28 February, 2010

Fender Trim/Detail

As part of my original sketch for Ratty, I included a little fender cap thingy on the back fender. I made this today, and actually got it installed.

Flat sheet of thin aluminum, I gave it a quick wet sanding with 500 grit to give it a bit of tooth and wear:

Drilling holes in the back fender:

Fender cap formed into basic shape, with 1/2" speed holes:

Mounted on the fender with rivets:

side view, fender cap mounted on fender:


Ratty's Rusty Frame

After stripping the paint on the frame, then treating it to a muriatic acid, and spritzing it with a water and salt solution, Ratty's frame is starting to take "shape." Some interesting patterns and colors are appearing. In fact, it got the point to where I didn't want any more patina, as it was looking just right.

Overall frame shot, showing rusty patina:

Different patterns and colors showing:

After a couple coats of clearcoat:

Detail of the downtube, showing great color, also cleared over:


27 February, 2010

Working on Ratty

I've been stripping the paint off the C105 frame to get it ready for its "patina" job. I intend to get it a bit rusty and funky looking, then clear coat it. I've also made a few modifications to the frame, based on a quick sketch I did at lunch yesterday:

Working on the frame:

After the back fender chop, and adding a little spar to the main downtube. This is some 1-1/4""x1/8" strap with some 1/2" holes drilled in it. This is part of the theme of this bike.

Then I started the patina job, by doing a wash in muriatic acid with a bit of salt that was soaking in copper wires for a day. I used some copper from a scrap piece of welding wire:

The copper wires in the nacho cheese jar:

After a couple washings in the solution, I've rinsed off the frame with standard hose water. I've prepared a squirt bottle of hot water and salt solution that I can spritz on it every few hours over the next few days. I don't want it to have a crazy super rusty look. More of a light rust and weather natural steel look. We'll see how it turns out.


Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale


6.8% abv

I've had Red Rocket before, but never blogged about it. And I don't recall it being so interesting. Overall impression is this is a fantastic combination of a red ale, brown ale, and a hoppy pale ale. It has a very thick, unfiltered body with lots of floaties. A tremendous amount of floaties actually:

At first, I was surprised by the hoppy notes. But that appears to be a distinctive feature of this "bastardized Scottish style red ale." It really does have a great combination of brown nuttiness, typical amber bitterness, and some wonderful hoppy flavors. Very good, and very unique!


26 February, 2010

New Puter

The Mexican surprised me with an early anniversary gift, a new little Netbook. Specifically a Dell Inspiron Mini 10. They have had them on discount recently, and apparently me mentioning that was a great hint. An added bonus is this seems to be one of the only computers made that still uses Windows XP. Vista sucked so bad on our last computer (which we cleaned off pretty quickly) and I wasn't looking forward to Windows 7.

The keyboard isn't much smaller, and I love the fact it is 2.8 pounds.


Napa Smith Brewing Wheet Beer


4.6% abv.

This is a very interesting wheat beer. It starts off pretty normal, pours normal, good head etc. But then it gets interesting. It has a very mild sweet body that continues to grow slightly sweeter through the end. I don't mind it, but it is rather unusual for a wheat. At least in my rather small world of wheat tasting over the years.


25 February, 2010

Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale Ale


no alc. given

A very refreshing and crisp Pale Ale from Lagunitas. Great color and head after pouring, with a nice mellow carbonation. For a Pale Ale, this is very well balanced. That of course means lots of great hop nose, hop body, and a very hoppy finish. But...the hoppy finish doesn't turn particularly bitter it just tapers off with minimal bite. Even the Mexican noted its relative lack of bitterness.

Overall, a very good Pale Ale. Nice job Lagunitas!


Grand Teton Brewing Black Cauldron Imperial Stout

8.0 abv

I forgot about this offering until tonight, but I think I enjoyed it with dinner two nights ago. Well, I know I enjoyed it I just can't remember what night I had it on!

This sucker poured out dark, thick and luscious, like Susan likes her men. Wonderful stout aroma, but it had zero head despite a fast pour. It was very well balanced, with nice subtle chocolate and malt flavors. Very smooth. So smooth, I knocked it back way too quickly.

A very nice option in the middle of my usual IPAs, Pales, and Wheats.


The Almond Trees, they are Flowering

Spring is springing up all over the place here. And so are my spring time allergies. Being surrounded by Almond orchards at work probably isn't helping much.


