Okay, here's the update: the
cylindars got back from the machine shop and then, Dink discovered
he forgot about some o-rings and had to order them from PMS.
Of course, they weren't in the Atlanta warehouse, but rather, had
to come from California...but did arrive today! Hopefully, they
can begin re-re-rebuilding the engine tomorrow, but I don't expect
it until early next week. One more weekend without riding!
...and this is ABATE meeting Sunday coming up.
It's a shame so
many bike events have had to be cancelled because of Ivan but I guess
the combination of recovery work crowding the roads and folks trying
to do their own recovery at home have made that sort of necessary.
I'll sure be glad when things get back to normal...whatever that is.
At least the fair starts next week (a week from today, as a matter
of fact), and that will bring a semblance of normalcy (or escape)
for a little bit.
I have discovered a little more hurricane damage
here at the house than I thought. I was looking at my front
porch and noticed it was a tad crooked. Upon closer examination
of my 50+ year-old wrought iron columns, it appears my porch was lifted
up and then dropped...or shaken...or both...and the rusty bottom of
one kinda crumbled by abpout an inch. Luckily, I got the last
of the logs out of the yard yesterday so my next project is replacing
the old columns and screening the porch in. It's always something,
isn't it? Y'all take care and take a ride for me.
Okay, a couple of hundred miles on the new top-end
and almost all the glitches are out. There's still an idle problem...but
not a big one. Unfortunately, the idle jets on these old cabs
are pressed in, and not replacable, so the increased displacement
means fine-tuning the idle mixture and we're not quite there
On the plus side, I'm riding! I heard a rumor of a
new biker-friendly bar out on Old Palafox Highway, so I took a ride
out there last night to check it out. I can't remember the old
name, but under new ownership, it's now the Corner Pocket. It's
open but still in the renovation stage but, at least the beer is cold
and reasonably priced...a buck-seventy five long necks. Two
pool tables,a juke box with a good variety, and a nice outdoor
deck with a fire pit The privacy fence is still under construction
but I think the place has possibilities.
Same day...about ten
hours later...I spent most of the day at Courtney's Castle with his
grand opening and Buell stunt team. Those guys are nuts!
Of course, when I was their age, I was too...but not on a motorcycle.
My only souvenir is a piece of tire that hit me from one of the burn-outs.
I did get to see a bunch of folks I haven't seen for months, though.
Maybe with the toy runs coming up, it won't be so long. I've
missed you guys!
Well, that's it for now. I was planning
on going out and riding around this evening, but I've come down with
a bad case of the yawns so I'll just settle in for the night.
Damn, it's a bitch getting old!
Bummer...I wake up to
a gorgeous riding day, Pigiman's birthday party is gonna be going
down at the Corner Pocket...and I have a nail in the rear tire.
Actually, I was going to the party about 5, when Thunder was going
to start playing, but the Phoenix race ran late and...what the hell.
I guess it'll be Tuesday before I ride again.
Tomorrow is the
VA Clinic day, lab work, EKG, all that old guy routine stuff.
Catch ya later
I guess folks went to somewhere
other than Ava's last Friday evening...since I was the only scoot
there. A few came in four wheels and, when I left about
8, I was thinking it might have been a good decision. It's less
than a quarter mile to the light on 29, but all I could see was
a faint red glow through the fog! I rode tapping the brake lever
for a flasher effect until the fog lifted about 10 Mile Road.
After that, it was a short ride to Fatboy's for a cold one or two.
Business keep picking up, but I haven't seen YOU there. I know
it sounds like I'm pushing the joint...and I am; it's just that we
haven't had a common meeting place for so long and I enjoy it.
was a little riding around in the AM, but for the most part, the rain
kept me in the S-10. Of course, that meant I could have more
than two beers with all that steel around me. Thunder was playing
the second gig of the day, so it wound up pretty loose. Heck,
I actually got to dance, and it was WAY past my bedtime before I got
home. Somehow, I got up in time for the ABATE meeting on Sunday.
After rushing home to catch the race from Homestead, it was back out
to Fatboy's. Muff was doing his last gig with Thunder before
heading back out to sea this week, so it was good to catch im one
more time before next year.
Hammer is going to be the live music
tomorrow night and next Sunday. You might remember him from
playing at Hawg's Heaven on Perdido Key before it went bust.
I wonder if he can tote his guitar and gear on that old ironhead of
his? In any case, I hope the rain clears before tomorrow night
so I can ride there. Seeya there?
I'm starting to see a pattern here: only
the three grey-haired guys, Bud, Bob and Bill, showed up at the Nine
Mile Sonic Friday night! Granted, we almost had a quorum for
the Old Fart's Society, but wherre was everybody? We waited
until 7 and, when we figured we were it, I dragged them over to Fat
Boy's for their first visit. Son of a gun, I think we have another
regular or two. I'm not sure about about Bill though; he seemed
a little taken aback by the little drunk gal who was running her fingers
through what's left of his white hair. All in all, everyone
was having a pretty good time, though.
