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Friday, April 1, 2016

On the road to California. I got started about 12:30 in the afternoon, stopped in Amarillo for dinner about seven, and drove on to the first New Mexico rest area to snooze overnight.

Wind farm construction has really taken off in recent years. I've seen a lot of them on this trip.

A field west of Enid.


I've driven by this old time dealership in Fairview many times. This time I stopped to get a picture.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Day Two of my trip west was in New Mexico and Arizona.

Santa Rosa, NM. 7 AM, 32.


Laguna Pueblo, NM.


Looking west on old Route 66 east of Flagstaff. San Francisco Peaks.


Grand Canyon National Park. I've been to the North Rim several times, but this was only my third visit to the South Rim. My other two stops there were in 1949 and 1968. It's just as impressive as it always has been.


After Grand Canyon, I drove down to Williams for dinner, then on to the rest area south of Kingman where I spent the night.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

The last day of the drive included one of the things that make me glad I got out of California. When I gassed up at Hesperia the price per gallon was over a dollar more than I pay at home. Los Angeles traffic doesn't scare me because I was raised in it. But I'm very glad that my daily life in Kansas involves absolutely no stop and go on a freeway. Said stop and go brought me to my friend Herb's place in Woodland Hills at about three in the afternoon.  Last week he told me he has a nice guest room,  so I said I'd try to be a nice guest.


Monday, April 4, 2016

With editing photos, catching up on email and websites, etc., I spent more of my day at the computer than I do at home. In the afternoon our old pal Michael C. Ford came over and we visited into the evening. I've known Herb since 1963, and we met Ford in 1970, so we have plenty of history to chew over, along with the current ludicrous state of humanity.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Appropriately for a vacation, if you can vacation when you're already retired, I didn't do much of anything today. I updated the website and went with Herb to a doctor's appointment, and this evening we went to an Asian buffet. I think tomorrow I'll get out and do some California stuff.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Today I went downtown by bus and subway on the Metro for shopping and sightseeing. The shopping was for shirts which elsewhere would have cost three or four times as much. The sightseeing was at Union Station, the old plaza, and Olvera Street. Here area a few pictures. There are a lot more in my Facebook album
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Another bus and subway ride today took me to Hollywood. My mission there was to buy film. I can still buy print film at home, but slide film is long gone, and has been for several years. I have to drive to Wichita for it or buy it online. So it makes sense to pick up a couple of rolls when it's convenient. The 70 I spent riding today was a lot less than the cost of a drive to Wichita or the postage for an online order.



Friday, April 8, 2016

Today's adventure began with a drive on the 405 in Friday afternoon traffic. I was headed to Lomita to pick up my brother then meet a friend for dinner and a show. I thought I'd be down there in an hour, but I forgot that this was Friday afternoon. So it was closer to two hours. But I did get there, and we did go to dinner and a show. The pictures are in another  Facebook album.



Saturday, April 9, 2016

On a very lazy day I went with Herb and his daughter Sam and granddaughter Lilly for brunch on Sam's birthday. Lilly is a very cute baby. I spent the rest of the day playing online and making some plans for the week ahead.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Today's touring adventure was a drive up the coast to Santa Barbara County. The pictures are in another Facebook  album.



Monday, April 11, 2016

After a morning three mile run and a shower, my main project of the day was adding a page to the website. Somebody posted a video on Facebook showing a guy crank starting a 1916 touring in a way that could easily lead to a broken arm. Rather than just commenting and moving on, I made a page devoted to the subject so the next time the subject comes up, as it seems to do often, I can just post a link rather than take the time to type everything again.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Looking east at White Point, where Paseo del Mar ends abruptly.

Looking back at White Point from the east.

Where the road went: You can see some of the remains of Paseo del Mar, about fifty feet blow where it used to be.

Today I visited old friend Dan in Hawthorne, then went to lunch with old friend DeEtte. After lunch we drove around Palos Verdes Peninsula and I got to see the depressing overdevelopment that has replaced the former scenic drive. In San Pedro we visited the spot where part of the coastline collapsed, taking the road with it.  West of there, at Portuguese  Bend, is an area where the land has been collapsing for decades .  There the water mains are laid out on top of the ground, and every year the road gets new asphalt patches. Houses built in that area were destroyed in a few years. 

