28 August 2014

Rat Bauer

A couple days ago I was put to the test.
Somehow a baby rat had got into our washing machine.
He survived the wash and spin cycle.
I picked him up and he was reeling,
dizzy from his hellbound fairground ride.
This is when I made my mistake.
Shoulda taken him out right then and there.
Held him by the tail and thunked him on the floor.
We recuperated him in this plastic box.
Now miserable in the sauna atmosphere.
Yes we poked holes.
The kids thought he was cute.
Dang it.
They named it "Rat Bauer" after Jack Bauer,
the guy on the show 24 who always gets out of trouble.
That day we went to sunset cliffs for late lunch.
The perfect place to let him go,
he could grow up to be a big wharf rat.
No that doesn't sound good.
What about the bird eggs and babies.
Definitely overthinking this one.
Back home we dropped him into a 5-gallon bucket.
Gave him some energy food,
granola, nuts and water.
Doesn't seem to smart looking back at it.
The rag covering the top didn't work.
The little f*cker jumped all night,
grabbed that rag,
and used it as a ladder to escape.
Holey Chit.
To top it off,
I've been waking up at 3-4 AM,
nature calls type chit.
I didn't know about the escape at the time,
just sensed something was wrong.
I go to the back porch,
flip on the light switch,
and whose beady eyes are staring at me.
That damn rat somehow thought climbing this little tree was his way to freedom.
We both froze.
Usually the kids have their BB gun by the door.
No luck.
The only thing was that little throwing knife on the ledge.
I tried to smack him with it but he jumped,
and I only got his back half as he popped away.
Now it's game on.
4 traps are set in various locations.
I feel like Elmer Fudd or the Coyote!

27 August 2014

The itch

Every summer the boating frenzy returns.
Even though we only go out a couple times,
the distraction holds.
For years we were happy with inflatables.
After finding out that RIB's-
hard bottom inflatables-
aren't easy to store,
we've kept the roll-up for brief excursions.
The last time out the realization that we outgrew the Avon hit.
As expected,
I started the craigslist hunt.
Not one to buy a complete running $$ boat,
a cheap project was found.
The curse of "oh yeah I can fix that..."
Many deals were missed.
Some for the better,
but others were scores for the new owners.
We took home this cheap 13' Whaler.
The other day I revisited fiberglass repairs.
Definite love-hate relationship there.
It's such an easy material to work with,
but dang the itch and dust/fumes.
This one had sat for years,
giving the Whaler foam plenty of time to dry.
Sealing any nicks all the more important to not waterlog the hull.
Definite work boat finish.
Now it's engine time.
Ancient outboards.
For now the goal is to rip out the gas hog,
and let the kids tear it up with the little 15.
Hopefully keep them out of trouble.
Of course right at the end of summer!

22 August 2014

Pave the World - part IV

Yep another installment.
For some reason I'm obsessed with this brick thing.
Well that first pic is just a distraction.
Guess I'm teaching the kids to like rocks!
A friend hooked up the motherlode brick stash.
Over 500 clean mortar-free bricks.
Glad we brought the trailer.
Jaxon was kinda bummed he didn't have a job now.
The goal was this catch-all section.
The kids removed the fence wood and the weeds.
Wow it looks so messy in pics!
What is all this chit?
The clean bricks layed themselves.
Jaxon screwed in the fence wood much straighter then before.
Now there's a nice gap too.
We actually got rid of a bunch of junk,
doesn't look like it it but we did.
As you can see there's a ton more bricks left...

20 August 2014

Sneak Peak III - Hurtlocker Truck

The past couple weeks have been a huge learning experience.
I never realized how much work a shiny black paint job took.
There's an obsessiveness needed to get every panel perfect.
The painter has an interesting process.
His mantra was repeated often...
"We put on a socote to see what's going on."
I've finally figured out what that meant.
The definition was easy,
spraying a pre-topcoat to clarify problem areas.
No other way to see the reflection without guessing.
One day at lunch I had to solve this puzzle.
What is he saying? 
So coat? 
Seal coat? 
Sew coat like when you sew your house for sale.
Show coat!
Finally the mystery was solved.
Guess there's no SHH in the Vietnamese language.
I had him try to say "show",
but it always started out in a whistling S.
Good times.
Now we've painted ourselves into the proverbial corner.
Everything is shiny black and perfect.
I told ken were gonna have to wear a pillow suit or snuggy to work on this now!

12 August 2014

Sneak peak II - Hurtlocker Truck

The past couple weeks have been like going to school,
Paint & Bodywork 101.
The previous sheetmetal work is being meticulously treated to mind-numbing detail...
...by How who definitely didn't know what he was getting into agreeing to do this project!
I think he's applied 4 gallons of bondo,
but sanded off at least 3.
Meanwhile I'm like the guy shoveling coal into the fire,
or the guy sweeping the ice in that winter Olympic game - curling.
Whatever it takes to make things go.
With the humid air we've had some compressor problems.
Fortunately Ken has enough stuff lying around to rig up a solution.
So between the sanding, hammering and welding,
there's the equipment maintenance.
I've become way to accustomed to home-cooked Vietnamese lunches.
So tasty and not the typical meats I'm used too!
There's a light at the end of the tunnel,
Now back to more sanding...

06 August 2014

Sneak peak - Hurtlocker progress

Here's a top secret update
I'm not sure what happened,
but plans shifted,
and now the Hurtlocker Truck is getting some well deserved attention.
It's like going to a chemical spa,
after getting massaged all day.
Primer yesterday,
should be dark by tomorrow...

04 August 2014

brick by brick

I'm sure you guys are eager to know the brickwork progress.
Sunday Jakob and I jammed out to get some free bricks.
Just like the picture...
A weird deal,
no number or address,
just a street name.
We got there first,
I thought we had it sealed,
until another guy barreled in and started taking some.
We scurried and got as many bricks as fast as we could.
Dang craigslisters...
Not too big a deal,
We still got 2/3 the pile,
while also learning a little business lesson.
At lunch I found another ad.
More bricks!
We missed these,
probably taken by the same guy!
We spent all Sunday laying these damn things.
That wasn't the plan.
The rain had helped soften up the hardpack,
and it was hard to stop.
Jaxon was the master chipper,
hammering off the cement.
Jakob smoothed the dirt out.
A finely tuned machine.
It's hard to see a difference here.
The right row of bricks was removed,
any extra dirt was sifted and spread out,
and now it's an inch or more higher,
as it sloped down.
There's still a lot that could be done,
but the visual from the alley looks clean,
instead of a never ending project.

03 August 2014

JBL 4311 crossovers

What a nice treat,
a little rain to wet out the so-cal dryness.
Just enough sprinkling to delay the brickwork too.
The perfect time to tear up some speakers.
The far right pair had some weird sound issues.
There is a crossover underneath this aluminum plate.
Well the mounting screws anyway.
It seems like water had soaked in over the years,
and the pot or controller was messed up.
Inside there's a simple mechanism,
until it's taken apart anyway.
There's a lot of info on rebuilding these.
I had ordered new capacitors and L-pads,
based on what I found online.
Not the prettiest work,
but should hold up.
All back together,
I seriously wasn't sure if there was much difference.
The L-pad controllers worked much better,
however there is such a huge range in the 2 knobs,
the upgrade just seemed to allow more change.
They do sound sweet though!
Since the wife was working,
I decided to take over the dining room,
and wipe that wood rejuvenator on all the veneer,
on all of them! 
Ah the smell.
Fortunately everything was dismantled by the time she came home...