Back-tracking to Wednesday
night, Hammer was right in tune and mellow as always. It was
almost like being back at Hawg's Heaven but without the beach traffic
and Flora-Bama to contend with. Now, if we just had some dry and seasoned
firewood for the pit. That's it for the moment 'cause it's a
beautiful and I'm gonna ride
Dang, was it wet yesterday! Kudos,
though to the 150 or so intrepid souls who did show up to ride in
the 9th annual ABATE Toy Run. I'm proud of y'all. On another,
less up-beat note, you know I don't usually get on a soap box except
about blood collection and riding safely but something was brought
to my attention by one of you, my loyal (and perhaps, misguided) reader,
which I can't ignore. I know many of you are already familiar
with the story of Bill Janklow, the politician who, a couple of years
ago, ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed and killed a biker...but
a couple of updates might just be in order.
One, it has
just been determined in a civil suit brought by the family of the
victim that, if he is determined to be civilly liable for damages,
the tax payors of his state, rather than him personally, will pay
since the legislature was in session at the time and he was technically
on the job. That, in itself, is an outrage but I also just found
out that this biker-murderer is a member of the Sturgis Motorcycle
Museum Hall of Fame. Go tohttp://www.sturgismotorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame.html and
check it out for yourself. There is an e-mail link there, and
I have already sent them an e-mail demanding the removal of this
miscreant from any place of honor for motorcycles or their riders
This is my personal opinion and action, but I would
not in the least be insulted if each and every one of you were to
pass this along to as many bikers as you know and do the same to help
remove this honor from someone who obviously has none of his
Yup, still here...just
not getting out much lately. The scoot is back (and forth),
ironing out little glitches, but she's almost there and road-ready.
I've had her back a week (well, a week ago) but she's been back and
forth from Dink's place, so I only have about 40 miles on her.
what else...I've been building Mom a screen porch; I re-roofed my
workshop/storage shed; been putzing around the yard and, oh yeah,
went to the fair last Friday. I've now had my annual allotment
of corn dogs, pizza, funnel cakes and freaks. Kansas was the
band that night...and they still rock!
Beyond that, I've got
a million little projects to finish and maybe, just maybe, I'll see
you on the road..SOON!
you! Didn't think I'd be back after only two days, did you?
Well, I'm off my soap box this time and just back to daily stuff.
You realize I got thoroughly soaked on Sunday, but I never mentioned
I've been having headaches, stuffiness and a general cruddy feeling
since last week. Well, yesterday morning, I woke up with a full-blown
case of something, so I went out to the VA Clinic. After an
amazingly short wait, I got in to see Dr. Wyrosdick, my primary provider
(generally a cool guy, but WHY does he keep bugging me about my smoking?).
so I've got a throat and ear infection and he put me on cephalosporin
for ten days. Hooray, there's no warning to avoid alcohol!
I do think it'll be a good idea to stay out of the wind for a few
days, though. I am feeling a tad better already, and my right
eye no longer feels like it's being pushe d out of its socket, but
I just HATE being sensible! Oh well, Saturday for the Chapter
Christmas party will be soon enough (maybe).
feel like crap! The antibiotics seem to have taken care of the
bacterial junk but now, I think I've got a virus (or it has me).
I was feeling pretty good for the chapter party on FRIDAY (not Saturday),
and rode all day Saturday and Sunday. By the way, I was pretty
sure the party was on Friday, but the Chapter newsletter came on Monday
or Tuesday, and said the party was Saturday, hence my comment.
Thank goodness for Sally calling me and letting me know!
in my weekend riding that the traffic still horrendous, and probably
getting worse with Christmas shoppers; PLEASE ride carefully and watch
out for all those idiots out there. Give them plenty of room
and try to anticipate their stupidity. They just aren't paying
attention. Hmmm, maybe if everybody had to ride a scoot for
two years before they could drive a cage, they might be a tad more
aware of their surroundings. Ain't never gonna happen though,
so we've got to fend for ourselves.
Everyone's invited to the
Gulf Coast Chapter ABATE meeting this Sunday. Come on by and
let me sneeze on you. "Til then...be careful!
and caughing but it's tapering off...finally! I was still feeling
pretty punk when I went to the Biker Bash at the VFW on Friday night,
so I only stayed for one set of Native Thunder. Didn't even
dance. Funny, the place still looks like the Old Double LL on
the inside, but it just wasn't quite as rocking. Still, I was
a tad younger then, so that may have had something to do with it,
Saturday was a fine riding day, though. Ms Lynn
and I took in a bit of the countryside after the flea market, but
wound up at Ruby's Fish Camp. I thought the place was in tough
shape after Ivan, but that tornado that ripped through Baldwin county
and came into Beaulah also did a number on them. The bar
itself is repaired and open with cold beer, but the trees seem to
have gone elsewhere. No more sitting in the shade next summer...
