Sunday, July 21, 2019

Over At The Lake

... would have loved all this incessant summer rain back in the heavy creekin' days - used to perform rain dances back then... now not so much... rivers have been a chocolate malt...

... the lake is the balance...

... hadn't hung out with that guy in a while - two years, one month, nine days, twelve hours (to be precise)...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Smokin' Stogies With Arnold

... this should be viewed on Full Screen mode...

(You Tube Video)

... gotta' love Arnold...

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Mud For Your Turtle

... ran into (and almost over) this guy while riding MTB's a few days back...


... medium size - maybe a little over twelve inches - we've seem 'em probably twice that big... was out sunning himself right in the middle, and on a blind corner of, a local off roader trail - not good... we wanted to get 'em off the path and he was a bit feisty... fortunately, annoyed with our efforts to assist, he crawled the short distance back to his roadside mud hole and in short order was buried in the mire, rid of us...

... saw a guy about a month ago carrying one off a busy roadway - he was grasping the turtle by the sides of the shell and moving (understandably) with obvious trepidation - don't blame 'em - from that angle those guys can reach right around and snap your hand...

(You Tube Video)
... here's some good advise we found if ya' ever find yourself tasked with helping a snapping turtle cross the road...

... hope this saves a turtle or two...

Saturday, June 29, 2019

It Don't Have To Be Fun To Be Fun - Part II

... had an individual or two inquire about that busted Jeep KJ upper control arm/ball joint...

... replaced both sides with a set of 'JBA Offroad' A-arms - pictured above alongside one of the (unbroken) stock A-arms - a mandatory modification if you're going to install any type of lift on those vehicles (2" in our case) - wasn't aware of that and learned the hard way ( = experience - the best way to learn anything)... 

... highly recommend the use of one of these 'Bolt Buster' heat induction tools if ya' have access to one...

... we sure as heck wouldn't have wanted to have snapped one of those fastener bolts if seized - each accessed thru the engine bay - particularly the drivers side rear bolt... luckily for us seized bolts weren't an issue and each bolt slid right out after removing the bit rusted nuts...

... the 'Bolt Buster' in action - a borrowed tool that we've used a lot - in our opinion mandatory for any under carriage work...

... was workin' alone and having' a bit of a hard time aligning the new A-arms with the bolt holes while jumping' back and forth between the wheel wells and engine bay - fabricated this drift pin (brilliant) and subsequently slid each bolt right in...

... replacement arm installed and torqued - wasn't as bad of a job as anticipated...

... and back on the road to nowhere...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Against the Flow

... back to simpler times...

... all ya' need is your boat, paddle and river shorts (also a life jacket - it's in the boat - don't wanna' get a fine - think it's $80)...

... for a change of pace, we dug a few old open boats out of the mothballs last weekend...

(Google Earth photo)
 ... and paddled upriver to an old play spot to run some laps, rock hop, hole surf and hang out in the sun along the shoreline boulders...

... boy - it sure is a pleasure workin' with individuals who you only have to show once and they run with it... by the time we paddled the half-mile upriver, while demonstrating some requisite paddle strokes along the way, these guys were forward strokin', J-strokin', drawin', sweepin' and pryin' like no tomorrow... nothin' serious, but still, a bit swift current and choppy water, with a few small playholes and eddys to catch...

... very good for their first exposure to (old school) whitewater canoes...

... a few old Royalex boats - (L-R) Nova Craft Ocoee, Mad River Outrage X and (beat up but still in good shape) Dagger Impulse...

... we posted this before, but will post it here again...

(You Tube Video)
... lest we forget Noll's simple philosophy...

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Riverboat Rigging Part III

... finally got the 'Firefly' out on the water last weekend...

... great tracking and stability... responsiveness and speed suits our expectations... plenty of room for gear if needed even with the 60" airbags - and we can always trim it down to as small as 32" bags or remove 'em completely... nice boat...

... we like that drop angle seat performance-wise but man is it tight when entering/exiting the boat wearing water shoes/boots - we wound up paddling barefoot... we're probably gonna' replace it with a traditional seat but before we do that we wanna' take it out and perform some wet exit testing - didn't feel like doing that last week - we'll hold out for a nice and sunny 80º - 90º day - have gotten a bit lazy these days...

Saturday, May 25, 2019

It Don't Have To Be Fun To Be Fun

... temporary tie wire fix to a busted Jeep KJ upper control arm that (eventually) got our ass (and wheels) out of the woods (literally) last week...


... now the challenge of extracting some nearly impossible to reach (and expected to be a bit seized) engine bay fastener bolts for repair...

... not bragging, but we have a heck of a perfect (nearly half century) streak of gettin' ourselves out of backwoods jams that include busted bikes, ruptured rubber rafts, snapped skis, mirings in muck, torn tendons, broken bones, wasp attacks, one venomous snake bite, two hard ground falls, three near drownings, two pissed mother black bears with cubs - not to mention  "gettin' confused" on occasion... probably should have not mentioned any of this as we now have just possibly jinxed all our good luck...

