Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Another Oldie But Goody: Some years back on a spring train chasing ride, I was lucky enough to get multiple snaps of this SD40 sitting on the diamond. Normally something you wouldn't see, straddling the state's CSX mainline was no big deal at the time as traffic was sparse due to the poor economy. You could spend the better part of a day just waiting for a CSX train to roll by, if so inclined ( I wasn't).

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    I hear there's been a pickup in traffic these days, putting the diamond back on the GS' dance card for this spring.
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Winter Scene: Below is the view from what will be the 2nd floor loft study. Come summer and foliage, you won't be able to see the barn. The basement shop area will have the same view but at ground level. There's a stone wall and stream back there and, further on, a big pond.

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    As for the status of our carriage house build, HVAC and electrical are roughed in with plumbing up next (likely a week or more out if the past is any indicator).
  3. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    Very nice piece of land, hope you can enjoy it soon!
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  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Salt And Battery: Last year, the Miata's battery kicked the bucket after 8 years. We hadn't driven it much during heavy salt-on-the-road days and one morning it decided not to start (or do much of anything). We tried to jump it to no avail and then called AAA who tried to jump it with no affect. AAA guy said it couldn't be jumped, wouldn't hold a charge and, with my needing the car, put in a new battery.

    With currently no place to park the little beauty, the Miata has been in storage since last fall. Although we made it a point to get the car out and drive it regularly, it had sat for a over a month and refused to start last weekend. Once again using jumper cables did nothing more than light up the dash so I ditched my old school ways, went high tech and got a very userful tool, shown below.

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    This little gem brought the Miata back from the dead in about 1 second and still showed 100% charge afterwards. With a USB port, it can also do double duty bringing your iPod/Pad/Phone or other smart device back from the dead. Although I've never had to jump the GS, I came close with a bad cell after almost 5 years but (having encountered more than a few other drivers and riders who's steeds didn't want to start) will probably make this part of the bike's kit. It only weighs a couple of pounds and I can see buying another one for the cage. Note: I have no affiliation with or interest the company that makes these and am just posting an FYI on what seems to be a handy, useful product.
  5. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Interesting booster pack John. Cost? Where bought?
  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Dave, it was a little over $100 at Auto Zone. Models with less wattage cost less but I felt the need for something that would kick the Miata battery's ass out of a deep, probably sulfated, near death, slumber.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Melding:

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    Just some spooky stuff from two past rides put into one picture just for the fun of thinking about and then doing it.
  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Oh Deer: An older, previously-unpublished pic of deer in the road taken some years back on a ride down Skyline Drive out of Front Royal.


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    Taken with a much older pocket camera, it reminds us of spring and the need to get another salt lick for the back yard.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Kicking Up Dust: Spending the last 3 days holed up in a basement babysitting a CNC machine gave me time to think about riding. Being in the basement isn't all bad as temps outside are below freezing, the wind is gusting up to 60 mph, there's black ice and it's not fit for man or steed. Before the mind can float off into riding la-la land, there's a good bit of work to be done that takes your mind off the outside misery. There's multi-faceted work to be done - 80 to 100 pieces for the business. It starts with a design.

    Once you design the piece you want to build, transform the design into a layered set of vectors and then program the various bits, toolpaths, speeds, feeds, ramps, rates, etc; you can plug it into the machine, sit back and watch it run. If you haven't screwed things up, it will happily run along carving up whatever it is you are making. If you have screwed up somewhere, there's the risk of the tool running amuck and messing up everything in its path. That possibility is why I babysit the thing, always being within reach of the stop button. During such periods, the mind invariably starts thinking about riding as I watch the end mill making its run through the stock.

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    For example, I've busted more than one end mill (e.g. a small - 1/8" fluted mill) trying to take a tight corner too fast and too deep. Putting unnecessary points into a vector is like adding too many speed zones into your riding route. It slows things down. Failure to consider step-over distances as the tool moves from one vector to the next is like not considering your bottom clearance as you traverse a rut or rock. Getting out the calipers to check a cutout thickness made me think of checking tire pressure and brake pad thickness (I am getting adjusted to working wood in thousandths of an inch). There were other mental comparisons with riding but I won't bore you with them. Do we have riding on the brain? Just a touch. Once this production run is done, I think I will make an ADV sign for the new digs (if they ever get done).
  10. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    Maybe you should also learn to program a digital printer while the CNC is running, the multi tasking could simulate hand foot co ordination while riding...; )
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  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    LOL, too much work. I did, however, design this in my head while babysitting the machine yesterday. Having put the design into the system this morning, I may run it later today on some scrap (can't use the company's good wood) to get an idea how it looks in person.

    [​IMG]
  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Out Back: Got out of the shop and went for a little back yard walkabout today looking for the regular deer trails, which have changed due to the construction (i.e, they used to come up through the yard where the new addition is.). Anyway, it looked so serene that I took out the iPhone and got a pic.

