Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time Marches On.....

Visited Canton Trade Days today... found some neat stuff. I'm sure I'll find uses for all of it eventually. Some gears and crank handles, a brass presure gauge, some really odd looking goggles:

goggles3

The most startling discovery all day?.....

I'm going to be a Grandfather.

Hmm......

Our Daughter (23) called while we were there and gave us the news. She's due in January.

This is going to take some getting used to :)

Steampunk fan

Took a break from the Goldwing Project this weekend.... need to keep my interest level up. Decided to see what king of steampunk themed lamp I could come up with using mostly stuff in my shop:

Before:

fan parts


base neck

Its a 1930's era fan, whose switch is missing, motor blown, and generally worthless. The "neck" of the fan is a repurposed brass section from an old garden sprayer circa early 1900's. The base is a cast iron lamp base. Combine the above with a sewing machine motor, roller chain, gears, and a bit of oak.... and you get this:

testfit1

This is a "test fit" shot, and I have to put the cage on and finish everything. She's mostly done, though. When I finish it up I'll post a video of it running!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I remember when I had spare time...

As usual, I have no time to blog during my work week.... barely time to relax a bit and read stuff on line for a few minutes each night. Stumbled on this though, and thought it was hilarious. Enjoy:


Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Future is NOW..

I had definite ideas of how life would be when I "grew up". That was the big thing in the 70's... visions of what the future would be like.

Rocket packs, space colonies, transporters....

I've had a lingering sense that modern times, while wonderful and exciting in their own right, somehow lack the flash and pizazz that I thought they would have back when I was a little sprout.

Until I stumbled upon this today.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Your jet packs are ready.













Here's a video that's pretty damned impressive... Ok, so the landing isn't as graceful as the rest of the trip, but ITS A FLYING JET PACK, DAMMIT!!! :)


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heartbreak

While exploring the cemetery in Denison this weekend, I happened upon the marker below:

aPICT0116

When you "haunt" cemeteries as often as we do looking for photography subjects, you tend to find certain stones/markers that affect you more than others. For me, its the ones that show an obvious sense of loss on the part of the person left behind. It can be a spouse, a child, or a parent - it doesn't matter. The yearning loneliness of the person that has to continue on alone in the world is what gets to me.

The inscription on this one at the bottom, references another child "Lilly". It Reads:

"Our Sweet Little Pet"

and

"Dear Little Viola, so bright and so sweet, has gone to heaven, Sister Lilly to meet."

Lilly's headstone was right next to Viola's. She had passed away at the age of 13.

Can't even imagine the pain on the part of the parents left behind. How awful it must be to outlive both of your cherished children. Markers like these get me right in the gut.. and seem to draw me toward them like a magnet.

Here's another child's stone from the same cemetery. Did a little post work on this one in photoshop:

Angel

Monday, May 12, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons....

We visited Tulsa, Oklahoma this weekend. J had read about a Farmer's Market in Southern Living Magazine that they have there throughout the summer. Supposed to be lots of herbal products, crafts, and vendors of all types. It sounded pretty interesting, so we arranged to meet J's brother and his fiance for the weekend. They live in Arkansas, about 3 hours away.

Well.... the "Huge" Farmers Market turned out to be a handful of tents, some of which were already leaving when we got there around noon.

Bummer.

On the brighter side, though, the neighborhood around the Farmers Market was really interesting. It was located at 15th and Peoria. 15th street, for several blocks, is lined with interesting shops and cool cafes. We ate at an Irish Pub called Kilkenny's. Awesome food!

aPICT0078

Circling out from there, the streets for many blocks around are filled with 1930 to 1940 era houses. There was even a restored 30's Ford Delivery Truck parked in front of one of them:

aPICT0073

We killed some time just driving around taking pictures of the houses we liked, and then drifted off toward downtown - which is only a few blocks northwest of there. There are several beautiful old churches downtown, and we had a great time walking around taking pictures. Even got to go inside one and snap some pics of the stained glass. J, my Wife, does stained glass as a hobby so she's not one to pass up the chance to see some beautiful glasswork.

aPICT0007

On the way home, we stopped in at a Cemetery in Denison, Texas. Hadn't been to this one before. Pics are in my Flickr Album (link on the right side of this page).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stanky Dawg...

Angus... my intrepid guard dog, and faithful companion.

Its a toss-up which one of us farts more in the evening.... my Wife would probably blame me.

I, of course, blame Angus.

He denies everything.












Interesting Website

Completely out of service today. Accomplished NOTHING. Its ok, though. Today is the first day of my VACATION!!!!!

Lots of errands tomorrow, then its off to exotic Oklahoma on Saturday. We're meeting my brother-in-law and his fiance in Tulsa. Good chance to explore new areas and it beats working:)

Massive home improvement project awaits upon our return after the weekend.

While goofing around today, I stumbled upon an interesting website. Its called Found Magazine .

