End of Trail

“The mountains are calling and I must answer.”

I know not what attracts me to these mountains. They are pretty; they are majestic. I vacationed here as a child. They beckon to me with peace and calm even when out of my sight.

And sometimes, I must go for a hike.

I sit on a small waterfall, the highway invisible but audible through the trees below me. A ski area lies dormant beyond sight to my left, taking a breather between peak-bagging summer vacationers and the craziness of leaf-peeping season.

The stream burbles contentedly above and below me. There are no cars to fix, no lawn to mow, no litter boxes to empty nor laundry to fold. The fire department radio cannot reach me here, even with cellular assistance. Agiocochook looms above as the wind soughs through the branches here at. . .

. . .End of Trail.

Random Headers

The change to a new theme meant the loss of my random header images. I like them, so here they are for posterity.

Above and below, closeups from an old Mack fire engine found in Maine.

Motorcars along the Western NY and PA Railroad, 2016
Engine 4 (soon to be retired)
Ambulance Bay
Berk and I atop Mount Washington, 2016
Pawtuckaway Fire Tower

YouTube University

I have had a small success this evening, so I will crow about it.

The Volvo needs brakes. Disc brakes are easy, so I ordered the parts. Jack up car, take wheel off. Unbolt caliper. Unbolt caliper carrier.

Uh-oh. Stuck. Apply penetrating oil liberally. Wait, unbolt caliper carrier.

Still stuck.

Find a pipe to extend the ratchet. Unbolt caliper carrier.

(Notice ripped CV joint boot. File away for future repair.)

Remove rotor. It’s just pressed on. . . and held with 20+ years of rust.

Bang on rotor. Apply penetrating oil. Bang on rotor. Get a bigger hammer. Bang more.

Head to YouTube for ideas.

This guy seems promising. Bang on rotor, check. Bigger hammer, check. AIR HAMMER – don’t have one. What else has he got? HYDRAULIC GEAR PULLER!

I don’t have one. Wouldn’t mind getting one though.

Other options? This guy looks good:

Bang on rotor. (Yeah got that part.)

Bigger hammer. (Get on with it.)

Heat. (Thought of that. Don’t want to use torch on oil coated rotor inside my garage, though.)

BOLTS!!! OMG, why didn’t I think of that?!

$1.75 at the hardware store. Three minutes with a wrench. Rotor removed. Ten more minutes and the job was done. Thank you, YouTube University.


I started this post earlier, but it was needlessly angry. I like this draft better.


Mrs. Mack505 and I are just back from a relaxing weekend away in the mountains. We came home to find that Kiddo had cleaned the house in our absence. All the animals remain healthy, and all was generally well.

Then I attempted one simple chore, and it all fell apart.

The riding lawnmower found a trash bag (?!) under some leaves, and it jammed. My utility knife went missing. I don’t have the one socket I need to remove the blades. . .

Just like that, the evening was ruined. I was ANGRY. The old shell game had returned. Can’t do one simple chore without sixteen other things getting in the way.

So. . .

I took the Ural to the store. It ran great. They had the tool I needed. Dusk fell rapidly, but now I have an excuse to take the bike to the shop tomorrow for new lawnmower blades.

I cracked a beer and fired up YouTube. Sammie joined me in the chair. A few quick shots of the Hydraulic Press Channel (Vat de fook?!) and On Yer Bike! (You’ve been told. . .) cured the evening.

The yard will be waiting in the morning.

The new steed

Here’s the big surprise. If you follow my other social media, it won’t be much of a surprise.

A month ago I traded both of my motorcycles for a 2019 Ural GearUp. I felt that I had outgrown my Honda Cub, and I believed the Suzuki would gather dust in the garage while I rode the new rig.

The Ural is a Russian built derivative of a 1930’s BMW. It has evolved with modern metallurgy, brakes, and electronics, but the core bike has been in production since 1941.

I’m having a ball with it. In the last month I’ve only been on 4 wheels twice when I had to make long trips.

I will be running the DGR with it in September. Look for more photos soon, and please consider pledging here.