The Coyote's Ramblings - 2003B
(April - June)
Copyright 2000-2004 The Coyote's Den
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 the campground.

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!
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 rebuilt it.

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.

As 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 do I. Hope you got your taxes done!....Later.
...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 again.

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?

Kev's 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 time....
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 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 crossed folks...
It's 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 see.

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!
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.

Now 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 again.

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.
Actually, 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 and thoughts...
Okay, 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.
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.
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, long time.

For those of you who participated in the great rain ride on 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.

According 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, anyway.
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.
Where 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.
I 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.
In all 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 week.
...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.

We 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, arrived.

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.
Dang, 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 duration.

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.

Kevin 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 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!