Friday, November 30, 2012

Calling All "Shop Teachers"

Courtesy of the Missus
I checked the site for The National Endowment for the Humanities the other day. I've attended three summer workshops about the Industrial Revolution they've funded and was curious as to what they have available for those of us who are semi-retired and working at a community college. Just so happens, they've got a few things. Because it's the humanities, not a lot for a welding teacher, maybe, but enough to warrant a second look. They are still offering the one for school teachers I attended in Lowell, Mass. on the Industrial Revolution. It was very well done and I got a chance to go to the site of Thoreau's cabin, the bridge in Concord where "the shot heard 'round the world" was fired, as well as learning about the mills of Lowell and the role they played in the development of the country. They pay you a stipend, so there's very little out of pocket expense and you can get credit for renewing your teaching license. If you teach, definitely check out the link.

I got a comment from dorkpunch a couple of posts back. Like Frankie Flood at Handverker, we seem to have a lot in common. He too is a shop teacher that digs motorcycles, old cars and trucks and tinkering with things. He's posting at his blog again, so you can check out what he's up to which brings me to this:

As I mentioned once before, it would be nice to have some type of shop teacher forum or at the very least, just a list of links to blogs where shop teachers are posting what they are doing. The creativity that goes on in the classrooms of these people is just amazing. I know that similar things are occurring in the classrooms of teachers of academic subjects but my main focus after 36 years as a shop teacher has to be the "technology educators". Dorkpunch teaches the younger students, I taught the high school age ones, and Frankie Flood teaches the college students. Doug Stowe at The Wisdom of the Hands covers little to big at his school along with his workshops and books. While that covers most everything, it is a pretty small sampling group.

The December Welding Journal has a blurb about Brian Copes, an AWS member and a pre-engineering teacher. Mr. Copes was honored by People magazine as one of their five Teacher of the Year recipients. This is precisely the type of person that the movers and shakers in education should be searching out and listening to and those of us teaching use as a source of ideas and inspiration. I found the high school website and the faculty listing for Mr Copes - it even had a link for his blog. Unfortunately, his postings are things like drill press safety, rather than his thoughts on education or features about the projects he's working on with his students. Check out the link on Mr. Copes and you'll see why we need his thoughts and philosophy.

If anyone out there knows of shop teacher/hands-on education blogs, let me know. I already changed the link list so there's a separate division for education. When I get a few more I'll send the list along to the new State Superintendent of Education and the governor elect here in Indiana, who seems to be very much pro career and technical education. The people in charge can't get out to see all of the great things that are being done, but no reason we can't mail it in. I stopped by the high school the other day and my replacement has already done some pretty cool things. He's in my own backyard and I wouldn't know what he's doing if I hadn't stopped by. My buddy Kevin read my mind and sent me a link yesterday to an education blog. It's not specifically technical education but from my quick perusal, it offers a lot of common sense solutions for what's facing education today. After he reads this post, I would imagine he'll be sending a few others. I ask the rest of you to do likewise.

People really need to see what's going on in these programs. You now have the "maker movement", Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajig FoundationThe Society of Creative Anachronism, steam punk people and, as always, hot rodders, interested in making things. All kinds of things. Who better to lead the way than those of us teaching "shop class", technology education, manual arts, Project Lead the Way, Stem, or whatever the hell you want to call it. The point is, damn near everyone that I have more than just a casual speaking relationship with, took some type of shop class or wished they had. And in that group I include the ladies with Home Ec or, as it now is known, Family and Consumer Sciences. We all profited from it. No reason we can't fix what's wrong with education. We fix everything else.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ramping Up

I got the tie-down hooks welded to the bike rack. Not much of a task making and welding the hooks but the bolts came out hard when I took the rack off the truck. I was kind of surprised by that, in that I had put some never-seize on the threads when I put them in last time. Probably a real good thing that I did or they wouldn't have come out. I ran a tap into the holes in the truck bed, cleaned up the threads on the bolts with the wire wheel on the grinder and oiled them up prior to assembly. Nothing hard here, just one more thing that needed to get done.

Same thing with the ramp. The wood was one of the ramps I used to move the top of the barn when I was rebuilding it. Likewise the metal piece that rests on the tailgate was part of that operation as well. I welded two pieces together at the approximate angle needed and put a little primer on it. Again, no biggie here. Now I'm set with a ramp that will fit in the back of the truck and is about 11" wide. I should be all set to head out to pick up the motorcycle I mentioned in the last post. That'll probably happen between semesters. I have about a month off. I should be able to fit a couple of days in somewhere for a little road trip.

