Tom Zimmer
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
  Pastor Tom's Intro to Ecclesiastes on Video
Pastor Tom Schoeneck is looking for additional means of income, since we are so small that we are having trouble paying his salary, and he asked me to make a video of his sermon last Sunday. The sermon topic was an "Introduction to Ecclesiastes". The sermon was about 27 minutes long, and I recorded it with my trusty Canon DV camera. I took it home and imported it into my Mac mini using iMovie. After it imported, I watched some of it (and yes I have the lastest version of iMovie installed), and I noticed that occasionally it would drop some frames. I had imported the video to my external firewire 400GB hard drive, so it should have been fast enough. Anyway, since I have a Quicktime Pro license, I tried it again in Quicktime. Quicktime now has a video import function. Anyway it worked fine, so I changed the file extention from .MOV to .DV and moved it into the media folder inside the iMovie video project. When I started up iMovie it automatically recognized new clip and asks if you want to delete it or use it. I driopped the new clip onto my timeline. This previous part is important because it avoids the very time consuming import copy process that iMovie would have gone through if I had just imported the video normally. So now I had the 27 minute DV clip in iMovie and I split it into two parts, the introduction (about 4.5 minutes), and the main part of the sermon (22 minutes or so).

Ecclesiastes Intro Part 1

Ecclesiastes Intro Part 2

I think they look pretty good. I exported them as described below using iMovie expert setting to H264. I had tried several other encodings, but they ended up with files that were too large to be usable on the web, and while 40MB or so is very large for a web movie, it is 26.5 minutes, so I don't feel bad.

The specs on the video are as follows (for you nerdi types);
Data Rate: about 210 kbits/sec
Video: H264, 320 x 240, Millions of colors, 15 FPS
Audio: AAC, Mono, 16kHz

Editor's Note: The videos above have been modified by to work with their video display software, so they may not have the same visual quality they did when I was hosting them on my own web server as Quicktime H264 files. Flash is required to play these videos.
Friday, September 16, 2005
  My Motorcycle History Part 2

Ok, we are setting the way-back machine to around 1966. I was in High School, and my first bike was a Vespa 150 Red, hand painted by me I think. It ran pretty darn good for a scooter. 150cc's is a lot for a small vehicle. I bombed around a lot with it, I don't remember how or where I got rid of it, but it was fun.

My second most memorable bike was a 1964 Suzuki X6 Hustler. The Hustler was one of the first 250cc bikes that was able to exceed 100mph. It was a 2 stroke of course, and literally ran like a Banshee. I don't think I ever tried to get it up to 100mph, but I drove plenty fast in those days.

Next on the list of favorite bikes is the Honda CL72 250 Scramber 1964. This was a great motorcycle. I bought it used from a dealer who told me it had been bored out to 305cc, but he had to sell it to me as a 250 because that was the model it was. Fine with me, it ran good, and who ever bored it out, did a good job, because I never had any trouble with it, and I put a lot of miles on it.

Three motorcycles remain in this chapter of history. The next bike I bought was a Suzuki 380cc 3 cylinder air cooled two stroke. These early bikes used oil injection, so they didn't smoke as much as earlier two strokes, and they were very good at limiting oil usage, I think I only had to add oil to the oil injection tank about once every 1000 miles. Now I am not trying to say they don't smoke, cause they do. It didn't bother me, but I have been asked to ride in the back of the group, so there won't be other riders behind me that have to smell all the smoke. I didn't mind, it produced a lot of power for its size, and it was very smooth. It used a 120 degree crank, that is three power pulses per engine revolution. Hard to beat that with any engine.

My next bike was also a two stroke, the biggest two stroke motorcycle ever made. It is the Suzuki 750 three cylinder water cooled two stroke "water buffalo" as it was called. Big torque, big power, very smooth. I did have it over 100mph at least once. It was very much my first touring motorcycle, and it was very happy two up. Debbie and I rode it lots of place.

The final bike in this set actually occurred earlier. It was a Royal Enfield 750 Interceptor. A kick start battery-less twin with magneto ignition. If you didn't set everything right, you would never be able to start it. Once it was running, it was amazing to ride. There really is something about those British twins. It definitely had more torque than any of the two strokes I ever owned. The royal Enfield wasn't completely trouble free, but I think it was my first taste of the motorcyling mystique that motorcycles are more than the sum of their parts, and some lack of reliability is not necessarily a detriment to the fun of ownership and operation.
  My Motorcycle History Part 1

