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  • Birthday 12/03/1948

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
  • Interests
    Amateur radio (W9LBB), plus short wave listening (signals intercept & traffic analysis), dog sports (canine agility competition, and a little conformation ring), deer hunting, competitive combat pistol shooting (.45ACP, .357, .44 magnum), old movies, classical music. Add to the list astronomy, and ATM (Amateur Telescope Making).

Previous Fields

  • My Bike(s)
    FINALLY GOT my first motorcycle... it might as well be a Ural, because most Harley owners I know are too conventional!
  • My Story
    Never rode a bike in my life, and got bit by the Ural bug. Now that I've got one, it's time to learn to RIDE the damned thing!

GAVNO's Achievements

Russian Bike Nut

Russian Bike Nut (3/3)

  1. I just bought a rear brake stop light switch for my bike. It arrived, and I installed it... and the stop light was NOT fixed. Hmmmmm... Short the leads together... the stop light goes on. Remove the switch from that awkward spot... apply a VOM to the terminals... the SWITCH was bad from the factory! No problem getting a replacement mailed; it's on it's way now. But a lesson... TEST THESE DAMNED SWITCHES BEFORE YOU WRESTLE THEM IN!!! You'll be GLAD you did!
  2. GAVNO


    The Old Lady (RIP) & I have known for years that our house is haunted... but we know who the ghosts are. They're ALL Irish Setters that lived with us. The appearances became routine; even the LIVE dogs accepted them as normal; the spectral dogs were just part of the pack. Anne (The Old Lady) passed away on April 5th of this year... and the first couple of nights in the house alone were WILD. The canine ghosts would appear a couple of times a year, for a period of a week or so. They usually appeared individually. After she died, there were SEVERAL dogs in the house... walking the floors upstairs, passing doorways to give you a fleeting view, pawing and scratching, moving about in the shadows of the back yard, even playing with doggy toys in other rooms. It was impossible to sleep. That went on for about 2 days... and since then, NOTHING. I can only guess... they all showed up to greet Anne when she arrived... and then they all went away. And no, I haven't suddenly gone crazy. IT HAPPENED.
  3. I've come CLOSE to doing it that bad, but the worst I've come up with is a gasoline bath for the tank top... and it ticks me off no end when that happens! That's why I keep a roll of paper towels in the hack trunk (around here, the gas stations aren't good about keeping the windshield washing supplies at the pumps stocked up).
  4. DE W9LBB here. Don't get on the air too often (no time, and into too many OTHER things). Mostly 160 meter AM and CW with vintage gear (Globe King 500, viking Valiant, and DX-100). For receivers... HRO-50, Collins R388/URR, and I'm currently restoring a couple of old classics; Hallicrafters SX-42 and SX-62. I just picked up a beautiful old SX-28 Super Skyrider that should clean up quite nicely. Also into "Premium" receivers; a couple of Watkins-Johnson boxes, and several Racals; my favorite is the Racal RA-1772. http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2460
  5. This kind of thing does indeed rub some folks the wrong way... and they react. Emotionally, and sometimes violently. I have a surplus Soviet Army "fish fur" ushanka (a standard issue Russian winter hat) that I routinely wear when the snow blows, or when I'm out on the Ural. For an idea of what it looks like... think Sean Connery on the bridge of the RED OKTOBER, looking out to sea. One night after work I stopped in at a Stop & Rob to pick up some cigarettes, wearing said ushanka, complete with Red Army star insignia. The guy behind the counter gave me a REAL dirty look... and hissed "WHY you wear MURDERER'S HAT???" Somewhat startled and confused... I said "Because it's COLD outside, and the hat is WARM. What do you mean 'Murderer's Hat'?". It turns out he was a new immigrant from Afghanistan. The last time he saw a fish fur ushanka was back home... over the sights of a rifle, he informed me! He INSISTED that I DESTROY my ushanka... IMMEDIATELY... because it was a sign of EVIL! :flameon: If I didn't destroy it, he told me that I was his ENEMY. I told him to stick it where the sun don't shine... and left, sans cigarettes. As I did, I was VERY careful to watch his reflection in the glass door, just in case he decided to come out from behind the counter and escalate things. I got out in one piece, but I wasn't too worried... I had 6 inches of height and 50 pounds on him! Today, he'd be REALLY P.O.ed at me. On my wrist is a "Sturmanski" ("Navigator"); a Soviet Air Force issue wristwatch. In my pocket is a Zippo lighter bearing the crest of the KGB. And in the inside pocket of my motorcycle jacket is a hip flask, bearing the Red Army star. If he doesn't LIKE it... FUGG him!
