Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Tee Shirt Tuesday #41


Last week's shirt was one I didn't have and this week it's one from an event I signed up for but didn't compete in. That's a pretty rare event for me but my running buddy and I had signed up for the run before Bazooka Joe won the Indy Golden Gloves. Joe and I had to leave for the national tourney in Louisiana on the morning of the event, so I made arrangements to get my shirt picked up and called it good. Going to be heading out to Tulsa soon for another national tourney. By the way, Bazooka Joe fought last Saturday night with the same outcome as he had in Louisiana, split decision loss with many folks thinking Joe was the victor.

I got an email from my brother from a different mother the other day. He said he was rummaging around in his garage looking for something and came across these collectors he used to run on his Camaro at the drag strip back in the day - that day being 1978. I made these to his specs and he said they worked well. He got his best mph with these on the car. I've been making parts for a long time.

I finished machining the coupler for the upper radiator hose on the jitney the other day. Quite pleased with how it came out.

Finished hose looks good. Should work as intended also. About time to see about making some header tubes, along with a ton of other things on the car and around the shack. 

Had a delightful visit from a former student and his wife the other day. He's a railroader, both professionally and as a hobbyist, so I sent a care package home with him with some of my stuff. In addition to being time to finish projects, it's also time to downsize a bit. I'll go through some more of my railroad stuff and put another box together for him. He can pick through it, keep what he wants, pass the rest along to some of his railroading buddies, or throw it in the firebox of the locomotive he's been involved with.


Brief political item to chew on: The senate passed a bill over the weekend that spends a pile of money that will be printed out of thin air on the pretext it will reduce inflation. While I appreciate the humor in their naming of the bill, what I don't find especially humorous is the fact the bill contains funding to hire 87,000 IRS personnel. Especially since I read "The IRS has stockpiled five million rounds of ammunition and spent $725,000 on bullets this year". They planning on collecting taxes at gun point now?

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Hose Job

 I took the wife to the dentist Thursday to get her implant taken care of. The chemotherapy did a number on her teeth, so she got a bridge with a couple of posts to hold it in place. They gave her some dope to take 1-1/2 hours before the appointment and some more when she got there. She didn't feel a thing but she couldn't be left alone for the rest of the day, so no shop work. However, while she was getting worked on in the dentist' chair, I went next door to the tavern to get a sandwich, since I hadn't eaten anything all morning. 

Bar food is not the thing a vegetarian would normally pursue but I had some fish and chips with a side of coleslaw and a draft beer. The food was really good and as a bonus, there was a baseball game on. I've pretty much given up on the sport of baseball, but it was the Cubs versus the Cards in St Louis, and it was a day game - something that seems to be a rarity these days on a weekday. 

As a school teacher with summers off, if I wasn't working I'd try to catch a few Cubs' day games during the summer - since they didn't have lights, there were a lot of them. They were always on Channel 9 out of Chicago and I grew up with them. The early days it was Jack Brickhouse on the play-by-play with "The Good Kid" Lou Boudreau, later Harry Caray. Brickhouse broadcast not only the Cubs games but also the White Sox, Bears, Bulls, and the occasional boxing match. Before the internet and cable television if you wanted to watch sports in the Chicago area, it was Channel 9, WGN. I don't even know where I would look to watch a Cubs or Sox game on television anymore and I'm not planning on trying to find one. I did enjoy sitting on the bar stool watching the game the other day though. 

Since I got the upper radiator hoses for the jitney, I decided to get the connector to couple the two of them together done. It's about 90% finished. I'll finish it up today.

If I was planning on making a few more hose fittings, I'd make myself one of these. It would make short work of putting a bead on radiator hose fittings. Looks like it would be easy enough to do.

