Motorola MOTOFONE F3

Motorola MOTOFONE F3I don’t really talk to anyone, but when your newest car is 30 years old, it’s good to have a cell phone, in case on-the-road-repairs aren’t enough.

I bought an unlocked Motorola MOTOFONE F3 for about $20 at With a prepaid plan, there isn’t a contract or monthly charge, just refills every now and then.

The GSM (850/1900 MHz) MOTOFONE F3 is a basic phone that seems to be targeted at the third world market. It’s good for calling someone; don’t expect to do too much beyond that and you won’t be disappointed. I wouldn’t even use it for text messaging, though it has that capability. (Maybe if you just text, “Hi.”) It’s easier just to call the other person.

The phone has an E Ink display (Electrophoretic Display – EPD) – the same type as used in the Amazon Kindle. With only two lines and six characters per line, the F3 doesn’t even display a seven digit phone number on a single line. The display is very readable in bright sunlight and it has a backlight for the keypad and screen in low light.

The F3 also has voice prompts, an address book, 500 minutes of continuous talk time and up to 300 hours of stand-by time. For $20, the thin and rugged MOTOFONE F3 is a great deal. When you don’t want to risk trashing your Android or iPhone, take the SIM out and put it in your F3.

Wikipedia has a list of undocumented codes.

Campagnolo Record Brake Arm

Campagnolo Record Brake ArmWhen I bought my De Rosa frame in the early 80’s, I built it with Campagnolo Record and Super Record components. When the new C-Record group came out, I upgraded some of the components piecemeal – cranks, Delta brakes and derailleurs. I’ve been riding the same bike all these years and time has transformed it into a “classic,” according to a guy who rode up next to me.

I had the chain off the other day for its paraffin treatment and when I turned the cranks, I heard grinding. I pulled out my Campagnolo bottom bracket wrenches, removed the bottom bracket and saw that the grease had dried out and one of the cup races and one of the axle races had been scored. Deferred maintenance isn’t good.

Rusty De Rosa fork crown

Instead of buying 20 year-old NOS bottom bracket cups and an axle on eBay, I bought a modern, sealed bearing, Chorus bottom bracket. I just want it to work.

I took a close look at my 28 year old De Rosa, which I had been avoiding for years, and saw the corrosion, rust and scratches that have taken their toll. The chrome on the the drop-outs and the fork crown were now rust. The stainless steel hardware on the brakes and derailleurs had rust. The chrome on the quick release skewers sprouted rust. The braze-on top tube cable guides were rusty.

I disassembled the entire bike and cleaned every part with a wire brush and solvent. I even replaced the bearings in the freewheel. I used Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease in all the ball bearings, because that’s what I had.

Campagnolo Record Brake Caliper

I’m not interested in a restoration, so re-chroming wasn’t an option. I just want to do preservation, so I can ride my bike. I used Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on the large areas of rust. It has been very effective in stopping rust on my Alfa Romeo. For the small parts, I’ve been using Boeshield T-9 for rust prevention. I don’t know yet how effectively Boeshield stops the rust (on the small steel parts) and the corrosion on the anodized aluminum – I live less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean.

Moon Jellies

Moon Jellies


Moon Jellies, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium:

These alien-looking creatures are named for their translucent, moonlike circular bells. Instead of long, trailing tentacles, moon jellies have a short, fine fringe (cilia) that sweeps food toward the mucous layer on the edges of the bells. Prey is stored in pouches until the oral arms pick it up and begin to digest it.

Nikon D70, 18-55 f3.5-f5.6, 18mm, f5.6, 1/4 sec, ISO 400. 2-25-10, 3:17:19 PM PDT.