Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday is a Birthday

I'm about done with all the painting for the season. I've still got a bit of trim work to do but we had a hard frost the other night, so the timing's just about right to call it quits. 

I've got the neighbor's job to finish up and paint the job I did for the Missus this week. Hopefully I'll get back on the trials bike soon. I want to get that finished up so I can get the motor sent out to my buddy and have it for next year. Still working on some ideas for the slant six project. I shouldn't be - I've definitely got more pressing concerns but that's just the way my mind works.

Surly's birthday today. Happy birthday! 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bazooka Time! - Only It Wasn't


Since we didn't go to the races over the weekend, I figured I'd help Bazooka Joe. We went to the weigh-in on Friday which was kind of a typical SNAFU. Weigh-ins were supposed to start at 3:30 but didn't get started until about 5:00. Joe's opponent didn't show at all - not a good sign. We hung around until close to 6:00 but no show. I did get my "seconds" license renewed while I was there.

I was planning on finishing up the painting on the shop Saturday morning but it was a bit chilly so I worked on getting my passport renewed. It's surprisingly easy to fill out the required paperwork online - just follow the prompts and print out the result. Photo at Walgreens, certified check at the bank, throw everything into an envelope, mail it off at the post office. $125.00 later, all done. And while I was out I picked up a roller cover to finish the painting.

The new pad painter I had just bought had an issue with the handle coming loose so I was going to glue it together. When I took it out of the paint tray the thinner had dissolved the glue holding the pad on so it was essentially useless. They didn't have a short roller cover to fit my trim roller at the hardware store, so I bought a standard nine inch size and cut it down. Worked well enough to finish up the job, fortunately.

I went to watch the grandson play ball later in the day and checked in with Joe after getting home. No opponent, so no fight. It didn't look like it was going to be much of a card so I stayed home. I feel bad for Joe. If my plans hadn't have fallen through, he wouldn't have had anyone to go with him to the weigh-in. Jimmy's pro coach was going to work his corner during the fight but Joe's never worked with him before. I've worked all of Joe's Golden Gloves fights, so I was going to be a familiar face, plus I've worked with Jimmy's coach at all but one of Jimmy's fights over the years and we make a good team. Joe's a nice guy, trains hard, sold a bunch of tickets to friends and family for his pro boxing debut and ends up with nothing. Oh well, that's the fight game I suppose. He's looking to fight some time before the end of the year either locally or in Indy depending on what he can get.

New class at the college this week - Stick II. Eight weeks and then I'll be off until March. Which means I'll have time to travel, hence the passport renewal. I'll be going to Ireland during that time for a week. Pretty excited about that. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Torsion Bar Suspension

Surly sent me a link to a custom coachbuilder and while checking it out I came across the photo above. Set up like you see in the photo it's about $15K. The thing I found most interesting is it's pretty much like what I've been thinking about building some day. It's got torsion bar suspension front and rear, which is what most of the champ cars I like so much use to run - actually still do in the Silver Crowns and sprints.


Here's a shot of A. J. Watson standing behind one of his roadsters with independent front suspension but still using a torsion bar. The stock Chryslers used a similar set-up with the torsion bar running parallel to the frame but it was attached to the lower arm. Lots of ways to skin this cat. 

I'm hoping to formulate a plan and have most of the details worked out so when I start construction I'll be able to jump in with both feet and work on it without too many interruptions. It might take me five years to get to that point, but that's OK. The above photo is from the A. J. Watson Tribute page on Facebook - worth checking out if you're on FB.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Parts


The Fed Ex guy showed up yesterday while I was painting the south side of the shop. So I've now got a good start on the slant-six project, at least as far as parts go. I'll get the valve stuff to the machinist so he can get the head done. Need to check the condition of the crank but the block is ready to go already. Making a lot of headway on a project that technically isn't even a project. The motor will be an orphan until I work out the details on the build, but I'll find it a home one of these days.

I ran out of paint so I couldn't finish the shop painting. Today's weather forecast is not looking real promising, so I'll pick up the paint and run a few more errands while I'm out today and try and finish up the painting tomorrow. I still need to make a couple of new trim pieces for over the service door and paint the trim around the window and that'll about finish out the painting for the year. 

Cuzzin Ricky and I were planning on going to Terre Haute for a sprint car two-fer tonight and Saturday night - USAC sprints one night, winged sprints the other. Unfortunately, Rick had to call off sick so I'll be a boxing "second" instead. Bazooka Joe is making his pro debut tomorrow night so I'm going to his weigh-in this afternoon and help work his corner tomorrow night. He's in good shape and ready to go. He's fought enough amateur fights he shouldn't be too nervous. We'll see how he does.

Once again a busy weekend lined up but it'll slow down real soon as we approach November and the shorter days and colder temperatures.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

XR6


Here's a book out of my personal library by Tex Smith. Tex died just a few years ago but left quite a legacy of both written material and real live hot rod stuff. Probably his most famous car was the XR6.


Wild design from the early sixties. It was pretty popular on the show circuit and AMT had a model kit you could buy and assemble so you could have your own XR6 sitting on a shelf. The photo is from here. If you check out the link you can get a nice write up about the car as well as see this photo of the powerplant.


Slant Six, Baby! How's that for a cool hot rod motor? This one is an aluminum block with three Webers. The slant six wasn't known to be a real power house but I would imagine this one stepped out pretty lively in the lightweight XR6. I dug out one of my old Motor's manuals and the earlier 225 motors were listed at 145 horse. As they went into the seventies the power rating fell off until it bottomed out at 90 or 100 depending on the application. I'm assuming that was due to the emissions concerns back then.

