Wednesday, October 28, 2009
On to the funner project. The drive side mirror on the Bug. I got this car, with mucho help-o from the Moms - meaning she paid for it - in 1989. When I picked up the car, the drive side mirror was loose and I thought it just needed to be tightened.
Then it just plain fell off!
And revealed this ugly stripped out hole in the chrome vent window frame where it would normally snug right in. Ugly. Well, VW parts are easy to get, sure...but GOOD VW parts are not...there's a load of Brazilian and Mexican reproduction crap out there, and most of it isn't worth diddly. My German vent frame is stripped out, but otherwise good...so what to do?
How about I make a small sheet metal plate and resurface the stripped out hole and give the replacement mirror a new place to hold.
First I made a template out of a small piece of cardboard, in this case a soap box. Then I laid out the template on the scrap metal to be used for the project, here a piece of framing from a home computer, and traced out the shape to be cut.
About 5 minutes with the Dremel tool and I'm in business.
And of course...I'll need to clean up the area on the frame to receive the plug...here I've drilled and tapped the three holes and I've hammered the raised edges of the stripped out hole back flush so the plug with fit flat. A little chrome polish is next...
The template got the center hole first, and then I transfered that location to the plug, punched the hole and applied some black textured paint on the plug, two coats both sides.
And from the front...
Actually, Dad may approve. I remember on his 1964 Porsche 356C, that he had a small hole in the rear seat back, square in the center. Rather than trash the original upholstery there, he instead stitched a small Porsche patch over the hole and called it done. Like my little plate here...it solved the ugly factor, looked reasonable clean and factory, and allowed the original damaged German parts to live on for another 40 years with their secret damage hidden from all but the most trained and knowledgeable.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Anyway, been using the time off the bike to get a few projects done around the house. My house was built in 1949, and like many older houses, it has a bunch of features and character that you just don't get in newer construction. For example. We have terracotta window sills.
Which of course, have been painted a billion times...here's the worst one in our master bedroom. The plan with these nasty looking things is to strip the window sills chemically and then re caulk the windows, repair any plaster issues, seal the windowsills and then prime and paint the window openings...but this time NOT the window sills!
First off, tape the beasts. Here's that window number one, ready for the citrus stripper. You can see in the left corner there that the plaster is in rough shape, and that under the window is not very well sealed off to the outside at all.
And after...stripped cleaned caulked and plaster patched, ready for sealer and a coat of that primer and semi gloss paint I mentioned earlier. Not bad if I do say so myself. That big dark monolith to the left there is my dresser...covered in a yellow drop cloth in the previous pic.
And the same window...stripped and caulked. Here under the window sill you can see I've had to make a plaster patch as well. Turned out pretty good.
The window sill turned out great, though, and with the primer and semi-gloss paint inside the jam, it will be ready for any condensation that still may form here... but I'm hoping that will no longer be an issue.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Here are the panels in their new home, on the roof of the shed on the south side. Funny how my rain barrel always peeks into these pictures of mine.
And the brackets I fabbed up. The tabs are fashioned so that they fold back up and tuck under the shingles, where they are screwed into place and then the screw heads are sealed over with black silicone caulk, as an extra precaution. There are 6 brackets...3 on the high side of the panel array, and three on the low.
Bandwagon-itis. The Bulls 'Faithful' seem to be infected with it. Pitt has been posting phenomenal recruiting classes since DW showed up as coach, and the knock on him until this year it seems, was that he couldn't put it all together. Maybe he did? Maybe, just MAYBE, Pitt really was that much better? Why is that so hard to believe?
As for my Bulls...Leavitt teaches nasty, enthusiastic, and passionate defense. When it works, those kids will knock your teeth in and we all love it(you KNOW you do!) When it fails, or maybe when it comes half a second after the whistle, then the bandwagon starts shedding the pretenders and the "fire Jim Leavitt" starts. Senseless aggression from the bandwagoneers flexing their monitor-muscles.
I just can't say it plain enough. Jim Leavitt is not the issue. "Thugs who play dirty" are not the issue. Canales, not yet anyway, is not the issue. The issue is, the Bulls play BCS football, and there just aren't very many teams in any BCS conference that we should be gimme-stomping like clockwork. I'm upset we lost these two games, sure. But Cinci and Pitt? There's no shame there, other than the shame maybe, of being one of you bandwagoneers and listening to the pollsters who put USF at an unrealistic #2 two years ago, and #9 last year, and then senselessly freaking out when we lose a game or two to a couple damn good (and ranked) football teams.
