STAYING AHEAD

After a DRY day and a lot of weeding now is the time to get ahead before Thursday’s departure for Casper. First up final cleaning and tart up on those bays, finish the front bed weeding, maybe the paddy field, and mow all the grass.

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8 looks good

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Nice clean 7

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Safari’s home minus weeds

6 black bags of weeds and leaves later time to sweep off the slabs and then get strimming. Shade garden done, front lawn done, final weeding of front bed finished and another slice of the paddy field gone.

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Front bed complete at last

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Happy ice plants free of choking weeds

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Today strim the side and back, another slice of paddy field, and take down a few annoying branches. All completed and a short test on the Cub to complete the day. Starts fine but won’t run, the good old pilot jet problem with our crap fuel!! That’s resolved, still ticking ??? maybe need to double bank that exhaust gasket ?

Non gardening today, its loading day and then 9 ball this evening. Bus is filled with water, coolant and oil good, and off for diesel and LP and back ready to load.

 

TONY DOWN

CASPER MOUNTAIN WEST TRIALS PREP

Wednesday morning and a week and a day to departure. Time to stop the weeding and complete the spannering . Today’s weather is not gardener friendly with 90% heavy rain but could be the opportunity to button up the last mods and improvements for the Cub which is this year’s weapon of choice.

For those more interested in bike maintenance and ongoing work on trials machines rather than the joys of pulling weeds lets review what has been done since last year.

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Leaks from the rocker shafts copper washers ran round the head and appeared to be leaking from the exhaust valve cover

I wanted to ride the Cub at Sipapu NM but on start up it started leaking oil ? Then going up some of the climbs she was decidedly unhappy and lacking power big time. On return from a less than perfect weekend new jets were ordered for the Del Orto which had arrived jetted from the UK several years ago and had performed flawlessly at all altitudes up to 7000′ without any changes. 9000′ at Sipapu was a different story!

Consultation with Ray over in CA  who suggested the change to a hi comp piston in a fresh barrel which he would supply FOC. He also wanted the head to redo the valves.

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Hi comp piston

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Time for some new valves

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Boyhood memories of the Cub from 1963 revealed only the highlights and few of the engineering frustrations of piston rings and getting the bloody piston back in the barrel and the even more frustrating game of pushrods and cylinder head assembly.

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If its giving you problems try it this way on the bench then transfer back to the motor

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Pushrod fun!

Finally all back together and a refabricated Whitworth wrench later the machine gets started …….. still leaking oil and a nasty “ticking” noise until the oil gets round.

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Whitworth gets slimmed down to go between the fins

Much annealing of the rocker shaft copper washers and some new domed nuts that had stripped. Gurus advice followed and generally it seemed that the “crush” copper washers don’t! These all being made in China and having a large nickel content make them as hard as a rock. More annealing and double banking this time round and the oil stops leaking.

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The annoying “ticking” continues and there are “witness marks” inside the finned exhaust rocker cover. Well they could have been over tightened and “dished” slightly. Ray sends another set! Still “ticking” yet more frustration.

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Tick, tick, tick

Another set of “double thickness” gaskets for “finned” covers is found and fitted but now I have another issue I don’t like in the form of the fuel cross feed which is too close to the head. An experiment is done by blanking the system off to see if it will get enough fuel from internal splash in the tank. Seems it will so the underside of the tank is closed off.

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Blanked off

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Gone

Recently changed the bars over to Pro Taper with some bar risers and it feels good so far.

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Bar change to Pro Tapers

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Bar risers give room to get at fork nuts

I would like to change the footrests that I originally fitted to the Apico ones I have on the Yam but this will take a fair bit of radius filing as the shank length is shorter.

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Apico pegs on Superglitz

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Will need a bit of filing to make them fit!

So, the objective for Casper is a pleasant two days of trialing with no oil leaks and no ticking. Footrests on the back burner for the time being.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

TWO WEEKS IN

After a dismal wet Friday and Saturday the weather looks a little better this morning so I should be able to get a few things done. Still have a load of weeding to do and find a little time to test No Excuses before Casper which is only 2 weeks away.

