Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lilac City Live

Lilac City Live is a lot of fun. It's exactly what you would expect of a talk show but on a smaller budget and with local talent. This is pretty cool, Spokane.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

There Was A Bike Fight Tonight

Soulful Soups and Spirits hosted Bight Fights put on by The Bike Hub. It was fun but it was also hard work. Go as hard as you can for 60 seconds. The loser is eliminated and the winner moves on. I did a very respectable .55 mile but the animal I was up against did .66 miles. What a relief--for me.

Bike fights will be held the next two Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm at Soulful Soups. $10 gets you an entry and two beers--tall cans of PBR, Rainier, or Oly (I think. I stopped them at PBR.)

Because that's where the fun is.

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Cyclocross Season Again

I raced in Moscow, ID yesterday. I wasn't prepared for racing but I raced nonetheless. Well, I wore a bib number and rode around the course until I had to stop. I'm about five pounds heavier and I haven't trained for 'cross at all so it was no mystery to me why I wasn't as fast as I've been in the past. I usually do more than one race because I really enjoy being on the course. Yesterday I did the single speed and Cat 4 back to back. Then I had a couple of hours rest before the men's masters 60+.

To top it off, since I hadn't even ridden my cross bikes before the race, the single speed race was my practice. While approaching the barriers shown in the picture it was like I forgot how to dismount and I wiped out. It was pretty funny. Fortunately, the worst of it was a small flesh wound.

Me in my Sunday best.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Acoustic/Electric Cigar Box Guitar

I'm 99% done with my first full-fledged cigar box guitar. It's an acoustic/electric. I used a piezo for the pickup. It's hot glued directly under the bridge and it works great. I made a ton of mistakes during the build, which means I learned a lot. I hope my failing mind retains this new found knowledge. 

Lessons learned: Measure twice more again. Take more off the back of the neck and round it out more. Do a scarf joint and angle the head back so the tuners are not in line with the fret board. Drill the fret marker holes in the fret board before gluing it to the neck. Be more patient with the file while smoothing out the ends of the frets. The slightest slip will mar the fret board. Measure three more times, dammit! 

I was pleasantly surprised at how well installing the frets went. Of course, using a template to mark the frets and a fret board miter box to cut the slots were the main contributors to my success. Filing down the rough ends was tedious and there were a few moments when I got too confident and the file slipped and ground away at the end of the wood instead. 

Things to do for the next one:  Add a brace for the neck. Do a scarf joint at the head. Improve upon the height settings for the nut, fret board, and bridge. Install a proper pickup.

The jack, volume control, and piezo.

 Chiseled some of the inside so the volume control would fit.

Kinda sloppy.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Oregon Outback - Day Six

For our sixth and final day we stopped by the general store to buy breakfast and snacks and hit the road. Instead of the 90+ degree weather we had been broiling ourselves it was going to be 80 degrees. Most of the ride was going to be down hill so the last 60 miles was going to be easier that the rest of our trip. But it was also very windy so it wasn’t as easy as we were expecting.

We headed out on Highway 97. We flew when the wind was behind us, but most of the time we leaned into a side wind. Passing trucks added some sketchiness with the swirling air currents in their wake pushing us in unexpected directions. Fourteen miles later we left the highway and hit the gravel.

But now we were alternating between a head wind and a slightly back-to-your-left-tail-but-also-side wind. At least we didn’t have any traffic. We diverted from the established route to stop in Grass Valley to grab a bite. Unfortunately, it was Monday and everything was closed. So we had to follow Hwy 97 another 10 miles to Moro where we found a grocery store that had a small deli inside. We lingered because it was our last stop of the day before finishing.

Leaving Moro we had to climb. Into a head wind. Like a 20 mph head wind with 30 mph gusts head wind. The ascent wasn’t that steep, except for a couple of 6-9% spots, but that wind would almost stop you in your tracks.

John remarked that he would probably be faster if he walked his bike. Once we crested we had an easier time going against the wind on the long descent to the Deschutes River. We finished at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area and called Susan, John’s wife, to let her know we had arrived safely. She was about an hour out, which gave us plenty of time to shower and change into clean clothes.

The most enjoyable part of riding the Oregon Outback was riding it with John and Geoff. They are both great guys. We watch out for each other and we are good humored together. Next was the experience of passing through a countryside with a great combination of variety and solitude.

And then there were signs of the past. Worn and rusted machines setting out as if to display a greatness that once was. Buildings with weather-beaten boards held in place by nails hammered decades ago by the hands of men who had dreams. Untold and unknown stories swirl in the wind leaving you to conjecture about the physical objects before you. We pass by on our simple machines and find our own stories. Stories that may one day blow in the wind through forests, along rivers, across high deserts, and leave others to wonder about what they see.