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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Down by the river...

With the rains of August over, it's the time of year to take advantage of the decent fall weather and get out there. One of my daily rides is to head down to the Chena River. There's a stretch of road where it crosses the flats and you can occasionally see a moose out in the marshes there.
The turn out at the river is often crowded on weekends, but during the week you can get the whole place to yourself.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Fall has fell...

While the leaves started to change  colors a week or so ago, they really stared to fall today when the wind got to blowing.
But the temps have warmed up some the last few days, so we're finally getting decent fall weather. Finished painting the trim on the garage, so at least got one thing done this month.

Rode the 850T out to the "air heads" meeting in Fox yesterday and it was a pleasant ride. Hopefully this warm spell will last for a while and make up for the crummy August weather.
Here's the NWS monthly summary...
August 2019 was slightly cooler and a lot wetter than normal. The warmest day of the month occurred on the 7th when the temperature reached 74° F. The coldest temperature was 33° on the 25th. The average temperature for the month was 55.6°, which was 0.5° below normal.
Rainfall totaled 5.58 inches, which was 3.7 inches above the normal, and occurred on 22 days in August.
Alaska Climate Research Center

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Bigger footprint...

The side stand on the 850's always been a conundrum, cause while it's there to use, it's not too useful. It's hard to extend while seated cause it's so far forward. Then when you get it out, the return spring tries to retract it before you can get the bike resting on it. Then when you finally get'er down, the bike wants to fall over cause it's too short and the bottom is so small it settles into anything softer than concrete. While you can't easily fix the first two, figured I'd maybe make it a little longer and wider. So here's something that looked like it'd work.
Needed to clear the exhaust pipe, so had to make the pattern crescent shaped, then cut a metal plate from 1/4" thick flat steel; this should make it a little longer too.
Here's the plate welded onto the bottom of the side stand. While it has a bigger footprint, it's still kind of short, so will make another plate with a spacer to get it a little longer. Then I'll start doing some more stretching to make my leg long enough to extend it!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Guzzi work...

Finally getting some work done on the V65 (All Gassed up 5/25/19). Removed the gas tank and replaced the gas taps, then pulled the valve covers off and adjusted the valves. One side was fine and the other needed quite a bit of adjustment, not sure if that means anything. Then, after replacing the valve covers, added some head protectors that I'd ordered earlier this summer.

So now the question is whether to rebuild the carbs now, since the float needles probably need to be replaced, or ride it some this summer and do the rebuild this winter. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, August 12, 2019

July Summary...

Spent the last half of the month getting the backhoe ready, then did some odd jobs for the neighbors and continued to clean out the ditches along our road (Road Rage 10/23/18). Nothing exciting,  not really worth a photo, so here's the monthly weather summary. Kind of boring to some, I suppose, but that's life up here sometimes.
July 2019 was the eleventh consecutive month of above normal temperatures for Fairbanks. The warmest temperature of the month occurred on the 9th when the temperature reached 87° F; this tied a record from all the way back in 1915. The coldest temperature was 50° on the 2nd and 31st. The average temperature for the month was 66°, which was 3.5° above normal. Rainfall totaled 0.89 inches, which was 1.27 inches below normal. (National Weather Service Alaska Region)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Raining Cats and Dogs...

Well not exactly, but we're finally getting some steady rain. It's knocked down a lot of the forest fires, the smoke that hung around through most of the summer is largely gone. Since July is, on the average, one of the wettest months up here, it's about time. Read about it here:
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/rain-slows-wildfires-along-yukon-river/article_56848f80-b245-11e9-ae4c-87c2ae66ed07.html
One of the sled dogs, Little Missy, or Pissy Missy as I call her, has been acting up lately, so we thought bringing her into the house might help socialize her. The interesting thing that's happened is that while she's the loudest, most obnoxious dog in the yard, she's pretty mellow around the cat. Jack Black was apparently raised with a dog, but it was about his size, so he's not too sure what to make of the monster dogs that we have here. But by and large he's curious enough, or maybe he's just lazy and doesn't want to move, so he stays put on the couch when she comes in. Makes for interesting visits.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Backhoe's Up Again...

After blowing out a hose last fall (Hosed Again 11/10/18) and then getting the hoses replaced (All Hosed Up 5/1/19), finally got the backhoe working. Didn't want to finalize anything until the tractor was parked in place for hookup, so the length of the hoses could be checked.

So after finishing splitting firewood, removed the splitter, then had to install the mower to cut the grass before the dog yard disappeared from view. Finally got the backhoe hooked up today; I can see why farmers have more than one tractor, it's a pain to always change implements. But then there was only one leak after hooking it up, where I forgot to tighten one of the fittings. Also put the protective sleeving material over the hoses so they won't get banged up so much. They now run under the foot boards, instead of next to them, so should be pretty much out of harms way.
Hopefully these hoses will last as long, or longer than the old ones. Next project 'll be to hook up the pressure washer and clean off all the oily dirt that accumulated after the hose blew and sprayed hydraulic fluid everywhere.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Still Hot...

