The Coyote's Ramblings - 2004B
(April - June)
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4/1/04
Hey, look...I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.  I sure wasn't going to write anything last weekend, 'cause I spent most of the time on the scoot, in the wind.  we had a good turn-out for the observation run on Saturday, but not for the cause we had origionally intended.  On Thursday night, a good friend and customer, Richard Kendall, was killed on his bike, coming home from work on Perdido Key, so we made the run on Saturday a benefit for his family.  I don't think many of you knew Richard since he didn't hang out with the crowd, but he sure loved to ride his sporty.  He was also restoring his old Honda 450 and he and I had  fun chasing down parts for it.  I'm gonna miss him.
 
Lessee then, Monday night I rode to his viewing; Tuesday morning, I was with Mom for her cataract surgery and then to Richard's funeral in the afternoon; and Wednesday, I had a root canal.  Has this been a fun week, or what?  Mom's doing great, though, and my tooth doesn't hurt anymore so I hope all the shit is behind me.  Oh, one more thing...I quit smoking (again) and went on the patch today.  This was my last chance to quit smoking before I hit 61 tomorrow.  No, it isn't an April Fool joke...all true...but maybe I'll be more up for the next installment.  Y'all take REAL care and stay safe.  I don't want to miss any more friends.
4/6/04
Any changes noticed here?  I'm working in a new software package and, as usual, the documentation sucks, so I'm still struggling to learn the niceties.  Please let me know if any of the links are screwed up!
 
Now for the updates:  I haven't bought any smokes since last week, but my enabling friends and family help me slip now and then...but I will ultimately succeed!   While I was changing the oil in the ol' trusty 750, I stripped the threads on the oil drain plug.  It's not exactly the Exxon Valdes, but it is a steady drip.  I just took the oil pan off my parts bike today, but the new oil pan gasket won't be in 'til Thursday (or so PMS says), so I'm not riding for a while.  Hopefully...this weekend!
 
Finally, you may remember my mentioning going through some personal stuff.  Well, my eldest son has been going through a divorce and it's been rough on all of us for a while.  He finally seems to be getting his sense of humor back, and that improves my disposition more than anything.  Hope nobody got too drunk or nekked at Styx last weekend.  See y'all!
4/11/04
Sunday night and waiting for more rain...  The gasket DID come in on Thursday, as promised, but when I dropped the oil pan, my intake screen was laying in the bottom of it!  I have no idea how long it hasn't been doing it's job, but the grommet which holds it above the pan was really cooked.....so I went back down to PMS and ordered THAT...to come in next Tuesday!  Okay, this was Thursday and time to go to work, so I was bummed.  Thinking about it the rest of the day, though, I wondered what kind of condition the one on the parts bike was in; after all, it was still up there where it belonged when I dropped the pan.
 
Cool, so bright and early Saturday morning, I began the prep work of scraping the old gasket from the bottom of the engine case.  Hmmm, have you ever laid on your back trying to work in an area only a few inches off the ground and try deperately NOT to gouge soft aluminum?  At 61, I'm not as flexible as I used to be.  It took me until the almost dark to get it all together, evenly torqued, AND reinstall the exhaustr system.  I did mention that the exhaust system, all four-into-one of it, had to be off to do all this?
 
Anywho, together and operational, I hit the road on Saturday night.  Mission accomplished!   ...then the rain came.   I needed a shower anyway.
4/24/04
Work, work, work...but I thought y'all might be interested in the following:
 
In one of the more unusual promotions in recent memory, the Long John Silver's restaurant chain on 16 January 2004 just before NASA landed the second of two Mars Rovers on the red planet said that they would "give America free Giant Shrimp" if NASA found "conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars." The stipulation was that NASA must make an official announcement of having found evidence of a Martian  ocean by 29 February 2004, where an "ocean" was defined as "as a single body of water, the surface area of which equals or exceeds five million square kilometers."

On 23 March 2004, NASA did indeed announce that the Opportunity rover had uncovered evidence demonstrating that
water was present on Mars long ago. But even though the announcement came three weeks past the "free shrimp" deadline and didn't exactly qualify as the discovery of an "ocean," Long John Silver's is nonetheless going ahead with their "One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Giant Shrimp" promotion.

