Sunday service

May 28, 2017

It’s not what you think. We aren’t going to get dressed up and
preach from the pulpit but will give some help with working on
your classic or antique car. This first installment will deal
with a seldom thought of component of the points style ignition
system.

If you have an older vehicle with points in the ignition a
ballast resistor is used to drop the voltage by about 2 volts
in a 12 volt system and also drop the amperes by about .5 amps
going into the coil. The reason a resistor is used it to
lengthen the life of the electrical components and cut down on
heat.

These resistors are usually located on the firewall with one
wire running from the ignition switch to the resistor and
another from the resistor to the positive side of the coil. If
you remove the resistor you will be replacing the points at a
much faster rate and the ignition coil more frequently.

Ballast resistors do fail and when that happens it is pretty
clear what the problem is. The engine will run with the starter
engaged but stop when the starter switch is turned to the “on”
position. Or the engine may not start at all.

Newer vehicles don’t use the ballast resistor because most use
a crank trigger sensor with one coil for each cylinder or a
pair of cylinders. The modern ignition system is also much more
complicated

And no, a ballast resistor for a fluorescent lamp won’t work.
Get one specific to your make and model. The one pictured above
is for a Chevy V-8. Others will be a sheet metal piece that
may look like an ECM to some. This concludes this session of
the Sunday Service.
Comments are always welcome.


Just two things

April 28, 2017

The weekend is upon us, we’re edging closer to summer, and car
shows are beginning to pop up. We’ll mention a couple here. The
Vintage Torquefest 2017 is next weekend May 5-6 at the Dubuque
County Fairgrounds in Dubuque, Iowa. John always puts on a
great show and this year is no exception.

Friday is a backroads country cruise to the Potosi Brewery,
mini-bike races on the dirt track, show cars on the dirt track,
a flat track motorcycle exhibition, dirty drags, chain racing,
and flame throwing cars after dark.

Saturday sees mini bikes in the back forty, flat track
motorcycle practice, mini bike and go kart exhibition, the pin
up contest, car owners showcase on the track, more dirty drags,
flat track motorcycle races, an art auction, jalopy heat laps
on the track, and of course bands, vendors, and a swap meet
both days.

All this makes it a fun show and proceeds go to Helping
Hannahs Heart.

The other event is the 33rd Annual Spring Auto Parts Swap
Meet and Car Corral held Sunday, May 7 at the fairgrounds
parking lot, 700 N. Maple Street in Monticello, Iowa. The event
runs from 7:30 am to 1 pm and is open to high performance,
custom, stock, and antique cars and parts.

Monticello also hosts a Rod and Custom Car Show that will be
held February 25-26, 2018. Now you know. We’ll leave it there
and hope you enjoy our weekend. It’s been raining here, but we
all know it has to rain to get a rainbow.
Comments are always welcome.


Thoughts on the weather

March 14, 2017

For a change it was fun watching the local morning news today
as they stumbled over commenting how everyone was surprised
that the weather forecast was so far off. The talking heads
that give their opinion said the snow is done during last
nights broadcast and I woke up to an additional inch of fluffy
white love from above covering everything that had been swept,
shoveled, or had melted yesterday.

A person can listen to news broadcast of the day locally but
as sure as God made little green apples the weather is going to
do whatever it wants. Evidently the people who do these
programs forget the weather doesn’t watch their channel.

Warnings were given about possible black ice later when the
sun goes down and the temperatures drop back to single digits.
At first I think, “how dumb do they think we are?’ Then I
remember the amusing times watching people trying to get their
cars up the hill out front. For a reason I could never figure
out some of these drivers seem to think flooring the gas pedal
will get them up the hill.

When I went over to Dads this morning a broom was thrown in
the trunk so I could sweep his sidewalks, porches, and the
driveway. When finished I went in for chat and we talked about
2 cylinder John Deere tractors. Of course he had to throw in
that they used have to walk six miles, uphill, through snow
drifts taller than they were to get to school.

So all in all, it has been a great day here on the east coast
of Iowa. Our thoughts are with those in the northeast who may
get hit with a couple feet of snow and high winds. Enjoy the
rest of our Tuesday.
Comments are always welcome.


Don’t get squirrely

March 12, 2017

I’ve been told people really do get squirrely when there
is a full moon. Emergency Rooms are busy as are the jails. But
here we ask that if you’re driving and run across a convoy of
of trucks with trailers hauling round bales of hay to take a
deep breath and don’t fly into a rage because it might make you
a minute or two late.

These trucks, mostly heading south, are simply farmers and
ranchers helping farmers and ranchers affected by fires. Oh,
you say the local and national news channels haven’t mentioned
the fact that almost 2 million acres of agricultural land has
burned? These fires have destroyed ranch lands and multi-
generational farms. Some ranchers have lost 80% of their herds
and more animals continue to die as they lose the battle with
smoke inhalation and burns.

Hundreds of calves have been orphaned when their mothers
burned up leading them to safety. And people have died in these
fires trying to protect their livestock and property. So the
trucks are carrying the hay to help and comfort those who have
lost so much. Give them a thumbs up, a smile, or a wave. They
are only trying to help.

If you wish to donate, here is some help.

Read their newsletter here.