I've been a fan of USF all my life. Not Just Football...USF! I finished my undergrad there, as did my brother and stepsister (who went on to finish medical school as well!) My parents worked a combined 69 years on faculty. I lived on campus 4 years, played in the basketball pep-band, worked for the SAFE team and held a few club offices in my time on campus. As a kid, my summer camp bus would drop me off at the administration building, back in the days before it was named after John and Grace. 6 years ago I was married on campus at the MLK trellis. I'm telling you that because I'm stressing the investment. I'm committed to USF, and I'm completely certain in my gut, that USF-football, Woolard, and Leavitt are doing what needs to be done to move the program forward.
I'm also very pragmatic in observing that it is not an automatic gimme that we become a top 10 program. You guys act like it's a matter of just getting that one recruit, that one stud, and then we'll start stomping everybody. Here's a revelation, guys...there's a stud recruit (or three! or nine!) every year for just about everybody...not just USF. Post Miami-BC-VT Big East is a moving target. You think Kelly-Edsall-Schiano don't sell their programs to recruits with the promise that their programs, just like USF, have a chance to become the Big East big-dog? USF isn't competing against teams that are staying static, you know. With the exception of Louisville, they are all nearly as good or better than they've ever been. Dropping a game here or there to another Big East program isn't as shocking as you guys play it up to be, unless again, you've been buying into the polls hook-line-and sinker.
Do I think that USF will be a national power? Heck Yeah! Do I think the program is growing up into one that can compete regularly for the title, Big East or National? Heck Yeah! Did I ever believe it would happen in 2007? 2008? This year? Not really. It would be great though. But before any of that happens, there's much more work to be done, better recruits to be landed, more upsets of ranked and better teams, and more exciting and nasty and vicious defense to enjoy...with a handful of personal fouls along the way I'm sure. I'm ready.
There's nothing wrong with the program, people. We're right in line with where we need to be. If we stomped Miami tomorrow half you fools would be humping Leavitt's leg like a Chihuahua on a throw pillow.
One more thing...knock it off with calling the kids 'thugs'. That's just plain rude.
Class of '93, '96
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Need to do the front brakes too.
And replace the front passenger marker light bulb.
And fix my sagging headliner.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Until eBay sent the orange beastie my way, that is. But when I popped open the box and took a peek at the E, the size seemed a little small, but it's a funky frame with funky geometry, so you never can tell with these things until you build them up. Built up, though, the front end seemed low, unless I was running 40mm of headset spacers under the stem. Functional, but Ugly.
So a little bar finagling, coupled with the reinstallation of the rigid fork on the white OWB, and viola! my vintage EWRs are both within a hairs whisker of each other, and still have the bar distance and height, and seat height measurements I'm looking for.
1.5" rise FSA bar from the old Cannondale Rush, and a modern Race Face 31.8 clamp stem in 120 7degree size, 15mm of spacers (and a head tube a bit smaller than the E-motion) gets me to the desired bar height and reach, and does not look like a pieced together ill-fitting cobble job.
Yup, the poor little bugger dragged the thing into the crate and proceeded to shred it! I can't say I blame him, as I'm sure the trap is a pretty frightening thing, but still. The little bugger would make a good chainsaw!
So you know what I had to do to him, right? Yup yup. Casserole.
Just kidding. Like the other raccoons I've nabbed during the cat management fiasco, I let him go, and he wandered off into the ferns in the backyard. (Which makes me wonder what else is in those ferns!)
Monday, October 12, 2009
Ever want a whitewater kayak? You know, those stubby little plastic glorified soup-spoons that so many rough and tumble Phish kids seem to crave? No? Me neither.
But I digress.
If you've been under a rock, or maybe you've spent the last ten years saddling your fat-ass on a Harley on Highway 19 out in front of the restaurant at the NOC, rather than even noticing that there's a river on the other side of the building, much less a sport called whitewater paddling, then you may not know about these little day-glow milk cartons that the river rats call 'play boats'. Basically these things are as wide as they are long, which is to say they are not necessarily wide, just damn short. They allow you to, rather than just paddle down the river, instead perform many maneuvers of questionable necessity previously reserved for ballet dancers, like the "pirouette." Or my favorite, "the invert and drown."
Play boats have one thing in common though, monocolor cartoonish logos and related names which have little or nothing to do with boats, or rivers, or even ballet.
The "Mamba", for example.
