As I get older around my birthday, I feel like I should have some knowledge to show for it– and of course, to share. The problem is as you get older, you feel stupider and less creative. Another one of life’s cruelties: when you want it you can’t have it and when you have it [...]
You Are Viewing Life
Elementary school graduate!
11th birthday tomorrow!
When i dropped her off after going out with her tonight she was like “bye daddy!” as i was walking out the door to stop me and come up to give me a second hug.
We had a great night tonight in Downtown LB, playing arcade games and stuff.
She’s going to Ohio for 3 weeks on Saturday.
When I was walking down the steps at her house to the alley where my car was I kinda felt like the hug was sort of a goodbye to her as a little girl.
I haven’t smoked in 38 days.
I’ve lost between 10-15lbs depending on when I weigh myself and how much water or food i’ve had. When’s the best time to weigh myself?
My diet is still very healthy, though i’m not thinking about it much anymore.
I stopped taking the Zyban/Bupropion/Wellbutrin for smoking cessation at the 35 day mark. My doctor said I should take it for the full 3 months but it makes me jittery and I agree with The Power Of Habit that new habits can be formed in 30 days (and old habits can be lost in 30 days). 30 days was enough for me to rewire my brain to not want or need cigarettes and find better coping skills to replace it. YMMV.
My recent move afforded me ample opportunities for excercise and my entire body feels very strong and firm. When i’m no longer sore i’ll need to continue getting exercise. I’d really like to find some non-gym outlets to do work and physical activities. I’m going to look into some volunteer opportunities that offer physical labor of some kind.
Will join the boxing gym down the street from my condo and get back into boxing.
Will post pictures soon.
Here's part I if you missed it.
So the carburetor that came with the B105p was totally thrashed.
The slide looked like someone took a screwdriver to it and jammed it left and right before finally cutting a chunk off with a grinder or something. In fact, this bike is rare enough that I found a post in a message board from the guy who owned this bike before the dude I bought it from complaining about how hard to find a carb it was and how it doesn’t run (the guy I bought it from said he did 65MPH down the street on it a few weeks prior ha!).
This made me think that it was going to be a huge pain in the ass and maybe the guy I bought it from realized what a rabbit hole this thing was out and got out while the getting was good.
The carb itself was a very old Mikuni carburetor, I tried to measure it below but still couldn’t really figure out which model it was.
So Mike Williams told me to buy a new Mikuni Carburetor. This seemed risky because buying a replacement and rebuilding it seemed so much easier, except…
THERE ISN’T A USED ONE TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE SINCE ITS A SMALL TWO STROKE FLANGE STYLE CARB.
This journey to find a replacement took me to many motorcycle junkyards and messageboards and even took me to this awesome vintage japanese streetbike mecca in Southwest LA called Garage Company, operated by a cool dude named Yoshi who tried to help me but couldn’t. Check it out if you have the chance. The coolest collection of bikes i’ve ever seen.
So I got a new one from Treatland.TV at Mike’s suggestion and my hesitance after I became sure that nothing would turn up anytime soon on eBay or anywhere else.
So I ordered the Mikuni VM 18mm clamp style carburetor, which presented a new problem, how do you convert a bike that requires an old style Flange Style carburetor to a clamp style? Here’s where the aforementioned Mike’s friend Jake Perkio came in.
I mailed the old and new carb to Jake and paid him a nominal fee and a few weeks later he sent me back this custom machined manifold that can allow my 45 year old motorbike to use a new carburetor:
After emptying and replacing the old fluids and figuring out the wiring configuration I gave it a kick. The first kick sounded pretty good. The second one kicked me back a little bit the way 2 stroke engines will sometimes. The third was the loudest, smokiest chainsaw you’ve ever heard.
Mike is manually pulling on the throttle cable in this picture since it’s not even hooked up yet.
So the next few steps are as follows, and i’ll add them here when I get to them:
- Have the seat reupholstered. I think I will stick with the idea mentioned in Part I
- Tune the carburetor
- See if the chain included fits
- Replace the battery and wiring
- Tires– replacing the enduro style tires with some hopefully taller slicks
- Clean the chrome and paint. Might tape it up and paint the black parts. Will consult Mike about the sensibility of doing this.
