30 May 2012


While working on Hans' 50 chevy a couple months back,
I realized the lack of infrastructure at the old homestead
led to an extreme absence of organization.
blank canvas

Since then I've been trying to gear it up a bit more to the mechanical aspects of heavy tinkering.
Getting rid of junk, the swapmeet canopy,  bringing in the roll-away toolbox etc.

muscle brothers

The base of outside operations had been set up on that small wagon in the above pic,
or the ground,
like a caveman.
Time for an upgrade.


Using the scrap wood from the dismantled shop loft,
a proper workbench was whittled together.

There was enough wood used in this bench to make a respectable shack.
74 feet just in the 2x6 frame!
Hey I work on some heavy chit!


A little embarrassing how much time it took to make a simple rectangle.
Now that it's roughed in,
why did I wait so long?

28 May 2012

pass it on

For some reason yesterday morning I was up at 6am.
I did a quick scan through craigslist and was surprised to see this.

craigslist deal

Without thinking I texted the ad over to my friend Spinner,
who was looking for another bike project.
A couple hours later he showed up with it.

1971 yamaha xs650 scrambler

Way more bitchin up close.
Someone had put a dirt bike front end on it.
Spinner had actually ridden it all the way from Ramona,
about 40 miles or so,
with only a couple minor oil leaks to show for it.
The thing even had a registration and working lights.

1971 yamaha xs650 scrambler

While it's the perfect bike to chop up,
it's also the perfect commuter bike.
What was I thinking passing it on!?

1971 yamaha xs650 scrambler

Well at least it went to a good home.

lizard king

After looking at these shots of the garage,
I guess I don't really need another project.


26 May 2012

breezer goes to mexico

I had to make a quick run down to the dentista,
so figured this was the perfect time to ride the bike.

otay pedestrian bridge

The old Breezer Thunder mountain bike was stashed in the car,
but I was a little hesistant to ride down there after the 25 minute drive to the border.
The taxi is only $6 with tip each way,
and it is a little sketchy.

I flipped a coin and ...
 heads -
time to ride the bike.

After the short spin to the pedestrian crossing,
I was ready for some international adventure.

down the hill to Murua

The fun part of the ride is this hill down to Murua,
also called Gato Bronco or Wildcat,
the area of Tijuana/Otay where the dentista office is.
It's a good mile long bombing run with a little side trail.

dental impression

The reason for going was to make this dental impression.
After grinding down the 2 teeth for the crowns,
my gums were a little inflamed to make a proper impression.
I guess a 15 year cavity will do that.
It only took a couple days to heal,
so now the crowns will have the correct gaps.
Well worth the extra trip.


This shot cracks me up so I'm gonna post it again.
The bummer was,
the impression made it more obvious I have a screwed up molar.
So I'll need another friggin root canal.
Guess I'll be posting about more dentist trips!

chelada time

The bike ride to the dentista was probably as fast as the taxi.
Not so lucky with the uphill ride back.
Time for a chelada.
breezer thunder

I stuffed myself with a Bicholon Supremo (chelada with clams and shrimp)
 and some Tostihuates. (tostitos with nuts and hot sauce)
Before the beer hit me,
it was time to get going.

breezer thunder in TJ

The ride up was slow at first.
Belly was kinda full.
That's what I get for ordering the big bottle.

breezer thunder in TJ

Glad I brought this bike.
Upright handlebars and good gears helped to keep the beer in.
This was a stupid picture to take.
That field was full of those crazy tire popping weed thorns.


Little bit more.


Finally made it up the hill.


A quick stop at the local Calimax for the deals.
Of course I didn't bring a backpack.
One hand for the bike,
one hand for the bottle.

green grass in TJ?

At the border line there was a good wait.
Not too bad for a friday night.

otay border crossing

One of the bike hazards of the border crossings are the turnstiles.
If you look in the pic above its that rotating pipe walkway.
There are a bunch of them and they eat wheels if you're not careful.

more TJ bikes

Here you can see the similarities of my bike to a typical border bike.
Hi-rise bars, no shock...
The big difference is mexican bikes are usually 2 sizes too small for the rider.
This girl was on the phone 35 minutes of the 40 minutes in line.