Ok, This history covers the period from about 1994 through 1998. This span of time begins when I did not own a motorcycle, and had not owned one for about 10 years. I was sitting on the couch, being a potato, and Debbie walks up to me and sais point blank "I have decided to get a motorcycle again, whether you do or not". I blinked a couple of times, and immediately replied "Over my dead...", No I really said "I guess we are getting motorcycles". I had been out of motorcycling since the mid 80s, when I had crashed my Gold Suzuki GT-750 Water Buffalo in a hairpin turn in the hills behind Milpitas California where we were living. I gave it up, thinking this just wasn't fun any more, since I dislocated my right shoulder in the process, and it took almost a year to heal. Anyway, we proceeded to look for Motorcycles, debbie bought a Black 1985 Honda Shadow 250, which lasted her about 3 months, since it was so small. I bought a Red 1982 Yamaha Virago 920 (no picture), which I loved, except it had a few problems, like it had sit for a year in someone's garage. Truely a bad thing to do to a Yamaha, they get all gunked up. So, while I was having problems with the Yamaha, I found a really good deal on a Black 1985 Honda Shadow 700 with very low miles (3000 miles?). I snapped it up. Then I discovered why it had such low miles. It ran great, it was very reliable, had lots of power, but it had an exhaust note that would drive almost anyone crazy. It sounded like it had no mufflers, though it a had factory exhaust system. I eventually changed it out for an after market exhaust system that improved the tone somewhat, but I never really learned to like the Shadow 700. I eventually sold it for a bit more than i originally paid for it.

My next purchase occured around 1994. I bought a Suzuki GSX1100G. Basically your 1100cc road rocket. I should have known when I bought it that any motorcycle with a name like GSX1100 would be a hotrod. I knew it had a heritage from the Suzuki road racers with the same engine, but somehow I thought I would be able to handl it. fool that I was. I don't think I ever got a ticket on it, but I can't imagine why. It just wasn't happy below 70mph, and I really wasn't happy above 70mph. One day, Debbie and I were going to go out for a ride together on it, I warmed it up but left the choke/enrichener on a bit too long, and it loaded up. We got on, and sputtered along until we got to the freeway in california, and i decided to open it up to clean it out. So as we accellerated onto the freeway, giving it full throttle two up, we accellerated until it cleared out. It only took a few seconds, but then I looked down at the speedometer, and it read 90+mph, and I think I was still in 3rd. Needless to say, I turned white as a sheet while I looked around for police cars. fortunately none wre around, so I slowed down for the rest of the ride. I don't thihnk Debbie knew how fast we were going, until later, when she beat me up.

Within a few months, we moved to Texas, and I sold the Suzuki and bought a brand new Yamaha Virago Black and Cream 1100 Special. It was really a pretty bike. It handled well, was fund to drive, and it was happy below 70mph. In fact it didn't really like going a lot faster than that, but I didn't care, I was now a cruiser. I rode the yamaha for a couple of years, to lots of rallies, until we sold our house in California and became momentarilly rich enough to buy Harleys.
  The Presidents Specifics, Pig Headed!

As Paula pointed out in an email this morning, there have been at least 7 accidents, injuries, or surgeries in the first two weeks of September. That is after what seemed like several months of no more than one accident a month. It's not like there have been a lot more activities lately, in fact the whole summer has been almost crazy busy, events coming and going sometimes two to a weekend. I guess God is trying to make sure I don't get bored. Well, it is working. I hardly have time to sit down anymore it seems, but I do trust that God is in control. I feel like I am in the midst of a hurricane, and I'm constantly trying to find the eye of the storm. I find my emotional state moving in and out of peace and distress like a yoyo. I feel like I need to constantly be reminded that I don't have to handle all this because I can't, and I don't have to. God will handle everything, and HE IS HANDLING EVERYTHING! Last week, I was able to visit people in the hospital three or four times, but this week, I couldn't do that because priorities at work and evening activities prevented me. Fortunately other people picked up the ball, and they went. I didn't ask them to go, they didn't even know I couldn't go, God just took care of the need by prompting them himself. I find that amazing, even though I shouldn't, He is after all God! Why is it so hard to trust that God will take care of our needs, when we see it all the time? I guess I don't have an answer, unless I am just too pig headed. Yah! That must be It!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
  '73 Harley FLH In Stages

Here are three pictures of Debbie's 1973 Shovelhead Electroglide "Miracle". I think the name came because Debbie found a sticker on the front end that said "Expect a Miracle", so it stuck. Of course we knew that it would actually be a miracle if Debbie actually managed to turn it into a drivable motorcycle.

This first picture shows "Miracle" as we received it (him, her?), basically a basket case, or bike in a box. It was pretty complete, but the motor had a broken jack shaft. I think that is something to do with the cam, down in the bottom end. Anyway, it didn't look like much to start with.

