30 March 2012

don't play, don't win

Well I've got some good news.
We won the mega millions california lottery.
2-4-23-38-46 mega 23

winning mega millions ticket
march 30 2012
holey chit

It's hard to put this in words.
we never thought we would ever really win.

I'm not sure what we're going to do with all the money,
the $7 for 3 matching numbers is quite a whopper.
Looks like it's gonna be a great easter break for the kids.

Don't worry guys,
I won't forget you.
I'll still be making blog entries as much as I can.


29 March 2012

round two - TJ root canal

We've been going back to our TJ dentista again.
I'm a chicken about being stuck down there in the dark,
so we've waited til the safety of the daylight savings time change.

It's one thing going out drinking on the main drag,
but we're in a little colonia called Gato Bronco (wild cat),
flagging down Taxi's at the nearest pharmacy,
cause it has the brightest lights.

tj root canal

I've recently found out that there is a high tech root canal,
one that uses a mechanized drill or scrubber instead of the old school tooth files.
Where's the fun in that!

I'm a difficult patient in the beginning,
and I ask him for the whole shot of anesthesia,
otherwise I'm all clenched up.
When the numbness kicks in not much matters.
"Tino" even rocked out to a metallica song while scrubbing the inside of my tooth.

la linea
otay border

Last year when we started,
the line was maybe 10 or 20 people long,
a couple minutes.
This year something changed.
The line extends out of the border gate,
to the taxi drop off area.
A good 100 yards.
That's about 45 minutes to an hour wait.

almost there

I went alone this time,
and I should have brought a book.
Instead I tried to analyze the different lines the border has set up.
There's a "sentri"line, the "ready lane", and the normal "peon/whti" line.
Some guys wait in the long Peon line,
than get sent back to the shorter but slower moving Sentri line.
I think the "ready" lane uses a special card for daily commuters.
They bypass everyone and go straight to the front.

it was good to start up the process again.
I always wait too long to get my teeth fixed,
so it's nice knowing the bad one is getting solid again.
It'll be nice being able to chew on the right side of my mouth again!

If we weren't saving so much money,
maybe we'd use our US dental insurance.
My wife's planning on braces,
and there's a 5 picture pack of x-rays she needs - $50!
The kids went to an orthodontist,
and they want $190 for 2 pictures.
The braces are $350 in Mexico!

What better excuse to visit Tijuana!


26 March 2012


Many of you may know the name ZIBO.
Few know who or what it means.

american bulldog

This was ZIBO,
the last of a long line of dog's in my life.
My wife (to be) and I got him after another dog, SIRKI (great dane) had died.

Zibo was a true shop dog.
Didn't stray too far,
guarded his family and territory,
loved lying in the dirtiest asphalt.

He had some great tricks.
One was sitting on a barstool for hours,
long enough to actually fall asleep.

Early on I had taught him to not cross the street,
as another dog of mine, ZUKE (rhodesian ridgeback)
had collided with a car many years before.

Since we lived across the street from the shop,
this was really important.
Many times I would get caught up with the kids (2 at that time),
and he would be sitting there hours later waiting for me to come back.
Ventura was a small enough town,
and people would go buy the shop just to see him.

zibo at paso robles 2001 or so

ZIBO had a sad ending with us after 5 years or so.
One evening he was just missing.
As stated earlier he wasn't a wanderer,
and I knew someone had taken him.
The police don't treat missing dogs as stolen property,
and the animal shelters never recovered his license.

After a half-assed flier/reward attempt at finding him,
with the help of many friends,
I had to admit that he was just gone.
Having 2 baby kids at the time,
it actually helped me to focus on our family.


grateful dead - wharf rat - february 18, 1971
The first and probably best live version of this tune.
Even better when heard in the dark - rat - star sandwich it was played in.

Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1971-02-18 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Click the above link,
and play the next 20 minutes starting with number 9.
Three listens and I will guarantee you will be a deadhead.
Bad ass jam right there...


A couple years later a neighbor came over really distraught,
saying she had known all along that the daughter of the shop owner next door had taken him.
Now that her (ex)girlfriend had found out about their long-term affair,
it was okay for me to know what happened to our dog she pretended to help look for.
Some friends and I tried to rattle more current information from the Mom and her cronies,
but the mixture of stripper, tweaker and dog thief was too hard to crack.
I would have rather never found out!

ZIBO's birthday is somewhere around this time.
Now he would be 14 or 15 years old,
so hopefully he's dead,
and had lived a better life than we could have given him.

Names withheld to protect the guilty!


goodbye little sunflower

After over 4 years as our faithful steed,
today the old Lincoln was put to rest.

1990 lincoln town car
photo by piGPen

What started as someone's $30K luxury vehicle,
transformed into our $800 family sled,
even moonlighting as a shop truck in it's retirement.