Basically, people post stuff they've found - like love notes, grocery lists, old photos, etc. Other folks can comment on the "finds" and come up with their own back story or impression. Its pretty interesting once you start to look around.

Here's a couple from the website: Its a post-it note found on a sidewalk.



Isn't that sad?... I wonder if she left him, and she's sorry that she had to? Or did he leave her and she's sorry and couldn't help making a little extra chili 'cuz she knows he likes it. Would it break her heart even more if she knew he threw it out?



Here's a lighter one:

My impressions?.... first, that's a kick ass car!!! 70's era z28. How happy do they look? The whole future ahead of them...... and Damn, check out those sideburns!!!

I had a set of sideburns just like that :)

Its a cool site.... check it out. You'll probably end up wasting as much time as I did there. I know I'll be looking closer at little scraps of paper I see laying around from now on.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Goldwing Project - Mini update May 2, 2008

Couldn't help myself :) I got all my "Honey Do" list stuff done, and had a little spare time. Shot a good bit of paint on the Goldwing. Engine is painted, almost all of the rust encapsulator is sprayed on the frame rust areas. Starting to make my way around with the Satin Chasis Black on the Frame.

I'll have to wait till next weekend to touch up the frame areas that I haven't been able to do. I want to give the engine paint time to fully dry before drapping it against overspray from the frame in some areas.

I really dig the Matte Black, and it looks better in person that it does in my dirty garage with camera flash.

Here's a shot of the bike now:

aIMG_1075

And here's a closer shot of the valve cover. Flash makes it look like I missed areas, but its fully covered. I'm sure I'll screw up the paint a bit squeezing the carb rack back in place - but it should be easy enough to touch up.

aIMG_1069

I'm planning to polish the intake tubes, and carb tops, on the carbs. The rest will be painted the same color most auto carbs are (kindof a flat coppery/gold?). I'm going with stainless braided fuel lines. There will be some other chrome here and there (bars, mirrors, headlight trim, etc.) but Satin Black will rule this bike.

Girl Friday May 2, 2008 - Ali Landry

The Girl Friday this week: Ms. Ali Landry .... 'nuff said :)



Thursday, May 1, 2008

Goldwing Project May 1, 2008

I have to say, I'm enjoying the relaxed schedule I've chosen establish on this project. I'm not as far along as I intended to be.... but I'm not off by much. I had hoped to be painting today, but things took a bit longer than I planned - and I outright forgot about haveing to do several things before I can paint.

Today, I did the following:

Pulled front wheel, pulled rear wheel, removed rear brake caliper and rear master cylinder, removed forks, removed shocks, removed front and rear fenders, repaired the wiring harness in a couple of places, pulled the old handlebars and controls, and did some general cleaning. The toughest part was getting the wiring out of the handlebars..... Geez, it was wedged in there tight!! The usual light rust buildup inside the bars didn't help matters. It finally came out though.

I took a crapload of pictures, for my use later. The bike is in a hideous state right now, and its hard to imagine that it will go back together when I turn the corner and start the buildup.... but it'll happen :)

Here's how she looks now:

aIMG_1067

I don't know if I'll have a chance to do much on her tomorrow, but if I do it will probably be the actual start of painting and rust abatement. There's a couple of spots of surface rust on the frame that I have to clean up and I'm using a product from Eastwood called Rust Encapsulator that I've used before on vehicles. It actually changes the chemical nature of rust into a harmless non-spreading compound. Also acts as a pretty good primer.

Friday is usually my "chore" day. Since I work a compressed week, I cram my 40 to 45 hours each week into 4 days, and then get three days off. That gives me Thursdays as "bike day" (or whatever project I'm currently working on), Friday is "chore" day, when I do the grocery shopping, do yard work, home repairs, etc.

Saturday, as you've seen, is reserved for J (my Wife) and myself to hang out together.

We'll be married 21 years this January, and we STILL would rather spend time with each other than anyone else. That says something :)

Photoshop

I use Adobe Photoshop, for manipulating photographs that I upload. If you've looked at any of my photographs here, or on Flickr, you'll notice that the vast majority of my pictures are straight from the camera - without any post processing. Even my Sepia toned pics are done in camera using the sepia setting.

This isn't because my pictures are so great that I think they don't need processing, its more a factor of my never having bothered to learn how to do most of the neat tricks people can do with photoshop :) To date, I've mainly just used photoshop to resize or crop pictures, with the occasional experiment into other areas.

I had some time to kill this morning, waiting on the county tax office to open so I can run up there and register my Wife's car before I get filthy working on the Goldwing.... so I decided to experiement with a picture I took of an old Farmall Tractor in a field this past weekend. The first picture is just as it came from the camera. The second is after I diddled it in Photoshop, in an attempt to make it look like an old tintype picture that had some faded hand-tinting on it. I'm pretty happy with the results, since its the first time I've tried to do something this extensive - even though it only took a few minutes of actual "work".

Here is the before:

aPICT0018
And here is the after:
old farmall
Well... its off to pay the tax man, and then jump into the wreck that is my project bike...