4/3/03 Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...!
Yesterday was official, but Friday is celebrated... kinda like President's
Day. The weekend was good riding and, in the process, I heard a rumor
that The Discovery Channel was shooting one of their biker shows here
in P'cola. Well, being the sceptical ol' fart I am, I checked out
the Holiday Inn at I-10 and...sonofagun...there they were! Well, I
didn't see any Discovery Channel logo's, but I ran into some real
trailer queens! (and a couple of riding scoots).
Some guy from Minnesota
said they were going to take a scenic ride and asked if I wanted to
ride along so, who's gonna turn down a ride? After much milling around
and mutering among the troops, we hit the road and managed to make
it to Opal Beach where they turned around and headed back. I guess
that's as far as they could handle on show bikes. I split and ran
another 50 or 60 before heading back to the barn.
One of the "real
people" told me they were actually heading out toward Texas in the
morning, so I actually set my alarm clock on Wednesday to be there
by 8. That's when I got the pics for the Discovery Channel Ride page.
Check it out! By the way, Blood was the only other Bro I saw show
up. Please be patient as it takes a while to load all those pics.
First, many thanks for those of you who have
sent e-mails..and especially prayers...for Kevin. Thank goodness,
he's in one of the best trauma hospitals in the country...the same
one where they did the first hand re-attachment... The downside seems
to be that more severe cases keep bumping him from surgery. He's had
a few already, putting the hand back together and pinning the pieces
of the left leg back together. I haven't talked with them today yet,
but I hope they've finally gotten to the shattered right knee by now.
It's one day at a time, but he is cracking jokes when he's able. Keep
those prayers coming.
Somehow, the trivialities in my life I usually
post on here seem too trivial to bother with for now. I have been
tearing down my parts bike, since my eldest son said he needed the
room in his garage. I've gotten some ideas I want to try on modifications
but didn't want to take the active scoot down long enought to work
on 'em. You know how it is: if it's a nice enough day to work on it,
it's a nice enough day to ride...and I love to ride. In between stuff
around the house, I've been helping Muffy modify his trailer in order
to carry Thang, the diamond-plate trike. It's been one of those engineering-on-the-fly
things but it will be ready for Tallahassee and the Freedom Rally.
Thang is a great bar-hopper, but it would be a tough 200+ miles to
Since we're leaving in the morning, this'll probably
be the last entry until we return on Monday. Y'all take care and come
to Tally with us!
4/15/03 Okay, so it's Tuesday instead of Monday, but I was
beat when I got in last night and it was all I could do to download
the 130 e-mails (of which 123 were spam) which were waiting. Tally
was great and Kevin had another surgery on Monday. Tally first...
Great ride over and no problems except Muffy's trailer blew a tire
and he had to buy another, but no loss of control. Saturday night,
we partied so much that, if we do it again like that, we may have
to find another campground next year. Well, maybe 3AM WAS a little
late for hayrides behind Billy Bob's 4-wheeler. Sunday dawned bright
so I took off for the Rally in Tally which was being held at the fairgrounds
in Tallahassee. I guess Sundays are not real exciting days but I did
see a lot of vendors I had seen in Daytona at Biketoberfest. I did
another 80 miles or so around the area and noticed I had a leaking
fork seal. Oh well, I guess it has been about 40-50K since I last
Monday was kinda hectic since, besides visiting our legislators,
I was to be best man at Driv'er and Judyizm's wedding. we had to leave
before the big run so they could change into tux and gown. I was already
in biker-formal (black jeans and ABATE Life Member t-shirt), so I
just ran errands back and forth for them. When we did get in to see
our legislators, only Holly Benson and Dave Murzin were available
(Hi, Dave!), as everyone else was in committee. Neither one of them
was aware of one of our big issues this year, discrimination against
bikers, so we let our lobbiest know who to work on.
Getting out of
Tally was a mess, with all the downtown traffic, but I finally made
it to SR20 for anothe 150 miles of good riding before I hit the FWB
area. Lucky me, I hit there right at quitting time, so it was a little
tense. Today has been spent taking the forks off my parts bike and
starting the rebuild. It took aboyt two hours to get the old seals
out but all I'm waiting for now is new seal retainer clips from PMS.
