Club blog, there's a link to a radio broadcast of the last two rounds of Jimmy's fight. The blow by blow stuff actually blows but the commentary about how they have the fight scored is pretty interesting. I'm not bitching about the scoring here, I'm just crowing a little for Jimmy. The boy deserves all the publicity he can get after the performance he put on.

The top photos are, of course, keeping with the upcoming trip. As a side note, I had the pleasure to hear one of the 350 Benelli's at full song at Daytona a few years back. Sweet, sweet mechanical music there, by golly. Never had the chance to hear that Ferrari but I did get to see and hear their Can-Am car back in the early 1970's. They were competing against the big block Chevy powered McClaren's. The Chevy's thundered around Elkhart Lake but the 12 cylinder Ferrari's just screamed.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fight Results

I posted some info about my partner at the gym, Jimmy Holmes, on the Demotte Boxing Club page. Check it out here for a brief description of the event and a few photos.

This was the first time Jimmy took his show on the road and of course, my first time as well. Some quick observations:

The promoters were very professional and treated all of us extremely well. They picked us up from the airport, put us up in a nice motel, fed us and put on a real good fight card.

I think Jimmy was selected as an opponent that had a decent record but could be easily dispatched to help pad the other guy's record. Part of the selection was based on a fluke event in Jimmy's career and they expected him to go out early. I don't think they want to have a rematch after Jimmy's performance Saturday night.

I spent a couple of days laying around for the biggest part of the day. The motel had The Wall Street Journal and I picked up a Washington Post a couple of days. I was probably the most well read guy that was dealing with a spit bucket and a stool Saturday night.

Boxing on the professional level is a brutal sport. Two guys slugging each other for a total of thirty minutes can and will, if continued on for a length of time, cause irreparable brain damage. I haven't been around too many pros but I don't want Jimmy to end up like a couple of them I've seen. I'm extremely proud of him and what he's accomplished but I'm hoping he finishes up his contract and gets out.

After laying around for a couple of days resting up, I managed only about four hours sleep last night. Still kicked my ass. I got into bed right at 2:00 AM which means it was 3:00 AM. I left a 9:00 AM wakeup call and figured I'd be plenty good on that. Tossed and turned a little before getting to sleep and then the bus load of softball girls and the boy's soccer teams started slamming doors in the motel about 7:00 AM. When they finally quieted down I just dozed back off and the wakeup call came through. Might be getting too old to have my sleep patterns messed with.

So that's that. Back to work in the morning for a few more days and then I'm off again. Quite the jet setter, I am. Unfortunately, I think I might have the start of a Virginia cold virus working on me. If that's the case, it should be in full bloom about the time I leave. Regardless, it'll be a great trip.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Since I'm in Virginia for the big middleweight fight, who better to put up here than Sugar Ray?

And this one, Villa Garzoni, because of the next big adventure.

Jimmy's all set to box in tonight's main event here in Fairfax, Virginia. This is the boy's big shot and a big step up in the caliber of opponent. Let's hope it works out as planned.

I came across Dime City Cycles while wasting precious time I could've been putting toward something constructive the other day. Looks like they specialize in cafe racers and bobbers, both building and selling parts. They've got a Monza style flip gas cap like I was looking for on the Rickati tank for less than 50 bucks. They've also got a green metalflake helmet that would be just the ticket for Surly. Lots of hard to find stuff all under one roof. I'll have to keep them in mind when I get back on the 900 project which, hopefully, will be relatively soon.

The spiral stair is progressing. I've got two of my aces bending the handrail. Doing pretty good for first timers. That should be pretty close to done before Spring Break. Then all I need to do is get it cleaned up and a fresh coat of paint put on.

I sandblasted the little race car chassis while the boys were bending the handrail. I've got it almost fixtured up so I can finish the modifications and send that one down the road.

