Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Some great guitar work on Working Man's Blues - not the way Merle played it but that's not a complaint. 

I went with the grandson to the college the other night. We fiddled around with a couple of the welding machines, one an older Miller and one a brand new multi process Lincoln. I was familiar with the Millers, since that was what I was using when I worked there before, the Lincolns just came in this summer. I was able to figure out how to get it set up for E-6010 electrodes without much difficulty but I'll need to check out the manual or get some flying lessons to figure out what all it will do. Felt good to be out in the shop again - funny, but about half of the instructors are former students of mine.

Not sure about the Messiah coming, but that's something that's usually glossed over when the discussion turns to prepping. Having water, food and security are certainly important but the way things are going, might want to put a little effort into getting right with God. 

Roy Buchanan is probably the most under-rated guitar player ever. He had some serious issues with alcohol and ended up hanging from his shirt in a jail cell. It was ruled a suicide but there was some speculation that he was beaten while incarcerated.

When you have some time to kill, go to YouTube and type in a search for Roy Buchanan. Lots of great stuff will come up and you'll see his mastery on the guitar, and his versatility. The cut with Johhny Otis is a dandy - the video quality stinks but I would have loved to have been in the audience.

And for something completely different, Leon Redbone. The song was playing in an old Joan Crawford movie I watched the other day. I was humming it all day long - serious earworm. You've been warned. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023



Public television had a fundraising show on the other night that featured Michael Londra traveling around Ireland. One of the gifts for you contributing was a CD of Irish music. As they were scrolling down the list of songs on the CD, I noticed a cut from The Henry Girls. My maternal grandmother was a Henry and her people came from Ireland. In fact, when I was there I saw where there was a Henry street in downtown Dublin. My curiosity got the best of me, so I looked up the song and some info on The Henry Girls.

The Henry girls are sisters but their last name is not Henry. The group is named after their grandfather Henry. I don't know if that's his family name or his given name, but I'm inclined to think it's his given name - so no relation. Regardless, the girls put out some pretty good music. Even though I got my family history book printed up, there's been some changes and more information is available on Ancestry - might have to get another six months subscription to get all of the "hints".

Not much else going on. The Missus is still sick, the weather has been less than ideal and I'm still battling a serious case of lead in my ass. I've been doing quite a bit of reading and spending less time on the computer - all that bad news has been "harshing my mellow". I'm working a plan for 2024, however. Better days are coming - just don't know when.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Brake Pads


It's December and Santa's not too far off now. I can use a little musical inspiration to get me in the Christmas spirit.

This one is rather timely what with the Missus coughing and hacking around the clock these days. Between her and the dog I'm up and down all day long. I don't mind taking care of the old girl - all part of the service - but the dog could ease up a bit. Thursday night he wakes me up about 12:30 because he wants some more food. I go back to bed and at 1:00 he's barking because he has to poop. Last evening he wants to go out but it's raining. So about every ten minutes he wants to go out but wants back in after a couple of minutes since he doesn't like the rain. He managed to do that 5 or 6 times before he gave it up.

I did make it out to the health club and the shop yesterday. I rigged up a tarp so I could run the heater so I could take the chill off the shop. After I got the taken care off, I installed the new brake pads in the front caliper on the Sportster. The pads are riveted in place, but I didn't have any trouble installing them. I started on repacking the wheel bearings as well. 

A buddy of mine called me the other night and told me about a quick-change rear he found for sale. It's about what I've been looking for but the axle studs are on a 5" bolt circle and my wheels are on a 4-3/4" bolt circle. I don't know how tough it would be to redrill them accurately, but I'm thinking seriously about calling the guy and arranging a look-see. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Seneca & Hubbard


In pursuance of some more knowledge of Stoicism, I drug out an old book by
Elbert Hubbard
that contained a chapter on Seneca, a name that always comes up in the study of Stoicism. Elbert Hubbard was quite an influential individual in his own right, having formed the Roycroft Shops and as an author. I've got several of his books, including this one: 

Book #1 of the Great Philosophers. The binding's in pretty rough shape but the book's pages are still intact. In fact the pages are a very nice quality paper, some of which are embossed with the Roycroft name and logo. I read the chapter on Seneca, and it gave a decent biography, but it didn't go very deep into his philosophy. Also, Hubbard mentioned many names of people I knew very little of or nothing at all. My education is sorely lacking when it comes to the classics. However, I'm working on expanding my knowledge at least as far as Stoicism goes - baby steps.

Those were the days, indeed. The weren't all great. Hubbard and his wife went down with the Lusitania when it was sunk by a German submarine. 

We all better be preparing for hard times. Things are only going to get worse.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Track Gang


The track gang came by this morning about 7:00. I'm still curious about the long term plans for the track. I think the only thing it services east of me is the power plant and it was scheduled to shut down a couple of years ago. There are solar fields now in place that took heaven only knows how much productive cropland out of production that was supposed to replace the electricity from the coal fired power plant. Apparently, someone's calculations were a bit off. With all the track work they're doing, they must plan on keeping the line running for at least a few more years. Since I like trains, I'm glad to see the line staying in operation, but more importantly, I'm a big fan of dependable electricity. 