I mentioned before, Kev had another surgery on Monday, taking a chunk
of muscle out of the left leg to cover the right knee and I know,
despite all the pain he's under, he's relatively okay when he joked
about barbecuing that piece of meat. For those of you who asked about
an address to send get-well cards, he is in the hospital under an
assumed name since he is a police officer who has made a lot of arrests
and it's just as well not to let anyone who might have a grudge against
him know where he is in a less-than-defensible condition. He does
appreciate the thoughts and prayers...as do I. Hope you got your taxes
4/20/03 ...and MUCH later, it seems. Sometimes, what
seems like such a simple task turns into something else. The logic
of, "Why take the scoot down from riding when I have the parts bike
forks to rebuild and then just swap..." didn't take into account that
those fork seals had probably been in there since the scoot was built
in June of 1979. It really shouldn't take 2 hours to get a fork seal
out! One of the seal retainers had rusted to particulate matter, and
THAT took a long time to pick out of the groove so, since I had to
wait 3 days for the new ones to arrive, I'd just polish the sliders.
Bad move! They look great now but I don't think I'll try that trick
It was a nice ride out to Hawgs Heaven on Wednesday evening
but got damp and gusty on the ride home. Friday night at Ava's bike
night had a nice crowd, too...and I don't even remember what I did
Saturday. Today was ABATE meeting day and the ride afterward was to
Spring Hill, on Munson Hwy, to Crazy Joe's and Mary T's wedding. We
took the long way around so it was a good 70 mile ride. It all went
pretty well until some of the ladies started punching me for telling
Joe that it was a shame they were messing up a good 13-year relationship
by getting married. I guess women feel differently about getting married?
had a couple more surgeries, putting plates and screws in his hip,
and pins in the arm. They're supposed to go back and finish the hip
tomorrow, so please keep those thoughts and prayers coming. He's a
tough bird, but is still in a lot of pain. I appreciate hearing from
y'all with your good wishes, and I pass them along to him. Let's all
be real careful out there; I can only deal with one of these at a
Wow, only two days but some
radical changes! It looks like I'm no longer the old retired guy I
thought I was at the first part of the week. How long this is the
case remains to be seen. Starting today, I'm working at the Motorcycle
Emporium at the front desk. It's a part-time job but, for the moment,
it FEELS like full-time. I guess that comes from having to set the
alarm clock this morning. Hours haven't been set in stome yet, but
it looks like I'll be working afternoons after next week. I guess
I'll have to start learning that Harley alphabet-soup stuff...you
know, the FLH, FXD, FXRS stuff. All I know is that when I'm having
trouble with MY scoot, it's a GDMFSOB!
Not much new on Kev; he had
another muscle graft and, hopefully, skin graft on the right knee
yesterday so, as of now, it's too soon to know anything. Since I haven't
heard from Brian, I'm taking that as no news is good news. Keep 'em
been a little while but I have a bit on my mind and it's tough making
the transistion from highs to lows. I had a great time celebrating
the Big-Six-Oh at Hawgs Heaven on Friday but, when I got home, I found
out my middle son, in Louisville, was involved in a wreck on his scoot.
Thank God there is no neurologic or internal injuries but both legs,
one hip and one arm are pretty severely messed up and it's still debatable
whether they can save one leg. I'm only sharing this because I'd appreciate
any and all prayers and good thoughts for him.
His mother and step-dad
are up there now but they both work here in P'cola and will have to
come back before long. I'm thinking my presence may be better a little
later, after they have to leave. Right now, it may be too many people.
I dunno...the dad part of me says to run up there right now but the
biker part of me says that he's gonna need me a little later. We'll
On the positive side, don't forget the Freedom Rally in Tallahassee
this coming weekend and Monday. We don't have any pressing issues
before the Legislature right now, but we can't let up on reminding
them that we vote and defend our rights. If you can make it, please
do. Besides, it's a hell of a party!
5/2/03 Sorry for the long delay in updating, but you
might notice that I've had to re-do several of the pages. When you
are using a free web-site host, you get what you pay for, and I've
gotten next to nothing for the last week and a half! I'm now doing
this off-line with Web Easy Professional and it's been a learning
experience, as well as expensive for an old scooter bum like myself.
