Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Craters of the Moon.

Got to help the youth do a practice hike out at Craters of the Moon yesterday.  Chose a perfect day- there was hardly any wind, nice cloud cover, and the temperatures were PERFECT.  Hike about 4.5 miles in on the Wilderness Trail to Echo Crater and then back out.

Can't remember the name of this hill, but I vividly remember hiking up it when I was maybe 12 and thinking I was going to die from the heat...  This is right near the entrance and as I recall has a great view of the entire area.

Walking, and walking, and walking...

Figured out how to take a panorama shot.

The end of the trail.  Had a break, a snack, and built a cairn.  Neat vesicles? in them there rocks!

Stopped at Buffalo Cave on the way back to play around for a bit.  Wish we had more time to explore!

And one last panorama.

Fun hike.  Very easy going, trail was super smooth and hardly any elevation change.  Glad it wasn't hot!!!  Will definitely have to get back out there to explore more some day.  Only 75 miles away and its taken me 6 years to get out there.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Metal Earth laser-cut model review- Avro Lancaster.

Stumbled across this laser cut miniature model a few weeks ago while on the Cali trip with my eighth graders.  These are made by Metal Earth, and are VERY detailed and fun to put together, although they are NOT what I would call easy to assemble.

I paid quite a bit more than amazon is asking for the same kit here ($6.64):  http://www.amazon.com/Fascinations-Metal-Earth-Laser-Model/dp/B00FFCI2XU/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436406536&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=metalearth+lancaster

Very small package.  They claim to have 360 degree views to help assemble the models here: http://www.fascinations.com/metalearth/gallery360 but I was unable to find the Lancaster there.

Laser cut, very detailed, and dang challenging to put together. Fairly simple when you look at the directions and parts...

But looks can be deceiving.

These little engine pods were a pain to build. If you can find a rod about the diameter of what you need its pretty easy to curl the metal around it.

Starting to come together!


Part of what makes it so hard to do is the size- pretty dad gum small.

So overall this was a WAY fun project.  Took me maybe an hour and a half start to finish.  It was challenging enough to make it exciting but not so hard I got frustrated with it.  Definitely NOT for begginers or very easy.  I do think they have a few simpler models that might be great to try and see if you like it. 

I *definitely* recommend this to any model builders or people who like to work with their hands.  I think they are a bargain at the prices you see them on amazon, and there is a HUGE variety- planes, tanks BUILDINGS, Transformers, and even STAR WARS ships!!!

Here are a few of the others:


And my PERSONAL favourite- The John Deere model B!


There are *hundreds* more to choose from.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


So I entered my custom Hot Wheels tool box in an instructables competition, and it won some prizes!

Got sweet new shirt, a patch, a sticker, a multi-tool pen that'll go in the tool box and some kind of sensor? from Clime.  Seem to be sensors that can measure temp, humidity, and the like and connect wireless to ipads or other devices.  Apparently on back order...

Here's the instructables I wrote:  http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Utlimate-Mini-Mobile-Metalshop/

And that nifty little 12 in one tool pen can be found here:   http://www.amazon.com/12-Multi-Function-Tool-Pen/dp/B005Z7OEI2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436313386&sr=8-1&keywords=12+in+one+tool+pen

It'll make a great addition to my tool box!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Family Rebellion- the videos.

So I have several short video clips from the reunion but they were taking forever to upload. They're finally done, so here they are!

On the walk over to the new house, I road with the Hayses. Ridge went jogging past us, growling a quote from his favourite cartoon- Inspector Gadget. He's quoting Dr. Claw here, "Next time, Gadget!!! NEXT TIME!"

Running the old E for the youngins. Don' think they appreciated it very much...

Playing scoop hockey mini golf, and sending the ball right into the water trap.

I *know* he grew up as a scout, so I'm not quite sure what he was thinking. You should be able to put 2 and 2 together and figure it out.

"Swimming" in the Lower Palisades Lake.

