The Solar Project 

Now I'll be honest with you, boys and girls. I had only the most vague of thoughts on the topic of alternate energy. Basically, I just sort of wondered what I would do for power if it went off and stayed off for any length of time. That was it. I had gone no further...

Now, if you know me, you know that I love gadgets. You also know that I love money. Consequently, I put a good deal of time and effort into getting more of the former without giving up much of the latter. This is where the Harbor Freight parking lot sales come into the conversation. You see, I'm a regular at those. Now I know some of you are shaking your heads and muttering about how you won't even touch it if it doesn't say "snap-on" in there somewhere, but you have to understand, I'm cheap.

At yesterday's sale, they had one of these:

Solar Panel Kit

It was a return, and the note on the box said "LED doesn't work". I asked the guy if he knew anymore about it, but he basically just confirmed that where normally the LED works, this particular one doesn't. He was very polite about it. So by virtue of the regular sale discount, parking lot sale discount, returned item discount, and probably harmonic convergence, the final price was $75. Like any good DIYer, I thought "I bet I can fix it". In this case I was right! Hey, don't act so surprised... Oh OK, act surprised. Heck, I was.

So now I have a solar project. I'll put the details here. Maybe we can learn together.

Check back later, if you want....
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Removing Moss from Your Roof 

Hello, fellow DIYers!

I just wanted to pass this along, since I've tried it, and it works.

If your roof has overhanging tree limbs, or just plain doesn't get a lot of sun, you may end up with a moss problem. I didn't even know I had one until my insurance company sent me a very unfriendly note about getting rid of it "or else". In my case, they also insisted upon having me hire a contractor to certify the work, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc. Well, I wasn't too pleased with the whole idea. So I took a look at the moderately small amount of moss in question, and asked my friend the internet what I should do about it. Here's the short version:

1. Put on clothes that you wouldn't mind throwing away when you're done. I'll explain later... You should also take a look at what's at the end of your downspouts. If it's alive, you may not want to use this method, or you may want to find a way to direct them to somewhere that doesn't have living stuff.

2. Get your garden hose up there and give it a good spray! Be careful if you need a ladder for this. I wouldn't do the power-washer thing, but a fair amount of pressure will lift up a lot of the moss right away (without lifting up the shingles too much).

3. Mix household bleach and clean water in a sprayer. My sprayer was 10 bucks from Harbor Freight during the parking lot sale. Bleach is about $2 a gollon where I live.

4. Carefully climb up and get close enough to give the moss a REALLY good soak with the bleach and water. I mean really. The sprayer should have an adjustable nozzle. I set mine for "long stream", not "fine spray" so I wouldn't have to climb all the way up. You're likely to get a good deal of blow-back if it's windy. That's why you wanted those old, crappy clothes instead of your Sunday best.

5. Wait a few minutes. I gave it something like 45 minutes to sit.

6. Pull the garden hose back up, and rinse well. The rest of the moss came right off for me. At this point, you've probably guessed why we cared about what was below the downspout. All that bleachy water will be draining there as we hose her down. I'm no expert, but I'm guessing plants don't take well to that kind of treatment.

At the end of the day, I had no moss at all. I also had a new insurance company (one that never saw a hint of moss on my roof), and maybe I made some contractor out there buy his own lunch (no worries, I've got lots of stuff I'm happy to pay him for - just not this one).

That's the whole story, kids. Remember: Be careful when you're playing with bleach on a ladder.

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Ossian Road Trip with Braxton 




Braxton and I decided to make the Donut Run again Saturday. The weather was awesome, and not all that hot for August. We ended up clocking about 40 miles, round-trip. Here are a few pictures.

--> Click <--





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Indiana Scooter Tours - First Tour - The Donut Run to Ossian! 

I've been thinking about how hard it is to know where to ride a scooter without a lot of stress or unpleasant surprises. I've decided that when I find a good ride, I'm going to try and map it out using Google's awesome maps.

So anyway, I found a fairly low-stress route from Waynedale to Ossian. It's a pretty quick ride, but has a lot of nice rural midwestern scenery.

To see the map, click HERE!

If you decide to make the "Donut Run", leave me a comment. It would be awesome to get a group together for this some Saturday morning...

Here's a picture of my new scooter in Ossian (probably not that exciting for anyone else, but I was having a good time).



I should point out that I did NOT go to the Library. Therefore, I am a rebel, of sorts (call me The Mild One).

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Yamaha SH-50 (1995) Project 

This scooter was an impulse buy, which I must admit, I sort of regretted when I got it home. However, I've decided to move ahead with a rebuild. Here are some pictures of the bike as it was when I got it:





After some basic mechanical tuning, I decided the paint was just not good enough. There were also several cracks and breaks in the plastic that needed attention. So, the body panels had to come off...



Then it was time for a lot of sanding, plastic welding, and primer...



After talking with my son, we determined that the bike had the potential to be an Urban Assault Scooter (in case of zombies). So, what could be more fitting than a nice O.D. Green rattle-can paint job?



The new seat cover is on it's way, but here's what she looks like for now...



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Well, we've sold the SH-50. It was great while it lasted, but just too hard to find parts to fit. Here's what it looked like when we finished...




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