I need a redo on the alternator bracket I made. I made a piece for that yesterday while I had the collet chuck in the lathe. It won't take too long to finish the rest of it. I should get that done today as well. As soon as I get those two items finished, I'll bolt on the plates for the header and start thinking about what I need to do there. I also can't postpone finishing up the steering much longer. Things are taking shape.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Made In China


I'm sure all of you have heard about Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan in order to deflect interest from her husband's DUI hearing. Might as well risk WWIII rather than have anyone focus any attention on her millionaire hubby, right? However, there's a serious problem with that. Damn near anything you want or need comes from China. If we can throw an embargo on Russia, why can't the Chinese do the same to us? I won't be at all surprised if the Chinese retaliate in some way. In the photo are three items I purchased recently, all of which came from China.

This is the third time I've bought a 10 pack of those socks. They're comfortable, fit well and wear like iron. I should have probably bought another 10 pack when I ordered them - since I don't know for sure if they'll be available when I need them next time.

Heavy duty adhesive bandages in the one inch wide version. I'm pretty well set on first aid supplies, however, I read the other day that 70% of all medicines in the USA come from China. I take a couple of prescription medications but if I was to follow a strict diet, I probably wouldn't have too much need for them. I'm back exercising on a regular basis and my weight's pretty close to where it needs to be, so if the medicines quit coming, it probably wouldn't be a matter of life and death for me. Might shorten the life span but who knows how long I've got anyway. If your situation is more dire, you might want to talk to your physician to see about getting some extra you can squirrel away.

The moth traps are for keeping the little moths out of the flour, pancake and cornbread mix, etc. If you get these things in the house, they're a real PIA. They'll get in sealed bags and boxes and leave little moth turds and eggs in your grits. If you want to stock up on flour and similar items which you definitely should do if you haven't already, you need to store them in a container that's impervious to them. I store my waffle mix in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. You can get 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids that snap on tightly but have a screw on cover with a gasket. Good place to keep your rice and beans. I've got one of those with a small bag of dog and cat food in it.

The almond milk doesn't come from China, is not bothered by pantry moths and has a decent shelf life. This quart has a best use-by date of next April. If you want milk on your cereal after the Chinese have nuked the big cities, it would be nice to have some almond milk on the shelf - no refrigeration necessary. There is always powdered milk like the Carnation brand but I would imagine the moths might take a shine to that. That, plus the fact that it's pretty watery when mixed makes the almond milk look much better in the bowl of granola. Almond milk also has more calcium than cow's milk. I don't drink it by the glass full but I don't drink cow's milk that way anymore either.

Get your preps in order. Even if you won't need the extra food to deal with some type of natural disaster or act of war, might as well have things on the shelf before the price goes up again. There are plenty of resources available at the library and on the internet to get you started preparing. If you haven't yet, make a personalized list of things you'll need if the power goes out and you need to hunker down. If you commute beyond a reasonable walking distance from your house, get a survival bag in your vehicle as well. Around here I can't keep water in the truck in the winter time due to its freezing, but I've got a bag with a couple of bottles I throw in the truck when the temps fall.  

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Trailer Thoughts


I spent a few minutes the other day looking at the old boat trailer again. The suspension has two coil springs, shock absorbers, a panhard bar to keep the axle centered and two control arms that the axle pivots on for its up and down movement. The control arms and the panhard bar have rubber bushings in the ends of them. Those would need to be replaced as would the tires and lights. It might be a little tough to find the correct bushings but the rest of the fab work would be pretty straight forward. 

The crossmember that the top of the shocks and springs mount to sits on top of the frame rails. It's 2" thick. If I cut the other crossmembers loose and raise them up 2", I'd have an even surface to mount the decking to. Trim the back off even with the rear crossmember, take about 42" out of the tongue, weld some tie-down hooks and Bob's your uncle.

The trailer is equipped with a tilt top now. It would be easy enough to keep that function by just adding a bit of length to the ears the tongue bolts to after raising the cross member up. One piece of 5/8" or 3/4" treated plywood would take care of the deck. An 8' sheet would extend beyond the front crossmember about 16", so the sheet would need to be cut at the angle of the side rails where they taper in. Bolt a motorcycle chock in the triangular nose section, maybe wrap the nose with a short wall to protect a bike or other cargo from rocks being thrown up from the truck. I could probably bring the finished project in somewhere in the $250 - $300 range if I don't wait too long to start buying materials.