While we did get some rain and cool weather the other day, it quickly warmed up again. Figured I'd take advantage of the warm spell and get the rest of the wood split that was hauled in this spring (All Fools Day 4/1/19). Normally I'd have split the wood in May to get'er drying earlier, but had to wait to heal up from the surgery.

Here's the weather summary for June. The Climate Center over at UAF seems to be getting these out later than usual. They used to come out the first week of the month.
Mean monthly temperature for Fairbanks in June was 63.5°F, which was 3.1°F above normal. The observed maximum temperature was 89.0°F on the 29th of the month, the minimum temperature was 44.0°F on the 4th of the month. The total monthly precipitation was 1.5", which was 0.1" above normal. (National Weather Service, Alaska Region)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Almost a Triumph...

Finally getting around to putting the '64 T-bird back together. We got this bike on a trip to England back in the early eighties. Everybody likes to bring home a souvenir and I guess this was mine. Drove it around here for about five years, mostly to work, but then it quit on me on the way home one day. Had to push it the last few miles to my neighbors place, then walked home and got the pickup and hauled'er back up the hill. One thing I'll never forget, while pushing it down the road, I was passed by a group of Harley riders and they never even slowed down. Well so much for the brotherhood of bikers!
When I got it home and checked it out, there was a major short in the wiring harness and it pretty much fried it. That got me to tear into it some more, figured I might as well rebuild the engine and restore the rest. But then I got the '72 Triumph and '75 Moto Guzzi and the T-Bird was kind of forgotten, until now.

After getting most of the bits back on the bike, took some rubbing compound and rubbed out the tank and fenders. Surprisingly, the original paint still looked pretty good after all these years. Amazing!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Hot and Smokey...

Been working in the garage a lot, since it's been so hot and smokey lately. At least I'm getting a lot mechanicing done, so that's something I guess. Maybe we'll see one of the "dead motors" running this year!
(Photo from Anchorage Daily News)

Any way the wind blows, we get smoke, since there's forest fires burning on three side of us, though the closest is mostly contained. We've already had half a dozen days above 80°F and it almost hit ninety today. This is getting to be too much like the midwest!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

May Weather Summary...

The Alaska Climate Center finally got around to posting their summary for this past month...

May 2019 was the ninth consecutive month of above normal temperatures for Fairbanks. The warmest temperatures of the month occurred on the 26th and 30th when the temperature reached 75° F. The coldest temperature was 29° on the 7th, which was the last day temperatures dropped below freezing. The average temperature for the month was 53.8°, which was 4.4° above normal

Rainfall totaled 1.01 inches, which was 0.41 inches above the normal. The highest daily rainfall was 0.35 inches on the 18th, which also set a record for the most hourly rainfall. There was no measurable snowfall for the month. (National Weather Service, Alaska)

May was pretty decent, warm and just enough rain to keep the garden damp. June's been OK, but we're already getting the afternoon thunderstorms. One lightening strike started a forest fire about seven miles NE of here and they're still trying to contain it. The helicopters shuttling the fire crews in and out of the site fly right over our place. It's a little too close for comfort.

You can read about it here:
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/more-crews-ordered-to-fight-wildfire-near-two-rivers-new/article_02150964-9384-11e9-a782-dfed0b1fcb45.html

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Husky Revenge...

No, one of the dogs didn't get me again. This was my revenge on the "hernia maker" (All fools day...4/1/19). When we first got the new dog, Badger, he hadn't been "fixed" yet. One of the things that most rescue shelters require is that the adopted dogs are spayed/neutered. Since we got him on New Years day, we couldn't arrange it right away, so I promised Linn I'd getter done "pretty soon." Well that turned out to be a while, since I decided we'd probably be better off waiting until spring, that way he could run uninterrupted all winter in the team and not have his privates shaved off in the cold weather. But when I got the hernia surgery in the spring, we put it off again so I could handle him without worry.
So last week was his lucky day. We took him to one of the SNIP sessions, where they do a walk in spay/neuter clinic. When we brought him home, we kept him in the travel kennel in the garage at first, then into the basement.

Well he sure liked that, especially when he got up on the old couch. He's pretty well trained inside, Linn had mentioned that she thought he'd had some house training, and goes right into the kennel, so that made it easy to move him back and forth. The only real excitement was when the cat came down to visit. Badger boy saw "lunch" and the cat had to scramble to get back upstairs. He's pretty much back outside now, we only put him in the kennel when we let the other dogs off for their free run. He'll be back running with the rest soon enough, probably never realizing that I got my "revenge."