New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Old Fools Journal: DIY Bike Knickers

Tweedledee or Tweedledum?

When I was a boy I had a pair of corduroy knickers and I wore them to school. It wasn't a style it was what I had. They are actually pretty practical where the washing of clothes everyday is impractical. The bottom of the pants are moved away from the mud and the crud so your high top shoes and socks catch it but they are easily cleaned or changed. That of course is not the issue here where we trash the environment by washing everything far too much and far too often using chemicals that my grandmother couldn't pronounce. The issue here is keeping my fat ass warm on these frigid 50 degree days and keeping my pants legs out of the sprocket on my bicycle. I don't want to hear one peep from you rugged northern types about 50 degrees not being frigid. My blood is about the same specific gravity as wine and to me 50 degrees is frigid, besides I'm delicate. Just bear in mind that a duck has the good sense to go south when it gets cold and yours are arriving here now.

When sewing and especially when making something by trial an error method the iron is your friend.

So I had this god awful pair of Bugle Boy pants using up space and a pair of scissors and it seemed like a good idea to whack'em off and make knickers.

First thing of course is I googled "knickers" and found that a good portion of the western world thinks that knickers are lacy frilly girls panties. That's silly but then a good portion of the western world thinks that everybody in the World wears underwear which is far from true. Even in the western world most people have not heard of "Fruit of the Loom" or "Hanes" and would think jockey shorts (SWMBO calls them Chile Chokers) are an instrument of torture. They wouldn't be far wrong. I still enjoyed looking at the girls in their panties. It was a long research period and I may have to go back and do some post project research.

I was surprised that there was only one porn site. I got a dozen or so when I googled George Bush.

I did find one reference to DIY knickers and several places that sell "biking knickers", whatever that is, sewn with golden thread. It had to be golden thread to justify the price. Then there were some of those balloon things that golfers wear. I'm not a doctor, a politician or a CEO so I don't golf. As Mark Twain said "Golf is a good walk gone bad" or something like that.

Anyway the DIY knicker piece was what I had in mind but the end product was not. I took down my sewing kit and started whacking, folding, ironing and pining. It took several hours but I finally got what I wanted more or less. Some sewing, ripping that out and. sewing again. I finally got a wearable pair of knickers. I probably tried those on 40 times and stuck myself with pins 140 times. The second leg was a mirror image and took about 20 minutes.

The end result you see on Tweedledum at the top of the page. Knickers are just the thing to keep the cold wind from blowing up your ally.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Steampunk Bamboo

Bamboo is not often thought of as steampunk but it was very popular in the period of the Victorian Jubilees which I understand (correct me if I am mistaken) is 1887 - 1997. I guess it was party time. There is a lot of furniture, screens and other paraphernalia still around that is well over a 100 years old but it is so battered and dried out that it is just thought of as junk. This piece may or may not be that old. It is very old, battered, handmade and holds my hand towel very well. Besides I love bamboo in all its forms from growing in the ground to anything it is made into. I would have a bamboo bicycle if I could afford it.

Thrift store 25 American cents. I am so glad they did not just throw it into the trash.

I would love to make things from bamboo but I have been unable to find raw material around here and mine is not growing well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Cargo Bike Project

Just what I need another bike but I can't help myself. I have collected all the parts to build a long tail cargo bike. I don't need one but I guess I'm going to put off more important projects and build one anyhow. I'm ashamed of myself for having so little self control.

The bicycle above is the donor of the rear triangle (the blue part) that is going to make it possible. It is a real shame to break this bike down for parts as when it arrived it was about 95 percent complete. Put on a seat, fix a flat, adjust the brakes add a new chain and it would be a new bike. It's a 24" Huffy full suspension mountain bike probably less than two years old. What a shame but it was thrown out so now it's parts.

Here it is a few days later. I got it all prepped to paint but between the rain and cold I have been unable. It's dry out now but my life sometimes interferes with the things I want to do. I have the parts in my hovel to keep them warm and dry. The first warm, dry day and they get painted if it isn't blowing a gale.

Yes that is a spittoon. Although I don't chew now I keep one around for old times sake. I really liked it (It's just another drug) but when those sleazeball bastards in the tobacco industry quadrupled the price for a package of sticks and twigs then said "take it or leave it" I left it. Those tobacco industry vampires are the worst junkies of the junkie world.