Most importantly, today's my anniversary. Forty years of wedded bliss. Keep the home fires burning, baby - be home tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snow Plow

I'm tired of shoveling - I'm going to build me one of these.

Couple inches of snow fell Saturday night. I thought we were done with this stuff for the year. I'm normally a fan of a winter that has snow that sticks around. This year with the chest pains I didn't get a chance to use my snowshoes I made a couple of years ago even though we had a big snow. Didn't make it out ice skating either. I thought I might get a chance to do a little cross country skiing also. I did get to shovel a lot and whine about it though.

In spite of the weekend weather, I'm looking forward to Spring. I should have a new barn and that'll be nice. I'm furthering my plans on self-sufficiency. I've got a crawl space that's pretty deep so I want to see about using that for a root cellar. Don't know if I'll need that for this fall but it would be nice to store a few apples and such. I haven't quite finalized the plans for the garden but I've been thinking about it. In the past I haven't really worried about preservation of crops, I mostly planted the things that taste the best fresh from the garden - tomatoes, peppers and melons mostly. I planted some beans a few years ago for dried soup beans. After I spent all that time shelling them and looked at the price of a bag of beans at the grocery, I was about at the break even point if I only charged my labor at 50 cents/hour. Not really a good return on my investment.

I now have the set-up for doing the canning outside, I got a dehydrator on semi-permanent loan from Cuzzin Ricky and I came up with a cider press from a lady I work with. It's a big monstrosity that has a big wooden frame and two of the pressing buckets or whatever they're called. It's got a big screw for the press with an oddball kind of thread on it made out of stainless but I'm not sure how the whole thing was planned to operate. I'll post a few photos when I get a little time to check it out.

I'd like to get a few more chickens but the grower/layer feed was $24.00 for a 100 lbs the other day. You don't buy chicken feed for chicken feed anymore. It makes those eggs pretty expensive. It might be different if I was butchering the chickens but they all die of old age around here. If I were to order some more, most places have a minimum order of 25 and I don't need 25. The farm store does have them every Spring. They usually have some type of heavy breed as well as some leghorns. I could probably just get a few Rhode Island Reds or Barred Rocks. It's one of those things where I really don't need them but I enjoy having them around. How you going to have a place in the country without a few chickens? Plus when asked what I plan to do when I retire, I've been answering that I just plan to lay around the shack and pick shit with the chickens. How you going to do that with out chickens, I ask?

So Plan A is to not count on any form of government to provide much in my retirement and enjoy my little spread in the country. Plan B will be basically the same thing only I'll be living in the cardboard box under the bridge or the van down by the river. In the meantime, I'll wait for the weather to break and then get outside a do a little something constructive.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart had Diane Ravitch on the Daily Show last week. She's just written a book about the educational system that I need to read. She was originally for some of the high stakes testing but has since reversed her position. The interview with her is only a few minutes long but the show leading up to her appearance is hysterical. He compares the wall street bailout to what they're trying to do to teachers now, particularly in Wisconsin. The average pay for a teacher there is $51,000 by the way. In Arizona it's more like $41,000. Everybody's getting rich with a school teaching gig, don't you think? They never mention that it takes 20 years to get to the top of the scale, either. Or, as in Indiana, you have to continually renew your license, practically mandating an advanced degree. So you have a Bachelor and Master degrees with 10 years of experience, you're making 40 some grand a year and people say you're overpaid because you have a retirement plan or health insurance? As Jon Stewart so succinctly put it: "Shut the f**k up".