I just read in the paper "Slow Joe" and company are using wartime powers to manufacture heat pumps and four other alternative energy technologies. This goes along with the war on gas stoves, water heaters and other appliances that will create increased costs in new construction and who knows what costs for existing homes and businesses. I've got no idea how this is all going to shake out but I really wish the government would back down a couple of notches on the green energy/climate change front and come up with way to balance the budget and erase some of the debt. This country is in big, big trouble on all fronts. Heat pumps aren't going to be the solution.

It's been unseasonably cold the last few days - night time temps in the teens. Between my cold and Mother Nature's cold, I haven't ventured out to the shop for a few days. I did feel well enough to go to the health club yesterday. I needed to go out anyway in search of a heated chicken waterer. Two different farm stores and all I could come up with was the bottom half of one. Fortunately, it matched the one I was replacing so I could use the old top with the new bottom. They cut me a good deal on it, so I came away satisfied.

The Missus has come down with the cold now. She's hacking, coughing and feeling like death warmed over. The grandson has it, so we had to cancel our welding lesson and the sister-in-law has got covid. I hope the cold weather has killed some of these nasty germs so the rest of the winter will be better from a health standpoint. 

In the meantime, here's a couple more shots from the AMA Museum:

Moto Guzzi cut-away and an Indian service vehicle. I enjoyed the museum visit, and now there's two others on the list to go see: Wheels Through Time in North Carolina and the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Alabama. I need to get the map out and see what kind of a trip I can put together for North Carolina that would include motorcycles, steam trains, an open wheel race or two and the Buc-Ees  Travel Center in Richmond, KY.

Sunday, November 26, 2023


 Epictetus was telling his students that there can be no such thing as being the "victim" of another. You can only be a "victim" of yourself. It's all in how you discipline your mind. Who is your master? "He who has authority over any of the things on which you have set your heart. ...What is the result at which all virtue aims? Serenity. ...Show me a man who though sick is happy, who though in danger is happy, who though in prison is happy, and I'II show you a Stoic."

I just finished reading this one. I'm looking for some help dealing with all the craziness going on in the world. The Stoic philosophy looks like it could be helpful. Of course, reading about it and implementing it are two totally different things. It's going to take some work to "get my mind right". 

I bailed out on the 5K Saturday morning - still fighting my cold and it was cold. It was only about 32 degrees at starting time and I saw no reason to suffer through the cold while hacking and coughing.

Back at the AMA Museum, a Ducati 900 SS. This one ranks right up there with a Jaguar XKE on my personal wish list. Probably should just finish up the Sportster and count my blessings.

Husky 400, but not just any Husky 400. This is the one Malcolm Smith rode in the movie On Any Sunday. I've got my Malcolm Smith signed autobiography that I haven't read yet. That's on the list for the winter.

The Triumph X75 Hurricane designed by Craig Vetter of Windjammer fairing fame. Vetter's an interesting guy. Besides the fairing business he was involved in a high mileage contest years ago. He put on a presentation at Mid-Ohio years ago that Brother Johnny and I attended. I talked to him after the presentation and explained that my high school class was involved in an annual high mileage contest and he gave me his contact information. I was hoping for a bit more money from him for sponsorship, but he did send us a little something. 

It snowed most of the day today - not cold enough to accumulate but it put a lovely coating on the pine trees. I spent most of the day sitting on my ass reading and watching old cowboy movies. I'm going to have to start moving again or I'm going to get bedsores. If it's not too cold tomorrow, I'll try to get the brake pads fiddled so I can get the Sportster front wheel bolted back up. I need to get it out of the doorway so I can close the curtain and get some heat up front. It's winter for sure now. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023


 Happy Thanksgiving one and all. Looks like it's going to be busy traveling, so be safe out there!

I'm getting over my cold after a week of hacking and coughing. I'm signed up for a 5K Saturday morning, so I'll tackle that one for sure. There's also a new event at the golf course by me tomorrow. I'd like to do that one as well but don't know if that's feasible - I'll see how I feel in the morning. 

Here's a couple more shots from the AMA Hall of Fame Museum:

Harley pumped out a lot of these things. You could buy a street bike in a couple of models as well as motors all set for competition usage, both 250 and 350 cc displacements. This one is a typical setup - spool front end, hardtail rear, solo saddle and a remote float Dellorto carb. The Bultaco and Yamaha two stroke bikes took over from the pushrod Sprints. Harley did have some two stroke single racers. Even won world championships on the road courses.

You can see Springsteen's leathers with the number 9 to the left of the photo, but this one was ridden by the other famous # 9, Gary Nixon. I would guess Nixon was probably more closely associated with the Triumph brand, but he, like most all of the professional racers of that era, raced whatever gave you the best chance at the title and paid the bills. I've got a signed photo of him racing a Kawasaki in the World Formula 750. He would have won the championship had it not been for some hinckiness with the scoring rules.

Flat track, road race and drag racing: Leo Payne's Turnip Eater. '57 Sportster powered drag racer ran 9 second elapsed times with speeds of 150 miles per hour in the quarter mile. He also set a record of 200 miles per hour at Bonneville. Somehow or another he managed to get the weight of that thing down to 300 pounds - my Sportster weighs 500 pounds wet and had a rated top speed of 111 mph. Leo knew his stuff.

I'll see about posting a couple more photos. In the meantime be thankful for all you have and Peace to all of you.