I shopped around on the web and found both Summit and Jegs listed a kit for the 225 - cam, lifters, retainers, keepers, and timing chain. I paid the guy for the motor, ordered a kit with a mild cam and before I bring the thing home I'll have him work the head over, including taking a skin cut off the bottom to make sure everything is nice and flat as well as bumping up the compression a bit. Stock is 8.4. 9.0 to 1 would be better.

Tex's book has a nice photo of the frame of his XR6 to give me an idea of what he did. I don't have a specific design in mind just yet for my project, but I didn't want the engine to get away from me. I'll get it together and then mothball it until I get ready to start on it someday. 


This'll be the last big project I undertake - it'll have to serve as my masterpiece.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Let's Work Together


Seems an appropriate song considering what's going on in politics today. This was from almost fifty years ago - a little hard for me to believe - but hard to beat the music from back then. Throw in some go-go dancers in mini skirts and things seemed pretty good as I look back today, even though they weren't. Here in the northwest corner of Indiana the Chicago television yesterday was all about the verdict handed down in the case against the Chicago cop and how the city was gearing up for protests/riots depending on how the verdict came out.

I remember all the riots and protests back in the late sixties and early seventies. Chicago, Detroit, Watts. I was living in Crown Point when Mayor Hatcher was first running for office in Gary. I was hanging out at the Texaco station on Main Street when the National Guard rolled troops through town just in case he didn't win the election. Crazy times - kind of like now but without the decent soundtrack and the go-go dancers. It does seem more serious to me now. Maybe it is, maybe I'm just older.


Enough with the politics - at least until later today when the Senate votes on the confirmation - then we'll see where we're at. In the meantime, have a look at the battery for the trials bike. It's just a little bit of a thing. I should have taken a photo of the new one with the old one I was planning on using. This one should be just the ticket - no vent, no maintenance, no muss, no fuss. I think I've got it figured out where I'm going to put it as well as the design of the battery box. I'm pretty well booked up today but if I get some time I'll rummage around and see what I've got for material and then get started. 

I fell into a deal on a slant six motor. I've been thinking about a project for several years powered by one of those motors. Obviously I don't need another project currently but the price was right and as long as I store it properly, it won't go bad anytime soon. I'll know more about the engine and what my immediate plans will be after the first of the week. 

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Billet!



We had a blow-out on the sliding screen door over the weekend. I checked for a replacement at Menards - they had three or four different ones but nothing that looked like it would work for me, so time to make a custom one. The piece of stock I started with was a scrap piece they were throwing out at the lab. It has a bunch of holes in it but it was about the right size for what I wanted. I had to weld up a thru hole where the latch fits into the slot which is what you see in the top photo. The piece was anodized so I had to sand that off prior to welding, and that also explains why the part has a dull finish. Fits like a glove though, and functions and looks good on the door.

While I was at Menards I was going thru the LED light bulbs looking for a replacement for a bulb that burned out at the house and came across a LED that contained a battery back-up. If the power fails, the bulb will operate off the battery power for up to 3.5 hours. That's pretty slick. It was just under $15.00 which I thought was reasonable. Something to consider if you're in an area that has frequent power outages.

Battery for the trials bike is supposed to be delivered today. Today is another painting day but it's looking wet the next four days. Time to move forward on the bike and the project for my neighbor. I've been kicking around some ideas in my head on that one and I've about got it figured out. Hope to get started on it in a day or two and maybe get it down next week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mono Posto



The post title refers to the old joke about why a chicken coup only has two doors. In this case there's only one - but - it's got a fresh coat of paint on it. I replaced the trim board over the top of the door and got a coat of primer on it. I ran out of red paint so I didn't get the whole coop painted but the part you see from the house looks good. Depending on the weather this week, I'll try to get the rest of it finished.


I did get the outhouse finished. Looks pretty good. It's actually a little garden shed I made for the Missus when I taught a construction class one year at the high school. There's a sidewalk leading from the house that went no where when we moved in. There used to be the "Mother-in-law" trailer out back, hence the sidewalk. A fancy outhouse at the end of the sidewalk seemed to be a good fit.

Besides the painting I went to a ball game Saturday that the youngest grandson was playing in. They have a two hour limit on the games and they were right up on the time limit to play five innings. Kind of tough to sit through but it's real baseball, not "T" ball. The other grandson played a season of that and that's just brutal to sit through if you're a baseball fan. If you're a grandparent and just want to support the kids, if you look at it as just an outing with family, not bad at all. Good to see those young guys playing ball rather than sitting on their thumbs or fooling around with their electronics, though, and the kids all seemed to be having a good time out there. Did my old heart good.

The boxing gym had a fundraiser Saturday night - 10th anniversary show. Jimmy presented me with a plaque in appreciation of my contribution to the club over the years. I no longer have any official dealings with the gym. I'm just a volunteer coach who helps out where I can but I appreciate being recognized for my contribution. I appreciate what my old coach did for me, so I'm just paying it back or paying it forward, depending on how you want to look at it.