If you do appreciate my efforts and run into me, out and about, I
wouldn't turn down a small contribution..or at least, a free beer.
for the good news! After a really bad period when it looked like Kevin
might lose the leg (in fact, they had already scheduled the amputation),
they found a different surgeon who thought he could save the leg and
it looks like it's working. He had developed a massive infection and
lost the first muscle flap graft but this dude apparently has developed
a method of implanting antibiotic pellets in the site. In the meantime,
they've replaced the external fixation devices on his right arm with
internal rods and screws, so he's one step further along. In fact,
they've been able to cut back on his pain medication and is joking
Enough for now; let's see if this is going to upload to the
web. Hope to see you out at Hawgs Heaven this evening. Lots going
on, so I'm pretty sure I'll see y'all SOMEWHERE this weekend.
I thought I'd be out and about more, but the weather and Kev have
kinda kept me closer in. I just wasn't in the mood for Thunder Beach
so I just stayed around town. Friday night at Hawgs Heaven was something
of a bust as I suspect a lot of y'all were in PC and others afraid
of the storms.
Kev is doing pretty well, although I had a scare last
night. I knew he was having some surgery to clean up the right arm,
but I was awakened at 1:30 by his brother, Brian. Kev's wife had called
him, hysterical, that Kev wouldn't wake up after his surgery, and
he was on his way to the hospital. I think it was as much for his
own benefit as it was for mine that he called, and I talked him all
the way through Jefferson County to the hospital parking deck. Brian's
been bearing the brunt of the family stuff up there in Kentucky and
putting him under tons of stress. It hasn't helped that he's been
taking finals and finishing up his degree at Bellarmine College at
the same time. He just needed Pop to talk to. About 3AM, I got another
call, with the all-clear, but my sleep was shot. ...another reason
I'm not out at Hooters tonight. Again, thanks for all the prayers
Guys...what happened to Spring? I was hoping for at least a little
pleasant weather before it got too hot to ride comfortably in the
middle of the day, but it looks like I missed it. Seriously though,
I think it was mainly during the last 4 weeks when my mind had been
more on Kevin that on riding. Disregarding the heat, it WAS a great
weekend, though. We had a nice turnout at the Sonic in Milton on Friday
night, but I had to work Saturday morning, so I missed those runs.
Sunday turned gorgeous and, between my riding times, I split my sitting
time between Hawgs Heaven and Trader's.
The news continues to be good
from Louisville. The new muscle flap seems to be taking well enough
that the Docs are trying to figure out how to reconstruct a knee with
what little he has left there. The skin graft on the right arm is
also doing well and they're working on getting that operating again.
Kev is really looking forward to getting into therapy if only to get
out of the bed for something other than another surgery. He's getting
that old optimism and drive back! There's still a long way to go,
but I'm feeling a whole lot better about it.
Don't forget the Bears
for Bears Run on Sunday from Cordova Mall. Because that's the regular
date for our ABATE meeting, the meeting has been moved up to this
Wednesday evening at 7PM. Try and make it if you can.
5/17/03 The news from Kentucky continues to be good, with no
significant occurances this week. Sometimes, no news IS good news!
On the home front, I'd forgotten what it felt like to go to work for
five days in a row...and I'm whupped! I have managed to get out, though,
and had a good time at Hooters on Tuesday..One trouble with old age,
though, is that I can't even remember if I made Hawgs Heaven on Wednesday.
Does anybody remember seeing me there?
Friday night brought a nice
turn-out to Ava's Hot Stuff in Cantonment but, once again, I was so
tired from working that I went straight home and hit the sack from
there. I rode around quite a bit today and this evening, but I'm hitting
thre sack soon so I can get up early for tomorrow's Bears For Bears
Run, from Cordova Mall. Hope to see you there. By the way, now that
I'm working regularly, I'm going to have to depend more on y'all getting
me info for the "What's Happening" page. Just e-mail me here when
you find out about event. EVERYBODY will appreciate it.
5/21/03 I finally got to speak with
Kevin today! He was groggy but coherent, but I finally got the story
of what happened. We had a nice talk and he's looking forward to starting
therapy once they get the right arm closed with Friday's surgery.
