Saturday, December 30, 2017


One of the nice things about the blog is there's a record of what I've accomplished over the course of the year. I like looking back at the end of the year and seeing what transpired more than setting goals at the beginning of the year. Me setting goals is like most people joining a gym in January - good intentions but no follow through. Looking back on 2017, however,  not a bad year at all.

On the project front, didn't finish any of the big jobs but I knocked out a ton of little ones, both for myself and for a few others. Did some welding on Cuzzin Ricky's trailer, Surly's firepit, a few motorcycle parts for my buddy with the little Ducatis and quite a few more that didn't make the blog.

I did make a little progress on the VW early in the year but not much to speak of. The sidecar project moved forward and there's really not a lot to be done for that one to be finished. Likewise the motorbike project. It's pert near done also. I got a good start on the veranda for the new barn. I wish I would have gotten that up in the air before the cold weather hit. I've got the platform stored where it'll be easy to finish up the legs but it's a rather inconvenient spot for me to trip over all winter. I didn't do a lot of riding this year but I got all the bicycles up to snuff with new tires, seat, handlebars, etc. as needed or wanted.

Traveled down to Indy a few times - boxing matches, bike shops, Speedway Museum and one of the big events of the year, my ride in an Indy car. That was a fun one. Took Bazooka Joe to Louisiana for the Golden Glove Nationals. That was a fun one as well. Cuzzin Ricky and I finally made it to the Studebaker Museum this year. That was a good day out. I was talking to a guy the other day and he said there's a Hudson Museum over that way. Might have to head over there this year coming up. It's been a long time since I've been to the Auburn Museum. Maybe take a couple days to hit the museums and squeeze a race in at Baer Field. That's one I've never been to. Did the Janus Motorcycle Exploration Day or whatever it's called. Got to ride a couple of their little bikes, have a good lunch at the brew pub and talk a little "squish band" with guys pursuing their dream. Hard to beat that - but the ride in the B-24 Bomber just might have.

Cuzzin Ricky and I hit a few open wheel races. DuQuoin for the Silver Crown cars was a good trip as was the trip to Wisconsin - midget races, Millers at Milwaukee, Harley Museum, Royal Enfield HQ. Also a couple other races. Not as many as last year but we've got some big plans for 2018.

Got some exercise throughout  the year. I think I did six race walk 5K events. I was the first male finisher in all six of them, I believe. Sounds really good but not much competition. Doesn't matter, really. I'm just trying to stay healthy and have some fun. Mission accomplished and I got my 50 books read for the year. Nice blend of healthy outdoor activity and sitting on my ass reading.

The wife's cancer is still in remission, so you know that's a definite high point on the year and I got together with my brothers and some of the extended family a few times this past year, always good but something that should happen a little more often. Hopefully the wife will be able to tolerate travel  better in 2018 so we both can get away a little more often. As it is, I'm still one lucky SOB.

So goodbye 2017, hello 2018. This year was another nasty one on the political front but I've mostly quit watching all of that. I think we're in the final throes of the Republic and there's not much I can do to stop the death spiral, so I'll just enjoy what I've got for the time I've got left. There were a lot of people hurt in the weather related events and the wildfires this past year. We all need to remember their suffering when looking back on the year. There's still a lot of people needing help, as there always is. Probably more this year, though. Hopefully 2018 will be a good year for all of us.

Best wishes, Shop Teacher Bob

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