31 March 2014

Sunday Fun Day

 After a lackluster and not too productive Saturday,
I was wound up to do some damage on Sunday.
With multiple projects to choose from,
the hardest part is focusing on one.
Remember my uncles floor from a couple posts back?
Well now that that project was finished,
the green light was on for the 40's tranny hump.
Typically I'm selfish,
but it wouldn't sound right to say,
"I didn't work on your floor cause I was working on my own floor."
As usual this project was the perfect way
to clean up the garage.
I'd been dragging around this aluminum scrap for years,
and although it was a little thin,
the worst it could do was serve as a template,
of course after a couple years service,
since the cardboard has lasted 4 months now.
One benefit of this thin aluminum 
is only needing simple hand tools.
This parlays into enjoying a good beer...
While bathing in crispy bass riddled tunes.
This was as far as I got.
Way stiffer with the bends,
which is why I didn't bead roll anything.
Not the best fit either,
but things may change if I weld it up.
If not it'll be covered up with a carpet,
and only 39 of us will ever know!

28 March 2014

Train Wreck - part 3 - La Scalas

This will be one of the longest posts in PB history.
I've been slowly writing it for days!
About a month ago I had been scouring craigslist for junk.
Every now and then there's an urge to sniff something out,
and why I was drawn to the San Fran area is unexplicable.
Up for sale in Oakland was a pair of Klipsch La Scalas.
A lackluster ad showed one picture 
of a water damaged and sun bleached cabinet.
The price was right at about half the going rate.
My kinda deal.
After many many emails and a fun phone conversation,
I couldn't pass these up.
The seller was an older guy,
used the speakers 24/7,
with stories of wild parties.
It is rare to hold something on a strangers word 500 miles away,
even after low balling him on an already decent price,
especially when other buyers were offering more.
In this way he called my bluff,
and I felt morally obligated to get these speakers.
Everything hinged on my secret weapon.
Our old pal Luke Pigpen Brown lives in the area,
and was game for a moving adventure,
even if it involved stairs.
It didn't take long for the beasts to become a fixture in his place.
Uh oh...
In a premeditated seed of coincidence,
I had planted an idea in Sloppy's head,
that turned into the beanstalk faster then expected.
Sloppy had been using this Chinese truck 
as a daily for a couple years.
He finally sold it and was looking for a more freeway friendly ride,
something like a Toyota pickup.
When I hinted to expand his search to the NorCal area.
He wasted no time,
and less than a week later a truck was found.
Holey Chit.
Another bluff called.
The convoluted plan involved renting a car,
jetting up to get this truck,
and using it to haul the speakers.
Well after the online car reservation was denied by Enterprise Rent-a-car
I realized it was mathematically cheaper to drive the van.
The best part was no need for a 24 hour frenzy,
trying to get the rental back in time.
The last minute change moved our depart time 
to coincide with afternoon LA traffic.
Driving a ford e350 van at 70...
We actually made it to the truck by 830pm!
Sloppy dug it and the deal was made.
Bummer was we didn't get to Luke's pigpen until after 11.
He rallied up the needed beers,
and we discovered there are no mexi-food places open at night.
What the...
Even more surreal was the bomb that they were expecting a kid!
A little Brown baby!
Holey double chit...
A good night of chit chat and by dawn our host and prego-hostess were off in the morning commute.
It was a bummer to rip these out,
there living room was made for them.
As a consolation prize,
I offered him some little Klipsch KG4's.
No definitely not as dominating!
With time to spare,
Sloppy and I made ourselves at home.
Their pad is awesome.
Tons of space.
We'd definitely have a half-pipe and a dirt track here.
We had also brought up his old honda superhawk,
no use wasting space.
With the speakers loaded up,
it was time to go.
Now I was glad to have brought the van.
The trip home was all about gas mileage.
The van likes 68mph.
I drafted as much as possible.
Leaving Castro valley after noon
brought me into LA at 530.
Great timing.
I was supposed to make a pit stop somewhere,
but once on that long highway...
It took an hour to go 20 miles.
At first I thought this was normal until I looked at the phone,
and brought out the traffic map.
Man what a time saver.
While thousands of cars unknowingly packed
into the devils bunghole of the 5 freeway,
a quick detour avoided the whole mess.
Gotta love technology.
Amazingly enough,
the van made it one way on one full tank of gas.
Sure it holds 25 gallons,
but good to know it can do a 500 mile stretch.
What was this post about again?

