Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category
Welcome to COG Radio
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Dr. Tom Potisk, the Cool Old Guy who in known as “the down to earth doctor” because of his holistic lifestyle and practical advice on healthy living, joins TJ on this COG Radio segment. Dr. Tom has tips about whole health healing, chiropractic care, vitamins, and healthy foods including a “secret” snack that is great for a COGs prostate. Dr. Tom knows about “Whole Health Healing”…after all, he wrote the book on it. Program length-17:50
Dr. Tom Potisk, speaker and author of “Whole Health Healing” which is packed with practical advice and he offers a FREE download for Cool Old Guys at http://thedowntoearthdoctor.com
When I was a kid I did all my own car repairs. The way I remember it, there was the satisfaction of working with my hands and accomplishing an important task while listening to rock and roll on a portable radio.
Fast forward a few years (OK, maybe a few decades). It all started when I noticed fork oil running down the right side of the front suspension of my GoldWing a few weeks ago. Closer inspection revealed oil soaked brake pads, wheel, and undercarriage on the right side.
What could be so hard about changing fork oil on a motorcycle? I could think of lots of better uses for the $400.00 labor I was quoted at the local Honda shop.
The first step is to find a truck stop or industrial waste site and collect about 5 gallons of used differential oil and if possible add to this a few pounds or pureed three day old road kill. Spread this mixture liberally over the garage floor, walls, and any tools and benches you plan to use to mask the smell and roughly match the volume of the goo you will “drain” from the forks. All that stuff is going to be covered in oil eventually anyway—might as well just smear it on early and get it over with.
Next, spend a few hours on the Internet reading how easy it is to swap out a set of seals in 30 minutes to two hours tops. Don’t forget to study the “shop manual” for useless information that has nothing to do with the actual work you are about to tackle. Be sure to read all the blogs and bulletin boards you can. After you’ve spent about half a day looking for time saving shortcuts, give up and actually start taking apart your bike.
It turns out the geniuses at Honda use two bolts on the left brake caliper and two on the right to hold said components to the forks. When you try to remove them you find two bolts take a 13 mm socket, one takes a hex wrench, and one a #40 Torx socket. Yes, three different style fasteners to hold what amounts to the same component to the same structure, just on the opposite side.
Removing the front half of the fender and the front wheel is pretty straightforward. Unless you count the 30 or so fasteners you have to take off to get the brakes out of the way. It’s also important to consult a Higher Power before trying to fish the back part of the fender out of the tangle of brake lines and system of tabs and slots obviously designed to test the patience of Job.
Once all the various contraptions that are stuck to the fork legs are removed, the job gets a little simpler. There are still a couple of tricks up Honda’s sleeve however. The dash has to be removed to access the top caps. This, of course, means dealing with a wire connector which cannot be easily pulled apart no matter how many times you have done it before. (Every time I take it apart I swear I will file off the little catch that causes the problem).
Another procedure calls for loosening the hex bolt in the bottom of each leg. Internet experts suggest using an air impact wrench for this. I opted for the low tech method. Using a standard hex wrench, I found a giant Crescent wrench and fitted the “L” part into the jaws and broke loose the stubborn bolt. This was also the time when random spurts of stinky black oil began to fly out in all directions without warning or any regard for the laws of physics.
Speaking of oversize tools, the top caps can not be loosened without resorting to extra leverage. After straining with a ratchet wrench and inventing a few new words, I decided to gain an advantage by using my torque wrench with the long handle. As I was holding the right handlebar with my belly and pulling the wrench for all I was worth, it occurred to me it might be interesting to see how much torque it took to break this particular bolt loose. Just as my eyes started to focus on the tiny numbers the bolt gave way. I didn’t get the reading but I did put the torque wrench on the floor where I could trip over it a few minutes later.
One more obstacle remained before I could actually remove the right fork and spill more oil on the floor. The upper pinch bolt came loose pretty easily. The lower one is semi-hidden up under the front body work and was, of course, coated with a thick mixture of oil and dirt. After loosening the lower pinch bolt I found the fork tube was still stuck fast, and even using all my magic words failed to make it budge. I re-loosened the upper pinch bolt and began hammering on the top of the fork cap with a big hammer and a half inch socket extension. For some reason I came to my senses temporarily and re-examined the lower pinch bolt. This time I noticed the second bolt immediately above the lower one I had already loosened. A couple of turns and the leg came sliding out, dripping filthy smelly oil all the way to the work bench where it puked another puddle of grayish ooze before I had time to react.
Have I mentioned the odor associated with the used fork oil? It is severe. Think of what it might be like to sniff a hobo’s sweat sock which has been soaked in Kim chi, and buried under a damp chicken coop for about three years. Then quadruple the effect.
There in my garage, covered in stinky oil goo, knuckles banged up and back hurting from all the bending and stretching, I wondered how I ever thought this was a fun thing to do.
Then it hit me. I walked over to the portable radio on my workbench and turned it on. Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top came blaring out of the speakers. The full-blast beat of rock-and-roll somehow erased all the pain it took to get this far.
I expect the rest of the job to be anticlimactic—change the seals and put it all back together. After all, how hard could it be?
Sid Moen is a retired police sergeant turned management consultant and a Cool Old Guy. When he’s not touring the country on his GoldWing, he can be found in his garage trying to figure out what to do with all the spare parts leftover from his repair jobs.
