JULY 2010



Sunday, August 1, 2010

On Friday I left from work and drove to Wichita, where I caught a plane to Denver. That night I went to a concert at the Pepsi Center.






















Paquita la del Barrio opened the show and sang for a little over half an hour. She's a big favorite with the ladies, especially all those who have ever met Mr. Wrong. Her biggest hit is Rata de Dos Patas (two-legged rat). After Paquita kicked things off, Vicente Fernandez spent the next three hours singing one hit song after another. The audience knows all the songs, and they sing along with him. This is one of the world's great singers, the king of ranchera music, and a beloved figure. As the orchestra starts to play each song, the first few notes draw cheers as the people recognize what's coming, and at the end of each song there are even more cheers. One thing that struck me was the number of young people in the audience. One might expect a singer in his sixties to have a mostly older audience, but a lot of the people at this concert were in their twenties and thirties.

Yesterday I went to see my cousins Camille and Mary, and met Mary's fiance Loren. We had a nice visit during the day, then last night I went to a movie. It was Salt, with Angelina Jolie. The story was a bit far-fetched, but it was a well-made action/thriller. Good perrformances by all concerned made it an enjoyable diversion.

Today I returned from the mild Denver weather (highs in the eighties) to high summer in the low plains (105 forecast tomorrow). Fortunately the humidity isn't bad.


Monday, August 2, 2010

On a triple digit afternoon I stayed with easy chores in the shade. The front porch thermometer read 102 as I put away the laundry I did yesterday. Then I got busy with a micrometer and checked the rear axle bearings out of my touring car. I found a couple of them easily reusable, and the other two borderline. The modern replacements have a bad reputation, so I may reuse all the originals until I can find some NOS (new old stock) to replace the worst ones.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another triple digit afternoon, 101 on the front porch, had me sticking to chores that take no physical exertion. One of those was measuring axle shafts for wear. Another was deleting spam. What fun.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Win some, lose some. A few minutes before five it was 99. A half hour later it was 88 and dropping. Unfortunately the cooler temperature came with a rainstorm that had me mopping up leaks. I've been too much of a hot weather sissy to get up on the roof and lay out a new tarp in triple digit temperatures, so it caught up with me this afternoon when the old weathered tarp suffered multiple leaks. I need to get up there tomorrow and do what needs to be done, even if it's hot.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oh boy, what fun! I woke up at 4:30 this morning to the sound of rain starting. It was soon dripping/pouring in through multiple leaks. Before long I was up on the roof in my undies (no sense getting my clothes soaked) with a flashlight in the pouring rain, spreading a new tarp. I was only a few minutes late for work.

This afternoon I started killing Johnson grass and little trees. I used up most of two gallons, and there's a lot more to do, so I'll have to continue later.


Friday, August 6, 2010

More grass murder. I sprayed a lot of Johnson grass, and there's plenty more to spray. Maybe I can get more done this weekend.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

I did. Between interruptions, I sprayed a lot more. The first interruption was for for a drive to Oxford, where I checked out an auction. There were a couple of good items, but nothing worth spending the time waiting for them to come up. On the way home I went to the fairgrounds to check on another auction. The only thing I cared about there was an oil dispenser. I knew it wouldn't come up until after several tables full of household junk were cleared, so I went on home and sprayed. A couple of hours later I went back for the oil dispenser and was surprised to find that it had already sold and the auction was almost over. Not to worry. Oil dispensers like that show up in auctions quite a lot, so I'm likely to find others. I sprayed some more, then went to town to tie on the feed bag. After enchiladas rancheras at La Fiesta, I took in a movie. It was The Other Guys, a pretty funny parody of standard cop movies.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Today I got back to the Model T rear axle, taking apart the drive shaft assembly, cleaning all the parts, and measuring to find out which ones need to be replaced. As the picture shows, the pinion bearing rollers have less than .002" wear, so I won't have to replace the bearing. All four axle bearings appear to be usable too, but the right side axle shaft is toast. It has .011" wear in one place, so it's usable as a circus tent stake, but not as an axle shaft. I have a book on axle repair, and a set of videos. The videos, showing the work being done, make the procedures very clear, but taking the time to watch them is less convenient than the book, where you can skip over the parts you already know.


