Friday, March 16, 2018

Heroic shop dog confronts predator...

then closes the door behind her!

This morning on our way to the shop, Lady (our Airedale), earned her keep by chasing a vagrant coyote off of our property. Fortunately for all involved, her 12+ years have slowed her down a bit, so she did not physically apprehend the offender. Never one to bask in her moments of glory, Lady was still thoughtful enough to close the door upon entering the shop...

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mass Murder in Parkland Florida: Consider This ...

For those few who are willing to consider the actual reason behind the latest schoolhouse mass murder in Parkland, Florida, even if you are already dug in on whichever side of the trench warfare regarding gun bans you find yourself, I have a couple links that state the reality far better than I could.

The first link is titled "Hollow Soul Bullets" by Pastor Doug Wilson.  You might note that Wilson's blog  "Blog and Mablog" is one that I peruse almost daily, for not the least of which reason is that he is a true wordsmith. 

The second link, to a piece called "Statist Prayers for Parkland USA" written by Toby Sumpter, takes a slightly different road to the same conclusion, but is equally edifying (note that one of the links in Doug's post is to this second article).

If I thought I could improve on, or add to, these fine articles I would try, but they seem to have really nailed the core issues. I will just add this thought: Banning guns to stop murders is like putting a band aid on the chest of someone with heart disease.  It does nothing to fix the sickness below the surface, and in fact can only serve to exacerbate the problem by pretending it is a cure when it is only a feel-better placebo.  Come to think of it, in that respect it is also like false religions which teach you to perform rituals or do good things to make up for the bad you have done, when you really need the heart transplant that only Jesus Christ can provide!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Here we are just over a week into the New Year, so it seems natural that our minds are still on new things.  Some of us may be facing new challenges in our lives; some of us may have new health issues to deal with; some may even be facing new situations we don't know how we will deal with. All of these might be new, but not necessarily in a positive manner.  On the other hand, some of us may be contemplating some wonderful new things, such as newly born children or grandchildren, new jobs or new opportunities.  

All these new things that may come with this NEW year, led me to do a survey of the word “new” as found in our New Testament.

What I found is that the word "new" is used 61 times in the New Testament.  Interestingly the most numerous of the uses is as an adjective describing wine, which occurs 12 times.  This is in a large part due to the parable Jesus told of the need to put new wine into new bottles along with the folly of using new cloth to mend an old garment.  In fact, if one adds the times the word new is used to describe wine, bottles and cloth, it accounts for over one third of the total. 

In a similar manner, if one adds all of the occurrences of the word “new” used in regard to prophesy of our future, where it is used to describe the new heavens and new earth which we look forward to, the new name God will write upon us, the new Jerusalem which is the city of our God, and the new song we will sing, the total is 10.

In John 13:34 we find the word “new” to describe a new commandment given to us by Jesus.  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  That verse serves as a good example of the bulk of the 6 verses using “new” relating to a commandment or doctrine.

Nine times “new” refers to the new testament or new covenant:  Matthew 26:27-28  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  

If I may quote John Gill here, as to the significance of thispassage: “ … the cup, was an emblem and representation of his precious blood, whereby was exhibited a new dispensation, or administration of the covenant of grace; and by which it was ratified and confirmed; and whereby all the blessings of it, such as peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, come to the people of God: the allusion is to the first covenant, and the book of it being sprinkled with the blood of bulls, and therefore called the blood of the covenant, But the second covenant, or the new administration of the covenant of grace, for which reason it is called the New Testament, is exhibited and established in the blood of Christ the testator.

Finally, 6 times we find the word “new” describing a new man; a new person. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  
Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 

Of course, in both of those passages the term used instead of man is creature, or creation as many translations put it.  Either way, the point is the same; being “in Christ” results in such a change that scripture refers to it as a new creation or new man.  We find that reinforced by the following:

Ephesian 4:22-24  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation [way of life] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:8-10  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Both of those passages give a contrast between the old man and the new man.  The old person who is satisfied to continue in sin versus the new creation in Christ Jesus.  And depending on where you find yourself in your relationship to God, these may be among the most important uses of the word “new” that we find in the Bible.  This experience of becoming a new creation can often serve as a checkpoint for us, giving assurance of salvation to those who have experienced it; as the Bible promises Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 

On the other side of that coin is that the lack of the experience of becoming a new creation should serve as a dire warning. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Being a new creation in Christ is not optional! If any man is not in Christ, he has no salvation for there is no salvation outside of Christ.
I would caution you though, that we need to trust the Bible over our experiences.  It could very well be that some of you trusted Jesus as your Savior at a young enough age that this change into a new person was not as drastic or apparent as for some of us, such as myself, who were real scoundrels before God brought us to salvation later in life.  If you have loved Jesus, and truly followed him for as long as you can remember, then you have your assurance.

