Monday, January 30, 2023

Another Update

 Life is moving quick.  Got a major hurdle over with, and now comes the last sprint to the finish line.  Got certified copies of the decree, now I have to do the leg work (hey, sprint, leg work... ) to get all the things done that have been ordered done.

 Progress not Perfection

I have always been a frustrated perfectionist.  I want to do things to the standard I know I can achieve.  But that usually holds me back, because I may need parts, information or something to make it "perfect".  And that holds everything up.  It's been that way as long as I can remember.  Frustrating.

 Progress not perfection is the new motto.  I can do a lot with what I have on hand now.  So, I'm getting after it.  

west bound on New Year's eve out near Guthrie, TX

There is a lot of sand in the air right now.  Family member is having issues.  It's unfortunate because it appears to be worsening.  Not much can be done, they only receive help involuntarily.  

Life can really suck at times.

New Year's Eve 2022, Lubbock County

But there is beauty to behold.  I'm trying hard to keep my eyes on it.  And hope springs eternal, when your hope is on the right Person.  

Gravity storage facility.  Man, that's tons of iron.  Me want!

It after near being time to be in the shop, and I'm just flat busted on energy.  Family issues keep pulling all the oomph out.    

                        Progress..... not perfection.   

                One step, then another.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Education From An Odd Source

 I was eating Chinese tonight.  The fortune cookie was...... illuminating.

THAT is pretty wise.  I don't normally see that type of content in a cookie.  I have been way out of my comfort zone this last week.  I don't really understand why this is happening, but there are always things to be learned...  if you have an open mind...  Just not too open.  Brains on the floor aren't pretty.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Birthday Present

 Got a fambly member that is getting ready to mark another circuit around el Sol.  I decided to make a little fixture for their hobby.

It'll be my riff on a mini pallet.  And it's a good first run for making one of my own.

Part one - squaring the stock.

Part two - finding the edges and adding the tapped holes.

I got a bit worn out today, just doing the normal things.  Cold front is coming, and that is a hard thing for my noggin.  After it passes tomorrow, I'll be better.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Punishing the Righteous

 I have a confession to make.  I do my best to do everything correctly, because I seldom get away with anything.  If you can drive 90 down the sidewalk and have done since Methuselah was a pup, the first time I try it, the drones are up, and forty eleven troopers are waiting for me in my own glovebox.

I traded for a trailer a while back.  Got it from the welder I was helping out a year or so ago.  Did you know that Lincoln made a trailer??  Yeah, I didn't either.  Traded a couple old things I wasn't using for this rig. 

I can't pull it without supporting the local government via it's revenue officers, so I needed to register it.

Here are the steps you take for an out of state trailer, with a VIN, that has never been licensed.... anywhere.  Per the STATE OF TEXAS DMV:

1 - Evidence of Ownership- I have a signed bill of sale and a copy of the owner's DL

2 - VTR-141 Trailer Statement of Fact - I read the definition of a trailer and this IS one.  Signed and dated

3 - Weight Certificate - 20 bucks at the local feed store, a must for an out of state trailer without a title, empty weight 1100 lbs.

4 - VTR-68-A - Trained Law Enforcement officer runs the VIN to make sure there aren't any warrants.  No charge, but if it comes back with a warrant, it's impounded.  So don't be an idiot and put your welder on it BEFORE you take it.  (Like I did, boy was I lucky)

5 - VTR-270 - VIN Certification - I found a tag and this is the number on it.  Signed and dated. 

6 - VTR-130U - Title Application.  Registration only checked.  Signed and dated.

6 - Take the info to the Tax Office, pay the money and get your registration and tag

But WAIT!  Can the local Tax Office allow you to do this without putting their own rules and regs on it?  Oh heck no.  Even the TEXAS STATE DMV said this next bit was unnecessary as trailers less than 7500 GVWR don't require a title, even if they have a VIN.  But the county plutocrats won't move forward unless I:

6 - VTR-130-SOF - Application for Bonded Title.  signed and dated

7 - I put pictures of each side to assist the DMV with their appraisal of value.  It'll be the minimum $4000.

8- Submit all this stuff to the Regional DMV office, $15.00 check, and $9.90 at the post office.

When / if it all comes back okay, I get to spend an additional $100 for a bond, then, it's off to the Tax Office to try again.  That'll be another $100

 My irritation level was "majorly chapped buttocks" today.  It was maddening...  But why not.  I may need to sell it.  It'll cost someone a cool $10,000 to pay for my aggravation and bp meds.

After this is done, I should have a nice little portable welding rig I can drag around for who knows what.  I had the welder from a different trade several years ago.  It's a Miller Roughneck 2E (the manual says December 1973)  Mine looks pretty nice. (I found a date on it, Nov 1980)

Well, after I get the new tires for it.... and paint it....  and finish the loom for the wiring....... then.....

Cute but heavy.  Pulls pretty nice, even with ratty old square tires.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023


 Every time I walk by the green bolt bins I got a couple weeks ago, I stop and think about why they are in this state. 