The weatherman is forecasting some nice temperatures for the weekend, like in the 50's. That'll be good for getting something done. Just not sure what. It was sunny yesterday morning but only 23 degrees at 8:00 am. Like my buddy says: "I don't want to work in any temperature lower than my age". Getting to be a pretty small window of opportunity there for a guy who's 62. But since they're calling for something close to that, maybe a little welding on the VW will be in order. I'll have my three day weekend, anyway. Man, I love those.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bits & Pieces

Photo From Here

Nice aluminum work on this one. The seat looks similar to the one on my old 750 Sport. When I finally get things a little more organized around here and the to-do list is shortened up some, I'd like to tackle a couple more aluminum jobs.
Photo From Here
Maybe make a tank like on this Goldstar. I saw one of these bikes at the races that had the big tank and a cafe style fiberglass seat with the BSA logo sunk into the back of it that would look really spiffy in aluminum.

Photo From Here - NSFW
Here's one sexy Ducati showbike. There are more photos at the link but apparently Cafe Racer culture includes naked women. And all these years I thought it was just the chopper crowd. You can learn a lot on the internet.

I got the fog lights mounted to the front of the truck. I still need to hook up the wiring but that looks relatively simple. The only tricky thing will be figuring out where to put the switch. The dash curves way down under the steering wheel and the center section goes all the way down to the transmission hump. Just one more challenge as I try to work my way out of project purgatory.

I got the new tires mounted up on the freshly painted wheels for the VW and did a little work on the sandblaster. I think I've got everything I need to finish setting that up the way I want it. I still need to do some more cleaning up and organizing of that area. I did get the top of the barn cleaned up over the weekend and a few things done inside the shack.

I pulled the bicycle rack out of the back of the truck. It bolts up to where the factory tie down cleats go in the front of the bed. I'm going to weld a couple of tie down hooks on it and bolt it back in. I'm also putting the finishing touches on a ramp for loading a motorcycle in there. I'm going to be picking up a bike pretty soon and transporting it a ways. I need to have things right before setting off on that journey.

As always, steady by jerks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Photo From Here
I started building one of these once upon a time, a Norton Commando kneeler, that is. If I remember right I bailed out due to a job change. Or maybe the garage just got too full. It's been probably twenty years ago now, at least.

Photo From Here
Which brings us to one I did build - The Knox Industrial Gases Special. This is a 350 HD Sprint motor in a 250 frame with homebuilt sheet metal. Surly and I have been kicking around some ideas on motorcycles and this frame might end up as part of something we collaborate on. This bike crashed at Daytona the next year after this photo was taken so the back end got tweaked a bit. I built another bike and stuck the engine in it. To check out what Surly's got in mind, check his blog. This wouldn't be a drop everything and start on this one right now project, but I've wanted to build something with him for a while now. What he's got in mind is real do-able. We've got most everything in house except for about ten feet of 4130 tubing.

Photo From Here
This isn't the look Surly has in mind but it's one cool Aermacchi/Sprint. And the photo is taken at Borrani rims. If your looking for some wire wheels for your Maserati, these are the guys. Apparently they are back in  production of motorcycle rims after about a 20 year hiatus. If you check the link, there's a few more pics and a little more info. This photo would make a great poster for hanging in the shop. Especially for a guy with a half dozen of the Italian lightweights from HD.

While I await the outcome of the Sprint project feasibility study, I'll keep hammering away on the VW, 900 and sandblaster projects. The friggin weather turned cold so I don't know how much will get accomplished the next few days, but the goal is, every day a little something.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. I've got plenty to be thankful for this year. First and foremost, I'm still around after having a heart attack. I'm also able to do the Turkey Trot 5K - maybe not fast, but I'm ambulatory and there's a lot to be said for that. I've got a job, which seems to always be a mixed blessing, but a lot of people would really like to have one right about now, I got the VW wheels sandblasted, and the fog light bracket finished. The last two are rather petty in the big scheme of things but are an indication that I am in fact still able to do a few of the things I love. All things considered, I'm in a pretty good place.

I hope all of you are in a similar good place this holiday season. We all need to remember those that aren't as fortunate and share the wealth a little. As great as this country is, there are still a lot of hungry people out there. A lot of people are still suffering from the effects of all the storms we've had this year and, of course, the servicemen and women that are away from home during the holidays would appreciate a little remembrance from the folks back home. Lots of ways to contribute to those needing a little help - Salvation Army, Red Cross, USO, local food pantry. I usually give a little something to these guys. They're local and do good work.

