Sunday, August 30, 2009

Treadmill of DOOM



  So, I'm running full bore on my treadmill last Thursday when I notice that my stride is starting to feel a little mushy. This feeling gets worse and worse, and near the end of my run, I decide to stop before an injury occurs. I get off and check the thing out, but I can't discern any problems. I cautiously step back aboard, choose a slower belt speed, and investigate further. Sure enough, the deck is bending slightly with each footfall.
  Upon much deeper investigation, I find out that I have actually cracked the deck. Now, I'm no treadmill expert, so I had no idea these decks were made of wood. Fiberboard, to be exact, laminated on both sides to reduce friction with the tread belt. This particular piece of laminated fiberboard is cracked 2/3 of the way down its length, and about 3/4 of its depth. It's shot.
  Like any other red-blooded american, I seek out Google immediately. I come to discover that my particular brand of treadmill is no longer made, and there are no replacement parts available. Because I am my father's son, I decide, "Screw it, I'll make my own."
  Now, anybody that knows me knows this is not an uncommon occurrance. I tend to just craft things when I can't find what I want. Some might call this stubbornness. I call it... well, I also call it stubbornness. A new treadmill would probably run me about $350 on the low side, and that's unacceptable. I have put many miles on this one since I bought it, after moving to Spokane, but I didn't, in any way, feel like it had reached the end of its sweat-inducing life.
  After completely dissecting the treadmill, I took measurements of the old deck, made a couple of visits to Home Depot and one to Lowe's, and came home with all my materials.
  Over the last two and a half days, I have cut, glued, trimmed, adjusted, measured and cursed my way to a new deck. It was not an easy job, let me tell you. In addition to my Bri-manufactured parts, I had to make some adjustments to the other factory parts to accomodate changes, and getting the belt tension adjusted right on both sides was difficult. I have a perfectly working, fully functional treadmill again, though, so I can't complain. Take THAT, Sportcraft TX400!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I hate my roommate



  So much.

Monday, August 3, 2009

As the world curves



  Uh, wasn't your Kilimanjaro climb back in 2006? Yes, yes it was.
  The reason for this recycling is simple. I'm going back through my photos right now, trying to find some really good ones to submit to "Earthshots.org" in the hopes of being shown. Somewhere in the archives there's got to be a few good ones. In going through the old Africa shots, I came upon this one, and I'm not sure it was ever shared. It's the only shot I really have showing the view from the top of Kili. What's remarkable about it, and what stuck in my memory, was that I was high enough to actually see the curvature of the Earth. I've drawn a line for reference in the picture below: (click to biggify either shot)


  Pretty amazing view up there. The oxygen left something to be desired, though. Looking at these photos is getting the adventurer in me stirred and it makes me want to start looking into that Aconcagua summit again. It's about 2,000 ft higher and much icier. I've got my eye on you, Chile.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hardy har har


  The third and final retrospective video is here! Ten minutes of bloops, goofs and outtakes. It was impossible to get them all in, and I had to cut a LOT of material that I thought was hilarious, but this is a pretty decent compilation of laughs.
  Thanks for watching my retrospectives. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed putting them together. Now, forward with new projects!

  Click HERE to start the hilarity!