This second picture shows the frame after she had it powder coated, totally bare. Nice and shiny. in the background you can see some of her other parts that have been powder coated, sitting on the shelf.

The last photo shows one of the rare moments when I got to actually work on Miracle. We are working on installing the oil hoses. As you can see, Miracle has mad a lot of progress since we bought it in January 2004. We are actually pretty close to being able to start the engine. Debbie needs to get the wiring done before we can do that, and then all that is left is painting the sheet metal. And purchasing a few more chromy pieces of course. She is still pondering what color scheme to use, but we already know it will be something simple, no fancy multi-hue color changing paint for Miracle. This is a '73 FLH rebuild, not a chopper.
  Biker Chicks

Here are two Biker Chicks, in their getups. Debbie and Chloe.

Chloe got to fly to Texas from California all by herself. What an adventure for her and a wonderful time for us. We all had lots of fun.
  Debbie's '91 FXRP After Paint Job

Here is a picture of Debbie and her FXR after we had it repainted. It looks pretty nice I think. The leather bags came from a swap at South Padre Island rally, for $25, of course the frames to which they are attached cost over a $100, and then they had to be custom modified to fit, but it was worth it.
  My 1996 Virago

Here is an early picture of my 1996 Virago Special. It was really a fun bike. I bought it new, and eventually sold it some time in 1999, after I got the Road King. I just couldn't keep the Virago, because Yamaha's don't like to site, they tend to gum up their carburetor if you don't drive them regularly. I couldn't see my self riding it very much, I liked the Road King too much. So I sold it to a lady from Houston who was very glad to get it. She drove up by her self pulling a trailer, so she could get it home. I like to think of the Virago as good training for a future Harley owner, because Virago's have a lot of personality, not as much as Harleys, but more than Hondas. I don't think I would have been happy with a Harley if I hadn't own a Virago first. There would have been just too many idiosyncracies to get used to.
  Debbie's Dad's Flat Head Harley

This is a picture of Debbie's Dad, Doran with one of his Harleys, it could be his first. It is a Flat Head, we think it is a 1929. Doran is no longer with us, but it is clear that Debbie caught her dad's love of motorcycling. Doran was an auto mechanic, and Debbie used to help him by cleaning carburators in the shop where he worked. She just loved to get dirty. For the last couple of years, she has been learning to be a Harley mechanic. Not perfessional of course, but she has learned a lot. She is building her second Harley, a 1973 Shovelhead Electroglide. She has stripped it all the way down to a bare frame, and had the frame powder coated. She built it all the way back up to the point it is almost complete, in ony a year and a half. I will post a picture of is later as well.
  Debbie's First Harley

This is Debbie's first Harley, a 1991 FXRP, P for Police. It has the 80 CI motor, and a fairly nice paint job, sort of gold and black. We eventually had it repainted to red, after I kind of dented the rear fender, but that is another story. She was mighty proud to own a Harley. When we wnt looking at Harley's, i looked for one that didn't leak. It was a challenge to find one that didn't leak, but we did, so we bought it. Come to find out that almost all harleys leak, I thinkwe got an especially good one. It had around 48,000 miles on it when we got it, and it has around 78,500 now. It was rebuilt at around 65,000, to fix a base gasket leak, which it fairly common, so she had it bored 10 thousands over, and put new pistons and rings in. I will find a newer picture later and post that.
Monday, September 12, 2005
  Posted Newsletter Articles for 2003, 2004, 2005

For any of you that might be interested, I have posted all of my previous New Life Riders newsletter articles that I had available. Lots of them are missing, but I may find a few later to add at the appropriate places in the list. Normally I only write one newsletter article a month, so new articles will get interspersed with my regular blog postings as they happen. I hope you find these historical articles as interesting to read as they were exciting for me to write.
Friday, September 09, 2005
this is an audio post - click to play
This is my first audio post, and it is very boring!
  My '99 Harley Davidson RoadKing

Here is a picture of my 1999 Harley Davidson RoadKing. It is a first year Twincam, and it has over 50,000 miles on it now. Like many of the early Twincams, it had the Cam Bearing failure, mine occured at about 46,000 miles, and two months under the 5 year automatically extended cam bearing warranty harley gave all the early owners. Naturally while having it repaired under warranty, I spent an extra couple of grand on the 95 ci Stage II upgrade with touring (mid-range tourque) cam. I have been very pleased with the very noticable increase in performance. I had the factory oil cooler installed near the beginning of it's life, it gets very hot down here in Texas, and I didn't want it getting overheated. I have averaged between 8k and 9k miles a year. I am a member of the New Life riders CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association) chapter, we attend lots of rallies each year. Summers last from April to about November each year, and Winter seems like it is only about 2 weeks long, so we have lots of riding time here. One of these days I will tell you how I ended up with a Harley, and I will fill in the blanks on all my other motorcycles, from Vespas to Yamahas, to Royal Enfields.
  Metropolis 1984 Georgio Moroder Version