Yesterday Indian Motorcycles released their new street model based on their flat track bike, the FTR 1200. It looks pretty sweet. It's supposed to be in the dealer showrooms next Spring. You can see it HERE. I keep hemming and hawing about a new bike but just haven't been able to pull the trigger. This one might be the one, however. I'd still like to take a trip to the west coast on a little bike but the Missus is not at all on board with that idea. The little Royal Enfield would be just right for what I've got in mind but if I'm not going to make that trip, maybe the Indian would scratch the itch. If I was thinking logically, I'd just get busy and finish a couple of the project bikes and along with the SV650 I'd be all set. Motorcycling has never been about logic with me - or most other bike guys either for that matter. I've done several bicycle tours but never a motorcycle tour. Probably shouldn't have watched Bronson when I was a kid.

The battery for the trials bike should be here tomorrow. I'll get to work on that project when it's too wet to paint. I've still got a few other outside things I want to finish before the weather closes in also but at least the outhouse looks good.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Filler


New hat courtesy of Surly autographed by Helio Castroneves



Solar powered lights on the posts on the new veranda for when I'm sipping mint juleps in the evenings



Stainless angle to fasten the posts to the concrete piers. Need to drill some holes and then fasten them down but things are coming along.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Mr. Lucky


Cuzzin Ricky and I went to the sprint car races at Kokomo last evening. As we were walking up to say hello to the young man and his wife at the Amsoil tent, a guy asked us if we had bought our tickets yet. Rick told him no, and the guy gave us each a wristband that got us in for free. Last night's event was a make up date for a twice rained out event, not sure why the other guy didn't need his wristbands any longer but his generosity saved us $35.00 each.

After getting the wristbands and smiling at our good fortune, we talked a bit with the Amsoil guy and I bought a couple of things from him. Usually we just BS a bit and keep on walking but I wanted to try their gas stabilizer and their 2-stroke oil. Their products are expensive but seem to work really well, so I'll try it out. Amsoil being a primary sponsor of USAC racing always do a drawing for a couple of fans to watch the race from the infield. Rick and I both filled out the forms and I had my name pulled so we got to watch the main feature right by the winner's circle. We got to talk to the winner after the race for a couple of minutes and Rick and I each got a tee shirt out of the deal - not that I needed another tee shirt, but this one's a bit out of the ordinary.

Great night at the races. Thanks to USAC, Amsoil, the unknown wristband donor, and all the drivers for putting on a great show.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Corn's Gone


Farmer Zach showed up yesterday and picked the corn. It's definitely Fall if he's picking corn. That's a sign that I need to keep busy getting things done around the shack and working on some things in the shop before I need to run the heater when I go out there. I was planning on going back out to the shop yesterday and work on the trials bike but the Missus decided her life would be much more pleasant if some of the furniture got re-arranged. So I moved furniture rather than worked in the shop, but as Scarlett said: "Tomorrow is another day".


The Harvest Moon. Photo taken from the same vantage point as the combine photo above. Not much of a photo but now that I've got the veranda installed on the new barn, I'm planning on setting up the telescope out there occasionally and taking a good look at the moon and the stars. Should be a good place for viewing - high enough to clear most obstacles and very little "light noise." I would have set it up last evening but I still don't have a railing yet. I'm not taking any chances on falling off. Good timing on the day of the harvest, though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Trials: Education, Government Waste & Motorcycles

Here's a couple of things from Monday's Wall Street Journal:

There was an advertisement for the XQ Super School Project. I'd never heard of this outfit before. I went to the website and looked around but only briefly. Looks to be a project to create the high schools of the future. STEM seems to be the main focus and they appear to have some serious funding behind them. I need to talk to my buddy Kevin about this next time I see him. I think he's been involved with one of the schools that has partnered up with XQ. While I certainly agree there needs to be changes to the high school model, I'm a bit wary of buying in to any outside group with a lot of cash without knowing where the money is coming from and what the agenda is.

The second item was an advertisement from the Open The Books organization. This was a two page ad that had an open letter to President Trump on one page and a list of 100 examples of government waste on the second page. The examples are quite interesting: Mistakes and Improper Payments Distributed By 20 Federal Agencies - $1.2 Trillion for fiscal years 2004 - 2017, 35,212 Federal Lawyers - $4.8 Billion for fiscal year 2017, and my favorite, Payments To Gay Mexican Prostitutes For Safe Sex - $53,419 for fiscal year 2015. That right there is why we have the 10th amendment to the Constitution. I really don't think that's the type of thing the Federal Government should be involved with - especially when they have to put their hand in my pocket to pay for it. Hit the link and check out the list for yourself and then look at your pay stub. Imagine how much better it could be if your contribution to the Fed hadn't been wasted.


On a note closer to home, I got out into the shop yesterday and worked a bit on the trials bike. Surly had taken a look-see while I was in Alaska and made some suggestions. He's thinking the photo above is the right look. We're pretty much in agreement as to what needs to be done, so I started changing some things around. I now have the bike set up for a large battery. If I get a smaller battery I can change the width of the battery box and move it up a couple of inches which will allow me to move the fender forward. I found the specs for a small one on line that is 3/4" narrower and 7/8" shorter. That should make a big difference in the fender placement so I'll see about buying one in the next couple of days, cut the old battery box out, make a new one up and get it tacked in. Once I've got that, finish mounting the rear fender.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Racewalking

I did a 3K racewalk yesterday morning. There were two women who took off and left everyone else in their dust right out of the gate. I've been beaten by the one on at least one previous occasion, and since I hadn't trained for this event, I figured the outcome was going to be the same this time. Yep, no different. I'd never seen the other lady before but she was clearly in a class by herself. She had the real goofy looking racewalk form down pat and was stepping out. I came in as the first male finisher which also put me as first in my age group - 50 and up. My running buddy got a second place in her age group. Pretty good morning for the two of us. Actually, it was a real good morning to just be out. Temps were in the high 50's about starting time with clear skies. Pleasant relief from the record setting heat earlier in the week.

