Monthly Archives: November 2009

Mr. Patches rides in to the sunset…

A few pics of Owen and the shop yesterday before he and Liv headed home.

Note the jacket / Honda patch he’s wearing… about a month ago as I began to focus on xferring the 160 to Owe, I thought it needed to be a “period-correct” event… and in my mind, that meant having everything that “went with” the bike: Shop manual(s)? check. Original owners manual? check. Original toolkit in original tool wrap / bag? check. Original (’66) Honda shop parts catalog for the bike? check. Original 1969 CB 160 gas tank, handle bars, brake levers, carburetor cables / linkage, foot pegs? check… I saved them all when I installed the Scrambler kit back in ’94ish.

Late 60’s era Honda patches that all of us wore on our jackets / poncho’s? Uh, no. Dang, if he’s riding a vintage Honda, he needs a vintage Honda patch, right?

So I googled “vintage patch”, found a great source of them and ordered a batch of patches, thinking we’d put them on a couple of the fleece jackets I’m fond of wearing. When he saw them, he thought they were great and would look perfect on a mechanic’s shop jacket. So he went out (on Black Friday) and bought two heavily discounted mechanics jackets that Joanne sewed the patches on.

Voila, I give you Mr. Got my vintage Honda and patches:
(Don’t forget to click the pic to see the full details of Owe and his patches 😉

Prepping and transferring the 160 to Owen are some of the best moments I’ve had in recent years. Being a long time (40+ years) Honda and motorcycle guy, his continued interest in the 160 and my fulfilling the commitment I made to him 20 years ago when we got this particular bike feels really good.

Here’s the bike as it prepares to head to SoCal yesterday afternoon. They called us last night when they arrived home and everything went as hoped / planned.

All yours, Owe.

Lotsa jamming going on here…

While Owe and I were out in the garage today, Liv, Joanne and Ellen were busy in the kitchen.

First, Liv and Joanne did some recipe experiments w/rice krispie treats / recipes… They all seemed pretty good to me 🙂 Then they moved on to a rice krispie pie w/a topping of chocolate drops… I didn’t have any, but everyone else seemed to love it! And finally, the three of them made Fig Jam to take home to Nana and Rich for the holidays – at least one case, as best I can tell.

Owen and I picked up various ingredients (Coconut Oil – you ever seen that stuff in a jar? No wonder you get a heart attack from eating things loaded w/it, it looks like semi-liquid lard. ewwwwwwww! – and Sweet Almond Oil) to make TBC Lipschitz… but we ran out of time / energy so I’ll make some later in the week w/Joanne / Ellen / CatGirl.

That’s it for the night, parts of me are dragging.

Beek’s Log: Fair amount of pollen going in…

Owen and I observed the bees for ~10 minutes today. It looks as though Ray’s gals are taking in a great deal of pollen – very busy coming’s and going’s-on today – but it looks as though Fuzzy’s troops aren’t taking in quite the same amounts of pollen, so I’ll open the hive and see what’s what come tomorrow.

TwoBigCats Honda shop…

Owen and Liv were up for Thanksgiving, so Owe and I did a bit of housekeeping in the garage, lined the scooters up and took a few pics. (I’ll post a few more over the next day or two).

Following the little red one, a ’71 CT 70 that used to belong to Pop (it’s only got 1,600 miles on it) is Owen’s (just handed over) ’69 160 that I bought back in March of ’89 from the founder of the software company I worked for. When I brought it home, Owen could surely imagine he would be driving it someday so I gave him a bag of steel wool and told him to polish the shiny things until they shined, then wash the bike until the non-shiny things shined and THEN when I thought he was ready for the bike, I would give it to him.

He turned 34 last week and I think he’s ready for it now, so I headed down to the DMV and transferred the title and personalized license plate to him so it’s his now. Turns out Owen has taken to riding his motorcycle with a group of guys who ride over Mulholland in LA, then meet up @ place where hundreds of mc’s gather on Sat/Sun. It appears the “in” thing nowadays is to ride a “classic” motorcycle, which the 160 certainly is (it turned 40 this year). Owe’s bike has just over 7,000 miles on it as it sits.

The next bike in line is the ’76 CB 750-4, THE classic superbike that started superbike’s… inline 4 cylinders and pipes – the first production bike with a disc brake – electric start combined with Honda reliability. That bike has just over 5,400 miles on it.

The last bike, the purple grape-thingie is my ’95 Gold Wing 1500. Big Bike, 900 lbs dry, six cylinders, ~100 horses, reverse and air shock suspension. I skipped the hot tub upgrade on it 🙂 Typical Honda – runs like a top, never had a second’s trouble w/it in the 18k miles I’ve put on it.

Owe’s 160 is heading south w/him and Liv tomorrow. I have a little bit of sadness in seeing it go – it’s been w/me for 20+ years now… but I’m thrilled to hand it off to him for him to fire up and enjoy.

I hope Owen has as much fun on the 160 as Jim and I did on his back in ’69.

Beek’s Log: Freddie frames reassigned…

Lotsacleaningup done today out @ the hives.

On Saturday I removed Freddie’s harvested / brood-comb frames from the freezer to give them a few days to return to normal temps. Today I made a half gallon of sugar syrup, then suited up, fired up the smoker and headed out w/two supers of brood frame strapped to my, er, well, I carried them out.

