Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Day!

I have started to type out a blog post multiple times in the past month only to stop, delete, give up, or some other verb. It just hasn't happened. May has that affect at my house.  May feels like we are sinking, just hoping to make it to June before we are full under. May is Shelly's busiest time of the year only made worse by the simple fact of under funded schools and over worked special education groups.  The school is technically out of compliance with respect to work load for Speech Pathology (she has nearly 90 kids!). And at the end of the year, each kid needs tested, reported, plans and goals written, and then meet with each parent to review it all. She has been at work until 11pm multiple times, gone in a couple hours early multiple times, and fallen asleep after dinner exhausted multiple times. By the time May gets here, all our weekends are already planned (crammed?). We manage to get in mother's day (for my mom, her mom, and Shelly too), Brock's and Michael's birthday, Ohio State Championships road (bike) race p/b Team Athens, and Memorial day weekend. Oh, and we managed to have a successful first run of a new cryo-cooler design that I have been working on at work for the last 9 months.  With that...

I used to love to sketch, so much so that I almost considered art as a career while I was in high school. Last year Shelly and the boys bought me a sketch book. So, I did a quick pencil drawing of the old mill at Stockport for mom for Mother's day.  Hopefully this kick me back into gear to draw more, though time will tell.

Two wheel of the motor variety:  I picked up a pannier rack from a friend for the KTM. I had been considering a rackless bag setup (like the Mosko Moto Reckless 80) but with a rack set, I decided to fabricate a system that would allow me to transfer my Pelican cases from the Buell to the KTM and back easily.  I decided on using 1/2" thick HDPE with mitered edges that created a slide on setup. A thumb screw through the case from the inside prevents it from being lifted off (unless I want to). Actually works well and I can move the cases in about two minutes.  I had to park the Buell a while ago due to a leaking fork seal.  A simple repair and since HD still has the updated springs (progressive springs from 2007) available, I decided to upgrade while I had the forks apart.  I placed the order through my local HD dealer for two seals and two springs.  Two weeks later I had two seals, no springs. A quick phone call to HD and the nice lady says the springs are in stock and she does not know why the order wasn't filled. She had my dealer cancel the open order and re-order. Another two weeks and no springs. (Does anyone else see the larger failure of the system here?). I had to cancel the order through my local dealer and order online through a different dealer. A week and half later, I had new springs.  A couple hour job to change out the parts and I was back up and running and happy I waited for springs, the difference was significant.
Pannier rack mounting system
Pannier Rack Clamps
Racks and panniers installed.
Fork seal repair and spring upgrade on the Buell.

Timing cover repaired on the 640.
We celebrated birthdays for the oldest and youngest. Thanks to Fluff Bakery (http://www.fluffbakery.com/) for a special sugar cookie for Brock.

The next weekend I worked as a corner marshal for the previously mentioned bike race. I have raced this in the past, but 1) road racing isn't my strong area and 2) it turns our riding my singlespeed to Fluff for lunch on Fridays to get pie hasn't been the best training plan. Anyway, this year I was the first time I wasn't driving SAG, rather "just" working a corner.  Though it turns out the particular corner I was working has a history with a local 70+ year old farmer. Said farmer ran a barricade and flagger a couple years ago and acted as if he was going to run over the sheriff who had to actually draw his side arm.  This year was slightly less dramatic, though he made several drive by's that included the middle finger and telling the sheriff to f*** off. The story gets better. While telling this story at work, one of the machinists who is a sport pilot told a story of this same guy greeting a group of sport pilots at the Vinton Co. airport with his shotgun in hand because they had disturbed the airspace above his farm. Certifiable nut job.

At some point this month we even went fishing which was interrupted by at least a couple of passing thundershowers. But we did manage to catch a few fish and nearly get our trucks stuck in the mud created by the showers.

Not a lot of patience in this boy.
Waiting out a passing storm.
Finally a fish.
That pretty well catches things up. Not a lot of riding (though I did get almost 40 miles in on my singlespeed on memorial day). Speaking of, we have been reading The Magic Tree House series to Brock. The last two books have been about the Civil Ware and the Revolutionary War. I appreciate that war is presented in a way to shows to Brock that it isn't a game and that people are greatly affected. Too often we have to become a monster to fight a monster. It is sad to recall all the lives lost in just the history of this country as we have fought for what we believe was (is) right. I pray that Brock does not have to learn about war through personal experience.

Here is to a Happy Summer.
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