Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poor little guy

Last night was stressful and sad. I was in the computer room when I heard Lori calling for me, that Luka was being attacked by an animal in the hedge in the backyard. I went out and saw both dogs freaking out and going after something. I pulled both dogs away and sent them in the house. I got the broom and brushed at the animal. It was black and white and I was thinking it could be a skunk or a badger. It smelled like death. I brought it forward a little more, it was hissing and freaking out. It was a little black and white cat.

He had hardly any energy to hold his head up. His eyes were puffy. He did not look too good. I was pretty sure he was on his last leg. Emotions were pretty high. I went in and called a few numbers and no one was open, so I called the non-emergency fire department line. They said they'd send somebody out.

I set out a bowl of milk and food and continued to make dinner. There wasn't much else we could do. We kept checking on him and he just layed there, head down, barely breathing. The animals were extremely curious as well.

A person from animal control came out and got the cat put in a crate and into her truck. I asked her what she thought might have happened. Her guess was it was a feral cat that got into it with a raccoon. And had probably been suffering for quite a while. The bad odor was possibly the onset of distemper. As I was talking to her we noticed that the cat had stopped breathing. It had finally gave in.

I like to think that the cat dragged itself to our house because it knew that someone here would help it. I also would like to think that we gave it a little love in its final moments and it got to leave this world with a little dignity. I wish we could have done more.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Breathing in cancer

Last Wednesday I spent my lunch hour rummaging through a beatup 1953 Desoto parts car. I was hoping to find a few nice things, but everything was in pretty poor shape. I took the wiper blades, wiper motor, tube amp, some odds and ends and pieces of metal for brackets, and a cool old glass fuel filter. But the best find was a complete vinyl seat cover / carpet set that hadn't been used. It was easily 20+ years old.

So this weekend I wiped a lot of the dry mold off and installed the covers and carpet in the Desoto. It definitely looks better than it did. This should hold me off until I can afford to get a real interior. I'm hoping over time the sun and heat smooths a lot of the wrinkles out.

I also took the Desoto in for an exhaust quote. $350 for all pipe and labor. Pretty damn good. I just need to supply the mufflers and dump tubes, which I ordered. I got some 22" Smithy's and some stainless steel dump tubes.

To round out the Desoto trifecta, I also took it over to a guy's shop and had him test my charging system. Looks like it was the voltage regulator all along. So once I get a new one of those ($75), I should have a battery that stays charged finally.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's a snap!

Yesterday I tackled aligning my rear wheel. It took me about an hour and a half to solve the puzzle, but I finally got it. I had to shorten some spacers, increase others, but now the chain is straight and true and the tire finally runs center and looks so much better. One of the big problems was the allen bolts holding the sprocket to the hub were just a tad too long and were rubbing the brake plate. I shaved them down and now all fits good. The fender was still a little wonky, so I kept trying to coerce it into shape when all of a sudden *POP!* One of the tack welds snapped and then the whole fender fell perfectly in place. I love it when a plan comes together!

Dad is making me a couple more pieces on the lathe so I can redo the brake lever mount and chain tensioner. Then it's just a few minor tweaks and I can start tearing it down and rebuilding the motor. It's been 4 long years of slowly acquiring parts and tools to make this thing. I can't friggin wait to ride it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Triumph Update

Spent all Saturday morning sanding and polishing the Bultaco brake plate. This thing must have taken quite some abuse on the track. Tons of pits and scratches. I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I need a better polishing tool for the rim, or I need to just disassemble it. Which I probably should since it is incredibly out of true. I also made the spacer for between bearings.

As it is, there is almost no room between the forks. I think I'm going to sand down flat the protrusion on the brake plate to give myself another 1/4" of leaway so I can move to wheel closer to center. I also need to make the inner bearing to brake plate spacer, and both outer spacers.

I did make this tool to tighten the forks. It's not pretty but it works.

Until next time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Desotochero

Jim Galli sent me a few more pics of that Desotochero he found.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cool looking paper weight

I got the forks back together on the Triumph yesterday. That was a learning experience. One fork lower was very corroded inside and the tube would not plunge smoothly. I spent a while with an old fork tube covered in sand paper smoothing out the inside. These fork gaiters are from some Honda ATV that apparently work out pretty good. The Trump is sitting the height I want it to be. I plan on getting the wheel polished and assembled and on the bike today. Then I can determine what size fork spacer to make to lower it. I also need to make a tool to tighten the fork, that looks like this:

Friday, February 5, 2010


Here's a sketch I did last week. Some days I can draw hands better than others. Not this time. This drawing means nothing. Most of my drawings mean nothing. I just draw a shape on the paper and then start filling in what the shape looks like to me. I don't often do sketches with an intent. Just whatever spills out. This time I was probably thinking about "Wild Things" and "Troll."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I must have this

"Out doing some photo work for a guy this AM. He had this Desotochero in the yard. I asked him about it and he said his father in law had built it in the '50's because he had a body shop and couldn't afford a pickup, so he made one. He said you could stand a silver dollar on it's side when that hemi was idling. Some of these things are like grave markers. You don't even ask" -jim galli

From Urban Dictionary


the only name that can be spelled through 5 months of the year.
J - July
A - August
S- September
O - October
N - November

1. the act of being the sexiest person alive
2. A very VERY sexy person
3. Something you would/should name your penis
1. He Jason'd himself all his life.
2. "Oh, that person? He's just Jason"-- "But what is that Jason's name?"
3. I named my cock Jason, and same with my testes!

There's more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just stick it in the correct end

Today I got the pleasure of having an endoscopy done on my throat and stomach. I've been having some stomach pains, and I've always wanted to check out my throat because I've had swallowing difficulties my whole life. During the initial exam it was proposed I might have a Schatzki ring constricting my throat. They hooked me up, put in my IV, and I was waiting for the procedure to begin. "No, we're already done!" Whhhhhhat!? Wow, modern meds are amazing.

So I have an ulcer and some esophagus abnormalities. No Schatzki ring. They think the ulcer is from Ibuprofen useage. They took some biopsies and gave me some meds to take. I go back again in 2 months for another.

How can this picture gross you out?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Totally Fork Tubular, Brah

I had a pretty good weekend. There was a 2 day lapse between the rain and it just happened to be Saturday and Sunday. Starting today it's raining for 10 days straight. Anyway, Saturday morning I ran to Raber's in San Jose to get all the parts to rebuild my Triumph forks. I love that place. Those guys are just encyclopedia's of knowledge and help. I got new tubes, bronze bushings, seals, gaiters, and a pair of foot peg rubbers. But the best part is they sent me upstairs to find a few pieces and I got to stand in awe at their spares storage. It was like sparkling treasure. You need it, it's up there. They even hooked me up with a few pieces.

So I cleaned up the forks, and painted some pieces. I also cleaned up an old Bultaco 21" Akront wheel that will be going on the front. It just needs a little more clean up and polishing.

So hopefully this weekend I can get the front end together and I'll finally have a roller.

Then Sunday I rode around the east bay on my XS650 and froze my arse off. But it was still fun.

The clouds are getting darker as I type this. Here comes the rain.