And Like Sands Through The Hour Glass,These Are The Days of Our Lives Post

      Actually,there was a time I was hooked on that show several years ago,LOL! It was a time that I was off work for 5 1/2 months,injured,recouping,doing daily physical therapy and able to do little else besides watching daytime television :P How did I cope? By realizing that I had a brand new finger internally with cool titanium bits holding it together….and that I was being paid $635 per week just to sit there the entire time,hahaha!

      This has been a fairly busy week,to have not accomplished much. Aside from the sending of a friend to a new home (see last post),the kids both went back to school,I was almost able to get together to meet some cool people/blog buddies in person,I got some parts in for the RC rigs,and,and…..not much else.

      This year is to be the Girl’s last year as a high school student,she’s officially a senior now. There’s even been talk of her having opportunity to graduate early (after 1st semester),as she will have more than enough credits to do so at that point. At this point,however,she hasn’t made any decision on the matter,she’s torn between going for it and taking that time as her “vacation”/”finding herself” time or re-entering the work-force,but she’s also much tempted to continue,grab some extra credits to go towards her first years of college to be ahead of the game. Both sound like decent ideas to me,for different reasons.

      The Boy entered his first year ever outside of an elementary school,now in 7th Grade,he’s officially a middle school. So far so good,at the end of week 1,he’s not hating it,LOL :P

      Good friends and good people Rob and Chelsea from Arrow’s West blog (here on WordPress) were driving through this area on their adventure trip from old home in PA (I think it was) to new home in Colorado,using as many all dirt roads as humanly possible. Due to bear aggervations (I know that’s spelled wrong,it’s a DC-ism :P ),unfamiliarity with the area/distances/travel times and my schedule with the kids school and shipping the On One to it’s new owner,sadly we missed the chance to get to meet face to face and share a cold Mtn Dew. This saddened me,I was really looking forward to meeting those guys,but sometimes it just happens,I suppose. I want to take a moment to wish them a fun and memorable,safe and interesting journey,sending them thoughts,prayer and much envy of their trek.

      For the RC4WD Trail Stomper,I was able to find and score some of RC4WD’s super softly sprung red leaf springs to swap on,which should give it much more flex (and thereby more trail capability),and for the new SCX10 Honcho (Axial),I ordered/received an aluminum link kit (identical to the one I own but have yet to install on my SCX10 Jeep),which includes suspension links as well as steering links,to cure the relative slop of the plastic pieces. I’m still waiting on one item ordered at the same time,a Proline 1992 Jeep Cherokee crawler body (big surprise there,huh? :P ),so I can semi-replicate my 1:1 (real) ’98 XJ,tracking says it’s shipped,but it must be a very slow boat it’s on.

      Not much else going on around the DC’s Place this week,other than lots of day dreaming of smaller/simpler living,semi-off grid in a cabin somewhere (I’m always day dreaming about that ;) ),window shopping online for mtn specific parts to complete the Surly’s dedicated-mtn bike transformation*,pre-planning a possible overnight/weekend bike trip for the near future,etc. In other words,lots of doing not much,but that’s ok,a week semi-off is needed once and a while.

      I hope everyone has an awesome weekend :)

 

 

 

 

*All it really needs at this point (now that I already have the wheel-set on hand) is a pair of fat tires,a stem and set of handlebars (and some elbow grease,of course,removing the racks and road-ish bits). I’ve always dug fully rigid steel bikes (and that suspension corrected length steel fork included/on there is a thing of versatility-magic/beauty IMO,with it’s fender and rack mounts,2 H2O cage mounts,disc or rim brake capability,etc),plus it adds a look of being complete,matching the rest of the bike so well. Eventually though,rigid inevitably wears thin on my old spinal injuries,especially on really technical,rocky or root filled trails,so at some point I may look into a nice 100mm air sprung fork…if I have to,I’m digging that sweet Troll fork for now :)

Posted in Bike Projects, Cherokee, General Life Stuff, General RC Banter | 2 Comments

On One Inbred: SOLD

004

I had all but decided a little while back that I would most likely sell my beloved On One,having built up the Surly earlier this year. It was actually the plan while planning the Surly build,it’s why I chose the Troll,the built in versatility in the frame would potentially allow me to “need” fewer bikes for the same differing types of riding I want to do. Same ride options,less equipment needed,more free space.