ARCO deal
25 may 2012

This was kinda crazy.
The ARCO station by the border - gas $4.09 a gallon.

ARCO ripoff
25 may 2012

Than maybe 20 miles away the gas goes for $4.49 a gallon.
Same day, same county.
macey's treat

Here's the Calimax deal of the day.
A liter of tequila with a big blue glass mug,
and a big box of Frosted Flakes.
Since I had the bike,
I had parked a little farther away at the free parking,
instead of the $4 parking gouger lot.
So together with the taxi savings,
$4+6+6 = $14
this was all basically $8.50.

All in all it was a great experience.
I'll definitely do the bike ride again,
but probably won't take as many pictures!


24 May 2012

mexico vs US

There are a couple big differences between the US and Mexico,
besides everything being written or spoken in spanish.

2 teeth fitted for crowns

One is they don't believe in temporary crowns.
When I sat down,
our dentista just started grinding away at the 2 teeth.
While laying there,
I was trying to figure out how she planned on filling the holes she was making.
At the end of the day,
she just said,
okay see you next week for the coronas/crowns.
And that was that.
An American luxury.
I guess they're not really necessary!

brace face

my wife was getting braces installed.
Kinda sad as I liked her teeth.
The problem is the crookedness is creating problems that will be tough to fix.

So again the reason for doing these trips is mainly the cost.
Her braces cost $350.
Later on she'll do the bottoms, now prepaid.

mexican x-rays

The day before,
we huffed it down to the X-RAY office near the San Ysidro crossing of TJ.
There she had gotten 3 photographs and top and bottom impressions.
All for $56!

mexicana's x-rays

In San Diego,
the kids dentist wanted $300 for two x-ray photographs.
What the heck?
The only sketchy thing in comparison,
is Mexicans don't believe in the lead covering usually used in the states.
I guess the radiation isn't a worry for once in a great while instances.

frosted flakes

We got there too early,
so we snooped around the CALIMAX grocery store nearby.
It was trippy,
everything is kinda the same,
just in spanish.
when you look at the prices,
everything is about 30% cheaper.

TJ deal

It was incredible.
All this stuff (plus a water and 2 pan dulces we ate) - $24!
The LITER of tequila, good stuff too - $18.
That bottle on the right is real vanilla concentrate - $0.50
In the states,
this would have been almost $50.

What the heck?
Well we found out the x-ray techs get about $200 per week.
That means the relation of grocery prices to income is actually worse if not equal.
Now we have a plan to bring a bag or 2 of groceries back every trip.

The savings will overpay for the taxi rides!.

I guess that's why they save money on temporary crowns!

more floor...

I'm a little backed up with pics so here's a couple from last week.


With the basic pedal configuration set up,
I was able to sheet out the last bit of permanent floor on the drivers side.
The plan is to have the front part removeable,
in case the pedal assembly needs to be taken out.

almost done

In that first pic you can see an L frame out of thicker steel.
That will need to be drilled and tapped to match that aluminum base plate.
Also there will be an angled foot plate so it's like a normal car.
Yeah nothings easy.

front floor

The weakest part of my planning
 was I didn't complete the clutch or brake linkages first.
So now they have to be done from underneath.


22 May 2012

the great pumpkins

Our house is easy to find.
We just say,
look for the house with the pumpkins on the porch,
even though it's May.
the great pumpkins

Somehow these have lasted since Halloween,
almost 7 months.
The bottom one is gonna blow out any day now,
its getting a little jiggly.
The top 2 may have another month.
Definitely a record!


18 May 2012

the walnut era

One thing about doing the craigslist thing,
is if your getting rid of chit,
you end up finding even cooler chit.

1975 JBL 4311-WX

Now if I was posting on "auto parts",
why would I be looking in "electronics",
especially at 9:30pm!