In today's NWI Times there was an article about the teacher's contracts including silly things like in East Chicago where the contract states: "Teachers lounges will be attractive, comfortable and spacious". As a former employee of the School City of East Chicago I feel qualified to comment on that. When I first started my teaching career in 1976, it was at Washington High School. Across town there was Roosevelt High School. I believe Washington was built in the '30's. There were actually two teacher's lounges in the building. One upstairs and the one I frequented, in the basement. It was not exactly attractive, comfortable or spacious. It was pretty much a rathole, actually. It had a coffee machine - think it was a dime per cup - and the cups allowed you to play your poker hand. There was always a pinochle game going on and the place had that musty, dusty basement smell. It wasn't a factor in the education of the students except that I got an opportunity to meet and learn from some great educators. People doing their best in spite of the condition of the building, the poverty affecting many of the students, drug problems, etc. Some of the most dedicated and interesting people I've ever known, in fact. If you want some kind of an idea what it was like, check out Cooley High. They consolidated the two high schools a few years later and if a item showed up in the contract about wanting a decent teacher's lounge it was because they didn't want to end up down the basement again. Likewise another school corporation contract limits the length of faculty meetings. Having sat through an hour and a half meeting after school, putting limits on the length or frequency of meetings might not be such a bad idea. These type of things enter negotiations most of the time as a result of someone abusing the previous policy, or lack there of, or as a throwaway item in negotiations. Both sides put things on the table and then you haggle about what goes and what stays - I'll give you a nice spacious teacher's lounge but we meet twice a month for faculty meetings instead of once, that kind of thing. Now that they have a nice teacher's lounge, I'm sure no one would object to removing it from the contract. It damn sure doesn't keep the kids from learning. If you want to treat your people like professionals and keep them around for awhile, you might want to give them decent working conditions, however.

And so the saga of educational reform continues. Where will it end? Who knows. Just remember that in the State of Indiana the politicians just revamped the tax system, and now they can't balance the budget or fix the potholes. So did they forget the lessons taught to them in high school economics or were the schools remiss in teaching checkbook balancing 101? Balancing the budget on assumed future growth is like betting on filling that inside straight. It can be done but it's always a risk. If you get a few minutes to kill, check out the Daily Show link above. It's pretty funny regardless where you stand on the issues.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Here's the Scoop

That's the stuff right there, now. Guzzi V-7 Clubman.

Made a little oil mess on the floor when fixing the gym van the other day. Rather than walking 20 feet to get the scoop out of the sandblaster sand to use for the oil dry, I put a kid on making a quick and dirty one. One coffee can, a piece of scrap sheet metal and four rivets. Kept him busy for awhile and we got a scoop. The battleship is something a kid put together for history class. The teacher has the students make things for a group presentation every year. The kid started on it in plenty of time. I showed him how to make a pattern for the bottom and sides so he could cut it from one piece to minimize the welding required. He knocked the hull out pretty fast and then started slacking so he had to rush to finish the job up. I think the paint was a little tacky when he left out of there for class. Kinda like me in the old days making Christmas presents.

We got the new Dynasty TIG welder fired up this week. One of the boys wanted to try it out and since the school board approved the purchase on Monday, why the hell not? I got him set up with some thin aluminum sheet and after a quick demo turned it over to him. He's picking it up pretty quick and we were talking about the difficulty of welding thin gauge material. So maybe next week I weld a couple of pop cans together. I was thinking about trying a couple of razor blades. Don't know if I want an audience with that one. I've got an .023" tungsten and the machine will run down to about 5 amps. Theoretically speaking, it could be done. By me? Not so sure. I'll have to wait and see how much time I have for fooling around and how steady the hands are.

I'll be taking a couple days off to travel to Virginia to work Jimmy's corner next week so I'm trying to get everything done and cleaned up so the Missus won't be cussing me under her breath while I'm gone. I got the dog, cat and chicken food containers topped off. Got the pile of magazines taken care of and the tax information ready to go. 'Bout the only other thing is to get the old side by side out of the safe and the big flashlight for anything that goes bump in the night and I'm ready to boogie.

Jimmy will be fighting on my 40th wedding anniversary so I'll miss that. That definitely wasn't by design but it's pretty obvious that the Missus is a good sport or there wouldn't have been 40 years for us. We started dating in high school and I've never had a single regret other than for the stupid crap I've done. We've made a pretty good team all these years and I'm looking forward to going the distance. Mom and Dad went 42 years before they got a divorce but I know we can top that. Just wish Paul Harvey was still around to announce when we get to the 50th.