I did really like the On One,though,it rides well,isn’t overly heavy (certainly not the lightest SS I’ve ever owned,however),handles great (good geometry built into the design) and such,plus you just don’t see one every time you ride down the trail (in fact,being a Brittish company,I’ve never seen one in person other than this one,only on bike forums).

Oddly,though,as popular as Surly Bikes frames/forks are,I rarely see one of them on trail either*-that’s a plus for me,BTW,I’ve never been much of one for “cookie cutter bikes” (bikes just like everyone else’s),and it rides well as well (another classic steel frame).

Anyways,it’s done. The guy seemed very excited about the On One,he’d seen them online and read reviews,and has “been wanting to ride a SS (singlespeed ;) ) for some time now”,but didn’t want to “spend an arm and leg only to find out I wouldn’t like it so much”**. I believe it to be going to a good home. He Pay Pal’d me early this morning,and I shipped it mid day. Bon Voyage,On One,I enjoyed my time with you,may you enjoy many years of smiles and miles of sweet singletrack with your new friend/owner :)

 

 

 

*Before the house fire,living there and riding the Breaks Interstate Park as my local trails,my best riding bud in that area,Deadhead Dave rode a Surly Instigator,and I see the occasional Long Haul Trucker (Surly’s road touring rig),and rarely but sometimes see a Surly fat bike in the shop for an upgrade/maintenance/repair,but that’s about it.

**That’s exactly what I was saying back in  2002 when I bought my first design specific dedicated SS,the ’02 Redline Monocog,and what I said about 29″er bikes in 2008 when I bought my ’08 Redline d440

Posted in Bike Projects | 2 Comments

A Toast To Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Perkey

Saturday,my very good friend married his best friend,they are no longer just Josh and Maegan,they’re now Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Perkey :D It was a semi/non-traditional wedding (super hero themed,as the both of them are huge comic fans*) that was both very moving,and very enjoyable by everyone in attendance-I’m pretty dang sure that EVERYone (myself included) shed a tear of happy for them,and I know everyone laughed and had a great time.

Unfortunately we ran out of film 3/4 of the way through the ceremony,but hoping to get copies of all the pics we missed when these kids get back from their honeymoon and settle in (there were some GREAT shots that we missed. I don’t know how to post videos (which is what ate up all of our SD card,leaving very little room for pics,LOL :P ),but I would not without first asking permission to do so anyways,so here are pics that my lovely Wife took,several didn’t “come out”,as the camera was on the wrong setting,but these are the ones that came out well…

002 003 004 005 006 007 008  (The Jeep wanted to apologize for photo-bombing their kiss in the next pic :o :P )

010 011 012

Ladies and Gentlemen,Mr. and Mrs Joshua Perkey; We love you guys,send you lots of love and prayers for a wonderfully blessed and long love filled life together,and thank you for the great,great Honor to have been chosen to share in this special day with you,I was humbled and honored to have stood beside you as your chosen Best Man,and I will never forget,but will always treasure that,my friend :D

009

 

 

*For eg,each of the Groomsmen and I (Best Man),and of course the Groom (Josh) wore super hero shirts of our choosing underneath our dress shirts,and after the wedding,we took pics of all of us standing with dress shirts coming off as the logo of our chosen character showing. Said in my most bestest Christian Bale’s Dark Knight voice….I’m Batman :P

Posted in General Life Stuff | 3 Comments

Whoa-I Actually Got a Ride In Today,Sorta…

Good friend Joshua came over this morning for a road ride-this was his “bachelor party” for his upcoming wedding (this coming Saturday),LOL! It’s been a while since I’d ridden any (last ride being almost 2 months ago on my last bike trip to bike-camp),and I hadn’t ridden the Origin 8 CX (cyclocross) bike since…well,since building up the new Surly frame earlier this year,but as Josh’s bike is an actual dedicated road bike,I knew I’d need the CX’ers lighter weight and skinny little road-ish tires (Ok,most cyclists,especially roadies,will argue that 700c x 38mm tires are huge,LOL,but being predominently a mtn biker,they’re skinny to me,but I digress…).

