Yes, I’m A Gamer

Of sorts. When I was a young-un all the cool kids had these things called Atari’s. We never had one because we didn’t have money for such things. I was lucky to have a bicycle, a few board games, and a baseball and glove. I made do. Most of us did. Every once in a while I’d get a cap gun and I’d blam blam a few unfortunate imaginary foes until I ran out of caps or the cheap gun broke. By the time I was 10 or so I did finally get a single pump BB gun which was awesome (no I didn’t shoot my eye out), till that time if wanted a gun I’d have to substitute a stick from the yard. Ahh the good old days.

I did later get a dirt bike to ride (which I was paying for with my paper route) but I never really got into the gamer thing until I was married to my first wife, with kids and had a mortgage. I had picked up a computer a 386 SX and it came equipped with 2 entire gigs of Ram. It had even been upgraded with 1 extra gig! (Anyone remember Win3 and DOS 6.0?) Well at the time Kings Quest games were the thing and we had one of them, then I bought another for the kids. Well it came with a freebie trial for a new online MMORPG (Massive Multi Player Role Playing Game) called simply The Realm. It was by the same company that did Kings Quest, Sierra. Well I did the free trial thing and I was hooked. I have played that game on and off for several years. In the beginning it had a lot of people and was a very fun game to play. I have quit and gone back a few times, as of right now I don’t mess with it much. It has run its course I think.

Well with little desire to get into the pay to win games that have flooded the world today, and bored with my old game of choice, I thought I’d look for some sort of brain food. I like things that challenge my poor dilapidated noggin and when I’m not too busy mechanic-ing, or dealing with the everyday neccessities, I like to do SOMETHING with my brain. Mahjong which came on my computer did the job for a good while, I still play it, but was looking for something…new.

I learned how to play Cribbage a long time ago from my great uncle Leo. Leo had been captured in WW2 early on in the war. He was in the battle at Faid Pass. The Germans advanced, engaged in battle, then did a tactical retreat. The Allies thinking they had them on the run gave chase. It was a trick. They advanced into a trap and were blown to hell. Uncle Leo survived, was captured, and spent a lot of time in a concentration camp. Many of his companions were Brits. Brits love Cribbage. Leo learned from the Brits. I learned from Leo. So long story short I like a good game of Cribbage. So I set upon a course to find a free to play Cribbage game. (Yahoo used to have a really good one but they nerfed it) I found a decent one here:

I played that game for a while, until I realized the game cheats. It always plays the game so that the opponents hand hits the upcard. Way too much to be a coincidence. I can still beat it, but don’t care for being disadvantaged. So, I decided to snoop around on the site and have found quite a few interesting, free, did I say free? Yep free games to play. No you won’t find the latest greatest anything at that site, but there is a lot to look over and try out. And it’s FREE! Yes there are a few ads(Which I just resize my window so I don’t have the distraction, don’t tell anyone) And some of the games are limited play before they want you to buy it. But you can still play the game without chucking any cash at them so what the hell.

Right now I’m really liking the game Alpha Assault, it is under the word/trivia category (All the categories can be seen at the link). It’s basically Scrabble with a twist. You have to make words to eliminate tiles threatening your position. It’s quite a bit of fun, somewhat addicting, and satifies my desire for brain food. And that is what matters I think 🙂

There are a few poker games I have tried. Governor of Poker was fun, and still is, but it moves a little slow and I pushed it to the point where they urged me to buy the game. Which I don’t want to do. There are a couple more good poker games there as well, and a host of games I have yet to try. But I’ll get there.

So, why am I posting this at all? Just in case there is another pour soul out there that needs a brain food fix. Someone up for a challenge. Someone as cheap as I am. If that is you then check that link out. You may or may not like the site but you sure won’t complain about the price!


Bicycles, Boats, And Go Carts

That’s what Ive been up to. My youngest son decided to take MY bicycle for a ride, and proceeded to smack the derailleur (the thingy that moves the chain on the rear gears) right against a table leg, destroying the derailleur. I just happen to have an old carcass of a bike out back and the derailleur was still functional, so I have been in the process of switching them out.

