29 September 2015

2 for 2

Sad day for this racoon family...
One had a perfect tail.
The other was an old codger,
the hair was all mangled up.
Gotta look both ways...

20 September 2015

CAREG.com DMV registration scam

It's taken me years to figure out 
an easy way to save a couple bucks,
by paying car registration on time.
AAA made it quicker than the DMV,
but paying online is even faster.
I like the smaller registration cards they send out too,
cooler than the huge dot matrix printouts.
The iphone simplifies things even more,
especially on a Saturday evening.
I don't even have to go to the computer.
I googled DMV,
and clicked on a DMV website...
After clicking the registration tab,
the registration search had a new format.
Must be the mobile version.
After filling the license search form...
It was surprising to see a higher amount
then the renewal form in my hand!
What's this extra $34?
At first I got pissed.
Is CA so hard up they're charging online service fees?
$29 for a service fee,
$2 for a convenience fee,
$2-16 for shipping,
and $5 for an email!
I went to the computer and followed the same search pattern,
and realized my mistake.
I hit DMV.ORG/California,
the top hit on the google search,
which linked me to CAREG.COM,
who will happily take more money than your real renewal cost!
Granted it is an AD,
and there are warnings on the screen,
but who reads them!?
They must make a killing,
there's a dmv.org/everystate!!
Wonder how much that ad costs?
The real DMV.CA.GOV website set me at ease.
No wonder they're losing money,
they'll send me the registration for free!

17 September 2015

Let's go brickin'!

I couldn't help myself.
A quick peruse through craigslist,
and what do I see.
At the time this ad was posted for 21 minutes,
which means about 8 minutes visible.
We already have an excess of bricks at the house,
but 1104 bricks!!?!
That'd be our 2nd biggest haul.
Texts were returned,
and the deal was sealed,
however that's a daunting amount singlehanded,
the kids are in school now!
No child labor...
This time I'd have to sacrifice these 
for the good of the shop.
We could really use hard ground.
The shop guys didn't know what to expect.
I ordered them around like teenagers.
It was the perfect day for brickin'!
The important part is handling each brick
the least as possible,
which means stacking in 6's for an easy carry.
Basically there's a stacker and a loader or two.
We had the pad cleared in 2 hours!
Jason's truck held about 700,
he calculated 3300 pounds!
Tire bulging status.
The van held the remaining 404,
including some cool stepping stones.
We beat the downpour by 15 minutes.
Now to clear an area to lay these puppies!
Pave the world!

13 September 2015

1940 Ford Alley - chopped vs stock

Sad to say that every couple years 
the 40's come out for a photo-op,
which means one still isn't running,
and the kids and I push one up and down the alley.
This past year not much was done,
other than some paint and tire changes.
The green 40 drove so smooth up to Ventura,
Jaxon and I imagined chasing each other next year.
Which means I better get in my a$$.
And his a$$ thinking he's gonna chase or be chased.
Ok next year...

09 September 2015

Whaler Resto - pt xiiv - before and after

Here's some conflicting pictures whenever I peruse 
over another clapped out boat project.
They tear me in two directions.
One shows how a fiberglass hull 
can be saved.
There's a satisfaction as it becomes real.
The other a reminder of how much work it takes.
The dust...fumes...time...$$
Last week all the wood was sanded and varnished.
3 coats should get us to next summer.
I added a coat to the rope rub rail to bond it together.
Next thing we know,
schools back in session.
We missed taking the boat out the last day.