The plan was to ride about 25 miles round trip (an out and back on bike route and highway TN394,a familiar route to us both). Flashback to yesterday first though. See,where we lived last (before here),the Boy had a good friend whose parents weren’t such “good people”,as they ripped off the land-lord,then moved in the middle of the night without word to anyone,us included (further ripping the land-lord off by stealing his brand new enclosed utility trailer…and yes,I’m sure they were caught and prosecuted,we didn’t live there long enough after to know though,and not my business to know anyways),and when they left,they also left the dad’s old dept. store mtn bike from (what looks to be) early 90’s,and their son’s (the Boy’s friend) old Huffy BMX-looking bike. At the request to the Boy,when all that happened,I went down and got those two bikes for safe keeping “just in case they come back to get them,daddy”-of course,they never did,so we just kept them (the old mtn bike is lawn art here,and the Huffy BMX has been stowed in my Dad’s garage all this time until a few weeks ago*).

Anyways,I had been meaning to repair a pair of flat tires on it for the couple of weeks it’s been here,yesterday I got around to it. Why is this relevant? Hold on,it’s coming,LOL! So I had bought one new tube for the Boy while out at PFB (local bike shop) when I picked up the Surly’s new wheels last week,and I wanted to teach the Boy how to do the job. What we found that it had two flats,two tubes with holes in them (did I mention I’d only bought ONE tube?). So I thought,”Cool,I can teach him how to replace a tube,AND patch a hole in one”,which we did,he and I. Here’s where it’s relevant….I hadn’t patched a tube in 5+ years,as I always carry a spare new tube on my rides,just in case. Not today though,all my spare anything’s bike related are stowed in dad’s garage/shed.

So Josh and I were about 7.5 miles into the ride,rolling down a hill (a speedo confirmed 30+ MPH no less),I was drafting behind him (praying he didn’t have gas…hey,the butt to head distance was only a couple feet :P ) and we both heard a loud pop,whistle and that unmistakable sound of a tube popping (fortunately it was just a matter of  slowing to a stop,no crash or anything),my rear tire**…without a spare new tube…one day after having fixed a flat for the Boy (coincidence? Yeah,but a weird one :P ). (here’s the only pic we got today,from Josh’s cell…)

10549264_10201541909987952_4176426803462776701_o

It turned out that my tube had split a fairly large hole in it,requiring two patches to cover it,but even being the glue-type of patch kit (Park Tools),it wouldn’t hold air. What to do? Sigh…well,while we were thinking of what to do,a late model Subaru Forester rolled up and stopped behind us,unexpected and startled us both a bit,as both doors swung open and we saw a pair (one on each side) of high heel shoes touch ground,and then two attractive blonde ladies pop out of the car with huge smile,LOL,Joshua said “I swear I heard angelic choir music like in a movie”,ROFLMBO! While we (Josh and I) didn’t know the ladies,they frequent our favored bike shop and we have several mutual friends (their husbands included ;) :P ).

They offered to run to the bike shop (about 13 miles from where we were) and buy a tube,but I really couldn’t ask so much of a sort-of stranger,and when they offered to throw my bike on the rack (which was on their car already) and give me a ride back,I reluctantly accepted (I hate to put anyone out,but I also am one of those guys who doesn’t wish to “be alone” in any sense with a strange lady,especially a friend’s wife-it’s a “respect them both” thing,I’m weird I guess :P ). On the ride back,we discovered more “we should know each other’s”,we all go to the same church! :o But we go to different services (while they go to the earlier 9am service,we go to the 11am service,so we’ve had to have passed them coming and going and didn’t know it,LOL). What a small world indeed!

