MARCH 2009

MAY 2009


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I stayed after work to sand and paint a TT headlight rim, and to sand the steering column and give it another coat of primer. There are a lot of pits to fill. When I got home I worked on reassembling the touring car front end. I should have it ready to put the wheels back on and take it for a test drive tomorrow or Saturday.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I got a great bargain today, and it's disgusting. C.R. Sipes opened a hardware store at 102 South Summit Street in Arkansas City when the town was established in 1870. There has been a hardware store on that spot ever since, until now. For the past eighty years and more, the store has been operated by the Bryant family. Now the people of Arkansas City have voted with their dollars that they don't want Bryant Hardware anymore. The going-out-of-business sale started today. I went in this afternoon and bought all the Model T style castle nuts they had, for half price. I commented to one of the guys who works there, "This really stinks." "I know, I know," he said. The antique cash register, the century-old cabinets, the stock so extensive that some of the young folks don't even know what it is, all is being sold off. I want to cry.


Friday, April 3, 2009

The touring car's first trip to town was a bit of a mixed bag. After work and grocery shopping I got home about eleven and finished installing the new bolts and bushings, and put the front wheels back on. I drove a couple of miles east to pay the water bill, then headed for town. Despite a srtong crosswind, the tighter front end made for less whimsical steering and reduced the level of excitement. Having a little more practice driving helped too. I found that I should have gone directly to town, because I ran out of gas. Fortunately a neighbor happened along and gave me a ride home to fetch a can of gas. I drove on into town and went to Buster White's house to show him my new toy. Buster will be ninety this year, and is still restoring cars. Currently he has a couple of Model T's, and couple of Model A's, and is working on a 1936 Chevrolet. After visiting I stopped at a filling station to gas up, and headed for home. The car ran fine until I turned the country club corner and started up the grade toward home, when it sputtered to a stop. I got it to start briefly a few times, but it quickly died. I had to use the choke to get it to start at all, which suggests a fuel problem. There should be no need to choke a warm engine. Another neighbor came along and towed me that last quarter mile home, and we rolled the car into the shop. I just finished assembling another carburetor, so I'll put that on tomorrow and see if it cures the problem.


Saturday April 4, 2009

Changing carburetors did the trick. After making the switch, the car started right up and ran normally. I drove to town, bought almost 300 cotter pins at the hardware store closeout, and drove home with no trouble except for a strong crosswind getting a little scary in a couple of places. When I opened up the carburetor that quit working yesterday, I found little pieces of valve packing in the bowl and the needle seat. That explains the problem. Once I get the thing cleaned out, it should work properly.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm ready for warm weather to set in, but the forecast is for highs in the mid forties today and tomorrow, along with lows in the mid twenties. After that, highs in the sixties. Yesterday the wind blew like crazy from the south and the high was over 70º. Today the wind blew like crazy from the north and the high was 45º. I should be used to it by now, but I'm always disappointed by how much cold weather there is in April. The antenna I use for FM reception was wrecked by last week's ice storm, and the cable fell off. Another chore to deal with. Today I spent five hours working on TT parts, sanding primer and spraying more on the firewall and the steering column, and painting headlight rims.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Will tonight be the last fire of the season? It's the last night in the ten day forecast with a low below freezing, so I'm hoping. I suppose I should split some wood this week, though, just in case...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I spent about an hour after work today sanding and repriming the TT steering column, then went to the polling place to do my civic damage. Voting here was for city council, school board, and commnuntiy college board.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It was a beautiful warm day, so I drove the touring car to town for a little shopping at the Bryant Hardware closing sale. When I got home I found a considerable oil leak, so fixing that goes on my list of chores to do.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

I stayed after work to sand primer on the TT steering column and apply another coat. When I got home I investigated that oil leak on the touring and found it was due to the starter being loose and allowing oil to leak out. It looks like an easy fix. That's a job for tomorrow.