26 March 2014

cover up - part 1

Usually I'll consolidate a couple happenings to make one good post,
to get the whole cause and effect.
I'm on hold here and I dig this new iphone blogger app,
so here's the boring part one while I'm waiting.
My parents got this now older cadillac,
a 2004 srx,
to make traveling to Ventura more appealing.
I remember looking at the northstar v8,
and thinking wow...shiny...
Ten years later it's still running fine,
but is it worth an overpriced dealer oil change?
For $70 we got the better Mobil-1 synthetic and a filter.
Way cheaper with the security of knowing what's going in.
It wasn't too surprising 
that the cover disguised a plain old gas burning engine.
The surprise was a greasy old gas burning engine.
Maybe that's why the covers on there!
Anyway for now it's a bit cleaner,
and my gears are grinding for the idea it pinged up.
Stay tuned...

25 March 2014

Marketing Genius

Over the weekend woke up with a typical full bladder.
Tough to try to go back to sleep without taking care of it!
So what happens,
I get on the iPhone and search around craigslist.
What do I find,
but a too good to be true pair of speakers.
It looked legit enough to reply.
I've done the same (at) trick in ads,
as a way to limit hackers and spam.

An hour later I realize it was too good to be true.
The guy sends a link to this penny auction site.
Saying how great it is.
Another too good to be true site.
I watched some of the listings,
and was amazed how cheap this junk went for.

I had to investigate what the catch was.
Here it is.
Each bid is either a penny or a nickel,
but each bid costs $0.60.
These are prepurchased bid packages when becoming a member.
The other trick is the bids are never ending,
each bid launches another 20 seconds of life,
until the bidding war stops,
usually when the bidder runs out of the prepurchased bid ammo.
Here is the marketing genius.
See that tool set on the top right?
Ok the seller, 
which is basically a mail order store,
Has made at the time 547 x $0.60,
Which adds up to $328!
Way more then the actual value.
Basically someone gets a deal but someone else pays for it.

Here's the fishy thing.
If you look on the left auction,
A guy pfscorpio is bidding on a cheesy record player,
Then on the right he's bidding on a cheesy tool set.
He could be real but also could be a shill bidder,
driving up the price.

Wish I had thought of this!


24 March 2014

Train Wreck part 2 - Klipsch fortes

On the mission to pick up Brandon's new project,
I found some speakers on the LB craigslist.
Everything was too coincidental in their acquisition to not get them-
close by, seller agreed to lowball offer,
we had trailer space,
and near tasty Mexican grub...
When things fall into place easily,
it seems right to go for it.
Maybe that's why this wasn't the wisest deal,
as when reading this,
other things fall into that same category-
booze, drugs and loose women!
But they sure look nice in that top picture huh?
That's cause I spent at least an hour rubbing these babies out.
I've found this cheap wood refinishing oil,
Howard's magic wood rejuvenator.
How else could I get these beat up things in the house?
Now when I see bleached or dry veneer,
as long as it's not chipped or delaminated,
I know there's an easy way to clean them up,
while also using the condition as a reason for a better deal.
Of course I didn't wheel and deal that great on these.
The components were in really good condition,
so I went for the agreed price,
and decided to bitch about it later.
Here's the segue.
This oil/wax stuff is a two-parter.
Scrub the stain on with steel wool,
and follow it up with this goopy wax stuff.
I found it easiest to apply the wax with bare hands.
Don't ask it just seemed easier.
Nothing like a slippery splinter!
No luck digging out the splinter, 
time to redo the first pair of these I found.
No this stuff doesn't take out juice stains.
Way nicer.
Now that both pair were cleaned up,
I decided to make one a house set,
and the other the garage set.
This is where I kinda screwed up.
The back of these have a passive woofer,
a dead speaker that regulates the air movement,
similar to a tuned port.
I swapped the cleaner ones onto the walnut pair,
But didn't realize these were the same as the woofers on the kg4's I was going to flip.
Of course I found out right before the guy came to pick them up.
Too late, too lame...
Until you read the next "train wreck" post,
It looks like I did good,
trading two pairs of smaller Klipsch for one larger pair.
Nothing the wife loves more then speakers in the walkway.
Last off,
the placement of these is totally wrong,
but wow do they sound great.
Klipsch designed these speakers for a 2-channel setup,
no subwoofer.
The bass goes down to 32hz,
and yes I've tested it out!
The garage placement is even worse.
Supposedly the bass rolls off best at 18" from the wall.
Oh well.
now it's the perfect overkill work system.
By the way,
it took two weeks for my wife to talk me into her pulling out that splinter.