Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Unidentified Flying Object

 On Sunday the 27th of September my wife and I were outside sitting in our driveway watching the lunar eclipse just like many people were doing that night. I know the neighbors on both sides of us were out watching and so were the ones across the street. In fact the neighbor across the street was wise enough to shine a bright flashlight at the street light sensor and get it to shut off. This made viewing much better. While we were waiting for the last sliver of moon to disappear something happened that I can't explain. Something passed overhead that I couldn't identify so I guess I saw a UFO. Ya I know you think I'm nuts and I hesitate to type this but I saw something.
 Coming from in front of me and flying low were a set of faint orange/pink lights that were either in formation or connected to something transparent. They moved fast. They went from the tree line in front of me to the roof line behind me in a matter of seconds. There was no sound except crickets and the voices of neighbors on the other side of their house. I was immediately reminded of the way the Klingon spaceship is portrayed in the star trek movies. You know, the blurry transparency of the cloaked ship.
 Seconds had passed and I was freaking out. Nobody in the neighborhood was saying anything about a UFO. I asked my wife if she saw that and at the same time she was asking me wtf that was. I was relieved to hear that she also saw it. We confirmed with each other what we just witnessed and had no idea what it was but were glad it didn't beam us up. After a few more minutes of star gazing for the mother ship we decided it was best to just go inside. The eclipse wasn't exciting anymore.
 Everyone was outside looking into the night sky so maybe someone else saw something. We checked the social media sites and sure enough it turns out others reported seeing something unusual in the area. My wife and I were both thrilled to know someone else saw what we saw even if we are being invaded by little grey men. I later talked with someone I have known for years that also eyeballed something in the night sky. He agrees it wasn't meteorites or any other explainable object.
 So what was it? Rocks or dust from outer space shooting across the night sky? A candle balloon launched from the other side of town? Maybe it was a flock of geese carrying chem sticks. Does our military have some type of silent prototype aircraft they wanted to test on a night they knew a lot of people would be looking up? I don't know. Maybe... just maybe... we are not alone.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Great Weather

I'm posting live from the bike show being held in Green Lake Wi. Its gonna be a sunny day and really make those great paint jobs pop. Sun doesnt reflect off the Rat Turd. It just gets soaked up in a blurr off bedliner and black paint.
I got here a little early but not as bad as Al and Vicki. I'm parked next to the Buzz Lightyear bike and I can see their Vette in the car show. It's Als birthday so I'm not sure where he is or if he'll stick around all day but I already warned him he would have to pick up his own trophy. Last year I delivered it to him at his house. I'm sure he threw it on the pile with all the other awards. I tease him about it but I know his real reward is when kids pose for pics in front of the bike. It's fun. My bike is more likely to be vomited on than digitized.
Well there are a few bikes here I'm anxious to check out. Gotta go.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Day In The Life

  It's Tuesday night and I just plopped my ass down in my lazy boy and cracked a beer. My wife says "How was your ride, Dear?"
 Well before I get into my ride I'm gonna talk about my day. I've had to split my time at work between lawn applications and repairing equipment. I like the variety but I don't like that I'm a little behind in both areas. Today James would be helping me for the first time in a long time and I was looking forward to getting a lot done...and we did.

 These two hooded sprayers make short work of large properties. It's nice working for a guy that understands the importance of good equipment.

 The trucks aren't fancy but they also get the job done.

 After work I met my wife in Oshkosh with my personal truck and enclosed trailer. Inside the trailer was the new Ultra. It needed to go to the shop for service and a recall on the clutch. I couldn't get a loaner and because of my other plans I would be dropping the bike off after hours. Other plans? My youngest daughter had major problems that had to be tended to. That's right, her cell phone was broken. Oh, she also needed a ride to the store to buy more blue hair dye. Sigh.
 I wasn't looking forward to dealing with the reps at the phone store. It usually never turns out well and always costs me an ass load of money. I was prepared for this so when I found out the phone was still under warranty I was thrilled! Turns out that for $38 Apple was gonna send her a new phone overnight and all we had to do was send the old one back. Nice. Even nicer was when there was some confusion about how they were gonna take our credit card info. The confusion was on their end and finally the Apple rep said screw it, no charge. Even the rep at the store was amazed and claimed he had never seen them do that. We left feeling happy and hungry. Olive Garden provided some tasty eats and afterwards my wife returned our daughter to college and I headed north to the Harley dealer.