Monday, August 9, 2010

It's better to be here. Time and temperature signs in town this afternoon were showing 101 and 102, but the front porch thermometer here on the farm read 95. The humidity has fallen to 40%, so the heat doesn't feel too bad. This was the day for filing all the pictures I took in June and July, and other computer work that only requires sitting.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Again I worked on the rear axle project, taking apart and cleaning parts. It's pretty simple stuff, but like everything else, it takes longer than you think it will.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The project continues. Grocery shopping ate up some of the afternoon, and the rest of it was more Model T work.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

I checked email and a couple of websites, then got back to to my mechanical work, where I've run into a snag. There's a drive shaft bushing that's supposed to come out of the torque tube. Maybe I need a bigger hammer, because so far no amount of pounding has budged it.


Friday, August 13, 2010

With high summer's triple-digit temperatures keeping things steamy I haven't been doing any cooking, but tonight I decided to heat up a can of frijoles refritos to have with totopos, queso, and salsa. Pretty yummy stuff. In the evening when things cool down, I sleep out on the front porch swing. There's usually a little breeze from the south which makes it very pleasant. After midnight, when the inside of the house has cooled down some more, I move to my bed upstairs where there's an alarm clock to get me going in the morning. But I don't have to go to work on Saturdays, so tonight I can stay on the porch all night.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

After doing laundry this morning I checked out a couple of local auctions. Neither one had enough to keep me there, so I came on home to get some work done. It's been at least a couple of weeks since I mowed, and the grass was getting shaggy in places, so today was mowing day. The last time I mowed the tractor died few times, so this morning I took off the carburetor, cleaned it, and blew out all the passages, and cleaned the fuel filter. That did the trick, and I got the mowing done with no problems. This evening I went to a movie, and when it was over a big thunderstorm with heavy rain was just ending. I waited in the theater until I could get out to my car without getting soaked, but when I got home everything here was dry. The rain started here just before midnight, and I was delighted to find that the new tarp I put on the roof last week did its job. There were no leaks into the house. In a week I'll be taking some vacation time to work on the roof. I want to finish the upper part and eliminate all leaks before winter.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Today I was back to the rear axle project, and finally managed to get the drive shaft bushing out of the torque tube. I also spent some time watching the repair video. The book gives some information the video doesn't, and vice versa, so it's good to have both.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Some Sunday rain produced a few leaks, but fortunately not a major mop-up this time. So this afternoon I went up on top to rearrange the tarp which had blown out of place. I put the new tarp under the old leaking ones and fastened them down to keep everything in place.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It worked. There was plenty of rain this morning, and no leaks. The rain came along with a nice change in the weather, After a couple of weeks with highs near 100, temperatures have dropped about fifteen degrees. Now, if the humidity drops the weather will be perfect.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

With the ground still soft from the recent rain, I got out the WD and did some excavating. An area where there had been a big pile of dirt when I installed the new water line was still a little high, so I scraped it down with the blade and spread it around. Trouble came when the job was done and I tried to take the blade off the tractor. The Allis Chalmers snap coupler is a very handy sytem for attaching equipment to a tractor, but it's not quite so handy when it won't unsnap. Getting that thing unhooked will be tomorrow's job one.


Thursday, August 19 2010

This afternoon I got the blade unhitched from the WD, then used the loader to lift the line shaft off the trailer. This evening I put the dump rake on the trailer and took it up to the fairgrounds for this weekend's antique tractor show. I was hoping to take a tractor too, but that will have to wait for another year. There's just one of me, and only so many hours in a day.


Friday, August 20, 2010

After work today I went up to the fairgrounds and worked a couple of hours at the tractor show registration desk, then went down to the casino and gassed up the car, stopped at Juquila to pick up some tacos de chorrizo, and came home for a tasty dinner. We're back to toasty weather, with highs in the upper nineties through Monday, then the forecast calls for a week of eighties and low nineties with little to no chance of rain. Looks like perfect weather for working on the roof.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

In most years I would have been at the fairgrounds today for the antique tractor show. But I was at a huge auction in the country between Udall and Douglass. One of the auctioneers told me they put in a 17-hour day after a big week of laying out the goods. I was there to see a Model TT Ford truck and to bid on an antique gas pump for a friend, who told me to spend up to $500 for it. Dream on. The folks with deep pockets saw the ads and showed up. The first bid on the pump was $500, and it quickly went up and sold for $2100. The truck, a 1917 with electric start, had a pretty good cab and body with no rot, but the engine was stuck solid as a rock. I would have paid up to $2000 for it, but it finally sold for $4100. Fortunately, out of the huge conglomeration of stuff, much of it of no interest, I came away with some gems. They included a dial indicator for $45, four sets of metal shelves for $24, a large tool box for $14, a set of large taps and dies for $20, and a box of large drill bits and reamers for $5.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

