Monday, November 7, 2011

What's In a Name

"Banessa" and I have names for our vehicles. Her truck is Sam the Ram, my old Jeep was El Scorcho, her Trailblazer is Jane Doe, my KLR650 was called Delta Force at work and the new Jeep is Enzo....we also have a few other vehicles in the family or in our past with names.

All these names have some sort of significance or reason for being. Sam rhymes with Ram, and I was listening to Weezer when I named the Liberty El Scorcho. Ah yes, those half Japanese girls do get me every time. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, names...lets see. Jane can hide out in any parking lot with all her plain Jane sisters and Enzo...well duh, he is as fast as a Ferrari 458! Oh, I forgot the old KLR otherwise known as Delta Force. People at work thought it looked like a bike Chuck Norris would ride so they gave it a fitting name.

Some of these names came easy and some with a little more effort. The one thing they all had/have in common is that they have some essence of the rides character in it. The names defined the rigs.

What a dilemma. We are having a baby boy and we are supposed to figure out his name and have it ready before he even gets here. They should let us name him a few days later so we can fit him with the right name. That is how we did all the cars and they got sweet names. We named them after we got to know them. I don't want to name him Chevy and then find out he would be better as a Ford. In any case, I have thrown every car, tool and motorcycle name I could at Banessa (Banessa is a sweet name right?) and she hasn't like any of them. Oh well, I am sure what ever name the little dude gets it will be just right even if I don't get to name him Ducati or Jeepster Commando. Even though (insert name here) will have a name already when he is born I know he will define his name, it won't define him and I guess that is what makes little boys cooler than cool cars.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Making It Yours

I'm sitting in a parking lot wasting time because apparently I am up way to early for any stores to be open.  To add to my irritating circumstances I am typing this blog on my phone on a touch screen....argh!  As I sit here with nothing to do, upset by my lack of activities one thing in this parking lot soothes me.  An early VW van sits nearby.  It is obviously loved by someone as it has been customized tastefully to the owners liking.  It has a silver flame job and nice paint.  It looks to be lowered a bit and the best part is that it looks to be a daily driver.  I am not a one of those huge veeedub fannigons but I am a lover and particpatorian in car culture.  I appreciate that this guy or gal takes pride in this classic vehicle and that he or she has made it his.  He added his own touch to the Vanagon making it his personal piece that can get him to and from work in his own style.  I like personal style even when it isn't a style I would choose for myself.  Good on you VW van dude.....Does your ride reflect your style?  Can you find the made up words in this post?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Go Find a Snow Cone

I took "Banessa" out on the bike a couple weeks back for a snow cone date.  We zipped around Tucson, ate a little grub and then stopped at a little shack called "The Oasis" where we had the best raspado's (snow cones in Spanish) or raspadoooo's as Banessas dad calls them.  After our raspado chill out, my lady climbed back on the bike and held on as we took a winding back road through the desert all the way back to our casa.  When we got home she asked me, "Have you ever taken that road before?  How did you know about it?"  I guess I never really thought about it until then, but I just take off driving some days, just for the heck of it.  I will go down a road or take a turn I never have before.  Sometimes I find a cool new store, or a sweet trail or a nice fun road to flog a motorcycle through.  It is just fun for me to see what's out there and it lets me have a small feeling of discovery.  Go ahead and try it someday.  Get out there, go a way you have never gone before.  You might be surprised at what you find; an old farm house, a sweet dive bar or an awesome view.  Don't be discouraged if ya come up short and hit a dead end like we did on this trail below...turn around and go another way, you may come up with a winding road that gets your girl/guy to wrap her/his arms around you.
We crossed this portion of the Gila River only to find the end of the trail just on the other side.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spray and Pray

If you have read any of my blog posts you may have seen that I really like to try and do things myself.  Sometimes this really eats into my bank account and threatens my marital status.  There is an inherent problem in taking on projects that you have never done before on your own.  Almost always you will not have all or some of the tools you will need for the job.  That could be a huge problem if the tool you need would cost more than it would cost to pay someone to do the job for you.  Why would you buy a $400 welder if you only needed to do $200 worth of welding work?  You could only make that welder pay off if you are an ambitious bloke who's willing to take on a few more projects.  Many of us will only have to do some projects once or twice in our lives, so it may just make sense to hire the work out.  Me being youngish and unable to see even five minutes into the future, I always go and buy the tools, mess up the project and then hire someone for way more money to help clean up the mess.  That is why lately I have tried to put a little more thought into my projects.  I recently wanted to give my motorcycle a professional paintjob but for a not professional price.  To do this I would need a high volume low pressure spray gun to lay down a fine smooth paint job.  Now I didn’t want to shell out $150, $250 or even $350 for a spray gun that I would use only 2 or three times.  After scouring the net I found a link to some cool dudes web page that pointed me in the right direction.  This garage warrior had sprayed his 1948 GMC with a cheapo Harbor Freight HVLP gun and made that sucker look like pure American Graffiti awesomeness.  For $30-$40 bucks, lots of elbow grease and the price of materials he sprayed his beautiful hot rod truck!  Here is a link to his setup and instructions on how to get a show room shine out of a bargain basement gun.
It just goes to show you that if you research your project, take the time to bargain hunt, as well as put in the work you can do it like the pros even if you are just a broke Joe.  
Oh, and just since I am truly happy with the Harbor Freight gun, here is a link to it...I just checked and it is on sale!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Men, Save Yourselves!

