Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

motorhome winterizing tarp support

We are somewhat new to motorhome ownership, but have learned that in cold winter country it is best to not let moisture reside on the roof through thaw and freeze cycles. These wreck stuff. Not having a motorhome-sized barn means we need a Plan B. I engineered a teepee to hold the tarp up off the roof and overhang a foot on each side. I only took this project part-way as I am not sure yet if my wife is keeping this or selling our Leprechaun. So I designed, but have not purchased components nor built it out. I initially figured on using 1 1/4 inch PVC, but have decided that 1 inch will be plenty strong because of the […]

driving … or not

While wearing my baby teeth I was racing toy cars over road-race courses of my own making on the carpet. Smallest of the bunch, I was beating all other home-made coasters on our downhill courses, making maneuvers others did not dare. In bicycle boonie-crashing I had no peers, not from muscle mass, of which I had none, but, well, I am and have always been a driver. Graduating to internal combustion engines, and automobiles didn’t change much in relative skill levels, just put me into a new league. Autocrossing had my Porsche 912, then Porsche 356B, the Porsche 356A Speedster winning consistently. At the time I thought my cars were magical. My 650 single-carb BSA was the lowest horsepower in […]

nice ride

I spent over 20 years with a ’56 Porsche Speedster as my main ride. I wouldn’t give up a minute of it. But I sold that to finance my escape from The People’s Republic of California. About 16 years later I got a little runabout that scratches the same itch. Today I gave it a bath. It is very un-pretty. The Speedster highly rewarded washing and waxing. The CRX does not. I probably have not washed it in a year. It may be subtle, but I did notice and appreciate the cleaner look. It would be a treat to drive them one after another at Sears Point, Laguna Seca or over the Lost Trail Pass. That, of course, is […]

Weekend of a Champion

Last night we enjoyed a 2013 movie, most of which was made by Roman Polanski during three days he spent with Jackie Stewart in 1971, leading up to and including Jackie’s drive in the Monaco Grand Prix. Ya’all ought to know I am A CAR GUY. I have been a dedicated car guy, and in particular, road-racing car guy since I was five years old, or so. Anything that involves high-performance driving turning right as well as left has my interest. I subscribed to Road & Track and Car & Driver in the 70’s, watching Jackie via those pages during his peak. I also found autocross and began legitimate sports car performance competition about that time. I differentiate that from […]

GT

Those kids of mine, and Missy’s have been reproducing. We have now been re-named to help the grandkids. My Mom has also been renamed. Great Grandma is now “GG”. One of the grandkids goes by “KK”. That was, I think, how this started. Now Missy is using “GM”, for Grandma Missy, but she’s claiming it also puts her in charge as General Manager. I have decided I can live with that as “GT”, can serve Grandpa Ted, as well as establish my next appropriate acquisition. I could probably settle for slightly less than a GT40. Do you suppose they would accept my first-born as payment? Surely his wife and 6 kids would support my NEED for speed. […]

chicken strips

Motorcycle tire technology has come a long ways from those state-of-the-art Dunlop K81 tires I put on my cafe’ racer BSA 40 years ago. This is a good thing. The K81s had a distinctly wedge shape to the sides forming a very wide traction patch at what the engineers felt was the optimum cornering angle. Kind-of like this: \_/ I became pretty good at hard-charging corners along the hills, rivers and rugged Pacific coasline in my neighborhood. Until the day my lean angle exceeded that designed into the tire. Going off the broad part in a full-G turn had the bike disappear out from under me and my blue jeans disappear from my knee area before my body stopped sliding […]

home-made motorcycle cover

At the beginning of the month I got an offer I couldn’t refuse on a BMW motorcycle. It was a brand and style I’ve been dreaming about for lots of years, but at a price I’ve never seen the likes of. I thought I could widen the entrance and reorganize our ‘sally port’ to park it under a cover. That didn’t work out. Plan B was an all weather motorcycle cover. I didn’t really want to spend the bucks … well, at least not right away. So I bought the better quality tarp offered by our local hardware and building-supply store. I tied it on with bailing twine, figuring that would get me by for months. That became tedious getting […]

oops, missed the turn ;)

quick trip to the bank … via the lake