So anyways,I sat and waited for Joshua to ride back after they left,we came back here,had some home-made soup I’d made left in the fridge and watched a DVD before he left. Still a great day,methinks :D

 

 

 

 

*When I cleaned out my shed/workshop to turn it in (they have yet to pick it up yet,BTW…) to buy the new camper,my bikes and the Boy’s were also stowed in dad’s garage/shed,but so the Boy would have a bike to ride around with his friend (didn’t want to leave a $400+ Giant loose in the yard/weather to be stolen ;) )

**Of COURSE it would be the rear tire….with a set of horizontal slider dropouts,and a derailluer on my CX bike,making it a PAIN to get the rear wheel on and off,LOL!

Posted in Bike Ride | 2 Comments

It’s Here!

Just a quick note (as I want to get into and tinker a bit),the new RC4WD Trail Stomper RTR was delivered a few minutes ago via Brown Santa (UPS ;) :P ),safe and sound from Tower Hobbies :D A few pics…

1 2 3 4 5 6

I should say “ARTR” (Almost Ready To Run),as the body (bodies-they pack ship these with TWO clear lexan bodies!) needs be painted,trimmed and mounted,but technically,it’s still RTR out of the box because you CAN run RC’s without a body mounted,LOL!

Those wagon wheels with intricate lug nuts/bolts are gorgeously scale realistic (much more-so than my Axial’s stock and upgraded beadlocks),as are the axles with removable diff covers,though I’m not a huge fan of the stock tires (they just look a bit off to my eye….maybe I need have my eyes checked,lots of things look a bit off lately :P ),but they’re not bad,just not my favorite design,looks like a generic copy of 1:1 Super Swamper tires,but not quite,if that makes sense. I’ll certainly run them for a while ;)

Ok,that’s all for now,I want to log out and tinker with it a bit. Most likely I’ll put both of the included bodies on eBay (not a fan of them,at all…though I AM a fan of 1980-1983 generation of Toyota trucks*),and when they sell,put that towards a hard body shell,most likely a Tamiya Bruiser (or similar) or Trail Finder 2 body (both of which are 1980-1984 Toyota trucks,BTW),but those wheels are staying on it,heeheehee :D Have a great Monday,everyone!

 

 

 

*While shopping at an auto-auction that fateful night the Chevy Cavalier Z24 became my first ever car owned,I was out-bid on no less than three Toyota 4×4 trucks of that generation,2 were stock looking,but the one I fell in love with was an ’83 with lift and 33″ Dick Cepek Fun Country tires (I’ve been a fan of both those trucks and those tires ever since). That ’83 was really nice,fresh paint and interior (bearing in mind,this was in 1988,so it was only a 5 year old truck at the time too),it had an owner installed sunroof,the 20R/5 speed drivetrain,dual exhaust (most likely a crossover into duals just for looks and sound),and some KC Lites on that big chrome bumper. Dad liked it too,mom made my bidding stop,as she feared I would roll it over with my heavy right foot :P

Posted in General Life Stuff, General RC Banter, New RC Rig Unboxing, RC Build Projects | Leave a comment

I May Have a Problem…

…but there certainly are worse problems one could have,LOL! One could call it a lack of self control,an impulse control issue,or even an addiction. None of those would really be accurate though,at least not in this case,I’m being sarcastic/humorous here*. I’ve ordered another brand new RC rig from Tower Hobbies.

I had been planning to buy another rig sometime in the near future (in addition to the new Axial SCX10 Honcho that was just delivered this week),and had a few things on CL (Craigslist) for sale to fund another new rig….I just didn’t expect things would happen right now,this soon after having bought a 2nd SCX10-but I’m not complaining,hahaha! I was planning to look into buying a leaf sprung truck,something more scale realistic,despite that being such it would be inherently less capable on trails. Also….those who know me will tell you patience is not really one of my virtues,but I prefer to think more like “I’m not afraid to jump in and go for something I want”. Both are probably right to an extent :P See,the point is though,I always try to keep my hobby expenditures as self contained as possible,meaning,if I lose interest in something and then “get into” something else,I try to always move things around within my interests to finance (at least as much as possible) the new interest. That keeps the bank account happy,the family happy,and most importantly…the Wife happy,hahaha :P It also keeps me happy,because I can always sell or trade around and get into something I want to try out,sometimes it just takes a while (to sell other things) ;)