Fireworks Finale.

Thats all, folks!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Family Rebellion 2015!!!

Been a few years since we've all been able to get together at the same time, and I'm not sure this really counts since Grandma and Grandpa are still serving their mission in Barbados (what a rotten place to have to be doing service, eh?!?).  We'll call it a reunion though since my sister made the drive allllll the way up from New Mexico.

I'll apologize for the lackluster pics... Still learning how to use my new phone but we'll discuss that later.

First time we've all been together in something like 3 years?

Be very glad this isn't a video and that there's no sound!

We had a great family dinner on Sunday.  There were a few comments on why we had the boys peel so many potatoes... Then they saw how much my boys eat.  They would subsist on nothing but mashed potatoes and gravy if they could- and would probably go through a 10 lb bag of 'em every single day.  After dinner we went on a short walk to take everyone on a tour of the soon to be "new" house.

They had a great time exploring the "Clue" house and playing in the yard.  Of course, Don had to inspect the green equipment that comes with the place...

That was about it for Day 1.  Got to sit and visit a lot, which was great!

Day 2 was SSUUUPPPER hot.  Topped 101 degrees.  We mostly hid out in the a/c for the afternoon.  We lit the fire to roast dogs on in the late afternoon before a refreshing dip in Jensens Grove.

Then off to the "lake".


After the swim we came back home and re-lit the fire for some smores.  The right way to do it- in tin foil like a dinner.  Makes 'em about perfect every time!  

We also had to make some Dirty Diapers.  My favorite camping treat!

That was it for day 2.  Day 3 was a little more relaxed.  In the morning we went and toured the Potato Museum (yes, it really exists). 

We also stopped at my shop to show everyone around, had ice cream at Rupes, cleaned the house for a showing, and skeddadled back to Sarah's school to watch a show on her big screen while the house showed.  After that it was a relaxing evening visiting!

Day 4 was super relaxing for us- Kristi's family went up to Steve's in the morning to spend the next couple of days with them.  Day 5 found us up early packing for the next couple of days at Steveos.  It was a crazy busy day-  Spent 3 hours at Squealers Fun Park up in Rigby almost constantly on the go-carts!  Kids are CRAZY drivers... Kade managaed to ram every single person on the track at LEAST once, more like 2 or 3 times!  They got pretty fast and it was a real competition!

Of course, we also did some mini-golf,


The gyro thingy, and a few other rides.

After Squealers we blasted up to Rexburg for a cheap movie.

Then off to a Pizza buffet...


And then we blasted to the splash park...

And then back to Rigby for some backyard camping.

Whew!!! Talk about a crazy day!  If that wasnt busy enough, how about we wake up the next day for an 8 mile hike with the kids!?

4 miles in, 4 back out.  8 mile round trip to the Lower Palisades Lake. 

Cool hike, nice shade, decent trail with some nice cliffs along the river.

Cool bridges,

And finally, the lake!!!

Saw some Moosen.  Hard to see but there is one out there in the middle in the above pic,  and a momma and her calf in the lower pic.

Of course it was hot enough to require a dunk in the frigid lake...

A quick break and the hike out.  Got to lug this little squirt for a bit while she napped.  She even would talk to me when she woke up!

Saw a mountain goat on the way back,

and FINALLY made it to the cars!

Whew.  Who wants ICE CREAM!?!?

The world famous SQUARE ice cream in Swan valley.

Long drive home but we finally made it.  Kristi hung out at Steves for another day and it sounds like they had fun.  We lolligagged around the house relaxing the next day, and then on Saturday evening they came back to watch fireworks with us, spend the night, and start the journey home to New Mexico the next day.


Well, maybe they didn't all like it...

But the show was pretty darn good!


Everybody fell right to sleep after the show and we saw them off this morning.  It was a great visit, sad its over, but hopefully now that they don't live on the other side of the country we can make this happen a little more often!  Here's to next years family reunion!