In a mixed blessing, the nerves in his leg seem to be reconnecting
but, by the same token, now he can feel WHERE he is hurting. It does
mean it is healing, though. I guess it was about time, but I finally
broke down after I got off the phone....haven't done that ina long,
For those of you who participated in the great rain ride
on Sunday...my vest is finally dry. For those who didn't, the Bears
for Bears ride got called off a half hour before the schedule departure
time got called off for safety reasons. I sometimes get a little apprehensive
about parade riding with folks I'm not familiar with, but it could
have been a real disaster with the gully-washer we were in. I am proud
to say that my bike DOES ride in the rain now without spitting and
sputtering. I wish I'd gotten those new coils a long time ago.
to today's weather forecast, the Ride to the Wall on Sunday should
be in dry weather. I sure hope so, 'cause I couldn't take another
one like this one! Y'all come on out to the VNV's Memorial Day bash
at American Legion 340 this weekend...the beach will be too crowded,
5/31/03 Sometimes, I feel like writing
and sometimes, I don't...but I'm still here! Kevin isn't in the hospital
anymore, though. He's transferred to a nursing facilty to begin rehab
and wait for the right leg to heal some more before they can do any
more reconstruction. He's somewhat upset as they've told him they
don't think they can put an articulating knee in it but, by the same
token, I can also remember when they were getting ready to amputate
it! We still need those thoughts and prayers.
On the home front, I've
gone from being a semi-retired, part-time worker to a full-time, 40-hour
guy! This isn't really what I had planned when I used to stop in at
Motorcycle Emporium to drink coffee and BS with Vic, but now I get
PAID to BS with him every day! We're developing a separate Parts and
Service Department, but it's a slow-go from point zero. We won't carry
everything is stock, but we can sure order it for you in a lot shorter
time than I could get my coils out of Canada. We're having a
big poker run to benefit the Shriners' Children's Hospital on July
19th, and donated door prizes are really starting to pour in. Now,
I wished I DIDN'T work there, since that makes me ineligible to win
any of them!
Lots going on around the Redneck Riviera now that the
hot weather is moving in, so keep checking the "What's Happening"
page for updates during the week.
is this year going? I can't believe we're into June already. In just
a little over a week, my oldest son and I are driving to Louisville
to visit Kevin for quick weekend. Since we both work Monday through
Friday, we're leaving right after work on Friday and will swap driving
and sleeping, visit Kev on Saturday, crash that night and drive back
here on Sunday. Unfortunately, it means I'll miss both Southern Cycle's
big weekend, AND the ABATE meeting. This will be the first election
I'll have missed since I became a member, but this is the only way
the schedule works out.
Lots of stuff going on around the area, so
be sure to stay on top of the "Happenings" page. I just hope the forecast
rain this weekend doesn't cause too much trouble for Hawgs Heaven's
crawfish boil. Y'all take care!
...and I was worried about the weather for Sunday! Now,
Friday night and Saturday morning were another question, although
it did manage to clear enough for me to do some bar-hopping on Saturday
night. In fact, I think that was the latest I've been out and about
in some time. I didn't plan it that way, but when one of your loyal
readers wants to buy you a beer, it would be impolite to turn him
down, wouldn't it. I wrapped it up with a couple of sets of Blind
Driver at the Bu and took it to the barn.
Sunday couldn't have been
any better....except for the heat! There was a great turn-out at HH
on the Key (but a lot of folks said the crawdads could have used a
bit more salt. What did they want with free chow?) Geez! I was gonna
cap it off at Traders but a late night and hot day sent me to the
house before I made it. I hope you weren't waiting for me.
I had a
wonderful conversation with Kevin this evening after work. He sounded
like the ol' jarhead I've been used to. He was being wheeled outside
the nursing home and our conversation kept getting interrupted by
a brother cop calling him to find out how he wanted the steak he was
being brought. I guess nursing home chow wasn't cutting it. He sounded
great and is looking forward to seeing us this weekend (but it can't
be much more than I'm looking forward to seeing him).
Y'all hold the
fort down while I'm gone if I don't get back on-line before I leave.
know it's only been three days since the last ramble, but this is
gonna be my last chance before I get back from Louisville.
honesty, I'm dreading the drive tomorrow and, except for cat-naps
while my oldest son is driving his shift, being up for about 40 hours.
