pyoor_excuse: (Default)
I dropped off Kathryn's DAF (Vixy) at the garage this morning, which went fine. I'm praying that I'm right and that the clutch shoes are worn out... Anyhow.

One of the cooler things about owning a classic, or one of the things I enjoy anyway, is getting packages through the post that have fallen through a hole in time. Such was my experience today when a 'Cords' brand 1970s package popped through our postbox. I've recorded the 'unboxing'...

the cords box

There's something terribly cool about opening things that have sat for decades. Something fun about encountering design intended for a different generation (and they got the swoosh!*). Anyhow, so they arrived; sadly the ring compressor doesn't appear to have arrived. Hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow. However, what did arrive was the clutch shoes. I am so unutterably impressed by Jim Jack Services - they had the shoes arrive yesterday - called me to check on the details - and had sent them back by the evening. They arrived today - and look like they did when I last got new shoes.

Despite not having a manual I guessed my way through replacing the drum (it looked easy) - and eventually got it right (it was about 3mm out when I first did it) - and got the clutch back together. Then I made the mistake of having lunch.

Well, technically the lunch wasn't the mistake - no - it was sitting on the rug in the lounge. I've done this every day, but I've not been dealing with something quite as dirty as the contents of the clutch. And I was silly enough to clean out the flywheel too. So there was a lot of dirt.

It was on my jeans. Now it's on the rug.

Then I made the mistake of starting on the bike. I started in quite a good mood, despite the fact that the manual (and therefore my notes on how to wire the rev-counter to the old-style wiring, the circuit diagrams, and the explanantion of where the clutch should be adjusted to) remained elusive. I started stripping down Cherry Red 'zed, carefully working my way through noting where the wires went from the switchgear - and then it dawned on me...

I've got three partial looms from three bikes with three separate wiring and connection schemes. Seriously.

MZ changed their wiring for the later bikes, with their electronic ignition and electronic regulator; Kanuni changed the wiring again when they started building bikes, because they didn't do with the nice clicky MZ connectors. Oh no. They went back to the good solid DDR connection blocks with 55 wires going in and out of each one.

After a while it dawned on me that I had an impending disaster on my hands.

I needed a diagram, or something, to give me some idea of where I should be looking. The front end is more or less wired, the alternator is partially reconnected to the rectifier and regulator. I plodded through assembling it - discovered in the process that I really do need some obstruction wrenches because I can't actually get the Bing Carb (better, faster, more efficient) off Cherry, so Charlie's stuck with my old BvF (proper DDR, and has covered 120k miles). I sprayed the side panel (badly, I didn't have any primer, so it went straight over the blue paint. Fluo-Pink as it's called is not big on coverage). I also found a patch where the paint's flaked off the frame - I couldn't afford shot-blasting when I did it - so I wirebrushed and sanded the old paint, but perhaps I should have stripped it all off - because there's a small patch where it's flaked off.

When I spray the DAF I'll touch up the frame :(


Poor Kathryn arrived home as I stood in a rotten mood contemplating how in hell I was going to work out the wiring on the bike. Feeling like I'd taken 2 potential runners and made one impossible to fix vehicle.

But then I remembered this website - and a bit of dinking - and here we are with simplified diagrams and what each of the connectors actually is. Thank fuck.

Death and Rebirth

And in a totally unrelated to motorbikes, cars, or anything else I normally ramble about, I'd been contemplating writing something about Barack "Change we can't believe in" Obama's release regarding the DoMA. The problem is it's likely to come out as an depressed rant. I've been unimpressed with Obama for a while; his stance on abuse photos, on individual privacy, on illegal wiretaps; it's all been bad. So I guess the DoMA announcement seems like more of the same. Anyhow, so it was going to be a rant, but then I read this over Kathryn's shoulder, and it was articulate; intelligent; and it said everything I could have considered wanting to say, were I feeling anywhere near as good at expressing myself as this writer. So go read.

