Saturday, April 4, 2015

What am I waiting for?

About a week ago, I finally sent in my application to retire from the University of Alaska. If I didn't screw up my application, my first day of retirement will be June 1st. My hope is that the university will let me continue on the Barrow IT support project on a part-time, temporary basis.

This decision did not come quickly or without a lot of anguish. I qualified to retire with full benefits almost four years ago and, believe me, I've given it a lot of thought. I must admit that one of the biggest "shoves" came last September after hearing of Bobskoot's passing. He and I had talked many times about retirement with me asking "what are you waiting for". So many things that he wanted to do were put off until he felt comfortable to retire. I've been asking myself the same question. (Plus I figure that it's better to leave than be told to leave!)

I had moved to Fairbanks from Southern California as a physics graduate student in August, 1982. In May, 1984, I transitioned to a staff member in the business office with the intent of working just long enough to make enough to move somewhere else. I guess that never happened. Except for several months when I was at GVEA, the local electric co-op, I've been part of the staff at the University in Fairbanks. Thirty years, seventeen different offices, four reorganizations, eight departments. It'll be a big change.

So eight more weeks or forty more days as an employee. But maybe ten of those days will be spent in Barrow and I still have fifteen days of vacation left. So many things I still need to get done.

I'm still working on planning a summer Ural speed road trip. Hmmm, this is post 1111....

Something else I was waiting for came in today's mail. The "compliance fittings" and "perch rings"that I had just ordered from Raceway Ural in Salem, OR. The compliance fittings are shown in the lower part of the photo and are fastened onto the intake port of the head (with copper anti-sieze on the two bolts). They provide mechanical support for the carburetors as well as functioning as the intake manifold. These are made by Mikuni, a Japanese company well known for their carburetors, and are not the stock Ural parts. Dom had asked if I had ordered the intake gaskets and I hadn't. It turns out that the Mikuni version has a raised ring cast into the rubber on the base that seals against the surface of the head kind of like an "O" ring.

The perch rings are friction fit onto the intake horns of the carburetors and provide a lot more surface area to attach the branch pipes from the air cleaner. I've found them loose more than once over the winter probably from getting kicked. The branch pipes provide the other half of the mechanical support for the carburetors.

Here is the damaged compliance fitting. The cut is about where the edge of the clamp is. When the air cleaner to carb branch pipes come loose the compliance fitting is supporting the full weight of the carburetor. The weight and vibration just cut through the soft rubber. The rubber on the aftermarket Mikuni ones seem much thicker. I replaced both and the undamaged one from the right cylinder is now the spare. The danger with a leaking compliance fitting is a lean mixture which could cause severe engine damage.

One last mod for the day was pretty trivial. After moving the trip odometer reset, I was left with a hole in the dash. I had previously installed a headlight on/off switch on the other side of the speedometer so I already had a matching switch for the other side. I installed the waterproof pushbutton switch and wired the two terminals to each side of the turn signal indicator right above it on the panel. Since there is only one indicator for both directions, both of the positive or "hot" wires for the both directional signals are run to the indicator light. When the pushbutton switch is "on", the wires for both turn signals wires are shunted together and all of the lights flash and, obviously. the indicator light doesn't blink. This was a simple mod that I had intended to do a long time ago but I finally got around to it. The washers were necessary as the hole for the reset knob was a 9/16" and the switch only needed a 3/8" opening. Four way flashers, works like a charm...

22 comments:

Learning to Golf said...

Congratulations!!!!!!! Happy that you opted out instead of being forced out, or worse. The sun will shine more brightly on 6/1 and you will have a huge smile and sigh of relief.

RichardM said...

Thank you, I was really envious when you retired. I'm looking forward to 6/1!

Erik R said...

Congratulations! A few days after retirement you'll be asking your self why you waited so long. Then, you'll be wondering how you ever had time to get anything done... Every day will feel like Friday, and every night will be like Saturday!

SonjaM said...

Congrats on the decision, Richard. I am sure you will get an approving nod from everybody, including Bobskoot. Looking forward to your continued adventures.

David Masse said...

Richard it's a big step. Bobskoot sure did issue a loud wakeup call. I'm still a ways off at 62.

In some ways it's the most challenging transition there is and potentially the most rewarding. I'll be watching with keen interest.

Canajun said...

Congratulations. I think Erik nailed it. You'll probably find yourself busier than ever, and a lot more relaxed. Just don't give up the blog. :)

RichardM said...

Thanks! i think I'll be worrying a lot between now and then...

A friend of mine says something similar. "Every day is Saturday except Sunday"

RichardM said...

Thank you! I am hoping that I don't regret it. Some have said that I should stay until they throw me out...

RichardM said...

I'm still 3 or 4 years behind you. What are you waiting for?

I think it will be a somewhat difficult transition. Many, mostly guys, get their identity and meaning from their job. I don't think that's the case but maybe I'm wrong...

RichardM said...

No intention to give up the blog just give up the commute. Now that I've finally figured out "recreational commuting", I no longer need the commute. Maybe it's time to go back into programming. Just what the world needs is another app.

VStar Lady said...

Congratulations Richard ... does this mean you have time to ride east? Glad you do not plan to give up the blog.

Martha said...

Good. For. You. And a great big hug. Well, from me it would be a small hug. A huge decision and I am sure your family is supporting you. Time moves on whether we are ready or not.

redlegsrides said...

Congrats on the decision RichardM, it's the right one....there's room at Casa Chang for you and Bridget if you happen to wander this way.....just saying.

The perch rings are good items to add.

I sometimes wonder, does over-tightening the hose clamps on the compliance fittings, accelerate their wear and eventual tearing?

RichardM said...

I don't know. This summer I'm taking the Ural since it's still under warranty and not planning on covering a lot of ground. There are a lot of places in Canada that I've breezed on by and never had time to stop and look around.

No plans to stop blogging though I will probably be able to remove the disclaimer.

RichardM said...

Thank you, Plenty of support from the family and it does seem like a huge decision and somewhat frightening.

RichardM said...

Thank you! I had passed on the perch rings last summer when I was at Raceway but after having the branch pipes pop off of the carb a couple of times, it now seems like a great idea. I think that over tightening the clamps will cause them to fail faster. With these Mikuni ones the carb is already a pretty tight fit even without any clamps.

Dar said...

Great news Richard! Yes September was definitely a wake up call. Instead of dreaming about things and putting them off until "some day" rolls around it's best to do it and no regrets. Congrats buddy! Seize the day!

RichardM said...

Thank you! I don't believe I have some "list" but there have been many occasions when there wasn't enough time...

Lucky said...

Congratulations! A summer road trip sounds like the perfect way to ease into retirement, too!

RichardM said...

Thank you! I was thinking of a road trip even if I didn't retire.

Trobairitz said...

Congrats on finally setting a retirement date. I know you had been contemplating it for a while.

At least you have so much to do (hobbies and projects) I am sure you won't be bored.

RichardM said...

Thank you! Yes, a lot of thought maybe over thought. And, yes, plenty of projects and not too many hobbies.