 My 2000 Dodge Ram isn't the best towing vehicle out there because of the tall gearing and mud terrain tires but it handled the chore. At the dealer I unloaded the bike in the dark then got back on the interstate for the 65 mile ride home. It was a pretty warm night. I had my window down with my elbow hanging out and two fingers on the wheel. The truck handles much better now with the new ball joints I installed a few weeks back. No more do I see the trailer wagging it's tail in the rear view mirror due to my having to constantly correct the darting back and forth of a worn out old truck. My right arm rests on the sub woofer enclosure that now resides where the center console used to be. The stereo has two amps and the smaller one is 1200 watts that just powers this sub. I have the music loud enough that I can feel it. In fact the outside rear view mirrors can feel it too as they just reflect fuzzy flashes of light when the bass hits. Hey, gotta have my jams.
 I switch my headlights to hi beam despite the oncoming traffic. Nobody cares as the lights are aimed so damn low that my hi beams are still worse than most peoples lows. No problem, there is half a moon glowing down and I know this route pretty much by feel. I like city lights and I like driving at night.
 So Honey, that's how my ride was. If the dealer finishes the bike on time I'll get to do it again tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Watson Street Classic Cycle Show

 I talked about this show in previous posts and yesterday was the event. My day started out with a wet twenty mile ride to where the show was to take place. I was way early but that was the plan. I had pre-registered a few days earlier and just dropped the bike on main street with the instructions to move it wherever needed. Our tent crew from work was setting up tables, chairs, stages and porta potties so I just bummed a ride back to the shop where I spent the morning fixing broke ass chain saws. At noon my wife showed up and we headed down town to the show. We met up with Al and Vicki and enjoyed a nice lunch together before checking out the cars and bikes.

 There were a lot of cool machines there and after walking around we decided to set up shop in front of our bikes. Als Buzz Lightyear bike is a big hit with the young crowd. A lot of kids had their pic taken in front of it.

 I planted myself just within ear shot of the Rat Turd. I like to hear the WTF comments people make when looking at the bike. 

 The weather really turned out nice and there was a pretty good turn out of spectators. It seems the new fuel tank and exhaust system really have changed the way people view the bike. A lot more people have less of a clue what the bike started out life as. Those two mods didn't go unnoticed by the judges either as the bike took first place in the "radical" class. Ya know this rat isn't a "show" bike. It's just unusual and shows off what a twisted mind is hiding behind these good looks. The goal was to have the tank and exhaust projects done by this date and I met that goal. If I didn't set some kind of due date then the thing would be a pile of parts in the corner like my BSA project.

 So whats next? Yesterday I got to thinking about the bikes I have sitting in the garage. I really want to get that BSA running soon so I can enjoy it while I might still be capable of kick starting the beast. I'm considering partially funding that project from the sale of my sportster. Ya I know. I do this all the time and I'll regret selling it just like when I sold the Aprilia and a whole list of other bikes. I have a few other thoughts on the subject of selling the sporty but I'll share those another time.
 Todays pics were all taken by my wife who has been enjoying clicking away trying to find that "just right" picture. She does all right. I have no complaints.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rat Bling

 This summer has been all about the new Ultra Limited. My wife and I have been enjoying getting out on the bike and that means the other bikes get less attention. With an upcoming bike show I needed some time to prep the Rat and I used Labor Day as that last ditch effort.
 I didn't get a lot done. I kept getting side tracked. I did manage to tie up a few loose ends like painting the fuel cap, touching up some paint on the engine and fix a fuel drip that was starting at the sediment bowl where I forgot to seal a fitting.

  Part of the fun of this bike is that I can just do whatever I feel at the time. If I don't like it I'll grind it off and do something different. If you zoom on this pic and are familiar with the bike then you'll notice some extra bling on the muffler, exhaust pipe, side of tank and gas cap.
 The bike is kinda getting away from me. What I mean is that I'm just starting to bolt crap on it. Whatever crap is laying around. People are even giving me crap and suggesting it would fit the Rat Turd. I guess it doesn't matter but I still want to come up with an idea for a unique front suspension setup. I have a couple ideas floating around upstairs but nothing definite.
 If you have nothing planned on saturday why not come to the Watson Street Classic Cycle Show in Ripon. The car show is also going on and there are a lot of cool local rides on display.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Is Summer Comng To An End?

