Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bike season.

Since its been gone, its been a pinhole in my heart. Like a drug addiction, and I haven't had any for a long time.

The feel of the road underneath you. The vibration coming from the steel and rubber. The wind blasting over your body and around you. Caressing you.

Nothing matters at this point. Just you. The drone of the power below you. It commands you, and you command it. You ask. It obeys without hesitation.

You cant hear a cell phone here. No office to chase you down. Even if that phone rang. You couldn't answer. You don't want to either.

The smells in the air. The sweet smell of lilac as you rip past it, and even passing the cattle yards, it seems to smell sweeter.

The comrodery you have out there, even in passing. You do not know the person, and you probably never will, yet you both wave like your members of a secret boyhood club. It doesn't matter if what you ride matches theirs or not. You knew if you needed it, they would help you. And you would do the same. If you stop in the same place. You aren't shy to ask about what he's riding.

You remember your first ever ride on one. I do. Clear as day. I was a young lad and I hopped on one of my dads friends bike. A Newfoundlander named "Fred". He had a 1984 Honda Silverwing with all the timmings and luggage bars. Even a functional CB. It was a hot summer day with clear skies. I remember wearing lime green shorts too. I remember how it made my heart pound. The same way it does today.

Even when you ride with your spouse. You can feel her behind you. Moving, wrapped around you, although she doesn't really have to. She just does, as she enjoys the ride. You can feel her breathing. Leaning and turning with you its like dancing, but in sync and no toes to step on.

When I returned my bike, I lost this ability. Once you've ridden once, you don't forget it. And Im not talking about the guy trying it out for the weekend. What I'm talking about is.. The bug.

The bug is what drives someone to go out to the garage when its -35'c just to "check". Just to sit on it, and leaves you standing at the window at winters end praying for it to end soon. When you ride your bike and there is still snow on the ground but just enough road to safely make it. When you drive in the same snow at the end of the season trying to "squeeze one more ride" in before winter puts a temporary end to the fun.

In my garage sits my friends bike while he is away. I washed it today, although it is not mine. Started it to make sure the battery is topped up for his return. Its not my problem. But its what I would like if I were him. Nobody likes to go for a ride to find a dead battery.

I rewrote my M1 motorcycle license today. And passed. Another qualification. I'm now legally allowed to ride. I have no bike. And no gear. But I have dreams. Not to mention the 90+mpg would be great as gas is now over $1.30/l!

If I already had a bike that was paid for. Even if it was a $1000 beater, I would be content. And its the only way it would be practical really.

I accept cash, visa, mastercard if anyone would like to donate. lol

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I have returneth.

Yup. So I'm back. I had to travel across 3 provinces to pick up a truck and load in Wainwright, Alberta. My first long-haul.

On the way out, I rode shotgun with Mike, in a rental tractor trailer. And let me tell you. Boring. Northern Ontario was nice, but once you hit Manitoba. Flat as a pancake. You could actually do navigation by using the hills.

We stopped the night in Hurst, Ontario. A small French/first nations town with a nice restaurant. Other then that, its pretty much a one-road town with the largest sawmill I have ever seen. So large, an overhead crane is used to lift logs.

The next night brought us to Headingly. A suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba. We didn't get to tour the town, as we ate at the Husky and packed it in for the night.

The third night was spent in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Again at a husky, and we went to bed quickly as the next location was Wainwright, and we had an 8:00am timing to meet.

Got into wainwright and had to Wait for 2 days for our loads, and also due to a very large fire on the ranges.

On the way back, We stopped the night in Regina. Nice city. We had supper across the street. I spent the night text messaging the lovely wife of mine. And prowling the streets with Garret, trying to find a power inverter.

The next day, disaster broke out. Or broke down should I say. My truck broke down in Moosamin and was unrepairable. We had to abandon it and carry on. So I rode the rest of the way home in Garret's truck. He was gracious enough to put me up in a hotel room for the night, as 50kms from where I broke down, a tractor of ours broke down as well. That driver hopped in with Mike. (Mikes truck was a double bunk). We pressed on to Hurst, Ontario that night.

That night I spent in another hotel as amazingly, one of out mechanics hotel rooms were equipped with a Hide-a-bed couch.

The next day we pressed on home. And of course the radio broke down, making for an excruciatingly boring trip. Painfully boring if your not the one driving. And I didnt get to drive. God. I was about ready to pull my hair out.

So what Have I learned? Well. Maintenance on the truck would have helped to prevent the breakdown to an extent. In this case, the truck was going to break and no one really knew it. No harm, no foul. Classic "Stuff Happens" day.

Claims. Clerks are evil, so next time I will be taking a full advance instead of the $300 I took the last time. $300 just simply was not enough money. Especially with the break down and me having to go to hotels.

Most truck stops have WI-FI access, so I really should get on someone to send me the old one for the next trip out. And a power inverter. I live on the internet and having it would have been a great source of entertainment. Not to mention having my mapping software would be nice.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 3.

Today was the 3rd day. After creating a safe zone for myself in the garage I have started to test the HHO System again. The tests this evening started with me electrifying the steel grating with 2 cells.

A marginal success. The bubbles were trapped in a brownish green sludge that would rise to the top and create a film, nearly 1cm thick. This was ineffective. I have to find the source of the film. I cleaned the tank and noticed the electrodes were severely corroded after 6 tests. This explained the rusty brown film.

I reconstructed the cell again using an aluminum license plate cut into 3 uniform sections. The center plate was positive with the outer plates being negative. Using table salt as an electrolyte, I again tested. The brown was gone, but the green still existed. I cleaned the system again and tried straight tap water.

No film occurred at all in this test, which leads me to believe the rust from the previous test and salt were both less then ideal. I put baking soda in for the last test.

The backing soda worked, however it would clump into particles. Hydrogen production increased, but again, the bubbles would rise and dissipate away. When the larger bubbles were lit, they popped with a more solid pop noise and an orange flame was observed. This is a success.

The problem I am faced with now is that I have no viable method to capture the escaping gases to measure how much is being produced. The container I am using is a 2L Pepsi bottle with the top section removed. I must construct a vessel that can withstand the gas and channel it through a tube so that I may measure how much is being made, and then determine if I need to add more plates. Popping bubbles is hardly an accurate way to measure an odorless tasteless gas.

Also online videos show that the reaction happens and only the bubbles are white, whereas my entire vessel turns white with floating particles. This leads me to believe my electrolyte is incorrect for the job its doing. I must research this more.