24 February, 2010

Did somebody say...


And yes, Jeff Bridges in it.

This should be quite fun.


Hard Hat Hair

I mean really, nobody told me it was this bad?

Big Hank is Back

Fresh front springs, front shocks, front axle seals, and new fluids/

And yes, the cold weather driveability has been fixed thanks to a new
fuel filter.

23 February, 2010

Widmer Brothers Broken Halo IPA

6.0 abv

I've had the Broken Halo before, but never blogiphicated about it.
This a very crisp IPA with great hoppy taste and flavors throughout.
Even the aftertaste keeps some strong hop notes without ever getting
bitter. Just a nice clean IPA that I would drink anytime.

21 February, 2010

Meet Ratty

Yes I know, just what I needed, another project. But Ratty is going to be a quick and deadly build using a bunch of spare parts leftover from the many C100, C105 Trail 55s, and other assorted machines I have in the spares pile. It isn't going to be fancy. In fact, I'm thinking more of a rat rod style. No fancy paint, no perfectly polished aluminum.

I grabbed a spare C105 chassis and started stripping the old paint:

Orange flavored paint stripper, mmmm

30 minutes later


Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

1pt .9oz
6.1 abv

I am loving this IPA! Tons of wonderful hop aroma lead to a hearty
body of hops and hops and hops. I figured this would generate a
typically bitter aftertaste, but instead the bitterness tails off
quickly into a very smooth and sweet almost honey-like flavor. There
is no mention of honey or sweetness on the label description, so maybe
this is an annomly. If so I'm happy for it, because this is rather

20 February, 2010

Georg Schneider's Wiesen Edel-Weisse

6.2 abv

A bottle fermented and USDA organic wheat, this wiesen was an
interesting mix of a typical euro green bottle beer and a light
wheat. Meaning very light, a touch sour, and pretty average overall.
I finished it off just fine, but it was pretty forgetful.

Hoppy Brewing Hoppy Face Amber Ale

6.1 abv

I've had Hoppy Face at the Chico Brewfest, and enjoyed it. Being an
amber and hoppy means this offering packs some punch. Lots of hops
throughout with a fair amount of bitterness in the body and aftertaste.

Susan nearly gagged, so that means the hops did their job!

Dear Taquitos

You were so yummy

Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball Ale

Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball Ale
8.7 abc

Another great offering from Lagunitas, this strong and dark ale is
proving a nice partner for my taquitous. Very mild nose, but a good
maltyness on the front end. Nothing jumps out at you, except how well
balanced and smooth it is. Also, it has a strong sense about it,
without having that hot alcohol flavor. Btw, wonderful color and

Thanks Lagunitas!

19 February, 2010


Please note orientation of arms. Short arm is for "Right side" which should be passenger side.

Right side arms

Left side arms

I hope you like the sausage.


18 February, 2010

Black Butte Dam

Despite working in Orland for about five years, I've never ventured very far to the west. In fact, I'm not sure I've made it past the Taco Bell. So today I took Reginald (the Ranger) out for a cruise. We hit up Black Butte Lake. Who knew there was a large body of water out in the middle of rocky pastures, with actual butte type overlooks?

Reginald getting a tan

Black Butte Dam

The Lake, looking a little murky

This was actually a nice area. They have several parking areas and boat ramps, with picnic tables and facilities.


ps: photos came from my phone, so excuse the kwality.

17 February, 2010

I have a new Tooth!!!!!

After a two year process of having a tooth pulled, then getting an implant, then getting fitted for a crown, I finally have a new tooth. I am actually chewing on the right side of my mouth for the first time in a long time. Ah, this corn dog never tasted so good. And corn dogs are delicious to begin with.


Traded the F250 in: UPDATED

Not really. Big Hank is in for some repairs and maintenance, so I got a brand new Ranger on loan. No offense to Ranger owners, but what a POS. You'd think Ford could update the Ranger sometime in the last two decades. But hey, at least they have the el cheapo small truck market cornered, right?