In final other news, after much work I've finally found a builder who has at least actually turned up, and quoted for the work on the driveway, and moreso has actually agreed to come and do the work. So next week for a day or two we'll have to get the fleet off the drive. Once it's done though, we should be able to get two cars on the drive. Which will assist in making-other-people-happy. :)

* I remember, years ago, when Amazon's swoosh was new and shiny there was a website snarking about everyone having swooshes which enabled you to design your new e-logo for your new e-business. It was swooshtastic.
pyoor_excuse: (Default)
So, I've been looking on in joy watching the new Obama led government put a stop to torture in their name, signing orders to close Guantanamo, and generally being shiny in all the ways I'd hoped they'd be. Happily reading good things in the papers. It's been a bit, well, different.

Feeling quite positive about the world.

And my MP wrote back to my previous 'please vote against this' with a 'already was, but thanks'; which I rather liked. And then I came across this: who needs privacy?

So, today I crafted another e-mail to my MP - I'm hoping she'll be on-side with this one as well. I never really thought of myself as being a political creature, but as I've got older and realised that I disagree with a lot of things that are going on, and I am really unhappy with where the country's going (in general terms) I find myself being more and more politically motivated. Even though I don't intend to be here much longer I don't think that anyone should have to put up with the level of invasion of privacy that they're suggesting.

The irony is I'm one of these weird people who's pro the NHS having a massive database of health records; or at least basic information shared across the country. Why? Because I stand there and have patients who are dying in front of me who might have hideous allergies to the drugs we're about to give them, who've been in accidents and can't tell me that they've got some medical condition or other and I think, well, it'd make sense to have that information available. However, I disagree with the way they've done it. I disagree with virtually everything about computers in the NHS that I've encountered. Ironically the best (and most reliable) systems I've encountered are the early 80s ones with the text interfaces running on Unix based systems. Although ours has a really dumb-ass bug where if you press any of the arrow keys (except the up/down ones) it instantly crashes your instance of the software, which can be dreadfully annoying when you're hurridly discharging the patient walking out the door at 3hours 59mins (4 hours is a breach, and a great sin).

But having the government having access to that information? Makes me want to go back to storing all information on paper cards and in little folders, just to make life as difficult for them as possible.

In other news, the TV appears to be soldiering on, I'm suspecting it was just a loose connector (bad me, should have checked) - it seems happy enough though. I've had to give in and order a new HDD for the Hackintosh though, it still freaks me out, that once a 20Meg HDD was 'huge' and now I'm about to stick a 1Tb drive into this computer.

I'm actually tempted to keep the 500Gig one as a 'backup' and just decruft it a bit and stick it in a box. I've no way to back up stuff otherwise.

In other (other) news, it has come to my attention that I'm not being as good about 'doing things' as I should be. I've got a pile of paperwork building up, again, which needs sorting. I need to get off my ass and do something about my (non-new-year's but) resolution (all the same) to put in at least an hour a day into my development as a nurse. I need to get the cars sorted. I need to assemble the MZ. I need to finish decorating this house so we can escape this damn country and get (me) somewhere I can get paid a reasonable amount for my skills without pimping myself out to any trust that'll pay me - no job security there. And to a place where Kathryn can truly start the process of getting the job she wants.

I want to only work one job, not 3. I want to be able to see Kathryn. I don't want to stand staring at my off duty and looking at the request I do two sets of nights in a month and think 'well, shit, I could do with the money' and end up saying yes.

The wonderful nature of the people around me has kept me going thus far, and I shall miss my friends greatly when I leave this little island, but this little island has no respect for public servants. And working 3 jobs means I have no time or energy to express my creativity. I want to be off urbexing, I want to create the animation that runs through my head whenever I listen to Rock 'n' Roll or Trains (in fact, quite a few of the tracks on Today Is.. inspire me and I'm wondering if I could animate the entire album).

