January 3rd, 2007


the Vespa lives!

For the scooter, today I:
  • Bought acid to fill the battery.

  • Reclaimed my cycle-battery charger from jensixstones and spent a bit chatting with her; met her new cat Goldi and visited with the sweet sanju_devil_cat.

  • Returned home and filled the battery. This is a long, painful (literally) process. Apparently, battery technology in Southeast Asia is a bit behind the times. (Story abstract: It took me an hour to fill the frickin' battery.)

  • Hooked up the battery to the charger and left it on for some six hours while running errands.

  • Bought two-stroke oil to mix with the first tank of gas.

  • Bought two gallons of gasoline and poured said oil into it, then filled the scooter's tank. It holds about a gallon and a half.

  • Gathered up the battery bits, cleaned off the bubbled-over acid, reassembled it, and installed it into the scoot.

  • Got ready to start it... then realized I had no idea what the various buttons and levers and so forth did, and which direction the fuel tap should point.

  • Went online to try to figure this out. Found this great site with factory owner's manuals. Super-helpful. Now I know what all those thingy-majobs do. Do I love the Big Box o' Knowledge? Why yes, yes I do.

  • Placed the buttons and levers and taps into the correct positions and gave it a few kicks. Nothing. Hm. Returned to the manual and realized that I needed to hold the choke lever open (it's on a spring, it seems, and one needs to hold it pulled all the way out until the scoot reaches a certain warmth).

  • Kicked again: Pop-pop-pop... popopopopopopop - yay! Lots of smoke due to a 5% break-in oil/gas mixture (will be 2% after 600 miles), these figures according to other sites' tips (and the restorers placed a sticker on the gas cap that says something like, "Must to using %5 oil of 2-stroke type.").

  • After a bit of a warm-up, I hopped on, pulled in the clutch, and rotated the left grip to 1st gear. Killed it. Hm. Pulled the clutch again and realized it needs some adjustment.

  • Returned the transmission to neutral and kicked 'er back to life. Popopopopopopop. Pulled the clutch lever all the way to the grip, rotated into 1st, then zoom off I went! Made a quick pass up and down the street, getting into 2nd gear and up to about 30mph (it's a four-speed), but upon seeing a cop pass me, I figured I was pushing my luck and returned home (not yet licensed).
So yay! The classic 1965 Vespa VBC 150 Super is alive and running! Thanks so much, kijjohnson, for passing it on to its new dad!

Next: Navigate vehicle-registration waters to figure out how to get this Asian-restored scoot licensed in Douglas County.

Now: Off to bed to read about the assault on Minas Tirith!


the future of editing

I occasionally mention cool stuff that jaylake posts, and this morning he already posted links to a couple of cool things including a car show with nothing newer than 1932 and the warm-blooded plant article. This got me thinking:

Jay is my "cool-web-stuff" editor. No, seriously, this is where I believe editing will go: People who pick things that we like more than other things - not necessarily pros (at first), but because of blogs and websites, they will become the editors of the future. One expects they'll find ways to make a living from this. This will provide new opportunities for authors and other types of creators. I mean, think about the YouTube example: Imagine someone picking their favorites and providing a set of links to the most funny or most interesting or whatever movies... wouldn't you pay a subscription fee for that? It's a new TV channel! Same for books and so on. All they'd need to do is create their own delivery system and, blammo! A new publisher is born!

Soon this will force New York publishing to make some changes that they're not making organically.

The Future Is Now.