3 hours of weeding the grass out of the gravel outside the rear door, not the most enjoyable mission, but the area is now reduced in size by about 1/2.

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A tedious task

The lawn gets cut before it gets out of control and now with 2 days before Brenda gets back time to get into the front bed which is turning into a jungle! Early start so another 2′ section through the back door grass section, …….  when its gone,  its gone! and it is very tedious to say the least.

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Cut again

Now into the front bed and 45 mins before morning coffee, good chance I might get about 1/3 done by lunchtime. Everything goes to plan and the soil condition is great. Work on this continues until dog time feeding and walking. Even tried a couple of the wild straw-            berries which are exceeding sweet. I’ll be trying for a bit more of this bed on Tuesday before zipping over to Durango to pick up Brenda.

Tuesday 0630, and although I’d rather be in bed an early start seems to be the way its going. Need to leave here at 1300 so hop to it! Once the front fir tree bed is weeded and edged then it will be off to Four Seasons to buy some bedding plants before the next major project, “The Waterfalls” which need a lot of work this summer.

A couple more feet of grass and weed removal from the gravel and then on with the front bed plan which is now at the 2/3 complete stage. Brenda’s flights are all on time today and the recovery task goes off without a hitch.

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Getting smaller

Back at the CC park two residents have pulled out and the vacant bays need a lot of work! They are already booked so I have to get them cleaned and weeded but as we sit having a cocktail a weather alert comes in for flash flooding ? Looks like non stop rain all day for tomorrow.

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More to do!

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Quite a mess

Dreadful night, just couldn’t stay asleep!!! Forecast was for 70% heavy rain overnight followed by 90% chance of heavy rain today. Nothing last night but its looking horribly black this morning. Just started and looking like an inside day and some 9 ball practice for tonight’s competition which I managed 2nd in last week.

Thursday and 1 week to Casper but bright and sunny after yet more overnight rain. Should have softened up the weeds so better get on it. Workshop clean up and buttoning up for the Cub while the rain came down yesterday and with any luck a bit of testing today.

Yet another wet day! weeding was unpleasant but some got done. A bit like trying to remove a rice paddy field!! Now its Friday and another early start with more work removing that grass from the gravel. Today I MUST finish the front fir tree bed then continue the battle in the back.

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Nice idea and after more work on the paddy field out back I was on the fir tree bed out front and making good progress before lunch. After lunch another good session before a weekly RV pulls in and as soon as I have him in place and paid up I’m back on those weeds with the end in sight and about 1 hour’s work to go…….. but the heavens open and I’m driven back inside……… boy I’m getting tired of this!!

TONY DOWN

 

 

THE WAR ON WEEDS

Allied Forces completed an intensive week repelling the creeping weed army that threatens to take over civilization as we know it. They were beaten in the frontage driveway including dandelion bunkers in the gravel ……. the rose bed and surrounds were retaken despite fierce resistance and with the lawn restriped in Wimbledon style the last weed survivors in the driveway were eradicated and pushed back all the way to the road!

Hand to hand fighting will continue down 16St, along the “Back 40” and across “Shorty’s Meadow” where grass reinforcements are trying to re-establish themselves thanks to unlimited supplies of water.

With the frontage clear it was time to visit Four Seasons and collect the 7 hanging baskets which this year will be padlocked after last year’s late season theft when clandestine forces removed all baskets in a pre dawn raid ?????

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The front 5 baskets are up for 2015

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Clematis on the annual climb

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Added security as well as the cameras!

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A couple for the Shade Garden

Missions this week are RV slots 1 and 12 and then a major 2 day attack on the long front bed where weed troops are firmly dug in! Top Brass has ordered the 2 lawn swing Command Centers to be brought into play where the Generals can observe the battle as hand to hand fighting is expected to be heavy.

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Serious weeding for 12

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Further plant and shrub forces, currently massing in their over wintering location in the Lodge Room, will now move to the Shade Garden where they will take over colorful duties.

With Brenda away work continues through Wednesday with the main weeding of slots 1 & 12 and the discovery of a water leak on 1 which is why it is so green!