A lot of this is down to me. I sit down of a morning and browse the internet until I'm bored and then sit and watch Blackadder, or BSG, or House, or Hustle instead of doing things that would actually make me feel a creative and interesting person. I am disappointed in my lack of activity. I'm disappointed that I've not written the book that lurks in my head. Even if it's crap, I should have written it.

I sound down on myself, and sad. I'm not, I'm feeling positive. I have the power to change these things. I have the power to give myself the time to do these things. Not necessarily creative time right now (with 2 cars sick and needing input of time and energy, and a bike that needs assembling, and a house in need of decorating). But I've remembered that I can do this. I used to come home after an early and work. I used to make progress on the house. That will start to happen again.

I'm going to finish the kitchen over the next couple of weeks. The walls and the ceiling need washing down (Kathryn's started). The cars are going to get sorted too. So; so we all know what the plan is:

Late days: Paperwork and Development on Nursing.
Earlys: Work on house or cars
Days off: Spending time with Kathryn, doing creative stuff or seeing friends or family

Uh, and cleaning the bathroom :)

Which I'm off to do now.

Time to decruft :)
pyoor_excuse: (Default)
So, more from the delayed update fairy.

Today Kathryn awoke me with a kiss and the information that Obama had won the US election. I was hopeful but wary, considering that I'd spent some of yesterday watching the video / reading the Rolling Stone article on Republican maneuvering to remove nearly 20% of voters  in some areas. And listening to NPR yesterday the discussion of malfunctioning machines, and then reading the news last night and finding that optical scanners were causing problems... well... it all boiled down to me not being utterly convinced that the election would go the way the voters intended.

But all that's in the past - although I think some true electoral reform may be needed - in regards of making sure those who are registered to vote can vote, and maybe kicking Diebolt's arse for manufacturing such attrocious voting machines :)

At any rate, it's pleasing news. Maybe the world can get on with moving forward into a nice, sensible future, rather than attempting to bring back the inquisition.

So, on the topic of local news; Kathryn and I have been making use of wedding gifts - we tried out the new teapot a while ago and it was excellent - the cool thing about it is you can stop the brewing process; so once the tea's ready, it stays in the pot ready, rather than going yicky. That, and it looks cool too. It is the Bodum teapot - much in the line of the cafetiers, but for tea. In fact, you probably could use the cafetier to make tea, should you wish. I may indeed try that at some point, for a one cup pot of tea.

We've also used the new mixer; it's very, very nice. It does really quite yummy dough - and the metal bowl can stand near the fire being as we have no 'warm place' (i.e. there's no airing cupboard) to put the dough in to rise. In it we made Calzones, which are yummy, and enabled us to christen our new baking tray (well, cookie tray, technically). And yesterday we had our first pasta experiment - which also seemed to go fairly well. I didn't quite get the mix right in terms of consistency, and have realised I don't need to bother with the hand mixing bit; I can just dump it all in with the dough hooks and it can do all the faffing. But, once cooked it tasted like pasta (pasta is just egg and really, really fine flour. Who knew!); and I suspect that given this (mixer related) information we may be able to produce pasta somewhat quicker.

The pasta maker got christened yesterday too - although we need something to clamp it to; so I suspect in future I'll make pasta on the dining table because yesterday it was a two person job to make pasta ('cos it kept sliding around).

I was going to post a picture of the pasta, because I was quite proud (a million italians are weeping right now), but unfortunately I've no idea what I did with the batteries from my camera. Not that they're really working now - it's on it's third set and they're nearly dead - I ought to take a whole bunch for recycling because it slaughters them. I'm not quite sure how or why, but they end up lying in the gutter after about 6 months of use; they still take an age to charge, but the camera only works for about 30 shots or 8 flash shots before they give up and start crying.

But I still can't afford a shiny new SLR, so another set of batteries will have to be sought.