Friday, April 10. 2009

Aw, what a drag. I had an appointment with the eye doc today, and went in to have a cataract examination. We were wrapping up the session and the doctor was talking about treatment when I started feeling faint and passed out. After a few minutes I felt better and got up to leave. I was standing at the appointment counter when I got dizzy and passed out again. This time I wound up taking an ambulance ride to the hospital with a low pulse rate. So I spent the afternoon getting blood tests, urine tests, having my head scanned, and lying in the emergency room watching my monitor. By 3:30 I was feeling fine, and none of the tests found anything wrong, so I left. I walked a couple of miles back up to the optometrist's office to get my car, went home and put tamales in the oven, then went grocery shopping. So that's how I shot the day without getting anything done. Next week I'll go see if my regular doctor can find any reason for the swoon.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

I spent another five hours this morning sanding and spraying primer on the TT firewall and steering column. These things had a lot of pits to fill, but I'm heading down the home stretch. One more sanding should have the firewall ready to paint, and most of the steering column is ready now. The horn wire tube on the bottom of the column is the worst part, and may take several more coats of primer. This afternoon I fixed the oil leak on the touring car by tightening the starter mounting screws. While I was under the car I found one of the radius rod studs missing. Fortunately I had replacement parts on hand, and with both studs in I wired them together so they'll both stay in. With the car fixed, I drove to town for another sad shopping session at the Bryant Hardware closing sale. I got a lot of nuts and bolts at half price, but losing that woderful old store is pretty depressing. I had a nice dinner at the Beijing Garden, and with nothing I wanted to see at the movie theater I came home. As I type this my 1937 Philco is on and I'm listening to the Opry from WSM in Nashville. Sixty years ago the Opry was on NBC radio, and we heard it on KFI.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

This is the kind of thing that just drives me nuts! I was going to do my taxes today, and couldn't find my W-2 form. I've looked everywhere I can think to look, and come up empty. Tomorrow morning I'll have to pester the personnel office for another copy. As Chester A. Riley used to say, "What a revoltin' development dis is!" All I got done today was squirting the next coat of primer on the part of the steering column that needed more.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Jefferson's birthday was a rainy one. There were no cloudbursts, just a lot of light rain and occasional moderate showers. Very nice for the vegetation, and the little frogs love it. I worked on taxes, and when I got into the question of how much of which income is taxable I realized that the complexity of the process has become worse since last year. I'm going to get an extension so I can have time to figure out what I'm doing before I submit a return.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

After buying apples and picking up a Form 4868, I filed for an extension with the IRS. I included a check to cover more than I'm likely to owe. I just hope that when I do file and get my refund, that the feds won't have to borrow the money from General Motors.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I decided to drop everything else and start cutting up the downed branches in the back yard. I need to get all that debris out of the way. I spent over an hour on the chore today, and there's plenty more to do.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy birthday to my car, made April 16, 1923. I observed the occasion by taking Zeke for a ride so he could bark at all the neighbor dogs along the road. I hope I can still run when I'm eighty-six. When we got back I returned to cutting up downed branches, and in a little over an hour I finished the biggest ones. The next part of that job will be hauling the twigs off to the dump pile and putting away all the new firewood.


Friday, April 17, 2009

I finished at work about nine then worked on the TT firewall. With a break for grocery shopping I kept at it until about one, sanding primer and finally painitng. I put the thing into the oven to cook and headed for home. After checking my spam I went out to the back yard and continued trimming downed branches and gathering the cut up pieces. With a short diversion to install new oil cups in several places on the touring car, I worked on cutting branches until a few minutes before five. I made good progress, and should have the job pretty well finished in one or two more sessions.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Have I told you that I love auctions? I do. I went to one this morning and came home with two good chains for $1 each, a new camera tripod still in the box, also for $1, and a large funnel for 50¢. A sad part of this morning's event is that it was the estate sale of a gentleman who died recently at age 95 or thereabouts. He had relatives, but the old photos of his parents and other family were sold right along with all the junk. It amazes me when people can sell off their family history like that. When I got home I put a charger on my mowing tractor, getting ready to cut the grass which will be ready soon. My cousin Shane came over to help me make new spark and throttle rods for the TT, and when we finished I took him for a ride in the touring car. Zeke ran along behind or beside the car for the whole two miles. Where we got ahead of him, I think I was doing more than thirty miles an hour. I've bought a bicycle speedometer, and when I figure out how to adapt it to fit on an automobile I'll be able to tell how fast I'm going.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Curses, foiled again! I spent most of the afternoon making a bracket to mount the sending unit for that bike speedometer on the touring car. When I finally got the thing made and installed the sending unit, I jacked up the front of the car and spun the wheel to try it out. As long as I kept the speedometer within a foot or two of the sending unit by the front wheel, it worked fine. When I moved it up to where I'd be able to see it when driving, everything went to zero. So I have a working speedometer if I can get somebody to run along beside the car and hold it close to the front wheel. How wonderful.