I dropped Ms Lynn off and headed for the house, I just hibernated
for the rest of the evening. The next morning, though, was another
gorgeous riding day...once we got the ABATE meeting out of the way.
I just had to stop by Academy, over on Davis Highway, just to see
what I was missing this Christmas shopping season. From the
looks of the madhouse, not a danged thing! I had a chance to
see my old boss for a few minutes, between crises, and he looked beat.
I'm sure glad I'm not in retail any more.
Well, that should do
it for now. I might get some riding in tomorrow, but the weather
is sounding a bit iffy up through Christmas...including the possibility
of snow flurries on Christmas Eve. Hmm, I haven't done THAT
in over 40 years! Y'all be safe and have a very Merry Chritmas!
and wind...yuck! Granted, it's warm for the second day of Winter
but, still... At least I was able to ride short-sleeved yesterday,
although I suspect strongly that it was the last time before Spring.
I spent the time riding around wishing friends a Merry Christmas.
I'd heard from some of you that House of Thunder, over in Gulf Breeze,
had closed its doors but that George had opened another shop over
in Car City. Well, it took a while but I found it...on Airport,
between 29 and W Street. It's Redline Motorcycles, on the south
side of Airport, and it's a whole lot nicer place that the Gulf Breeze
location. According to Wesley, it's a whole lot safer
place to take test rides, too! They carry all th major distributors,
metric and American. Give 'em a call at 478-3060.
headed that way myself, but Jimbo dropped me an e-mail to remind folks,
if they haven't headed that way yet, that the I-10 bridge east-bound
is definately NOT motorcycle-friendly...unless you really like riding
a couple miles of metal grating single file. I don't think my
nerves would hold out that far. That's it for now...until I
get bored again. Y'all ride safe now, y'hear.
VA update: arthritis and slipped
disk aside, I'm disgustingly healthy. Well, they did change
the weight to height tables and I became obese without gaining a pound.
Hey, Doc, I'm working on it (and yes, I WILL quit smoking....someday)!
Tomorrow, I hit the 500 mile mark and change the break-in oil.
I spent a bit of today running ABATE Toy Run flyers around.
I started at Ruby's at the state line (as far as I could go without
a helmet) and started working my way east. Geez, it was a beautiful
riding day...except for the traffic. Has anybody else noticed
how much heavier (and crazy) the traffic is since Ivan?
back to last weekend, I rode to Milton Friday evening, but it was
a pretty light turn-out by pre-Ivan standards. On the way back,
I came by way of Old Palafox and stopped at Fatboy's, formerly
the Corner Pocket. Business is picking up and there were 12
scoots parked out front. I'm not superstitious so I didn't mind
being number thirteen...and it was a decision well made. I do
believe we have a biker bar in town again!
I enjoyed myself so
much I came back Saturday AND Sunday...when they had the grill going
and some good ribs, pork and sausage. The company was good and
they have Amber Bock on draught. Oh yeah, live music on Wednesdays
and Sundays. Ride safe y'all and catch you later.
I've finally forced myself to
sit down here and put words to bytes, and now the question is, how
to lay them out? In 44 of my nearly 62 years, I've loved
only four women (excluding Mom, of course) and in the last week,
I've spoken with three of them. I married two of them,
and the mother of my three magnificent sons lives here in Pensacola
with her husband (who is a friend and a good step-father).
all shared Christmas dinner with our eldest son, his sons, and the
family of his girl friend and, when I got home (in a burst of turkey-induced
euphoria, I suppose) I called my second ex-wife, in Virginia, to wish
her a Merry Christmas. Now, I haven't spoken with her in nearly
ten years, and the break-up was somewhat less than amicable so, once
I had done the brash deed, I was a little relieved to get her answering
machine. I left a cheery message and hung up!
"flabbergasted" is a good term for my reaction when she called me
the next day! Thank goodness we've both mellowed over the years,
and we had a great hour's coversation, bringing one another up to
date on our respective kids and stepkids. I discovers that,
despite the BS of twelve and more years ago, I still feel some affection
for her...and it's even better to have her as a friend.
that wasn't enough, on Tuesday I got a call from the fourth love of
my life. Although we came to the conclusion ten or so years
ago that the differences in our ages and in our life-goals just wouldn't
permit a successful relationship, we have remained in e-contact through
her two marriages and bopping around the country. She was upset
over a personal matter and needed someone to talk with. To make
a long story short (as if I could), she and her kids drove down from
Atlanta yesterday and the four of us had dinner last night.
It was a magical time together and I hope I was able to convince her
that she is NOT cursed and she is loved (although I really think I'm
more father-figure than old lover(okay, I AM old<G>)).
you've been keeping score, there's one missing...and that story relates
to the raising of the Berlin Wall. Another story for another
time. As for me, I'm a blessed man and I wish you all blessing
for 2005. Happy New Year!