Enjoy your turkey all you carnivores. I might even sneak a couple of bites myself.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thinning the Herd

Photo From Here
What is it about collecting old junk? Some guys collect Bugs. Some guys collect insects. I collect everything and then it collects dust. Even though I'm trying to turn over a new leaf, I keep finding all kinds of crap hiding underneath it. The next step on the road to recovery has to be thinning the herd. I need to get rid of things or as a start, get all the project bits organized. In my case simplify = stress reduction. Once your possessions become a burden, you've definitely crossed the line.

Actually, I'm rather proud of what I've gotten done since retiring from the high school. In addition to the big jobs like the barn and the porch, the last couple of days I finished up the hand railing for the back steps, replaced the 4x4 post at the gym that someone knocked down, made a couple of pieces for the fog light mount for the pickup, fixed the bathtub drain, and washed a few windows outside while the weather was nice. Most of this is low hanging fruit but a step in the direction I need to be heading. I've got a whole list of things that I hope to accomplish over the next few days while I've got a little vacation time - working on my Bug being one of those. Between the Lab Tech job and teaching a couple of classes, I'm going in four days per week which means having a three day weekend every week. What a difference that makes. Unless I quit the Lab Tech gig, I'll be working close to 40 hours per week next semester but I'll still have the three day weekend. Not exactly retirement but the money will keep me supplied in project parts and supplies and get me back to Italy. I guess working isn't too much to ask if you want to do more than sit in the recliner watching daytime TV every day. Having had some recent experience with that routine, no way in hell I wish to do that again short of a frontal lobotomy. And as any Tom Waits fan knows, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy".

Speaking of the recliner though, it broke the other night. I looked underneath it and found a broken bushing. The chair's been around for years. The Missus bought a new one for me when I was convalescing but I liked the old one better so she had it reupholstered. Since we've got new money in it, I need to fix it to get more than a four month return on that investment. Even though I'm not enamored with daytime TV, I do like watching football on Sunday afternoon. And to make the experience complete, nothing better than a short nap in the recliner. That job got pushed to the head of the list.

And now, for something completely different, congratulations to my former colleague and running buddy, Kevin, for winning the 2012 ACTE/eTED Nevin Frantz Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship. Kevin's working on his PhD and is exactly the kind of person education needs right now. He's a smart, down to earth guy who works hard and is very good at balancing the new technology with the old values. We spent a lot of time together when we were out pounding the backroads and had a lot of great conversation during that time. He's not much of a runner but one helluva human being. I'm extremely proud of him for winning this scholarship and very fortunate to be able to call him a friend. I look for him to be in a leadership position someday and to make a big difference in education wherever his path takes him.

Keep on rockin', people. Especially you shop teachers. We need you now more than ever.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Toys

Been real busy working around the shack the last few days trying to get some things done before the weather turns really cold. I did manage to do a little thinking about the 900 project, even if I didn't get much done. I painted up the back side of an old license plate as a test piece for the color of the bike. I like the color but the finish is not real glossy. However, I'm thinking a few pinstripes on the tank and sidecovers with a clear coat would do it just fine. I'm going to see if Surly will put a little something on it and then I'll shoot some clear on it and check it out. I also looked at a Corbin seat. They've got a real nice one for the old Kawasaki models that would look pretty racy on it. It's their Gunfighter model. Can't go wrong with a name like that, now can you?

My new driving/fog lights showed up the other day. Since I'm now commuting and I no longer have the luxury of a fog delay, a little better light set-up on the truck should help. I've got next week off, so I'll try to get these installed and get a little work done on the 900, the VW and see about repairing the snowblower. The Missus reminded me again about the no shoveling rule that will be in effect this winter. I figure the snowblower job will be like taking your umbrella along when it looks like rain. If you've got it, you won't need it. With the crazy weather we've been having, however, who the hell knows what's going to happen this winter.

Also in the photo is a set of gasket punches. I made a couple over the years for special jobs but they were more of a one time use sort of thing. I need to punch some holes in the bead that goes between the fender and the body on the VW, so on a whim I checked on those at the same time as the driving lights. What do you know? A nine piece set for less than five bucks. Actually I think they're marked wrong on their website. They listed a six piece set for more money and they weren't larger sizes, either. Anyway, it works out to less than $1.25 per fender to punch the holes in the beading. Anything after that is gravy.

