Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Slow news day
Today was the weekly wood working session.

Huntsville Alabama has a Yahoo group called Huntsville FreeCycle. People post things they don't want and are willing to give away. People who want things can then respond and claim the free stuff.

Today a local guy posted free white oak. He owns some land with a old barn on it. The barn is mostly white oak. The outside is pretty well weather but the inside appears to be in pretty good shape. Plenty of thick stock used to create the structural members. DM and I drove past it this evening and stopped to take a look at what was available. There is some pretty good wood there. More than I could use in a long time. I will probably go get a few board feet. Not too much though. Free is free but I don't have a lot of space right now that I am willing to devote to addtional wood storage.

I drove a 1961 Chevy short wheel base step side pickup truck today. Yes I am up to no good again. I took a few pictures also. Perhaps I will post one soon.

I am taking a vacation day on Friday! A four day weekend will be righteous.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Beautiful Day
Every time I say "beautiful day" I hear the U2 song in my head. Today it was truely a BD. I took a little ride this afternoon up hiway 53 into Tennessee. The weather was nice and the cars were lining up behind me. I pulled over a couple of times to let everyone pass. I don't know where everyone was going in such a hurry. After all, it was Sunday afternoon and I was out for my Sunday afternoon drive.

Knowledge is Power
I got a few new books yesterday from B&N. I usually get my books from Amazon but Ginger had a gift certificate so I went that route. The new books are:
1. Chevy Pickup Trucks (Enthusiast Color Series) (Statham)
2. Monster Garage - How to Customize Damn Near Anything (Klancher)
3. Welder's Handbook (Finch)

There was a sheet metal book I wanted to get also but it will wait til later. I am doing a little bit of research into what kind of work is needed to restore a vehicle. At this point I am leaning toward a Chevy Pickup (1972 or older). What I would really like is a 69 Chevy short wheel base fleet side. The short wheel base is hard to come by. Eighty percent of the trucks made between 1967 and 1972 were long wheel base.

The other vehicle I am considering is a Beetle. A friend offered me a Beetle. He thinks his father would let me have it for free if I would come get it. The catch here is that it is down south of Birmingham and I would need to trailer it home. There are actually two down there. He thinks one still runs thought he thinks the other is in better shape. This is definitely worth considering.

I plan on doing some reading before I commit to anything. Ginger has given her consent for said project though the approved budget is very low. A free Beetle would definitely fit the budget, but anyone who really knows me, knows I have had a thing for Chevy Trucks since before I could drive. I even tried to acquire one a few times, but wiser minds prevailed. When I was in high school you get a 1970-ish Chevy for about $1200 - $1500. These were decent shape. Today the same truck runs about $8000 - $12,000 if it is in reasonable shape.

Today I ran across a 1961 Chevy Pickup for sale. It was sitting in front of a Junk Yard. The body was in reasonable shape though it appears to have not moved in a few years. The tags expired back in 2001. I didn't get a real good look at it because it was behind a chain-link fence. I may have to give them a call to find out what is wrong with it and how much they are asking.

Pimp My Ride
I got some good advice from the MTV show "Pimp My Ride". The host, Xhibit, said "stop using tape on cars ya'll." He claims to be from Detroit but but that sounded pretty southern to me. It seems like pretty good advice as well.

I spent a little time wet sanding on the Miata again. Today I focused on the left rear quarter panel that had all the oxidation. By the time I was done, the section of the car looked better than any other spot on the car. It was hard to believe it started out being the worst looking spot on the car.

Last Call
I finished the bed yesterday. I will post a finished photo soon.

We moved the new patio furniture from the garage onto the back porch today. They are not done yet but if we wait on them, it will be snowing before we get to use the porch. All that really remains to be done is gutters, final electrical, and cleanup.