 I think I figured it out. 

I think the thing was spilled or maybe something else was, and they just picked everything up and threw it in here.  There is one mangled drawer, too.  That kind of makes me think it fell over.  

That is one heck of a load of pins and set screws.  There's dog point screws in there as well.  It's half a hardware store...  run through a milk shake machine.

I spent a few minutes picking out the dowel pins of one drawer.  I gotta make a sifter to get them sorted.  This by hand stuff is a bit much....  But it's not like I'm doing anything else at the moment....

Maybe small sorting boxes, or big ones.  Maybe just dump it all in a big bucket and take 15 minutes a day to sort.  I should be done by Christmas...  2099.....  If I'm diligent.

May need this to keep my head screwed on straight....  hahahaha..... made myself laugh....  I crack myself up...

Monday, January 9, 2023

Rat Killing

 Got a chance to help out a new college student.  My niece is starting school next week.   It worked pretty oka except for a hesitation during shifting from 2nd to 3rd.  It's an older Lancer.  Then it quit on her last week.

 It quit going forward.  Wonder why?  I tried it and it felt like limp mode in reverse.  Very harsh shift.  And a gray flash from under the passenger seat to the dash....  rodents.  Great.

I pulled a P0705 code out of the OBDII port and did the study.  Probably was a gear position switch.  On top of the transaxle and under the battery.  Nice....

grimy.  took a bit of work to get the arm off it, too.

So, I removed the switch, it's shaped like a piece of pie .  It was stuck down on the rusty "bolt" in the middle there.  But it finally gave up.  I wanted to quit right then, but you have to be thorough.  And I saw Ricky Rat run under the dash...  So I rested for about 15 minutes and then went back to work.

While I was checking out connectivity between the plug that goes on the left above, and the connector under the dash I found this modification:

wunderbar  😑  it's been gnawed up and is that POOOP on the carpet????


I didn't have my heat gun with me, and I needed some spare wire, too.  And the switch.  "Ah'll be bach."  I told my sister about the gray ghost, and she said she'd work on it.

20 minutes later I get this picture:

That was fast!

I ordered a new switch, and it showed up on Saturday.  Two days early.  Replaced without effort today.  Got a new heat gun yesterday and fixed the rat rod mod after the switch replacement.  And it's a runner!  

Niece drove around the block with it.  No shift issues either.  God is good.  And her smile lit up the day!!

I'm bushed.... good night ladies!

Saturday, January 7, 2023


Spent a week on the road visiting family.  I hadn't seen some of them in a dozen years.  Nothing was really holding me here.  So why not?


Northbound on the Pickle Parkway

The drive up north was pretty easy, and I stopped by my favorite used / surplus machinery supply warehouse.  I wasn't disappointed.  Got some new to me shop supplies. 


Most are still half full of hazmat

All dead, morse taper 5, 4, 3 and 2?  There is a 3-5 adapter.  Hard lives, who chips a carbide tip?

empty weight about 50#, loaded it's 300#! full of pins, set screws and such like 

After the pickup, I headed on up to my little sister's house. She has pictures and documentation that I'd never seen.  I didn't know my dad had been courted by the Secret Service.  Or that he had so many commendations during his time as a Texas Peace Officer.  Very cool.

West bound

A few days later, went west to the home stomping grounds.  Easy day of travel, followed by some emotional days driving around to see what hadn't changed.  Mother in law was happy to see me.  We had a great visit.  She said I'll always be her son.  That was pretty cool.  She'll hit 80 this year.  Seems impossible...

Just like I remembered

Older sister got hit with the lung damage last year, and is still fighting hard to recover.  We both had similar reactions.  Spent a good bit of time comparing notes.  She's in a tough place.

Stayed with her oldest daughter.  The Wu-flu took her husband.  Left her with a 2 year old, who is 4 now.  That kid is a pistol.  We sat on the floor and played and had a real great time the few days I was there.  Made biscuits with her one morning.  THAT was a hoot.  The niece and I compared notes on life, and wound up talking until 0400.  It is refreshing to realize your niece is a quality lady.  So many "kids" are dinks now.  Yeah, she'll be 40 this year, she's no kid.  

family reunion

 Went to the stone garden to visit my folks.  Been quite a while since the last time.  In the past, I'd sit and remember, then leave after a while.  This time, I actually talked to them, as if they were there.  Struck me as odd.  Not something I'd normally do.  So, I said a prayer after and asked The Heavenly Father to pass along my "conversation".   That was a bit more comforting to me.  

The trip home was long.  450 miles.  I had to break it into sections to make it in a day.  It used to take 7 hours max.  This time was 12.  But I arrived in pretty good shape.  I did sleep good for a couple nights.

I figured out this house is trying to off me.  I hardly coughed at all at my little sisters, only a little bit more out in the dusty high plains.  I started coughing non-stop when I got home and coughed for a few hours until I went to bed.  Not good.  

 Things gotta change around here.  Time to get serious.