MARCH 2008

MAY 2008


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Success! I finally got that pin driven out with a little more filing and a little more pounding. So now the drive shaft is off. I've decided that instead of leaving the rear end assembled, I'm going to go ahead and take it all apart. There's a bit of an oil leak, so I might as well dismantle the thing and install new gaskets when I reassemble it. It's nice being able to work in the barn now without bundling up. With afternoon temperatures in the fifties and sixties, it's quite comfortable in there now. I guess I'd better get a lot done before summer turns the place into an oven.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today I removed the thirteeen bolts holding the two halves of the rear end together. It was easy to pull one half of it off the differential and axle shaft, but that's as far as I got. I'm proceeding slowly to avoid spilling oil all over the floor.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

This afternoon I removed the worm gear, differential, and axle shafts from the other half of the rear end, then got all the nuts and bolts ready to go into the electrolysis tank. I think Saurday I'll be ready to bring the frame home and set it up for reassembly.


Friday, April 4, 2008

I got half the rear end ready for sandblasting, applying duct tape to areas I don't want to blast, then got started doing the same to the other half. With any luck I can get both halves blasted and painted tomorrow.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Life is all the stuff that happens while you're making other plans. Worked on the garden until noon, raking up dead grass and leaves and hauling them away. After that I finished preparing the TT rear end for sandblasting, then went to town and brought home the frame. By the time I cleaned up the space and set the frame up in the barn, that left just enough time to take some parts out of the electrolysis tank, wash and prep them, and put in some more parts. Sandblasting will wait for another day.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

It was a day for no work on the TT. I worked on the garden some more, raking up and hauling away dead grass and leaves, and transplanting peonies. That last item was unexpected. There was quite a patch of peonies, dozens of plants, which I dug up and transplanted around the house last year. Working in the garden yesterday I found a few that I missed last year, so I transplanted them today. Next I need to get the tractor out and pull some small trees, then it will be time to hook up that disk I bought this winter and see what kind of job it does.


Monday, April 7, 2008

All I did on the truck project today was paint a few small parts. With a forecast of rain overnight, I did some planting. A couple of years ago I saved a few stalks of hollyhock seeds, so today I got a bunch of those seeds in the ground. The other task of the afternoon was to grease the tractor and chamge its oil, getting ready for pulling saplings and mowing.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What a nice surprise! This afternoon my cousin Peggy and her husband Tim from Montana showed up with her mom, who lives a couple of counties away from here in Howard. While we were visiting, Peggy looked out the window and asked what that was out in the yard. It was a ground hog, the first one I've seen in twenty-two years of living here.


Wednesday, April 9, 2007

It was a rainy afternoon, giving all those seeds I planted Monday a good soaking. Since I was stuck inside, I played on the computer.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dad's birthday. He'd be 105 today. It was stll pretty wet outside, so I worked on the website, posting pictures of the TT restoration project.


Friday, April 11, 2008

This was the first day since last summer to get out the tractor and a chain and pull some small trees from the garden. Tomorrow I'll try disking.

Saturday, April 12, 2008.

This was the day to get in some long deferred yard work. I removed and hauled off a truckload of dead weeds around the house and out along the road. Then I got the tractor out and disked the garden. The disk chewed up the ground some, but the soil was still a little too wet. I'll hit it again tomorrow and see if it's any dryer.


Sunday, Aprl 13, 2008

Dragging the disk around some more seems to have helped a little, but I really need a plow to dig in and turn over the soil before I disk. I did manage to get that truckload of weeds stuck in the mud when I went to unload it. It will probably take at least a week or two to dry out enough to get unstuck.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Now that's timing. Today I heard of a tractor for sale with two plows, a loader, and some other attachments. I don't necessarily need another tractor, but I could really use a plow and a loader, so I'll go and take a look at the stuff. I may even buy the tractor just to get the other items.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It was my first day of vacation. I'll inclde a few pictures on this page, and put a lot of others on a separate page. Zeke and I started about 6:20 AM and drove to Colorado. Actually, I drove and he rode. Since I'm too scotch to burn up money unnecessarily, I observed a speed limit of 55 mph. We arrived in Buena Vista at 7:15 PM and stayed with my cousin Cara and her stepson Casey. We had a nice visit until I conked out on the couch.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

