Who are we? We are our stories.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An Z-Man Update

The other day someone asked me what The Z-Man, aka Cjell Mone, aka Taylor Zimmerman, was doing.

Hell, I don't know. I haven't actually seen him since last summer - just an occasional email or bumping into his parents now and then. I suspect he'll roll in unannounced one of these days, as is his wont.

His face does show up here and there. This is from Bikepacker Magazine. It's a good interview, Z being real. The lad has the corner on lack of pretension.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Human Executions

First, let me say I do not feel we have a moral right to take any person's life and I do not think this should be any State's option. In our country some states have chosen to go another way and I have to accept that. 

On Monday for the third time in my life I took an old dog to the vet to have it's life ended. When the vet terminates a dog's life he strokes and comforts the animal, gives it a shot, and it slowly goes to sleep and dies almost immediately, no gasps or convolutions. I realize that canines and humans have different anatomical structures and I have no idea what is in the injection they use, but it appears to work quite well. 

My thought as I watch the news with southern states struggling with unavailable termination "cocktails" or ineffectual solutions, that maybe they should be talking to the people with experience in humanly ending lives rather than medical doctors who's knowledge and skill is in keeping animals alive.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bud's Last Ride

On Monday I put a handful of dog treats in my pocket and loaded the ol' Bud into the car for his last trip to the Clarks Grove Veterinary Clinic. The Budster was completely deaf, partially blind and eventually he was likely suffering from canine dementia. He could be a joy and he could be a pain in the ass, but he did the best he could. As he aged he slept most of the time, when awake was really only interested in when the next meal was. 

Do dogs have ghosts? It has only been a couple of days; his presence is quite strong. When I get up from my chair I look down to make certain I don't step on him sleeping at my feet, when I come in the door I still glance where his kennel was - just checking on him. When we were in the kitchen Bud was always there, ever hoping for clumsy fingers. Now I catch myself stepping over nothing. Last night I started to set an unlicked yogurt bowl on the floor, one of the things that Bud was really good at - prewashing dishes. 

Was Bud a great dog? No, probably not, but he was our dog. He was our dog for 15 years.

And he will be our last dog.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Growlery Door

There was some petty theft in Oakwood a couple of weeks ago. I lost my prescription sunglasses out of the truck. I've always been a little uneasy about the Growlery door. It was a heavy old door, but it had a rinky-dink latchset and a single large pane of glass. The combination of some bicycles that are relatively valuable, at least to me, and the missing Ray-Bans pushed me over the edge. Last week I replaced the glass with two layers of tongue-and-groove boards, replaced the latch with an old cast iron set I've been saving for years, and I installed a heavy deadbolt lock. Obviously the door could still be breeched, but it would require some serious tools and noise to accomplish it. I also bought a screen door for $39.95, plus about ten bucks worth of hinges. It only costs a few dollars more to go first class.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

1950(?) Galmozzi Project

This week the Ghisallo rim wheelset was completed. Dan Lestrud, who built them, won't accept cash, so I need to buy him off with a fine bottle of liquor or two. They look great, ride sweet and are dead nuts true so far. The project is not complete. Next, I need to make brake pads out of wine corks. Just a short turn around the neighborhood trying to avoid braking left black marks on the rims.

There are some other small things - the brake hoods are Dia-Compe replacements for the Balillas, some nuts and bolts that have been replaced over the years. I may not replace them because they are part of the bicycle's story. The toe straps are cheap - made in China. I would like to find a pair of red Alfredo Bindas. They are available on eBay, but I haven't adjusted to their price yet.  Just little things. 

The front derailleur is not quite period correct. I believe Campagnolo marketed their first derailleur, the Gran Sport in '52 and likely the lefthand shifter setup at the same time. Regardless, it would have been a typical upgrade of the day (beats shifting greasy chains with fingers). It has the added benefit of acting as chain retainer, keeping the chain from jumping off the rings while shifting, which has proven  to be a bit of an  issue for me, being a novice Cambio Corsa operator.

Early Brooks Team Professional with large, smooth
 rivets. I have "butchered" it some, but to my eye I
need to remove more leather from the bottom and
under the nose. 

Cambio Corsa drivetrain. A bad design solving a non-existent problem. Possibly its the quirkiness that has made them so bloody dear and expensive.

Dogbone skewer. A reproduction.  I have an 
original, but it's on a shelf because of  $$$.

Campagnolo Gran Sport derailleur