Dig We Must

irrigation valvesAfter power-washing the whole back-side walkway at the Low Granite Outcropping and clearing away the built-up slippery algae and moss (with our used, $35 Generac 2300psi washer), the valve-box on the downhill side of the house filled up with water. It was enough effort just to get the power-washer to run properly, even with fresh gas it was surging, and so we called it a night.
We thought it was all the down-stream flow that filled it, coincidentally.
When I was told it was full again, I got a small pump and pumped it out – and then after the next cycle of watering it re-filled. Oh great. The valves again? So we re-pumped and it’s likely the whole array is another piece of toast.
And there are some other things to fix. The wiring and the actual house cut-off valve.
irrigation area
We’re going to re-do the whole mess – and it is a mess with various hodge-podge repairs evident over time.
irrigation cement
And some cheap, post-hole cement was used to patch the concrete sidewalk when they installed the propane tank for the cook-top.
Never properly done, we’ll cut it out and re-do that, floating it properly and using sidewalk cement not just ditch-filler.
irrigation control


Monday night at 5:00PM in the relentless heat we had a dinner BBQ meeting of the RSO’s up at the Trap House – the only A/C on the club grounds.
But we were not inside where it was cool. We were all outside sheltering from the sweltering under EZ-Up canopies, while the old guys cooked up tri-tip and chili. Phew! So things moving forward on that front, then tonight another get-together.
The Club Treasurer Bob and I were talking on Friday when I was “in training,” and he mentioned his local chapter meeting of The Sons – and I blurted out, “My Grandma was in the DAR,” and with that I was recruited as a fresh inductee. So dinner tonight at Denny’s (every fourth Tuesday of the month) and I met the “registrar” who took my genealogy info and Grandma’s name to look up in records – and another one of the distant descendents of Brigadier General William Lee Davidson. He was killed in action with Cornwallis’ forces and a bunch of Germans, at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on February 1, 1781 – will hit the lists. So now I got me some SAR stuff going on. We’ll see if I go full re-enactor or not – but not in this weather for sure, it’s too damn hot!
Now I gotta get me a musket. Y’know the Peace-Hippies and anti-gun Leftards are always saying the 2nd Amendment only applies to muskets, but I bet they still wouldn’t want to go up against me and fifty of my best friends armed with muskets. Muskets come with bayonets too.

Ten Days to Cow-Town

Simply could not resist the little 20-inch barrel Rossi Model 92 clone-carbine at my local Happy-Gunstuff retailer, something to keep my .44-40 Vaquero company, and at very reasonable price. Comes with the original box (that says Interarms) and manuals, and is un-fired. Older NOS gun with No weird safety on the receiver. Looks a lot like this (but is not this) with a black-ish stain on the wood: (not my picture). Ordered-up a bunch more ammo from Lucky Gunner, this is coming to the Gunblogger Rendezvous XI with me. Woot-Howdy!
Rossi 92 .44-40

Fork-Seal Holiday

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, I’m not one of ’em. Hot days in between the oddly cold days – or maybe because it was a cold day – the right fork-seal on the R1100R up and took a baby-burp, spooging oil all down the fork onto the brake caliper and collecting on the wheel-rim. I caught it when my friend the plumber was over to inspect the irrigation valve-job.
It was purely weird because the bike had not been ridden in two weeks or more, was up on the center-stand with no weight on the front wheel, and no visible cause for such childish behavior besides garage poltergeists.
Meh. I really don’t want to go down to A&S in Roseville – I hate going to Roseville – but I need to see what’s up with this. These are not ordinary or real forks, with springs and damper-rods and valving. These hollow-tube sticks just hold the front wheel together down at one end, and hook-up to the handlebars at the other. All the suspension is done by a car-like shock-absorber on the tele-lever yoke.
So start taking it apart by pulling the right handlebar. Get out the magnetic tray to catch all the bolts, and off with the chrome beauty covers. Take pictures of everything so you can remember how it goes back together…
Mark the bolts because they’re not all the same length.
Off comes the handlebar and there’s the fork-top, underneath the rubber cap.
There’s the bolt that holds it onto the fork-triple-clamp-thing or whatever BMW calls it. It’s nutted down with a air-wrench to some torque…
There’s other weird doo-dads to record.
14.3mm is gonna have to be close-enough.
And my DeWalt impact wrench to break the nut free.
The sound of a *tink* on concrete alerts me to a hitherto unseen washer that discharged itself.
Remove the fork-cap doo-dads as you compress the fork and get it aside to slide the top-tube up and out.
As the guy on the YouTube video says, “I don’t care how %$#@ much oil you lost, you don’t need to go and add any since there’s no use for it besides filling up the tube.” Well OK then. It’s a little brown but it’s high quality synthetic and still very slippery.
And there’s at least sixteen inches still in the lowers. BMW calls for a whole imperial pint of the stuff and that’s just very…German of them.
Slide the dust-cover back down and compress tyhe fork against the air-pressure that probably caused the problem in the first place. Spin the little bleeder-screw with the hex-head to relieve the pressure and get it back up into the top-clamp. Nut it back up with the impact wrench when the other doo-dads are aligned.
20-Newton Meters of torque on these bolts.
Tighten the clamp to the windshield.
Replace the chromey beauty-caps and go riding.
UPDATE: But first clean-up the brake caliper and pads!
UPDATE-UPDATE: Yes it’s a weird fork with no forky-internal bits, just an oil bath.
Da Forks
Sixteen inches of oil is well above the top of the fender, so I probably lost about two inches (?) from the amount on the wheel and brake.
fork level
The Showa shock does all the suspension work, the oil in the fork tubes is for stiction.