There was snow overnight. It looked like about six inches. I spent around twenty minutes scraping the car windows, and we got started at 6:21 AM. As the car climbed the grade to Monarch pass it was snowing, and the snowplows were out to keep the road open. It was pretty slippery in some places, but with front wheel drive and slow speed that wasn't a problem. As we descended the west side the snow ended, and by the time we got to Montrose and Delta the weather was very pleasant. I spent the day driving through western Colorado and all the way across Utah, arriving at Big Basin National Park in Nevada at 7:35 PM. I tried setting up the tent, but moonlight and a flashlight weren't enough to do the job, especially after I started losing the feeling in my fingers. The temperature in the low thirties had something to do with that. I gave up on the tent and ate and slept in the car.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Setting out at 6:07 AM, I spent today crossing Nevada and getting into California. I noticed that US 6 had something I've never seen anyplace else in California. It has standard mile marker signs like the ones in most other states, green with white printing: MILE 1, MILE 2, MILE 3, etc. Most highways in California have smaller markers and give the mileage only for one county, starting over when you enter another county. I went by way of Walker Pass, which I don't think I'd seen for forty years. I didn't remember how steep and twisting some of that road was. It's not terrible, just not as easy as I remembered it. We got to a campground on the Kern River at 6:00 PM, and I was able to set up the tent in plenty of daylight and pleasant weather.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today we went to the Gathering Of The Orange in Tulare. Having been to such events in other states, I expected that California, the leading agricultural state, would have a huge turnout of Allis Chalmers, the featured tractor, along with the many other colors. In fact, this was no bigger than similar antique farm equipment shows in Missouri, Oklahoma, and other states to the east. Especially for a GOTO, the Allis Chalmers contingent was surprisingly small. That said, I did see some interesting stuff. On the way back to our campground on the Kern River, I went through Oildale and took a picture of the house Dad built when he and Mom moved to Califonia in 1936. It seems pretty well preserved.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

This morning it was time to break camp and head south. When we left at 6:37 AM it was a chilly 37º, but the day warmed up nicely. As I drove through Bakersfield and on south I was struck by the many changes. The old Bakersfield Inn bridge across Union Avenue (old 99) is gone. The city extends all the way down to Greenfield. Most of the south end of the valley used to be pasture land. Now only the part of the valley between the hills and the aqueduct, a strip only a mile or two wide, is pasture. Now everything north of the aqueduct has been planted in vinyards, orchards, alfalfa, etc. I'm glad I got to see the area when it was coverd by miles of spring wildflowers. As I descended into the urban maelstrom I scanned the radio stations and found, along with several Spanish languge stations (no surprise there), a couple broadcasting in Korean. I came across the Dodger game and noted the absence of Vin Scully (a road game), then switched over to KHJ and listened to Jaime Jarin call the game in Spanish. He's been doing the gig since 1958, so he has the experience to be good at it. When we got to Lomita it took sometime for Zeke and Mike's dogs to get reacquainted. When they met in November he was a puppy. Now they didn't recognize him, and he didn't remember them, so at first there was a lot of barking and carrying on. Eventually, they calmed down and got along.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Being in the big city, I went shopping. At home it's been almost two years since I bought a shirt in my size at the local Wal-Mart "Super Center". It hasn't been super enough to have my size since. So today I went through the yellow pages and looked up half a dozen local stores that might have what I want. I went to Bellflower, Carson, Gardena, Torrance, and Hawthorne, and came up with a total of one shirt. I spent the evening in Woodland Hills, visiting with old chum Herb. We met in 1963 at Pepperdine, became radio partners on the campus radio station, and have been pals for 45 years.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I found the solution to the shirt problem. This morning I drove to Long Beach, parked the car, and took a ride on the Blue Line to Los Angeles. Being a geezer, I got an all-day pass to ride the train anywhere on the system for $1.80. I got off at the Seventh Street station and walked over to Broadway. For several blocks, Broadway is like a transplanted piece of Mexico City, with signs in Spanish and small shops bursting with goods. I found some Vicente Fernandez CD's I've been looking for, and one of the clothing stores had TWO of my shirts. That's my idea of shopping: you go into a store and they've heard of what you want, and they have it.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little brother Mike and I went to lunch at an English pub in San Pedro on Saint George's Day. We went to the church in Mike's Rolls, picked up the rector, and the three of us were off on our British adventure. After lunch Mike went with me on the Blue Line for another trip to Broadway. I went to get some more CD's I ordered when I was there yesterday. Then we rode the Red Line to Union Station for a drink. The rail system is great for getting around, but its big defect is that Union Station has the ONLY water or restrooms in the entire system. I suppose all the new stations were built without those civilized amenities to save the expense of constructing and maintaining them. I understand that, but I don't like it.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

