Sunday, December 14, 2008

Toy Trains

Years ago my sister, Heather bought some electric train stuff at a yard sale of a friend of hers. She gave some of it to me. This week for the first time in years I got it out and have been tinkering around getting it to go. I have it set up on a partial sheet of plywood. Jan says Georgia will love it. Georgia enjoyed the one we saw at the tree farm where I was Santa last Sunday. Seeing that one is what started me thinking of setting mine up for Christmas. Rebekah asked about having the train go around our Christmas tree, but I don't think I have enough track and don't have things running well enough to be sure the engine wouldn't stop on the backside of the tree. So far it has been fun. When I get things going well, I'll put up a picture.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Does anyone (Sara?)know anything about fractals. I watched Nova on channel 18 last night and lost a lot of sleep thinking about them. So much so that I emailed a math professor I know and asked questions and gave my thoughts. I hope that is the end of it and I get some sleep tonight.
I went for a bike ride today after work. Rebekah had to come pick me up at the Clovis Hospital. I had a flat tire, only made a little over nine miles, Fowler Ave. to Sheppard to Tollhouse Road to the Hospital.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I put my bicycle back together today and went out for a little ride to the hardware store. The bike seems fine. Maybe I don't need another after all. I hope to be on it regularly again.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I signed up to follow a blog today. Pushing Pedals is a blog by a young man who is riding his bicycle across the country.
I also have become a craigslist junkie. I have been looking for a road bike for myself.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Yesterday I joined some friends from Eagles Harbor Community Church for a bike ride. We left about 8:00 AM and rode a little over 35 miles up around Avacado Lake. It was my longest ride. I rode a Specialized Allez that belongs to fellow rider Gary Gerrard. My old Raleigh Grand Prix has a broken spoke. Next time we will try to get some others from Mountain View Church to join us.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Camping and Surfing

It was a great week of camping and surfing. I never got to my feet on my board but caught quite a few waves on my knees or belly. When I got home I reviewed some of the surf lessons online and have a better understanding now. Catching a wave and being at its mercy is awesome. I never quite felt that before on a boogie board.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I rode my bike to Woodward Park this morning. It was a nice ride. The trails there have me interested. It looks like a ride from the park to Lost Lake would be great. I think I'll try it. I'd like to get familiar with the trails on that side of town. Next time I'll drive over and start from Woodward.

Today on the way back I had a flat tire. Jan picked me up at Shepherd and Willow. It was 16.4 miles to that point which would have put me over 20 if I had made it home. I've been looking to do 20 miles, maybe next time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Old Truck

I spent most of the afternoon at Shawn's working on the old truck. I got the rear axles pulled and they came out just as I had had been told by some friends. Then Shawn and I got the left rear axle seal out which is why we pulled the axles in the first place.

I'm trying to decide on what to do about the master cylinder. I think I got it cleaned out enough to put in a rebuild kit and reuse. There are some options including going with a dual master cylinder so the front and rear brakes are on two different systems which is a safety thing newer vehicles use. I'm thinking that if I can I'll go with the original just cuz.

Here are some interesting links that have been helpful with old truck info.
1948-51 Chevy Truck Shop Manual
1937 - 1960 Chevy Specifications & Restoration Info
The Stovebolt Page -- For Old GM - GMC - Chevy Trucks!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yesterday and today I took my board to some friend's to practice. Today I waxed the board. It makes a big difference. The wax helps the board be less slippery. I found a website with some instruction and tips for newbie surfers. I've been trying to pull myself up on the board and then paddle.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Week of Surprises

I thought I couldn't be more surprised than I was when I saw the girls carrying a surfboard down the hall on Father's Day. Well I was wrong. Tuesday I was shocked to find out that my friend Shawn Nuefeld had gone to my brother's house in Chowchilla and brought home our dad's '51 Chevy Pickup for me. I guess it happened a month or two ago. Since then Shawn, Doug (my brother), Jan, the girls and all else involved have kept it a secret until I would be up to the Nuefeld's and be surprised. Well it sure worked. While I was visiting Tuesday evening, Emma (Shawn's daughter) invited me to go to the garage to see her bicycle. She and Josh (Shawn's son) escorted me though the utility room and Josh stepped aside letting me open the door, and there it was an old blue chevy truck.

Shawn and others (Matt rebuilt the carborator.) have been working on it and now I get to join them. Shawn says soon we'll be driving over to Humphrey's Station for a milkshake.

Here is a picture.
Here is another.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Here is another Board Picture.

Father's Day

Rebekah baked me a boysenberry pie for Father's Day from berries from our own backyard. It was delicious.

