Thursday, March 21, 2013


If you follow me on the facebook thing, you know we got a dog just after Valentine's day.  This is our 3rd dog in 12.5 years.  Not too impressive, really.  

Skyler came from Paws and Claws, we had him for 7 years.  He was the best dog ever.  Duke came from the Faribault shelter and he was pretty good, compared to most dogs he was great, but he was not as good of a dog as Skyler was.  He had some hound in him, so when his nose turned on, his ears turned off.  Skyler was mostly GSD, maybe a little collie, he really listened and wanted to please. a good dog. He hardly ever barks, never makes a mess, knows a few commands, doesn't do much crotch sniffing or licking.  He may be part border collie, part fox hound, or spaniel, no one knows.

We spent $90 for 6 beginner obedience classes.  Tonight was the 2nd night and the first night with the dogs present.  The boxer was scared of the 4# white rat looking thing, the tan terrier clearly had not been exercised at all before class.  The other tan dog looked kind of like a fox  and was kinda barky.

We started with a touch the hand with the nose thing, then sit, then down, then loose leash walking, and come/here.  Class is an hour, and most of it is spent working.  They use a clicker for training, and loads of treats.  Treats include cheese, cubed rolled dog food, cubed doggy cake.

That cake is some stinky's a can of mackerel, some flour, some garlic powder, 2 eggs...and he loves the stuff.  BTW, the hamburger masher from Simply Tasteless works great for mashing up the fishes, eggs and blending in the flour.  I'm glad it's good for something, since it sucks for chopping up raw hamburger.  

One of our neighbors takes her dog to the hospital, makes the rounds of people that have requested to see a dog.  She thinks that Woody would be good at that, and we agree.  He's got an ideal temperament for it, he's the right size and good bladder control.  So maybe we'll do that once we've had him most of a year and go thru some more training.

BTW, Skyler woke up very sick on Labor Day 2007, we put him to sleep later that day, after an ultrasound, his abdomen was full of blood.  We had taken Duke to stay with Val's folks for a weekend in July 2010, he woke up dead that day.  Hopefully Woody will last a little longer.

This is Duke, I'll have to scan some pics of Skyler.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

motorcycle trailer build, hitch edition

Did I remember to tell you that it would be a fair amount of time between these postings?  The garage is simply too cold to spend much time in when the outside temps are below 30.  I know, I'm getting wimpy in my old age...I changed the differential gears in my car back in 1989 when the temp was below 0, and I was outside, too.  No, that wasn't fun, but I didn't have any money, either.

The other day, like maybe 2 weeks ago, I took the saddle bags off the bike, found that I needed new mounting bolts.  They were fully threaded bolts and the threads were mangled all the way up.  That is probably because they had worked loose....

So I bought new bolts and some lock nuts to go on the inside of the fender.  About $11 at Ace.  I will be putting blue loctite on them.  I will also put loctite on the saddlebag mounting bolts, as some of them were loose.  AND I put loctite on the belt guard, since one bolt was gone and the other a little loose.  Luckily I found a bolt in my box that worked and put a washer in there too, so that's fixed.  AND a nut had fallen off the mounting stud that holds the saddlebag lid hinge to the saddlebag.  Found that in the saddlebag and put it back on...the bolts are 8mm 1.25 pitch.  2.25" long, or so.  The other thingy in the pic is the bracket for the chains, it bolts under the ball.

I bought the hitch from a guy in MI that is a dealer oh never mind, I'm pretty sure that I told you all that.  I ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Tuesday, that is pretty prompt.  It fits perfectly and looks very nice. The chrome is very good, and the ball was included, Acme brand.  Wile E Coyote would not be ashamed to operate this bike.

It went together a little easier than I expected...The bolts hold the saddle bag brackets, the backrest/sissy bar bracket, and the fender on.  I was pretty sure it'd take a lot of messing around to get it on.  But putting a bolt on each side to hold the backrest on the fender in the right place allowed me to get the hitch in the right place with the other holes and bolts and then removing the first bolts move it into position.  The only problem I had was when I was putting the saddle bag on; I realized that I put both front brackets on the left side and the rear brackets on the right side.  So I had to take the saddle bag back off, remove the rear bracket on the left side and swap it with the front bracket on the right side.  It went pretty good when I had all the brackets in the right place.  I'll have to double check to make sure the bolts are tight; getting a wrench under the fender when the saddle bags are installed is a treat, let me assure you.

 The above pic shows the sissybar bracket in the center top, the saddle bag bracket, fender, etc.
 The above pic shows the belt guard, the saddle bag bracket, the side of the saddle bag and the side of the fender.
And this pic shows the side of the hitch, the end of the fender that I scuffed, the ball.  I don't know if I'll get one of those ball covers or not.  Maybe if there's a brake light incorporated into it....maybe I can make one.  You will be the first to know if I do.  :)  The hitch looks black, but it is shiny chrome.

Next up is to work on electricity...I need to redo the plugs powering the saddlebag lights and install the wires to power the trailer lights.  I need warm weather for that too, since that's bare hands and sitting still sort of work.  I also hope that my jack starts working again, because it's nice to have the thing a little higher.

Yes, the bike is dirty.  I could say it's because of the dust it has collected over the winter, I didn't cover them this year.  But in reality, the bike is just dirty.  I don't mind.