SKATE TRUCK

Lord only knows what you'll find here....There'll be rants and raves and skating and motorcycles and guitars and whatever else might be necessary to pass the time. Thanks for stopping in......

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stella on a Mission

That awkward moment right before Stella prances up and pops me in the nads with that stick.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Q.O.T.W.

Quote of the week-end comes from Bucky the catitude cat from "Get Fuzzy".

"Toughness oozes from me like Clearasil on picture day..."

Full strip is here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Roller Coaster Tension

found this on an old computer......from 2/19/2000. It's a bit of a long read.....



      Headed out from the old Dickson Post Office at 3:45 in the a.m. for the Talladega GP Raceway to reprise my role as crew-chief (a.k.a. pit-whore) at the first WERA south-east regional of the new millennium. Race direction this week-end at Talladega was clock-wise, for those of you keeping up. PoPo and Troy were cranked for the week-end of racing, listening to Eminem at bleed volume on the way down south. The weather looked like it was going to be cooperative and there was the threat of good rides in the air.
       At the track early for pre-registration (more about pre-registration later) and there was little to do but un-load Troy and PoPo's bikes and check tire pressures, run through tech (I learned to remove the damn lower fairing's before you get there!), stick some new numbers on the bikes, and wait for practice. When that time came both guys went out in the forty-five degree temps with gusting winds and, after judiciously warming their tires for two laps or so, immediately got into the rhythm that re-produced their best lap times from a month ago.
      Now the roller-coaster ride begins folks, no pushing please, you must be this tall to ride this ride. Troy had been fighting a soft front brake lever towards the end of the practice sessions and we had rebuilt both front calipers since the last time out, so we wanted to bleed the front brakes between practices. We did this and got some good feel back at the lever. But, while warming his bike up to go out for the next practice we were met with the ugliest kind of rattle in the top of the motor at about six grand rpm. The cam chain tensioner (which was one of the recall replacement items from Suzuki) had failed miserably. Rookie me wasn't really sure what it was at this point. The engine sounded to me like it had eaten at least twenty-five percent of its six-teen valves. The look on Troy's face was thunder and we were pretty convinced that his week-end was over at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. We pushed it down to the Marietta Motorsports transporter and asked Opie Caylor if he'd listen to it for us. We started it, let it idle for a while, and then we revved it a bit. Opie cocked his head to one side, "Cam chain tensioner" he said simply.
      Cool, said we, the new recently installed, automatic-style, recall-replacement cam chain tensioner and the new cam-chain had stretched and just needed adjusting we're thinking, right? After yanking it out and trying to learn how it worked, we were still wondering. It was supposed to be automatic, but alas, it had lost it's mind and you could cock it and re-install it, only to have the pressure from the cam-chain at idle back the automatic adjusting screw right out again and create that awful engine racket. Over and over again. I called the shop back home and had my favorite parts squirrel Deano get the service manual and had him read me some interesting passages. No dice. We then bummed a service manual from a nice guy named Barry, a fellow competitor, who would go on to win Troy's medium-weight solo 20 race later that afternoon. The manual, at least when it came to the cam-chain tensioner, was vague at best. Damn.....
      Troy missed his next practice session, and I was worrying over his bike so we didn't get any times on PoPo when he went out for the final practice of the day. He just rode steady and got ready for the afternoons racing.
      "After-market manual cam-chain tensioner", was the next thing we were told. We hit all three of the vendors in the pit area but no one had one in stock. We went back and took the old tensioner apart again (!) and I tried to see what I was missing. Re-installed it and fired it up. Same noise. Conclusion, it was broke dudes!
      As a last resort Troy went to the control tower and between practice sessions had the P.A. announcer tell of his plight, and beg to buy or borrow a manual tensioner from some other competitor. A lady stopped him as he walked out the door from the tower. Seemed her husband had played the same tensioner games and was now riding a Yamaha and wouldn't need the manual tensioner for a GSX-R that was in his tool-box. Troy did the deal and we were back to our pit and cleaning the oxidization from the new piece and installing it. A guy named Allan Lawrence coached us through the adjustment process and we buttoned it up and made ready for Troy's first race of the day, medium-weight Solo 20, a 20 lap sprint race. He would be starting on the second row of the 2nd wave, in a thirty-seven rider field. I asked him to really listen to the engine during the warm-up lap, and if it didn't sound or feel just right to not take the start. I didn't want it locking up and throwing him on his head. It sounded good to him and he gridded up. After the roller-coaster bottoming out we had the engine sounding good again and we were being pulled to the top of the next rise on the coaster.
      A few notes about waved starts for the initiate. These appeared to be nine rows per wave starts, with a one-minute board, a sideways board, and a green flag GO!, one-minute board, a sideways board, and a green flag GO!, and a one-minute board, a sideways board, and a green flag GO!, with about 3 seconds between waves.