The sandblaster was delivered the other day also, as you can see from the photo taken in my mobile photo studio. I've already got a spot for it ready to go but I need to see about the vacuum hook-up. I bought a small vac that will be dedicated to this thing - might take a little bit to get it hooked up the way I want. It looks like it's a little small to blast the VW wheels but I took the wire wheel to them the other day so there's not a lot of paint left to clean up. I want to get those done so I can get the new tires put on and then take a look at the stance of the car. The car has a couple of big-ass tires on the back now for a Baja Bug set-up. Not at all what I'm looking for.

While I'm working on setting up the sandblaster, I want to get my English wheel and planishing hammer set up at the same time. I've got a an old table of the type that used to be real common in school shops. It should be big enough to accommodate those three items and maybe a small sheet metal brake as well. I've got a stake plate that I'd like to have access to. I need to fabricate some type of stand for that before I can use that. It would be nice to have all of the sheet metal working stuff close together. The bad part of all this operation is that there's no concrete in the back part of my shop. Getting all the tools set up before having any concrete is a little bit of cart before the horse but I really want to get things organized and use-able.

The plan, and I use that word loosely, is to work on getting the tools set up so I can use them on the projects. Then work on the VW until the temperature drops to about 40 degrees. Colder than that I'll light the heater in the shop and work on the 900. When it gets real cold, I'll find something else to work on around the shack - no shortage of things to do there. Regardless of how cold it gets, something will be running next spring. Probably my nose.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I went to see the travel agent the other day. She's getting me some more info but there's a tour that will get me back to Italy and allow me to see the Eiffel Tower for about $1,500, less air fare. Air fare will just about double the cost but no reason I can't save up my lab tech money and book another trip to Europe. The same tour company also has one that hits Spain for a little more money. 

I'd love to be able to see some of the architectural masterpieces by Gaudi. Plus, I could add another country to the very short list of those I've been to. I can't see me trying to collect countries like some people collect stamps, but I'd like to see Barcelona. It's a big world out there and I doubt if I'll ever see too much more of it but if I can make Paris and Barcelona, that with my previous Italy trip would cover most every where I've really wanted to travel to. Ireland and Germany would be nice, of course. So would Austria, Scotland and Portugal. And then there's always South America and Asia.

That's enough dreaming for now - there'll be time for more after the info comes in from the travel agency.

Follow your dreams people - life is short.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Zen & Now

I just finished up the book Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Richardson. It's a good read. In it Richardson follows the route Pirsig took in 1968 when he rode his motorcycle from Minnesota to California. The book describes both Richardson's journey on his Suzuki dual purpose bike and many of the personal details of Pirsig's life, both past and present.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance came out in the 70's and has sold millions of copies. My brother John had a paperback copy that I tried working my way through shortly after the book came out but after about 50-60 pages, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about and bailed out of it. I picked it up about ten years later and made it to about the same point and gave up again. I'm an avid reader, this book makes over 40 this year, and I've struggled through some real turds over the years but just couldn't see the need to beat myself up with Zen and the Art. In fact, Richardson didn't make it through the book until his third try. After reading Zen and Now, I can see now why I never made it through Pirsig's book. First of all, Pirsig is a nut job - a tortured genius who has been institutionalized (complete with electroshock therapy, I might add) and was looking for something else in the book. The motorcycle was merely a metaphor. And his dealings with life and the interaction with his son who rides along with him on the trip is not very Zen like. Now that Richardson has explained what was going on, I can finally write Zen and the Art off my list of books that I need to read. Actually, I don't have a list - makes it easier still.

However, I like a good travelogue, I like motorcycles and I'm becoming more interested in the Zen approach to life, so Zen and Now was a good one. While never having traveled to California, I have been to several of the places mentioned in the book. I crossed Beartooth Pass in a borrowed motorhome after attending a World Superbike race in Brainerd, Minn. and I climbed the road to Lolo Pass on my bicycle, so having the shared experience made things more interesting, as well as bringing back some good memories. Richardson passes along the Avenue of the Giants on his way to San Francisco, which is someplace I hope to visit someday. As a side note, I just received some travel brochures in the mail from California. Hopefully I can make that trip sooner, rather than later.

Now my inner Buddha is telling me to get up off my arse and get busy. It's only 32 degrees outside right now, however. It was 70 yesterday. Global weirding. Never the less, I need to heed the siren call of the projects while pursuing the meaning of life. But as we all well know: "Life is a Twinkie. That'll be five dollars".

