You know the big, elaborate banners that Google puts up to commemorate holidays, birthdays, and significant dates? The ones that take up the whole top of the initial search page - sometimes with elaborate animations and stuff?
Am I the only one completely underwhelmed by their observance of Memorial Day yesterday?
Amidst the coughing, sneezing, and general crapiness - I still managed to finish two small projects from the workshop.
This is the small one gallon gas can that I picked up in Oklahoma on the way back from our trip to Eureka Springs:
The paint on this guy was really tough. I knew I had to strip all the original paint off (which is usually my preference anyway) since the "Gasoline" lettering was originally applied via stencil to the can and any attempt to "scuff and shoot" new paint would show where the lettering had been. I tried chemical stripper three times and barely made a dent in it. Ended up having to wire wheel the paint off via my bench grinder.
Here she is repainted in a Poly Gas color scheme, with the Poly Gas parrot decal via Photoshop on my computer:
I've shot clear over decals before, but they were vinyl decals. The decals on both the projects here are printed out on my home printer on label paper and cut out by hand. Not sure how the clear would do over label material so I'm going to experiment before trying to shoot clear over the decals. Looks fine as is, but I'll clear over it if the experiment turns out OK.
Here's a small hand pump oiler that I picked up at a flea market last month:
Its just your standard Eagle brand oiler. I think they still make this basic model today. Its a good design and the oiler works just as good now as it did when new.
Here she is after cleaning, stripping, and repainting in a Gilmore Gas color scheme:
No matter how busy I am, or how rough I feel, or how tired I might be... I never, never, never miss an opportunity to do even the simplest things with my Granddaughter.
My Daughter and I have a wonderful relationship. I love her dearly and we can talk about anything. I feel like I did a pretty good job raising her. Looking back at her childhood, though, I know that I missed out on a lot. Finances get tight, life stress and job stress intrude, there are only so many hours in a day.... In my flurry of worry over getting us through the tight spots I missed some chances to enjoy the whole reason we're here in the first place. I was there in body sometimes... but not really there, ya know?
I regret those times now. Time moves so damned fast you think you'll have a million chances to catch those little moments as they zip past you. Then one day you wake up and discover that your little girl isn't a little girl anymore. One day you're pushing her on a swing set and then next you're dancing with her at her wedding and wondering how you possibly could have been such an enormous idiot an let all those little moments get away from you.
Its not often that life gives you a second chance. I won't blow this one.
My Croup got bad enough that I broke down and went to the Doctor this morning so I can get started on antibiotics. Thought I could kick this crap on my own, but it ain't happening. Mrs. Paladin has the same crud, but at least she was smart enough to go to the Doctor a couple of days ago.
I also went in for a follow up to the Urologist yesterday (way to much time at Dr. Offices lately). He said my kidney stone was comprised of 60% calcium and 40% Phosphorus - which is sort of unusual around here. A more usual composition is around 100% Calcium. It made him curious enough about the cause to have me schedule a special 24 hour "collection" analysis.
So... here in about a week you'll be able to drive by my house and see not only a motorcycle on my front porch, but a jug of urine placed out front for FedEx to pick up.
Adding to the list of opportunities for public recognition that bring absolutely no cash rewards -
Some of my photographs will be featured in an internet state-by-state guide to Amish Communities. Mrs. Paladin and I have frequented an Amish Auction up in Oklahoma for a couple of years now, and the creator of the website contacted me requesting use of some of my pics.
I'm just a guy that can't say no, so some of my images will be up on the site when the Oklahoma page is completed. I'll throw up a link to the site when its done, if I remember to.
So how do you make money when you give stuff away for free?.....
I think my attraction to tinkering and mechanical things may have something to do with Genetics. Before he started a Family, my paternal Grandfather had dreams of being a mechanic. He left Louisiana and traveled all the way up north to Chicago to attend a trade school so that he could work on cars and motorcycles.
This is his Text book, which was printed in the 1920's:
Alas, Grandpa's dreams of wrenching his way to fame and fortune were cut short. He developed Pneumonia while in Chicago and almost died. He ended up coming home to his family in Louisiana for a long recovery and never went back to school. He started a family and earned his living as a farmer - which certainly isn't a bad thing.
The text book was given to me by my Father when Grandpa passed away many years ago. There's even a couple of handwritten class note pages that Grandpa took on notebook paper tucked in the back. Lots of cool stuff in it.
There are even sections describing what you should take with you for a cross-country trip, which in those days was quite the undertaking. Most of the roads weren't paved from sea to shining sea, and you pretty much had to take everything from provisions, to sturdy camping gear, to extra tires and tools.
I enjoy thumbing through the pictures some times.
Its a connection not only to the past, but to my past as well.
I think I should get one of those number dispensers like they have at the DMV. That way I can keep order among the list of ailments that are piling up on me as of late.
First I had Kidney Stones, followed by a nagging hayfever/allergy flareup, and now (just in time to go back to work tomorrow) I have a nice case of Bronchitis. My nose is clogged up and I have a cough like a Coal Miner. Mrs. Paladin almost skinned me when she found out I spent yesterday working on the Motorcycle instead of resting up as ordered.
Maybe I'm getting everthing out of the way now, yes? I hope so. It will be nice to feel "normal" again when that day finally comes.
This week's Girl Friday is an internet phenomenon that pretty much no one knows anything about - other than she's really, really cute. She's an aspiring part-time model who is in College. She became "known" on the internet from her DeviantArt and Facebook sites that featured some of her modeling shots.