I was supposed to go to a baseball game my grandson was playing in later in the afternoon but I got a frantic call from my running buddy about the time I was getting ready to go. The guy who was lined up to wrap hands and work the corner for a couple of the fighters from the gym couldn't make it, so I went to the fights instead of the ball game. I enjoy the fights and I don't mind helping out, but I don't want it to be interfering with my grandpa duties. The Missus went to the game and the grandson has a few more coming up. I'll be sure to make a few of them before the season is over.

Got some good news the other day about the Missus - her cancer is still in remission, so that's a relief. I go for a stress test in about a month to find out how I'm doing. Should be just fine. That was part of the reason for the racewalk - studying for my stress test. Actually that was the first run/racewalk my running buddy and I have done all year. I'm going to try and get at least one more in this year. Lot different from a few years back when my buddy Kevin and I agreed to do at least one per month. I think I got in 13 and he did 15. If I remember correctly, two of those were half marathons. Put a lot of miles in that year but those days are over. I track my resting heart rate and it's about where I like it to be, indicating that I'm in fairly decent shape. No reason to over do it. 

Chilly last night. Winter's not too far off. Time to get a few more things done outside yet this year and make some more travel plans. I got my tourism books from California and Nevada. Going to have to sit down with Cuzzin Ricky and see what we come up with so I can get states number 48 & 49 in the books. 

Have a good week.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Goodbye Old Paint


I got a call from the neighbor yesterday - needed some help bleeding the brakes on the old Dodge. That's done so I can move it down the road now. He wants me to make a project for him - so no actual cash exchange, just another project to work on.

I got the job for the Missus done Wednesday evening. Had some welding and machining both on that one. Had to ream the ID on some tubing so another piece of tube would fit inside it. Then I had to mill some slots in one end of the tubes and fit a collar like on a bicycle seat post to pinch the tube that goes inside. Then weld the new tubes on a cart to replace the old ones. It was a little more than I wanted to take on at the present time, but now Momma's happy. And that's always a good thing.

Speaking of Momma, she told me the other day of a school here in Indiana that served a couple of breadsticks as the main entrée in their cafeteria for lunch. When the parents complained, they were told that there was cheese sauce the students could have to give them some protein with their meal. I had a similar conversation with the lunch lady at the high school one time - made her cry in fact. I felt real bad about that, but you can't defend breadsticks and nacho cheese sauce as a healthy lunch no matter what you say, or the federal guidelines say.

Last but not least, I got a haircut and an honest to goodness barber shop shave the other day. A former student of mine attended barber college and I saw that he was working not too far from the college so I stopped in and got the works. Nice haircut, trimmed up the beard and got a shave with the hot towel treatment both before and after the shave. The young man did a real fine job and gave me the senior discount. It's always nice to see my former students making good. He's looking to open his own shop locally as soon as he gets a few bucks ahead. I hope so. Nice young man.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Harvest Time & The Grim Reaper


Ran into a bit of a snag on the brake repair on the Dodge. I got the rubber hose fixed but when my ace helper started pumping the pedal to get the line bled, something above started dripping down. Looks like one of the hard lines I had to unhook decided to leak as well. There are two lines running side by side to each other, both are vinyl coated except where the spacer block goes and that appears to be where the leak is coming from. I decided to bail out and just take it to my neighbor. He does good work at reasonable rates and I won't have to worry about the new owner having an issue.

Monday was Constitution Day. It would be awfully nice if those in Congress actually knew what was in the Constitution and tried to uphold it. The federal government is supposed to have very limited powers. Things in this country would probably run much smoother, and more economically, if the majority of the powers remained with the states as things were meant to be. Hillsdale College has a free course on the Constitution. I'm planning on taking it this winter. A democratic republic requires an informed citizenry.


It's harvest time - they're picking corn all around my neighborhood which means a lot of big, slow moving farm vehicles on the roads. Plus, the County tried to convert most of the paved roads around here back to gravel by covering the roads with those damn tar & chips. Be careful out there, especially those of you who ride. You turn onto a side road and you can find yourself in loose gravel where there used to be nice pavement.


Yesterday was the 48th anniversary of the death of Jimi Hendrix - long time ago now. When I first started teaching I was at a regular comprehensive high school in the inner city. They held a battle of the bands that was open to the community. I went because some of my students were playing. A guy showed up to play that was dressed just like Hendrix. This was probably '76 or '77. Big bell bottoms, head band - pretty much just like the photo of Hendrix above - the cat could play pretty much like Hendrix as well. Picking with his teeth, playing behind his head, the whole deal. I don't think I ever knew who the guy was and I never heard or saw him again, but he sure could play.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Not My Idea of Fun


I've got the old Dodge sold to a former student and one of our first Golden Glove champs. The deal is I'm going to swap out the tires from the Dodge to the Ford and then he can come get it. The Dodge tires have a more aggressive tread pattern and since I'll be commuting this winter again, I'd prefer those tires on the Ford. They both have about the same mileage on them and they're the same size, so why not? I cut him a righteous deal on the truck, explained about the tires and the other things that need some work, so all is good. Except when I went down to pick up the garbage can the other night the brake hose on the left front decided to call it quits. Damn! At least it was in the driveway and not about the first stop the new owner was making out on the highway.