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wild Turkeys

While not the best photo quality, we had some turkeys in the back yard this morning again as you can hopefully see. I just happened to notice them yesterday when I went out to go to work. There was frost on the windshield of the truck, so I started the truck to let it warm up, walked out back to feed the cats and get something out of the shop, and when I headed back to get in the truck I noticed them in the back corner of the yard. When they saw me, they crossed the tracks and headed into the woods. I looked for them this morning when I got up but didn't see anything but about an hour later I just happened to look out the back window and there they were. They actually worked their way all the way up to the back door. There's one big tom and an even dozen of his flock. If memory serves, it's legal to hunt them 1/2 mile south from here. The state highway into town is the dividing line. I'm not interested in shooting them and now that I'm a vegan, even less so. It's just cool seeing them around.

Friday, November 9, 2012

More Whining

Photo From Here
Two sidecar racers in the same week. Just gotta love it, even if safety wasn't foremost in thoughts of the promoters or the spectators in this shot. Wasn't in the other one either, now that I think of it, but these were real road races. I built a sidecar for my 900 when I put it together originally, you may recall. The frame still has the lugs used to fasten it on. And I've got an idea for a torsion bar suspension that I think would work rather nicely if I was to build another one. I'll just keep that idea simmering on the back burner for awhile. Maybe when I decide to work on the drafting program I can draw it up. It'd be a good project to learn the drafting program and if I did that, I'd actually be able to build the thing from a print if I ever decided to go through with it. That would certainly speed up production.

Meanwhile, I bought a sandblast cabinet. That should speed things up as well. Shipping was only twenty bucks, so I ordered it, rather than driving the 30 miles to Harbor Freight. I was telling one of the guys I work with about buying it. Come to find out, he's got a similar one and he steered me straight on making a water filter set-up for hooking the shop vac to it. So now I need a plastic bucket and a few other things to get that deal going. I'm looking at buying a drill press for my woodshop next. I also want a sheet metal brake. The college has a nice sheet metal shear but no brake. I need to start looking around for one or see about building one. I found some plans that look pretty nice. Nothing too complicated but it wouldn't be exactly what I'd like to have. What I'd like is a 48" box and pan brake that will bend 12 gauge steel. I doubt if I can find one of those laying around cheap, though.

I want to do a little sandblasting, so even though I bought a sandblasting cabinet, I've got to build something else before I can use that effectively. I want to bend a little sheet metal to patch the Volkswagen, so I need to build a brake. And I still need to do some house cleaning before I've got a spot big enough to put them. I sure could have used that extra year to get ready for retirement. However, I've got a few days off coming up soon at Thanksgiving and a month between semesters. That should help immensely.  Get up every morning early, have my cup of green tea, my whole grain cereal with soy milk, give the Spin to Win project wheel a turn and then get after whatever comes up. There'll be wheels turning come next Spring

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Everyone Back to Work Now

From the Post Tribune:
INDIANAPOLIS — Republican Tony Bennett has lost his bid for a second term as Indiana’s schools superintendent to a lifelong educator backed by teachers unhappy with Bennett’s sweeping education overhaul.

So there's some good news from yesterday's election. Perhaps I should contact the Superintendent elect and offer my services. Maybe get busy writing the manifesto. Or maybe it's just time to get back to work.

OK then, lets formulate the plan. No wait. That never works. Something else always comes along to screw up the plan. How 'bout this? I fill in the spaces on the Spin to Win wheel with projects, including a few for the Missus. She spins the wheel and whatever comes up that day, that's what I work on. Probably as good a plan as anything else I've come up with over the years.

While I'm waiting for Amazon to deliver the game wheel, maybe a little quality time with the VW would be in order. I'm planning on working on the wheels this evening. I'll do some wire brushing and then sandblast the rest. Harbor Freight has a small sandblast cabinet on sale. It's a little small for doing the wheels but would be real handy to have around for a lot of the other projects that are scheduled to be penciled in on the game wheel.  Maybe I need to fetch one of those on home.

Photo From Here
This is the dash from an AC Aceca. AC of course is the same outfit responsible for the Cobra. I've been trying to come up with a dash idea for the VW. The stocker is junk and the Super Beetle dash always looked cheap to me anyway. The regular beetle was just plain sheet metal but looked liked it belonged there.  I'm thinking of something a little more "racecarish", if you will but not sure what. There's a whole lot more to this one here than I would want for the bug, but a flat piece of plywood padded and covered with vinyl would be easy enough. This one actually looks like it's an airplane cockpit when you see the mountains in the background. Some of the old mahogany race boats from the thirties had some cool dashes. Just like the 900 project, I always like to have everything planned out before I start. It's taken me so long to get started on these things you'd have thought I'd have had every detail worked out by now, but alas, such is not the case. I don't want having to do things twice or taking too many steps backwards. Or worse yet, getting it done and thinking: "You had that thing for all those years and that's the best you could come up with?"

