Sunday, January 21, 2018

Donut run with Kira

Kira and I took the CB350 to Winco for a donut run on Saturday.  I'm happy about my new throttle cable.  Kira likes doing stuff like this. 

My Honda OEM points arrived on Saturday and I installed them.  I tried setting the timing but it was time to go to Scott's meet at Liberty High.  He wanted to take his scooter even though we recommended against it.  After the meet he went to La Costa with the team and went home.  I picked up a Little Caesars pizza for the rest of us.  Scott texted for me to pick him up and I took my Lexus. 

Did I tell you the garage door sprocket failed?  Yes, it did.  I'll write another post when I do the repair but I was waiting for this day to arrive.  Scott and Heidi think it's silly that I don't like them to excessively use the door, and I knew that it was at the end of its service limit because I'd had to adjust the chain twice in not much time.  So when it broke I was not surprised or upset.  I already ordered the part for $30. 

Anyway, I picked up Scott and took him home.  A half hour later, he realized he'd left his scooter at La Costa.  We go back in the van and the restaurant was closing.  No scooter.  Scott burst into tears and started sobbing.  We head home.  He tells me about how it was the only nice thing he had, that he was getting bullied at school for his pants, how he plays basketball, how White Lightning is old and beaten up, and that he felt good about himself because he had a Lucky scooter. 

I listened for a while and realized that he has lots of the same insecurities that I had.  I said, "You can't base your self worth on a scooter.  I used to think that girls would like me because I could solder well, do a flip on the kneeboard, and had a nice Pioneer stereo.  They couldn't care less.  No one is impressed with your things.  I didn't learn that until dental school.  If you learn this now, you'll be way ahead of where I was."  Once we got home, he told Heidi.  Heidi didn't have as much patience to listen to him moan and sob.  After everyone had gone to bed, Scott got me and said he couldn't sleep.  He wanted to talk some more about how he felt like he had no friends.  I was like, "Let me get this straight.  You play basketball with guys who are mean to you.  Why not just play by yourself?  Or hang out with the nerds?  Or read a book?  Sounds like you're happier being miserable."  He argued some more and I said, "You're complaining about these things.  If you want my advice then you should listen to what I'm saying." 

Finally he thanks me for listening.  I told him to write in his journal since sometimes I feel like no one cares but the journal.  Hence, the blog.  Maybe I'll never grow out of my insecurities.  Oh well. 

Tomorrow I hope to change the oil in the van, set the timing and valve clearances on the CB350, and maybe get a swim in at the gym. 

Okay, bye.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A title

Hey.  I gotta write about how one unfortunate thing piled upon another, and another, and another, made me real upset. 

You know why they say "the straw that broke the camel's back?"  Because the straw isn't that significant.  I had to deal with a bunch of straws today.  Sometimes it starts with one decision that precipitates a bad outcome. 

So anyway, I pumped up my rear tire today.  The stem was leaking.  When I got to school with the kids, the tire was totally flat.  I pumped it up.  I dropped off the kids.  Tire was flat again.  Pumped it up again. 

I've been a little depressed at this gloomy weather, so that doesn't help.  When I went out for lunch the tire was holding air.  Cool!  I'm going to the gym.  I cut through Shadow Lakes and the tire goes flat again.  I try to pump it up.  My pump's not working. 

Then the loan officer supervisor guy calls and gives me a two minute spiel, apologizing about how his team failed and misrepresented the company and blah blah blah.  Seriously, two minutes.  I'm standing in the street with my bike and its flat tire talking on the phone to this guy.  I'm already upset at my pump, I'm upset at the bike stem, I'm upset that despite my preparations to fix a flat, I am still unprepared to change a leaky tire stem.  So after a while, I said, "You guys gotta understand that if you keep jerking me around that I'm just going to use the bank of Daniel J. McMillan to finance this practice.  You have some skin in the game, I would rather my money stay in stocks, so this loan could be a win-win."