And besides artificial flowers are much nicer than spit.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Geezers Have Birthdays Too

Meet Ted which is short for Thaddeus. Ted is 120 pounds of pure blood Louisiana Cajun and he is now officially a geezer (70). He is 104 days younger than I and enjoys reminding me on his birthday that he catches up every year. On my birthday he will remind me that I am old. Thaddeus is one of the few people I know that is around my age. Between the two of us we know a lot more dead people than live. He never complains (at least to me) about his disabilities. When we visit he is always in good cheer. On the other hand he and SWMBO have had some heated arguments not that he ever had a chance in one.
Even my beautiful darling roommate, here holding the butcher knife she is going to cut my ba...Uh throat with if she finds out I published her picture, has not reached the age of medicare and is not yet in that group. He has been disabled by rheumatoid arthritis since he was in his thirties and lives on a small disability income. Even with a great deal of pain he was still tending his garden and yard until a few year ago. It was difficult but I've never heard him complain. Now he has to use a power chair to go to the mail box. His house was the first place we ever let the "Princess" venture three houses down the street on her own. That was a big adventure for all of us then.

We celebrate his birthday every year. The "Princess" didn't make it this year. This year I went there on my bike with my collection of home made country canes. Turns out number 5 was a perfect fit.
This year he bought himself a bottle of Jack Daniels just to make sure he got what he wanted.
SWMBO (she who must be obeyed)
I figure that since I am probably going to be cut into little pieces and flushed down the toilet (or worse yelled at) that I might as well share this with you. I have not yet become tired of looking at her. That hair is all hers.
She's hot.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Mainstream Steampunk Watch

I found this Chinese made watch in Big Lots for eight bucks. It has a Japanese electric movement. I believe it fits the steam punk genre.
You can't tell from the picture but the finish is antique bronze.
I haven't worn a wrist watch in many years although I have carried them. They mostly ride in my pocket. My last pocket watch gave up the ghost. It worked faithfully as my airplane clock for the last five years that I worked and was the only timepiece I used other than the GPS clock and my phone. After coming to my senses and retiring I brought it home and SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) used it at her job where it finally died. It was a good deal. My grandson found it in the road. It decorates my picture wall now.
I bought this wrist watch in 1974 so it is 35 years old but since you have to wear it to keep in wound it usually is run down. Never have to buy batteries and it keeps near perfect time. The only time it has ever been in the shop was when I fell off my murdercycle and slid down the road on it. It only needed a little repair to the band and the crystal replaced. Seiko did that for free. In a matter of months the skin grew back on my hands sort of. That is not the original band.

I like a pocket watch. It gives a man something to do with his hands beside dig in his ear, pick his nose, pick his teeth and other more offensive things like smoking or adjusting himself. Wrist watches have a habit of hanging on things which I find annoying. I don't wear rings either and haven't (mostly) since I saw a man tear all the meat off his finger going down a ladder on the ship when I was in the navy.

Now-a-days I see a large percentage of people pretending to check their phone for messages or pretending to be texting. It just seems much more dignified for a man to take out his pocket watch, open the lid, check the time on a watch face big enough to be seen across the room and give it a little winding (or pretend to if it's electric) then carefully close the lid before sliding it carefully into his pocket.

Beats the hell out of old nervous and jerky pounding away with his thumbs on his phone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Turtle Soup

These are some of the smartest beings I know. Not smart enough to know that they could be tomorrows soup but smart enough to know someone is in the room and if they knock on the glass they might get a tidbit.

They don't work but they do play. When they play they rearrange the furniture in their soup stock.

They have a TV in view but I have never seen them watch it. I value their "not said" remarks more than anyone I have seen on TV. Besides I understand that they have a brain about the size of a pencil lead which is bigger than most anyone on TV.

They never answer any of my remarks when I talk to them but they seem to pay attention and knock on the glass but I think it is for tidbits.

They belong to no one but they have several humans that serve them and tend their every need.

Hmmm. Turtle soup is very good.

I am the only advocate in the "Free the Turtles" movement here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Excerpts from the Log of Serenity

Serenity in the Ali Wai Yacht harbor Honolulu

Here are a few lines from the Log of the Good Ship "Serenity". Serenity possessed me from 1974 until 1992. I called her home during that time. Serenity is a 40 foot long 23 foot wide ketch rigged (later changed to sloop) trimaran with a 38 hp BMC diesel engine. She was a "Piver" design originally but hand built and highly modified by one Al Parker originally from Australia. I have never met a more talented lunatic craftsmen in my life. Piver would not have recognized his design. The boat was improved in so many ways that the list is rather long. She was made of plywood and fiberglass covered with such skill and care that it looked as if it were dropped out of a mold. On taking possession I immediately commenced to change all that.

