Saturday, March 31, 2012

Max Meets Gramma and Grampa Friend

My parents drove from Ohio to meet the youngin'. Max has pretty much been in my mom's arms nonstop.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I got a fever

Being on Paid Family Leave is the closest I will ever get to living like a trust fund kid. But it's also similar to being on house arrest. But I love being around Max. We live our lives in 3 hour increments, according to his eating schedule.

But it gives me a lot of time to think. Think about all my projects. What I need to do next on each one. I've also been thinking a lot about my '55, even though I shouldn't be. The Clubman's swap this weekend has my mind racing and hoping to find a couple gems I need.

I've been doing as much research as I can on the '55's. I was looking at my "Trimph Motorcycles: From Speed Twin to Bonneville" book and have been drooling over Baxter Cycle's 1955 Tiger restoration. I am completely sold on the Flanders risers for my Tbird. Now to find some I can afford. Grey tins, Flanders, and fish tail exhaust. Now back to obsessing...


Max lost his belly button yesterday. He has a cute innie.

We also gave him some tummy time, Herculian neck muscles!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spaced Out

Escaped to the garage yesterday long enough to reassemble the front XS drum and measure out spacers to be made. Now to concentrate on the battery box and other misc fab parts. Perhaps when my parents visit this week it will give me and dad something to do together. In between baby oogling, of course.

The lowest ex-disc brake mount is only about 1.5" from the stud on the brake to make a brake stay for. That's nice. I won't be shaving anything off the legs until I run it for a bit to make sure it all holds up.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hold That Tiger

Stumbled upon this cool rebuild of a '55 Tiger. Should be a good reference for my '55 Tbird. There are a lot of tips I wouldn't have thought of doing (and access to tools I don't have). I stumbled upon it trying to figure out what this bracket on my frame does. The parts book is missing a few things like the chainguard, the head steadies, and whatever this is. I assume it's for the airbox? I'm not sure I'll be putting an airbox in it, but whatever it is, I'm missing the right side.

Also I've been told these fork lowers are incorrect.

And whoever put a unit parcel rack on the gas tank.

Needless to say, the list of needed parts keeps growing and growing. I only plan to get a couple things this year. I'm assuming this bike will take me at least 5 years to build up if I concentrate just on it.

Ohio Lovin'

Mom and dad left Ohio this morning in their van, and should be here in about 5 days. Mom is chomping at the bit to hold Max. Today is Lori's mom's last day here. She has been a great help and great company. We'll miss that extra hour or two of sleep in the morning.

Max turned 2 weeks old this morning. He weighed 10 lbs 4 oz yesterday at his doctor appointment. He's a big chubby monkey!

Friday, March 23, 2012


Betsy is a popular name for old cars. Growing up my mom called our Plymouth van Betsy. I remember freezing in the seats waiting for the van to start in the cold Ohio winter; my mom chanting "Come on Betsy!" I named my '58 Apache "Betsy." Have I mentioned how much I miss having a truck? I miss Betsy and I miss Flattie May.

1948 Daytona Beach races

Pete posted this today. What a fantastic photo.
Story Here

Mods VS Rockers

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Food for thought

Yesterday during one of Max's all-you-can-eat lactation buffets I snuck out to the garage to document my '55 Thunderbird parts to see exactly what I had and what I would need to try to find at Clubmans. I knew I had a few incorrect parts, like a unit head, but wasn't sure what else. I had Troop take a look. And pretty much to my dismay a lot of the motor isn't correct for pre-unit let alone a '53 motor. This is what happens when you aren't a walking encyclodpedia and let your heart control your wallet. The chassis and tins are '55 swingarm, the motor cases, primary covers, and gearbox are '53, but pretty much everything else is unit. The head and rocker boxes are unit, the clutch is unit, the carb is some oddball, the steering damper knob is some weird unknown alloy part, the fork lowers are for a rigid, etc etc. I feel like I'm at a turning point. Do I even want to "restore" this bike? Even if I did, the motor would be for a rigid model, which I don't specifically mind, but will be a lot of effort to build up for the wrong year. Perhaps I should just try to find a correct intact motor, gear box, and set of forks for the chassis and put the motor cases and fork lowers aside for my imaginary future rigid project. Or sell them to fund parts for the '55? Or do I say hell with restoring and just use what I got and build another custom? I guess I'll see what Clubman's has to offer this year and try to make up my mind. I should just put this one out of my mind until I finish the '62 and the CB750, but Clubmans comes once a year and I don't want to waste it. Each year these parts getter harder to find and more expensive.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just some Desoto photos

Most of the '53 Desoto photos I find are 4 doors, which makes me realize just how rare my 2 door is. Click on my Desoto on the right and you can go through a gallery of the ones I've found over the years.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Jackass

This is painful to read.