Think Spring - get your seeds ordered!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Two Weeks 'til Lift-Off

Gina Lolobridgida

Photos from here:

Duomo di Milano

Two weeks 'til departure. The trip I've waited my whole life for. And now, not only am I going, but apparently about a million Libyans are planning on showing up as well. That should make for some interesting headlines. It's good to see the evil dictators of the world being run off but it's going to make for some rocky times.

Gas prices have already shot up with I'm sure more on the way. I would guess they'll settle in about $4.50/ gallon. Food prices were already jumping before the oil increase, so that should continue for a while as well. It'll be interesting to see how the US reacts to all of this. We can't afford to send everyone money, nor can we afford huge price increases if we want the "recovery" to continue. I'm thinking there might not be any more recovery. This could just be how it's going to be for a long time. Might even get worse, for that matter. You should all be planning your victory gardens and figuring out how to run your lives with a little less fossil fuel. If fuel and food prices go up even 10%, I'm sure you're not going to see a corresponding wage increase. I'm liable to see a big decrease this year. Just makes sense to help yourself. I'll see if the Italians have it figured out.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Things Are Looking Up

Sophia's liable to get a little flash burn if she's not careful.

Handle for the superintendent's chair

Race car chassis.

As Garrison says: It's been a busy week here in Lake WoeIsUs. I finished up the required curriculum maps and started writing and rewriting lesson plans. Probably a good thing - I got evaluated Monday. I'm scheduled for my follow up conference later today. I'm not expecting any problems but just have to wait and see. If they stick to the three year cycle, this should have been my last one, anyway.

Working on the spiral stair - got the pickets welded onto the steps. I've got the gym van in the shop now. A transmission line sprang a leak. If it would have done that a few years back everything wouldn't have rusted so bad. Now I've got flaky rust and oil to contend with. That's a combination not normally encountered. Fixed the handle for the Big Boss's chair. The end snapped off where the "C" clip goes on. The maintenance guy said we could just shorten it up that amount, so I chucked it up in the lathe, rounded the end off and cut a groove in it. The other maintenance man brought his little race car chassis in for some modifications and to see if we could sandblast it for him. Just need to find a little time and it'll be done. And as always, we've got the steady parade of broken desks to trip over.

Finally figured out the deal with my chest. A combination of torn and cramped muscles. I've been going to a massage therapist once a week for the last month and it's really helped loosen things back up. So yesterday I have to break up a fight between two girls in the hallway and while dragging them apart I feel a muscle pull in the old back and the familiar burning sensation in the chest. Damn. Then I go to the masseuse for my scheduled appointment after school and find out she's dragging up. She introduced me to the new therapist and hit the road. The new one did a fine job but there's nothing like your first love. I came out of there after my first session and was actually bruised. Now that's a massage. Good thing this is working, the witch doctor was going to be my next choice.

Beautiful day yesterday, so after getting the back worked over I came home and graded the driveway. Annual rite of Spring along with the Sandhill cranes flying over. The days are getting longer, the chest is getting better and hopefully, I'll be able to get back on the bike soon. Will soon be the season of renewal and new growth. I need it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Click and make it big.
You'll thank yourself later.

I saw the this picture at Le Container and it came from the Italian Motor blog. The Italian Motor is also a new magazine that's about ready for it's third issue. Looks like some pretty cool stuff there. As the time for my trip approaches ever nearer, I'm getting more and more pumped but I've always been fond of the Moto Guzzis for some reason. The more I see of these cafe style hot rods, the more I want one. I damn sure don't need another project, or anything with wheels under it for that matter, but you gotta admit, that's one sweet motorbike.

Maybe finish about 20 projects and start shopping. Should put me to about 85.