The second day is always worse

Got up in the AM more sore than yesterday, the day that we took-off from demolition. I was sore from shoulders, chest, lower-back, right-hip, right-elbow, bum knee – you name it: Ibuprofen!
After breakfast coffee we went down to look at what we had wrought. Damn, the angles of the purlins throw-off all the framing. We’re looking to make boxes for solid flooring, and the craptastic added-in 2×4 blocking that came later shifts everything off-square at the base into trapezoids. Some sense of confusion reigned so we called our best-buddy the Licensed Contractor and he came around to straighten our heads. Most helpful – so then we tore back into it.
crossing members
I might still take out those last two crossing X-beams in the back tomorrow – “Don’t cross the streams!” echos in my head. Since the bottom of the 4×4 compression posts are framed-in there’s no need for all the purlin cross-bracing. New stringers above the wiring could tie-in the tops above head-height if I feel extra AR about all this, and I probably do.

Back to the basement

Made a lot of progress today removing over-hanging weirdness and some old junky, thickly-layered clutter.  It took everything the DeWalt had, from square-drive bits to philips’ to flat-head – and sometimes all three in one unit of sketchyness.  And nails.  My dear wife has the gentle soul of a gardener, but she can swing the big Eastwing and run the crow-bar – it’s just much more tiresome work.  I can see a dump-run in the near future, but just a bit more clean-out and we’ll be ready for Monday.

Ghost in the Machine

More finery seen at the Tahoe Show.
Vette In fact there was a bunch of plain-Jane exotica stuff laying around, including (what amounted to the wreck of) Henry J. Kaiser’s own racer-boat, the Scooter Too. Google the 24-cylinder Allison motor monster that could not run at full throttle, and think fondly of Obamacare (Kaiser Health) at the same time…
Metal Beast
Old Hank liked to go fast and didn’t give a hoot about healthcare except it made his workers work for just him, and faster – same thing today. Must make Liberals brains bleed and boil to imagine…no, sorry, nevermind they boiled-out already. Forget it ever happened. Memory Hole has achieved equilibrium.
From Homewood Boatworks and Hydroplane History:

Kaiser chose to power his new unlimited hydroplane with the 24-cylinder V-3420 Allison. Essentially, an experimental engine designed to increase the power output and fighting capability of America’s Allison engines during World War II. Unfortunately, Jet-power was also being developed at about the same time and proved superior in performance.

It was still a bitch on water and ran at 186MPH across the lake at somewhat less than full throttle – it’s driver was too scared to push the throttle open to the stops.
I’m thinking that Henry J. and Howard H. would have had a lot to talk about over cocktails at the Ritz, but Howard got all the movie-biz attention and was younger so he couldn’t listen as well…

Beast of a Machine

Curtiss-Smith V-12
Among the many stunningly delicious boats at the Tahoe show was this monster-motor in Miss Detroit III, first piloted (to victory) by Gar Wood himself and then removed put into storage – and the hull lost to damage. Now resurrected in painstaking detail and at excruciating cost within a new hull – the original 1918 Gold Cup winner… They cranked it up just to let the rubes watch the valve tappets pop and hear the stomach-churning roar of the coffee-can sized cylinders. It was religious.
Thank-you Mr. Moneybags-Whoever for this as fine a service to mechanical-humanity as could possibly ever be done, in the water as in flight, amen. Those rich-racin’ rum-runners knew the biz, and a V-12 Liberty powered launch was there as well as a slew of other mahogany mega-fauna of the boatistic variety, including this Jaguar-powered wood-shop refugee:
mahogany mega-fauna
There were more miles of polished mahogany and exotic wood than in a dozen flooring show-rooms. Next year’s select-featured hors d’oeuvres will be the really big V’s, including a couple V-16’s I believe…
Just. Stunning.