He explains about how he's pulled all these strings to get my fees reduced, that everyone else is .75% higher, blah blah blah.  I said, "I need (1.5% lower)(can't give too many details since I don't want to get written up for defamation or any of that rubbish)).  How did I become so cutthroat in business?  I don't know, maybe because I know that they need me more than I need them.  It's like what Jaime Escalante said on Stand and Deliver:  "Either I teach calculus, or have a good day."  Basically I'm telling these guys that they can make me a loan package to fit my numbers or they can have a nice day.  I should read Dale Carnegie's book again to polish my technique a bit.  Dad would probably cringe. 

The loan guy agrees to drive out to my area to try to sell me on a loan.  I was thinking about what i should wear.  Normally I'd wear my Star Wars shirt, my homie hat, and maybe my new grey pants.  I should dress up more but I don't feel like it.  What do I have to prove?  Heidi would recommend I dress up.  I just think about what I learned in The Millionaire Next Door, plus my experiences with self-made millionaires:  They don't care about appearances and wear what's comfortable. 

Anyway, I push my bike home because I can't get the silly pump or stem to work.  I'm upset.  I took the VFR to the gym.  Normally I use the CB350 for trips around town but I really needed some muscle to take the edge off my frustration.  I was up to 90 before the end of the subdivision.  Then I smiled.  Good old VFR.  It was running really well. 

I like the VFR because of its sound.  The sound is like music and it does it for me.  It's nice, you know?  Yeah.  The power's great too but a CBR 1000 is faster.  They just don't have the same soul. 

I did my swims at the gym and then hit the junkyard.  I figured if anything could make me happy, the junkyard could.  I had a good haul and returned to work without a nap.  My head hurt all afternoon but at least I wasn't angry anymore.  When I got home, I took a nap. 

Now I'm just listening to some Coldplay with my wireless headphones.  Oh!  I should tell you about working on the Lexus's sub.  After burger club on Wednesday, I started to work on the vibration of the trunk.  I wanted to climb into the trunk to identify the offending piece--and put on some dampener--but I ended up just turning down the high frequency cut-off.  Now it doesn't rattle and the bass still tickles your ears.  It just doesn't pound as hard.  The factory sub is actually pretty good.  I just need the low rumble of a 12 and the JL does just that. 

Okay, I gotta get the kids situation and clean up a bit.  Bye.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Said in Michael Scott voice.  So, what's up?  Well, after the flu mowed down Heidi and Tyler and they've mostly recovered, I've just been doing my thang.  I was pleased to have gotten the kids fed and ready for church by myself. 

On Monday the kids had the day off so we just hung out.  The weather's been crummy, like, it's too soggy to do anything enjoyable.  So we stay inside but I don't like when the kids rot their minds in front of their devices all day. 

I worked a bit on the CB350.  I got the throttle cable rerouted so it doesn't bind anymore.  I tried adjusting the valves but I need to watch another video.  I thought about having the head milled to increase the compression ratio, but then I'd be starting down a path with no end and it would likely not make me any happier.  Once I can get the engine to rev to 10,000 rpm without a backfire, I will feel like the engine is done.  I was up to 8800 yesterday. 

Last night Britton and I had our first woodshop class together.  I was hoping to get more hands-on for the first day but it was mostly a lecture on how wood grows and is cut.  It was educational, but not what I wanted to do. 

I'm going to make a new table top for our kitchen table.  It's gonna be Eastern Black Walnut, which, according to the teacher, is the best stuff (He coined a term like "butta" or something but I can't remember).  The wood is going to cost $125.  Not bad.  I was willing to put $300 into this table because aside from the cheap laminate it was built with, it's a nice table.  Plus I'll have something to show for my labor.  Plus, it's fun hanging out with Britton.  He always has pearls of wisdom and is a good listener with a keen sense of humor.

