Category Archives: Bikes

Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

It seems like summer always brings lots of household projects. This year, it’s a leaking woodstove flashing (fixed – and the painting of the ceiling to go with it – not fixed), window frames needing to be painted (again – pending) and then the vehicles landed on my radar. They haven’t seen a good detailing in well,.. ever in the case of the truck and the car probably hasn’t seen a comprehensive detailing since 2008.

Yeah, I’m not proud of that. When the August long weekend hit, we started cleaning and cleaning and… uh oh. Rust. We went from prepping and painting a few spots to some fairly major repair and painting.  This is what we (former) business analysts call “scope creep”.

Great.  Spraying base and clear.  I’ve done this before.  Last time (2007), it was a 1999 CBR 600.  I’ll post that “throwback” post one day soon.  Yeah, I haven’t sprayed automotive paint in 9 years – I did do some major bodywork on a truck since then but I rolled that paint instead of doing it with a paint gun.

Speaking of rusty things – I am as well and my body sure has a lot more to say about it this time around.

I also swore that time that I’d never spray clear again.  Awesome. 😉

Since I’m going to be shooting clear anyway, I thought I’d try to do the touch-ups, and wet sand the sags in the paint on the “Wee One” and give her a final coat of clear too. If it doesn’t work – well, she was going to be repainted anyway.

Continue reading Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

Learning how to fly with a broken wing – Taking care of myself after the damage is done

A personal diary/ accountability type of post today folks.

Please note: there are a lot of links in this post but none are affiliate links. They are all informational and to support what I’m saying in the post

For years, I’ve dealt with food allergies and gaining or having difficulty losing weight. It never got out of hand but I could feel how the extra weight made sports harder and I was a lot more tired than I should be after relatively little exercise. And getting the energy up TO exercise? Yeah, that becomes a vicious circle. Add to this a couple of compressed disks in my back and it’s a recipe for a sedentary lifestyle.

Lately even lifting a vintage sewing machine has become cumbersome. Continue reading Learning how to fly with a broken wing – Taking care of myself after the damage is done

Message to myself

It’s OK, read to the end. 🙂

I apologize for the huge absence.    I’m still working on posts slowly but I thought I’d update the blog on why I’ve been away.  (I have been posting a little on the facebook page if you’re a FB’er.)

I won’t be sad to see 2014 go.  It started out great.  A great trip to Willam’s Lake to teach.  Certification as a Brother technician for Sparrow Studioz.

The summer though….

The summer in particular was beyond “character building” for both Ryan and I. Continue reading Message to myself

High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Ergonomics Part 2:  In the last article, we discussed why we need to pay attention to ergonomics.  Now I’d like to talk about some of the ways we can do this.

Most of the time, it’s little changes that we can make that are inexpensive, or even free.  Sometimes we can trade cost for a little sweat equity.

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on the cause(s) of your ergonomic pain, I suggest that you have a helper take a photo of you when you’re working at the machine(s) and then you can review your posture.  You’d be amazed at what you can pick out from a photo.

Continue reading High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Dance the Night away – Panto Fun

Note: I’ve noticed lately that the photos in the posts look blurry and low quality.  This is not true if you click on them to look at them.  Until I figure out what it is that’s doing this, please click on the images to see them the way I intended for them to look for you.

I attended a pantograph class at Sparrow earlier this month and learned a few things.  The most important was speed.  The easiest (and most counter intuitive) way to get a better result – less boxy corners, smoother lines –  is mash the gas pedal.

In the past few weeks, I’ve also learned that – within reason, this is also true with a lot of quilting and sewing in general.  For instance, I sew a much straighter line by going faster and watching the guide tape I’ve put on the bed in front of my machine than I do to watch the needle and try to keep it straight against the 1/4″ guide.  My bindings may have a chance, one day in the distant future, of being presentable! Continue reading Dance the Night away – Panto Fun

Have you got your “CycleVision” on?


How Many Motorcycles Have YOU Seen Today?


