joanbits 2008.03

As the snow finally melts away, I start to get busier and busier. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past week:

  • Work: supporting new projects as usual, writing position papers, working on newsletters, technical enablement, beta testing.
  • House: cooking every night (pasta from scratch, ramen from scratch, gourmet hamburgers…will try and post some pics soon), planning garden, staring at wall that needs repairing and trying to motivate to fix it, regular cleaning, indoor gardening…
  • School: Developing axiology, epistemology, methodology for design research approach. Gave guest lecture on internal Wikipedia politics.
  • Other: Dealing with horrendous migraine. Developing novel database application. Attended One Of A Kind show with friends and got fabulous clothing, jewelry, housewares. Reverse engineering synth. Looking at motorcycle today. Petting cat to deal with stress from everything else i listed.

bessie has new red lipstick

In my copious spare time, I finally got around to repainting my bike. Well, let me rephrase that. I had no choice but to paint my bike.



(Click for huge versions.)

Also, people seem to like this photo of me in mah paintin’ gear:

The rest of the story:
See, last year, where I lived, there were 2 steps down from the house to the street. I couldn’t keep the bike parked on the street, so it had to go behind the house. That meant navigating down those two steps every time I wanted to take the bike for a ride. Unfortunately, one day I got stuck on the step, and very slowly dropped the bike. The tank dented, and I was broken-hearted.

So this year I drained the tank and took it to the local body shop around the corner. They agreed to fix it up for $100, including priming. When I went to pick it up, they told me that it actually had been dented a long time prior, and that rather than fixing the dent, someone had just puttied it up. No wonder it dented so easily! They did a great job. I was left with a bike with a shapely tank, but a finish that made ya think of old Maaco TV commercials.

Then it turns out that Honda didn’t start providing codes to manufacture reproduction colours of bikes until the mid-80s. So I’d have to eye-match the colour. As I researched, it turned my bike’s year (1977/1978) only had two colours available: Candy Presto Red and Excel Black, and not the blue it was painted! I’m too much of a stickler for details to feel OK leaving it blue, so I had to make a choice. I didn’t really want to make the bike black (do not get me started on Harleys…) so the natural choice was the red.

My only source for the colour being a couple of grainy photos, I needed a bit of luck. Fortunately I found a great paint shop in town (Roberts Auto Supply) who hooked me up with not only the right colours (base silver coat from the International [Harvester] colour book, a perfect red match from the Kenworth colour book, and clearcoat) but also with a great deal on an HVLP spray gun. (I already had a compressor to drive it.)

The big tip from the paint shop was to over-reduce (dilute) the red coat (1:1 instead of 2:1, paint:reducer). I then applied this from a farther distance than you’d apply a regular spray coat, but not quite as far as a “drop coat.” This let the silver base coat shine through the red, making it extra reflective and keeping the red looking translucent.

If folks are interested, I can post the exact codes (Sherwin-Williams) and more details on the process. Just leave me a comment and I’ll get around to it.

biker chiq

I am now a fully-licensed motorcyclist, with a fully-licensed bike, a 1978 Honda CB750 Supersport (more pictures).  I’ve fixed up the bike a bunch since these photos were taken; expect new pictures by the end of today.
Big, big thanks to Cat, who taught me everything I know about wrenching bikes, and Chris, who helped us fix it and built the shed around it (and even made us cocoa at 2AM on a late Saturday night while we replaced the chain!)

Now, where should I ride to?  Any suggestions for good day-trips within reach of Toronto?

Also, seems Atlassian picked up my previous post about their awesome tools, JIRA and Confluence.  I’m just tickled pink about the functionality, as is everyone at my former employer.  Though they have their own free license, I’m pondering shelling out a bit for a 50-user license to run my own project sites, such as the ircd-hybrid stuff, and the Voyetra 8 and Andromeda A6 synthesizer sites.  It’d pay for itself in no time…maintaining HTML lists by hand is so early-1990s.  ;)