This was retrieval day. After a morning of playing with the computer and watching a couple of the Sunday gab shows, I took the trailer to fetch home the four sets of shelves I bought at yesterday's auction. Once I had those unloaded I headed north again, this time to the fairgrounds to bring home the dump rake I had on display at the antique tractor show. All the loading, hauling, and unloading used up the afternoon.


Monday, August 23, 2010

I spent my first day of vacation on easy stuff. I figured out how to download emails into a file without having to highlight, copy, and paste them, and filed a mess of them that I wanted to save. I web surfed, unloaded the dump rake off the trailer, and even took a nap. The forecast is for rain tomorrow, so I'll start on the roof Wednesday morning, which is supposed to be the start of over a week of dry weather.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I awoke to the sound of rain, and spent the morning cleaning. I vacuumed the bathroom, cleaned the toilet and mopped, then vacuumed and mopped the kitchen. By afternoon the rain had quit, and I took the shelves I bought Saturday out of the shop and cleaned them, and spent the rest of the afternoon starting to get the shop cleaned up and the new shelves in place.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Life is all the stuff that happens while you're making other plans. I started on the roof, taking off old shingles. About 2:30 I left for what I thought would be an hour at most. I went to Kora's in winfield to buy kimchi, then headed to Country Mart in Arkansas City for other groceries. Turning into the parking lot I had a flat tire. So I dug a jack out of the trunk and put on a spare. It turned out the spare had a leak. So I walked up to Rakie'0000000000s, where they deal in tires, and borrowed a tank of air. That blew up the tire enough for me to drive up there and return the tank, and buy a new spare. All the tire activity ate up my afternoon, so the roof work will have to continue tomorrow.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Most of today was devoted to removing old roofing from the east-facing slope. I took off at least two layers of asphalt shingles, leaving just the original wood shingles. I'll start on those tomorrow.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Removal of old roofing continued. Today I finished taking off the asphalt shingles and got down to the last layer, wood shingles. I got most of those off too, except behind the chimney where it's hard to pull nails. After all the shingles are off, I can start removing rotten boards and eaves, and start rebuilding.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

No roof today. I got a late start, doing my morning three miles, bathing, and doing laundry. By the time the clothes were washed, it was time for the day's auction. So I put the wet clothes in the car and went to the sale. I got a can of galvanized nails for $4 and another set of metal shelves for $6. Then I went back to the laundry and dried those wet clothes. When I got home there was just enough time for a little web surfing to read some movie reviews. Then I went to town for a good Italian meal at Napoli's, and a movie. The film was Nanny McPhee Returns, written by and featuring Emma Thompson in the title role. Sometimes in "family films" the acting is a bit overboard, as some of it is here, but that doesn't stop this being an enjoyable entertainment.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

It was another day of work on the roof. Most of it was more removal of old shingles. There's more of that to do. Here's a video showing some of what I've done since Wednesday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrblhD_sMIM


Monday. August 30, 2010

I had a bit of a surprise this morning when my old buddy Mark showed up to help on the roof. He was here until noon, and we spent the time taking off more old shingles and boards. While he worked on shingles I took off rotten old eaves. After Mark left I took over shingle removal and got just about all of that done. This afternoon I visited the lumber yard and bought some boards to build a scaffold to go over the back porch. I'll need that when I rebuild the north end of the upper roof.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This morning we removed rotten boards and installed temporary supports in place of removed rafters. To get at rotten boards behind the chimney, I had to knock out some of the sheetrock in the northeast bedroom. This afternoon I went to town and bought lumber, paid a bill, and bought some new tarps.With most of the east upstairs exposed, I knew I had better get it covered. Last week the ten day forecast had 0% chance of rain all this week. But the closer you get to the actual day, the more the forecast changes. By today the chance of rain had increased to 40%, and as I shopped this afternoon the clouds were gathering. Of course I ended the day putting tarps in place as the rain poured down. By the time the rain ended I was just getting the tarps in place and I was sopping wet.






JULY 2010