- Different handlebars– it came with an extra pair of cafe style bars but they look sort of stupid so i’ll probably sell those on ebay
So the 1968 Suzuki B105P Bearcat Winter Project was off track for a bit there but seems to be back on track. Hearing the engine fire up and idle was great for morale.
I’m 33. I’m making some very healthy and some fairly unhealthy but drastically necessary lifestyle changes.
Depending on the day, and depending on what I ate i’m usually anywhere between 235 and 240 lbs. Since i’m 6′-2.5″ I don’t look obese, but I look puffy.
Here’s why, and it’s not a unique story:
There was a time (roughly between the ages of 13 and 27) where I could ingest whatever I wanted to and at worst have a small belly (I didn’t mind, sorta liked it) and a little bit of roundness to my face. With the exception of a few years where I played a lot of baseball and golf, I was never in really-really good shape, but never in bad shape either.
My weight during this time was between 180lbs and 215lbs, as I got taller. Between 25 and 33 my lifestyle became more unhealthy at a much faster pace while my body’s metabolism and various filters were slowing down. I was able to ingest whatever I wanted and not much really changed as far as my health or body size/shape.
Me trying to look like Raymond Carver
By the time I was 26 I was advancing in my career and this meant spending a lot of time at a desk during the days, with a quick walk to somewhere to eat lunch, and then spending my time at bars and parties after work, trying to “network”, which i’m not sure is useful but there was a lot about this “networking” at that period of time. Mostly it revolved around office parties with open bars.
So then my career advanced more and there was more desk time and less free time, and my free time mostly consisted of quick indulgence: nice dinners, drinking, quick trips out of town to go to nice dinners and drink. etc. Before long I became only good at a few things: working, drinking, smoking cigarettes and eating delicious but unhealthy foods. Then the food part went and i’d have a smaller meal but drink the same amount. This was likely due to me noticing my weight gain and also slowly becoming something of an alcoholic. The cigarettes continued throughout these years with small breaks here and there.
Yes, I was another overweight guy at a party at the playboy mansion. c. 2007
Then when I was 30 I moved to China.
This was a very important part of my unhealthy life because the desk/work part stayed about the same or lessened but the drinking and smoking went way up. I actually lost weight during this time because Chinese food in China is actually really healthy for the most part though sometimes lacking in nutrition. During my time in China, while smoking and drinking the most in my life, I lost about 10lbs but it wasn’t healthy weight loss. More like malnutrition weight loss.
Ok so fast forward to 2011 and i’m back in the US, smoking like i’m still in China and drinking often due to the angst of being over 30 with most of my adventures behind me. Plus add the career/desk/office thing and those 10lbs I left in China met me back here in the US and brought 5 or 10 of their friends with them.
On New Years Day of this year (2013) I made an earnest attempt to quit smoking and it lasted about 3 weeks before I made a conscious decision to give up.
Then sometime in February I decided that I wasn’t going to go on a diet but I was going to change my lifestyle:
- For two weeks i’d try a vegetarian diet
- On the third week I’d add fish
- On the fourth week i’d eat some chicken but mostly vegetables and fish
- On week five I decided that for this lifestyle change to work it could not be a strict diet, if I eat something I shouldn’t, that’s ok. As it turns out, after eating healthy for the previous 4 weeks I don’t really have the desire to eat unhealthy
By week 5 I’d lost a meager 6-7lbs, but my body shape is noticeably better, though far from when I was in my early 20′s (perhaps this is unrealistic? not sure).
I decide to get even more serious.
I refill my prescription for Bupropion/Zyban/Wellbutrin which is an anti-depressant but marketed as a smoking cessation drug and decide to go cold turkey on a Sunday and start Bupropion the same day. Somehow, it works really well.
An aside: the magic of Zyban is that you’re allowed to smoke for 10 days and part of the process is that cigarettes begin to taste really bad. Fair enough, but this regimen seems very magical and American in its’ ethos.
You can quit while still smoking!
It’s helped me quit before but I always knew I could go back to the Zyban and you shouldn’t use this drug too much I don’t think. So Zyban/Bupropion/Wellbutrin has a few other side effects, one is anxiety which in the past year I don’t need more of, weight loss, and insomnia.
Ok the first few days are pretty bad mentally, though physically I felt pretty ok so I started excercising. Riding my bike and doing push ups. This made my body feel better but didn’t help with the added anxiety or insomnia. So I added .5 mg of Xanax before bedtime, which is working great.