UPDATE: I spent some more time in the Ranger during lunch, running on the hwy and in Chico. It rides quite rough, and makes a lot of road and engine noise. However, Im surprised how peppy it is. They apparently stuffed the Focus motor into the Ranger sometime in the past couple years, very recently put in a 5spd auto. It has very nice close gearing for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Like the kind of close gearing most sporty cars would love to have. It also has a great overdrive and lockup feature on the torque converter. So it acts like it has 6 gears out on the road. This would be a fine little commuter truck, and would probably tow the FV just fine on flat ground. But Im looking forward to getting Big Hank back.

BTW, Big Hank apparently suffered a broken RF leaf spring and a bad shocks. Along with bad axle seals. Glad Im not paying that repair bill.

16 February, 2010

Lagunitas Brown Shugga' Sweet Release

Lagunitas Brown Shugga' Sweet Release


9.84% abv

I've had Brown Shugga before, at the Chico Brewfest this past fall. I remember enjoying it, but I also remember going back for Lagunitas' Hop Stupid offering a second time.

Brown Shugga poured very bland, with very little head. I was afraid it might be flat, but luckily it wasn't. It has a slightly sweet aroma, with a good bit of alcohol warmth. Fairly sticky cling on the glass. It has a very smooth mouthfeel, with a strong warm feel about it. It isn't as sweet as I thought it would be, instead it is malty overtones that hit you. There is still some nice hoppyness in the middle, but the smooth malts give a great aftertaste.

Overall, I'm enjoying Brown Shugga.


15 February, 2010

Shmaltz Brewing Coney Island Freaktoberfest

Shmaltz Brewing Coney Island Freaktoberfest
6.66% alc.

Another great offering from Shmaltz Brewing. It has a spectacular bright red color, with a very foamy and clingy head. Aroma is quite mild, with a gently warm nose.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and highly carbonated. Initially, I get an overwhelming sense of warmth, but not like a bad alcohol warm. It is very well balanced, but strong. Strong malty and strong hoppy flavors mix very well, with no overriding feel of either. The finish tapers off with a nice smooth maltyness. After an afternoon enjoying 71 degree weather, 22 ounces of yummy is a great treat.

Like I said, another great offering from Shmaltz!


More from Cupid

Cupid showed up a day late today, but she brought some more brews with her! Thanks Leilani!

I'll be drinking and blogisphicating on them promptly!


14 February, 2010

Somebody Loves Me

I'm not sure why, but somebody apparently loves me. And they showed it in the best way possible, with large portions of meat, and beer related accoutrements. I was taken out for dinner last night, and managed to wolf down a large portion of my horseradish and blue cheese topped prime rib. And of course the fully loaded baked potato next to it.

And then this morning, I was greeted with a pair of new Sierra Nevada beer glasses, and some skittles. Mmmm, skittles, I will eat you right up.

Love you babe!


13 February, 2010

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
4.8% alc.

I've of course had the Kellerweis before, but I don't think I've blogisficated about it. Since I'm out of single varieties, I decided to pick up a 6-pack of the Keller. Mmmmm, and I'm glad I did. This is a very unique beer, with a light and colorful appearance. It has a sweet and sour aroma, and a fantastic body with spices and fruit, especially some very noticeable banana notes.

I'm lucky I have five more in the fridge!


12 February, 2010

Super Foamy Beer is Super Foamy

Remember how I said I was pretty much out of beer? Well, I found one way in the back of the fridge. One of the Belgian Whites from the Costco Case that was acting up. About half the beers were icky, and the other half weren't pouring right.

Despite (or because of) the additional 5 months of bottling, Captain Foamy Pants did not want to pour correctly this evening. Witness the photo below, which was a very slow pour:

I am officially out of beer.

Sad Panda.


One Simple request

Actually, it looks like four requests:


Chris H.

Spring is Springing

Despite weeks of rain, the flowers are starting to pop. One bulb in the front yard, and a couple in the backyard. At least the rain means temps are "higher," like 55-60.


11 February, 2010

Random Snaps

Since I had Susan's little point and shoot with me today, I decided to spend my lunch wandering aimlessly through the back acres at work, where we keep lots of random non-inventoried items. I.e. scrap. This is me being artsy fartsy.

Old 6' diameter RCP providing a border wall from the wild jack rabbits

One of many bins of spent rebar

What a cast iron grate looks like after many years

Ancient turn buckle

Safety first

Rather large diameter RCP internal form


Not quite the great wall of China

Unintentional pavers

Bulk pipe


Dead soldiers

Crusty wire mesh

Old "pylons" from the boom truck test course