1975 JBL 4311 speakers

Well the reason is obvious,
these JBL speakers were meant to be in the family!

JBL 4311-WX  control monitor

I don't think I've ever seen a pair of original owner JBL 4311's up for sale.
That's breaking a 37 year old relationship!
I had to email the seller and tell her I couldn't afford them but put me in line.

back side 4311's

Surprisingly she agreed and later the next day we sealed the deal.
Michelle was a little sentimental,
they were bought in Germany in 1975,
and had lasted through a couple kids.
She knew after a brief conversation they were going to a good home.
Definitely not getting flipped!

busted covers

Besides some lightly dented caps,
the only issue was purely cosmetic.
The screens are made of the cheesiest particle board.
Hopefully this glue will hold.

I'd rather not use the screens really.
Those white 12" woofers are so bitchin.
These should have Alnico magnets,
and they're coated with something called "lansaplas" or "aquaplas".
They contrast so well with the walnut veneer.
So cool.

wall of sound

I picked these up thursday night about 7:30pm,
and by 8:15 they were hooked up to the old kenwood kr-7600.
It was immediately obvious these were rock-n-roll speakers.

jbl 4311 vs klipsch heresy

The Klipsch Heresy speakers are great sounding speakers,
kinda midrange-y in a way and very clear.
Yeah I know it's not the best location.
The horn style speakers are really efficient and get really loud really fast.
I liked the sound especially as close to my head the speakers are situated!

4311 vs heresy

These new old JBL's have the bass though.
The inherent problem with heresy's is they cut out at 50hz or so.
The JBL's go down to about 45hz.
In addition,
the JBL's have the tuned port,
that hole on the bottom between the 2 smaller speakers.

I was so used to the klipsch brightness,
that it took a while to understand the JBL sound.
All I can say is after a couple songs,
I realized the JBL's sound more "real" than the Klipsch's.


Grateful Dead - 1978 mojo jam

Most of the stuff I listen to are live recordings,
not the studio stuff these control monitors are made for.
when playing some crispy dead soundboards,
there is the feeling of a live show the way the sound engineer intended.
And that's with an 80wpc 1978 Kenwood receiver!

1975 jbl 4311 vs 1980 klipsch heresy

I preferred to use the loudness button with the heresy's,
but with the JBL's they sound fine with just a little kick up on the bass knob.
right now it's late and the music is low,
so the loudness button does help.

klipsch vs JBL

I wonder what the heresy's would sound like with a tuned port/bass reflex hole.
Some day I'll have to make a replacement backing piece and try it out.
why did Klipsch use such cheesy wire connectors?
The JBL's have super cool spring loaded buttons.

typical messy desk

You guessed it,
the JBL's have taken over the computer area.
The Heresy's will go in the garage,
hooked up to the Sansui 9090.
I think that will be a kick-ass setup.
Especially cause I won't be sitting in front of the speakers!

walnut veneered JBL 4311

It's funny,
since these speakers have been hooked up,
I've typed 3 posts already!

Thanks Michelle!


17 May 2012

google maps

There is a big difference between building a car and let's say, gardening.
With gardening you throw some plants in the ground, a little watering and voila.
Things will grow even if you don't want them too,
like weeds.
At least it's green right?
Looks the same on google maps!

pedal restrictions

This car thing is a little different.
If you don't nurture it even a little,
nothing gets done.
It actually starts going backward,
as any momentum is sapped away.

holey chit

The key is the layering of the different projects.
The work itself is easy depending on the level of finish.
The hard part is the organization of each step.

crude but effective

There is a small section of floor left on the front part of the 40.
It seems so easy,
its just that the pedals weren't finished to figure out the clearance needed in the floor
in case they needed to be removed.
All along I had been planning on cutting or bending the pedals,
but all that was needed was a little chop chop.


After less than 2 hours of tinkering,
the pedals have the clearance they need to actually work.
There is still a little cut-n-pasting to be perfect,
after the linkages are mounted to see how much movement is really needed.
The important part is now this area of the floor can finally be wrapped up!