I decided to work on it out in the drive by my shop rather than pulling into the new barn and taking a chance on running it into the back wall. The weather here of late has been ideal and we've got a few more nice days forecast as well. First off, the rims were rusted onto the hubs. Some Blaster and a few whacks with a big hammer broke them loose, however. Why the tire places can't put a little grease around the hub and some never-seize on the studs is beyond me. Anyway, the rest of the job went about as you would expect for something covered in rust and brake fluid. I did manage to get the bleeder screw out without incident - patience being the key here. I soaked it with Blaster, tapped it a few times, then clamped a good pair of Vise Grips on it and tapped those with a hammer. I repeated this a few more times, then called it a day. Came out in the morning, sprayed, tapped and out she came. That Blaster is good stuff.

I've got a back brake that's hanging up. I'm going to see if I can get the truck over to the neighbors and have him bleed things and while it's on the lift, check the back brake and maybe take the tires off to do the swap depending on what he's got going on. The new owner says he can take care of the back brakes but I'd feel better if I knew what he was going to have to deal with. If it's something big, I'll knock a couple more bucks off the price of the truck.

I finished up the decking on the barn veranda the other day and got a few other little things done outside. I've got some painting to do and this is great weather for that. I'd actually prefer that to dealing with the old rust-bucket Dodge. Always something but could be worse.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cannon Ball

I got a phone call late Tuesday evening that the Motorcycle Cannon Ball Run was coming through Indiana not too far from my place. I had to work yesterday but my boss was kind enough to cover my class for about 45 minutes so I could sneak out early and check out the bikes when they stopped at Kersting's in North Judson. I'm not sure how many bikes are entered in the Rally but there were at least 50 while I was there. Everything had to be pre-1929. There were a bunch of Harleys and Indians, Hendersons, Excelsiors, a couple of Brough Superiors and single cylinder Triumphs. Mostly solo rigs but a couple of sidecars in the mix. One of the hacks had a wicker chair on it - that was cool.

I had ridden my bike to work but wasn't sure if it would be worth riding over there, so I didn't take a camera with me. Bad call on my part. But it was a great day to be out on a motorcycle. I've only ridden my motorcycle a few times this year but after seeing all the old bikes in the Rally, I was thinking that would be a real fun deal. I'd like to do a trip to California but the Missus is going to veto that one. She doesn't care much for me commuting, in fact. I've been fortunate to travel quite a bit the last few years, so I'm not going to press my luck on the motorcycle trip but I've been thinking of making that trip for the last 50 years. I do think that she'd be OK with something like what Moto Quest offers as long as it was a group ride.

I did run into a few guys that I hadn't seen in a while at the Rally stop. It was nice catching up with those guys - something to be said for being retired. One of the guys I saw was also the guy who was kind enough to give me the heads-up about this deal. He's also one of the guys I rode the Cowboy Trail with this summer. We talked a bit about doing another bicycle ride as well as a trip to the  Barber Museum. That's a place I need to get to. They have a vintage weekend coming up soon but I've got too many things going on right now to try and make that. But from what I understand, it's a must see place.

The folks from Janus motorcycles were there as well, by the way. Not too far from their place, actually. Would have been a lovely day to be out on one of their little bikes.

Glad I went. Best of luck to all the entrants. Wish I was riding along.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Get Lean - Read a Book - Buy New Jeans




"Go without a coat when it's cold; find out what cold is. Go hungry; keep your existence lean. Wear away the fat, get down to the lean tissue and see what it's all about. The only time you define your character is when you go without. In times of hardship, you find out what you're made of and what you're capable of. If you're never tested, you'll never define your character.

                                                                   - Henry Rollins


September is National Preparedness Month. When we went to the midget race the other day, I would say the majority of the people in attendance were definitely not in any shape to do much of anything of a hard, physical nature. However, this is the kind of event that attracts a lot of typical old guys, so you wouldn't expect a lot of lean, mean characters in that demographic. Many of them I'm sure were veterans who have been tested in the past, however, and have defined their character in battle. Definitely guys I would want in my corner, but it sure wouldn't hurt if we all hit the gym occasionally. Especially since today is 9/11. Good time to remember what can happen at anytime. I saw a television commercial put out by the State of Illinois about getting a kit together for disaster preparedness the other day. If I lived in Illinois, first of all I'd be looking at moving, but I definitely wouldn't be looking to the government for any help during a time of disaster. We'll see how the people on the east coast are doing in a few days if Florence progresses inland as they say it will.

When you hit the gym and get yourself lean you're going to need some new jeans. I came across the Texas Jean Company here the other day. Jeans made in America at a reasonable price. I lost some weight this summer preparing for my bike ride and for health reasons so I'm in the market for a couple of pair of new jeans myself. I'm going to order a pair or two and check them out. 

September is also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. If you want to be truly prepared, you need to take control of your health and get checked out. Prostate cancer is 100% treatable if detected early.

National Read a Book Day was Sept. 6th. I'm a little behind on promoting that one but I have been reading some books. I'm on number 16 for the year - nothing like I've been doing the last five years or so but I was planning on taking the year off. I just finished the The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. It's the story of him and his brother following the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by a team of mules - good story, highly recommemded. I'm also about two-thirds of the way through Sex, Lies & Handlebar Tape. The story of bicycle racer Jacques Anquetil, the first five time winner of the Tour de France. Interesting story, worth reading if you're a cyclist.

