Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wheel Studs and windshield wiper test!

 I really wish I'd documented this a little better.  The amount of hammering, torching and smashing fingers made it much more exciting than I initially thought it would be.  Basically two wheel studs had been broken off on one of the rear tires.  If they weren't right next to each other I probably would've waited to fix them but I'm glad I didn't.

When I finished I wanted to be sure I didn't screw up the rear brakes so I took it for a spin in the rain.  This allowed me to look up the tires, drive a bit like a maniac and test the windshield wipers.  Win! Win! Win!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Album of the Week 9 - JFA - Valley of the Yakes

While pounding on the car to remove the brake drums and broken wheel studs I needed some good old teenage rage.  Jody Foster's Army's classic album Valley of the Yakes suited the bill perfectly.  With songs like "Kick You", "Preppy",  "I don't like You" it really let's your agnst flow.  I did find the occasional self conscious moment of "what is that middle aged man blaring from his garage?" but not enough to stop my punk rocking.

Valley of the Yakes is one those rare 45rpm full length records.  Which means every time I put it on I listen to a good chunk of the first track at 33 1/3.  It's such a fast album you don't realize it's going slow until the vocals kick in.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tie Rods and Tie Rod Ends!

The steering on the Fj40 is a bit sloppy.  Eventually I'm going to get power steering installed but for now I'm tackling all the smaller things.  The first was new tie rod ends.  The old ones looked like some sort of clay sculpture.

 The old tie rod itself was an old wonky aftermarket one so I decided it would be a good idea to replace it with a heavy duty one from Man-a-fre.

And while I was at it I decided to replace the shocks.

The tie rods helped but the car is still a bit floaty.  Power steering might be closer than I thought.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Inspiration - Candy Hike! - Elsmere Canyon

This weekend we managed to do two weekend candy hikes*, the first was an accidental trip to Elsmere Canyon.  We'd planned on hiking Whitney Canyon but there were other people with dogs on the trail so we took a quick right turn went up and up and then saw this.

Elsmere Canyon is a hidden sort of box canyon which is Santa Clarita newest "open area."  I don't really know what "open area" means but I like it.  It was dedicated in November 2010.  Thanks to some citizens of Santa Clarita and money from Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Elsmere was save from being the nations largest landfill.

It isn't the nicest oak filled valley with a creek running through the middle of it but it's pretty amazing and only five minutes from out house.

*Candy Hike - is a hike where you use candy to bribe your kids to keep going.  Good for their body bad for their teeth.  Oh and I do wonder what kind of associations they'll have with hiking when they're adults.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What I've been up to - Visiting Artist Lecture at CalArts

I was a bit stumped at how to approach this lecture so I asked my eight year old and he said it should be "a lecture of certain pieces I am proud of myself for making."  I thought that sounded like a great idea.

I like the idea of examining work you take pride in.  It doesn't neccessarily mean the pieces are the "best" pieces I've made of the most successful just the ones I'm proud of myself for making.  I wound up picking six.

Triple Turntable

Car 23
2008 -

The Void

International Playboy

The Grove

The Passenger

The lecture wound up going really well - at least for me.  AND they made an awesome poster for the talk.  Each was silkscreened onto a different record, I wanted to take them all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Manual Haiku 11

Throttle Grip

the throttle grip is
twisted inward toward you,
engine speed rises

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Windsheild Wipers Part 3!

 The wipers are on and "work." Well, as I understand it this style wiper never really worked well, they have a tough time staying synchronized and I believe what they would do best is smearing dirt not cleaning it off....we'll see!
The one thing that stumped me for awhile was the wiper knob.  It didn't seem to turn far enough.  Then my 21rst century mind finally realized that these are single speed wipers and everything made sense.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Album of the Week 8 - Extra Golden - Thank You Very Quickly