If, however, you have never trusted Christ as Savior; never experienced this supernatural act of God wherein he made you a new creation and all things became new, today is the day you can change all that and begin a new life in Christ. If you understand that you are a sinner who deserves the judgment of God, and believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took on human flesh and lived a sinless life so that he would be an acceptable substitute for you, died on the cross to pay for your sins and in return gives you credit for his righteousness, then you are on the verge of beginning a new life.

As we read in Romans chapter 10: The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

When a Plan Comes Together

To quote a classic line from a semi-classic television show, The A Team: "I love it when a plan comes together." Now to be sure, I needed to look up the source of that line, because even though it has become a common catch phrase, I had no clue as to the origin.  It seems that I just didn’t watch much TV in the decade of the 1980’s, doubtless due to the transition I was undergoing from scumbag biker into dedicated drag racer.  In any case, it does reflect my thoughts on the project I am finally getting around to writing about.
Well over a year ago I received a call from Zach Waters in regards to porting a set of Knuckle heads.  His plan involved the following:

  1.  Put his 1947 Knucklehead on the salt flats
  2.  Set a record in the appropriate vintage class
  3.   Return the bike to normal street use.

Okay, now that may not sound so terribly challenging on the face of it, but there were a couple caveats that certainly made things a bit more interesting.  One was that the particular class in which Zach had slated to compete demanded that externally everything on the bike must appear stock.  The second was equally interesting from a performance standpoint; the motor would be left in the same configuration when returned to street use as it had for Bonneville competition. 

This paint would look more at home in a bike show than on a bike competing at Bonneville
Everyone would probably agree that one of the keys to speed is horsepower, and likewise one of the keys to horsepower is airflow.  Thus, Zach’s decision to send the heads to me.  But the second caveat, that of leaving the engine in the same configuration for street use, was a big factor in every aspect of the build. 

You have to appreciate the classic profile!

The engine work (outside of the heads) was taken care of by Bob Moreland of Bob’s Garage in San Marcos.  Foregoing lightened flywheels, Bob instead balanced them to provide Zach with a short block that runs as smooth as silk. The compression ratio was left low enough to compliment the mild Andrews “S” grind cam.  You may note that the S grind is the mildest “performance” cam which Andrews offers for Knuckle engines; the only one less aggressive being deemed a “stock” replacement. Obviously all of those things enhance the street-ability of the whole package.

For my part, since the heads would soon see full time street duty, I avoided adding any porting epoxy. Experience has shown me that it tends to have a limited duty cycle in cast iron air cooled heads.  Instead I gave the heads a good porting job using only 1.950” x 5/16” stem intake valves, along with attempting to manipulate the boundary layer flow in lieu of adding material.  My thinking on the relatively small intake valve size was that the heads would still readily outflow the M-35 Linkert (mandated by the rules), and would also insure no material would need to be removed from the pistons for clearance, sacrificing compression ratio in the process.

Zach credits Phares Cycle for their additions to the quest for power, along with Jeff Montgomery for guidance in tuning.  Of course, the real heroes of the story are Zach and his dad, who put in the time and effort, not only in research, but also untold hours of trial and error tuning.  

Ready for action

The results?  Only shattering the previous record speed by over 15 MPH.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Verification of Engine Displacement

 Now Zach is quick to point out that even this resounding success left plenty of room for improvement.  Further tweaking with the addition of dyno time would likely prove beneficial, as would some experimentation with the gearing since he felt it may have been a bit higher than optimum.  Even the inconsistency of the salt conditions played a big role in limiting the MPH.  Zach’s best run of 107.8 MPH was considerably faster than the preceding 97 MPH pass which was the result of poor track conditions.  This left the two-way average, record breaking number, at an official 102.4 MPH.   

Do you think there might be a story behind this kicker pedal?

 So, belated congratulations to Zach and his team, along with a big thank you for allowing me a small part in a plan that definitely came together.