Monday, January 31, 2011

I am a splicer killer

I was going to make a decent post this week, but my Sunday was utterly consumed by Bioshock 2. I had plans of working on mopeds, taking a bicycle ride, and going to the grocery store, but none of that happened. I sat down at 10am for a short gaming session and next thing I knew it was 7pm.

And now all I can do is think about the sequel that's forthcoming.

Edit: If you haven't bought this game, it's on sale right now at Amazon for $13.99.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feats of strength, busloads of gypsies, and other marvels of the modern age

This week, Mosquito Fleet said goodbye to our beloved Awful Hen. Our poultry pal served us well, and many fine voyages were had upon her dirty, yellow wings. People flew in from Arizona to buy her. I'd like to believe that they were a band of Polish gypsy school bus drivers, taking her back to a mobile Polish gypsy school district.

Maybe they'll escape their nazi pursuers and make their way to a new world. Who knows. Hopefully it won't just become a "burner bus" and end up at Burning Man every year. All I know is that the people that bought it were most certainly confused as shit on the drive back by the inside-moped-joke graffiti that cover the walls.

This week I installed springs on a Hobbit clutch. After cutting my hands to shit and getting nowhere, I tried a different approach. I put the clutch in my bench vise, hooked one of the stock springs around the red spring, hooked the other end around an m6 bolt I had laying around, and performed a Travis-impressing feat of strength as I pulled back the spring over the eyelet on the clutch arm. Once hooked I tapped it into place with a rubber mallet.

Safety suggestion: Use eye protection as the stock spring stretched out pretty far
and would have most certainly flown into my face if it stretched any further. In fact, at one point I wound the excess spring around the bolt just to make sure that it wouldn't hit me in the face-parts.

This weekend I finished Mass Effect 2. It's one of the finer examples of what a video game can achieve. One of the best sci-fi stories I've seen in years, and one of the most fully realized game worlds I've ever experienced. Really amazing stuff.

Now that I'm done I'll either start playing Bioshock 2 or Dead Space 2. Speaking of Dead Space 2 this ad campaign hit the internet last week.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the trailer. My initial reaction was to be offended. Mostly because EA seems to be playing into the violent video game controversy. I know they are trying to move units with a viral-type video, but it bothers me when this sort of thing just gives the anti-video game alarmists more ammo (so to speak).

I wish they would focus in on how brilliant and original this game is. How well done and interesting the story is, and how it's some of the most solid game play out there. But really they'd rather just showcase how this game will turn twelve year olds into psychopaths.

EA could attempt to make a case as to why the gaming industry is the most profitable industry in the world, and how sophisticated games have become, rather than just focusing on the grotesque nature of a game, thereby stripping away everything that makes it a compelling and interesting form of entertainment, and when it's at it's best; an art form. Maybe I just don't get it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rear-facing zombie phonebooks

Not too much to talk about this week. I have two running bikes again with two brand spankin' new kits installed. The Ciao has another DR kit, and the Maxi has another Metra 65.

After cracking the old Puch intake,

I was trying to figure out how to use another 19mm intake I had laying around. Rear-facing didn't seem like it would work, but after a little case-grinding, moving my CDI electronics, and a new air filter (bought with my Treat Tacos); it's tight, but I got it all to work.

It's not ideally the way I'd like it set up, because it makes rejetting more difficult than before, so if anyone knows where to get one of the above "Scooter Parts" intakes, I'd be grateful.

There's been a lot of talk about the Walking Dead recently. Not just because of the new semi-decent AMC series, but it seems like everyone is zombie-crazy these days, not just geeks like me.

If anyone had a hankering to check out the comic book series, this is the easiest way to get into it.

The compendium reprints the first 48 issues/first 8 trade paperbacks. (Don't call them graphic novels. Graphic novels are originally published, longer format stories self-contained in one published volume. Trade paperbacks collect story arcs of single issue comics in a reprinted format. There's your geek lesson of the day.) It's over a thousand pages and is a heavy volume. Look how thick this thing is. It's like a phone book.

High quality glossy pages, and it's a solid read. It contains the first major arc of the story, and is more than half the length of the series thus far. I picked up mine on Amazon for about $35. Well worth the cash.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vespa head-scratcher

A pile of parts showed up this week from Treats. Enough to get some bikes back on the road. I decided to start with a non-runner: the Ciao. I pulled the engine apart to clean out all the bits of needle bearing left in there from the seize. Installed a new crank bearing since more metal found there way into it.

I put everything back together, went to install a brand new needle bearing that was in said pile o' Treats, and it didn't fit. Huh? I have a 10mm crank, and this was a 10mm bearing, but it was about a millimeter too wide to fit. Well, enough had gone wrong in the garage up to that point that I was done for the night.

I came back fresh the next morning, did some work space cleaning, and organizing, and lo and behold, found the proper size bearing in a box of parts. Here are the two, side by side.

On the left is the bearing that fits in my Top crank. On the right is the Malossi replacement. The Malossi is a perfect fit for a 10mm DMP Vespa crank I had laying around, but is the wrong size for the odd-ball Top crank I have. The left one is a 10x13x14, the right one is a 10x14x13. Wrist pin fits in both.

More comparisons.

I dug around the Treats and 1977 websites, and my crank looks slightly different than the other Top cranks being sold. This is the second Vespa Top crank I've run in the past four years and they have both been the same style. Anyone encountered this?

It's been sunny in Seattle for days now, which reminds me that I wanted to make a post about rain-riding. I don't particularly enjoy riding in the rain, but I don't hate it either. Along with good rain gear, and warm clothing, I always keep these two items nearby: Rain-X and anti-fogger.

Rain-X works amazingly well on a face shield. The rain beads up nicely so you can still see, and if you turn your head to the left or right while riding, the rain slides right off. I re-apply about once a week during the rainy season(s).

Anti-fogger is just as awesome. Face shields fogging up on cold, rainy nights sucks. Again, I re-apply about once a week. I like stuff that keeps me from dying on a moped.