I was telling my parents about my purchase of the other practice.  I tried to keep the details vague on this blog just in case there's some breach of contract but I thought it was pretty clear that I was going to have two practices.  Oh well.  I'm excited to be working more.  Oh, patient's here.  Gotta run. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

CB350 fork seals and throttle cable

Yesterday during lunch I got the forks all put back together with new seals from  They specialize in making vintage Honda replica parts.  The other ones I'd ordered were about one mm too wide and they may have gone in with a proper driver, but I wasn't willing to fuss with it and ended up putting the old ones back in.  Well, one of them leaked, hence the new seals. 

While the wheel was off, I put my homemade spacer on the other side of the axle since previously, the wheel was shifted to one side and now it seems to be centered.

I also put on a new throttle cable.  My theory about poor performance was that one cable was stretched more than the other and the two carbs were not properly synchronized.  I got it all put back together and the bike fired right up.  Cool!  Except when I turn the bars, it pulls the cable and revs the engine.  I must have not routed it correctly, but I can fix that. 

1971 Honda CB350 as pizza delivery vehicle
I wanted to make a test run.  Tyler wasn't feeling well and had missed three days of school.  Heidi thinks that I need to just love him, rather than avoid him--as I choose to do when he lashes out--so when he asked for pizza, I did a twofer. 

Despite not revving over 8500 rpm, the bike seemed to pull better.  When I strapped the pizzas on the back of the bike, I got a lot of looks.  One lady said, "You're brave."  On the ride home I was doing 60 on Balfour.  Again, I felt like a punk celebrity.  It gives me a smile to think about cruising on my under-powered classic bike. 

Scott and I burned a bunch of papers from the office and roasted marshmallows over the pit.  He wanted to watch the new season of Top Gear but Heidi and the rest of the kids came home from CYC, so we shut it down.   Heidi's still feeling crummy.  I've been sleeping in the other room to avoid getting what she has, and so far, so good. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My GS400

I'm happy to say that I've gotten my money's worth out of my car, and that's assuming a depreciation to zero.  But it's still running real well, looks great, and makes me happy.  This is where I like to park at church.  The tree shades it all day.  This was before I did the lenses.

The headlight lenses were getting foggy from Heidi's parking it at the pool over the summer.

I used a kit from amazon with some Novus polisher and was pleased with the results.  The China Freight kit I used a few years ago was acceptable but these results are excellent. 

Britton and I signed up for the woodshop class!  I'm stoked.  He and his family went to John's ice cream with me, Scott, Tyler, and Blake.  For the class I want to make a new table top for the kitchen table, plus the board for the car logos.  It'll be fun. 

My neighbor just got a 2017 Sienna.  I am happy for him.  He hopes to have it for twelve years and then give it to his kid.  I think that's noble but more likely that he sells it at 75k miles. 

Okay, back to the grind.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Another successful trip to the junkyard

Yesterday I took the CB350 to the junkyard with the intention of getting the GS400's clips.  Lo and behold, there was a GS300 right in the front of the lot!  It still had the defroster.  I removed it and would have purchased it, but it was a different color.  Instead, I removed the clips that I needed.  Then I removed the LEXUS logo, along with six other logos. 

I decided against the seat belt repair because who knows how long Britton's gonna have the IS300?  I've thought about signing back over the title so I can take it off the insurance.  I also decided against the GS400 door switch since it was laborious to remove all the components and some things are bound to break if I undertook it in the winter on account of the age and deterioration of the plastic. 

But I was happy with my seven logos.  Scott and I are going to make a nice wooden slab, epoxy the logos to it, and put it up in the man cave. 

The CB350 ran real good and I was up to 68.  Ha ha.  That's actually kinda sad.  Sad but funny. 

I Installed the defroster guard with the junkyard clips and when I went out for milk last night, it didn't rattle.  I was pleased.  My 20 year old car with 192k miles is still solid. 

Tomorrow I'm taking the VFR to my new business to meet with the owner and the broker.  I'll get up early, go to the gym, and then cruise out there.  I'm excited to have somewhere to be other than home. 

