Friday, April 20, 2018

Howdy Y'all

, A bit over a year ago, we helped our oldest grand daughter move to Waco Texas. We were taken by the whole area, the people and the entire Texas experience. Last month, we made a return trip to visit and "look around" at some houses. We ended up buying a home in Valley Mills, population 1100, about 20 miles outside of Waco. It is located in the country among cattle ranches and other agrarian activities. We have 5.25 acres, a bit more than twice what we have here in SoCal. The house is smaller with two bedrooms and one bath. It is plenty to satisfy our needs. There is a good sized bonus room, which will be Wifey's new sewing room, so we will still have an extra bedroom, for an occasional guest.There is a good sized steel shop building for all of my tomfoolery as well as three large carports and a number of smaller storage buildings for stashing all of my treasures (junk). The previous owner is a fencing contractor, so the property is very nicely fenced and cross fenced for animals, etc. I think we will like it here. Actually, we have little choice. Once you leave California, there is little chance of returning due to crazy prices, taxes and so on. Texas will be a good place to live out the time that I have remaining.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"A" New Beginning

I cut a deal, the other day, on this Model A Ford. It is, pretty much, what I was looking for, a sedan or a rumble seat coupe. I sorta wanted a 28 or 29 since they have a more antique look than the 30 and 31s, but this will suit me, just fine. The price was a bit more than I wanted to pay, but I think it's a lot of car for the money. I have not seen it, yet, but I don't think it will disappoint. The owner and the guy who recommended it both seem to be straight shooters. No money has exchanged hands yet, so I can still walk away.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Takin' a Whiz

Got tired of sitting on the couch. My bike is still at a friend's house, so I hoisted my old 47 Whizzer up on the horses and began putting it together. I rebuilt the engine about 8 years ago and stuck it in a corner. Since it and I both celebrated our 70th I thought I should get it running. I need to get a few small parts. Luckily, I have a guy nearby that has tons of parts. I'm going to leave it as is, bumps, bruises and battle scars.........just like me

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The End

It's been a while since I've updated this blog. The motorcycle era has come to an abrupt end. In October, while riding with my club on a winding canyon road, I stuffed it into a rock outcropping. While the damage to the bike is minimal (more on that, later)damage to my aging body was more significant. I suffered, what is known as, a Monteggia fracture of my right arm. This is where the ulna breaks and the radius is dislocated from the humerus. Additionally, the right elbow was shattered. Just to make it more fun, the MCL in my right knee was torn, though not badly. I was flown by helicopter to Huntington Memorial in Pasadena where the dislocation was reduced and the ulna was stabilized with external fixation rods and pins. After the swelling went down, the surgeon opened my forearm from wrist to elbow and reassembled the whole mess with titanium plates and screws. As of yesterday, the cast was removed and I have to endure PT until I get back whatever function I will have. I was told to expect some loss of range of motion. Hopefully, I will be able to swing a hammer so I can return to Baja in July to build some more homes. So, because of all this drama, I will be retiring my helmet and leathers. Nearly 55 years of riding was a good run and I will miss it. I have to consider Wifey's concerns, my age and how much this hurt. I hope to continue this half assed self promotion as soon as I get the bike home. It is at a friends house, in storage. I will, probably, repair it to the point that it is rideable, then offer it for sale. Once that has taken place, I hope to buy another antique car, almost certainly a Model A Ford.I sold my Model T to buy the bike. It was fun, but very impractical. The Model A is a much more refined car and can be driven every day. Until I can regain use of my arm, little will happen

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Home Stretch

I have been busy with the bike. I've also been ill for over three weeks plus I spent a week in Mexico with a team that built three houses for poor families in Vicente Guerrero. This has hobbled my efforts, but I am back on track. The bike is 90% back together as I write this. Tomorrow, I need to slide the fork tubes into the triple clamps and she'll be up on two wheels again. The Linexed frame looks good and required very little extra effort to assemble. I just had to clean out a few holes and scrape some of it off to get good grounds for the running lights. I hope to make some noise late tomorrow or the next morning

Friday, June 30, 2017

A Lesson in Fluid Dynamics

Prior to our misbegotten vacation to Japan, which resulted in Lady LaFong being hit by a bicycle and spending over two weeks in the hospital with a broken pelvis, the bike experienced, yet another, catastrophic failure. Excess fuel, from the previous, leaky carburetor, flooded one cylinder and caused a hydrolock, which bent a connecting rod. So, upon our return from Japan, I, once again, reduced the bike to a pile of parts. The new rod and gasket set arrived the other day. My plan is to replace the rod and button the engine back up. No drama, no complete rebuild, just the one bad hole. In the meantime, I've stripped the frame back to bare metal. My plan was to have it powder coated, probably in a hammertone finish. I took it to the guy that I've been using and he quoted me 500 bucks for the job, up from the 350 he quoted me a few months ago. Additionally, I was told that the Lab Metal filler, which is recommended for powder coat use, would be blown away when the frame was sandblasted. So, I am going with plan B, against the very good council of a friend. I will have the frame coated with Linex bed coating. The concern my friend had was, that it will turn gray in time. I don't think it will, since it will spend very little time in the sun. Time will tell. I have already spoken to another friend about painting the rest of the bike

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Making a Big Splash

The transmission is back together but lousy weather has kept me out of the shop. With no automotive adventures to occupy my time, I decided it was time to readdress the kitchen remodel. We found some tile that looked nice and matched the decor. I ordered an amount that was sufficient to cover the back splash area. Also, I ordered a pot filler faucet to put above the stove. They have become a must have in new kitchens. In order to install it, I had to crawl into the attic, again. It was really simple. I cut into an existing cold line, that runs to the refrigerator, and dropped a line straight down to the range. A bit of drywall patching and it was ready for tile. Of course, I miss measured and there isn't enough tile to finish the job. So, off to Lowes to get some more. It is a non stocking item so we have to wait 4 or 5 days for it to show up. I the meantime, I grouted the tile that I was able to install. I have some fancy, brushed nickle, wall plates on order for the switches and outlets. So far, it's lookin' pretty good