. . . . LOOK AGAIN !


More motorcycles are on the road today than ever before. The predominate cause of crashes is the failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic. To avoid crashes and reduce injuries and fatalities, motorists should pay special attention to people riding motorcycles. This special attention starts with an awareness of motorcycles, an understanding of what to expect from motorcycles, and knowledge of where most crashes are likely to occur.

Facts About Motorcycles:

The diversity of the motorcycling community is reflective of the general population. The rider you see on the road may be a teacher, welder, secretary, doctor, etc. Motorcyclists are often your relatives, friends, and neighbors.

In Texas during 1993, the number of licensed motorcyclists was nearly 685,000. In the same year, there were 157 motorcycle fatalities and 3,937 injuries in 4,026 reported crashes.

When motorcycle related crashes occur, 75 percent of them involved a collision with another vehicle, usually a passenger car.

More than 50% of all crashes involving a motorcycle and a passenger car occurred because the motorist did not see the motorcycle (or did not see it soon enough to respond.) Continue reading Have you got your “CycleVision” on?

Dead short causes main fuse to blow

Recording this for posterity.  Our Bandita – Dita for short – a 1991 Suzuki Bandit GSF400 went to live with a new family in 2010.


Got a call yesterday from the other half. He told me that the Bandit had broken down on the way to work. He’d been riding, then suddenly there were no lights, nothing.

Thinking it was the regulator rectifier,… again, I went out to the shed and got the spare RR and the loading ramp. We arranged for me to pick him up after work and we would go get the bike.

We brought her home, cos neither of us felt like messing around with her in the rain, and checked a few of the obvious things.

Battery Level – 12.25V A little low, but not low enough to cause the bike to lose -all- power. OK,.. likely not charging system related.

Check the fuses. Main (25A) fuse was blown. Hmm,.. what would have caused that? Put the spare in, and she blew it as soon as it -touched- the fuse box, we didn’t even manage to get it inserted!

This would indicate that the short is with something that has a live power feed to it even without ignition power. That should narrow the field a little. Continue reading Dead short causes main fuse to blow

Alberta’s Live to Ride campaign

Alberta’s Live to Ride campaign

I received a brochure in the mail from the Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation department.

At the bottom of the letter that accompanied it, was an invitation to provide suggestions or enhancements to campaign to the department.

Ok. 😉

In the communication, it mentions that the spring motorcycle safety campaign “stresses the importance that ALL drivers be aware that they need to be on the look out for motorcyclists and afford them every courtesy.”

While the brochure was well produced and a good start, there’s a small problem with this statement. I talked to about 10 friends, both non-motorcyclists and motorcyclists, and asked if any of them had seen anything that had addressed this importance. The only people that said they saw anything about this, were the persons that held a new class 6 license. 1/6th of that brochure seemed like it was aimed towards all drivers on the road, but none of the class 5 only drivers I know received it. Continue reading Alberta’s Live to Ride campaign

Open Letter to Motorists

This is a letter that was published in BIKER MAGAZINE. The author of the letter, Tom Macom tried to get the newspapers to publish this, but no luck. The magazine gave permission to copy this letter and asked that all bikers pass this along and try to get this letter out some way! Please feel free to copy and post it and/or try to get it published in your area’s newspaper. Great letter, and we can all relate to this letter!

Dear fellow motorist,
I wonder if you realized how close you came to injuring or killing me today. You seemed completely unaware that you began to move into my lane when only half of your car had passed me. If I had glanced at my mirror at that second, I probably wouldn’t have been able to brake fast enough to keep you from hitting my front tire and throwing me off my motorcycle. I apologize for slapping your window and lecturing you. It probably seemed to you that some crazy biker was trying to terrorize you. I’m sure you’re a nice lady and wouldn’t want to hurt anybody, but your inattention nearly caused a collision that would have been a mere fender bender for your Mercedes Benz, but could have caused me to be killed, and that made me angry.

Continue reading Open Letter to Motorists