Irrigation Destination

Cold and windy this morning with temps in the low 60’s instead of the low 80s’ by 10AM. This is not the usual weather pattern I am familiar with, but a return to 100’s is expected by the weekend. There is still snow up in the Sierras and a few resorts are still making snow for Skiers. Maybe we’ll have skiing again on the 4th of July like back in ’81?
Yesterday my plumber friend came by to check it out. Seems the 1-1/4″ main is split before the house-water.
Makes sense that a larger main for “real” irrigation existed before the house was built, and remnants out in the field indicate it was capped at one end near the deck after construction.
The big gate-valve is working now after much neglect and non-use, must have had some crud in it. Plumber-guy is going to get commercial-quality valves and re-do the Manifold this or next week. With water restrictions still in place I’m only watering Tuesdays and Saturdays before 10:00AM and after 6:00PM – but conditions aren’t that bad so this will work out OK.

Magnaflow Destiny

…with Edelbrock headers. My friendly Local family-run Tru-Value franchise held a Summer-Special event with hot-dogs, lemonade, and popcorn on their 36th Anniversary – and a drawing for a Poulan 16″ chainsaw, a Stihl weed-eater, or a Weber kettle BBQ. What a nice bunch of people. I went there to buy a four-inch wide trowel to dig-out between the pipes, as the shovel was too unwieldy. I won a nifty neck-cooler towel at a Spin-O-Wheel game run by a couple grade-school kids. I should have worn that digging this thing out! But a day in the sun catching rays is alright.
I forget is the Belmont Stakes a Mint-Julep, a Gin-&-Tonic, or Whiskey Sour kinda race? I don’t think I’ve ever had a Whiskey Sour – is it OK to use Rye?


Twenty bags of brown onto the hillside by the drive, in two loads of ten, to keep the weeds and grasses down and set-off the quince bushes and ground-cover.
ten bags
Also finished the trail up to the oleanders, sixteen steps – making the oleanders easier to cut-back. It’s all shaping up but nagging issues include the irrigation valves and controller, and I think the seat on the gate-valve that supplies water to the sprinkler/irrigation system needs replacing because even turned off there’s a drip. Oh well.
One of these days I might even blog about guns again.
UPDATE: Cousin-It got another haircut from Mr. Black & Decker.
Wife did not like the spherical nature of the bowl haircut, “It just looks so…round.”
So I made some alterations to square it up and and give it a flat-top.
Cousin Elvis02

Cutting Trail

UPDATE: Not content to let the trail lapse where the stones ran-out, I went out and bought six more. The overhanging bush in the path is a huge overgrown bower of white oleanders that needs whacking-back. So this AM while it was still relatively cool in the mid 70’s I attacked. Whack-whack, chop-chop. We have neighbor-friends coming to visit Wednesday so we want to make it presentable. Must remember to vacuum the house too.

The steep part of the embankment begs for better accedes so I picked up some irregular pavers at Homie Despot, and cut into the hillside. I might need a piece of rope tied to some stakes for a handrail on the steep section!
embankment path 1
Looking up the embankment from the bottom;
embankment path 1a
I watered-in the steps so the dirt would turn back to concrete-hard and lock-in the steps.
On the other, less steep end going up into the aspens Birch trees, I had already laid a bunch of circular steps that we had taken out of the Low Granite Outcropping, where once a bunch of pink Azaleas had been (which are now gone from there and replaced by slow-growing, ground-cover Manzanita). So now getting up into the outback is easier.
embankment path 2
embankment path 2a
In other news, the new phone has a better camera and higher resolution pics – but is still a basic flip-phone.