Friday, August 7, 2020

Incremental Upgrades

 Yesterday I took the bikes out to stretch their legs, and as I was kind of expecting Rabbit Season didn't have enough juice left in its poor battery to start. The battery is still the original from 2016 so it didn't owe me anything, and it had been going a little soft since the winter. I boosted it and rode it around anyway, but I decided it was time to just swap it out.

So swap it out I did; I nipped down to the battery store and got a replacement for both Rabbit Season and Scooty-Puff, opting to go lithium this time. I've been having good luck with the lithium battery in Orthrus so I figured it was worth a few extra pennies to keep the trend rolling. Plus they're way, waaaay lighter.

On the unpowered bike front, I swapped out the dropper seat post on The Crimson Ghost. The one it came with was a RaceFace Turbine, a model that was not known for its trouble-free operation. For me, it sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, and I got tired of trying to figure out what magic incantation would make it behave, so I just decided to do the simple thing and swap it out for a shiny new OneUp dropper.

The installation was nice and easy, and the new dropper works flawlessly. Let's hope it stays that way.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Dent in My Forehead

I am not a tall person by any measure, but nonetheless I have found that one too many times my head has contacted the chandelier in my bike area.

So I replaced it with something with a bit more clearance.

Naturally the wiring had been half-assed by the previous owner. Here's a list of boneheaded fuck-ups:

  1. No strain relief clamp on the new wires entering the box.
  2. Fixture ground wire left just swinging in the breeze, ground screw on fixture mounting bracket left completely untouched.
  3. White return wire from remote switch not marked with black electrical tape.
Anyway, I didn't think to pick up a strain relief clamp when I was out, and installing it would have meant crawling around in the attic, so I left that deficiency to fix at a later date.

In the meantime, I found an appropriate place to put the cheap, ugly chandelier.

Ups and Downs

Since I took the week off this week, I decided to start things out energetically by dragging BlackBirb, my XC bike, out to Mt Um to see if I could reach the top on dirt (I could), and then subsequently reach the top of Mt El Sombroso (I could not).


I did find out that the trail from the top of Barlow to Mt Um peak is really nicely made and a fun ride. If only Barlow weren't so awful...

More writeup and photos in the link above.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Chipping Away

Many moons ago I got a cheap Chinese backup camera. I'm not 100% sure where it came from, I think maybe Father picked it up on sale from Princess Auto and gave it to me for xmas one year. I never installed it on Jellybean, but after I got Pedovan and moved down south I finally got around to getting it all hooked up.

Things went ok for a year or two, but eventually the cheapness showed through, in the form of the lens cover on the camera fogging from UV exposure. So after ignoring it for a while I eventually ripped it out and threw it in the trash. Money well spent, that.

However, ripping it out left a little memory behind, in the form of the glue that the screen had mounted to the dashboard with.

I ignored that for a few years too, but today I finally got around to removing it. I initially tried using some vinegar (more on this later) to soften up the glue but it was hard and crusty enough that it didn't seem to be making much headway. I switched over to chipping it off with an x-acto chisel and cleaning off the remains with vinegar, and after a bit I managed to get it looking pretty much shiny and new.


So the vinegar. Initially I'd gone onto Amazon and ordered some highly concentrated cleaning vinegar, about 45% (regular vinegar is 5%). Some of the items showed up as not being able to ship to my location, but I found a listing that seemed ok and clicked the buy button. Then a day later I got an email saying that my package was undeliverable and refunded me. Great. Thanks, California, for banning vinegar of all things.

Anyway, with the concentrated stuff out of the question I decided to pick up a jug of the normal stuff at Safeway. I headed down the cleaning aisle and found a half gallon jug of 5% cleaning vinegar for about $4. That seemed a bit pricy, so I checked the next aisle over near the condiments and wouldn't you know it but I could get a whole gallon jug of food-grade 5% vinegar for... $4. Who the hell would buy cleaning vinegar, exactly the same stuff except not guaranteed to be food-safe, for twice as much? Absurd. But, now I have vinegar so all's well that ends well I guess.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Shiny and New

Pro tip: installing pre-painted mouldings and trim doesn't mean that you don't need to paint it.

The previous owner had a different opinion, apparently. A wrong opinion. They also put a giant sticker over the HVAC vent for some reason.

Anyway, since I'm spending a lot more time in my craft room lately I decided to paint all the trim and reorganize things a little. It's much nicer in there now.

Speaking of painted things...

The painted rocks that had been left in my front yard disappeared a month or two ago. I think someone might have stolen them? Either way, a new one appeared this week.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Illuminati Confirmed

Really cleaned up on indoor projects this weekend. Possibly because outdoors is sweaty death right now. Possibly.

The second bookcase is now illuminated to match the first. I had meant to get to this a while ago, but it was almost kind of nice having the project waiting for me to complete it. Like I could go into a weekend not really knowing what to do and think to myself "well, if I can't think of anything else to do, I could do the lighting on the second bookcase", but now I'll never have that ever again.

Truly completing this task has been a terrible misjudgement on my part.