... one favorite episode was when we were a good ways "back in" ridin' MTB's with our buddy 'Professor Howie' when he snapped a seat fastener bolt on his ride... we had no replacement and the prospect of continuing the route ahead (or behind) - several miles of extremely rugged terrain - was a bit grim if having to stand the entire distance... we knew that a local timber company was engaged in some forest clearing a short distance from our route so we took a ride over to see if they could provide any assistance in the form of spare bolts... it was the weekend and the crew was off, but there was heavy machinery about... we walked over to the nearest log skidder, opened the door, and believe it or not there sits a coffee can full of bolts of numerous shape and size! - we found a near exact match for the broken bolt and continued on our way... to this day that same bolt is fastening his seat to the post...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Angry Birds

... well it's Spring nesting season again which means the local bird populations annual aerial assault on all things feline...

... role reversal - protagonist sizing up the prey...

... Bluto the Bluejay (think that's still him after all these years) - he's relentless...

... dive bomb - one of hundreds - all day long - dawn to dusk...

... Ig the cat... these photos are from yesterday... it's around 6am as we type this - had just let 'em out and we can hear the commotion has begun for the day...

... don't know what's gonna' happen if he eventually latches on to one of those guys...

... he doesn't seem to mind - more of a pesky annoyance than anything else - though they do get a strike every once in a while...

... if he goes near their tree though, look out - he's met with a barrage - like stirrin' up a hornets nest... we've counted up to eight Bluejays in that tree and they all come at once if they think their tree is imperiled...

... this year there's a second strike force - this male Northern Cardinal...

... and his mate...

... he's a bit of a dive bomber himself...

... she hangs back a bit - has a punk rocker hair-do (feather-do?)...

... linin' up another run...

... found a line...

... Bluto has a gal himself - that's her...

... that's him scowlin' at the camera - he don't like anyone lookin' at his girl... he's pretty mean...

... got himself a good lookin' gal, though...

... don't mess with Bluto nor his tree!!...

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Riverboat Rigging Part II

... finished product...

... came out pretty good (see 'Riverboat Rigging')...

... old school cross lacing, closed cell foam knee pads and foot rests, nylon quick release thigh straps - we color coordinated the tie-downs and lacing - almost looks a bit too city-boy - but looks good none the less (our opinion)... now in dire need of some scuffs and scratches for personality - maybe even a dent or two...

... not a mistake - we like to position the rolled edge of those knee pads to the outside for lateral stability - with age they have a tendency to get a bit slimey and slippery when wet (especially with bare knees)...

... 2" D-rings fore and aft (nautical talk) - we bonded the whole system using West System G/flex 655-8 thickened (two part) epoxy adhesive... concerned with a comment or two from individuals "who know" ("... you'll never get those vinyl patches to adhere to that HDPE plastic...!!...") we really researched the adhesive and followed directions to a 'T' - that included sanding all bond surfaces, flashing the plastic surface, and clamping (w/ sandbags) the bonded components for 24 hours - we also stuck to ambient air temperatures > 50ºF... now finished, the whole assembly appears bombproof and passed our stringent post fabrication system testing (hoisting the boat by the D-rings with additional manual tugging force on the D-rings and grommet patches)...

... 1" flat nylon webbing w/ slide buckles for air bag tie down...

... we hitched the upper thigh straps to the seat rail and the bottom to adjustable grommet patches - we included optional adjustable grommet patches for the upper thigh straps (just because we had 'em) but will probably never use 'em... we're still up in the air regarding that drop angled seat - it's a bit foot constrictive when entering/exiting from a kneeling position - seems a bit hairy if having to bail from a capsize - especially if in a swift current... have a feeling we're either going to trim back the angle a bit or replace with a traditional parallel-style seat - we'll see once we test it in the water...

... the 5ft length 'Light Weight 210D Thermoplastic Poly Urethane (TPU) High Tenacity Nylon Airbags' (couldn't have said it better ourselves) were separately purchased along with the boat... they are damn nice, tough looking (damn near tenacious) airbags with a brilliant inflation/deflation system - fabricated by 'BPM Whitewater' (some English guys from England - good work)... we go back a long ways with air bags, beginning with old 'Voyageur' vinyl airbags with twist lock valves which would usually impose hyperventilation before ya' finally got 'em inflated by blowing up like a giant balloon - these bags you can inflate with a modern small hand pump with correct fitting...

... not a high performance "whitewater charger" but a great flatwater to moderate whitewater cruiser - was fun puttin' it together...

... another of life's challenges lived...

Sunday, April 14, 2019

What Not: Projicts is Guud, Tyr'd o' Tyrs, Stoopid Haard

... spreeng has sprunged...

... re-zoom'n 'Chronic Aspenitis'...

... a bit acclivatated...

---------------
... un-sully'n the forastashun...

... hawlin' tyrs...

... and hawlin' tyrs...

---------------
... infreekwently endevor'd...

... 'Stoopid Haard'...

... only ben sukcessified twise (that wee no of)...