What about drinking? Well Bupropion/Zyban/Wellbutrin not only reduces your cravings for cigarettes, but also alcohol. Additionally it makes it semi-dangerous to drink as it increases your seizure threshold and when mixed with alcohol doubles that threshold (to about 4 in 1,000 on the maximum dose of 450mg and heavy drinking. I take 150MG a day). Nothing keeps you to a few drinks like not wanting to have a seizure.
So To Review:
- Three meals a day
- Vegetarian or Fish-only diet. No processed foods. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- No smoking. 150 mg of Bupropion in the morning (may switch this to lunchtime)
- Light exercise (push ups and bike)
- Very little soda/sugar/candy/junk food
- May drink once per week, but shouldn’t in the first two months. No more than 4 beers or 3 glasses of wine
- Two multivitamins a day along with 250mg of magnesium for nerves, 1000 mg Vitamin C, B Complex for energy
- One Psyllium “shake” per day for fiber
- .25mg to .5 mg Xanax before bedtime
In the coming weeks I might make some tweaks to my diet and may also diversify my workouts, though I don’t want to join a gym and I don’t want to have a strict diet as again I see it more as a lifestyle change. People on diets always fail and people with annual passes to Disneyland or 24 hour fitness never go. I will probably start boxing again in the coming weeks.
I’ll post some photos (and add some worse before photos) when I feel they’re worth sharing.
a poem for the playgirls of the universe, by charles bukowski
I like women who haven’t lived with too many men or
had too many one night stands.
I don’t expect a virgin but I simply prefer a woman
who hasn’t been rubbed dry by experience.
There is a quality about women who have chosen
it appears in their walk
in their eyes
in their laughter and in
Women who have had many men
seem to choose each next
out of vengeance rather than
When one plays the field, one works against
one can’t create love or
You’re finally left with the same
you have given:
Some human beings are delicate things,
some human beings are delicious and wondrous
If you want to piss on the sun,
but leave them
Full Disclousure: I have absolutely no education or training in finance, or even business, though I am now employed to run a business, and do an OK job at it. The highest math course I took was Ideas Of Math, a Math Theory course that satisfied the IGETC requirements to begin major course studies at a state or private University. This is not a get rich quick article, or an article to brag about my financial prowess. I don’t believe I have any other than a pedestrian understanding of how financial markets operate and behave. Though I do have a healthy mistrust for finance companies and employees, and as the saying goes “You don’t ask a tire salesman if you need new tires”.
I am usually poor at the stock market because I over think everything. I thought Apple (AAPL) was overweight at $200/share (as of January of 2013 it trades at over $400/share). I thought Google (GOOG) was overweight at $250 per share. It’s now trading at $750/share with a $247B market cap. I knew Facebook was a bad investment, and so far that seems to be true, but really i’m not the guy to ask about high profile stocks. In essence I just don’t know which metrics to study and don’t really care enough to learn outside of Price to Earnings (P/E), though to be fair many seasoned investors ignore P/E for long periods of time. I guess this is necessary to make big returns.
Since I suck at stocks, I put my investment money in Mutual Funds, and I do quite well.
Mutual Funds can be thought of as groups of stocks, bonds or securities sold in a package. All of the big firms sell Mutual Funds, and since these are your only investment choices with certain retirement accounts, they have huge amounts of capital invested and must perform in order to keep market share. So they tend to perform, at least a little bit. Even though this hierarchy is only to visualize and not how it actually works, think of stocks as items filling these mutual funds, like a basket.
If you want to trade stocks, you’d actually be better off beginning with mutual funds first, and then allocating part of your investments to stocks (small and incremental here, for best success).
Each of these funds will have a certain focus, and will be named as such. Emerging Markets (Brazil, China, India, Russia, etc). International, Short Term Growth (high risk, possible high reward), Long Term Growth (likely combined of blue chip stocks, capital backed securities, government bonds, etc), Moderate Growth, etc. It’s a bit like roulette in some ways, in that you can also bet on the most likely stocks (the S&P 500, for instance) doing well. Unlike stocks, you can’t short sell mutual funds (buy for them to lose) at the consumer level.