Model T Trivia
Chevrolet made a vehicle they called the Model T from 1918 to 1923. Chevy's Model T was a truck. The better know Ford Model T ceased production in 1928 when it was replaced with the Model A. I hear this car looked great when painted black. The Chevy was also only available in black. They later added a second color called Blue Bell Blue. Guess where I got these facts.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Oh Yes Tires
I really need to get some new tires. I got four baldies rolling right now.

Oh Yes Cherry Bed
I got a reasonable amount of work done on the bed this week. I would say (again), I am within a week of being done.

Oh Yes OneWord
iMike linked to this a few days ago. I gave it a go this morning. I will probably hit it a few more times.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Oh Yes Auto-Body Repair
I have decided not to take the welding class right now. After reading the course descriptions again, I realized the Auto-Body Repair class also covers welding to some degree. The Auto-Body Class fills up fast so it is to late to get into it for the fall semister. Assuming the interest (low-bandwidth obsession) holds until winter, I will sign up for the Auto-Body Repair class in January. Now I just need someone to remind me when the time rolls around. (I would put a reminder in my PDA, but that probably wouldn't do me any good.)

I installed the bed rail hardware today.
Oh Yes Miata
This evening I took a drive to no where. I asked Ginger if she needed anything from the store. She asked which store. I said "any store". I was looking for an excuse to go for a ride. No excuse but I went anyway. Top down.

When I got home, I decided to perform a little cleanup on the Miata. First I vacuumed the carpet. At this point I will shamefully admit that I had not yet done that, ever. The carpet looks good now. Except for a sizeable stain on the passenger side. I am considering trying out some miracle cleaner on it. I think it's oxy something. Short of a miracle, I don't think anything else will take care of it.

The Miata now has 89k miles on it. It had 85,707 when I got it back on March 19, 2004. That means I am averaging about 650 miles a month. I usually fill up about every 280-300 miles so that is just over two tanks a month.

The monthly mileage on my truck has gone down. I have only put about 3700 miles on it since January. I must admit that the total number of miles I drive this year will be above average compared to the last few years. Go figure.

Car Detailing - Advice Request
What are you folks using on your dash board, and misc rubber, vinyl, and plastic in your cars. Something besides Armor All please.
I hate my Axim
Let me say that again. I hate my Axim X5. Does that sound too strong? Buying it seemed like a good idea at the time. Lots of cool features: color LCD, Flash slot, SD slot, MP3 player, etc. I even got a 802.11B flash module for it so I would have wireless access. Sounds good, eh?

So what is wrong with it? Mostly just the software. It is that PocketPC stuff. You would think a machine with as much processing power and memory would rock. Not in my opinion. Too bad I can't get PalmOs for the Axim X5.

Why the rant? It recently lost its mind again. To make matters worse, I am having trouble getting it to sync up with the last backup.

Prior to the Axim, I had a Handspring Visor Pro. Now that thing rocked. The software was rock solid also. If only I could have resisted what I thought was an upgrade.

For a while I have been lusting after the Treo 600. Size and functionality is good. Cost is prohibitive. There is a new version coming out in the fall. This one will include BlueTooth. Will I be able to resist? Hang around a while and we will find out.

[end of rant]

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Oh Yes Welding
I am considering taking a welding class. I need to make up my mind quick. Fall classes start on Tuesday.

I don't need to know how to weld, but someday I would like to need to know how to weld. I would eventually like to build or restore a car. Many of the skills required you can learn as you go. Welding is not one of them. And then there is the whole safetly aspect. It would be much better to have someone tell me what stupid things not to do instead of learning them the hard way.

If I take the welding class, that would put the weekly woodworking session in limbo for 15 weeks. That is what makes the decision so difficult.

Oh Yes Wyoming
Brian is selling t-shirts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Seinfeld and Superman

See it again for the first time.

Apologies to Brian for making him do all the work!

Here again are the lyrics to Oh Yes Wyoming!

Oh Yes Wyoming!

