The Coyote's Ramblings - 2002D
(December)
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Copyright 2000-2004 The Coyote's Den
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12/2/02
If you missed yesterday's Toy Run, you missed the best one yet!  Bikes were already at Cordova mall at 8AM, and more still arriving at departure time.  The official count was around 850 bikes, with over 1100 riders, and it was an awesome sight, with bikes the length of Nine Mile Road.  Even better, Channel 3 covered it on the evening news.  Now, that's a surprise!  Part of the increase was due to FWB's rescheduling this year, so let's support them next Sunday with a big Pensacola turn-out for their toy run.

This is another short one since I've got stuff to do, but I hope to get some pictures of our run on the site soon, so stay tuned.

12/6/02
Ye gads; where has the week gone...or for that matter, the year?  It doesn't seem possible that it's the first week of December already.  So much has gone on that you would think it would seem longer, but it has just flown by!  Old riding buds have gotten married, become Dads..again (not the same ones), left the area...and some just disappeared.   And this website is now over two years old.  Worst of all, I can't believe I started riding 40 years ago.

Somehow, though, part of me feels like a 19 year-old stuck in a 60 year-old body, but that 40 years of experience has tempered a lot of those young, dumb, impulses.  Consequently a lot of those impulses don't get acted upon.  I'm sure that part of that is what's kept me alive this long, but I also think it's caused me to miss some stuff I should persue.  How do you override some of those self-defense mechanisms that keep you from feeling the joy as well as the pain?

Enough introspection; let's ride.  It's gonna be cool and crisp this weekend, so I'll see you at the Navy Sonic tonight and Ft Walton's toy run on Sunday.  If I feel like putting on a helmet, maybe I'll even see you in Alabama on Saturday.  Ciao for now!
12/9/02
What a gloriously decadent day!  A whole day with nothing on my schedule...so I slept until 10 o'clock.  Of course, that just meant I was sleep-deprived, but that's out of the way now.  So, how did I loaf on such a day?...by working!  Once I had some breakfast (lunch?), I did some painting and prep work on my carport, which REALLY needs some work. Since it still wasn't raining by the time I finished that, I decided to work on the scooter.

I realized I had about 5k miles on the spark plugs, so changing them was first.  When I pulled the new ones out of the box, I realized I only had three, so it was off to Pep Boys for another one (or 5, since I like to keep a set on hand).  In case you don't know, they carry NGK plugs for about half or less than you pay at a bike shop.  Anyway, I got back and changed them, and THEN decided to flush the brake line.  Damn...out of brake fluid, so back to Pep Boys.

Okay, got back and finished that (geez, that old fluid was dark) and, since it was still light, decided to check all my bulbs and put new dilectric grease on them.  All was cool until I got to the tail/brake light.  When I unscrewed the lense, pieces of plastic fell out.  Now, this can be serious when you ride an '80 CB750K, since some stuff is hard to come by...especially plastic parts.  Well, boys and girls, I've spent the rest of the evening with a 3-d jigsaw puzzle.  Since it is the reflector assembly, I don't think it's going to be too noticable from the outside and, with the liberal use of that great product, Scotch Super Strength Mailing Tape, it should hold together. Dunno if I've mentioned this before, but several years ago, I took a rock in my headlight. Since I had to wait for it to come in, I put that tape over the hole as a stopgap measure.  Well, the headlight got back-ordered and when it did finally come in, I was busy with work or something and it was probably six months before I got around to replacing it.  That tape had been in front of a 100 watt halogen H-4 bulb all that time and hadn't discolored or even curled.  Great stuff!

Well, enough BS for now.  It looks like it's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'll have to find some other trouble to get into.  When I do, I'll let you know.
12/12/02
You know, I'm only doing this for you folks who don't have a life and are living vicariously through my exciting adventures.  Boy, are you hurting this time!  I must say, though, that the new plugs have made a significant difference in performance, although the cold air hasn't hurt, either.  Tuesday WAS kinda damp, but yesterday was another great riding day.  I did my usual 50 mile shop loop and, for those of you who've been e-mailing me, I did find a flyer for the Molino parade on Sunday afternoon. It was too late to make this week's mailing, but it IS on the What's Happening page if you want to check it out.

Last evening, I rode up to the Nine Mile Sonic to check in with the Retreads...and nobody was there.  I figured they had finally made their Winter switch to the Dairy Queen on Scenic and, yup, there they were.  Please, folks, let me know when you find out about changes so I don't misdirect others.  Other than that, not much is happening around here.  I did get to the blood bank today, and am now up to 72 units.  I used to say "pints", but they've gone metric like the rest of the world.  Please, if you are capable of giving blood, now is the time to do it.  There's going to be a lot of accidents with the holidays coming up...and YOU might be the one in need.  Okay, off the soapbox.  See y'all at the Milton Sonic on Friday and the ABATE meeting on Sunday.
12/15/02
If you haven't been riding, you've missed the two best back-to-back days in quite a while.  Once it warmed up Saturday, I decided to take a solo ride up into rural Escambia County. Taking off from Pine Forest Road, I kept taking lefts through some nice countryside until I ran into Muscogee Road.  It was still a tad populated, so the scoot rolled through beautiful downtown Cottage Hill until we hit the Atmore Highway.  It's been quite a while since I'd been up there and the repaving was great.  Smooth asphalt, sunshine and cotton fields made the miles unwind until I hit Walnut Hill.

