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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New shoes for baby...

Had a new rear tire shoe'd onto the FJR today: "Bridgestone T30 GT" in a 155/80-17, in prep for a Blue Ridge Parkway ride in a couple weeks. The T30 supercedes the usual BT-023's that I usually run and are supposed to offer better grip AND better mileage. I've been getting about 8,000mi each BT-023 rear, so I'm curious to see how these do. I'll do my best to check in with reports on wear and handling as I rack up the miles on these:

New rear Bridgestone T30 GT 155/80-17 tire
The old BT-023 had 8k+- on it, and was quite squared off. Its nice to have a round tire again!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DIY Carport...

Built a lean-to carport to protect Pillions newish Subaru after a couple of hailstorm scares. Here are the steps simplified, for inquiring minds:

1st step was to bolt the 2x8x10 ledger boards to the existing shed, using galvanized hardware.
The ledger board is where the top of the joists will attach to the shed.

Posts for the header were set 2 feet deep in gravel, square to the existing shed and 10.5 ft out.
The pencil line marks the point of level across all three posts as the grade falls from post 1 to post 3.
You can see the ref line a bit higher on the 2nd post in the bkgd

With 4x4 posts already set and notched, the 2x8 header that the joists will rest on is attached with galv. bolts.
The notch allows the weight of the header to rest completely on the post, rather than the attaching hardware

With the header and posts complete, the 2x6x12 joists can be run from the ledger board to the header.
I allowed for a 2 foot drop over 12 feet to shed snow/rain
Detail of the joist hangar used to attach this end of the joists to the ledger
Different hardware is used to attach the other end to the header
Here's the other end of the joist attached at the header.
These photos were mostly made after most of the build was completed, so here you also see
the purlins and the tin have been attached.
Heres a good detail showing the header, posts, notches, bracing, purlins and facia board and tin all tied together
Overhang will help protect all this from weather.
After the ledger, posts, header and joists are all attached, the purlins can be run perpendicular to the joists
The joists were spaced 24" on center, and so are the purlins in the opposite direction
The 1x4 purlins are what the tin roofing sheets will attach to.
Galvanized, shielded and gasketed screws are used to attach the roof
to the purlins. Screws are applied thru the "v" of the 5-v sheets to
reduce leakage in heavy rains. I almost got the lines straight.
I overlapped the tin sheets so that the laps all face east, as most storms come from the southwest.
The helps not give strong winds a leading edge to pry up the tin in a bad storm.

I installed a drip edge all around to help keep water from creeping back in over the woodwork
Bracing keeps the structure from racking back and forth during storms.
I mounted these flush in case I come back with an enclosed wall later.
Still need to add gravel for the floor, but testing the fit with my truck before rolling Pillions Subaru in here
Here's another view of the completed structure.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Night Sky...

It was a nice, cold, clear night in the woods Sunday night, so I ventured out and tried to capture the star field for the first time with my little olympus. I centered the view on Orion, as it was bright enough to manually focus on in the viewfinder.
10 sec exposure of the southern sky at 8pm, 20mm f/1.7, iso1600

Monday, February 2, 2015

Macro Flora...

Putting the vintage 1974 Micro-Nikkor through its paces at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens Greenhouses:

Most if not all of these were made at maximum magnification (1:2 before crop), so the subjects in each photo are about 36mm (1.4 inches) across...
More Photos after the break...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ice Ice Baby...

There were a few interesting patterns formed by ice on my back deck, so I pulled out my 1974 55mm Micro Nikkor P•C macro lens this morning and made a few closeup snaps:

More after the break...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back to the future...

Inspired by the recent work of Matthew Cicanese, I dug out my old circa 1974 55mm Micro Nikkor P•C macro lens, and slapped it onto the front of my Olympus EPL-2 mirrorless.
1974 meets 2011
Initial tests seem to indicate the 40 year old lens is very sharp and contrasty and plays well digitally. Here are two initial test shots, made just outside the backdoor of the studio where I work:

Lichen on a piece of oak bark, frame covers about 2" across

Clover and leaf detail shot at 1:1

Friday, January 9, 2015

My 2015 Motorcycling Resolutions

1. Finish my darn bike!

The salt bike I raced in August 2014 suffered a setback when the salt corrosion from Bonneville attacked critical parts more aggressively than I would have imagined. While I *think* I’ve managed to remove all the salt and halt any new corrosion back in September, everything from the carbs to the steering stem to the pushrod tubes needs to be disassembled, polished and refurbished or replaced in order for it to even run again, let alone be race ready.
BMW salt corrosion post-bonneville

2. Finish my other darned bike!
My prized Honda GB500 has been languishing in the stable for years (and years) in semi-running state. Last year I resolved to refit her properly and ordered $1200 worth of parts and paint to do so. Sadly, all those parts are still in their boxes and the GB still sits waiting her turn at some TLC. I vow that before Labor Day weekend (The weekend of the Bull City Rumble in Durham NC) I’ll have her fitted and road ready.
1989 GB500

3. Squeeze in another “father-son-son” ride this year.
Our last was in 2012, and too far in the rearview mirror. I, my Dad and my brother all ride and live within 50 miles of each other, so its a shame we don’t find/make time to ride together more. I’ll take it upon myself to plan another ride, epic in personality if not in achievement, knowing that no one can promise us tomorrow.

4. Push myself into the unknown or unfamiliar.
I started riding on the street, and have only ever done so. I consider myself an above average pilot on the road, so maybe this year is the year I attempt some dirt or dual-sport riding. Or maybe Trials riding. Or track school at Virginia International Raceway. Attempting something I’ve not done before is why I have medical insurance.

5. Get heated gear for my spouse.
My wife loves to ride, and while I need solo rides from time-to-time, I also love riding two up . But while anything over 45º and under 80º is perfect for me, that range runs much cooler than my southern raised gal likes it. She could easily continue to wear a heated jacket up to the high 70’s, so its about time (20yrs??) I get her one. Having her along for even more rides is a win-win, and keeping her as comfortable as possible is my primary goal anyways.

What about you - do you have any Motorcycle-related resolutions you’d like to share?