After dinner everyone surprised me with a surf board for a Father's Day present. I am still in shock about it. I have been talking about taking surfing lessons since last summer. We will be camping at the coast outside Santa Cruz the week of July 6th. I hope I can catch at least one wave. I'd like to hook up with the surf camp Wil and I saw last summer. They spend most of the year in Chile as missionaries and I haven't seen their web page updated for this summer yet. Well, having my own board will let us try it out on our own. I found some web sites to help novices get started. Here's one that has teaching videos. How to Wax a Surf Board | ExpertVillage Videos

Friday, June 13, 2008

When I got to the bus stop there were two guys with bikes waiting. So since I knew there is only room for two bikes on each bus, I rode home, up Cedar and then Barstow.
I rode my bicycle to work this morning. 12.4 miles, just over an hour. It was good. I plan on catching the bus to CSUF and riding home from there. I'd like to see how the bike racks on the buses work. Everybody loves my One Less Car shirt.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Sara gave me my Father's Day present today because she won't be here Sunday. It is this cool shirt.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cycling to Work

I rode to church this morning then went out for a ride after. I decided the easiest way to ride to work would be to ride up Fowler Avenue to Ashlan then take Chestnut or Maple or Cedar south to Calwa. I'm thinking Maple might be best since it doesn't have Freeway 168 access. With only four busy days of school left, I might wait and give it a try when school is out. I figure it is about 14 miles one way.

Monday, June 02, 2008

So last Tuesday I crashed on my bicycle. I'm not sure what happened except that I watched my front tire sliding sideways and then ended on the sidewalk left shoulder first. Since then I haven't felt like blogging and hadn't ridden again until yesterday. My shoulder is much better. I even played softball with the Mountain View team today (They were short players.) and got my second, third and fourth hits this century.

Gas is still too high. I'm thinking about riding to CSUF and catching the 38 bus south to Calwa sometime before school is out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Line in the Sand II

It seems like Fresno is a perfect place to try a few things to encourage folks to ride to work regularly. It's flat. What more could a commuter ask? Could Fresno and Clovis designate some east/west and north/south streets as bike, scooter, electric car paths during a rush hour to try something out?

If we closed Maple, Fruit, Barstow, and McKinley to autos for a couple hours in the morning and again in the evening, maybe people would get on board with commuting with our gas guzzlers.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Line in the Sand

$4.00/Gallon Gasoline
It is time for communities and people to draw a line in the sand over the cost of getting to work. We need local leaders who will begin looking for ways to help their communities break away from the gas pump. Can we begin to look for ways to encourage people to ride bikes, high mpg scooters, electric vehicles, mass transit, etc. to work?

I'm thinking we can. There must be answers out there.

I've been toying with the idea of biking to work. I live in East Clovis and work in Southeast Fresno, and wonder what a good route from Bullard and Armstrong to Cedar and Jensen would be.

I'm looking in to a moped.

Any ideas?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Another cool thing happened today. Rebekah went to a technology conference at Sunnyside High and won two prizes. One was a gift basket from Sierra Nut House with a gift card from Barnes and Noble. The other was an Airliner. It is a tablet that allows you to wirelessly connect to a computer so you can roam around a classroom and continue to manage a slide show or other presentation. It is very cool. It is from the same folks who make the Smart Board.

San Joaquin River Trail

Today I joined some friends from church and walked part of the S. J. River Trail. We had become interested after seeing an article in the paper about a new bridge that makes it easier for bikers to use the trail. It was a nice hike. Here is our picture and one of some of the scenery. The river gorge is beautiful. I did about eight miles round trip. Some others hiked through to Sky Harbor, about eleven miles. Next time I'd like to go through too.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Eden Hope Wilkinson

Anna had her baby today, leap day, 2008.

Friday, February 01, 2008

the words:

1. pot 2. pan 3. spoon 4. fork 5. knife 6. glass 7. fire 8. water 9. light 10. sink
These are the words that Mike asked people to use in a story.
Here is my story.

The two young people stopped and considered the fork in the road.

“Let’s head left,” said Tom, “I’m pretty sure the village is that way.”

“I think you’re right,” said Fred, “lead on.” So they headed down the trail to the left. Soon, they heard the sound of a stream up ahead. When they got to the water, they realized that it would be too wide and probably too deep to wade. Looking around they soon found some dry wood to use for a raft. They used Fred’s knife to cut some vines and tied the logs together. Before too long, they were ready to board. Happy that their ride did not sink, they made their way across the stream. Tom said, “Use your glass and pan the other shore for a trail on that side.”