The plan had been to carefully (as in,not taking away from any needs or the family moneys) set back and save towards something from RC4WD,a Trail Finder 2 or Gellande II kit specifically. The problem is,they’re both $399.99 less electronics (and they’re both q kit in need of assembly,but that was part of the allure for me),which means I would inevitably wind up spending upwards of $500 or more,depending on what gear I could find used or on sale**,so I while I was planning and working towards it,I wasn’t getting all excited about it. I should note,I ordered neither of those kits.

When I placed a few things on CL for sale,I wasn’t really expecting them to sell so quickly (or with no haggling on my pricing….maybe I should have priced them higher,LOL :P ),it wasn’t the plan to buy 2 new rigs within a 7-10 day period (which gives me little time to spend with each as a new rig),but I’m not complaining :P SO….

I ordered a new RC4WD (brand name of parts and rigs ;) ) Trail Stomper RTR yesterday,which made it eligible for Tower’s July sale,with today being the last day of the promotion. I had a $300 bill to spend,the Trail Stomper (which is basically a Trail Finder 1) is $299.99,so I ordered it,two pit stands ($21.98-you place them underneath your rig to “park them on”,keeping weight off of it’s tires,thus preventing flat spots ;) ),and a pack of body clips (holds the bodies on,for those who don’t know),and got it all shipped to my door for $288.97***. Here’s a few pics (not mine) pulled from a Google search for such…

Trail Stomper 3 Box

44 lrc4c0003

2dab8f5c-add4-4fc7-be1a-6412c5ed8eda__83901.1399807911.1280.1280 184 119677_700x500 download DSC_1789 SYTS3-2 trail-stomper-1 Z-RTR0016_4211 Z-RTR0016-14

The Trail Stomper has it’s limitations…it’s certainly not going to perform anywhere near the same league as my Axial rigs (ever),especially bone stock. It’s a widely known fact that it’s suspension is remarkably stiff,with almost no articulation/flex at all as delivered,it comes with toy-like “friction shocks” (internal springs,no lubrication/oil),among other issues,and there are some quirks about it that I personally don’t like (for eg,the included clear-non-painted lexan body looks,well…way off kilt to my eye,it looks like a cheap attempt at a 1980-1982 Toyota truck nose with a semi-same can/fenders/hood grafter onto a 1990 or so Tacoma bed). But,it’s a starting point,and with a few well chosen modifications (some of which are free or close to it),I should have a decent performing leaf sprung (suspension ;) ) rig that’s more scale realistic than any of Axial’s rigs by design. With it’s 11.4″ wheelbase being the same as the Trail Finder II,I could easily swap on a very scale realistic hard-plastic body (not flexible lexan) for much a more scale realistic look (as well as several aftermarket bodies,like Proline’s Chevy K5 Blazer for eg). Here’s a few pics of Trail Stompers with hard bodies (these look to my eye to be Tamiya Bruiser/Hi-Lift bodies,though the RC4WD body is of the same generation of Toyota truck,sporting the square headlights making those 1983-1984 year models)

_vyrp15_410jkjk

4

12 31

Here are a few with other aftermarket bodies (lexan or hard plastic)-again,these pics are not of my rigs,and were pulled from Google searches,they’re just pics of these rigs that I liked.

10441303_1449455428662504_5797297102540810000_n 10544347_1449451941996186_755842150673894953_n

18 24 36

Lastly,a pic of a stock bodied TS (Trail Stomper) that I actually liked the look of…

DSC_1933

Well,that’s it,my big confession of having bought a second rig this week,LOL! After watching some Youtube reviews and builds of these (as in,modifying/project rigs,not the building of a kit,these are RTR like my Axial rigs),I fully expect it to come out of the box unable to flex at all,super stiff,and with a cheezy looking Toyota-ish (my opinion here,not “fact”,LOL) clear body in need of paint,but with great potential for a nice scale realistic trail truck,or even a Class 1 competition rig if I were so inclined (I’m not). Happy Thursday,everyone :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I do have a slight addiction to tobacco,so I’m NOT making lite of addictions and such,the title and 1st paragraph were writ with tongue in cheek ;)