Battleship Iowa.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Model T night out. I went to dinner with fellow T aficionados Martin Vowell and George Clipner, and Martin's wife Jodi and her mom. After dinner we went to Martin's place for more old car blather and to see Martin's car.

Martin & George

Martin's mother-in-law Betty with Jodi

George's 1926 touring in the parking lot at Norm's.

In Martin's garage. His 1922 touring is currently undergoing engine/transmission work.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Goofed off, dined in with Herb, and his friend Marianne joined us.



Friday, April 15, 2016

Had a big day. Off to the Bakersfield swap meet with George Clipner, Martin Vowell, and Derrick Pang.

Erik Barrett, Martin, Derrick, Steve, George. More pictures later, after I get home.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dinner with Johnnie and Trina Moore. Johnnie was one of my students over thirty years ago.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Went to the Orange Empire Railway museum with brother Mike.

More pictures later, after I get home.


Monday, April 18, 2016

On my first travel day home I had this view of the San Francisco Peaks from the west. I bedded down at the first New Mexico rest area near Gallup.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I hit the road at 4 AM MDT, and would have been home in twelve hours if not for this. With bridge construction near Fairview, I spent forever waiting to cross the Cimarron River.



Wednesday, April 19, 2016


During last month's road-clearing work I accidentally backed the truck into a tree and bent the tailgate. So today's automotive project was applying weight to the bent piece to straighten it out. It isn't  like new, but it's considerably better than it was. I have lots of yard work to do, but will have to wait for the ground to dry out a bit before using the truck. Recent rains have left lots of mud, perfect for getting stuck. This morning the rain gauge had 4.3" in it.
























Thursday, April 21, 2016

Warming temps and recent rains have got the plants off to a roaring start, so my yard work season started today with tree trimming and a little mowing. There's plenty more mowing to do, so it will take a few days. I hope I can get it done before the next rain that's supposed to arrive Tuesday. Along with the mowing, of course, there's a lot of weeding, trimming, planting, transplanting and hauling away to do. I could do yard work full time, but vehicle maintenance and repair, house rebuilding, and plenty of other things guarantee that I'll never run out of things to do. One thing on my list for tomorrow is replacing a water line that was wrecked by a winter freeze. Fortunately it's only four feet long, not a big job.  




Friday, April 22, 2016

In the morning I got started making a fuel shut-off device for my touring car. I could put a shut-off valve at the carburetor, but there are two reasons I'd rather not. One is that Model T's didn't come from the factory with one, and I'd like the car to look correct. More important is that with the valve next to the carburetor it might be difficult or impossible to reach if there's an engine compartment fire. Such fires are unlikely, but they do happen. So I'm making a handle that goes from the valve under the tank out to the side of the car so I can reach it without having to crawl underneath. I got a good start on it this morning, and should have it finished, blasted, painted, and installed within a week. Then I'll put in the new fuel line and be ready to go for a drive. This afternoon I went to town and got three tomato plants, and planted them east of the house. I hope they'll do better than last year's total failures. They can't do any worse. I also got that replacement water line and installed it, so I actually finished two things today. About three I started up the mowing tractor and mowed until almost five, and made a pretty good dent in what needs to be mowed. I'll do more of it tomorrow.




Saturday, April 23, 2016

In the morning I worked on that fuel shutoff for the touring car some more, then mowed. I finished almost all the mowing except the banks along the road. Maybe I can get those done tomorrow. My other project for the day was digging next to the water meter to see what's there. For thirty years I've had to mow around a hole with corrugated roofing laid over it. Today I decided to take off the cover and see if I could find out what's under it.  It took a lot of digging, but  I found what's down there. I thought there might be a shutoff valve, but it turned out to be what looks like a pressure regulator. It was buried under about  foot of dirt. Now that I know what's there, I can go on to the next thing: devising a cover I can run over with the mower and won't have to mow around.