I think I've got most of the bases covered as far as disaster preparation goes now. I'm always reading trying to keep my mind sharp. I hit the gym, ride my bike and walk on a regular basis. I've got some extra food and water, along with candles, flashlights, batteries, etc. I've also got some extra dog and cat food, plus some kitty litter. Hopefully I'll never need any of the emergency supplies but if nothing else, they're a hedge against inflation.

Remember 9/11, and all the people who have experienced losses in the wildfires and other natural disasters lately, and all those preparing for the approaching hurricane out east. on the home front, get ready for whatever comes our way.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Pie "R" Square

Usually the punch line is pie are round, cornbread are square. This time pie are rectangle. The Missus made a grape pie for me as she usually does when the grapes are ripe. This time, for what ever reason, she tried a little something different and made it like you would apple slices or something. I'm certainly not one to complain where pie is concerned, so I've been working my way through it. I will say the filling is a little thicker this time so if that was what she was working on, mission accomplished. Even though it's not quite as pretty as the round ones usually are, it's every bit as tasty.

I got some help yesterday from a few of the big strong guys from the boxing gym setting the veranda up. Everything went fairly smoothly until it was standing up about seven inches too high! Apparently when I wrote my measurement for the height of the legs, I had meant to go from the top of the deck surface rather than the bottom. I assembled the frame of the deck on the floor of the barn and then stood it up out of the way. I wrote my number down and put an arrow on there but when I took it outside and flip it around, I went off the wrong side. I thought about double checking it since it had been a year but like a dumbass, I went ahead and put it together. A little embarrassing, to say the least.

I got the legs chopped off without any mishaps and the whole thing is up and plumb, so all is good now. It didn't actually take that long to fix my screw-up. After standing it up and discovering my mistake, I decided I'd take a break, eat lunch and address the issue later. I already had a pretty good idea on how to handle it prior to going in for lunch, but it cases such as these it's often better to take a step back and think about it a bit. Fortunately, not only do I have enough tools to build things, I've got enough tools to fix even a major screw-up like this one. I had it finished a couple of hours later. All it took was some planking, cribbing, two floor jacks, a circular saw and some layout tools - gave me some practice for later on when I have to cut the top of the posts to length after I get the railing finalized.

The weather is supposed to be good this upcoming week. Maybe I can  get the back corner posts and the decking on one of the nice days.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rockabilly


Hard to beat some classic rockabilly! If memory serves me correctly, Surly and I saw Carl Perkin's coat in a little museum right next door to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel many a year ago - right up there with seeing Elvis's K Model in Niagara Falls and some of the other arcane things we've seen over the years.

Made it back to work this week. I was a little happier leaving the school in the afternoon than I was at six AM when the alarm went off. It's a small class and it looks like my substitute got them started off on the right foot. Should be painless enough in spite of the fact that I'm back to setting an alarm clock a couple days per week.

Off to Indy today for the midget race with Cuzzin Ricky. Should be a great show. I cancelled out the bicycle ride I was planning on riding with my saddle pal on the 16th. I just didn't want to devote the time to training when I have other things much more pressing that I should be attending to. Not so pressing that I'm going to stay home from Indy, however. Hopefully it'll be a bit cooler today, we've had temps in the 90's of late.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

"Ketchup"


Still trying to get back on track after the Alaska trip. Between the time difference and catching up on the chores, not much to report on. Mowed the grass twice since I've been home, including putting on a new set of blades. Made a big dent in the mail and magazine pile. Went to a party for my brother's 50th wedding anniversary - very nice by the way. Got a chance to see some family I don't see too often and a couple of our neighbors from when we were growing up. One of them a pretty spry 96 years of age. Also fixed up a bicycle for one of my former students and as a bonus, sold him my old pickup. I need to swap the tires out with the new one before he takes possession, but I've got a few other things in line ahead of that.

Got a dentist appointment this week, going to the midget race in Indy, going back to work again, and I've got a few guys lined up to help me stand the barn veranda up on Saturday as long as the weather co-operates and I've got a job to do for the Missus that's getting to be a priority. So that pretty well fills up the dance card for this week.

I've got a few more things I need to tend to before the weather starts closing in. A bit of painting, some more yard work and a bit of lumberjackin', along with finishing up the veranda when I get it stood up. I need to get the decking and the posts installed at least, then I can make the railing and the gate at my leisure.  Surly made a few suggestions on the Rickati project that are pretty good. Hopefully I can squeeze a bit of time in for that project before long as well.

I read that the average life expectancy for a man in the US is 83. As of today I'm counting backwards from 15. Not much time when you think about it.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Alaska Wrap Up





The trip inside Denali was the highlight of the trip, as you would expect. It's millions of acres of unspoiled wilderness and home to the Big 5 of Alaskan game: grizzly bear, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and wolf. I saw four out of the five. No wolf, but they said the wolf is rarely seen from a tour bus. The bus driver kept a tally of what we saw and said we saw 16 grizzly bears. Our total count was 22, if I remember correctly, but she said some of them were the same bears coming out as we saw going in. She's the expert, so I'll go with that. We also saw lots of moose and caribou, one lone Dall sheep initially, but later on a bunch of about ten or twelve. We also saw a ptarmigan, golden eagle, trumpeter swans, magpies, a harrier hawk, and probably others that I can't recall at the moment.