Oh Yes Wyoming!
With the tress and the horses and the rocks and the sheep
Oh Yes I'm Going!
Through the plains and the trails and the streams and the hills
Oh No Nebraska!
Is there a plainer state I ask ya
Oh Yes Wyoming!
There's no place I'd rather be roaming
With the geysers and the canyons and the watering holes
With the geysers and the canyons and the watering holes
Oh Yes Wyoming!
With the mountains and the lakes and the plentiful fish
Oh Yes I'm knowing!
This land will fulfill my every wish
Oh No Dakota!
Doesn't interest me one i-ota
Oh Yes Wyoming!
There's no place I'd rather be roaming

(spoken)Hey Zeke!
What is it Antelope Joe?
You know I love them girls back in Wyoming
I heard you like the geezers too
It's geysers and anyway that's just a rumor
I'm talking about my special girl
DaisyI call her ol' faithful
I heard she ain't that faithful
She sure is old though
Ha ha ha ha

Oh Yes Wyoming!
With the cabins and the camping and the bakin' beans
Oh Yes I'm Glowing!
With the bison and the banjos and the wily raccoons
Oh No Ohio
I can hardly wait to say goodbye-oh
Oh Yes Wyoming!
There's no place I'd rather be...
End with m-i-n-g...
Shout it out loud with me
Oh Yes!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Beautiful weather here today. And it was a Miata day. And the top was down.

Woodworking got canceled this week. You know what that means, right. I will not be finished with the bed this week nor will I stop yak'ing about it.

I guy at work recently brought a few musical instruments in and left them in the rec room. There was a electric guitar, acoustic guiatr, bass, keyboard, and drum machine. I like almost everyone else has to pick up an instrument everytime they walk through. It is not uncommon for both guitars to be taken, so I have been playing the bass. I currently have 3 guitars. At some point in the past I had a bass. I gave it to a friend who had actual taken. These days I am wishing I had a bass. I would like to get pretty good at The Church's 'Repile'. I checked ebay for a decent used bass but nothing in the price range I would be willing to pay (about $100).

I had an idea. Why not build one. I know I have seen kits to build electric and acoustic guitars. I thought, why not combine a few hobbies: music and woodworking. I checked around and found two different kits. Both cost more than my price/pain limit.

At home I will just have to settle for playing the baseline on the E-A-D strings of my guitars.

Just in case your wondering, Reptile sounds something like this:

Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp,
Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp,
Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp,

Bomp, B..B..B, Bomp, B..B..B, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp.

You get the idea. I found the bass tab here. This guy also has U2's 'New Year's Day'. That should be fun.

I did a vantity Google this morning. To my surprise I found me at the top of the list. I am feeling lucky. (I even pressed the "I'm feeling Luck Button".) Now if we can just figure out why I wanted to see me there, we will have learned something about myself.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Customized Volkswage Beetle Hot Rod
See more Customized Volkswagen Beetles here.
Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum
Oh where is my memory. Sure I left it around here somewhere.

You may be wondering what strange obsession has Rick worked himself into this week. Well I am currently dwelling on Volkswagen bugs. "That's odd", you might say. You would be right. More on this later.

Swallowed by the Cracks
Today I had lunch with David and David. "Miss Christina drives a nine-four-four, Satisfaction oozes from her Porsche." It is hard to believe you can get 'four' and Porsche to rhyme.

We were dining at Tim's Cajun Kitchen. I had the special and selected the bread pudding with Rum Sauce as a side. David ordered the bread pudding as well. David did not.