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    It is R2's intent to build a little bridge over the small creek you see. It is more pleasant to walk back here in the winter when it isn't so wet and muddy. There's lots of critter tracks about and it will be time for some game cameras once the carriage house is done. To that end, the siding is now going up but the critical-path plumbing rough-in is still in the wind.

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    Come hell or high water, we're pulling the Miata out of storage the end of this month. The place won't be done but the old girl, like the redhead, begs to be driven and I am tired of paying storage fees. A cover will be adequate for the remaining months.
  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Time Flies: Time really flies by when you're riding (or driving) something you like. It was about 6 years ago to the day that the seeds to this thread and my riding enjoyment were sown. I was too old (or slow, stupid, whatever) to know it at the time, though. It was the first of March 2013 and R2 (Kevin) was talking about getting a bike that he would enjoy riding both off and on the slab. Earlier that previous fall, we had ridden a hilly, twisty road infested with bumps, potholes, frost heaves, broken pavement, etc. and both he and his Harley didn't much like it. After some study, it became apparent that the two big dogs (i.e., Harley and Honda) were on some other smooth-road motorcycle planet and a month later he ended up going to look at a GS, as shown below.

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    By the end of the month, he had the GS in hand and was telling this old cruiser guy that I really needed to try this bike. With only two cylinders and no CB, front/rear speakers or jukebox, I couldn't see it at the time. After considerable persuasion, I did ride the thing. It felt all nervous, jerky, twitchy and ravenous - like some wild animal. Getting back on the considerably-more sedate and subdued Hondapotamus, that road sofa suddenly, by contrast, felt like you were on a river barge in choppy waters that had a huge sewing machine motor in the engine room, a rusty rudder that wasn't all that enthusiastic about turning and a throttle that took a plumbers wrench to turn. Such was the beginning of learning what good handling was all about. That learning experience took a good number of months and about as many thousand miles but it did take. By the end of the year on Christmas Eve day , a new GS appeared in my driveway.

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    That was over 5 years and more than 50K miles ago. It seems like just yesterday. I have aged a bit since then and am now getting up where they consider you to be really old, bordering on ancient. With the GS still having no problems, the Miata being 10 years young with still no problems and myself with (thankfully) no major problems, the coming spring and summer look promising indeed. Right now, though, the weather sucks with the usual suspects (i.e., cold, snow, black ice and more snow). I've got a CNC machine to run, though. Machines make men happy and help them live longer, especially in winter.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Classic NE Scene: I took the time to stop and get this winter scene pic today, showing a classic, old, multi-generation, NE house.

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    Noting the converted barn/carriage house in back, I grew up in a tiny 3-generation home smaller than the first floor of that red barn.
  15. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    Nice shot Pops! That building looks like new, was This Old House there in the past?
  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The house, which is located at coordinates 42.541944, -72.605503, was built in 1754 in Springfield, MA. It was saved from demolition in 1950 and moved to and reconstructed at its current location. I am guessing it has seen a number of renovations since the 50s. Distinct from the more boxy colonials of the period, this house is a favorite of photographers and artists. I first saw the house in a painting hanging on a friend's wall back in the 70s in IL.
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  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Harbinger Of Spring? March is the time when we're supposed to get our first glimpse of the light at the end of the no-riding tunnel. Around here, March is also the time when Mother Nature goes, "Ha Ha" and makes her best, and usually biggest, dumps of the white stuff. Such was last night.

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    There looks to be close to a foot of the stuff. It's really no problem or issue, just a little irritating. This is the kind of snowfall you like around Christmas, not on the doorstep of spring.

    PS: Our thoughts and prayers are with those down in SC who were injured, killed and/or impacted by the tornadoes.
  18. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    dang Pops looks like Punxsutawney Phil got it wrong this year...
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    It would probably be wrong of me to call Punxsutawney Phil a "punk-ass, dumber-than-stump, jive-hog, attention-whore" but I am thinking it. As groundhogs go, he don't know squat. :D
  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Well, I used cutting one of these out in scrap wood as a means to experiment with different font/bit/depth/toolpath types, which is something I haven't quite mastered yet.

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    Pocket cutouts, like the one of ADV above, are drop dead easy and take little talent. Text is another matter. The small text on the sample above was the third try (e.g., try, mill off a few thousandths and then try again with different bit and depth). I am closer to mastering the art of lasering photos into wood, where exposure is controlled by raster conversion, laser intensity and x/y speed. Above is an early test of the laser, with a picture of the GS done on scrap birch, the back side of which was the sacrificial board for the ADV coutout. The same setting would have produced a much darker picture on cherry. Curiosity has me wanting to try lasering a picture of the motorcycle over the ADV pocket and see how the different depths affect the pic (i.e., the bottom of the pocket will be somewhat out of focus, compared with the top of the letters) so that "ADV" seems to pop out of the motorcycle pic. Surely this would be a worthy substitute for riding in the snow, muck and mud.