Remembering that Atmore (and helmet country) wasn't much further, I took a left.  I wasn't paying attention to any route numbers...just following the sun.  More cotton fields, and other vehicles only about every five or ten minutes, made the miles melt away. One time, I came to an Alabama state line marker and made a u-turn; it was just too nice to put on a helmet.  Another road ran straight and smooth until I rounded a turn...and the road ended in the woods!  On another stretch, with no other vehicles anywhere in sight, I passed a harvested corn field and saw three guys with guns squatting in the middle.  I hope SOMETHING is in season.

After a while, I passed the church where I had been Kawisaki Pat's best man, and I knew where I was again.  Still, by the time I got home, I had a great 80 miles run.  This morning was the ABATE meeting, and it was a tad cool.  I looked out and saw there was no ice on the birdbath, so I figured I wouldn't need chaps.  Boy, was I right!  By the time we got out of the meeting and headed to Molino for the parade, it was downright warm.  In fact, it got SO warm, I decided to bow out of the parade itself.  With an air-cooled engine and no oil cooler, I knew I'd overheat running in first.

Besides, it was just a 25 minute run to the Riverside for free food and more good company.  After BS'ing there for a while, it was downtown to Trader's.  Good beer and good company there brought a good end to a great weekend.  I wish they could all be like this one, but I know the Winter nasties are coming on and there won't be too many more like this one for a while.  I just hope your weekend was as pleasant as mine was.  Take care.
12/19/02
Boy, are you hurting if you're looking for excitement from THIS edition!  I haven't even been on the bike since Tuesday (although that was a nice riding day). Lessee, painted the carport, changed the fluid in my fork tubes, changed the oil in Mom's car, putzed around the house...  I did notice the other day that I wasn't hearing any of the sounds from my computer, so I did the diagnostic thingie...the best I could.

I finally decided that my integrated sound on my motherboard was shot, so I bopped out to WallyWorld and picked up a new sound board.  After reading all the caveats, I THINK I managed to disable the disabled on-board sound before I installed the new PCI board.  It was a real bear getting the card into my one remaining PCI slot with my fat fingers, but I finally manged to do it without cracking anything, closed the case and tuned it on.

Plug and play is wonderful thing Bill Gates gave us, but sometimes...just sometimes...it doesn't!  Apparently, I managed to screw that up...twice..., but I finally am operational again in the aural arena. With the new software that came with this little jewel, I'm gonna try (HA!) to jazz up the sounds on the site..like a bike passing from left to right in stereo.  Don't hold your breath, though.  I have been known to undertake projects that were not successful.  Just ask either of my two ex-wives.  No, don't!

Thanks to the folks who have e-mailed me with events for What's Happening.  The month ahead is looking a little bare, so send me stuff to fill it up.  A Merry Christmas to all, if we don't cross paths before then, and ride carefully.  Just having everyone around safely after New Years is a good enough gift for me.
12/25/02
Merry Christmas, all!  This beautiful morning sure was a change from yesterday, when that cold front moved through and dumped on us. I sure hope none of you took any heavy damage from the wind or tornado.  I'll be leaving for my son's house in a bit to pig out on turkey and all the fixin's, so this won't be too long.  We've had a few nice days for riding since our last visit, but that hasn't been the prime reason for my absence.  Once again, my computer and I have been in a state of conflict.

In order to chat with my Moscow friend, I installed ICQ on my machine. Well, something in there didn't agree with my settings, and I've been going through constant lock-ups until I finally uninstalled it...and am operating perfectly again.  Heck, and I never even got to chat!

I picked up a new event since last time, though.  Stagecoach VI is a ride-in to the Stagecoach Restaurant near Bay Minette, AL on Saturday, the 28th.  There's a link on the Happenings page if you want to look it up, but it looks like it might be fun if the weather stays dry.  Hope to see you at the Nine Mile Road Sonic on Friday.  Take care and again, Merry Christmas.
12/29/02
Since this is probably my last entry for 2002, am I supposed to do the obligatory "year in review"?  Nah!!!  If you want to look at it, click on the archives and do it yourself.  After this past year, I'm just glad to be here to write this.  I hope everyone is as pleased with the mild weather as I am. 

Okay, so Friday evening WAS a tad cool at Nine Mile Road for not having any coffee or hot chocolate available, but Saturday's Stagecoach VI in Stockton, couldn't have been better.  The longest rider this year was a paltry 2500 miles, from San Diego.  I guess the dude from Washington state who won the last two years decided to give someone else a chance.  It was a great crowd, though...overflowing the parking lot, severely.  If you missed it, write down 12/27/03 on your calendar for Stagecoach VII.

Continuing the good weather, today was even better.  I did the flea market tour, from T&W to Gulf Breeze by the zoo, and then took a leisurely trip along the beach from Navarre back into Gulf Breeze.  Tons of bikes on the road, too....  Winding up at Trader's, getting to see old friends, and meeting new ones brought the perfect end to the almost perfect day.

On a personal note, today is my third smokeless day on the patch.  This was my Christmas present to myself and I hope to be comfortable with being an ex-smoker by my 60th birthday, in April.  Wish me luck, Friends and, please, don't tempt me while I'm still working on this.  I hope your Christmas was wonderful, and your New Year, even better.  Please be careful if you go out New Year's Eve.  I sure don't want to lose any more friends this year...
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