Changes in Latitude

Since our new domicile lies in the Heartland of the Summer, just below Chaos Mountain and above the Sizzling Plain, we have been forced to adopt new strategies for age-old pursuits and habits: water is everything. Instead of wasting the nectar-fluid in long luxuriant showers I now wash-up quickly with a bucket. That altered another habit – the shower-shave ritual. Previously and for the past thirty-five years I shaved while I showered (luxuriantly), using a multi-bladed Gillette product to scrap the face smooth of every last nubbin, and occasionally draw blood.
Now I am reduced to driving a Norelco diesel mower across my visage while leaving bits of yard-waste everywhere – it’s not a golf-course quality shear anymore, but a rough-cut. Still I can more easily motor-off the top-fluff and attack the weird thickets of old-man whiskers that erupt from the ears and other untoward places without drawing a pint.
20-bucks a monthAdditionally there is another practice adopted a couple years ago to save beaucoup de gris-gris money. She Who Must Be Salon-Capitane does the #2 trim with some French equipment that is astonishingly pink. After four years, 20-bucks saved every month is plenty of ammo – close to a grand’s worth…

Emergency Gardening

Whilst in the Burg of Rose, up Olde Orgone Way, we had a landscaping emergency that required immediate tending-to. Rather than flit about between the Patchouli Wookies and Vegetarian Harly-riders visiting wineries, we opted to be stay-at-home budsmen and plant a few patchy stalks of Lavender and various other things.
The Middle-boy having completed four-something tours to the sandy non-Oasis and also the badlands of ‘Stan, had severed his ties to the Army and was off to the oilfields of Dakota’s – and his truck with him – which is why I was originally enlisted to haul the U-Trailer. The Seargeant-Eldest was north of Seattle and heading back to another training gig in 200-degree Arizona with the wife and girl-child, while the youngest was on the East Coast somewhere in between being a Medic and a Sous-Chef… With the boys gone Sister-In-Law was alone, overwhelmed, and with only a lousy car-type vehicle in which to haul a load of tanbark and other heavy soil amenities for the front landscape. So I drove my truck (to Lowe’s).
The house was originally owned and built by a Japanese couple, and the orientation was Feng-Shuei’d to face the wrong way, so we landscaped the drive-up side-front, and dug plants too – and added quick-connectors to the miles of garden hose that were strewn everywhere.
One of the things about Orgone first noticed and especially appreciated by a Californoodlian was the sheer abundance of water-water everywhere, and green plants instead of bone-dry brown. We hauled the hoses to various location and turned on the rain birds, and thus was sung the sound of Summer. Ka-shik-shik-shik-shik *ting* chew-chew-chew-chew-chew as the water sprayed in an arc. I love that sound.


Awoke sore and achy wondering what had hit me until I rolled over and mentioned it – and She replied with the same aches in the same places – could only mean one thing: Golf.  Had not swung that wild club in over a year or more, and the 2nd day of after weird exercise is always the one that catches you out.

Better remember to limber up next year. Meanwhile the sinus and goober Infitada has waned substantially today, with all signs pointing towards clearing-up instead of a tumor or worse.  After a week of yucky green and streaky stuff with post-nasal sore-throat, and now with the advent of a high-pressure system overhead (hot weather) I had not expected this result. Yay! Ow!

All the yardwork last week and prior, out in the “garden” turning over rocks with clearly mildewy residue beneath – and wind – and then hauling them around in the Little Green Deathwagon – something must have insinuated itself in my nasal cavity and begun to fester.  Fortunately (I suppose?) my strength was not depleted and my body rallied.

The murky brown haze that hung over the Lost City of Sacrament yesterday has been replaced by a wall of hot, steel-gray haze – the city is gone nowas far as anyone can tell.  Hill-country temps escalating into the upper 90’s, the whole Valley is gone too – as if we are alone in an oasis of Heat.  So this is what retirement is like: now I must wander out sweltering, hitched-up in high-waisted pants with a good section of sock showing, and find someone younger than me to badger.

UPDATE: And today (Friday) is better yet, and I need to get some seat-time on the bike.

Out in the Gold Country

Came across this while hitting the Antiques stores with my wife and her BFF. A WWI Springfield Armory 1918 bayonet cut-down by American Fork and Hoe for WWII and the M1 Garand, with a scabbard of Victory Plastics body and a Beckwith/New England Pressed Steel throat (B 1/9 N marking).

1918 Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

1918 Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

American Fork & Hoe cut-down spear-point bayonet

American Fork & Hoe cut-down spear-point bayonet

American Fork & Hoe produced cut-down spear-point Springfield  Armory M1907 bayonet

American Fork & Hoe produced cut-down spear-point Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

The Infernal Device!