Monday, April 20, 2009

I wasn't planning on doing this job today, but I spent the afternoon taking down storm windows and putting up screens. When I got home it was warmer outside the house than inside. According to the forecast the highs this week will be in the seventies and eighties, with some lows in the sixties. So it's time to get ready to let the air circulate.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's exciting adventure was raking up cottonwood twigs by the barn, where I spent part of Friday cutting up branches.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I spent the afternoon making a trip to town by touring car. I went to the bank, stopped at the bike shop to look at speedometers, bought groceries, and went to Radio Shack for a can of switch lubricant. The time and temperature sign at the bank claimed it was 95º, and when I got home the radiator was boiling, with steam coming out of the overflow tube. That wasn't happening in town, so I guess the long grade coming up from the river warmed up the car.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

I started up the touring car and drove it around to the faucet to fill the radiator. It took very little water, so yesterday's boiling incident didn't use much. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the back yard gathering trimmed twigs and small branches into piles. I checked the road to the north dump pile and found it dried out pretty well, so I hope tomorrow I can put all those piles in the truck and dump them without getting stuck.


Friday, April 24, 2009

I must unclog the bottleneck. I had expected to be reassemblig the TT by now, but the rear spring leaves I bought at Chickasha over a month ago haven't even been sandblasted yet. How come? My sandblasting area is full of cottonwood limbs brought down by the ice storm. They also have my mowing tractor trapped in the barn, and some of the grass is getting pretty tall. So it seems that my Saturday project will be cutting up those limbs and hauling away the pieces so I can sandblast and mow. I also need to dig in the garden, so there's plenty of yard work to get done. Today I gathered up and hauled away one truckload of trimmings from the branches I cut up this week, and then collected half another load.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

On a lazy Saturday morning I lay in bed until after six. After checking my spam and a couple of websites, I was out trimming the twigs off those downed cottonwood limbs by 7:30. While I was at it I cut off the little trees and poison ivy that were starting to take over the area, and dosed the stumps with Tordon RTU. I hauled one truckload of trimmings to the dump pile and almost filled the truck again. I had the area cleared and my sandblasting equipment set up by 11:30. I had two spring leaves to blast, and had them finished in four minutes. I think that's all the sandblaasting I have to do on chassis parts for the TT. I took those two pieces to town, painted one side, and put them in the oven to cook. My next chore was cat relocation. Last week Miss Kitty had a ltter of five and has been keeping them behind a cabinet in the living room. I made a place for them in the garage, being careful to arrange it so the neighborhood dogs couldn't get to it. She didn't care for that spot, and started moving the kittens into the west porch, so I put a box in there with some rags in the bottom. She approves that location and is keeping them there. My next chore was shopping again for a speedometer for the touring car. The bike shop had one that I think could be adapted to work. I went to the hardware store and got ten feet of 24 gauge speaker wire, which will be more than enough to splice in between the sending unit at the wheel and the computer in the car. The speedometer cost $21.55 and the wire was $4.20. That total of less than $26 is much more attractive to a person of the cheap persuasion than $1200 for an original period accessory. My final chore of the day was working on the Allis WD. I was going to dig up the garden, but the tractor wouldn't start. The starter worked, but there was no spark. I traced the problem to an intermittent ignition switch, so I went to town and bought a replacement. Installing that will be a Sunday chore.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Problem solved, sort of. I installed that new switch and the tractor started right up and ran as it should. But heavy rain during the night had the ground too wet to work. Instead I spent the afternoon painting T and TT parts.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Now that I've cleared away the fallen branches that had my mowing tractor trapped in the barn, I'm waiting for the grass to dry out enough to mow. The forecast doesn't look good. We're in a pattern of two or three wet days, a dry day, and two or three more wet days. Finding a chance to mow will be tough, and any digging is out of the question.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I did a little shopping after work and burned up a big chunk of the afternoon web surfing.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

After work I got around to working on that bicycle speedometer for the touring car. I soldered in the extra ten feet of wire and added connectors so I can unplug the computer mount and fit the wire through tight spots.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

It seems things are seldom easy. I found that there was a short somewhere in the speedometer wire, so I had to fix that. Once that little glitch was corrected, I tried it out on the car and found that it worked. I didn't have time to mount the computer in the car and finish the installation, so that will be tomorrow's project.





MARCH 2009

MAY 2009