From Wikipedia: "Mambas, of the genus Dendroaspis, are fast-moving land-dwelling snakes of Africa. The black mamba (D. polylepis) is the longest venomous snake in Africa, with an extremely potent neurotoxic venom that attacks the nervous system, and cardiotoxins which attack the heart; the bite is often fatal to humans without access to proper first aid and subsequent antivenom treatment, because it shuts down the lungs and heart."
Makes perfect sense. Nothing makes me want to tackle the exciting whitewater of our nation's southeastern rivers like a big fat poisonous African land snake. I once called my sixth grade Social Studies teacher, Mr Kodish, a fat Mamba. That was the first time I got sent to the dean's office that year. Mr Kodish had about as much in common with an African snake as that dorky little red plastic boat. Although this one is even an '8.0' version, which I guess correlates to the newest release of Internet Explorer, or maybe its a Richter Scale measurement?
Then there's this little marketing wiz-critter. Meet Piranha.
Wikipedia talk: "A piranha a member of a family of omnivorous freshwater fish which live in South American rivers. In Venezuelan rivers, they are called caribes. They are known for their sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat."
At least we're off land here with this one. I guess there's some association with being a carnivorous fish and a rough and tumble sunshine-yellow play boat. Most Piranha boat owners, however, probably don't know that the logo proofs unveiled during the marketing research looked like this:
And then of course, we have one of the more common kayak brands to populate the rivers of the Appalachians, Dagger.
Wikispeak again..."A dagger (probably from Vulgar Latin: 'daca' - a Dacian knife) is a typically double-edged blade used for stabbing or thrusting. They often fulfill the role of a secondary defense weapon in close combat."
Stabbing. Thrusting. A double edged blade. OK, I get the symbolism here, but then I get lost. Secondary weapon? If you're on a boat, intended to carve up and attack the nastiest whitewater, what's the primary weapon then? Your Ipod packed to the gills with Phish tunes and Widespread Panic? Points lost for lack of imagination on the execution of the logo too. Simple is good, yes, but please, the thing looks like a diagram in a dentifrice instruction manual outlining how to properly floss your molars.
Then we go all fictitious with "Liquid Logic"
All of which just leaves me 'clammy'. Still, there's a lot of good stuff to take your mind off the incessant marketing that seems to permeate our hobbies and our overall enjoyment of the outdoors. All you have to do is take a peek at the weathered and battered shop-wagon, and see the faded and peeling symbols of a different and once much more popular extreme sport.
Get back on a bike. Really.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Our campsite neighbors for the last night were two teenage girls and their father, obviously on a weekend visitation, the result of another earlier splitsville...maybe even more ruckus-filled than the shredded picture split. The girls did a lot of whining on Saturday night about the humidity, and the tent mattress, and then whether of not they were going to get to go out to dinner to eat. To top it off, late into the night the man sat in his Subaru, engine running and AC on , listening to the Auburn football game! All the while the girls sat outside the car and complained and did lots of hair flipping. One of them had the word "Cheer" printed across her ass on her shorts. High Society, you know.
Well...we had our fodder for taunting prankster behavior, in the shredded picture of the broken-up couple...and out targets in the whiny teenagers and their self absorbed father, so before we left on Sunday, and while they were on the trail, we sprang into action....
...and staged this little still-life on their picnic table! Complete with "I hate you, you ^*%cheating loser!" type scribbling on the back of the shredded pic. I even wiped down the bottle for prints first!
Can you imagine the squawking that man had to endure on the drive back to (I'd guess) Alabama? Squealing teens in the back yammering about the split and the haggard old man trying to drive, drown out his yelping girls, and listen to the Auburn football highlights on some crap AM radio station? HA!
Actually...typing this out, it seems like a pretty dull prank on our part, but in the 11th hour of an alcohol induced fog of a weekend, it seemed pretty damn funny at the time! High Society, all of us!
Monday, October 5, 2009
And then, the cats came to visit. They weren't very nice to each other either...
The next morning this little pool of guts was slathered all over the convertible top of the VW. That bright red puddle in the middle is about six inches by 4 inches. There's splatter everywhere on the top of the car. Blood smears were also all over the hood and engine deck lid, 3 of the 4 fenders, the windshield and the rear window.
The macabre scene didn't stop at the VW though, there were 3 pools of blood on the floor of the carport, and there were blood splatters all over the passenger side of the Land Rover, including up on the roof above the windshield, on both doors, and on the hood and front fender.
Then we fired up the grill.
Saturday was BBQ pork chops, and Sunday we cubed a roast and made kabobs. I drank 6 beers and talked to my mother on the phone! WEEEE!