Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Update on Everything

It seems like I've been ignoring the garage projects lately, but really I haven't. I have 3 separate things I'm juggling: 1) the recumbent bike project 2) adding cabinets to the family room 3) restoring my pachinko machine.

The Bike -
I'm ready to tear the bike apart and paint it. The only problem here is that my work space in the garage has been over-run by cabinets. I guess it will be a nice fall project....I won't go into my feelings about this.

The Cabinets -
We've decided to replace our oak book cases and worn old desk with a permanent "cabinet/counter top/desk/entertainment center thing". I'm in the process of finishing a tall cabinet (looks like a pantry cabinet) to go in the corner, and three base units (one with all drawers) to go under the counter top, along a 16 foot wall in the family room. While it's a lot of work, and the timing is pretty bad (right in the middle of my bike project), I have to admit I'm looking forward to the finished product.

Pachinko -
I've been doing a LOT of reading, looking at pictures, studying diagrams, browsing forums, and surfing ever pachinko site on the internet. The best ever site for information, help, parts, advice, pictures, and fun is Pachitalk. There is a good explanation of how a vintage pachinko machine works at Dan's Pachinko Page. And this guy has been chronicling his pachinko machine restoration - like what I need to do to mine. Pachinko fans can really love their machines.

On top of that school started this week; both kids going this year. The youngest is going to try out for the swim team in a couple of weeks, so they will be swimming together.

The garden hasn't been very productive. We got some huge zucchini, that luckily a friend has been taking off my hands. The giant pumpkins just might be large enough by Halloween. The watermelons are still about 2" in diameter. We got 2 cucumbers, a bag of green beans, no peas, 1 bell pepper that rotted on the vine before it was big enough to pick. The corn is still growing, but in varying stages. I'll feel lucky if we get a dozen full sized ears. The sunflowers are doing good - about 8 feet tall and one is about 10" in diameter. Next year, I'll do things differently...



Friday, August 10, 2007


I have triumphed. I have reached my self-appointed goal in life. And I did it with my son along to witness my greatest moment, my crossing the victory line under a freshly unfurled checkered flag. I am a great father, now.

This afternoon we rode our bikes around the block. I have to admit that it wasn't a purely recreational trip. OK, we were going to a garage sale on the back side of the block. Sometimes we just have to do these things. I mean, summer is almost over and we haven't put forth our best effort to procure unnecessary junk. He, of course, was looking for Legos, while I, being the older, wiser shopper was looking for treasures with a more immeasurable type of value. Things I might be able to identify as "cool stuff" when in the company of those who may be less appreciative of the finer things tucked away in the garage.

Today, I found it! The holy grail of garage sale finds! I am fulfilled in my most secretly kept desire, one in which I never expected to find balance. Yes, I bought a pachinko game!

And boy am I going to be in trouble when my wife sees it. It needs a lot of work, is missing most of the electronic parts, has spider webs on the inside and corrosion on the outside. I'm looking forward to spending some time tearing it apart, cleaning it up, replacing missing circuits, treating and painting the nasty parts and maybe building a new cabinet for it. The official license sticker is still located in the corner of the play board. How cool is that, honey?

Now I'll have to do some extensive research to find out what is missing and hopefully get a wiring diagram. I took 28 pictures of the insides, so I can put everything back the way it was. I can also compare mine with any pictures I (hopefully) find on the internet. Cool - a real life surfing project for all these rainy days - just what you were saying I needed, right Snookums? But this project has to wait until after the cabinets in the family room are done and the bike is painted, I promise.



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Front Fender

I went to Coventry Cycle Works on Friday and bought a Planet Bike front fender for $15. I like Coventry Cycle Works - the showroom is like a candy store, and they are so friendly. I brought my son along. He was truly amazed at all the recumbents and trikes. Right away, he pointed out a very nice Catrike and said, "Wow, this one looks really fast - we should buy it!"

"Yeah, I'd love to. Go tell your mother we should get one."

The front fender is now installed. I test rode the bike tonight, and trimmed a small notch in the rear fender where the chain rubbed when on the largest gear. Everything else works well, and I'm happy. The fenders fit well and look good.

Should I dare to say I'm done building and ready to paint?