08 September 2015

Ventura Nationals 2015 - Sloppy's Revenge

The Ventura Nationals is a great excuse
to visit our second home town,
see old friends and get out of dodge.
This year we decided to take the green 40.
It was towed out of Ventura county in 2008,
time to break that curse.
We had to go through the car.
After 2 years of driving with very little re-tuning,
I didn't want to get stuck on the side of the freeway.
Jaxon began the wipe down.
A couple zip ties, 
shots with the grease gun 
and a few loose nuts...
The welded straight axle still holding up.
The suspension was good to go.
One continuing headache was belt squeal.
The bracket I had made was a little off.
A few enlarged holes solved the problem.
Two years and two belts later...
20 minutes of tinkering.
holey chit...
Was Chief sad or relieved 
to pass up this trip?
There'll be other drives.
The freeway cruise was smooth as could be.
We babied the first 40 miles,
and buzzed the remainder towards the halfway mark.
5 gallons at about 100 miles.
Not too shabby.
We met up with Sloppy,
sitting menacingly in the shadows.
Ready for the midnight haul.
Sloppy's throttle cable broke a mile later.
Next thing I know the gas pedal is out.
A holey chit moment.
Since we had just cleaned the 40,
our tools were minimal,
and no random wires or paraphernalia.
I intentionally built our car to not need metric or star wrenches,
or special pliers or what not.
Fortunately Sloppy's tool bag was the exact opposite.
The perfect hodgepodge of tools we needed.
The clutch cable was removed 
from his motorized chopper bike,
but the crimped lead on the end was way too big.
If anyone sees a shiny spot on the concrete 
while visiting this death lair...
I used the concrete as a file 
to whittle down the stub.
Perfect fit.
Relieved to be back on the road,
the traffic-less drive was well deserved.
Fun side by siding a flathead roadster.
Now I know what we look like 
in the roadster pickup with one tail light.
The next project when we get home.
We barged in to Greg's abode 
with time for 3 hours of sleep.
I claimed the most bitchin couch.
So nice...
We woke up surprisingly rested.
A short rally and we headed off to the fairgrounds.
I'm sure every car at the show had a story to tell...

04 September 2015

Greg's 29 A-V8 - pt 1

This summer we finally woke up 
the longest hibernating project,
temporarily nicknamed the Sharpie Roadster.
Can you figure out why?
I couldn't believe parts for this
were collected back in the Ventura era,
over 7 years ago.
Greg has been more than patient,
watching other projects take precedence.
The body was unplanned yard art.
The kids think it's normal to have these lying around.
Finally the time had come.
Why did it take so long?
A 7-8 year patina had aged earlier work
to match the body.
It seemed like yesterday 
when these boxing plates were welded and slotted.
Our house yard seemed empty without this.
First thing was to organize the infrastructure.
The shop is a crude work space,
and each project dials it in a little bit more.
Jaxon hung up a chain hoist.
Good thing he doesn't mind heights.
Now the body could be lifted and dropped singlehandedly.
Rumor had it a framing table was coming,
so in the meantime the body was hammered out.
The passenger side is a little squashed.
Now this is the lap of luxury.
No more jackstands and crouching down.
A heavy duty monster!
Definitely worth the wait.
Now where to start?
Up and down the body went.
Measuring and remeasuring,
the table made it easier to square up the rails.
This front crossmember had been waiting a long time!
One of the first versions whittled from 2x3 square tubing.
A model A crossmber will be used out back.
This will have 1936 wishbones,
adding 8" to the spring distances.
I went for a 1" shorter than stock 1932 wheelbase at 105",
a couple inches longer than a stock model A.
The track nose will fill in that length.
This framing table better be straight!
Out came the mockup flathead 
and 1949 overdrive transmission.
Basically the same running gear in Chief.
Now for the exciting part.
I had modified a '48 Ford front crossmember 
for the center x-member in Chief.
An idea was sketched out to mimic production styling,
but not look like basic tubing.
You can imagine how long this took,
but it's almost exactly what I was hoping for.
The tranny mount pad 
has a thicker reinforcement plate,
and open space to bolt straight through.
The rectangular tubing has a tendency to warp when cut,
so bolts and nuts were used to keep it's shape.
The crossmember was trimmed to fit,
and only tacked in to place.
There will be front and rear diagonals added,
and big holes cut out of the open area,
so it may be necessary to remove it later.
Next up are the front motor mounts,
firewall...body mounting...radiator...
Stoked to make some progress!