The top photo is the cabin we stayed in, aptly named Denali Cabins. Nice little place to stay for the three of us. They had a shuttle that picked us up from the train station and it was where the tour bus for the Back Country Adventure picked us up. The Talkeetna Lodge was the nicest place we stayed but the Comfort Inn in Anchorage was also nice - just nothing out of the ordinary other than the stuffed grizzly bear and animal mounts adorning the walls in the lobby. The Talkeetna Lodge also had a stuffed grizzly on display. This one was shot by a ten year old girl with a Remington Model 70 in .375 Holland & Holland. She had her shoulder outfitted with some type of armor to absorb the recoil. That's a pretty incredible young lady that could do that. But that's Alaska. No shortage of incredible stories or people up there.

Other than the airfare, everything except the bus tour was included as part of the train fare. It wasn't cheap but all we had to spend our money on once we got to Alaska was meals and souvenirs. The Comfort Inn had a complimentary breakfast, so we got three breakfasts on the house. The train offers several options for tours. We booked "Just the Basics" and I would definitely recommend taking it, especially if time is limited. We booked an extra day in Anchorage at the start of the trip but I wouldn't do that if going back. Our flight out at the end of the trip didn't depart until 11:15 PM, so we had a full day to sight see and buy souvenirs after already seeing the downtown. I would like to take one of the flightseeing trips up there. Our last day was a beautiful day - would have been a good day for it. I have no idea what that would have cost but since the weather is always pretty sketchy that time of the year, you'd have to just wait and see on the weather until you got there.

All in all, great trip. I don't normally spend a lot of time with the one cousin, so it was good spending some time with him. Cuzzin Ricky and I are always traveling together but normally it's just a quick overnite trip to the races if it's not just an out and back. Now we'll have something new to talk about on our trips. The staff on the railroad and everyone we came in contact with were all friendly and helpful. Our driver on the Denali bus, Missy, was fabulous.

I just briefly looked at a couple of the tours Moto Quest is offering. I also looked up a trip to Ireland and sent away for a visitor's guide to Nevada and California. I'm not sure what's next on the travel agenda but as long as I'm going to teach a few more classes, might as well spend that money on travel.

Enjoy your holiday. It's for all of us working stiffs. I don't do much anymore but I already put my 50 years in. Be safe and have fun.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Anchorage




Made it home from Alaska on Wednesday afternoon. It was a great trip. We got to see a bit of the "Last Frontier" while on the train and on the bus trip in Denali National Park. Anchorage is like most big cities, at least while we were there. I imagine it'll change a bit once the weather starts turning and the tourists go home. That'll be coming up pretty quick they say. The train will stop running the daily excursions in about two weeks and the lodge in the park will do likewise. The lodge where we had lunch on the bus ride is at the end of the road 92 miles from the park entrance. The first 15 miles are paved and then it turns to gravel. The gravel is pretty well maintained but I would think keeping it in good shape is a never ending chore.

There were shuttle busses running most everywhere you wanted to go around town, so transportation wasn't an issue. We caught the Ulu Factory shuttle right next to our hotel and it dropped us off uptown right next to the visitor's center. On the second day of the trip Cousin Kirk and I were discussing what to do next when a shuttle from the Harley dealer pulled up. We decided to give that a go and off we went with Eddie at the wheel. Eddie's a retired firefighter from Anchorage and is a couple of years younger than me. He gave us the guided tour of the bike shop and cracked jokes along the way.




The shop had some nice used bikes on display as well as the new inventory. They also store bikes for customers over the winter. The prices on the new bikes seemed higher than what you would pay here in Indiana but I'm not an expert on any of the new bikes but it would be easy enough to get the MSRP off the internet and compare. As we were leaving the HD dealership, I just happened to look across the parking lot and noticed the Motoquest shop. 

There was an article in Motorcyclist magazine about them that I had read just a few days before leaving. I had considered looking the place up and then it just fell into my lap. I ran over there and talked to a nice young lady who answered a few of my questions and put me on the e-mail list. I've never done a long distance bike tour and they do tours in 20 different countries and rent bikes for solo tours as well. I'm going to check into that and see what's available. The Missus is not real comfortable with me setting out on my own on a bike tour but I might be able to get her to buy in on a group tour. She's very understanding of my wanderlust, but there is a limit. I don't want to push that limit - there's still a few other places I want to go.

Now that I've got my laundry done, the grass mowed and the litter box emptied out, I'll post a few more photos from the trip tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Denali


I doubt seriously we'll be able to see the mountain as clearly as this due to the weather conditions but we're planning on taking a tour bus that'll get us out on that road. Should be a great experience regardless of the weather.

We've got a couple of days here and then it's board the train back to Anchorage and home from there. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Talkeetna

Now the real fun begins - Alaska Railroad to Denali after a stopover in Talkeetna.


Looks like my kind of town. I don't know if I could live in Alaska. There must be some attraction to it or there wouldn't be towns like Talkeetna. They say making it through your first winter will tell the tale. I could probably get a gig teaching welding some place up there if I was seriously considering moving - a gelato stand in Italy would probably be more to my liking at this stage of my life. I've always admired Richard Proenneke in the movie Alone in the Wilderness, however. If you're an adventurous soul you should see that movie if you haven't already.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Anchorage


Catching the train northbound tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


North to Alaska - I can check number 47 off the list now. California, Nevada and Hawaii are the remaining three. I might get one of those yet this year and hopefully one next year. I want to go to Bonneville which is right on the Nevada border and not too far away from Ely, where there is a steam train I'd like to ride. I'll concentrate on Alaska for the moment.