How Can You Have Your Pudding, If You Don't Eat Your Meat
When lunch was served, the waitress brought me the biggest piece of bread pudding anyone in Huntsville has ever seen. At the time it was joked that the waitress must be hot for me. (It could happen!) She forgot to bring David his piece (of bread pudding). Later David batted his eyelashes and mentioned his missing bread pudding to the waitress. She scampered off to fetch it. When she returned, she presented him with the smallest piece of bread pudding anyone in Hunstville had ever seen. She also brought a bowl of rum sauce to me saying they had been a little short on the rum earlier when she brought out mine, but this should make it up to me. Ok, so now we know something is up. Rum sauce is like liquid gold. And I must be a babe magnet as well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I did a lot of sanding yesterday. I also finished off a can of polyeurothene. I promise I will be done with that bed next week and we won't have to talk about it any more. Hopefully.
iMike the Babe Magnet

I think she was just scared of how looking at you made her feel.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

What comes around, goes around
I guess I inspired this C64 blog entry and I got honorable mention to boot.

It has been very fall-like lately. It is very early in the year for such nice weather. I suspose there is a hurricane happening somewhere that sent us these nice mid-70's temperatures. I haven't seen or heard the news in over a week so I don't know that to be fact.

Top down!

The electrician finally came yesterday. The porch is now wired for lights and two ceiling fans. Play by play coverage will continue as the situation continues to develop.

Starting today, Thursday has been offically moved to Tuesday. Thursday started out on Wednesday but that was a long time ago. From time to time Thursday has even been a virtual Friday.

What all that meant was that the weekly meeting of the Madison County Woodworkers Guild has moved from Thursday evenings to Tuesday evenings.

Virtual Friday
Regarding virtual Fridays, anytime you have a three day weekend due to a holiday or vacation and you have Friday off, Thursday becomes your virtual Friday. Virtual Fridays really rock when they fall on Wednesday or even Tuesday!

A virtual Friday sure would be nice about right now.

Monday, August 09, 2004

1993 Acura Vigor
Back in the days when I was young, rich, and single I bought a 1993 Acura Vigor. I recently dug up some old photos I took just before I sold it. Take a look.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Going, Going, Gone
The Atari 1200 XL is no longer available. It has found a new home. See my Atari shrine here.

Don't Look a Gift Horse In the Mouth
I picked up the free tires yesterday. The tires are in about the same shape as those on the car. I haven't decided what to do with these yet. I would prefer to have a little more tread than either set has to offer when the rainy season returns.

Oh, Yes Wyoming!
I saw the first one of these a few weeks back. Last week a guy at work mentioned a second one had been released. Go check out Seinfeld and Superman. BTW, these are actually comercials, but still very entertaining. Select the Uniform canister first. When that one is done move on to Hindsight. You probably want to click on the "No Thanks" button as you nagivate to the entertainment. When your all done you will be impervious to stains and feel like an incedible person. Oh, yes Wyoming!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Here is a photo of the cherry bed. See full size photo here. At this point I believe I had finished all the wood working and was ready to begin finishing. That was weeks, maybe months ago. I will post more photos once it is complete. In the background you can see the old tag was still on the Miata.

Unfinished cherry bed
Atari Baby
I finally found someone to take the old Atari 1200XL off my hands. I don't know if he is planning to keep it but I suspect it will end up on Ebay. Thats cool though, as long as I don't personally have to through it away. I spent many a day/night with that thing back in the mid 80's.

Tomorrow I am going to get the free tires for the Miata. I will keep you filled in on the details. Did I mention that my current tires are bald.

Brown Food
We finally got a Gutherie's in Huntsville. Tonight we ate brown food. Well technically the slaw is not brown but everything else is. It was just like I remembered from Auburn. And as usual, the employees were all blond college aged girls. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Obsession De Jour
Today I tried to convince several folks that they should either build or rebuild a car. I think if I will agree to build a dune buggy, I could get several helpers. I know a few guys that have done this. They say you can pretty much sell them for about as much as you put into it. My desire is pretty much based on just wanting to learn more about how cars are built and work. I also wouldn't mind having something I could play rally or auto cross with. And ultimately I thing I would like to restore an old car or truck. DM estimates there is a fair chance we could begin building a buggy inside to five years. We are probably all talk, but we will see. Check back in five years. We also discussed restoring or mod'ing a VW bug.

