Another year closer to 30

Back in September, I celebrated my 28th birthday with my wife, my mother, my sister, and my 5yr old niece.

For some reason my back has bothered me lately. I can't lift and twist my suitcase over the side of the truck without paying for it for a few days, as I recently re-learned before going to San Jose..

Nor can I successfully wrench in the cold until 2am, catch some Zs, and be at work between 8 and 9 for more than a few nights a week. 2, maybe 3. It used to be I could it for a few weeks at a stretch. Now, if I try a week's worth I'm pretty worn out, and usually wind up quite sick for the trouble, too.

Then there's the late-night drives home from a race or trail ride.. it used to be I could keep myself awake as long as I chose to.. now it's almost impossible at times. Where's the young man that drove 24hrs straight from Pittsburgh to South Dakota?

He's here.. just 9 years older.. and a lot softer. :D

Racing in Acton, MT 9/26/04

In the past year, a new race site has opened up just outside of Billings, MT near the "town" (a trailer park and a bar) of Acton.

(Photo available for purchase at Intermountain Photography)

This site has asphalt 1/4 mile drag racing every weekend, and is now starting to host some "truck racing." In particular, CORR style side-by-side short-course "obstacle" racing on a man-made 1 mile track with full view for spectators, and the ability to drive a water truck around the course to keep the dust down.

Bozeman Mud-Drags - 9/12/2004

After getting the 727 swapped in, the arm spacer installed, oil changed, etc. we loaded up Little Devil and headed for the Bozeman Mountaineers' Mud Drags on Sunday, September 12th.

I had some issues adjusting the 727 shifter, which I don't think are completely resolved, but the new transmission works a lot better than the old! :D

A leaking dip-stick tube plagued me early on that isn't quite fixed yet.

Here, Blair Howze takes a look after I pulled the dipstick tube and reseated it.

After reseating the tube, I had to refill the 727..

The early part of the day wasn't too bad, during hot laps..

Trailer widening and Fender-ing

After making a few passes at the Bozeman mud-drags, I ran into trouble trying to load my very muddy Scout onto my trailer.

Little Devil has never fit well on the deck, being just 2" too wide to fit between the fenders. Over the years I've gone from changing the front tires for some "skinnies" each time I load up, to metal drive-over fender ramp additions to some 2x6s stacked up inboard of the fenders to let me drive over them.

Well, I kept falling off with the 4 balls of mud I called tires.

Fell off about a dozen times or more.

Bent the fenders some more, broke some welds, broke a light, got wood stuck in the truss of the front diff..

727 Replacement

(Updated 9/14)

Back in February, while at the Mountaineer Ice Race event in Bozeman, I developed some transmission problems - it was slipping badly, and I lost 3rd and most of reverse.

I proceeded to race it again over Memorial Day without 3rd gear, which wasn't very fun.

John Comer of Gryphin Racing took my old race tranny back to Denver after Memorial Day and rebiult it, but couldn't get it shipped north in time, so I picked it up while at RMIHR in July.

With the transmission home, I just needed to drop the burnt 727 and toss the new one in.. but I was still getting my shop ready, and moving my tools and equipment, and poor Little Devil took a backseat.

More stuff moved into the shop

Over the long Labor Day weekend I continued my shop preparation and "stuff" moving.

Finished building a probably-too-tall workbench, but an SV fits under it..

Also moved the solvent tank in next to it:

Fetched my big heavy desk and added it to the collection, too:

Turned the old bench seat from my '72 into a little shop-couch.. :D

Shop Moving has Begun

Slowly but surely, things are getting moved.

I installed the last section of pegboard and another shelf over the weekend, finished building the stand for the air compressor, got the compressor, oven, and fridge in place, and started moving on to the next section of the shop, after moving my drill press, tranny jack, and a bin of stuff over from mom's.

County after me for "Junk" Vehicles

Well, it was bound to happen, but I had no idea it would happen so soon.

Rich was cleaning up his storage area, and pulled my single-cab 4x4 pickup, my first yellow '79, and the remains of my white '76 out of the pile so I could get to 'em.

Naturally, I hauled them home. I hadn't pulled any of my various parts vehicles home to my 2+ acres yet, since I'd been too busy with other things, but the timing was right.

Immediately after bringing the three home, I went on a week or so vacation to PA to my grandparents' 58th wedding anniversary party.

Upon my return, I was surprised to find a notice from the County regarding their "Junk Vehicle Recycling Program"..