I went to lunch with old friends Joe and Susan Crawford and John de Nike today, and we had a nice visit. This evening I went to a movie. I saw Under the Same Moon, and was very impressed. Adrian Alonso, who I think was almost thirteeen when the picture was shot, made a very convincing nine-year-old. Enrique Derbez, known primarily for his work in Mexican soap operas, was excellent as the boy's reluctant traveling companion, and Kate del Castillo, as the boy's mother, was also excellent. In fact, the entire cast was very good, which suggests that the director, Patricia Riggen, knew what she was doing. After the movie I went out to the parking lot and found a ticket on my windshield. I was supposed to pay $60 for not having a front license plate and not having "current tabs". I went to the police station to point out that the ticket was utterly bogus. There was only one officer on duty, so I'll have to go back in the morning when there's somebody available to look at the car.


Friday, April 25, 2008

I went back to the police station this morning and pointed out to one of the officers that: (1) Kansas does not issue front plates, and (2) my plate has a current sticker. Ticket dismissed. This afternoon Mike and I went for a ride on the Red Car. These are not the big red cars I remember as a kid. Those cars, called "Owls" because of their two round windows in front, were built in the 1920's. These new red cars which run along the waterfront in san Pedro are beautiful, authentic reproductions of the Pacific Electric interurbans of 100 years ago. They were constructed using the blueprints of the original cars, and I was very impressed by the quality and beauty of the work. This evening I went up to Herb's in Woodland Hills again where we were joined by our old pal Michael Ford. As usual when the three of us get together, we spent a long evening in brilliant conversation.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

This afternoon I went to the Autry Museum in Griffith Park to attend a poetry reading by Ford. Michael was a hit with the audience. After that I toured some of the museum and enjoyed the exhibits. Most of the great western artists were represented: Russell, Remington, Bierstadt, Moran, Jackson, etc. There was also an interesting series of exhibits on western movies and TV shows. I spent the evening doing laundry.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Today I went to an Easter party. My old friend DeEtte and her friend Ted, who is Greek, had a party for Orthodox Easter. Ted is a good cook, so we all enjoyed some delicious Greek food. This evening I went to another movie. This time I saw Where In the World Is Osama Bin Laden? The premise is that the producer wants to find Bin Laden and get the reward, so he goes to Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, all over the Middle East, asking people if they've seen Osama. All of it is interesting, much of it is funny, and some of it is a little scary.


Monday, April 28, 2008

On my last day before heading for home, I gassed up the car, did a little shopping, and went to a movie. Since I enjoyed Under the Same Moon so much last week, I went and saw it again. I think it's one of the best films I've seen in the last couple of years.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And we're off! This morning I loaded Zeke in the car and headed east, setting out at 4:00 AM pacific time. For a little variety, this time I decided to take I-10 and go by way of Blythe, Phoenix and Tucson. A long day of driving brought us to Rockhound State Park near Deming , NM, around 8:00 PM mountain time.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another long day's drive ended the trip. We started at 6:53 AM and got home at 11:48 PM central time. I had a midnight dinner and turned in.





MARCH 2008

MAY 2008