So while all of the project details are spinning around in the vast emptiness of my brain, The Traveling Pirate tells me that the Italian classes are on sale. Mamma Mia! What's a boy to do?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Photo from here
Cool picture, I'd have to say. Not sure what it is about sidecar racing that gets my heart all aflutter but it sure does.

My cold has about run it's course - still a little cough and sniffles - so the suspense of when I was going to get sick is over at least. The Missus came down with it, of course. She seems to have been hit a lot harder than I was so I spent most of yesterday helping her out doing laundry, etc. I'll be back on the projects pretty soon.

On top of the to-do list today is voting. There's a lot riding on today's outcome, especially issues dealing with education in Indiana. I can't imagine any school teacher not voting for Ritz today, regardless of their normal party alliance. Whatever your political views, I urge you to vote, regardless. We're still fortunate enough to be able to make choices about our leadership. I'm not always happy about the choices we're given but we've got a choice, anyway. So go vote!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Winning Performances

"The Fighting School Teacher"
I worked the corner for Jimmy on Saturday night for his comeback fight. Didn't have to do much. Jimmy hit the guy early in the second round with a short, chopping overhand right and dropped him to one knee. Even though he was up by the count of eight, the referee stopped the contest and it was all over. Jimmy looked real good. His punches were right on target, his timing was good and his defense was excellent. He started landing hard shots towards the end of the first round and it was only a matter of time before he was going to get the guy out. This was supposed to be the last fight but he's got a chance to fight again in about three weeks and make a little money. I'm hoping he stays retired but I can understand him taking the fight. He's already in shape and I'm sure the money would come in handy. He finished on a high note before the home town crowd. It'd like to see him leave it at that.

Your's truly came off the bench to run a 4 miler this morning. Since I've been nursing the cold, I wasn't sure what I was going to do once I got there. It was spitting a little rain when we pulled up but it cleared up about the time the gun went off, so off I went. I walked the first half mile or so to warm up and then I would run about two blocks at a time, walk six, and repeat. I kept my heart rate low and enjoyed being out and being able to complete the four miles after having the grabber earlier this year. Even though I didn't run much, or fast, it was the first running I've done in over two years and it felt good. My time for the four miler was pretty slow. If it wasn't so cloudy they could have used a sundial to time me but that's OK. I wasn't the last one in and even if I would have been, it was still a PR as far as I was concerned.

Pretty much squandered the rest of the day. Showered up, watched the Bears, worked the crossword puzzle, took a little nap and wrote this up. I'll finish the day with a little more football and try to get through a little of the magazine pile. All in all, not a bad way to spend the day.

Hope your weekend was equally productive and let's all have a good week.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Losin' Traction

In my last post I was talking about gaining some momentum, unfortunately, now I'm losing traction. I woke up to a sore throat Wednesday morning and things got progressively worse as the day went by. Today my head is still stuffed up, I've got itchy, watery eyes, slight cough, chills.  You might even say a slight case of the ague. I got a flu shot so I'm hoping whatever this is dies off rather quickly. Jimmy fights Saturday night, so I'll be working his corner and I'm supposed to run a four miler Sunday morning. I hadn't planned on running the whole thing - more of a walk/jog. Now I'm thinking I should jump into the 1.5 mile fun walk they're doing. Might be the best from a health standpoint. Or just tag along and root for the young lady who is riding along with me. I guess getting sick was inevitable. Every year I come down with something in either the fall or the spring. Sometimes both. I've been able to get a lot done lately - kinda wanted to keep that going. Since this is day three, I think the worst of this crap has probably passed and I'll be back on the projects next week.

I might be able to get a little done on the 900 this weekend. Between the projects on the shack and the VW, I've kind of neglected that. I want to get a start on that front end, though. I picked up some paint last week to try out for that project. Maybe I'll try that out this weekend on a piece of scrap aluminum to see what that's going to look like. Nothing better for a compromised bronchial system than a little spray painting, unless it's the smoke from a pile of smoldering leaves.  And I've got a couple of tires to get rid of, don't forget. I could set those on fire and with a little luck I might be able to find some old paint cans and tar paper to throw on the pile as well. No reason everyone in the county can't have a little respiratory distress.

Have a good weekend. If you're any where near me, keep your respirator handy.