OG lincoln town car SUV

it was even good for smuggling people!

perich brothers visits chabott engineering
photo by ZAP

Gotta love the trunk space.
Funny cause the Chabott crew is going through their own vehicular turn over.
shinya kimura @ chabott engineering
Must be in the planets.


Legion of Mary - Little Sunflower - July 4, 1975

A great work jam or cruising tune.
This is the musical description of driving a Lincoln Town Car.
Goodbye little sunflower...


For the car that never stranded us,
sadly there was no long final good bye cruise.
Just a limp around the block,
not even enough to really warm up the old V8.

sturdy 5.0 ford engine

That's what was tough about deciding what to do with it.
The car ran great,
engine hummed and shifted fine.
The main problem was the brakes.
Sometimes they would work,
sometimes they would barely work.
It was a little disconcerting.

Probably a cheap fix,
but with the broken power windows,
the leaky main seal,
and the smog/registration coming up,
it was time.


A half-ass attempt to sell it on craigslist valued the car at maybe $600.
While that would have been the smart decision,
the hot rodder in me couldn't let a good running 302/aod combo go for that low.
This re-seed was planted from the very beginning.
The car was purchased with 167K miles on it and we only ran it 10K in the 4 years.
Just enough to test its durability.

holey chit

I've pulled this engine out before,
and for some reason I don't remember there being so many wires and hoses.

first engine pull - 2008
photo by piGPen

Funny how that works.
The plan is to keep the engine, transmission, battery and driveshaft.


Unfortunately it took alot longer to pull than I remember too.
There's a couple interested buyers for the carcass,
but a surprise storm messed up my timing.
Why didn't I start this on Saturday?

so cal rain

Oh yeah,
we were making a shelter for the chocolate and cheese roadster.
Weird how things work out.


25 March 2012

chocolate & cheese shack

Now that the rains have stopped,
it seemed like the perfect time to find a cover for the C&C roadster.


After weedwacking the yard earlier in the week,
I found this chinese-made shade on craigslist.
The guy had a good racket going on.
Not only did he sell these,
he also had digital safes, tile cutters, bungie cords,
all kinds of junk.
child labor

As usual,
the kids got to work,
while I stood around taking pictures and yelling at them.


They really tackled the construction.
All that training with Lego's and Tinkertoys
finally paid off.


There was a similar canopy for sale at Harbor Freight,
but if you can believe this,
I've never actually bought anything there.
Only been in a HF store one time!
Yeah I've bought HF stuff used though,
their cheapy tubing bender, engine stands, engine hoist...


before you start thinking this is an anti-HF rant...

The HF canopy has a form fitted cover,
with a replacement cost of $90.
This one is cheaper,
has more pipes,
and uses a simple 12x20 tarp,
and the guy sells the replacements for $30.
You do the math!

tired kids

It seemed like it took longer to push the old roadster around
than it did to build the shack.

chocolate & cheese home

Now it looks like we have our own little swap meet stall in our backyard.
At least the tarps not blue!


23 March 2012

liar's club 2012

While digging through my parts stash,
I re-found this old thing.

a. prop shaft adapter for a boat
b. ford flathead timing adjuster plate
c. coaster for a hot mug

Somehow I've kept it together.
You know what it is?

I want to play a liar's club,
so if you think you know before you read this,
be the first to post up the correct answer.
The winner will receive a damn good prize!


Don't read this if you're playing the game!


machined pieces

So if any of you have an early flathead with the crab or diving bell distributor,
you'll know that the distributors are bench-timed on a machine.
The early crankshaft pulleys don't have any timing marks or timing pointers,
so a timing light is basically useless.

a. prop shaft adapter for a boat
b. ford flathead timing adjuster plate
c. coaster for a hot mug

If precise timing is important,
than the best way is to remove the cylinder head,
find the true TDC on the #1 piston,
and file a mark on the pulley, along with fabbing up a pointer.

mallory dual point distributor ford flathead

The newer aftermarket crab distributors have slots to adjust the timing.
So timing is adjusted by feel or by the custom mark/pointer.

timing mark

The early distributors had fixed holes.
This thing made timing easy by creating a slotted adjustment,
and then hoping the timing marks were true to the engine.

Pretty cool huh?
Of course I've never used it
 and adjust timing by performance or water temperature...

Let's see who wins!


22 March 2012

show & tell

So you know that old saying,
"good things come to those who wait" ?
vintage AC tachometer

Well it's taken almost 6 years to get this tachometer from my old friend Matt.
We had made a deal over some drinks,
and the details grew kinda fuzzier over time.