In three years since i’ve been trading mutual funds i’ve made around 15%, year over year, compounded (minus a time when I took out 10% of my investments to make a big purchase). This is far above what i’d get going through a great investor on wall street. Bernie Maddoff was delivering 20% return and could only do so by scamming his customers.
So, how do you do it?
It’s amazingly simple: News & Data.
So how does that work?
Ok, well let’s say the stock market is on fire (or better yet, about to be on fire.. you’ll learn the signals after awhile). Move all your investments from conservative funds (blue chip, long term, etc) to the short term growth funds. The guy managing these funds is doing the same thing at the stock level (the items in your basket mentioned earlier). During really hot stock markets, mutual funds tend to suffer, with the conservative funds suffering the most (because everyone’s money is on these hot stocks). If you keep your money in these conservative, low to medium growth funds during hot markets you will lose all of the incremental growth you’ve achieved over the last 6 months in a week or two.
So essentially, your portfolio should look like this during a hot market:
50% in Growth fund(s).
25% Mid cap funds
25% International/Emerging Markets Funds
During a poor stock market, your funds should look like this:
25% Growth Fund
25% Income/S&P 500 Funds
25% Capital Preservation/Retirement Funds
25% International/Emerging Markets (remember these two are different funds)
During a poor market, you’ll probably break even or make a few cents per share per day, but the reason you’re invested in the riskier funds is because you don’t notice what doesn’t apply to you, and as far as the international stocks go, it seems when the US is up they are down and vice versa. This may change in the future so be ready for that.
The key here is to earn money when everyone is earning money and protect (or offset) your losses when nobody is (or when money is going elsewhere, usually overseas). US financial reports can have a terrible day, while Japan or China has an OK day after previous worries, causing your International or Emerging Markets fund to surge.
And when the stock market is poor, where do you suppose people put their money? In the conservative funds, which means if you do the same thing, these funds will grow at this time as well.
Overall, only an interest and awareness in world financial markets is necessary, and you don’t need to read the Wall Street Journal every day to stay on top of it. Take note when you hear bad financial news domestically, or abroad, and go home and move your investments around.
It’s exactly what the guys on Wall Street do, and the bottom line is that you are in control of your finances, and you have a method and a plan. Do you really think that someone else cares about your finances as much as you do? Walk into a Financial Planners office and see what all of the pens, notepads and posters on his wall say. If they say Fidelity, Dodge & Cox, T Rowe Price, JP Morgan, Fidelity, Vanguard or Oppenheimer– that is what you’ll be invested in and if someone is really keen to sell you something (as he is, and his counterpart at the big firm is) it’s probably not in your best interests.
Good luck. Let me know if my system works for you in the comments.
So my B105p project is coming along a bit slowly. I took the carb off today, which seems to be a primary problem, and it looks really rough. I believe it’s a 22mm Mikuni carb. I had the model number a second ago but can’t find it, doesn’t seem to matter since it’s an old model and an upgrade should be possible.
Here are the photos of the disassembled carburetor:
Measures 22mm across.
The Slide is in really bad shape, it looks like some asshole took a screwdriver to it and later tried boring out the holes with a drill or something, and it’s missing a jet:
A new one should look like this:
Where the needle and jet goes through is in similarly rough shape, again I think the slide was stuck and some (drunken) asshole took a screwdriver to it and really fucked it up. I’m highly doubting that the person I purchased this from ever had it running:
With any luck i’ll be able to buy this one, suggested by Mike, from Treatland for $73 bucks and be done with it. An OEM slide valve itself goes for nearly $40 on ebay.
Any tips for me? I’m also thinking about disabling the auto-inject system (keep the tank there for originality’s sake) and running pre-mix. I saw some very shrill voices in some forums say it’s a bad idea though. Any idea why?
Ok so I think Mike is right. Looking at this chart if the spigot is 22mm then it’s an 18mm carb.
Mike is smart.
Here’s a beer mike.
Hey don’t spill that shit all over the place!
Got this bike over the weekend to restore.
It’s a 1967 or 1968 Suzuki B105p Bearcat. The title says 1962 but that’s clearly not right. I believe it’s a 1967 because they phased out the dual sprockets after only one year.
It has a 118cc two-stroke engine and 4 speed transmission (4 down, i think, though I haven’t ridden it yet as it doesn’t run).
