January 2014, Blackhawk Museum Cars and Coffee

I didn't get to take anything as I'm not driving yet after my spine surgery, but I met up with some firebird friends and went through the show. 

The highlights to me was an 80's BMW M1 that looked like it was a rip-off of a Ferrari 308, and they were sitting next to each other to compare.  The owner said they were made by BMW to compete in a racing series that ultimately never happened. There were 400 cars made none sold in the US. This car was one of 60 that he believe came to the US out of Italy.

A very cool modern Corvette modded to look very convincingly like a 65 Split Window.

 A 1947 La France Fire Engine replete with most of its tools and accessories.

My first look at a 2014 Stingray. The lambo doors are not standard. 32 MPG econobox.

A Blue Angels Anniversary Car complete with in show traffic chatter between pilots playing on the radio.

Telecommunications Closet

When we purchased our home in 2010 we decided to start with AT&T's U-verse for phone, video and data. That allowed us to go ethernet across the board and no longer rely on coax cable for cable tv signal delivery.

I built a communications cubby in our hallway, and I had our electrician that we were having do some renovation work to the house rough-in all of my Cat6 drops, run the cable, remove all of the jumbled coax and old telephone cables and add an electrical outlet on its own circuit to my telecommunications cubby.

I've had a friend ask for some advice and what I used so I detailed here on listmania which is part of Amazon.

We have a drop of 4 Cat6 cables in every room including a kitchen cabinet for an under-cabinet tv. The cubby is a little busy now, but it was worth every penny.  My only regret is I didn't have the foresight to have the electrician do a drop in the garage at my workbench.  But at least wireless reaches.

2013 ATHS (American Truck Historical Society) National Convention in Yakima, WA

This year I took two weeks of vacation and went to the ATHS National Convention Show in Yakima, WA. that ended up having over 800 Trucks and Trailers.

I entered the Chevrolet 1984 Diesel K5 Blazer, because it's the truck I have that I could trust to make the 1500 mile round trip and It is in fact a historic truck at 29 years old. Thanks Blade for keeping it in such good repair for 28 of those years.  Without Blade's meticulous maintenance it wouldn't be the special truck that it is.

With 320k miles on it; its a survivor and still my daily driver.

At the show the tools I carry in the Blazer came in handy helping out a GMC owner who arrived with some water pump problems, he did a field replacement shadetree mechanic style with buddies bringing a replacement pump to the show, buying the necessary gaskets from a vendor in the hall and what couldn't be gotten at the show a short trip to the parts store took care of.  Props to the guys at http://www.oldgmctrucks.com/

There was so much at the show I didn't even get to photograph most of it. What I have in the slideshow is just a sampling.  Nothing compares to being there, hearing the engines, and smelling the exhaust.

Blackhawk Cars and Coffee April 7, 2013

I was fortunate enough to find out about the inaugural Blackhawk Cars and Coffee event http://www.blackhawkmuseum.org/carsncoffee.html a few days before it happened. 

I took the 57 Wrecker. It was a huge hit with the museum staff and the kids.  I try to take the wrecker to as many of the Cars and Coffee's as I can, people are always excited to see it.

The wrecker even made it into an article (and the slideshow) written for the examiner about the event: http://www.examiner.com/article/cars-and-coffee-debuts-blackhawk-with-great-success?no_cache=1365490026

Even Ferrari's aren't immune to a little birdy bombing.

A gratuitous shot with some classics at the end.

You can't keep a good truck down!

The K5 Blazer was in good company this afternoon when I got word it was done and ready to be picked up from the transmission shop.

Cobra in the far bay

Checking out the handiwork.

The transfer case for the most part survived but it was rebuilt with new bushing and seals, and 312k miles of road grime removed.

The driveshaft couldn't be saved, this is my spiffy new one.  The shiny pipes are the recent Magnaflows.

The transmission got a new-to-me used 'K' case cover and completely rebuilt, we were able to keep the original shift-kit in it though. You can't see it in the photo but it got a new HD Diesel torque converter as well.

The truck is driving awesome, shifts smoothly. All the slop in the column shifter is gone, it's actually aligned with what gear position it is in now.  It goes back to the shop after a couple hundred miles so they can re-check everything.  Lets see if I can get another 300k out of it.

The 57 Wrecker at McDonalds and bad things happening to the K5 Blazer

With the K5 Blazer down for a few days I used the Wrecker to go get some breakfast, passed the Norm's Towing guy on the way in.

On 580 going home, huge BLAM, bang bang bang bang....  AAA and Save-Tow to the rescue.

The Ujoint had a catastrophic failure, used the transfer case as a lever and broke a rear transmission mount with it's flailing, the transmission case cracked and broke as well as bent the driveline butt good.

This is NOT how you would like to see your transmission.

Adding one to the family

1984 K5 Blazer 6.2L Diesel

Impeccably maintained by the original owner for 28 years. He special ordered this truck very well optioned in 1984. He's documented almost every fuel stop, oil changes and unscheduled maintenance. Which I'm continuing to do. It recently passed 310k miles and still gets 20mpg.