Sunday, June 22, 2014

Saturday's Story

I woke up at the usual time on Saturday (dammit). It was 60 degrees and cloudy. I ate some soft boiled eggs for breakfast and washed it down with coffee. At 6:51 a.m. it was officially summer!

At 7:00 a.m., the lights flickered and the electricity went down for less than a minute. When it came back on, I reset the four electronic clocks in the house. About five minutes later, it did it again. This time, I waited a while and then reset the clocks. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, it did it again! This time I waited a full 10 minutes and that seem to do the trick.

Note: a little while later, I saw a Detroit Edison truck driving slowly down San Jose, so it must not have been just my house.

It seemed like I had plenty of time, but I ended up having to hustle to make my 9:30 a.m. hair cut appointment. As it was, I was about a minute late as I was unaware that they have now closed the Merriman bridge over I-96.

From the barber shop, I went to Kroger’s. Next came Westborn where I got my veggies and one impulse buy. They had been selling what they called “salad bowls” which were nothing more than cheap planters with four kinds of lettuce growing in them. I thought it was a neat idea (having never been successful keeping the critters from eating any lettuce I planted out back) but they were pricey. Well, today the few they had left were marked down. Since nobody had been picking the lettuce, the many dead leaves made them look terrible. But, I figured if I cut off the dead leaves and pick the fresh ones on a regular basis, they would be okay. It was a $10.00 gamble.

I stopped at Home Depot and then finally Costco. I was home before 11:30 a.m. I changed clothes and put everything away.

Then I took the lettuce bowl out back and cut off all the dead leaves. I watered it and took out the plant name thingies. In case you were wondering, it has gourmet leaf lettuce, gourmet bibb lettuce, gourmet red leaf lettuce and gourmet romaine lettuce planted in it. I’m not sure what makes them all “gourmet,” but that’s what they say.

I noticed a big dead branch had come down from the maple tree. I’ll have to deal with it, but am glad it didn’t hit the roof.

I went back inside and got the new bag of peanuts. I refilled the squirrel feeder, the bird feeder and the suet cage.

Back inside, I ate the last of the chili mac for lunch. Then I went out in the garage to install the front license plate.

First step was to prop up the front of the bike. I had to abandon the floor jack and use a scissor jack instead (the floor jack needs more oil, but I don’t have any hydraulic oil). Just in case, I put jack stands under each foot peg as well.

Then I disconnected the speedo cable and loosened the pinch bolt on the RH fork. I removed the axle nut along with the washer then, using a rubber hammer, I tapped and removed the front wheel spindle. I tilted the front forks to the right and removed the wheel, along with the speedo drive and the LH side spacer.

Finally, I slid a 4 mm-thick piece of cardboard (carefully selected at work using Art’s calipers) between the brake pads. This is important because if for any reason the front brake is depressed without something in between the pads, they will come out too far and you are SCREWED.

Then, following the instructions, I drilled two 3/16-inch holes. Then I tried to slide the fittings onto the license plate. That’s where I ran into problems!

The opening in one fitting was too small. I tried to bend it open with a screw driver, and I might have gotten it a little wider, but I had to pound it on with a rubber mallet. Of course, the hole didn’t line up, so this took several tries. Finally, I was ready.

I had the screws (to the fittings that hold the license plate on) loose so they could swivel if necessary. Well, that didn’t apply to the one I beat on, of course. I went to slide them in and the holes were too small!

Sidebar: I thought they looked a little small when I drilled them. Anyway, I got out the next size drill bit and re-drilled them. I got to thinking I didn’t like the look of that shiny metal, so I took a can of brown Rustoleum, sprayed it in a plastic cup and touched up the metal with an artist brush. I took a break to let that dry.

I took the opportunity to set up my sanding station outside, this time on the south side of the garage (the wind was from the north). Then I sat on the front porch rocker and watched the world go by.

When I figured it was time, I went back and put the license plate into the holes. I used medium-strength threadlocker on the bolts before I put the nuts and washer on. Then I put the wheel back on. The only problem I encountered was that I paid so much attention to get the disk into the caliper that I knocked the LH side space out of place and had to start all over again.

When I had everything bolted back together, and the speedo cable back in place, I rotated the wheel to check for smooth rotation. Then I spun it fast and depressed the brake lever several times to make sure the front brake were working. Then I shut the garage door and went inside to take a break.

I was sweating like a pig and figured it was just because I’d been working hard. But, I checked the temperature and it was 78 degrees! It was almost 3:30 p.m. I decided I needed to take a picture for you before taking a break, though.

I got the bike key and took the bike outside, so I could get a better shot. (Okay, okay, I know I’m just showing off, but that was a lot of effort and I think I deserve to show off a little).

Once it was back inside, I decided taking a break could wait and I went back to work. So. I broke out the belt and palm sanders and got to work.

When I quit, it was almost 6:00 p.m. and my sweat was now covered with sawdust. So, after I put everything away and closed the garage door, I went straight into the downstairs shower and rinsed off.

About 7:30 p.m., I made dinner. It was a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on toasted sourdough bread. The lettuce was a leaf of each variety from my new lettuce bowl and the sandwich was excellent.  I watched another Errol Flynn pirate movie, this time the Sea Hawks.  I was tired, so after it ended, I turned in early.


  1. Plate looks good! Have you gotten any response from the look of the bike during any of your excursions?

  2. A lot of pointing and staring, but no conversations yet.