Al Parker and his dog Pot. The good looking one is the dog. I never noticed before but Pot has a dancing hula girl on his chest.

On Valentines day 1984 SWMBO and I threw our lot in together and departed in my 1954 Cessna 180 from a dirt street in Quartzsite, Arizona bound for Hawaii to pick up Serenity and sail around the world.

Excerpt from the log:
February 29, 1984 - Arrived back on board (Serenity) with Donna (SWMBO*).
*She Who Must Be Obeyed

There was a lot of work to do before heading off around the world and besides we were on a honeymoon and making like rabbits. That took a lot of time.

March 12, 1984 Moved (the boat) to the Ali Wai from Keehi (lagoon)

Much more convenient to provision at the dock in the Ali Wai. Besides we needed to say final goodbyes to Honolulu and the Hawaii Yacht Club. We had both watched a lot of sunsets at cocktail time from the yacht club and we knew a lot of people there. They have a great shower room.

April 3, 1984
Departed Ali Wai for Pokai Bay. Gas dock
(for diesel) at 1245. Pokai 1800 (arrival).
Jib only/wind 10 -15 knots. 20.6 miles on sum log 26 charted. Small craft. (I believe small craft warnings were up when we arrived)

April 7, 1984
Capitaine Ullysse - Maragelle (
I don't remember this but it must have impressed me at the time)

April 8, 1984
Set Watches (This is prior to the wide spread use of GPS. Accurate time was important)

April 10, 1984 Tuesday.
Shifted anchor to outside Pokai

Wednesday, April 11, 1984
Sailed at 0600 for Nawiliwili, K
auai. Arrived at 2100 (approx). E wind 15 kt, sloppy sea, sunshine. 63.4 miles logged, actual 80 (Miles) or thereabouts.
Towing generator packed up in route. (I had a generator on deck that had a half inch nylon rope with a 6 hp Evinrude propeller on it that kept the batteries charged. The propeller was mounted to a 3 foot shaft and something ate it. That was the second time something ate my generator propeller. There are some big critters out there in the ocean. It was a good idea but did not take into account that it was just a big thrashing fishing lure to some really big fish. Not a very good start so early in a trip around the world.)

Monday, April 23, 1984
Brought 80 gallons water by skiff. Dined yesterday (Easter) with Gary and Nora Holland, Larry and Bonnie Miller and their son Mike, Peter of Redon
do Beach and others. I'm sure that a good time was had by all but all I remember is someone passed me something to smoke and then it was the next day.

We spent an afternoon going up the river that comes down from the mountain and enters the sea next to the harbor. It was a great trip we went as far as the outboard would take us then rowed or poled and finally one of us had to get out and tow the boat. So since we were doing a scene from the movie "African Queen" we decided that SWMBO would be Humphrey Bogart, since she smokes cigarettes, and I would be Katherine Hepburn. That was the last time I remember being that silly.

Wednesday, April 25, 1984
Dinner with Phil Funnell of "Third Meadow" from B.C.
(British Columbia)
SWMBO in "Third Meadows" kayak. She was one happy camper and took to the kayak like she had been doing it all her life. I don't know how I got out of having to buy her one. Phil was a very gracious man and let her use it all she wanted.

Thursday, April 26, 1984
Rain. Brought 35 gals water by skiff. 42 gals in main tank. Used 35 gals since last.
(The top of the main cabin was designed by Al Parker to catch water when it rained and funnel it into the main water tank which held a 100 gallons. After it had rained enough to wash the deck all I had to do was close one valve and open another and wait for the tank to fill. Apparently it didn't fill the tank that day. I can't believe we used 35 gallons in 3 days. Must have been taking a lot of showers).

Thursday, April 27, 1984
Departed Nawiliwili 1144 bound toward Hanalei Bay. Light wind NE, Sunny.
"Good medicine" day
. Porpoises for about 30 minutes ended with one big whale.
Arrived 1815. Only boat in Hanalei.
(How nice that was)Thursday, May 3, 1984
5 gallon in main tank caught. (caught rain water and I scribbled this note. I was much to busy having fun with my date to fool with much log writing.)
When I was in Hanalei a few years prior to this the sky line on three sides was trees. This time it was construction cranes building condos ruining paradise for those well heeled people who wanted to enjoy paradise looking out the window of their air-conditioned rooms. From dawn until dark in Hanalei Bay we could hear the constant beep-beep-beep of construction equipment. Until this visit Hanalei was my idea of paradise but no more. The sound of concrete growing across the landscape was more than I could bear. I will never go back.