      Troy was the only guy in the 2nd wave to not jump the start and blast off with the 1st wave. He was revving the absolute shit out of the motor though, and since he was all alone on the grid and we could all hear it clearly, I could tell that the new cam-chain tensioner was adjusted pretty well. Two seconds later he slammed the clutch out and promptly wheelied that 600cc Gixer straight at the sky and tossed it away with all the grace of a Shaquille O'neal free-throw. The bike slid on its tail, perpendicular to the ground for a bit, and then augured in on its right-hand side to slither to a stop across the track and into the infield. A guy on the front-row of the 1st wave had done the same exact thing, believe it or not, except he had punctured his cases and leaked a bunch of oil and was done for the day. To their credit, the guys in the 3rd wave shut their throttles down and didn't run anyone over and the red-flag was thrown.
      I was completely dumb-founded. When Troy stood up he looked right at me and then just headed for the truck. I was just standing there with my opposable digit inserted up my rectum (Rectum hell, he crashed his brains out! Sorry, old joke.).  Brian and Timmy, some racers from Nashville that had befriended us amateurs were screaming at me, "Get the bike asshole, there's a red flag! There's a red flag! He can still race!"
      Huh? We jumped the pit wall and ran to get the bike. We ran it back to the pit and the thrash was on. The tail was sticking straight up in the air. Brian took charge. I was worried about the sub-frame, but after looking everything over, that dis-located tail appeared to be about it. We took out a couple of pieces of hard-ware and then popped the tail-section back into place like we were surgeons setting a broken bone. Then we put the zip-ties to work and zipped all the body-work back up tight. Troy hadn't said much at all. He kept trying to help but we just kept shoving him out of the way hollering for him to chill out and to get his gear back on. We hustled the bike back to the far end of pit road and Brian talked the WERA tech guys through what we had found, and what we had done. They okayed the bike and Troy went out with the rest of the field for another warm-up lap. Probably less than ten minutes had elapsed since the aborted start. I know he had a lot on his mind, as did I. The roller-coaster had hit bottom again, but the chain was clacking us back up the hill for another peek over the top. Hang on boys and girls.....
      On the start Troy nailed about four guys before turn one. It seemed as though everyone had learned a couple of the rules about the wave starts during the red-flag, as everybody got away cleanly when they were supposed to go. Troy worked his way up through the first wave of riders. He rode hard and didn't do anything stupid. Neither did the motor, thank goodness. He made all his passes stick and turned a fiasco of a morning into a ninth place finish, and made fifty bucks back from WERA. In practice that morning he had been turning times in the high 1:08's, but in the race his last eight laps were all mid-to-low 7's. It was a good ride and we hoped it was a portent of good things to come. Ladies and gentleman, may I present "Flip".
       The heavy-weight Solo 20 race would be the high-light of our race week-end. Troy was gridded twenty-second and PoPo was a couple of rows back in twenty-eighth spot. Flip got a great start, getting another four or so guys into turn one, while PoPo was battling with the funnel of traffic further back in the field. Troy, I mean Flip, was into some of the quicker guys and was able to get in some fairly traffic-free laps and into the 9's early on into the race.
      Meanwhile PoPo's first lap was a freaking 15! His next lap wasn't much of an improvement at an 11. He was in no mood for games though, and he followed a couple of guys for a couple of laps that were kind of bobbing and weaving around, and he finally just showed them both the door in a kind of ugly manner, and instantly on the next lap he was running low 8's. He was in a big gap between the leading group of bikes and he smoothed out and got his head down and his times continued to get better. His laps were all low 7's and high 6's, complete with a couple of good long wheelies out of the corners that he said later that he didn't even feel.
      Troy was up into the bridle too, and had climbed to a sixth place spot by lap thirteen. And then bang, he was third and riding good on lap fifteen and sixth was PoPo, who banged off a couple of mid 5 second laps to start the last hand-full of laps. He was about six seconds back of his home-boy. I asked him later if he could tell who he was chasing and he just rolled his eyes and said, "Well, duh!"
      If PoPo had on his rally cap, then Flip had on his smooth cap. He worked traffic to a tee and was able to make a bit of a break on lap seventeen when lapped traffic lost PoPo a couple of seconds. PoPo was fairly merciless with the lappers though, and a half a lap later he was off in furious pursuit again. The last lap started with the gap at about two-and-one-half seconds and PoPo closed right to the checkered flag. Troy led him across the line by less than half a second, prompting PoPo to produce the shit-talking quote of the week-end, "One more lap and I would have spoiled your fucking afternoon dude!" PoPo's wife didn't think that was a very politically correct or nice thing to have told a buddy and fellow competitor, but it could well have been the truth, and it sure as hell would have been an interesting twenty-first lap. High-fives were exchanged all around.
      So, the red-necks from Dickson showed their mettle and ran third and fourth in the Heavy-weight Solo 20 lap marathon. The roller-coaster had completed its run for the day and we coasted safely into the station. We off-loaded the coaster giggling out loud like children. Troy had added one-hundred-fifteen more bucks with his first podium finish, and we had put the morning behind us. And PoPo had ridden his best race to date with lap times two seconds quicker than we were hoping for, and had copped his first prize money ever, taking home ninety bucks, enough to renew his WERA license and to cover the week-ends gatorade bill. Or the Out-Back bill, take your pick! There was a bit of shit talked during dinner, if you can believe that.....