I got a little bit more done on the jitney. I'm working on getting all the engine parts mounted up so I can start building the header. Not exactly burning it up, but getting things done just the same.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Box & Belts


I got the bracket for the steering box tacked on yesterday. I bolted on the box using the top bolt as a pivot, leveled the box off the output shaft, clamped it, and then tacked welded it in place.

I also tacked on the brackets for the lap belts. I had made these up a while ago but couldn't locate them until I had the seat in place. 

The two shoulder belts are sewn together after going over my shoulders, so I'll only need one tab on the roll cage cross tube for mounting. However, I won't be able to tie down the shoulder belts until I have the roll cage done. The belts should be on a 20 degree downward angle after crossing over the shoulders. That means I'll have to cut a couple of holes in the back of the cab similar to what's in the seat. Maybe just one wide slit. Cross that bridge when I come to it.

The auto parts store had to order the radiator hose I need. Not much of a surprise there. That outfit doesn't seem to carry much inventory. I think they go by the motto "If we don't have it today, you don't need it until tomorrow." However, there's another auto parts store that just opened in town. That makes five now, so if I needed something in a hurry, I could probably find it at one of the other places. I'll get the hose and some clamps today along with the sheet for under the seat while I'm out. Steady by jerks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Elvis & Tee Shirt Tuesday #40


TCM was playing Elvis movies and a documentary yesterday. I'm not sure what the occasion was. It wasn't the anniversary of his death, that's in a couple of weeks. Surly and I, along with one of his buddies were in Memphis on the tenth anniversary of his death for a motorcycle race. The race was at Memphis Motorsports Park which had just opened that year (1987). It was hotter than the hub bolts of hell while we were there. Shade was non-existent and initially the track wouldn't allow any coolers in. With temperatures well over 100 degrees, they relented the next day and allowed fans to bring in cold drinks. After leaving the track the first day, we cooled off in the mighty Mississippi which flowed by our campground.

We were going to visit Graceland while we were in the neighborhood, but due to it being the tenth anniversary, people were lined up around the block. Much too hot to be standing on the sidewalk for just a quick peek. However, on a previous trip Surly and I stopped in Tupelo. We went to the hardware store were Elvis bought his first guitar and to the birthplace of the King. We also saw Elvis' K Model at Niagra Falls. I was in Tupelo when I bicycled the Natchez Trace trip and we stopped at the house and gift shop. When in Rome, and all that.

Elvis had it all but fame and fortune got the better of him - died at 42, so I've outlived him now by about 45 years. Don't do drugs, kids!

I'm cheating this week with the tee shirt. I don't have one of these but Surly did when he was a teenager. This was at the height of his skateboarder phase. He had a pretty wild haircut at the time as well. One side of his head was cropped close and the other side was long. We used to get some looks when we traveled.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Want A Teaching Job?


This is a screenshot that was included in a Facebook post one of my former colleagues at the high school put up the other day.  I haven't researched what someone would have to do after being hired, as far as working towards a degree or a traditional license, but apparently all you have to do to get a teaching job now is just show up. It's going to be a real interesting school year. I can't imagine all of the teaching positions being filled in the next two weeks, even if they hire any mope that shows up. These new hires won't be on the same pay scale but I don't know any of the details on the money or benefit package. Yep, going to be interesting.

Worked on getting the steering box on the jitney squared away yesterday. I made a bracket a while back but it needed a little tweaking. It hangs down below the frame rail and has two bolts for the box, but I needed to drill through the frame for the top bolt. The box is threaded for a 7/16 bolt, so I machined a spacer to weld in the frame - 7/16 ID x 5/8 OD with a 1" flange to weld around on the outside. The spacer will prevent the bolt from trying to squeeze the sides of the frame tube together. 

I'll keep picking away at things. I need to grind off a little material on the one shock/headlight mount. Need to see about getting the brake lines hooked up on the front and make a panhard rod also.