I never thought I'd be so happy to hear that sound :)
Finally got her going today. Third time's a charm I guess. I still have to diagnose the exhaust pop that you hear in the video, but after pulling, rebuilding, and replacing the Six Carburetor Rack - twice - that should be a walk in the park. She runs pretty good, though the carbs need to be synched. I took her for a spin around the neighborhood and she's pretty quick and responsive now. Couldn't hit the open road because my plates and inspection are expired - plus the exhaust pop is bothersome.
I can see the light at the end of the motorcycle maintenance tunnel now, though !
Of course now that I'm at the verge of being able to ride the roads again, someone else that I know just had a motorcycle wreck. My Son-in-Law's Father hit the ground when a cager pulled out in front of him a couple of blocks from his house the other day. Broken shoulderblade, two broken ribs, and a broken ankle.
They say he'll mend OK - but boy you sure have to look out for idiots all the time when you're on two wheels.
Well, we're back at the Castle from our Arkansas Trip. Really had fun, but it sure was a lot of driving crammed into 3 days. Scenery along the way made it nice, though.
We drove pretty much straight through on Sunday to Mrs. Paladin's brother's house in Russellville, Arkansas. Spent the night there visiting with him and his family before heading out to Eureka Springs early Monday morning. Eureka Springs is a really cool, artsy town nestled in the hills of northern Arkansas. The area is seeing hard times due to decreased tourist traffic - which it relies on heavily. You can see the effects in the number of closed shops, the condition of some of the old buildings that aren't being kept up, etc. since our last visit there several years ago.
Still lots to see and do in and around the area, though.
By the time this post appears, Mrs. Paladin and I will be on the road enjoying a couple of days exploring Oklahoma and Arkansas. For one reason or another, we've not been away from the Castle for an overnight trip in several years. Lookin' forward to this.
The Carbs are back installed on the Valkyrie, and all I have to do now is put in a new petcock and I can see if she runs. I decided to swap out the OEM petcock nightmare with a Pingel manual one, which will hopefully be here waiting for me when we get back in town. In the mean time, here's an old Service Station oil filler that I picked up recently:
Back in the Day (1920's-30's), prepackaged quarts of motor oil weren't the norm. Instead, oil at garages and service stations was kept in big bulk tanks. If you needed to add a quart of oil to a customer's car you filled one of these pitchers from the big tank. They came in several sizes. This one is a Quart size. I love the articulated neck. It also a thumb lever that operates a plunger shut off inside to start/stop the flow of oil:
Lots of caked on oil and gunk inside there - and not alot of room to reach in and scrub. I soaked her for several hours in a Pine Sol and hot water mixture, followed by a soapy water wash/rinse and a blowdry with compressed air. The last step was a light brushing all over with Linseed Oil/Mineral spirits via 000 steel wool and a paper towel wipedown to remove all but a microscopic layer of oil.
I went into the Hospital bright and early Tuesday morning so the Doc could go in and yank out the Kidney Stone. Mrs Paladin and I are very proud. I don't think he looks like either one of us, though.
Here's a more clear shot of where he had been firmly embedded inside my Ureter - after the Doctor dragged him kicking and screaming into the world:
All seems to be progressing nicely at this point. Aside from the fact that instead of urine my kidneys now produce battery acid.
Hurts when I Pee....
I'm assured that this is normal and that my Penis will eventually stop shooting flames out when I go to the bathroom.
I'm looking forward to that with much anticipation.
In other news, a small synchronizing spring that I've been waiting over a week for is finally here - so work can resume on the Valkyrie carburetors once I'm able to get back out into the workshop and dig into the project again.
I think its kind of interesting that work on my Motorcycle's plumbing problem has been hampered by having to deal with my own plumbing problems :)
I have a love of old tools, vintage advertising, and pinup art. What better combination of all these things than the 1953 Ridgid Tool Calendar illustrated by pinup artist George Petty? Here's a selection of my favorite months:
As of this writing, the Extremist Kidney Stone continues to elude our best efforts to apprehend it. Every opportunity is being afforded the Jihadist Calcification to surrender peacefully - to no avail. It continues to strike out at me regularly from the security of its Urinary Tract Bunker System. Our Medical Intel has also revealed that he has a sleeper cell currently occupying my left kidney - which has not yet engaged in any hostile actions against me. We are watching that guy with a suspicious eye....
I have determined that I can not allow a continuation of the status quo and that this stalemate must be broken before our upcoming, long-overdue, vacation to Arkansas in a little over a week. Therefore, I am making the gutsy call and scheduling a SEAL team invasion of the Urinary Bunker Compound for the first part of next week.
If the little shit doesn't come out on its own before then, I'm authorizing lethal force to go in and get it.
End Note: I wonder if all the water I'm drinking to try and flush this little bastard out counts as waterboarding?
Came home from work yesterday evening, had a bite of dinner, and sat down to watch a DVD with my Beloved. We watched RED, with Bruce Willis - pretty funny flick. Felt just fine right up to the end.
About 10:30 pm as the movie was ending, I started having pains in my lower back near my kidney....
Over the next 8 hours the pain steadily increased until it reached the point that I was vomiting. I figured I'd had enough of trying to tough it out and we drove over to the ER at the local Hospital. I am the proud Mother of a .25" kidney stone that's currently trying to squeeze its way out of my Kidney enroute to my Bladder where more fun will ensue. The average Male Urethra is also around .25" in diameter.
Should make things interesting.
All the other members of my family have had Kidney stones at some point, except my Father. I had hoped that being a Male I would be spared the ordeal. Apparently not.
No photos for this post, although I did try to get Mrs. Paladin to snap a picture of my hairy backside peeking out from the hospital gown.
She declined, so you can address your thanks to Her.