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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spinning Wrenches, Spinning Air Columns

Ah, spring… when a young man’s fancy turns to— HOLY $#!+A TORNADO!!!!

The first Big One of spring paid a visit to downtown Atlanta, and took in many of the tourist sites: the Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena (interrupting a Hawks game in overtime), the CNN Center, and many many more. The usual Saturday cartoon fest was thrown aside for a wall-to-wall news orgy of the Disaster On Our Doorstep (DOOD!).

But more storms were on their way for the afternoon, and we had stuff to do, so we turned off the TV and got to it. The Boy miraculously showed up in the morning when he said he would, which took the pressure off me to once again throw my plans in the dumpster and tend to the chicken houses (wasn’t gonna happen anyway). Big V’s husband came by with his trailer; we rolled the red Civic (which has stopped shifting) onto it and took it to the mechanic. From there, I went on to the motorcycle shop and their “sidewalk sale,” shopping list in hand and rear wheels from both motorcycles in the trunk. As I’d hoped, heated gloves were in the discount bin, so I found a pair that fit me and scratched that one off my list. Then it was off to the parts counter for some serious denting of the checking account (recently augmented by the addition of a bonus check). I came home with:

- a cargo rack for the Suzuki (a miracle: they had it in stock!)
- heated gloves
- brake pads for the Virago
- the Virago rear wheel, with fresh rubber
- fresh oil for both bikes, filter for the Virago
- chain lube
- cable lube (plus a lube tool)

Stuff I’ll be picking up later in the week:

- Suzuki rear tire, with fresh rubber
- Acerbis 4.25gal tank for the Suzuki
- garage stand

I got home just in front of the rain, and found the all-day news-orgy had shifted from the past to the immediate future: a pair of strong storms were heading in from Alabama, killed some people in Polk County (terrible news there), and continued almost due east at 50mph (those spring storms move FAST) in single file. The weather dudes were waxing poetic over their new technology, that allows them to build 3D models of storms and display them in different ways, and to zoom in on the immediate area and show roads and locations that were in the path of the storms. This particular storm was highly radar-genic, so they were having all sorts of fun showing us just about everything they could do. As it turned out, the really bad parts of the storms (F2 tornadoes, 2" hail, 70mph winds) went 10 miles south of us. After things died down a bit, I headed to the garage to work on the bikes.

I got the wheel back on the Virago, with only the usual difficulty plus a brain-fart (where’s the spacer? duh, I left it on the axle so I wouldn’t lose it!), then put the cargo rack on the Zook while draining old oil out of the Virago. I was about to tackle the brake pads, when Mrs. Fetched asked if I was interested in food. Being 6pm (already?), I realized I was ready to eat. Of course, Mrs. Fetched rarely delivers the whole story: we had to stop at a couple of places to pay bills. The second place was Home Depot, and we picked up a couple minor things while we were there — including a new light fixture for her closet. We ate (at Up the Creek) and then got to Office Max, five minutes before closing, to pick up card stock for Daughter Dearest’s graduation invitations.

After church, I’ll finish up the Virago brakes and wire in the heated gloves, then perhaps I’ll take a (ahem) short ride! The Boy came in with Snippet a few minutes ago, “disappointed” that he missed his shot at the chicken houses, but willing to come to church. Time to jump in the shower and get ready…


  1. Gee Far! You're having all the fun while I'm wading through 4 feet of snow!!! Well, it's a crisp, ten degree, sun shinny day, think I'll take a spin on the snowmachine, ha! a ventage Suzuki!

    Thanks, yooper

  2. Hi Far. Stay out of that weather if it comes your way. What exactly are heated gloves? I've heard of something similarly named for cold weather.

  3. Hey guys… I also found some steel-braided brake lines I'd bought for the Virago a couple of years ago & never got around to putting on. I figured since I was going to have the brake system half apart I might as well go whole hog. Having a vacuum bleeder makes a job like that mostly about putting the parts on instead of bleeding the system by hand. I took it for a short ride this evening, found that I'd misrouted a brake line (not immediately a problem but needed to be fixed), and took care of it. I'm ready to ride to work tomorrow morning.

    Yooper: "what'cha got a snowmobile for, ain't you got enough trouble?" Good to see you around again! Hope you enjoyed the snowmobiling; sounds like perfect weather for it.

    Boran, heated gloves = gloves with electrical heating elements. The wires run through the jacket sleeves, then down to the battery. I'll give 'em a shot tomorrow.

  4. Hey Far! I'll have to look into those electric gloves! Heated handles on the snowmachines are the thing up here, they work really great. Only have to have thin gloves on, even during the coldest times. Shame my vintage Suzuki don't have 'em...

    Yup, still cold here, but warms during the day. Soon the snow pack will be enough to support my weight to walk on top. Really like that! You can easily move through the woods then!

    Glad you did'nt have to scoot away from that storm!

    Thanks, yooper

  5. Hey Yooper. I figure any snowmobile accessory shop would have heated garments. You could always hit a motorcycle shop if you have to. The same company that makes these gloves also has heated vests, pants, and maybe socks/boots. I'd like to get a pair of heated socks too — the jacket & overpants I have are good to below 40F, even without a fairing to hide behind, but the extremities get a bit cool.

    I threaded the wires through my jacket this evening (the battery was a bit low this morning, so I decided to put off the test until it had a chance to charge up), so I'll see what happens with 'em tomorrow.

    So, you going to be snowshoeing?


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