Need to get the “cam wire” figured out, but I managed to figure out how to set the shoulder back on a case using this infernal whirling contraption, and measure it with my headspace comparator gauge-thing!
Sorta. That is I cheated and compared it to an actual round, and then made adjustments screwing the die-down until it matched, which is a way of overcoming my near complete math illiteracy.
So now it goes up and down and around and around – albeit somewhat jerkily as any Steampunk device ought-to, and Piggyback is an appropriate name, but you could call it Hunchback too, from the condition I’ll develop, bending over and fiddling with it…
It’s bit of a kludge, like RCBS never threw anything away, they just rearranged the configurations. It’s one presssitting on top of another, the rams are joined by a link that fits like a male-female case-holder.
UPDATE: Hold on, let me reorient this:
Here’s the new superstructure mounted atop the old RS-3 press. It’s semi-manual, so you pop-in a case and then another and then another and it rotates and goes up and down and when one comes around finallly for a bullet you place the bullet on top and press it up, meanwhile another case is being de-primed and another is being primed, and one is loaded with powder, etc.
The Upside is the shell-plates are the same as the Pro200 and now I have a bunch.
Downside is the arbor height and ram-stroke only accommodates cartridges 2.260″ tall so .30-06/.308 etc. is out – it’s .223 and pistols for me with this baby (and the v.3 is a shorty also). :
And this is the bottom half.
And it’s held together and operated by this ram connector.
Fully functional and a good idea, engineeringwise…but it’s definitely not super-smooth in operation though that effect can’t be attributed to this link, it’s just an overall design issue.
The term Steampunk fits I think? There should be a whistle attached somewhere and a bevel-drive gizmo-something running off the side, and sections wrapped in crocodile skin.
The top die-head is shared with the earlier RCBS progressive press, the “Ammomaster”, and it is changeable but not that easily – it would be a bit like removing your tires to change the transmission, or visa versa…
I don’t have a powder measure rigged-up and have to buy one, so I don’t know if it throws everything onto the floor…

Meanwhile I’m looking for primer tubes and a powder measure…

The Gentleman’s Folder

I’ve had small knives since I was small, but when I was seven, with allowance money earned from making my bed each day and other household chores, I was allowed to buy myself a Cub-Scout lock-blade folder. It required a note from my Mom, and with that the man running the Boy-Scout supply-shop in town sold it to me. Both my older brother and I had those early knives for whittling.
I have a couple Swiss Army knives, a couple Leathermen multi-tools, my Kukri, and some bayonets to go with various rifles; the Krag pig-sticker, a Utica M1 Garand bayo and an Arial Cutlery M1 Carbine bayo. Swords have always held a certain appeal, and I was fencing (foil and saber) for a few years in College and – but I’m not a big knife-guy, not much more than utilitarian purposes require.
The household kitchen is well equipped with German steel, but I mainly prepare food nowadays with a couple Japanese Santoku’s we picked up at Long’s on Maui when the condo-provided implements proved to savagely dull and unworkable.
And so anyhow, I got a hankering for a blade that would compliment the Gentleman’s Heater I recently acquired.  Something stainless with bone scales. I looked online at Amazon and came across a somewhat familiar name – Kit Carson. The M4.

Classy and stylish, the M4 knife hits all the required notes – but I had to get it for another reason. Back in Ancient History Daze, pre-WWII when my dad was a kid, his social-climbing mom went researching the family archives in order to ensure her ability to hob-nob with the local chapter of the DAR – and she came across a family link to the legendary Kit Carson. The real clincher to the DAR membership was a Revolutionary War brigadier general who fought (and was killed) in South Carolina, but Kit Carson was an interesting rock to turn-over, and since early boyhood-time with the Cub-Scout knife and all, I have had a small, reddish-brown, cloth bound book copyright 1941 of the American Adventure Series KIT CARSON – by “Frank L. Beals, Assistant Superintendent Chicago Public Schools.” It’s a kind of school-book or something, with questions at the end of each (short) chapter, and as much Legend and Fable as anything else – but written in pencil are some of the first underlining and notes I ever took. Kit Carson.
(Updated to include links)