This is a reminder of my favorite movie of all time. Yes it is Metropolis, but not just any version of Metropolis, it has to be the Georgio Moroder 1984 Laser Disk version. Various version of the movie are available, but this one is not easily available anywhere. I personally own the Vestron Laser Disk, and the Moroder audio CD of the movie, and I have personally converted it to DVD, using my macintosh computer. I would also like to obtain another copy of this version, if you want to sell yours. There is a lot you can say about this movie, but it has been said already many times, I can only say it is amazing, and if you ever have the opportunity to see it, then do it. You won't regret it.

Oh by the way, while I don't feel like I can loan this movie out, I am more than willing to setup a showing. If you would like to see Metropolis for the first time, or are already a fan of the Moroder version, email me and we will setup a viewing. We can make popcorn and everything. My email address is available on my profile page.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
  Apple iPod nano Released

As almost everyone knows by now, Apple released the iPod nano to the world yesterday. I have been waiting for the release of a iPod mini with a color display, and this is certainly it. I almost bought one yesterday on hearing about it, but when I found out that it had only half the storage of the mini, I paused. I am sure you know what happens when you pause, it become real hard to hit play again. Anyway, I still think it is very nice, and a worthy replacement for the mini, but I think I will wait a while.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
  New Life Riders

I am the current serving President of New Life Riders, a chapter of the CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association). CMA is an international organization that seeks to share the good news about Jesus Christ on the highways and byways. I was recently appointed the Chaplain of UCOA.

A link to the United Clubs Of Central Texas, where you can find a link to the United Clubs of Austin web page. UCOCT and UCOA are organizations that are focused on bringing together the many traditional patch wearing motorcycle clubs in the greater Austin and Waco areas to provide good communications, information distribution on club events and cooperation between clubs on fund raiser for worth charities.
  Daily Posts (More or less)

Wow, is this a picture of a mean biker or what? Our church was at a local (Georgetown Texas) park. Do you think I have enough coals going to cook those six hot dogs?

Till next time.
Friday, September 02, 2005
  President's Specifics, Up To HERE!

Begin Rant.

We seem to be in an unhappy time of life. Everyone I know is either sick, tired, afraid they are about to lose their job, overloaded with work, miserable in their job, or stressed to the point of breaking. Our computers don't work, our cars don't work, our bikes are broken. Families are always having arguments, or if they don't have a family, they want to kick the dog into the next county. I've had it up to here, you have had it up to here, we have all had it up to HHHEEEEERRREEE.....

End Rant.

Wow, I am sure glad I got that out of my system. I'm not even sure where it came from. I'm not really that miserable, in fact I'm not even unhappy. My job's not that bad, it's actually pretty good. Some of my friends are sick, but they are in God's hands and they know it. In fact most of them are recovering from whatever they have. I am kind of tired, but I suppose if I got some rest, by perhaps going to bed a little earlier than I usually do, I might get caught up on my sleep. Families do have arguments, but we love them anyway, I just need to remember that sometimes. The computers are broken, but they are always broken, so I might as well get used to that. The cars and the bikes can be fixed, and we will fix them, cause I can't be stuck at home too long, I might start getting depressed and we don't want that. I do need to remember that God is in control, not me, because when I try to be in control I always get in big trouble, and I start to get depressed. And, we don't want that!

Some of the details of my life, as I allow Christ to live out His life through me.

My Photo
Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I am a Christian, Debbie is my wonderful wife. She is also a Christian, and my perfect helpmate. I have two adult children Pam & Chip, I have four wonderful grandchildren, granddaughters Chloe & Claire, and grandsons Ezra and Corbin. I am a Biker, I ride a 1999 Harley Davidson Road King, I am a member of the New Life Riders (Austin, TX) chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA), I am Chaplain of the United Clubs Of Austin (UCOA), I am the Author or Co-Author of several Forth computer language development systems including VIC-Forth, ColorForth (for the Radio Shack Color Computer), 64Forth (for the Commodore 64), F-PC (for DOS), Win32Forth (for Windows) and TCOM (a native DOS compiler), I am a Software Engineer for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Austin, TX, where I develop Windows C# applications for analytical instrument data processing and reporting.

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