Luckily I had my own little piece of paradise, a good ship and an exiting delightful companion. What more could one want.

As in Nawiliwili there is a river so of course we had to do the river trip in the dinghy. I ask a fisherman on the bank what kind of fish he was catching and he said "Da kin little fish you eat".

When the river got so shallow we couldn't go any further we found some kids groveling around catching fresh water shrimp. They seemed a little nervous at first but when they determined that we were just turistas they relaxed and explained that we were in a national forest and what they were doing was not exactly legal. They ask us to please not tell the man. We didn't.

Friday, May 11, 1984
Brought out 42 gallons water with Avon.
(Avon = inflatable dingy)
Dinner on board with Kurt and Sonny from "Windlass". (Apparently we were really sociable people but I don't remember most of these people or the occasions. Maybe if my long term memory ever kicks in I will. )

Sunday, May 13, 1984
Brought last anchor (
in) at 1430. Set sail at 1445 bound toward California.
course 350*M (002T)
(I know that is not the direction of California from Kauai but since the trade winds flow generally from the east we could not go that direction so we were going north to hopefully pick up westerly winds. We never found them.

More excerpts from the log another time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Old Fools Journal: A Gift From the Sky

It has been a long time since I have seen my desk this clear. Never mind that there is a pile of paper immediately to the right that needs attention (mostly trash). I am presenting this to show the writing instrument that I am currently using. It is made from a feather from a Turkey Vulture, colored rubber bands and the innards of a ball point pen. It is resting in a antique inkwell. If it is not antique it is at least very old.
The feather was left in my garden by a vulture flying over, I believe, as I have never seen one land here. They don't land during the day unless there is something dead and we don't keep many dead things lying about. They have poor night vision so they roost in trees at night and this one may very well have roosted in one of our trees. The Turkey Vulture is a large (up to six foot wingspan) magnificent bird and one of the most efficient birds in flight. It flies with absolute minimum effort. It can land to eat a dead field mouse and return to the air with a net gain of energy. It lowers it's body temperature at night to conserve energy and in the morning spreads it's wings to dry and regain body temperature. It can tolerate many times more botulism than other birds that will eat about anything (like pigeons) and be comfortable. It has a sense of smell attuned to the decay of death, that is, it can smell the gases produce by a corpse form thousands of feet away very shortly after death.
Don't think badly of them because they eat dead decaying things. Humans do that as well. Everything we eat is is dead, except for oysters, and we hang meat to age (decay) so it will be tender. We are not so different.

They do not just fly for business either. I have seen them flying thousands of feet in the air not looking for something dead but flying for the pure joy of flying. I have in my life seen only one other bird that is their equal at soaring without flapping a wing and that is the albatross and maybe the pelican. I personally have seen albatrosses follow a ship for weeks without moving a wing (that I saw) or landing. I have in the last ten years had many close encounters with Turkey Vultures. They pay no attention to noisy airplanes and will only get out of your way when they are within inches of death, yours and theirs. With a flick of a wing they are then gone leaving you with a near heart attack. Bastards. As you can see I have a love, hate relationship.

I am honored by this gift and I would not think badly of them if I died in my garden and they came and ate me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Claire Rides a Bike

I'm not going to make a habit of posting movies back to back but I don't want anyone to miss this one.
It's a good bicycle story in which justice is served and freedom is gained with a bike. Besides I think I love Claire. She really pulls at my heart strings.
So take eight minutes, sit back and watch the story unfold.

Claire Rides a Bike from Front Ave. on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Old Fools Journal: The Future

If you are paranoid about there being more of them* or being outnumbered in any way I recommend not watching this. However if you are curious and wish to get things in perspective then have at it.
Why worry, after all our earth, solar system and even our galaxy is an insignificant speck in the grand scheme of things. It's only our lives and how we live that matters. Live and learn.
I want to know everything before I pass to the great study hall in the sky.

In the words of Mister Natural "What does it all mean?".