AC mechanical tachometer
7229036 K53

Both of us/families moved to SD at different times,
and things have a way of disappearing.
A couple weeks ago I jokingly asked him how my tach was,
and he said he had actually dug it out.

AC tachometer

The deal was probably better for me than for him.
One night he tried talking me in to driving Chief (the roadster pickup)
down to LA for a photo-shoot thing he used to do.
We used to play alot of poker back then,
so I upped the bet.

He had been raving about this old tach for a while,
and I really didn't think he'd give it up.
While working in a Porsche restoration shop,
he had coated the housing with this black Glasurit paint,
and had the casing galvanized or something similar.

AC mechanical tachometer
7229036 K53

Well when he dropped it off last week,
he still had a good memory of driving the old pickup 200 miles down the 101/1 freeways.
I guess he did get a good deal!
Not much beats a night time ride with open headers in a roadster thats for sure.

AC dash mounted tachometer

I've got the perfect home for this old thing.
There's this neat little bracket that let's it hang on the dash bottom.
I'm hoping it will work off the tach drive on an old Mallory distributor.
The dizzy method seemed more common than crank drives or generator drives.

whopping 6000 rpm tachometer

Thanks Matt!


19 March 2012

more modelmania

Thanks to the rainy weather,
the kids have been cranking out the models.

perich brothers model car show 2012

It's been fun to watch them perfect there techniques.

Jaxon's 1949 mercury

They spend alot of time on the little details.
I was impressed with the engines in both there recent kits.

Jakob's 1951 chevrolet

They both took the spray painting duty head-on.
We'll go to the car parts store and they pick out the colors.

Jaxon rattle canning

I really wanted to butt in,
but that doesn't really help them learn.

Jakob rattle canning

It's tough spraying those little bodies with a full size can.

Jaxon's 1957 chevy gasser

So I helped Jaxon cut the hole in the hood on his '57,
using the little drill press and a file.

Jaxon's 57 chevy gasser

There's a little scoop but it wasn't painted yet.

jaxon's 1965 el camino

He liked the technique so much he tried it on the el camino!
That's what customizing is all about.
Maybe a soda can hood scoop is in order.

Jaxon's 1949 mercury

This is Jaxon's most recently finished kit.
He had a 30 minute window to paint it outside between the rains.
The hardest part is waiting for it to dry before touching it,
fortunately there's always dishes to be washed.

Jakob's 1938 chevy

The '38 was Jake's 2nd model kit.
It was a tough one,
a ton of little pieces.

Jakob's 1951 chevy convertible

The convertible was Jakes project over the weekend.
It blows me away they have the focus to actually finish these.
all the pieces start either white or chrome,
and each piece is painted with a little brush,
other than the bodies.

(The little VW bug is almost done)


Grateful Dead - Cold Rain & Snow - 29 April 1971

-probably the best version of this song out there.
possibly because it wrapped up this epic Jam...
Grateful Dead - Lightning Jam - 4/29/71 - YouTube
If you've got 16 minutes give these two some ear time!


I started a model with them,
a 40 ford truck,
and was barely able to get the engine finished and frame painted!

Way to go guys!



This cart has proved invaluable the past couple weeks.


Sadly the more it is used,
the less blog posts are made.


I'll get back in the groove.


16 March 2012


I've been trying to take advantage of the time change this week.

The neighbors loved it,
cause Monday and Tuesday I fired up the gas weed wacker,
and leveled the back yard,
til about 7:15PM each day!
No pics of that exciting work.

stool time

Wednesday I finished up a good chunk of welding on the 40.
Now there is 25 feet to go!

weld time

Than last night (thursday) we finally went back to our TJ dentista.
My wife was in desperate need.
This was the first time we got stuck in the border line walking back.
It sucked.

Did you yawn yet?


13 March 2012

pyramid builders

One strut on this boat was out of alignment.
It was fun to watch their maintenance crew try to fix it.

first day
2 cuts
1 portapower

They borrowed a really cool expensive looking scope
to get the bearing tube in alignment.


This is the part that is amusing.
There are engineers, architects, designers, know-it-alls...
that can theoretically design the best possible plan.
and I went to school to try to be one of those guys!

second day
add flat bar

The problem is most of the work is not done or even overseen
by these theoretical builders.
Most of the work is done by workers whose ancestors built the pyramids,
using comparably crude and simple techniques.


the selecter - time hard


There is a magic with they way they work though,
and I have definitely embraced certain aspects in construction.
Sometimes out of ease and sometimes out of necessity.

these are the guys you want on your side when the going gets tough!

third day
when in doubt,
use a bigger pipe

By the fourth day the project was finally completed,
and it was half as bad the opposite way.

fourth day

There is a saying at this point in time.
"This isn't NASA-wey, we're not building space shuttles".

It only makes my job that much easier!