After listening to Weird War for hours on end I realized that Alex Minoff's guitar was a big chunk of why I liked I so much.  It's different, not really a traditional rock guitar and beyond funk.  The guitar sort of acts like a second vocalist.  So, I did some searching and came across his other band Extra Golden.
Their third release Thank You Very Quickly has been spinning on the turntable for about a week and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.  Minoff and his friend Ian Eagleson teamed up with Kenyan Benga artists, Onyago Jagwasi, Onyago Wuod Omari to create a wonderful hybrid.  The songs drift between Benga and rock creating extremely nice grooves.  I can really get a lot of work done while listening to this Lp.  There are points when some of the tracks drift a bit too much into jam band territory but not enough to hurt Thank You Very Quickly

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Drawn to Television 10

Kneel before Neil - NOVA
   Not the best drawing.  He moves his head too much.  I do like the ear mouse.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inspiration - Old Catalogues

Sears Automotive Catalog 1960

definitely makes "cycling" more fun.  I hadn't realized that the jeans came prerolled up.

I believe this is the same scooter Bo Diddley had

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Inspiration - mini pick up emblems

I came across my collection of mini pick-up emblem a couple days ago.  I'd collected them when I was making frequent trips to the pick apart back in the late 90s.  My 1967 Datsun truck needed a lot of coaxing to keep it on the road.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Manual Haiku 10

Tune-Up procedures
and troubleshooting techniques
are fully coevered

A Show I'm in - Goldmine

Contemporary Works from the Collection of
Sirje and Michael Gold

February 5 - April 10, 2011
California State University, Long Beach

Triple Victrola, 2003
three reproduction victrolas, desk, paint
57.25 x 30 x 30 inches

I made it to the opening of this show and had a great time. Really strong works by the artists represented, definitely worth checking out.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Album of the Week 7 - Weird War - If you can't beat 'em, bite 'em

Considering I love Nation of Ulysses, Cupid Car Club and The Make up, I'm surprised It's taken me so long to get around to Weird War's 2004 release,  If you can't beat 'em, bite 'em.  It's a brilliant album.  Ian Svenonius, Michelle Mae, Sebastian Thomson and amazing guitar by Alex Minoff (Minoff's other band Extra Golden will be a future album of the week).

I starting listening to the title track when we got a puppy three months ago.  It was her theme song and I found myself sing "If you can't beat 'em, bite 'em" at all hours.  That expanded into listening to the entire album which I did, again today.  Some of the greater tracks are Grand Fraud (also has a nice video), Tess (based on the book), Store Bought Pot, AK-47 and Chemical Rank (which is one of those great songs where the lyrics are so odd that you start obsessing about what or who it's about). 

I have to confess, I only have this on mp3.  I didn't think an mp3 would make it to "Album of the Week" but I listen to If you can't beat 'em, bite 'em like an album - start to finish, no shuffle, no skipping.  Well that's not actually true, I skip the first track Music for Masturbation.  Ian Svenonius seems to put an intro track on every album and they're cute but not something you want to listen to over and over again.  

as a side note the cover is a cover of Lou Reed's Live take No Prisoners which was lifted from a Nazario Luque comic.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Windsheild Wipers Part 2!

So, I checked out my wiring diagram.  It worked but the wiper motors were not in the best shape.  One was seized up and the other was sluggish.  So, I took them apart.

The early fj40 TNK wipers are beautiful little machines.  No plastic and everything can be taken apart with a screw driver.  I basically just took the covers off and soaked the inards in WD-40 until the harden grease softened.  Then I blew it out, grease it up and they work great.

TRICK TIP - I worked on this in one of the little drawers in my rolling tool chest.  It allowed me to stand up staright and the drawer caught any little screws or springs that came loose.  Sure I initially used it because there wasn't a clear surface in the garage but it's something I'd do again.

Windsheild Wipers

I tore out most of the wiring on Car 23 when I painted it.  The wires were 45 years old, generally mucked up and extremely brittle.  Now that I want to get it on the road - legally - there are a few things I need to get working.  

Today it's the windsheild wipers.  I've decided to go with the stock set up that was already on the car.  They're (supposedly) easily rebuildable and they just need to go back and forth, I won't really be driving a car with no roof in the rain.

Let's look at the wiring diagram


 here's the entire wiring diagram

and just the windsheild should be simple enough

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Old Gold 10

White Noise Machine
a four tonearmed turntable that came with the Beatles White Albums, Velvet Underground's White Light White Heat and Nirvana's Bleach