 It's been cool the last few days. A drastic change from the hot dry summer we've experienced here in central Wisconsin. It's now sweatshirt weather. I worked outside yesterday while wearing my sweatshirt and I'm most comfortable that way. During the course of my work I encountered a young lad riding his bike. He was just rippin' wheelies back and forth. Man did that bring back memories. Riding his bike up and down the road poppin' wheelies just like I did when I was a kid.  He was in the area where I wanted to spray the weeds in the grass so I stopped to ask him to stay off the lawn.
 "Who are you, Evel Knievel?", I asked. He grinned. He knew who I was talking about. Evel was my hero when I was young. It seems even though he is dead and hasn't jumped anything in almost four decades he still has young followers that dream of the glory associated with launching your bike through the air, successful landing or not. This particular lad reminded me a lot of myself when I was his age. He wasn't afraid of a stranger and spoke to me like he was raised to respect his elders. His JOB this summer was to ride his bike. That's the way it was for us when I was young. We rode our bikes. That's what we did. Oh sure there were BB guns, building forts and launching rockets but our main focus was riding our bikes. Wake up, eat breakfast, ride. Eat lunch, ride. Eat dinner, ride till dark then clean up and go to bed. Things have changed now that I'm grown up but how much? Wake up, ride to work, perform work. Ride to lunch, work some more and ride home. Grab the old lady, ride to restaurant for dinner then come home and go to bed. I worked saturday and still managed to put a few hundred miles on the bike before giving it up for the day.

 I was gonna compare the changing of seasons to my advancement in years. If its sweatshirt weather then I'm well past the halfway point. Screw that. I'm not out there rippin wheelies, well not on the Ultra anyway, but I am enjoying riding just like I did when I was young and I'm not ready to slow down. If the opportunity is there to get out on a bike then I take it...just like I did in the springtime of my life.
 They say it's gonna warm up next week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Workshop Wednesday-Hot Topic

 Today I want to share with you some simple advice. If your equipment gets loud, as in an exhaust leak, stop and investigate. I've seen guys running saws that were loud and they just kept going. It sounds cool. Well that cool sound should be a warning that hot exhaust gases are escaping from places they shouldn't be and could be melting parts of the equipment.

 In this case we have a saw that ran just fine. It needed an exhaust gasket and was making a terrible racket but the operator ignored it. That's too bad because now this saw is junk. Oh it still runs but it's not safe to use. You see saws these days are made of plastic. These hot exhaust blew a hole through the plastic case and ruined the mount for the chain brake. Repair costs would exceed the value of the saw.

 And while we're discussing saw maintenance, do yourself a favor and just take a peek at your air filter every so often. Just because the saw is running good now doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

 The owner of this saw had no idea the filter wasn't sealed. The saw came in for a "check up" and sharpening and this is how it looked under the filter. I get that not everybody running a saw has mechanical ability. If they did I would be out of a job. The owner of this saw did the right thing. They don't understand how to work on saws and brought it in for service. For the rest of you out there that do your own work, check things out after each use so the saw is ready to go when needed.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Fleet

 Until winter rolls around I have use of my entire garage. Once it gets cold I'll give my wife back her stall so she doesn't have to scrape windows. Because I plow snow in the winter I need to sometimes leave home in a moments notice and I need my truck to start. This means I too will want to park in the garage. That means something has to change.

What do you see? I see space for another bike.

 I have a small dilemma. One part of me needs the garage space to park my truck. Another part of me looks at this picture and thinks "I could easily squeeze one or two more bikes in there."

 I have enough work to do on the bikes that I don't need another project. The BSA is still completely disassembled. The sporty no longer needs to be my touring bike so it may go through a metamorphosis soon and the Rat is a never ending work in progress. Cleaning the Ultra is a huge project on its own. That means the bikes need to find homes this winter and I think I found a spot for the Rat Turd.

 I made a comment to my wife about how I'd like to decorate the living room this winter. I was so thrilled by her response that I had to get it in writing. It reads:
Scott: I think the Rat Turd should sit in the living room this year.
Stacey: Fine.
I asked her to sign and date it just in case she develops old timers disease and forgets. Not that she's old.

 Today is the day we officially become empty nesters. We will be out on the bike enjoying the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Selfie Stick

 My wife sells promotional products. You know, pens, shirts, stickers and whatever else you want to put your logo on. On occasion she brings home samples and for the most part they are pretty cool. Thanks honey! Now and then she brings home something I don't really think I'll be able to use. The latest item fell into that category. It was a selfie stick. I guess these are very popular right now so after it sat on my desk for a week I decided I better open the box and check it out.
 To my surprise it is a gadget. A hi tech stick! I envisioned a phone mount on a stick. What I wasn't prepared for was the shutter button on the handle and a cord that plugged into the headphone jack. With a simple settings adjustment on my phone I enabled the shutter function. I was now prepared to take selfies.

First selfie

Pondering the whole selfie stick concept

The BSA is still in pieces

Finally found a good use for selfie stick!