I did it a lot when I was younger but, now, I don't know! It'll be
worth it to see Kevin, but I have a hunch I'll be worthless to Vic
on Monday, back at work.
It was kinda interesting on Tuesday evening.
Like a bunch of other folks, I took off for Hooters on Bayou Blvd
for their bike night but, when I got there, it was closed for renovations.
It would have been nice to let us know something last week when we
were there, folks! On a whim, I took off up 9th Avenue to the Sonic
to see what the sport bike folks were up to and, lo and behold, there
were some of the Hooters regulars. It made for a real big crowd and
a chance to chat with some new folks. Actually, some of those crotch-rocket
kids might just grow to be bikers, yet!
I apologize to all my ABATE
brothers and sisters for missing the meeting and election this Sunday,
but I think you understand why. Y'all take care and I'll see you next
6/16/03 ...only four days, but
most of that seemed to be in motion! I also remembered WHY I was so
glad to be back living in Pensacola. Even in the wee, dark, hours
of the night, the traffic through Birmingham and Nashville was horrible.
I know, I used to live in B'ham, D.C. and L'ville at various times,
but I sure as heck wouldn't now! Pensacola os big enough for me.
hit the outskirts of Louiville a little past daybreak so we woke my
youngest son, Brian, up and descended on his house. It was a good
thing, too, or we might never have found Kevin's nursing home. He
led us into the Big City and I got to spend the day with Kevin. He
looks good, and is in fairly good state of mind, all things considered.
For a little while, I got to be with all three of my young'ns at the
same time for the first time in, literally, years. After a bit, everyone
else left and Kev and I had time to ourselves until his wife, Christie,
After some more visiting, the others returned and then we
went to dinner at Brian's house. I wish we could have had some more
time, but I'm thankful for what we did have. It was good.
I don't think I've caught up with my sleep deficit yet! I'm sitting
here in front of the keyboard, yawning my head off. I'm glad Vic has
put up with my sleep-walking at work, but I sure zonk out at night.
I did manage to run out to Hawgs Heaven on Wednesday night...mainly
because I hadn't been on the scoot for a solid week, but also because
it wasn't raining! I know that's our normal Summer weather pattern,
but enough is enough.
I realize some of you have been hearing rumors
that Hawgs Heaven had been sold but let me assure you that nothing
is going to change, except for longer hours and a bigger menu. In
fact, Ronnie Mack assured me we will have a horseshoe pit (or two)
by the time they have the 6/29 fun run. I hope he DOESN'T follow through
and call it "Coyote's Pit". In any case, the place is around for the
Lots going on this weekend, so I hope the weather cooperates.
I'm going to try and make Ava's in Cantonment Friday night, so maybe
I'll see y'all there. Beyond that, I'm just gonna see where the scooter
wants to go. Take care and ride safe.
Another week down the tubes and
I have no idea where it went... Well, part of me knows we've been
busy at work but still, it shouldn't go THIS fast! Maybe it has something
to do with getting older? Anyway, we've notoced a lot of accessories
haven't been moving, so we've been marking down jackets, vests and
a lot of the chrome stuff on my side of the store. you should stop
by and check it out.
Speaking of stopping by, Courtney's Boutique (a
la the Harley dealership) is having their big 100th Anniversary open
house this Saturday so stop by and chow down on their free hot dogs
and take a test ride on some of their scoots (see, Jake, it ain't
advertising but, for you, ol' buddy...) Sunday is Hawgs Heaven's big
shindig, with a nice ride through the countryside and good food on
the return. I might make the food part, but I still don't think putting
on a helmet makes a pleasure ride. Now, if the weather will just cooperate.
is well on the mend, with rehab 4 hours a day, and might get to go
home in a week or so. They've removed all the external fixators from
the arm and the leg, and have the leg ina full cast while they're
fabricating a fiberglass removable casr so he can clean up and air
it while he gets his strenghth built up for the last surgery to that
knee section. He's actually walking with a walker. It isn't over yet,
but many thanks for all the thoughts and prayers that have flown his
way. (I've kinda borrowed some of them myself, from time to time..so
thanks for me, too.)
The weather forecast not withstanding, I hope
I'll see you at the Nine Mile Sonic tomorrow night. We REALLY have
had enough rain! Ride safe and watch out for the idiots!