Safety First

It's been a week of rain and a week of cabin fever. During a feeding session I sneaked out to work on the Desoto. I dug out the tupperware bin with my seatbelts and put those in for the car seat. So now Max has a cool ride to make his appearance for Cruise Night in May. I also fixed the side trim I snagged on the garage door a few months back. Took all of 30 seconds.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lil Diddy

Hair today

Gone tomorrow. I can eat cupcakes again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wheels ThroughTime

Maxwell's Story

Thursday March 8th, during Lori's 5 PM doctor appointment, she began having contractions 5 minutes apart and was dilated 2 cm. By 11 PM they were 3-4 minutes apart. We arrived at Alta Bates at midnight March 9 and sat in triage for 3 hours, staying at 2.5cm. It was a full moon and the hospital was packed. While we waited for them to decide what to do with us, Lori's contractions were one after another, 2-3 minutes apart. She was having horrible back labor and was in intense pain. As the pain got worse, she began to get sick with each contraction. A room finally opened, and we immediately put Lori in a hot shower for an hour. Now that we had a room, Lori's mother, who had been waiting for over 3 hours, could join us. Lori experienced back labor all morning. By 7 AM she was supposedly dilated 8 cm, and the doctors seemed sure she would deliver by 2 PM. We later found out that the student nurse that had checked at 7 AM was likely incorrect, because at 9 AM she was re-evaluated and determined to be only 6 cm. She was feeling strong urges to push already and the nurses determined that her cervix was now very swollen due to her body's involuntary pushing.

By 9:45 AM on March 9th, Lori could no longer work through the pain, and because of the cervix swelling, we made the decision to get an epidural to allow her to relax and progress. We spent the rest of the day slowly waiting for things to go in the right direction. At 7PM, Lori was 8 cm and exhausted. Things were proceeding very slowly and talk of c-section was beginning. The nurse had set up the necessary c-section equipment. Feeling exhausted and the fact that our birth plan was out the window, morale was low. But all we wanted was a healthy baby.

At 9 PM, the delivering doctor evaluated Lori and she was 10 cm, which completely recharged everyone in the room. For 5 hours Lori pushed. A small bit of the head could finally be seen and the doctor decided to use the vacuum suction to try to pull him out since we had been pushing for so long. We were told it could only be used for 3 contractions. If the head wasn't able to pass after trying 3 times, a c section would be imminent. Luckily, baby was doing beautifully this whole time, so the doctors were allowing us to try different methods and lots of time to try and get him out on our own. The room filled with people cheering and rooting for Lori to push. Each time the suction was used, baby would get to the point of crowning, the suction would pop off, and he would slip back into the birth canal. After the suction use, it popped off three times in a row, and once again c-section thoughts ran through everyone's heads. But the entire crew rallied and 3 more attempts were done. The entire room was hoping, while I counted and tried to feed every contraction she had left in her. On that 3rd count on the 6th suction use, we heard the entire room scream with excitement and we watched baby Maxwell come into the world and placed on her chest.

Maxwell Strummer Friend was born March 10 (his due date) at 2:12 AM. He weighed 9lbs and 10 oz, and measured 22" long. Because Lori had a pain/stress fever of 102 degrees during labor, he was required to go to NICU for 2 days to rule out infection. But he was alive, healthy, strong, loud, and the most beautiful little guy ever. We spent the next 2 days visiting him every 3 hours to breastfeed, which he is a natural at.

We left the hospital March 12th at 4PM and have been home since. Adjusting has been so much more difficult than we ever imagined. Lack of sleep, lack of experience, and waiting for the milk to come in have been the biggest hurdles. Luckily we have Lori's mother here to lend a hand. Maxwell is a beautiful little boy who will forever change our lives.


I find the placenta, the sure size of it, fascinating

Everyone in NICU loved Max!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the Vorhese Baby Blog

Welcome to the new format of the blog. Less motorcycles, less art, more baby. I don't foresee any non-baby related posts for a while. Soon, I want to type up our birth story, which did not go at all how we planned. Birth plan out the window! But who cares, little Maxwell is all that matters. People try to prepare you for this, how hard it is, but you never truly "get it" until it happens. I have new found respect for parents. Thank you for all the kind wishes and congratulations!