I read an article that said if you make comments like, "Last time I checked," or "correct me if I'm wrong," that you appear less intelligent.  Maybe I should stop saying, "We'll find out in 30 years."  I guess I just want to offend no one on this blog but I have my opinions and they're based on my experiences and my values.  As such, no one can change my mind and I can't change anyone else's minds. 

Like, who makes the best motorcycles?  I prefer the Hondas but some people prefer Harleys.  One of my patients asked me when I was going to get one.  I said, "I just prefer the Hondas."  He shrugged and realized that although he is happy with his Harley, he wasn't going to change my mind.

And the same goes for Toyota.  I have had the best experience with the fewest problems with Toyotas.  Boy, on the other hand, has had nothing but trouble with his cars and three of the six have been Toyotas.  I don't think he'll have better luck with Honda or Kia or whatever, but as long as he's jaded about the Toyotas, he's less inclined to buy another one.   And I'm fine with that. 

Mike and I were talking today about suits.  His wife wants him to get a new suit and he doesn't want to since he isn't a "suit guy" and would only wear it once/year.  I explained my cost/value calculations and said, "You might just take in your current suit to have altered.  Then it would look new and you'd still be able to get your money's worth."  I told him I wrote a whole post on suits.  Not that I expect people to say, "Oh yeah, you're right.  I need to do..." 

Heidi wants me to be a better dad by loving the kids more.  She wants me to do things for them to show my love.  I tried explaining that just because your love language is acts of service, it doesn't mean everyone else's is.  Basically, she wants me to be a helicopter parent.  I was explaining to my patient this continuum.  Heidi thinks that I don't care or love the kids because I make them do stuff.  That's because her dad did everything for her.  I want the kids to do stuff so they can learn how and empower themselves so as to go on to become contributors to society, not parasites.  We just see things differently. 

I think I could be a better dad in a lot of ways.  Well, speaking of, the kids are melting down and I need to regulate.  Okay, bye.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dental acrylic as an automotive restorative material

The GS400 had been making a rattling sound over bumps.  I knew this defroster cover was loose.  Yesterday I removed it to assess the damage.  It was as I had expected:  The left tab, #1 of 5, was broken.  What are my options?  I was willing to pay up to $26 for a new cover.  The stealership wanted $80.  For that price, I was going to fix my existing one.  

First I attached the piece with some methyl methacrylate.  Then I loaded in some play-doh (r) as a mold for the new extension, which was ethyl methacrylate.  

Got it all trimmed and put back on the clip.  I know that it will work.  The only problem is that during removal, one of the center clips fell off and went down deep into the ventilation system.  I tried fishing it out with a magnet on a zip tie but no. 

I'm just going to order that clip.  Yay for dental acrylic!  For the time I spent on this project, it might have been more cost-effective to just buy a new one outright, but this was more enjoyable.  

Rex Dillon's funeral was yesterday.  I sang in a quartet for it.  I always liked Rex because he still had a keen sense of humor.  In December 2017, he got up to bear his testimony and said, "Hi, I'm Clark Kent, er, uh, Rex Dillon!"  

One of his daughters said that she loved when he read to them because he would use different voices and the characters came to life.  The youngest son gave a real funny talk.  It was like Bryce's talk at Ruby's funeral.  Douglas said that Rex was real vocal watching sporting events, even youth lacross in which the kids weren't coordinated.  He was still calling out, "Why didn't she stop the ball?"  

I thought about what my kids are gonna say about me when I die.  Prolly that I could fix anything and liked to keep my stuff nice.  But what I want them to say is that I taught them how to interact with people, how to make eye contact and have a firm handshake, how to give good speeches, how to use your talents to serve others, how to use money wisely, and how to develop a work ethic.  But let's face it, they'll probably just say, "My dad came home from work, put in his earplugs, and worked on his motorcycle."  I guess if that's what they remember, then so be it.  I feel like I give them a lot of time, though.

Okay, bye.