It was originally meant to be an enduro (the big sprocket for off-road, small sprocket for on-road) but i’m planning to make it all street. It came with some cafe handlebars, which I would’ve bought anyhow. Here’s a pic of those:
The seat will need to be replaced. They have some on eBay for $75 but like all B105p and B100p parts, they ship from Thailand. That item costs $75 to ship. I think i’ll take it to a local upholstery place and have them redo it.
Instead of stenciling SUZUKI on the back, I was thinking once the black and white (and chrome) are shiny, and it looks more like a Cafe Racer, maybe a ska type two tone or checkered flag stencil where it says SUZUKI might look cooler. Here is my shitty artist’s rendition of what I mean:
First things first though: She’s gotta run.
Luckily I live in Long Beach, which is pretty much surrounded by Industrial areas with salvage yards so my chances are OK I think. The carburetor looks like hell, and I haven’t even pulled it off completely yet:
The wiring will need to be fixed if not redone, although it currently works, which is good, though it did zap my friend Mike when we were trying to start it originally:
I’ll probably also take it apart and clean every piece with chemtool, repaint the plastic bits with nylon/vinyl paint and possibly put some more street oriented tires on it, although these are an improvement from the original:
I haven’t seen one online that looks how i’d like mine to look as far as style goes, but here’s one in pretty sweet condition:
Wish me luck. Will keep you guys updated here.
If anyone reading this knows a good resource for parts (other than eBay) or has any information please share in the comments!
I rode 5 miles today and 3 miles yesterday. I live in a 4 plex and share a garage with my landlord. She has the other three garages but let’s me share this one with her. The stuff she keeps in there makes me think she’s a bit of a pack rat. I feel like old people start becoming packrats (is it packrat or pack rat?) because collecting a lot of stuff that you control makes you feel in control of a lot of stuff. But instead of anything important it’s just junk that you’re in control of. I definitely feel it’s the control aspect of it.
Anyway, I keep a few bikes in there. A few weeks ago I was riding my bike around my neighborhood pretty regularly. Seems she went in there and saw my stuff and was sort of pissed that it was displacing her stuff and jostled it about. I’ll come back to this in a minute.
So what stuff do I keep in this shared garage (1 of 4)?
- Camping gear
- Two bikes
- One Coleman brand cooler, red color (I do realize this could be grouped under Camping Gear but it could also be used for picnics and BBQs or really anytime you need a lot of beers to stay cold)
- Various fishing poles and fishing boxes
- One Rubbermaid storage box, full, resting inside of two empty Rubbermaid storage boxes
What’s in the Rubbremaid Storage box? Stuff I can’t ever seem to throw away:
- Receipts from certain places
- Free swag not nice enough to use but too valuable to throw away
- Old love letters and various relationship residue
- Airplane ticket stubs and pamphlets from nice resorts I’ve visited
- Framed photographs of family members that you don’t want to hang but feel terrible throwing out
- Obsolete electronics
- Books I don’t feel proud or comfortable displaying on the shelf
- For some reason, old bills that I felt were important
- Tax returns
I just looked at the subject of this blog post and remembered it’s about riding bikes and not about my goddamned box of memories. Well, the point I think I was making was that all of this stuff in the garage is life-related, which may have looked odd or offensive to my pack rat landlord since most of the items she has seem like doubles and triples of stuff, the impulse buys and, oddly, packing materials.
Anyhow, I can only imagine the fit she threw but it bent the derailleur on my bike, which I didn’t notice until I was about a half mile down the road, looking up at the sun and left and right at obstacles when suddenly my bike stopped. The derailleur was stuck in the spokes of my wheel. My first thought was to leave the bike there and walk back, but I lugged it back, trying to kick-repair it on the way.
But this bad thing actually made something good happen. I needed to find a bike repairman here in Long Beach. I scanned Yelp and found a place that looked like it focused on repair. The place was called My Bicycle. Repair quality wasn’t totally important to me I just didn’t want some person trying to sell me a new bike or anything. I called to explain my problem. I got an answering machine:
Blah blah blah, My Bicycle, blah blah. Love your bicycle.
Then Cameron, the owner/operator of My Bicycle called me back: “Did you call the bike shop?”
“Yeah, I did”.