  6. Greetings! The headers on my bike (2000 Bavarian) are getting worse and worse looking; Russian chrome plating ain't worth a damn, apparently, and hasn't handled the heat very well. The pipes are solid RUST now, and due for replacement. I managed to get a set of NOS pipes off of Ebay, but I was struck with an idea to hopefully cure this once and for all. Wondering if anybody else has tried it, and how it turned out. Rather than install the NOS pipes, I'm thinking about taking them to a shop that makes custom exhausts. Using the NOS pipes as a sample, how about having them fabricate duplicates out of stainless steel? I already considered having the NOS pipes stripped and replated... this time, plated RIGHT... but I can't find a plating shop around here; it looks like the EPA has put an end to most of the shops that used to be around. When I finally DID find a shop that was willing to tackle this job, the PRICES they wanted resembled the National Debt!!! In any case... has anybody done a stainless steel duplication? Gavno The Ugly
  7. Well... I don't wanna rain on your parade, but consider this. I bought my Ural (The Gremlin From The Kremlin) on Ebay. It was sold by a guy who runs a Bed & Breakfast on Washington Island, out in Lake Michigan, roughly off of Green Bay. The island is a little, touristy kind of place with a few miles of 2 lane blacktop on it. He got the Ural for use by his guests; he thought that it might be a useful attraction. I guess things didn't work out that way; I got a SUPER deal on a 2000 Bavarian Classic with about 635 KM on the clock. His bad luck was MY good luck... I picked her up off of the ferryboat and took The Gremlin home with me. YMMV... Gavno The Ugly
  8. I was lucky; I'd never been on a bike in my life, so I started from scratch; no 2 wheel habits to unlearn. I took a one weekend class in Milwaukee given by a dealer (Steve from Steve's Service Center, Phillips, Wisconsin). He taught me the basics that got me licensed... but then came the process of REALLY learning to ride, out in the Real World! I almost lost it a few times out there... ran over some curbs with the hack wheel, got into parking places that took some fancy fooling around to get OUT of, and more than once I inadvertently flew the chair making right turns in town (when you're NOT expecting it, THAT experience will REALLY get yer attention, and fill yer jeans with fertilizer... especially when you've got a BUS making a turn BEHIND ya! ). Then, of course, there was the memorable, ill starred day that I was feeling cocky and decided to try riding while wearing a KILT! They don't call it a "kilt" for nothing... 'cause that's what you'll GET wearing one on a Ural, if ya don't know what you're doing! Nowadays I have another problem... I'm gonna have to take ANOTHER class, this time to UNLEARN my Ural techniques to master 2 wheelers! I want that restriction taken off of my license that says 3 WHEEL OPERATION ONLY. :thumbsup!:
  9. Thanks for the offer! Actually, all I really need is a "hobbyist" class of lathe here, suitable for occasionally fabricating small parts for various projects (astronomy, ham radio, model railroading, guns). No super tight tolerances or anything like that; one of my reasons for going the mini route is easy transportablity and compact storage. I just got lucky. Checking out Craigslist, I discovered a seller with a VERY good price on a Micro Mark 7" x 14" (the beast that went back to the seller is / was a 7" x 10") with all the bells & whistles... plus a goodly bit of tooling thrown in. The Micro Mark is Imperial (instead of metric, like the HF), so that simplifies things a lot. The best parts of this deal: #1 - The seller is located within 2 miles of me so shipping isn't an issue, and #2 - His asking price for a far superior machine & goodies is only $50.00 more than I paid for the HF! I'll be at his front door tomorrow morning, cash clutched in my hot little hand! This might work out OK after all!