*THEM - Anyone other than US. It's subjective but tends to be those we perceive as being different from us. Never mind that every human on this earth bleeds, loves their children, grows hair in the same places, has fingernails, regrets going bald, has birthdays, mistrusts politicians, takes food in through the mouth, shits, grieves, picks their nose, cheats on their spouse, has thumbs and dies. THEM is Pretty much US.

"We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us" Pogo by Walt Kelly

Monday, November 9, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Waiting for Hurricane Ida

So while hanging out waiting for yet another hurricane I thought I'd get a little back work done. This is my homemade truing stand clamped into the vise. Works for wheels up to 27 inch. The spring loaded clamp next to the rim is my gauge. My spoke wrench is one that has been kicking around in my toolbox so long I don't even know when I got it. This rig ain't fancy but it works.

I bought a crank removal tool from my local bike shop (Bayou City Bicycles) and they very graciously gave me the spokes and nipples which had to be custom cut. They are a family business and the only game in town. I like them, they are always busy but find time to be friendly and they don't gouge or overcharge.

The wheel is the 24 inch front from the Rollfast that I put together last week. It was missing a couple of spokes and had 40 years of baked on old grease on the hub but otherwise it is a strong serviceable wheel. Not a speck of rust inside the hub and the exterior rust on the rim removes easily.

It's probably going back on the Rollfast to keep it original.

Hurricane Ida Is not coming here but it will pass close enough to just be messy weather. It's currently sprinkling lightly with a stiff breeze from the east. The storm itself has already lost its hurricane status after hitting cooler water in the gulf. East of us is going to get some flooding and substantial winds so they are concerned. They have trouble with a heavy dew in the late great city of New Orleans. We expect tropical storm winds no worse than a big thunderstorm.
I'm ready. I tied up my Fall tomato bucket garden yesterday. There's 18 tomatoes on these plants already. I have one other larger pot with two plants. Nothing special about the dirt. It came out of the pile we bury our kitchen scraps in along with leaves. The worms can turn the scraps into dirt in 3 to 4 days. The dog pack and their cats gets the scraps with fat in them and the garbage man gets nothing but things that won't compost, recycle or re-purpose. I got the seed for these from some tomatoes I bought at the farmers market in the spring. The farmer I got them from said they are a Heritage tomato developed in Czechoslovakia. I don't know if he knows what he is talking about but I liked the taste and size well enough to save the seeds. They are a small tomato with a max size of about 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) and a fairly tough skin. Yesterday morning I had the first one off these plants with my toast (home made bread) and eggs (yard eggs from my neighbor). Yum. Did I mention that I really like to eat?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Road Hazards and other stuff

Road hazards I find all the time. This gas tank still has the cap on it. I have seen drive shafts, wheels, shock absorbers, mufflers and tail pipes. Once I found a steering wheel.

The sign on the right is for the pawn shop on the left that has three X's for sale. Cheap too but they might be a little sticky.

Down the street at the Buddhist Temple I found more big X's for sale on top of the shrine's head. They must be the adult

kind because they are at the adult superstore. Never been there but I'm going to. Maybe they have something I've never seen before but I doubt it.

The shrine is in front of the temple and just to show respect I took another picture of the shrine with a little better background.
Those apples left as offerings are real and the flowers are fresh.
This road hazard would have been just in the nick of time for me but all the horns blowing were too much distraction.
This is a new shortcut. I've always been stopped by this ditch but someone has put a foot bridge across so now I can trespass on school grounds. It's not any shorter and the grass is hard to ride in but there is the trespassing factor. I can't wait for some fat ass to tell me to get off public property.

I think I'll walk the bike across. The bridge on this side ends at about a one foot nearly vertical lip. No near death excitement today. The garbage trucks like the one coming head on usually crowd the white line especially when there is a bike but this guy has good eyesight and sees the oldfool holding a camera. He was nearly across the center line when he passed me. The little blue car pulling up to the street could care less and pulled right out in front of me.

I know I'm riding on the wrong side for the direction I'm going but that space between the white line and the ditch is all that is given to bicycles and pedestrians. If you walk in the grass you are trespassing. If you take the lane you will be in the right but you will be dead right and run down like a stray dog. You need a serious off road bike to ride on the other side. Pedestrians won't even walk over there.