Fred studied the far bank until he announced, “I don’t see a trail, but there is a fire ring and I think a coffee pot in the shade of that large cottonwood tree. If someone is camping there, a trail can’t be too far.” He used a light branch as a paddle to head them toward the camp site.

Reaching the shore, they hopped off their raft and sent it down stream. As the boys passed the encampment, they resisted the urge to spoon themselves up a helping of the fish stew simmering on the fire. They found a trail heading in the right direction and lit out once again.

Before long they came to the outskirts of the village and were soon splitting wood for their grandmother.

Tag: Woody, Anna

Monday, January 21, 2008

At the Matinee

We saw The Bucket List today. I liked it a lot. There were some real good lines, scenes, and points to ponder. Anybody else see it?

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The girls and the grand girls were over tonight. We had Chinese food and played Mexican Train.
Our camping trip with the Martins is booked for July 9th to 15th at Manresa Uplands State Park. Hopefully during that week some of us will take a surf lesson or two.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Old Posts

Wow, Sitemeter says someone in Florida checked out my old posts about the old window swamp cooler. What a deal!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Jan got a cool new bathroom scale today. They had a coupon at Costco. We've never had a digital before. It's top is glass. I'm a little uncomfortable stepping on this thin pane of glass, but the paperwork says the maximum is 400 lbs. so it must be okay.

5. Loose Weight -I've lost 25 pounds or so. That goes back to the end of 2006. I'd like to keep it up. My doctor wants me to eat heart healthy which I think means lots of oranges and bananas.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Good time at church today, we were asked, "What will have happened by this time next year?" (I'm paraphrasing because I can't figure out how to ask the real question without spending much time explaining the context for it. I'm pretty sure this is an incorrect use of parentheses, but I don't know what to do about it.)

These are the areas we were challenged to think about:
In my Spiritual Life,
In my Intellectual life,
In my Physical Life,
In my Relational Life,
In my Financial Life.

We filled out cards answering what we thought would have happened by next year. They will be mailed back to us mid-year.
I thought it all fit nicely into my lists of things to do, so here they are.

4. Walking- I figure this is the easiest so far. I have a course near home that takes me about 40-45 minutes depending on how I change it up and how much I jog. I usually go out in the evening sometime between 7 and 9. I hope to go for my walk or be on my bicycle (Maybe that's tomorrow's blog.) everyday.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Buckets and Buckets

Today I eliminated a possibility. I won't be putting in-line skating on my list. I saw a young couple out skating and began wondering if that wouldn't be a good thing to learn. So I called a friend to see what he thought since he's about the right age to have done some skating. He said he had trouble with his ankles not being strong enough so that's enough for me because I had the same problem whenever Jan and I would go ice skating.

3. Back Packing- I haven't been back packing in probably 25 years. It feels like it is time try it out again. I wasn't an avid packer, but went a few times, twice with Jan. Our first trip together was as part of a geography (That was her major.) class at Fresno State. We hiked about 50 miles. I think we started at a trailhead at a place called Horse Corral Meadows to Lodgepole in Sequoia National Park. I know we hiked up Deadman Canyon (There's a grave, a shepherd I think.) and camped a couple nights at Big Bird Lake. The next night we stayed on the Tableland before hiking out the last day.

A friend, Shawn, is quite an outdoorsman and keeps telling me we'll do a weekend hike this summer. It's starting to sound like a good idea. At least there won't be sharks.

Friday, January 04, 2008

More for my Bucket

2. Volleyball- Years ago we were volleyball players. Our little group would get together at Millbrook Presbyterian for volleyball on Friday nights. As far as I know, none of us were necessarily experienced but were pretty good and enjoyed it immensely. In five years I imagine we only missed 20 or 25 Friday nights. We also got together on some holidays if enough of us had the day off. Winters were interesting with the fog and such, but we were steadfast, braving most everything. Those were great times.
So I'm putting volleyball on my list of things that can keep you from aging too fast. This year I'll see if I can find some interest in playing at least occasionally. Now that there are sprinklers in at church, maybe we'll have grass too. That would make a great place to play.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Bucket List

Mike Wise and his list for this year has me thinking. So here is the beginning of my list.

1. Surf Lessons- Last summer on our yearly camping trip to the coast, my friend Wil and I found the Anderson Family Surf Camp. Since then I've been thinking that learning to surf during our camping trip would be a good thing. They don't have this year's dates posted yet but I hope I can work in at least a day's worth of lessons. My cardiologist thinks I should stick to long boards. That's what he rides.
I'm thinking that if you only do old people stuff, it starts to rub off on you. So I'm going to try to think of some other less elderly things to do.