  10. Howdy, All! For a couple of years now I've been hanging around Harbor Freight Tools, Jonesing over the mini lathes in a BIG way! When I started looking, they were going on sale for $329.00. nowadays, the balance of trade with China has upped the prices a good bit; the little 7" x 10" goes on sale for $499.00 ! MUCH more than I wanna pay... Cruising Ebay last week I spotted a likely candidate, shipping included, and a BUY IT NOW button! PUNCH!!! All week long I've been waiting in great anticipation, hitting various websites for some basic tooling for it. Today, the UPS guy came up the driveway with his hand truck. First bad sign... the carton is clearly recycled. Manhandling the 80 pound package off of the hand truck, the box feels SOFT and spongy. Oh oh... :unsure2: Whip out the pocket knife before the UPS guy leaves... let's have a look inside. Oh boy... this is the WORST and most INADEQUATE packing job I've ever seen. A few stray scraps of styrofoam... and maybe a half dozen of those little air filled plastic bag pillows... and PEICES OF BROKEN PLASTIC from the lathe floating all over the bottom of the carton. They used to be things like the carriage wheel, tailstock wheel, various control handles and chip shields and the like... among a sea of small, loose metal peices. The crossfeed and compound were BROKEN OFF of the lathe apron and carriage. :mad: It looks like this WAS a pretty good machine... until it got bounced around for about 1000 miles due to failure to be secured in the carton, and failure to be adequately padded and supported during packing. Now, it's suitable for use as spare parts for a working machine... if you can find any, that is. On my quick inspection, the only thing I'm 99% sure isn't damaged is the cast iron lathe bed. Needless to say, I refused delivery and immediately wrote the seller. It seems that everybody likes to badmouth UPS package handling... but this experience makes me question the validity of some of the gripes. Is damage REALLY the fault of UPS if an 85 pound machine, with lots of sharp, pokey surfaces and corners, is loosely packed in glorified, oversized bubble wrap? Now... I have to wait to hear from the seller re. a refund (or file a PayPal claim), and this sad pile of mini lathe parts makes it's way slowly back to Kansas. And the brass parts that I was going to manufacture for the astronomical telescope that I'm working on right now are delayed once again. And most irritating of all... my search for a suitable lathe starts again. I ship stuff by UPS fairly often... usually pretty delicate electronic gear... and I've NEVER had a thing damaged. The last thing I shipped was a newly ground, Pyrex glass telescope mirror that needed to be coated. It arrived in SUCH good shape that the firm that aluminized the mirror reused my packing materials, exactly as I had used them, when they returned my mirror. When I present a package at UPS for shipment, they critique my packaging. I've NEVER had a package rejected for additional insurance ( THAT'S where they get REALLY picky! Try insuring one package for $1000 and see how closely they look things over ). Well... so much for MY rant. Gotta go search for a mini lathe that I have tooling arriving for...
  11. The seller is actually in suburban Sun Prairie, where I live. I knew that there was a Patrol around here somewhere, but I've never made a connection with this guy... I saw the bike in a parade once, and that's the only contact. I'm tempted... but I need a THIRD motorcycle like I need a hole in the head. I'd have to sell off The Gremlin to swing it, and I couldn't bring myself to do that.
  12. A buddy of mine (who is rather dubious and AFRAID of motorcycles) passed this along to me. His wry comment... "Well, I guess you were way ahead of the curve after all!" I wonder what he means by that? Is he saying I got to Urals before the fad followers did, or is he saying that I'm just an Old Fart that really NEEDS a Geezer Bike? In any case... I'm GLAD that the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Foil is FINALLY getting it's obscession recognized by the New York Times! Maybe it'll save me the effort of going through my standard "It's not a Beemer, it's a Russian Ural, and it WASN'T built in the 1930s" speech a half dozen times every time I take it out on the road! In any case... it's clear and sunny here, and I wanna take my telescope out of town to a darker patch of sky before nightfall. Funny how a telescope and tripod fit so nicely in the hack... so it's time to roll out the Gremlin from the Kremlin, and turn it into a rolling observatory! Saturn should be spectacular tonight. Gavno The Ugly