Monday, August 20, 2018

English Trials Bike


Saw this one on the Villiers Engine group on Facebook. This is the look I'm shooting for with mine. I was figuring I'd have to get a seat made up but I might be able to find something like the one pictured here off the shelf. Everything else has pretty much fallen into place now that I've got the aluminum fenders.

I finished packing for my trip after I drilled the rivets out to take the wheels and handle off. The first one was a little tricky but after I saw what I was up against, no problem-o! I put some 8-32 screws thru the holes to maintain the integrity of the suitcase and there I was - good to go. I'll save the wheels and handle to put back on after I get home.

I had a couple of more lag bolts to put in the barn veranda that I couldn't get at on Saturday. I jacked the assembly up a bit to get clearance for a drill under it and finished bolting that up. I'll see about standing it up after I get back from Alaska.

School starts at the college this week. I'm going to work one day and then call off until after Labor Day. Ordinarily I'd be ashamed of myself for something like that but the trip was already arranged before I got the call to come back to work. I'm starting to get nervous about the trip - a good nervous but nervous just the same. I've got a couple days yet to check and double check my gear as well as getting a few more things done around the shack before I go. Should be a great experience.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Veranda


Barn veranda's ready for lift off. I got a little help in the morning yesterday moving the platform out of the barn where it's been parked for about a year. Now I need to round up some help to stand it up and I'll be able to finish it. I haven't quite decided on the details of the railing but I'll come up with a solution after I get the platform up, install the flooring and the corner posts. Not quite ready to be sipping mint juleps on the veranda, but a decent step forward yesterday.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mostly Education Post


One of my favorites from the Band as performed by Aretha. Like most of us, she had her share of ups and downs, but she had a good run.

I read in the Wall Street Journal that France is banning cell phones from schools until high school age. I personally think that's a great idea. It's hard enough to keep students on task as it is. No point in adding to their distractions. Also I read in the paper that New York University is offering free tuition to medical students. The Home Depot founder gave 100 million to help underwrite the cost. That in itself is pretty impressive. And staying in the education vein, or maybe in vain, I decided to check in on Doug Stowe at The Wisdom of the Hands blog.

I haven't been reading him of late, mostly because I'm not currently involved in education and I'm not in a position to fix any of the current problems in education, even if I was so inclined. I'm pretty happy not having my blood pressure spike reading about all the silliness that is the current state of affairs. However, Doug Stowe is always a voice of reason, offering not only well deserved criticism but excellent suggestions that would go a long way towards fixing the problems if people in charge would implement them. I should start reading him on a daily basis like I used to.

I'm going to try and get some work done on the barn veranda today. I need a little muscle moving the platform and the columns. Hopefully, I can get that taken care of this morning and I can then fasten everything together on my own after I get them staged in place. After I get that accomplished I'll need to get some help once again to raise the platform up into place. I'll finish the floor and railings after I get it up in the air.

The Missus hit me up with a job on her walker. It's a roll around thing that she bought at a garage sale or something but she needs me to modify it a bit. Depending on how the weekend goes, I might be able to get that knocked out, or at least get a healthy start on it.

I checked with the airline on the luggage requirements for the Alaska trip. The carry-on bag can be no taller than 22" x 14" W x 9" D. My bag is that size exactly except for the height. With the wheels it's 2" too tall. A checked bag is $25.00 each way. I can get everything I need in the bag except my jacket - I might be able to squeeze that in if I use one of the plastic "shrink wrap" bags on some of the other stuff in the bag. I'm going to try that first but we we're talking about taking a larger piece of luggage for the bulky items and splitting the cost. Either way, I think I'm going to drill the rivets out holding the wheels on my bag and then it'll be good as a carry-on.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Well, Well, Batman!


I picked up the rest of  the blocks to finish up the well project yesterday. The Missus suggested putting a bucket over the actual well and then fill the brickwork with dirt and make it a flower bed. That was pretty much where I was headed with this thing, so I'm glad we're in agreement there. I need to get the rest of the dirt around the well cleaned up and leveled off and plant some grass seed to repair the yard and then that'll be taken care of.

The big tall tree in the background is the willow that had the branch break off the other day. I had gotten most of the clean up taken care of with my little electric chainsaw but I still had a piece that was connected but broken about 20 feet up. Cuzzin Ricky brought over a "chainsaw on a stick" that allowed me to drop the remaining limb and trim up a couple other trees in the yard while I had it here.

I went to see the travel agent yesterday to finalize the details of the Alaska trip. Starting to get excited about that. Rick and I were talking about a couple other trips in the future as well. I talked to my boss while I was out running errands and told him if he wants me to teach a couple more classes he might have to find me a sub for a couple of days. He said no problem - he's just real happy I'm coming back. He wants me to teach the Fab class this spring semester, so I posed the idea of building a trailer in the class along with a few other things like I did last time. He's good with that as well. That's one of the reasons I like working there - everything's always so easy. No BS, lots of freedom to teach the class as I see fit.

And last but not least, I was awoken by a bat buzzing around the bedroom about 2:30 Monday night. I was just thinking the other day it was about time for one to show up. We seem to get one in the house every couple of years. I have no idea how they get in. Maybe fly through the door while we're letting the dog in or out. You'd think we'd notice a bat buzzing by one of us but I don't know. I've pretty well perfected the process of getting them back out of the house but I don't like them buzzing by me in the middle of the night. Maybe I watched too many Dracula movies when I was a kid but they're way too spooky for me.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tenderloin!


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!

Salem

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

Bolts

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.