So who can teach me to weld?
This morning I drove to work in the Miata, top down. I was listening to U2 on the still relatively new CD player. As I drive into the parking lot, Bono says "Perfume is an obsession". Perhaps for some. Where was I going with that? ...

Jordan started first grade on Wednesday. So far so good. No homework yet. Jordans says first grade is like kindergarten was at the other school. And Brianna says she likes 'pre-k'. She is not suppose to be in pre-k til next year but they took her anyway so that both the kids could attend the same school. Supposedly she will take the pre-k class twice before moving on to the 'Big K'.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Due to technical difficulties, todays post has disappeared into the ether{net}.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Blogging with Blogger
Someone recently asked me If I was using Movable Type. Nope, but I do recall BTR was previously or is currently. The details are fuzzy so check with him. For the record I am using Blogger, but I am hosting it myself. They do provide free hosting, I just wanted to keep it all local. Plus by keeping it local, I don't have to have any banner ads!
Hard Drivin'
A few weeks ago I had a ST L6278 replaced on the controller board of an old 40 Gig hard drive. The chip smoked when I turned the computer on the day I returned from a vacation in Pigeon Forge last spring.

I was hoping that the smoked chip was the problem and no merely a symptom. After locating another hard drive controller with the same chip I had a friend of a friend move the chip from one board to the other. While the controllers used the same chip, the design was different so I couldn't simply use the other controller board.

Unfortunately it did not work. When I powered it up, the motor did not engage. At one point I did try a few different controllers but they were all from new drives. At least with them the motor came on, but it still didn't work. I will be having the chip moved back to it's original control board. And yes, I did back up the other drive before I salvaged a part from it.

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I lost the data on the drive. In the grand scheme of things I guess it wasn't really that important. At least it wasn't worth $800-$3000 dollars which was the estimate I got on recovering the data.

Hard Drivin' II

This is a story about my 1998 Dodge Ram Quad Cab. People often ask me if it is a '92. I wonder what makes them think that.

Oh, how can you say this without feeling stupid? About two weeks ago, the Check Engine light came on in my truck. At that point the oil pressure gauge was a zero. A few seconds later the light went out and the oil pressure returned to normal. This has happened a few other times, usually about the time the oil needed to be changed. The first time it happened I was actually on my way to Express Oil. I asked the guy to check the level before he changed it and he said it looked fine.

This last time when the light came on, I checked the dip stick myself. Hmmm. The dip stick shows no oil at all. That can't be good. So I took a trip to the auto parts store to get some oil. (While I was there I looked for the F1 Hot Wheels also.) I purchased 3 quarts. Upon returning home, I poured one in. Next I checked the dip stick. Still nothing. I poured another in. I checked the dip stick again. Still nothing. At this point I was feeling like a dip stick as well. I poured another half quart in. Still nothing.

I was afraid to put any more in because I thought the dip stick might for some strange reason not be taking an accurate reading. I didn't really believe that but I didn't want to take a chance on messing anything up either. This was Sunday Afternoon.

The truck didn't get much driving while I attempted to figure out what to do next. On Woodworking night, I invited a friend, DM, to play the dip stick game with me. The game goes as follows: I hand him a paper towel and ask him to point at the dip stick. Obviously he points at me. Next I ask him to check the oil. He does and proclaims I am at least two quarts low. For fun we invite a few neighbors to come play the dip stick game also. Everybody is a comedian because without fail, all the fingers point at me.

Each person in turn proclaims I am at least two quarts low. No one can believe I put in 2.5 quarts just days earlier and couldn't get a reading. Did I mention these guys aren't getting a reading. Everyone without fail looked in the radiator and a few even check the tranny fluid looking for oil. It is not on the concrete. It does not appear to be coming out the tail pipe in either smoke or liquid form. Every one is puzzled.