  13. On Saturday the 30th of April, another day of political protests began down at the Capital in Madison, Wisconsin, the same as it's been happening day after days for months now. But today it was just a little bit different. I suppose it was inevitable that we'd get to this point... Wisconsin is a VERY Motorcycle Friendly place. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are over 250,000 motorcycles that wear a Wisconsin license plate. In the long line of protests against the Governor and the State Legislature, today came a BIKER'S protest; "Thunda At The Rotunda"! The plan was to ride to the State Capital and hold a rally on the Capital steps. Literally THOUSANDS of bikes converged on the two staging areas outside of the downtown Madison area. In short order it became a huge, friendly biker's rally. Bikes of every description... old and new, showroom queens and back alley mechanic's specials, trikes, hack rigs, mopeds, and even old Cushman motor scooters! And of course, Ural was WELL represented in the crowd. My bike, The Gremlin From The Kremlin, showed up, as did several other Urals. Unfortunately, I didn't see any Dneipers, tho I know of a couple of them running in the Madison metro area. Since the protests began I've been playing amateur photojournalist; I grabbed a couple of cameras, threw a thermos of coffee in The Gremlin's trunk, and putted on down to the Olin Park staging area. Personally, I expected a disaster... first off, gathering hundreds of bikers in one place, many of whom are members of clubs that don't like each other, seemed like a good way to start a brawl. Second, even with the projected starting time of 1:00 PM, I figured there's gonna be more than a few folks who hab been sucking back brewskis all morning while they waited for the motorcade to begin. I was wrong. Completely. To be sure, there WERE more than a few open cans passing around, but there was NO sign of tension or hostility; it was a field full of friendly folks on bikes. Which brings me to the MAIN thrust of this message. I didn't know that there are so MANY hack rig riders in Madison besides me! Besides the West Side guys on Urals (that I already knew about), there were a couple of Beemers fitted with Ural hacks, and several Hog based creations. A whole LOT of three wheelers in attendance that I didn't know existed! The STAR of the show was a Hawg... would you believe a 1936 model, hauling a sidecar? Talk about your basic Old School!!! I took a TON of photos of the event, and that Harley and it's hack are adequately covered... Suicide Shifter and all! After several unexpected delays, the motorcade took off, lead by the bikes of the Madison Police Department. One lane of John Nolan Drive was blocked off for our use, and the intersections were controlled by cops on foot, so we got to blow some red lights! :o) The Capital Square was an unbelievable sight... literally THOUSANDS of bikes, diagonally parked on both sides of the inner loop, and the big friendly biker rally picked up where it left off back at Olin Park. Mixed with the traditional looneyness of Madison and it's political rebelliousness, it was all sort of... DIFFERENT. Until now, Middle School teachers have been protesting. Bikers are a more blunt and direct crew... the picket signs and tee shirts were decidedly more pungent than you'll see at the local middle school! In any case... if ya wanna check out the pictures... here's a link to my Flickr account. Gavno The Ugly
  14. My condolences... Been There & Done That, way too many times. Re. staying there / holding on while it's done... I agree! We HAVE to do that... we owe them that last affection and contact until it's over. But there's one warning. With my boy Shane... as I held on to him, I let his eyes meet mine and lock. That's a mistake... a BAD one. Shane trusted me... and he suddenly sensed what was happening to him. He gave me an INCREDIBLY hurt look that I'll never forget, and made a feeble attempt to free himself from my arms; he felt like I'd betrayed him. Even worse... immediately after, I saw that moment that the light went out in his eyes. Deeply disturbing... so much so that the times I've had to do it since, I have to look away at the last moment.
  15. Yeah, parts prices are getting to be the pits. For the most part, my bike has been living on Ebay Specials, direct mailed from questionable sources in the Russian Republic. Oil filters for the 650 cc engine can be had a HELL of a lot cheaper that way... if you buy a carton of 5 or 10 at a time. In a couple of months, when Shade Tree Mechanic weather finally comes along, I'll be putting on a new set of header pipes, obtained thru the same mysterious Ebay channels. These were supposed to be coming from Germany, but the carton (which took forever to arrive) said the Ukraine! Even with shipping, they were about 1/2 the cost from any other source. Needed now... a brake light switch, but those seem to only come in packages of five units... I'll probably wind up ordering a single one from Holopaw Gene instead; it's less frustrating that way. If I have four spare switches, when I need one I KNOW that I won't be able to find where I put 'em!!! Happens every time...
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