**Each would need a metal gear/high torque servo for steering,a decent crawler motor (27t-55t….”t” being for “turns”…I could write an entire book on brushed motors and their differences here,but I’ll leave it at this…crawlers need torque,not outright speed/horsepower,and lower turn brushed motors are still accepted in most circles as the motors of choice,myself included),radio and receiver-in addition to the gear all RTR’s typically need (batteries for the radio,battery pack,charger,etc)

***I took the remaining $11.03 and treated the kids to desserts at Dairy Queen :)

Posted in General Life Stuff, General RC Banter, RC Build Projects | Leave a comment

New Arrival Yesterday

I love Brown Santa,he/she always brings me things right when tracking info says he/she will,and it’s almost never anything bad,LOL! Usually,UPS doesn’t get here until around or just after 8PM when they deliver,but the past couple of weeks they’ve been getting here mid day (the Wife had ordered some things recently…it isn’t always me ordering new stuffs :P ). Anyways,just before a visit from good friend Josh (who just finished Basic Training and AIT last week,this same friend whose wedding I’m in 8 or 9 days) who was in full BTU (camo uniform ;) ) after having been to see his new C.O.*

Anyways,a few pics…

001 002 003 004

I was a bit surprised with the stock body. By that I mean,surprised how much I actually like it in person. See,pics and videos of SCX10 Trail Honcho’s running stock bodies are ALL OVER the internet (in RC circles,I mean :P ) and one tends to grow jaded to seeing so many of the same things over and over for a couple of years,so (as you know) I was expecting to not like it so much,and to replace it with something else. It looks to my eye much better in person than what I was expecting though….I may just keep and run it for a while (I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth on the stock body on my other SCX10,the ’12 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited seen in the back ground behind the Honcho).

I won’t be running it for a few days,so there’s no/won’t be any action shots yet. I was very fortunate with my other SCX10 (lets just call them Jeep Rubi and Honcho to keep confusion down,LOL) in that when I didn’t give it a “once-over” when fresh from the box and everything worked fine,as it should,and everything was set properly from the factory. Not that I have reason to or expect less from Axial with this new Honcho,but it’s always a wise idea to do a basic tear-down,check,tighten,adjust and lube everything before first run**. It’s also a good opportunity to make any changes or water-proofing while you’re at it (for eg: what better time to yank both axles and pull them apart to fill full of marine grease than when you’ve just yanked them to add any-type of lube because you know most manufacturers skimp on anything resembling lube during initial assembly?). I may make a few alterations while at it too,like modifying the rock rails (those are the “running boards/steps” underneath it’s “doors” for those that don’t know) to sit a bit higher/closer to the body for better clearance,and I will probably relocate the battery tray to the front of the chassis for better weight distribution before it’s first run as well (I still need to do this on the Jeep Rubi,over a year later,hahaha!).

Anyways,I’m well pleased with it,even more so than I expected to be in some respects (the body). I’ll leave you with a few pics of it with the wheels/tires I will be running on it. These are Axial beadlock 8 hole wheels (amazingly similar to “Soft 8″ wheels for real trucks,which aren’t beadlocks) wrapped in Pro-Line TSL Super Swamper tires,which only have 1 run on them (as seen in the last pic of the Jeep Rubi-I didn’t like them so much on the Jeep Rubi,they seemed a bit too small for scale to my eye,though are the same 1.9 standard).

5 6 7 8

004

 

 

*Was great to see him and catch up a bit :D

**I personally know someone who doesn’t do this,and wasn’t so fortunate with his one Jeep Rubi RTR,as his pinion and spur gear weren’t properly adjusted/meshed together,which quickly stripped his plastic spur gear. I very inexpensive fix true,but 2-3 miles into a remote trail away from your ride makes it a very annoying fix too ;)

Posted in General Life Stuff, General RC Banter, RC Build Projects | Leave a comment