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Nice job on 12

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1 finished and plumber called

The grass keeps growing so the strimmer is out and its once round the property again.

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16 St complete

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Back 40 do-over

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Shorty’s gets the touch!

Now just as everything is coming along nicely I see mayhem and destruction on Faceplant  with yet more bad weather rolling in and a crap weekend forecast.

Friday morning and survey what can be done before the storms arrive and time to set about the grass weeds which pop up outside the back door. A quick 2 hours gets about 1/3 of the problem removed before the rain arrives.

Saturday 0700, and its raining and its an 80% day of it. Brief respite and for once long enough to walk the dogs but its getting darker and by 0900 its coming down and hard! The two tomato hanging baskets have given up the ghost as their brackets broke away under the weight of fruit and water. It rains all day and stops at 1600 with lakes everywhere …… a non action day!

TONY DOWN

 

LET BATTLE COMMENCE

….. and it didn’t rain overnight!!! …… well that’s a first in the current scheme of things, so there is a chance I might get something done today.

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Time to review the magnitude of the task so a run round with the camera for the “before and after” shots.  Plenty to do but first the grass …… need to strim the side where the debris had been stacked for the town’s collection day. Quick look shows a whole load of branches hiding in that lot so another wheelbarrow load pulled out and then refueling and strimming begins. I get carried away doing the edge of the main lawn and before I know it I end up strimming the entire thing!

All the way down 16th St and now time for a coffee … but flash, boom the storm arrives and I’m back inside watching the pouring rain for the next hour and a half. 1500 and out again to see just how wet it is………  OK, I’ll give it a go and manage to get the “Back 40” done just as the next thunderstorm arrives. Another coffee and watch the puddles become lakes …… I’m getting really tired of this! 1700 and out again, I will NOT be defeated. I only have the side of the property and “Shorty’s Meadow” left. 1830 and the task is done despite Mother Nature screwing with me.

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A  lot of strimming required on the Back 40

Tuesday and the first day of weeding which goes pretty well as the ground is soaked. The frontage area gets the attention and after a few side excursions for this and that the mission is completed along with the “cone bed” and all the long couch grass which for once came out nicely.

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Winter weeds!

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Wednesday, and the Cadi goes in to have the $1800 worth of Walmart damage repaired. Tasks today are repair an electric pedestal where the 30 amp socket is not working and then repair the men’s bathroom door where the hinge screws have ripped out  of the woodwork. Assuming that gets done  the “Rose Bed” and surround will be next for weeding. Also fit a new pump in the fountain.

The pedestal gets a new 30 amp socket as it looks like the previous redneck occupants broke it when they left. Luckily we had some spares thanks to a snow plow driver who managed to hit one.

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Rednecks have broken the 30 amp !

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In with the spare

The rose bed surrounds get a first going over but the “Jesus Nail” blister is back! Despite all the rain the ground in the driveway is as hard as concrete again but I did manage to weed the flagstone bed down the side of the building which was a bit easier on my damaged hand.

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What a mess!

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All gotta go

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The Weeder’s hand

Brenda is hard at it in the shade garden and fits all her jig-saw slabs in topsoil……. looks good, great work.

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General tidy up continues amid refreshing beverages and a first chance to sit in the garden with pleasant temps and no rain!

Still a lot to do for Thursday but weeding will have to be in something softer. Need to finish up down the side of the work shop, get that bathroom door fixed and then start on the main center bed which is usually a two day job. Sheer bloody mindedness and the rose bed surround gets finished!

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Rose Bed finished despite the pain

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Driveway done!

Friday and first on the list is collect the Cadi …… good job! Now return the fountain pump that we bought on Wednesday as it has started screaming. Short walk to MVD and get the Beemer tags, now off to see the welder with my dumb question of the day. We end up having a long chat on  Iraq and Gulf wars etc. He was Marine sniper and has some very interesting stories. A bit more asparagus hunting on the way home and then back the garden chores.

Rose bed complete, repair garden hose that went bang! Finally complete hanging the bathroom door and clean up the debris down the side of the workshop. End of week1.

 

TONY DOWN