On Monday, 10 May 2004, customers can stop by any participating Long John Silver's outlet between the hours of 2 P.M. and 5 P.M. to claim a free Giant Shrimp (one piece per customer). If that sounds like a rather shrimpy deal, consider that Long John Silver's batter-dipped Giant Shrimp are "huge, measuring nearly a half-foot long."
5/6/04
Writer's block, that's what it is!  That, and basically not much to say.  I didn't make it to Thunder Beach, although I had the greatest of intentions (but you KNOW what they pave with that!).  I DID get the engine out of the parts-bike 750, though.  That's one more thing to add to the list of "let's not do again".  Thank goodness I have a couple of over-six-foot grandsons to help with the actual moving and lifting of it.  Sometime, hopefully in the near future, Dink will have me a like-new engine to swap out when Old Faithful finally craps out.
 
That consumed most of Friday and, most of Saturday, I toyed with the idea of riding over to PC, but just never got the gumption to battle the 98 traffic.
 
Geez, another day passed since that last sentence!  I've just been beat lately, so I guess I just haven't been doing much.  I did drop in on the Retreads at Nine Mile Sonic last night, but there sure weren't many out for being such a beautiful riding evening.  Where IS everybody?
5/12/04
So, what's going on in the Coyote's life, you ask?  Not a heck of a lot, I reply.  There's been a great weekend of riding, but where the heck IS everybody?  Well, I did get a little rained on, but nothing serious.  Dink has the other engine pretty well torn down and is getting me a parts list to order.  I am getting a high-output stator so I can upgrade my auxillary lights...and maybe sound system?  Other than that, it's just been work, sleep and ride...but nowhere in particular.  Somebody get me a life!
5/23/04
Okay, so I'll stop complaining about nothing going on, now that I've had too much going on.  Of course, it was a mixed bag of good and bad, but life's like that!  Last Saturday, Ms Lynn and I took a nice long ride over into Alabama (yeah, I actually put a helmet on!) and found some really nice twisty roads.  Sunday was the ABATE meeting and some good riding all that afternoon.  This weekend was also great...except for the heat...complain, complain<G>.
 
I also got my parts in for the engine rebuild and that's all ready to go.  Earlier this week I got in my new brake line and fittings and got those installed as well as my new floating rotor.  Dang, this is gonna be like a brand new scoot when that engine is finished!...or SOME of it will be.
 
Friday night, I was really itching to head out for Ava's and see everyone (and show off the rotor and new line), but when I went out to warm her up...I had no headlight!  Okay, bulb okay, fuse okay, check the connections in the fairing and on, and on...and on!  About 7:30, I quit and went inside to cool off.  I called Lynn and she volunteered to come over Saturday morning and help me with the fairing (it's a lot easier to put back on with help).  After a heck of a lot of tracing and trying to read really fine print in my wiring diagram, we found out the problem.  Did you know in those early CB's, the headlight circiut runs through the starter button?  Thank goodness for my parts bike, since Honda doesn't make that switch anymore.
 
We got the bike buttoned up and rode until evening, and made plans to ride today.  Well, today, the speedometer decided to go belly-up...which isn't too bad since I can figure my speed from my tach...but the odometer is my gas guage.  This may just be my chance to make a custom instrument panel.
6/1/04
The end of an era...or at least, a job!  Come Wednesday, June 9, Motorcycle Emporium will be no more...as will my job.  Oh well, I've kinda missed being a scooter bum.  The good thing for you guys is that we're selling everything off at 10% over cost. Well, the other good thing is that we're getting out of that termite-infested building before hurricane season.
 
On the scooter front, the headlight switched failed (again), so I bypassed the stater button and put in a seperate headlamp switch.  All the parts for the new instrument cluster are in and I'm in design phase now.  Beyond that....seeya!
6/6/04
So I was wrong again; what's new?  Right after writing the last entry, Vic told me we were folding as of the end of the week, so this has been an interesting...and tiring week.  'Nuf said, and I'm unemployed again.
 