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Hidden Lake

Hidden Lake is a little gem of a place in Pegram. Years ago we used to hang out there and hike and free-climb the bluffs. A few years ago it was incorporated into the Narrows of the Harpeth Tennessee state park. There are a couple of miles of trails and some awesome views to be had of the Harpeth River and the valley.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Health & Safety Test

  I  failed a Health and Safety course at work today.

One  of the questions was: "In the event of a fire, what steps would  you take?"

"F***ing big ones" was apparently the  wrong  answer.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Taking Grandma for a Spin

via

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Zipperhead and the Copperhead

Got to the Ranch on Tuesday and let the dog loose. He was too laid back, no figure-eights around the yard, no popping me in the jewels and jumping about, and his ears were down. So I stopped him and checked him out. At his Adam's apple area, if a dog had an Adam's apple, it looked like he had swallowed a small honey-dew melon. Couldn't find any marks but all signs pointed to a snake bite. The guru shows up and we flip him on his back and really check him over. He's got fever to burn. Amazing.

We dig on the Google electronic encyclopedia and there's no question, snake bite. Rattlers haven't been seen here at the Ranch, There are Cottonmouths down at the creek, but it was likely a Copperhead up here on the ridge. So' it's off the see The Medicine Man. Zip gets the demoralizing thermometer in the you know where. Some anti-histamines, a big old steroid shot and a 'scrip for Cephalexin. He was pretty quiet all the rest of Tuesday.

Today on the Fourth, his swelling is almost gone, he has an appetite and is playing a bit, and his ears are again on radar patrol. He dodged a bullet. I don't know how many lives a blue-heeler has, but this little goober has at least two, and thank goodness for that.

Happy and Safe Fourth of July all!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Q.O.T.W.

Quote of the week-end comes from niece Katie..... "I'm not saying we should kill all the stupid people, but why don't we just remove all the warning labels and see what happens."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Q.O.T.W.

Quote of the week-end comes from Trent.... "A poletheria (sic) of gravy. I'm going on vacation and I'm gonna' have a gravy I.V."

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Carmichael at Loretta Lynn's 2012

Alright, listen up. Ricky Carmichael lost his NASCAR Truck ride. Evidently that's a good thing. Seems that he's been riding the qualifiers for the Loretta Lynn's 2012 national and surprise, he's is qualified. This is a great chance to see the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) moto-crosser. We should start planning now to make rendezvous points so that we can car-pool, as entry to Loretta's during the nationals has been $25.00 per car-load. Too bad we can't get Bubba (a.k.a. the Highway Patrol) to show up so RC can hand him his ass just one more time.....



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