Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in the swing of things

I'll regret this during my annual winter bitchfest about the cold Ohio weather, but I'm going to say it anyway: it was too hot to fly this weekend. We all know, of course, that the heat alone cannot bear the full burden of the uncomfortable Ohio August and that the humidity is required to shoulder some of the blame. That's neither here nor there - it all came down to whether I could drag myself out in the muggy summer sauna to go flying. I could not. Besides the oppressive blanket of heat and haze, it is important to not that the co-pilot was out of town. Flying anywhere would have been all of the work, but only half the fun.

I had other stuff to do anyway. I'm behind on my game reviews, so I knocked a couple of those out. And I have a porch swing project underway that hit a snag last week. I fixed that. I fortunately had not glued the slats into place, so it was just a matter of unscrewing them and using a pair of more accurately cut spacers to reposition them as I reinstalled them. Sounds easy, but leave it to me ti find a way to make it hard. I broke one of the screws while I was backing it out. After the liberal application of the magical incantations I normally use in situations like this (refer to George Carlin's List of Seven Words You Can't Say on TV for the complete set) and some quality time spent with a pair of pliers, I got it removed and replaced. Here's the latest status shot:

The energy expended in vocalizing various combinations of the words soured my mood for woodwork, though, so I had to find something else to do on Sunday. I didn't want to be outside for any longer than it took for the promised thunderstorms to arrive, so I made a short road trip down to Circleville Raceway Park, my former go kart racing venue. I wanted to see what improvements they had made in the 15 years since I stopped racing, and to see if the older generation was still racing. I still have my old kart and engine, and I was curious as to what kinds of equipment I'd be racing against if I started again. Frankly, it didn't look like there had been any great advances since I quit. This venerable old European chassis might still be somewhat competitive:

Maybe a little refurbishment would make a good project once I get the porch swing done. I don't know if I'd ever get back into racing, though. I think that I might like to, but even with already having the kart and engine there would be costs. I'd need a trailer hitch for the Subaru to pull it around, a new helmet, and a new driving suit. That's close to $500 right there. Add whatever the kart would need - at a minimum that's a new set of tires. That's quite an investment just to find out that I'm older and slower and kart racing is behind me.

Now, a few minutes of 2-cycle Zen:

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