When I had the Saab putting my bike in the back was easy, and required no dismantling; I really miss my old Saab. In the Mercedes I have to remove the front wheel and because i’m too careless/lazy to put a blanket down, I agonize about tearing a hole in the seat with the forks or sprocket. Once I got it in I knew I wouldn’t be taking it back home in the car. Cameron said he could fix it but that it badly needed a tune-up and some new cables. I remembered his answering machine message that said “Love your bicycle” and I was like “Yeah, i’d better get that done”. I picked it up the next day and rode the 3 miles home. It rode great too. After putting the $90 in labor and parts into my bike I valued it more, could say loved it more. I was invested. It’s good to be invested in things.
Today I had to get garbage bags so I picked a discount store about 2.5 miles away and started biking. While biking I started noticing things I haven’t noticed since I was a kid and had to ride a bike. The way certain curbs are preferable to others. How to pace myself for a long ride. The estimation of wetness you do in your mind when you see an upcoming sprinkler coming up. The way people look at you, veins protruding from your arms and legs, a thin layer of sweat on your entire body, as you enter the store. That guy’s a bikerider, they must be thinking.
When you’re in a car bikeriders are a nuisance, but when you’re on a bike cars are a nuisance and the drivers are woefully unaware of how much injury they could cause you. Today some old bag saw me riding across the crosswalk and gave me this look like “i’m not stopping”, if I didn’t notice this look I might’ve assumed she would stop and would’ve gotten smashed. This made me mad. I wanted to spit on her car as it drove by but didn’t.
Another thing is riding a bike as transportation will sometimes be difficult. Walking is never difficult. Driving is less so. It’s at this time that you realize how little difficulty you have in your life, and how this is probably why you feel anxious: you don’t know what you’re capable of or how durable you actually are.
Long Beach is called “The Most Bike Friendly City In America”, and in many ways it is. There’s noticeably more public bike racks and bike lanes than other cities, and most of the bike racks are cute, like this:
In fact, some of the lanes are actually the car lane, and cars are to yield or safely maneuver around bicyclists. And Long Beach is the perfect size for bicyclists. It took me roughly 15 minutes to ride across town (well, at least the safe part of town), from 4th and Orange to over here by Recreation Park where I live.
I think being sort of a snob about everything, and thinking i’m more interested in cerebral pursuits has made me look at people doing things like riding bikes or that kind of thing as mindless idiots, but really there is a lot of thinking and awareness in doing things like riding a bike. I’m pretty sure i’ve said this before, and i’ve done a really poor job of explaining what I mean, and I guess that’s the thing about doing things is that you just have to do them. Writing about riding bikes is like dancing about architecture.
So HP quietly released a BIOS update that seems to fix the problems we’ve been having. Ridiculous since it pretty much makes this computer a lemon without it. Anyhow i’ve uploaded this here. I’ll test it over the next few weeks.
If you shelled out $1700 for the HP Envy17 (17″ and $1700!) and are having the following problems you’re probably pretty mad:
- Runs extremely hot, especially on the left side. I’ve had laptops that run warm. This is hot. Burn your hand hot if you touch the right spot.
- Flickers or has graphics problems when plugged into an external monitor
- After BIOS update cannot play flash
- Not as fast as a 64-bit i7 premium processor with 6 goddamned gigabytes of RAM should be
- Lousy Audio, especially when the monitor boasts BEATS AUDIO by Dr Dre, but is quieter than pretty much any laptop you’ve ever owned. I have a feeling that if Dr Dre and his crew were trying to listen to music on this thing they’d end up emptying their revolvers into it.
Remember, this device was supposed to be the PC answer the the Macbook Pro and a business or non-Mountain Dew breathed gaming geek alternative to AlienWare. The non-douchebag alternative to the Acer Ferarri line of computers, that don’t, but should come with a red leather ferarri jacket and a pair of minus one whatever your size is Diesel Jeans.
I had high hopes for the HP Envy 17 and after tweaking it and downloading fix after fix and flashing the bios a half dozen times I finally just accepted that I had bought a lemon of a laptop that could never truly be used as a laptop but only as a desktop replacement laptop. Then tonight for the 100th time it froze up and gave me the motherboard heat error and I lost about 40 mins of work in Excel.
Then I found this BIOS update:
Things are better now. Not perfect, still warm, but not scorching hot. Audio is louder and sounds nicer. No display issues. Flash works.
Give it a try.