In Ontario your are allowed to plate “vintage” vehicles with licence plates made in the same year as your vehicle (yearly plates were manufactured in Ontario until 1973) under the “year of manufacture” program.
Obviously to do this you need to track down a plate made in the same year as your vehicle (reproductions are NOT acceptable), then make sure that the plate you’ve found isn’t already assigned to something (they provide a 1-800 number to call to verify that the plate is clean).
There are a few outfits that specifically cater to people hunting for these plates OntPlates.com and YOMPlates.ca both seem to have favourable reviews on forums dealing with vintage cars and bikes.
You then have to send the plate(s) along with the fee for vanity plates ($261) to the ministry for inspection and approval. If approved they’ll send them back to you with some papers you need to bring with you to the MTO on your next visit.
The rest of the process is the same as for normal plates – safety inspection, government fees and the like.
I have not yet decided if I can justify the $261 expense for the plates, but I have ordered a ’72 plate anyway (worst case it can hang on the wall above the project whiteboard).
It was just about a year ago that I took a leap and plunked down a few hundred dollars buying my (at the time) third motorcycle, a 1972 Honda CB350 K4. I had hoped that the acquisition of a “Project Bike” would deflect my interest in replacing my CBR250R with a larger bike.
That winter was ALOT more forgiving and I couldn’t help but to creep out to the garage fairly regularly even just to liberally spray everything with oil, or to turn the key and admire the glow from the instruments and headlight. As the weather improved I took more and more of her to pieces, surprising myself when those pieces went back together properly.
We now know the bike runs (a little rough granted), I’ve rebuilt the carbs, cleaned out the gas tank, replaced the front and rear brakes, tires and tubes, throttle, brake and clutch lines, gas lines and assorted relays, regulators, bulbs, dod-dads and thing-a-mahoosits. I’ve even changed the oil twice.
The remaining to-do items on the whiteboard are largely asthetic – replacement mirrors, carb covers have been obtained where the pitting and rust was too much to overcome. The only vageuly mechanical items are the timing and reinstallation of the chain.
The garage now, at least, smells like a garage should. As soon as the weather improves I hope to get back on the CB350 (although our renos still compete for my time). I’ll be sure to scribble a bit about the headaches involved in getting her safetied and plated.
Our house has a few exterior lights. The usual porch lights (front and back) and a security floodlight and sconce light on the garage (as the garage end of the driveway becomes the “pit of eternal darkness” after dusk).
I’ve tried a few different ways of automating when these lights turn themselves on and off. I added photocells to both lights, but found that without direct sunlight the lamps would typically stay on all day. In the case of the garage I added a digital timer, but have to adjust the timing throughout the year to account for sunrise and sunset.
I recently replaced this arrangement for the front porch light with a single Wemo Wifi Light Switch which can be programmed locally according to a schedule, or which can be triggered by the associated If this then that service.
This has worked swimingly so far, and I plan on replacing the photocell/digital timer in the garage with just the Wemo Light switch (this also means I can switch these lights to CFLs instead of incandescents – incandescents were needed for use with the photocell devices to prevent “strobing” where ambient light approaches the on/off value).
It’s also cool because hey….WiFi light switches.
As we’ve renovated our new house I’ve taken the opportunity to run wire for both the alarm and CCTV systems whenever I get the chance. More renovations means more coverage for both. The system now, after four years of renos, is really quite substantial.
An early issue was the location of the recording/distribution hardware for the system. I chose a high shelf near an outlet in the basement for convenience. This area has become quite a mess as I’ve run in new cameras and have left long loops of wire (for later relocation) dangling around the shelf.
Our long list of other projects trumpted CCTV as a priority, but I’ve now arranged a proper location for the CCTV system, and have just finished relocating it (hence the picture of the old setup).
We’re not done yet, but it is coming along nicely.
(For the record, the new location is much better organized and looks less sloppy)
I am a huge fan of the AR15.
Here in Canada, however, ARs are considered a “restricted” firearm, meaning mine can only be transported between my residence and an “approved” gun range. Years ago I placed a pre-order for an AR-180B (which, for reasons that are also unclear is “unrestricted” in Canada), but delivery took so long I ended up cancelling before they arrived (and regretted it ever since).
Very recently (for the second time) a Norinco Bullpup rifle hit the market up here, a civilian version of the Chinese QBZ-95, except it’s chambered for .223/5.56mm and accepts STANAG magazines – oh, and it IS unrestricted.
Not missing the boat this time. I ordered mine right away.
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I realize it’s been some time since an update, and for that I apologize. My days off have been spent reno’ing rather than riding, and I’ve had little time for any serious R&R following our vacation.
Some updates are on the way, hang in there.
Home again, home again dancing a jig.
We’ve just returned from a week at Disney World (a place I haven’t been since I was wee), and while we had a blast it is nice to again be home amongst my techno-toys, boomsticks and two wheeled conveyances.
We stayed in the Port Orleans – French Quarter resort, and managed to visit Downtown Disney, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom (twice) during our stay. We were joined halfway through our trip by my Mother, Step father and two sisters, which really “made” the trip.
One of the highlights was Jilly, Ros and Carolina having dinner at Cinderellas Royal Table where they met Cinderella in the main receiving hall, and then had a chance to meet a variety of other princesses as dinner progressed.
My favorites were the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours (both in Hollywood Studios).
All in all a good vacation. Now it’s time to get back to work (and school), and get planning our next trip.
One of the items I felt was sorely lacking in our emergency kits was the ability to recharge our phones during a power interuption. Sure we have a generator, but if we’re on the move I’m not carrying the genny.
As a stopgap (at about $2.00 each) I threw two of these into our kits. Testing them, however, showed that the unit would kill two AA batteries in about an hour, restoring only 20% capacity to my smartphone. I’d need a bundle of AAs to charge my phone properly, and that’s not happening.
Leading up to our vacation I went out looking for some sort of portable external battery to extend the life of my smartphone (notorious for lasting a max of 12 hours or so), and happened across the Boost Turbine 2000. At about $50 the unit has a 2000mAh battery and a crank so it can be recharged when no outlets are readily available. Perfect, both for our vacation and to be added to the emergency kit on our return.
Initial impressions are favorable, the unit charged my phone from 14% up to 95% in just over an hour, in the process draining the Boost Turbine to almost zero. Plugging the unit into a USB port recharged it in just over two hours (I experimented with the hand crank but have no real sense of what I was accomplishing and will have to give it another run when the internal battery is depleted.)
Edited to add: 07 Sep, 2013
Tested this during our recent vacation. The internal battery will recharge my cell phone once. Using the hand crank on the unit is a tedious process that quickly becomes tiring, but that does allow recharge the phone. The unit was useful when we were on a plane or sitting in an airport.
It has now been added to our emergency kit.
Well, I’d owned the Bonnie for an entire day before a Gas Company truck tried to change lanes through me. I did the usual frenetic combination of “I don’t want to die” things and even hit the horn to warn the driver (last item on the list) – the weak “Neep neep” that resulted, however effective, made me wince.
One of the first “upgrades” I did to the CBR250R was the horn, and for $15 it’s hard to get more bang for your buck.
So it was only natural the the first thing I changed on the Bonnie was replacing the stock horn with the Fiamm Freeway Blaster (although this time I just went down to Canadian Tire and bought one rather than waiting for the mail).
I don’t buy that it is substantially louder than the stock horn, but the note is lower giving it a bit less of that “neep neep”, and while it’s a little bulkier than the stock version I think it’ll do. It is a “drop in” replacement, and does not require a relay or other upgrades.
Photos of the install after the cut.
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