Not to worry. I've gotten used to it.
Lest anyone feel sorry for me this was my lunch just before my afternoon nap. Yellow fin Tuna steak, small baked potato, green beans, fresh green onions, asparagus and ripe tomato with coarse garlic salt.
Oh how I suffer but it will hold me 'til dinner.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Meters

Recently I found my lost meters. l lost them when I move to this place in 2005 and I did it by carefully packing them away in a safe place. I didn't mark the box but I do that a lot. I have tried to be more careful but to no avail. I'm missing a lot of stuff. Someday I'll forget all that stuff then it won't be missing.

Some of these work and some don't. It doesn't matter because I like to look at them. They represent something to me but I don't now what. I do know something about this one. I don't remember where or when it came into my possession but it was more than 35 years ago. I have seen many like it in airplanes, boats and work trucks where knowing what was going on in the electrical system was crucial. There was one like it in the dash of my 1966 Ford 4 wheel drive pickup. I think I was at one time going to put this one into some truck or other that I was driving. I have used it as a test instrument to check current draw of various pieces of equipment that required a meter over 10 amps. For up to 10 amperes I have meter I purchased from Radio Shack for I think about 10 dollars in 1974 (it may have been earlier) that works very well. I've had to replace a few parts in it on several occasions due to misjudging what the circuit was likely to draw. It was easy to tell when I needed to do that by the column of smoke rising from the instrument. In those "Oh shit!" moments I should have used this meter. This is a DC meter and, for those who don't know, 60 amperes is a lot of current (big sparks, heat, fire, smoke, fire trucks). When this meter reaches the smoke indicator stage you don't want to touch anything connected to it unless you are into severe pain.

The picture above is how it looked after I took it apart and shook out all the aluminum flakes and radium coating that was on the dial (oh my! radiation exposure). Although not as good as new it is serviceable. It just looks like I worked on it with a hammer and tongs.I expect to be working with DC electric motors in the future when I get around to it and it will be useful.

Now if I could just find some of the other missing items.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Rollfast

We have here in Trollville a variety of trolls, zombies, leeches, the occasional ghoul and some enterprising people. One of the latter is a young man (32 or so) who is the neighborhood scavenger. He rides around the neighborhood on a lawn mower pulling a trailer and collects junk that people put out on the side of the road. Things like water heaters, refrigerators, washers and dryers, old metal roofs that have blown off and sometimes bicycles. He has brought me numerous bicycles that were past their prime as bicycles but had many useful parts. Occasionally I get one that can be put back into service using those parts.

Sunday he brought me this (first photo) but this time it was different. It was not for sale or give away. He was in love with it. He didn't know what it was but he knew he wanted it for his own. When it was given to him it was a ball of rust but he had cleaned it up and painted it. His painting skills are even worse than mine. He tried to reassemble it but he just couldn't do it. He has no education, can not read or write, his mother and father cannot read or write and he has no mechanical skills at all (he painted the bearing races in the bottom bracket). The only thing he does well is pick up junk , drink beer and smoke cigarettes (that I know of). He is respectful and polite. He doesn't steal which puts him in an elite group around here.
In the process of cleaning it up he scraped off all the stickers that identified the bike but he did have the presence of mind to have his sister read them. The one on the seat tube said "ROLLFAST" and indeed it is according to pictures I found on the Internet. It is, I believe, a late 1960's or early 1970's Rollfast "Scoot". The wheels are 24 inch.

His attempt to put it back together was a complete failure but even if he had it right it would not have worked. Some of the parts were just not the right parts but I had enough stuff that I had scavenged from bikes he had brought me in the past to get it going.

Monday he brought me another junk bike that I had requested for a particular part but it was not the size I ask for. However it had a front wheel that fit his bike and since his front wheel had two broken spokes I started mixing and matching parts until I had a workable straight wheel. When I took the tire and tube from his bike I suspected that it was original equipment. The tire was worn and crispy around the edges but still usable. It had not been off in a very long time. The tube had an extra thick stem which made getting it out difficult but when I did printed on the tube in big white letters were the words "original equipment" "made in the USA". It had one patch and it was an old hot patch. The rubber was in perfect condition. I have near new tubes "made in China" on my shelf that have rotted. I can't remember when I last saw an American made bicycle tube.

The last I saw of this bicycle he was riding down the street grinning like a Cheshire cat. Now I would like to get him interested in a human powered machine for picking up the junk. The neighborhood is flat and the streets are well paved. I could tow an elephant in a trailer around here so I know he could. It's going to be a hard sell as he loves his "ride" and like most people here he was baptized with gasoline.