Or you can mail a donation to the following address:

WRCF Wildfire Relief Fund
408 SW 7th Ave
Amarillo, TX
79101

Or you can donate by calling:

(806) 374-9722

If you can’t donate, give them a prayer to help them through
this tragedy. And if don’t pray, at least keep them in your
thoughts.
Comments are always welcome.


Pizza dreams

March 10, 2017

Later last night I took a store bought bacon cheeseburger
pizza, added hot sauce, more bacon, and a lot more cheese, then
put it in the pizza oven for as long as the timer would allow.
It now seems I have again forgotten what eating really spicy
food before bed does to my nightly nap.

I knew the dream was going to be a doozy when I boarded a
bus. I have not been on a bus since I was discharged from the
Navy many moons ago. Yet get on the bus I did. Then the bus
driver announced, “next stop Italy”. We all got off said bus
in a rustic little town and were told we should go to a local
saloon and experience the performing pirate monkey.

Well there’s a pitch you can’t refuse. Finding the saloon,
complete with swinging doors at the entrance, was like going
back in time. Brass rail along the base of the bar and even
spittons positioned every few feet. As soon as we all had a
seat the lights dimmed, the stage curtains parted, and a local
celebrity began his spiel.

“Mario the performing pirate monkey will be on shortly.
Please hold your applause until the end of his performance,
and don’t make any loud noises.” Quite a build up. So outs
walks this monkey about 2 feet tall wearing green satin pants,
a red vest, and a yellow fedora carrying a tambourine. Imagine
our surprise when we found out the only song this monkey could
play on his tambourine was “Would Jesus Wear A Rolex On His
Television Show?”

After an hour watching this local treasure perform his one
song we were in need of stronger drink. I never did learn
why this critter was proclaimed a performing pirate monkey and
was still in Italy when I woke up. Before I got my bearings I
thought Italy looks a whole lot like our house. No more hot
sauce on my midnight pizzas.

Enjoy our Friday, the weekend is here. Just in time for us
to have a chance of snow.
Comments are always welcome.


Sad anniversary

February 2, 2017

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Sometimes stories you’ve heard many times get your interest
again and then you look back only to find you had forgotten
more than was remembered. Such is the case as tomorrow draws
closer.

What’s tomorrow? For those who don’t remember we’ll give you
a clue: Don McLean wrote a song about the incident in 1972
called “American Pie” and since then tomorrow has been known
as the day the music died.

On February 3rd, 1959, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P.
“The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash near Clear
Lake, Ia. The pilot also died.

But the previous night they played the Surf Ballroom in Clear
Lake, Iowa in what they didn’t know was their last
performance. Holly, Valens and Richardson left after the show
and went to Mason City to charter a plane. The plane took off
at 12:55 am and not long after crashed.

Waylon Jennings was in Hollys’ band “the Crickets” and was
scheduled to fly along but gave up his seat to Richardson who
had the flue. Tommy Alsip, also with the Crickets was supposed
to be aboard but lost a coin toss to Richie Valens. Alsip
passed away January 11, 2017.

Of course that’s not all that happened on February 3rd so
we’ll add some other things happened on that date.

In 1855 on February 3rd, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared
the U.S. Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional.

In 1941 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld minimum wages and
maximum hours.

In 1953 the chimpanzee, J. Fred Muggs, became a regular on
NBC’s Today Show.

And in 1971 OPEC madates a total embargo against any company
that rejects a 55% tax rate.

So if you remember the music you may be humming along right
now and if you don’t perhaps you learned something. At any
rate, enjoy the eve of the day the music died. And now I go
in search of the elusive bacon cheeseburger pizza to see if
it can fill a void.
Comments are always welcome.


Amazing lady you haven’t heard of

January 12, 2017

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On this date in 1912, Kate Shelley died of Bright’s disease.
She was 49. Born Catherine Shelley in Loughan Moneygall,
County Offaly, Ireland on September 25, 1865, her family
emigrated to the U.S. when she was a year a half old and the
family settled in Moingona, Iowa.

Does the name sound familiar? She wasn’t an actress or a
politician, but she was a famous heroine and the first woman
in America to have a bridge named after her. Railroad
historians and those who follow the history of Iowa should
know her name.

In the afternoon of July 6,1881, a severe thunderstorm caused
Honey Creek to flash flood andt washed out the timbers that
supported the trestles of the railroad bridge over said creek.
The weather prompted railroad officials to send out a pusher
locomotive from Moingona to check track conditions.

When the locomotive, with a crew of 4 crossed the bridge, it
plunged into Honey Creek around 11 p.m. Kate Shelley heard
the crash and knew an eastbound passenger train was due to
cross the very same bridge into Moingona at Midnight. She ran
to the bridge and found surviving crew members, told them she’d
get help, and with the damaged Honey Creek bridge useless
began to cross the Des Moines River bridge to summon help.

Her trek started with a lantern for light yet when it failed
she dropped to the tracks and crawled on her hands and knees
until she crossed the bridge. Once she crossed the bridges
she ran the final half-mile to the Moingona depot to alert
railroad employees and get help for the injured.

She then led a rescue party back to the scene while the depot
made arrangements to stop the east bound train in Ogden, Iowa.
Three of the four in locomotive were saved along with all 200
aboard the train stopped in Ogden.

As happens with history on the internet, some sites have
different birth dates than others and the story varies
slightly. You can be the judge. Enjoy the rest of our
Thursday.
Comments are always welcome.