That said, I was READY for JJ's Over The Hill Party last night, so named in honor of those turning 50.  Of course, I can barely remember my 50th but, what the heck!  After a while, Muff, Big Papa, Gator and I decided to ride and wound up at Arety's Angels.  Since none of us was up for a job coaching Alabama football we figured on no problems.  Not quite!  Right after we took our table, two couples came in and sat at the table right next to ours.  We're enjoying our brews and the scenery and noticed one of the adjacent ladies was enjoying and tipping the entertainment just as well as we were.  Upon returning to her table from the stage, one of us (and I seriously can't remember which of us) said to her, "You're really enjoying this, aren't you?"
 
Not long after, a polite, but firm, bouncer came to our table and told us a complaint had been made about our "crude remarks" made to someone and would we please refrain..or leave.  Well, we were PO'ed and left and, it wasn't until we were outside that we figured what the offensive remark was.  Heck, that was probably one of the least offensive remarks we heard last night.  FEITCTAJ!
4/18/04
...and it has been a glorious weekend!   I was fighting some kind of bug earlier in the week, but it only lasted a couple of days so I was able to enjoy Kevin's company when he came over on Friday.  His Mom and stepdad went up to Kentucky and brought him and his two youngn's down for a visit, so I was kinda at her mercy about time to see them.  I was just expecting to see them from dinner, on, on Friday, but the Ex dropped them off about noon so I bailed out on Vic for the afternoon.  Sorry!
 
We had a great visit and then my eldest son stopped by, after his final divorce hearing thing, and we all had dinner.  Great topics of conversation but it was great to have 2/3 of my sons and ALL my grandsons together in one place.  Gee, 5-year-olds are fun when you can send them home at the end of the evening!
 
Not much else to report on beyond riding all Saturday...after work, and Sunday...after the ABATE meeting.  Sure nice for a change.  Now, back to the grind.
6/26/04
Hi there...miss me?  Funny how time slips away when you don't really have a schedule; but I HAVE been busy.  Le'ssee, the weekend at Doc's swapmeet out at Hadji Temple...I can't remember being that hot...and stuck outdoors...in a long time.  We did okay getting rid of some of the ME products, but there was still a whole lot of stuff to pack up Saturday evening.  Sales not withstanding, I was really disappointed in the turnout.  I really wonder if Doc can continue to provide this kind of event for us if more people don't turn out and support it.
 
The engine rebuild is now complete, but the carb bank is still in progress, so it looks like sometime after the 4th will be engine swap time.  Now, the question is, will I be patient enough to wait until then t put in the new instrument cluster.  Yep, it's done!  I spent yesterday morning hooking it into the old wiring so it can just plug into the regular Honda wiring harness.  I wanted to do this right, so it was all "cut, solder, and heatshrink"...and I only had to unsolder one connection I screwed up!  Of course the real test is when I plug it all in and turn on the ignition.  I'm still hoping the electronic tach will work.
 
Will this rain NEVER end?  I've gotten more drenched in the last couple of weeks than I can remember since I first started riding 43 yeas ago!  I will attest to finally being comfortable with solving that wet-miss problem of a few years ago.  Last Sunday, Ms Lynn and I got caught in a frog-strangler crossing the Bay Bridge and the engine never even hiccupped.  Of course, I was drowning and couldn't see but we made it to Wayside Park and a pavillion to wait it out.  I've gotten caught at least three times since, but none like that.  Dang, I hate those stingers in the face!  Later, y'all...
6/30/04
Hello again...so soon.  The last entry was Saturday night and on Sunday, I decided to test-fit the new instrument cluster.  While I had the front end apart, I noticed that I didn't like the routing of the left side elctric control wiring bundle so I decided to re-route it.  Bad idea!  I have the wiring schematic for my bike...but I don't have one for the Vetter fairing...and I screwed up the connections, severely.  My left turn signal turned the front into two flashing lights while the right signal did the same to the rear.  Needless to say, you don't find out stuff like this until the fairing is reinstalled...and you can't fix it with the fairing on!
 
After a couple of days of rain and completing some other projects around the house, I got back onto it today...and I was 75% successful...which I again didn't find out until the fairing is back on.  Now, I have full rear turn signals (actually in the right direction, too) and I right front signal.  Actually I do have both front signals, but the left is backwards, the running light on the bright filament and the turn signal on the lower wattage, so you can't see it.  I guess I'll fix it tomorrow...after I take Mom's car in for service.  Ciao, y'all, and have a great Fourth.
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