When I removed Freddie’s covers, I found ~6 hardy survivors still clinging to their honey supply. I unpacked the now-thawed frames from their giant garbage bags then applied smoke to Ray. Note: Ray was absolutely humming with activity. I observed Ray a couple of hours before working the bees and Ray’s gals were carrying in quite a bit of pollen, so there must have been brood to feed.

Anyway, I opened Ray, checked a few brood frames (lots of fresh’n’shiny larvae, lots of capped larvae and TONS of activity going on), then placed Freddie’s brood box on as Ray’s second brood box. Next, I installed 10 frames of Freddie’s brood frames (remember: the edges are still loaded w/stored honey and pollen to feed brood), made sure things were nice’n’tidy and placed inner and outer covers in place. Then I did the exact same thing w/Fuzzy – who is every bit as active / loaded as Ray. Next, I placed a syrup feeder on each of them, also placing a brick to reduce the entrance to the hive (jusssssst in case somebody in the ‘hood decides to turn robber again) and called it good.

In case you’re interested, the syrup is placed to give them a bit of a boost for comb-building. Although we have a honey throughout most of the year, Fuzzy’s of the opinion it won’t hurt to give them some extra support; if it’s ok w/Fuzzy, it’s ok w/me.

That’s it for now… Oh, Freddie’s Final (brood box) Frames provided 1/2 gallon of single-filtered honey that we call All Dead and Gone.

It’s been a long day, overnout.

Nothing like a cold plunge…

To get the morning started… or so that’s what Penny must have been thinking this morning.

Our Monday morning routine was going, er, swimmingly, until about an hour ago when the dogs alerted that something terrible – likely a squirrel or neighborhood cat – was in the back yard and they wouldn’t be denied performance of their duty in running it off.

Lotsabarking going on, so I opened the den door and they were off like a shot. Lotsamore yapping in the back yard and then things got quiet. Ah, we’re down to sniffing the trail of the culprit – nothing to see here, everybody move along. I padded back to the book project-from-hell files, had just started typing when I heard Penny yelping, as if she’d found something new.

Great. Now I’ll have to get up, go back to the den door and see what’s what.

When I opened the back door, Knothead came bounding in but Penny wasn’t to be found or heard. That is, until I called her name a few more times… and then her yelping started and it appeared to be coming the bee area. Uh Oh, and me in my morning sleepy-shorts… until I saw Penny crawling out of the pond, every inch the soaking, dirty and obviously freezing wet dog she had become.

Guh-reat… my bike ride will have to wait since I’m the only one available to play “dogwash” with Penny.

I don’t know who hated it more, me picking up a wet and dirty Penny, me or her. But we got through it… even through Satan’s Passage – the non-carpeted kitchen, hallway, sun room, bedroom to bathroom path to the big tub -we had to take to endure the mutual humiliation of washing the mud off her nose-to-toe, then drying her.

But we got through it. An hour later and Penny was all bright’n’shiny, dried and pretty for her favorite big guy – Hershey – to pay a Thanksgiving visit later this week.

I don’t know about you, but from where I sit, it feels like Monday already.

Sunday, pre-Thanksgiving…

Lots of odds’n’ends today…

Ran in to our many years-ago friend, Kurt K. from (what was then) Wet Pleasure dive shop, at the Campbell Farmer’s market. Kurt was a great guy and somewhere in the mid-90’s we lost track of him (he’d left all dive shops I was familiar with). It was great to see him again and catch up ever-so-briefly… looks like we’ll see him in the near future.

Joanne made another 3+ cases of Pomegranate Jelly today… what a nice smell that gives to the house. I hear she’s making a case or two of Apple-something fruitney this evening.

I named the batch of honey from Freddie “All Dead and Gone” from Queen’s song, “All Dead, All Dead”.

Here’s the video + music:

Here’s what wikipedia has to say about the song “All Dead, All Dead”

All Dead, All Dead” was written and sung by May, and features Mercury on backing vocals; May also plays piano. Lyrically, the song deals with May’s experiences following the death of his childhood pet cat.

I gapped and changed the plugs on the 750, filled it with fuel and fired it up… ran like a top… just as Sochiro Honda wanted it to. Tomorrow I’ll do a bit to the 160 for handoff to Owen over the weekend.

That’s it for now.

Beek’s Log: Dang, Freddie really is dead…

After installing a frame of brood from Fuzzy the other day, insulating each hive with a heavy blanket and reducing the entrance to each hive (to reduce cold air coming in), I inspected Freddie today and found a group of about 50 bees on a very small patch of honey. No queen. Tons of dead bees surrounding the hive and on the bottom board.

Accepting the situation for what it is, I pulled the honey / pollen frames from Freddie, harvested the honey (it’s filtering now, as we speak), bagged and placed the frames in the freezer until spring when I’ll install them in a hive to give it a jump start as needed.

From the outside, both Ray and Fuzzy appear to be robust, but they won’t be inspected until after the incoming storm has passed.

The cycles of success and failure, struggle and achievement of keeping bees are, at times, challenging to deal with.

I hear spring is just around the corner 🙂