Showing posts from January, 2011

And Then all was Once Again Right

Just hours after dropping Rosie off at the shop, I received a phone call from the mechanic. It seems during their initial inspection they had determined that the valve stems seals were leaking oil into the combustion chambers. I could hear in my mind the sound of the old manual cash register in the old hardware store I used to frequent in downtown Baconton many years ago - ching ching. But knowing that it would be pointless to attempt to tune the fuel injection system if oil was in the mix as well and knowing that the condition would quickly lead to fouled spark plugs, I gave the go ahead to make the repairs needed to correct that issue as well. The remainder of the week, I would step into the garage every evening and glance at the empty spot where Rosie should be and think how odd it looked. I would then walk back into the house and think how much the bill would be when the mechanic finished. I remembered a phrase my Dad used to throw out in situations like this when I first started d

Escaping the Madness

We managed to get all of our errands completed and headed to Charlotte Sunday for the National Motorsports Press Association awards banquet. The NMPA had activities scheduled both Saturday and Sunday, but our schedule was just so full, we missed the Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday, but at least got to be apart of the media awards Saturday night. We had not been checked in 30 minutes when we started running into some of the other sports writers that I have met over the years covering the sport of auto racing. Several of the other journalists have past experience racing stock cars or working on race teams. So, the stories that were shared were a mix of things that happened over the last season covering the sport and stories of racing events that we had participated ins and the antics involved. I was pleased to see Brian Vickers seated a table over from us at the banquet. Brian had set out the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season due to blood clots and medical treatment. When I saw him at Br

Tire Stores and Mechanics

Saturday started much earlier than I would prefer, especially after several nights at work, but sometimes it has to be done. I was at the tire store promptly at 8am to have new tires installed on my pickup and to have the alignment checked. I got out of there two hours and several hundred dollars later. Since installing the new true duals on Rosie, I had noticed it was trying to burn the chrome off the heat shield coming out of the back head. This indicated a lean condition to me and meant only one thing, ground the bike until I had a chance to take it to the mechanic to re-tune the EFI and a trip on the dyno. So, when I returned home with breakfast after the tire store, I told my wife that I thought today was a good opportunity to drop Rosie off for the re-tune work. So, after eating our biscuits and drinking coffee, I backed the truck to the driveway and set up the ramps. But when I flipped the ignition on Rosie and pressed the starter button, it was suddenly apparent that the freezi

Farewell Electra Glide in Blue

For those who have not heard, I am sad to report that Jeff Mashino, author of the blog " Electra Glide in Blue ", lost his struggle to overcome cancer. I had followed his blog post for quite sometime and was fascinated by his mechanical know how and appreciation for old Harleys, especially one particular 1968 FLH. I never had the opportunity to meet, Jeff, and I feel that it is my loss. He was the kind of guy I would have liked to have had for a neighbor. Someone I could have learned a great deal from in a short time. Rest in Peace, Jeff. You will be missed.

How Could Five Inches of Snow Shut a City Down?

For those of you wondering why five inches of snow followed by a day of sleet and a week of freezing temperatures brought Atlanta traffic to a halt. This video clip of Peachtree ST. tells a pieced of the tale: The weather guessers predicted that we would get a heavy snow on Sunday night/Monday Morning, and then we would be battered with freezing rain/sleet and temps in the 20s and teens. Well, they were spot on with their prediction. It began snowing before midnight and by Monday morning we had five inches of snow. By sunrise, the sleet was coming down so hard it sounded like some one was throwing gravel at the windows of the house. The roads and highways ended up with a solid sheet of ice about 3/4 of an inch to an inch thick. So all the schools cancelled school on Monday and all of the businesses told their employees to stay home. The Georgia DOT requested everyone stay off the roads and tried to ask truckers to avoid Atlanta. That went over like a rotund gentleman trying to pole vau

The Ever Evolving Budweiser Shootout

In 1979, Anheuser-Busch launched the Busch Clash as a non-points race of all of the previous season’s Busch Pole winners in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The format of the race changed several times over the years. Originally it was a 20-lap “winner take all” prelude to Speedweeks at Daytona. In 1991, it was changed to two 10-lap segments. In 1998, they changed it to a single segment 25-lap event. After all, it had worked just fine for 11 years as a single segment event. Anheuser-Busch re-evaluated their involvement in NASCAR for the 2001 season. In the face of rising sponsorship costs and economic pressures, the company elected to not renew as the title sponsor of the Busch Series leaving NASCAR scrambling to secure a new title sponsor for its minor league division. At the same time, Anheuser-Busch made the decision to market its most prominent product line, Budweiser, in NASCAR replacing Busch Pole awards with Bud Pole awards and renaming the Busch Clash the Budweiser Shoot Out. The

Making a Mustang II Fly

In 1997, I had been out of racing for a while as I had ventured out on my own to start a computer networking consulting service which turned into a full blown computer store. But once you have spent a couple seasons behind the wheel of a stock car on a short track, the urge to get back in one is pretty heavy. One of my racing buddies called and had a proposal. He and his father both raced ministock 4 cylinders and they somehow ended up with a third car, a Mustang II with a 2000cc four cylinder. They were wanting to sell the car and knew a race car does not sell sitting on jackstands in someones yard. It needs to be seen making laps at the race track. So, they asked me to race it until it was sold. It sounded like a good idea as I only had to pay for fuel and occasional tires. At the time, the rulebook called for street radial tires which I could pick up used at a reasonable price. The first night at the track, I looked the car over. It looked like the roll cage was of safe construction

Book Review: Start Something That Matters

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie After starting his fourth start-up, twenty-nine year old Blake took some time off to travel Argentina. It changed his world view. Two things resulted from his trip. One, he was taken with the national shoe - the apargata and two, he was impacted with the amount of children who were shoeless. He launched the for-profit company, TOMS ("Tomorrow's Shoes"). The company operates on the principal that for every pair of shoes it sells, it donates a brand new pair to a child in need. He launched the company out of his apartment and worked with shoemakers in Argentina to produce the shoes he found in Argentina with improved soles and inner soles. The company took off and has made a major impact on the world staying true to its original mission. He encourages the rest of us to find what we are passionate about and change the world around us for the better. The book opens with a couple chapters telling the T