Sunday, October 02, 2005

Big E 2005 

Friday was Big E day. Me and a friend both took the day off, and went with our families. All of us went; just my friend and his daughter went. Usual mix of rides, big cows, hucksters, deep-fried anything and really good chocolate milk.

Coupla pics for ya.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cherry Copycat - done 

Finished the table a few nights ago. 3 coats of gloss poly, one of semi-gloss. Am pleased with results.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Psycho Eyes 

Eye exam + dilated pupils + go back to work afterwards = lots of double-takes from co-workers. Plus a great whanging headache.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

$750 - cash 

I currently am holding more cash than I think I've ever held in my life.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a successfull software engineer making a good salary.

It's just that I rarely see any of it in cash form.

My checks are auto-deposited. Gina manages most of the bills. The most I tend to see is what I take out for bi-weekly day-to-day monies.

Now I've got 5 100's and 5 50's in front of me.

I show the kids - "Hey Emma - wanna see a $100 bill?" Her response - "Can I have one?".

Why do I have all this loot? I sold the hardtop from the Miata. They are in demand from those drivers who either (a) drive their Miatas year-round or (b) autocross/race their Miatas and want something more than fabric over their heads. In my case, it was a very nice gent from Ct who wanted to drive his Miata all winter. We met at the Basketball Hall of Fame as a midpoint. He took the top, I took the greenbacks.

It's just funny to me, I suppose - I make all this money, but rarely see it in actual money form. Now I've got a tiny fraction of what I make in my hand, but it is right here in front of me - cash - and it is pretty impressive.

Maybe I'm just too materialistic. Or maybe I need to get out more.


Family Pride 

I am extremely proud to be a member of the Locke family. Each and every member is extraordinary in his/her own right.

Current case in point - my oldest brother Ed. He bought a Porsche 914 sometime after college, and held onto it for years. He just completed an amazing engineering feat of removing the anemic flat-four and replacing it with a small-block Chevy V8. Bye-bye, 110 hp; hello 300 hp! The thing roars like a Cigarette boat, rumbles at idle like a '57 Chevy, and goes like stink. Here's a video of Ed at New England Dragway, running his creation down the 1/4 mile for the first time. 104 mph/13 seconds, and oh the sound and fury! Ed commented afterwards that an atomic bomb could've exploded next to him during the run, and he wouldn't have noticed.

Go Ed. Go Locke family.


Cherry Copycat 

Quick preview of the cherry version of my Copycat project. 2 coats of gloss poly; need to sand down and put on 2 coats of semi-gloss.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Free Time for TeeBee 

Got an email from Miata parts guy - he sold the parts.


Oh well - I'll have free time this winter. Maybe I'll buy some skis.


Monday, September 05, 2005


I had bought Gina a small end-table at our local used furniture store, for her birthday. My spies at the store told me that she had been eyeing it for awhile, so I grabbed it. She was pleased.

The more I looked at the table, the more I came to like it. Simple, elegent, light. I decided to try and see if I could make one like it. The original is dark-stained oak. Mine would be cherry.

I didn't want to start with cherry - too much room for error the first time around, and cherry is $$. I had some poplay lying around, so I used that. Glued up the blank for the top, traced out the leg curve on a spare piece of wood, cut out a template, drew 4 more and bandsawed them out.

Tricky part was how to join the legs to the top. I went with a variation on the original design. I dovetailed the tips of the legs (with the tablesaw), the ploughed a dovetail groove into the underside of the table. The groove was twice as long as it needed to be, and I opened up half of it with my chisel. That way, you could slip the leg into the groove, then slide it sideways to engage the dovetail.

The shelf on the bottom is simply screwed into place.

I think it turned out pretty nice for 5 hours of work. Next, I'll do it in cherry.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Once more into the breach? 

I bought a Miata from my sister-in-law 3 years ago. Thoroughly enjoyable car, except it has an automatic transmission. That's like going to a Red Sox game, but being told you have to cheer for the Yankees. So I've been plotting ways to convert it to a 5-speed.

At the beginning of summer, I thought I had it sussed. A guy in RI had all the parts I needed, plus a bigger motor (1.8 vs 1.6), all for a great price. Went back and forth on whether I wanted to tackle such a project, could I afford it, did I trust the seller, etc. Turned out the mileage he reported was incorrect (double what he reported), after I ran a Carfax report. I got spooked, and ran away.

Now there's someone in Delaware with the same package - all the stuff I need to do the tranny swap, and a 1.8 motor, with low miles, for a good price. Here we go again - do I trust the guy? Do I want to go through all the trouble to do this? Can I get this past the finance committee (my wife)?

Ah, middle-class problems!

More as it occurs,


(p.s. - the 1.8 motor has 133hp, vs 100 in my 1.6. 33% gain!)

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