Small victories.

Cycling: Still riding every day, but haven’t gotten out for any real jaunts. I didn’t start this morning with a bike ride as I properly should have – I started it with a slug of left over wine, a chainsaw and a ladder.  Drinking: The Columbia river Valley’s wines are hit or miss. This $8 score is a Food Pavillion winner – Vintage 2006 Snoqualmie Syrah: snoqalamie If you see one, get one.   Just came back from my coffee/water run, that moment where I sit down in a cafe around people.  Then it is back to my working alone, puttering, slowly gaining ground.  Sitting down now, too – and though my hands and forearms are in terrific pain, I’ll share with y’all what I’ve been up to.  I’m about halfway through that container of FAST ORANGE.

small victories 002
Wiring, carpentry, painting. Lifting the 77 up to cut plywood. Setting up the space with style and grace. I hurt myself getting the solar panel on the roof alone, but it’s up there and I connected it to the controller box. In a few seconds, a little green LED started to blink and I knew I had achieved a small victory. It’s also an amazing feeling to leave the light on, on purpose, to bleed off extra juice. Soon I’ll have a micro-fridge to do that, maybe a radio. Tinkering into the night, listening to the BBC World Service, to 8:00 or 9:00 GMT, inside my box with a lovely halogen light, off the grid.
The engine – no start, no run, and I haven’t yet found the cause. Upon the advice of people that know more than me, I went and bought a (summoning up a redneck dialect) Holley four barrel on an Edelbrock manifold. At the auto parts store, I just looked for the biggest air filter box on the shelf. Had to go back there twice for the throttle cable, and still, still, STILL I don’t have the ability to make this ‘easy’, ‘simple’ engine run.  I need someone dumber than me to help me with it, or something, because the lawnmower won’t start for me, neither.  It’s as though I’m trying to destroy my back and arms – the joint pain gets intense for me.

badnessIntake Holley 4bbl

When this bad machine starts a-going, I should get around 300 horsepower. Do I need that much? Hell no, but my rationale is – if it’s there, the system may be more efficient when I ‘baby it’… plus I don’t have much choice in the matter. In my hands, it will get driven less.   This fucking thing is a power plant, and I respect its power… to drink gas and pollute.

Still having Arizona dreams, and heard twice of someone leaving this cool green paradise for Arizona.  And I ask, incredulously: “Now?”  I guess the grass is browner everywhere but where you’re at.  I know better.  After 9 or so drives across this continent, the road no longer beckons.  It is the quiet of evening air, and the little ideas that lead to small victories that call to me, it is multiple walks with Lance and sorting my tools so they’re there, *ping*, when I need ‘em.

15 years of stickers and use

15 years of stickers and use

This is *a few* of my tools.  Suffice it to say, I need a box truck to be what I am: damn good. You’ll never catch me pawning these to pay the man rent.

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

8 thoughts on “Small victories.

  1. Nice Vintage Vinyl sticker on the toolbox. I sure do miss that place, although it still smelled the same last time I was there. Let’s hope some things never change.

  2. ‘Taint rocket science, you’ll get ‘er figgered out, just ain’t gonna be no fun.

  3. Josh beat me to the Vintage Vinyl reference. You ever spend time in StL? You wear many hats, LJ. I hear you on life’s little victories. We all have our own. Many more green LED’s to you.

  4. You can’t see it, but there’s also a Daniel Patterson for AZ Senate sticker, from when he was in the green party, (He and I are friends from way back) and a Fair Wheel Bicycles sticker. I went through St. Louis twice… it’s a nice place to stop, still won’t touch Budweiser. Talk more about electric – anyone want to help me do a demo video of my no-crimp marine grade battery terminal soldering technique? The panel is a Mitsubishi 180 connected to a TRACE charge controller, then to the 2 each 6 volt batteries in series, which are big heavy deep cycle batteries. The lighting is all I have connected to it so far. The circuit breakers are hanging unmounted. I got a 12 volt fridge and an inverter going into the truck. By then I should be ready to stop spending money, as I probably need to keep a cushion of about 2 grand for gas.

  5. Dude I seriously like the handlebar holding bike rack, simple yet effective.

  6. I’m sure you know all this but, start with the simple stuff, roll her around to #1 top dead center, check the timing marks, check the distributor, check the piston in the cylinder. Check the firing order and the plug wires,spark plug gap, got fuel? check the installation manual, there is generally a base # of turns on the fuel and air adjustment screws on the carb. Is it a GM, what year? If so did you set your valve lash? Does she hurp and gurgle and try to start, or just crankandcrankandcrank? Compression? How much? E-mail me if you like, I’ll help if I can, plus I know a guy who is like the laying on of hands when it comes to cars