A guy at work was telling me the other day how he was going to have to pay a fist full of dollars to have his oil and air filter changed.  He was totally cool with it because, well hey, that is what he needed to do to keep his car properly maintained.  Now, I am all for having other people do things for me every once in a while if I have the cash and am short on time but I didn't like the fact that it was just so very normal to him to pay a lot of money for such a simple task.  This guy is young and his money could be used elsewhere like say on booze and women.  I hear this same scenario often while at work from increasingly young men.  They/we are being brought up to believe that to fix something we need to hire a professional or worse, we are told to throw things away and buy a new one.  When (here is where I sound old) I was a young 19 year old there was no way you would catch me giving my cash up to some guy to change my oil or put on a set of brake pads.  I needed my coin to buy a used set of wheels for my 240Z and to later take a girl out in it.  I have an opinion that may not be that of most but.....I think men should be willing to take a shot at doing their own maintenance and repairs of fairly simple tasks.  That doesn't just go for working on the family car.  It means replacing the belt in your dryer or figuring out why the dishwasher is leaking all over the floor.  Dudes!!!! YOU ARE MEN!!!  Back in the day you had to earn your keep by tracking down and killing a buffalo or building a shelter and now all most of us can do is find some other man to do it for us.  I'm not saying we should get in over our heads.  I'm saying take a crack at some things, learn a little about how things work and do some things yourself.  Check for a video on how to change that door knob or replace that dirty filter in that VW Beetle (it better be your girls car).  Many tasks that would cost you a day or two's pay may only cost a few bucks to do yourself; heck it might be free!  Go ahead and try it, you may surprise yourself and also save yourself enough dough to buy a keg of beer.  Oh and when your woman is all extra touchy feely the night you come in all dirty after replacing her oil…you can thank evolution for her unknowingly being lured to you for just acting like a man.  Now, time for another lube job;)

Ron being very manish and pulling a motor to put into a project of his.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dads, Wrenches and Red Foxes

When a male red fox' cubs are three months old he kicks them in the ass and makes them go outside.  The fox will pretend to ambush his cubs to teach them to be on alert when out and about.  He will hide food underground and lead the cubs to the area letting them think they found the food.  He teaches them to hunt, forage and pull security by giving them these experiences under his protective paw.  I am sure the whiny snot nosed cubs at first are not so happy about dad taking them out of the warm den and making them give up the free meals from mom's teet.  Later on though, whether they realize it or not, those cubs become foxes and the ones that are thriving are the ones that picked up on what mean ass dad taught them; self reliance, confidence and independence.

When I was little I had books about cars and a poster of a Lamborghini Testorosa on my wall.  I loved driving my go cart and riding my dirt bike.  I loved (and still do) everything with wheels or a motor.  However, I didn't love to work on them.  I was lazy and I wanted someone else to do the dirty work.  None the less, my dad always pulled my little brother (sometimes he would take long poops to get out of some work) and me outside when the 72 Cougar needed brakes or that time when the  65 Ford F-100 threw a rod and needed a new engine.  He walked us through how to clean and rebuild the carb on the go cart and how to bust and replace tires on the 84 Chevy pickup...I always remember being a little upset that my friends were out playing while I was handing wrenches to my dad as he had good time spening the day with his sons and listening to the oldies station blaring (on some stereo we had found and fixed) in the driveway.  Now that I am no longer a boy I realize how awesome it was of my dad to teach me the difference between standard and metric wrenches and how you can be self reliant.  He showed me to not be afraid, if you can take something apart then you can put it back together.  He grew up in a time where you fixed things instead of buying new ones and you used your noggin to figure out how to make something broken work again. He showed me how to use ingenuity, smarts and elbow grease and also to spend time with your but head kids.  I love him for teaching me that...those skills don't just work on broken CV shafts and burnt out clutches.
I read a little statistic in Men's Health  the other day that said that by the year 2048 do it-yourself skills will vanish.  Not with this fox, and I hope my cub still remembers how to change her own spare tire when she grows up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Patience is a Virtue (That I don't have)

Chip Foose, West Coast Custom's, Orange County Choppers and even ,my good local body shop all have one thing in common.  They take a project, put a bunch of time into it and after everything is perfect they go ahead and paint that project.  Whether it be a bike or a car or a fire truck.  When they are done they can stand back, smile and be proud of a shiny, perfect paint job, a paint job that looks good because they took the time to make everything right before they slapped a new layer of candy on.  I recently set upon a project myself.  I decided to paint my new to me 2005 KLR650.  When I got it it the plastics were badly faded from red to a flattering pink.  Knowing very little about motor cycles I decided to take it all the way apart and give it a new color scheme.  A black frame and motor and desert sand plastics seem to fit my style.  Now I am not one for good prep so whenever I started going to fast and cutting corners I would stop and come back at my project another day.  Doing so made a week long project drag out for more than a month.  I must say though, the wait was worth it to me.  Now after putting her back together I have a few leftover parts and nuts and bolts but never mind that check out how the KLR came out!  Click on the pics to see larger images.