No easy feat. There are no master links on multi speed bike chains so you have to bust a link to remove the chain + derailleur. No problem. I can do that. But I don’t have a master link to put the chain back together. Amazon to the rescue! I got the new master link a couple days ago. But…in the process of fixing this bike I noticed some busted spokes on the rear wheel. Every one of them is on the gear cluster (or cassette if you prefer) side, which means you have to pull the gear cluster to replace the spokes. Which as it turns out means you need special tools to do. Welcome to my life. No act large or small ever goes smoothly, there is always trips to town, internet searches, Amazon purchases, cuts and bruises, sweat and blood. Nothing is ever easy. The tools are on their way.

Then, as I was pulling the axle on the rear wheel, I notice the damn axle is bent. So I have to fix that too. Jeese Louise.

While I was ordering a master link for the bicycle I remembered the old go cart out in the shop. The go cart just needed a master link to make it go, so while I was ordering master links I got one for the go cart chain. But again nothing is ever easy. I put the link in the chain and soon realized I was out of room for adjusting the chain. It was too loose. So I took the chain off and busted a link out of it and tried again, too damn tight! So now I’m scratching my noggin trying to figure out where to go from here and I realized I could shim the motor so it sits higher on the frame, thus tightening the chain. Well I have a lot of 1/8 inch steel around here just because you never know when you might need some steel, and have to start up the welder to make something you need. But I figured 1/8 ” thickness would mean I’d need to make 2-3 plates and weld them together, which I could do, but didn’t want to, so I called my neighbor. I knew there was a chance he would have heavier stock and he did! We found some 3/8″ thick  x 5″ wide flat steel in his scrap pile that was perfect. He used his band saw to cut me a piece 7″ long. I took that piece home, after thanking my friend and neighbor, and used an old (like new though) 5 hp Honda engine I have lying around, as a template for drilling the holes in my new shim. The shim worked perfectly! But remember nothing is ever easy 🙂 The bolts were now too short to bolt the engine back on! Okay they are 5/16 bolts, and I have a drawer full of bolts, washers, wire, doo dads, brackets, and whatnot, I got lucky and found 4 bolts of the right size, but they are too long. No biggie I measured how long I’d need em and cut them to length I needed. Whew! It all bolted up.

Now it’s time to crank this old piece of shit. This go cart has a 5hp Briggs and Stratton engine, I HATE Briggs and Stratton engines. They are literally the definition of “nothing is ever easy” This motor has sat for a few years and I knew it would be a bitch to crank. I looked in the gas tank first, a little old gas in there, being the kind of guy I am I just rolled the cart over on its side and let the nasty gas drain out. Then I put some fresh gas in. I pulled the plug, grounded it on the engine, and had my son pull the start rope to verify spark, spark verified. Then I took off the air filter and dumped a small amount of gas in the intake. Then began the pulling. I must have yanked that starter rope 50 times, all the while proclaiming “I hate Briggs engines!” or “I’m gonna put the Honda on it!” Finally after an eternity of swearing, sweating, and a lot of catching my breath, the engine hit for a second. Then it cranked and died. Then it cranked up! I took the cart for a quick spin to verify everything was working, then parked it and took a break. The ride of the cart was rougher than I remembered, quite a jolting ride, so today while I was in town I found a nice dense foam seat cover to put in the drivers seat. I got that done and added some foam pipe insulation to the roll bars. I had the pipe insulation left over from where I had to redo our well about a year ago… Anyway it was all worth it, as I watched my son having a great time tooling around on the cart as I was cutting grass. Seeing his hair askew and a smile on his face gave me a great sense of satisfaction. Some things are worth the trouble.

Boats, yep I still have a boat in the shop. I’m still compounding (using a dual action sander, with a foam pad, and a compounding solution which is like a thick soup of grit) when I get the time and/or it isn’t 105 degrees in the shade. We have had cooler weather in spurts, like a couple days here and there, then it gets back to humid and 90 degrees+. So I get out there when I can and get a little done here and there. This is a job of 10,000 things to do. I’ll do them one at a time until I get her ready to go.

In the meantime I will continue to visit my blog friends when I can, and I’ll drop in and post at least once in a while. I’m busy, but I still think about y’all.  🙂