Contributed by: The COG
Be honest, you know the look. That phony smile and the glare that, when interpreted properly says: “Wow, I see you put allot of thought into this future piece of garage sale inventory.” Here at CoolOldGuys.org, our crack research team has identified five gifts that dad will almost surely dislike.
1) Ties: Most guys don’t even ware ties any more and if they do, they like to pick them out themselves. If you truly believe he NEEDS clothing, get him a gift certificate to Mens Warehouse.
2) Any singing fish: Face it, if your dad really would like a singing bass hanging on the wall, he would already have one. If he really wants one but can’t afford it…save the money and buy him some food or beer.
3) A “WGD” T-Shirt: T-Shirts that have a funny or cool message are okay, but whatever you do, don’t buy dad a t-shirt, or anything else for that matter, with “Worlds Greatest Dad” painted on it.
(Now you might want to buy him a “I’M A COG” T-Shirt in our store)
4) Anything about fitness: Nothing says “I love you dad” you big fat pig, any more than a diet book or exercise DVD. Mom’s dig this stuff, but not dads. Again, buy him food or a gift certificate from Hooter’s or some Omaha Steaks…that will work.
5) Added responsibility: Finally, no matter how much dad says he wants another puppy or kitten…don’t buy him anything that will require more work. He won’t like it!
It’s safe to buy dad something he can eat or wear to work. Most Cool Old Guys really just want you to hang with them for awhile on Father’s Day. Take them out for dinner, to a game, golfing, cruising, sailing…you name it.
If you stay away from these five do not buys, you will probably be safe.
Contributed by several COGs in the last week or two
A Palindrome reads the same backward as it does forward. This video reads the exact opposite backwards as it does forward. What a great, very cool, message from You Tube. Just click here and check it out. “Lost Generation”
Thanks for sharing with Cool Old Guys!
Contributed by: THE COG
Here’s the deal…we want to create a “COG Cookbook” that is packed with recipes Cool Old Guys love and want to share with other Cool Old Guys.
The catagories thus far are: Main Courses (Entries), Desserts, Snacks, BBQ, Sides, Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Beverages
…but you can send us anything you think other COG’s would find enjoyable.
Just like submitting any article, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org in a Word.doc and feel free to include a picture, but it’s certainly not necessary.
NOTE: If you know a COG that isn’t an official member but a darn good cook…he can send along his favorite recipe too.
Contributed by: A COG
A 92-year-old, small-framed, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an Continue Reading
Contributed by: Ralph Schillace
I am a recently joined COG and I am loving it. It has been great fun reading the articles and listening to the pod casts. I have always wanted to be a big wheel, but now I will settle for being a vital tooth on a big wheel gear.
The best part of being a COG is having lived long enough to have accumulated some stories. What is life anyway if it doesn’t result in some good memories shared as good stories? Here’s one on me for you – one that reminds me that modesty and caution are always good ideas.
I went back to school for some clinical psychology training after I had been a tenured professor. This meant that I would be the student, not the teacher. I did this at a major hospital in Detroit and I was accepted as the beginner I was and I assumed my role as intern without too much complication. Much of the year went by without incident.
As I progressed in my learning and I suspect as the staff realized I understood my place, they decided that perhaps some of my professional skills might be useful. A particularly formal and stodgy supervisor Continue Reading
Contributed by: TJ Wisner
Keep your thoughts positive,
Thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive,
Words become your behaviors.
Keep your behaviors positive,
Behaviors become your habits.
Keep your habits positive,
Habits become your values.
Keep your values positive,
Values become your destiny.
Contributed by: John Wilder
In all of the how-to magazines and how-to books in all the home improvement stores across the land, you find erroneous information about setting fence posts. People have the mistaken notion that if it is in print, then it must be right. Other construction writers who usually don’t have any “real world experience” copy and re-write the same erroneous information.
I have worked for years repairing fences as a fencing contractor. That involves replacing rotted fence posts. I am if you will a fence post archeologist. I have replaced hundreds of fence posts and the rot pattern is always the same. Continue Reading
Contributed by: TJ Wisner
While I was talking to a Wall Street Journal writer about CoolOldGuys.org, she mentioned another article she was pitching to the editor. That story was about unique and fun Christmas trees. I told her about our recent family tradition of building a “tree” out of holiday beer bottles. Then about how we take down the tree after Christmas and have a blind taste test. She asked several questions and our conversation ended.
A few weeks later she called me and informed me that the editor liked the quirky tree’s story and asked for more information and a few pictures.
Lynne and I got the idea a few years ago at a Christmas celebration in the Flint Institute of Arts, went home a created our own festive beer tree. Although I rarely drink beer, and never drink the ales and stouts that the tree is constructed with, it’s still fun to entertain and “drink down” the tree after the big day.
Anyway, as I said, the young ladies article on Cool Gifts never got picked up, but the Beer Tree made it to the WSJ, their “Hub TV” program and WSJ.com. Then it spread like wild-fire. Check out these articles from the BarBeerians and a very cool local Mid-Michigan online news service.
Whether you drink beer or not…you have to admit, this is pretty cool!
Merry Christmas to all!
TJ Wisner is a Cool Old Guy who helps people and organizations improve their overall performance through keynote speaking, coaching and consulting. To learn more about TJ visit http://TheCPOInstitute.com or email him at TJ@coololdguys.org