In other, other, news; I appear to have sourced a 3.9 ratio Diff for the minor. This will mean (a) she'll go faster for less revs (the original diff is 4.22:1); (b) she'll have a diff which isn't producing little shards of metal as we go along (which is, I think we can all agree, a bad thing); and that (c) I need to get off my arse and sort a gearbox. The diff in question needs reconditioning, but honestly? 3.9 Diffs don't come up *that* often, (3.7 Diffs even less so); so one that needs some new bearings is quite honestly a good find.

I've stuck a post on the MMOC to see if someone will pallet me a slightly knackered old gearbox - and if they will I may have to take over a spot of floor and strip and rebuild it. It's a little scary, but me and my trusty Morris Manual (and a selection of tools) should be able to manage it. No, forget that; we will be able to manage it.

Sadly, the DAF has developed a new noise; although the DAF owners club reckon it might not be such a disasterous noise as I first thought - so the Minor's due a service, and the DAF is due a service, and I need to run the Minor up to Leamington again to get the leaky oil-breather changed. It's at this point that I could do with access to a garage.

And in the final piece of news; I've re-sealed the shower, again. What I pulled out was, to put not too finer point on it, manky. I cleaned within an inch of it's life, and sealed it with fresh silicone sealant. What happens now is up to the gods. And now? Now it's time for me to go dunk myself in a bath - 'cos I'm giving the sealant lots of time to dry out.
pyoor_excuse: (Default)

So, I went to pick up Cherry from Burwin's - they weren't sure that they'd fixed her problems, although she was running better... 245 quid that MOT ended up costing - new front wheel bearings (apparently they were completely shot), new fork seals, new brake MC/brake-light-switch and a free mirror (because they rock). They changed the oil, checked the timing and the mixture and found that Cherry's been running very rich.

She does now rev much higher - but as soon as we hit 65 there was the familar sudden loss of power and back down to 50-something she went. She is now running better though, and seemed to do over 50 fairly reliably. However, 245 quid means I ain't buyin' no new jacket for a while. The bike also needs a new front tyre (tread's fine, but it's too old); so I need to order one of them and sort out fitting...

She does, however, look vastly more respectable - they replaced the fork gaiter which I'd been gaffa-taping back together for some-time, and with two chrome mirrors perking out from the bikini-faring she's looking all the more like a motorcycle.

Hopefully she shouldn't drink quite so much fuel now, either, which'd be nice. It would, of course, be nice to be able to travel at speeds over 60, but this I fear is not something that's likely to happen while I'm riding Cherry.

Quote of the day, though, I feel was me as I transiently got lost in London:

"Who stole the A3220! I was bloody using that!"

I also (and I say this while hiding so that Kathryn can't tell me off) touched the exhaust down on a corner. They really do lean over a long way, do 'zeds, if pushed. I wasn't even going particularly fast, I don't think, but as I ducked around the corner I felt the familiar sensation and heard the light scrape which meant that the exhaust had touched the ground.

Oh, and London? Not so good traffic wise - had to filter almost all the way out, which was tedious. Also had to buy petrol, thankfully Burwin directed me to a 116.9p/litre ($8.55/US gallon) which was less painful than the next garage I saw (120.9p/litre)... Here's praying that the bike running leaner puts her back up towards the 60mpg mark.

Whilst I've not bought a new jacket I do still have the new helmet, which is grand. I'll break that one in on Saturday. Anyway, I should get on with my ATLS reading, I've cleaned the kitchen, taken the washing down from outside (where it got rained on many times) and hung it on the rack inside.

Oh, quick question: anyone read Vinyl Underground? Is it any good? I heard a recommendation for it (from

[personal profile] cadhla's journal) and it looks interesting...


At some point I'll comment on the internment thing in the UK (42 days without charge; y'know it's sad that we're having to rely on the House of Lords saving our civil liberties because of the pathetic excuse for a government we have at the moment); but at the moment I'm rather too pissed off about the not-so gradual destruction of our liberties that I doubt I could say anything sensible. Incidentally, days you can be held without charge in Canada? 1.

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