I make another trip to the store to get another 3 quarts. After pouring in one more, the stick finally shows the truck being low 1 quart. In goes another. So at this point I have poured 4.5 quarts of oil into a truck that holds 5 quarts of oil.

I was not feeling much peace about this. My neighbor speculates that on the last oil change, that didn't put enough in. That doesn't make me feel good.

Anyway, it is full now. I decide I will bird dog it for a while. The following weekend I put about 250 miles on the truck. I check the oil. Down 0.5 quarts. Later in the week I make another trip and get another 240 miles on the truck. At this point it is down between 1 and 1.5 quarts. I fill it back up.

Ok, it is going some where but I don't know where. I suspect it is burning it, but if it is, it sure is burning clean. I will be talking to my mechanic soon. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

I could probably live with adding a quart every 1000 miles, but having to add a half a quart every fill-up seems a little excessive. After all, the truck is 7 years old and it only has about 60k miles on it.

Do you think the title was too cute?

I did spell check today. It recommened 'dam' when it saw 'DM'. That is usually my response too.


Monday, August 02, 2004

I Drove the Miata to work today. I took the long way to work which involved stopping at the gas station and bank.

I recently discovered a MazdaSpeed Miata in the parking lot at work. Fortunately it is Silver so I won't accidentally drive it home. If that happens, it will be on purpose.

Ottis offered me the tires for the Miata (free) a second time. I will be on those like a duck on a June bug. Both of my tires on the passenger side are pretty much bald.

Just for the record, there is also a red S2000 and a silver 911 in the same parking lot. Zoom zoom zoom.

Props goin' out to my homie RSW. G's up, ho's down.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Who was it that said friends don't let friends drive stock?

Tonight I worked throught my Now Playing on Tivo list. More on that in a minute.

I seem to have a habit of picking a TV station and watching it till I know the reruns by heart. This years channel of choice is Speed. Last year it was FoodTv, the year before was HGTV, before that it was TLC, and before that it was MTV. Now with the Tivo I don't watch as much 'live' TV. When I do, I usually stick with the channel of choice. This also helps fuel my favorites list for the Tivo.

Tonight I watched Tuner Transformations (Speed) and Pimp My Ride (MTV). If you like cars, these are both pretty interesting. Both shows basically give someones car a makeover.

I have thought it would be interesting to restore an old car. These shows, as well as Chop Cut Rebuild (Speed) allow me to live vicariously through the Tivo.

The one drawback of these shows is they tend to only show the before and after. I would prefer to see a little bit of "And always remember to wear these - safety glasses" a-la Norm Abram of New Yankee Workshop fame. A little more howto would be nice.

And now a quick trip in the way back machine. Back when I was about 18 I had a cheVette. I had plenty of opportunities to take this car apart and put it back together. Mostly it just fell apart. I did a little customer work on this car way back when. It turned out surprisingly well considering my lack of tools. I build a rear deck and installed 10 speakers back there, including two 10" subs. Two hundred watts of Van Halen is pretty much reponsible for any hearing problems I will ever have.

I think now I would like to learn how to weld.

The Miata and I took a short drive this morning. The weather was perfect for a drive. Seventy degrees and overcast. Top down of course.

A guy offer me some free used tires for the Miata. His wife drives a Miata. I really remember but I think he said he got her some high performance tires. Anyway, they are free and he says they have a few miles left on them. Of course it would probably cost $40 to get them installed. That would keep me going for a while. I am considering it since the rear passenger tire is essentially slick down the middle.

The roofers came out today and took care of the little rain problem I was having yesterday.

The head board got a little more polyeurothene applied to it this morning. The side rails are done as far as I am concerned. One more coat on the head board and two on the foot board and I will call it done.

The kids and I went swimming across the street today. It was our first visit to this pool. I entered the pool using my recently learned flipping techinque. We had a good time and now I am a little bit redder than normal.

As usual, I did not proof read or spell check again today.

Anyone want to buy me a nice Voodoo Shift Knob?