Sunday, April 24, 2016

It was a beautiful spring day, and I spent it outdoors. In the morning I mowed the lane to the wood lot and most of the south bank. About 11:30 shoving a push mower was starting to get a little steamy, even with a good breeze blowing, so I left the rest of the mowing to continue tomorrow. Next was transplanig four little redbuds along the lane. With the ones that were already there and the ones I planted last fall, there are now well over a dozen. In a few years they should make a nice spring display. I ended the day cutting down some little trees along the lane and poisoning the stumps to keep them gone, and hauling the branches to the brush pile. I think I could easily spend all my time just on yard work, but there are plenty of other things to do. Being retired and on a fixed meager income, I do just about everything myself. When I win the PCH $7000 a week for life, I'll hire help. Until then, I'm the only help I can afford.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Today's main job was gathering up the pieces of two inconveniently placed trees
I cut down last month, splitting them, and stacking the wood in the garage to dry out for burning next fall and winter. There are still a couple of piles of branches and twigs from those trees to haul off to the brush pile. That will clear the way for mowing that part of the yard. I also hauled water down the lane and gave a drink to the four redbuds I transplanted yesterday. They were looking a bit droopy in the afternoon, but by this evening they had perked up quite a bit.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In case of some future need to unearth this pressure regulator, I used bricks to make walls around it.

I was going to lay a piece of sheet steel over the bricks, but then I remembered I had some Hardie Board pieces. Those would make a solid cover and wouldn't rust.

With a Hardie Board roof on the little brick house, all I had to do was fill in the hole.

Clyde hung around while I worked and made sure I did everything right.
With the hourly forecast predicting a good chance of serious weather in the afternoon, I wanted to finish my yard excavation before any storms arrived.  I laid a wall of bricks around the pressure regulator, put a cover of Hardie Board over them, and filled in the hole. I had the hole filled in and the tools put away by one PM. My afternoon was devoted to doing laundry and grocery shopping. I used to do laundry on Saturdays, but since retiring I can do it whenever I run out of clean sox. The rain arrived in the evening about eight, and came down pretty well at times, so I won't need to do any watering for a few days.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Well, that was a nice surprise. Last night's storm didn't seem all that intense, and I was guessing maybe a half inch of rain or less, but this morning the gauge had .85" in it. That will make the plants happy.  This morning I went to the cemetery to meet with the sexton and a tree specialist from the university at Fort Hays to discuss trees. Some of my cousins have offered to donate trees, and we talked about what trees to get and where to put them. I spent most of the rest of the day on my 1923 Ford touring. It's due for engine/transmission work this summer, but until then I'd like to use it. So I aired up the tires, tightened the hose clamps, filled the new radiator, and went for a couple of test drives. It  gets along OK, considering the tired engine and the weak magneto.



Thursday, April 28, 2016



Today I finished mowing the banks and ditches on both sides of the road, then used a hi-lift jack to remove the T post beside a young elm tree in the back yard. The tree has grown too tall for a stake to do it any good, so I'm using nylon rope to keep it upright until it's ready to stand up straight on its own. In the afternoon I went to town and bought a new watch band to replace the flexible band that broke today. It was a recent replacement for another flex band that broke, so it seems those are too delicate to survive the use I give them. This time I bought a strap that buckles on. Maybe that will endure more than a few weeks. I've been dogless since September, so while I was out I went to the pound to look at dogs. I put a hold for a day on one likely candidate, but I saw a couple of others on Facebook that I want to meet too.


Friday, April 29, 2016

On a chilly and wet day I worked in the shop. I cotter pinned bolts on the roadster engine, safety wired the brake drum bolts, and cleaned up the manifold ports and manifolds. I want to get that car back together and take advantage of the coming pleasant spring weather with some nice country drives. Today wasn't terribly cold, with a high in the fifties, but it was cool enough for me to have fires in the stove and the fireplace. Last fires of the season? Probably. But with Kansas
weather you can never be sure of anything.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

First thing this morning I was on the road to Hutchinson. The ad for an auction there listed a Craftsman commercial lathe. So many times in the past lathes for sale have been disappointments, but this was a good one and came with a lot of tools, so I bought it. I also got a valve grinding machine. I went by car, so Monday I'll go back with the Suburban to fetch my new toys home.  


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