The Coyote's Ramblings - 2005A
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1/3/05
Geez, what a pain!  I've just gotten through applying for my Social Security benefits, on-line.  Okay, so I do have two ex-wives, but I couldn't remember their birthdays when I was married to them, much less 22 and 11 years after the fact.  ..and their social security numbers...they gotta be kidding!  They wanted it but got "don't know" instead.  Now, all I have to do is find my DD214.
 
All that aside, hasn't it been a great weekend for riding!  For all the crappy weather around, New Year's has been wonderful.  I still haven't put on a helmet and ridden over into Alabama, though.  Maybe soon.  In the meantime, I start my VA smoking cessation clinic tomorrow.  Wish me luck...and ride safe!
1/10/05
...'cause it's been a good riding week, that's why!  And no, I haven't quit smoking yet.  The smoking clinic was just the first step to quitting, and it has helped me understand some of my prior failures.  Disregarding the last few family crises which you long-term Ramblings reader may remember, I've discovered that my body chemistry somehow doesn't allow good adherance of nicotine patches(okay, I'm greasy), so I didn't get a good flow of the noxious stuff.  Back when I had real health insurance, my doc failed to inform me that I should take the bupropion for a few weeks before I start quitting and, consequently, it's addiction-reducing properties didn't have time to work.
 
Here's the plan:  sometime this week, I should be receiving my prescription from the Biloxi Medical Center.  My target date for quitting will then be three weeks from the time I start taking it.  In that three-week period, I'll be concentrating on identifying the trigger events which help support the habitual part of my addiction, and developing strategies for dealing with them.  This should help me avoid that "unconscious" reaching for a smoke.  Now, if I can just convince Mom to stop smoking while I'm around!
 
If this isn't enough, I've also asked the VA to schedule hypnosis for me.  I've never been hypnotized before...but I need to quit!  If, in a few weeks, you see me out and about and acting strangely(well, more strangely that usual), bear with me and help me get through this.  Oh, yeah...I did find my DD214!
 
Ride safe, and seeya on the road!
1/18/05
Five more days of smoking!  For some time, now, I've not been smoking in the house but, today, I started not carrying them on me, as well.  It makes it a little less automatic and, with the chilly weather, makes me really think about whether I actually want a smoke.
 
Now, to the scoot.  For some time now, I've been looking for some new auxillary lighting that used MR11 or MR16 bulbs, since they can be procured in less than 55 watts for my chronically undercharged antique(well, classic).  I finally found some last week by Show Chrome, and ordered them at D&D.  Now, I KNOW Richard ordered two, because I listened to him on the phone when he placed the order.  When they came in last Friday, there was only one on the invoice, so the service rep put the wrong number down.
 
Okay, I had one, which would let me fabricate the mounting brackets, and have them both ready when the other one came in.  ...and today, the other one came in...broken!  With any kind of better luck than I've been having so far, I may get it on Thursday.  Geeez!
 
Went for a short ride today but, between the chill and the traffic, I was better off staying home.  PLEASE get warmer!
1/22/05
You wonder why I tend to leave places I'm having a good time at an early hour?  THIS is why!  It's flippin' 5:30 in the morning, I've been awake since 5, and I couldn't stand to lie there any longer. I just hope it'll be this way Monday, when I have jury duty.  I'm not sure what was happening last night at the bike night at Ava's in Cantonment.  I was the only one there.  Hung around there until about 7:30 and headed south to Fat Boy's.
 
The elusive light finally came in yesterday and I had them both installed by mid-afternoon.  It's going to take some fiddling around to get them aimed right, but, overall, I'm quite pleased with them, both in look and output.  They're only adding another 3+ amps to the load but I don't think I can add much more to the poor old thing.  Anyway, it was a fine riding night and there was plenty of traffic coming and going at Fat Boy's to prove it.
 
I just went out to get the paper, and it's a balmy 60 degrees out this morning.  Kinda hard to believe we're going to get that arctic screamer sometime today and it'll be in the upper 20's this time tomorrow.  At least it should be dry.  That'll help on the ride over to the Gulf Coast Planning Council meeting at 10:30.  Since that'll lay out most of the events for htis year, please be patient with me for getting them all posted on the "Happenings" page.  That's going to be a lot of input.  As far as I know right now, the only event for next weekend is the open party at the new Black Pistons clubhouse.  I did call them and verify all bikes and bikers are welcome before I posted it.
 
Well, time to refill the coffee cup so I'll clost this for now.  Maybe I'll get some riding in today before the weather turns.  Y'all take care and ride safe.
1/27/05
Fourth day smoke-free!  Sure glad I didn't get picked Monday for that attempted murder trial, or I wouldn't have made it this far.  I really think the Zyban is helping, as well as my really wanting to quit.
2/1/05
Eight days smoke-free!  It included some of my real triggers, too.  Lots of riding, a few beers consumed, Black Pistons' party...and I still haven't HAD to have a smoke.  I won't say I haven't wanted one...but I want to quit worse.  I've also discovered some other benefits besides cost, and being able to breathe in the morning: I can wear all those t-shirts without pockets now that I don't need to carry!
 
Same day, hours later: It's raining now, but it wasn't when I rode the scoot to D&D this morning. They're replacing a seal and a gasket to, hopefully, stop my Harley-like oil leaks.  Getting ready to leave, I got po'ed at my jacket zipper (old and worn, like me) so, after leaving Dink's, went on a search for a replacement zipper.  The guy in Warrington who did my chaps years ago isn't there any more, so I bit the bullet and stopped at Old Time Leather on Brent.
 
They've always been high but I wasn't quite ready to go the $55, or $65 for heavy-duty zipper.  Finally, I remembered Simoneaux Boot and Shoe Repair, over behind University Mall.  It was lousy traffic getting over there, but he's going to do it, heavy duty and all, for $44.  I'll let you know how it turns out so we might just have an alternative in town. For now, take it easy and I'll catch you later.
2/16/05
Approaching 3 1/2 weeks and still not smoking!  The funny thing about it is that it still smells good, but I'm not having a problem about WANTING it.  Of course, I could say the same thing about a joint this past weekend.  I'm a happy camper.
 
I got back from the VA Clinic a while ago after my appointment with Dr. Freeze.  The back is looking pretty good (he says; I can't see it), but he zapped me a few times on the face.  It's still feeling a tad burny (is that a word?) but it should be real itchy on Sunday, when I'll see some of you at the ABATE meeting.
 
The jacket is back from Simoneaux's and I'm real happy with it.  Maybe there'll be another cold snap before Spring so I'll get a chance to wear it.  Jim Simoneaux is the owner and he's next to the Psychadelic Shack on Plantation Road, just off the now-shortened Burgess Road.  Some of you may remember him when he sang with the bands at that meat-market club on Navy Blvd, and then with the Hard-ta-Hold Band out on Nine Mile Road.  Funny, I'm drawing a complete blank on the names of those places, but I'm sure I'll remember right after I upload this.  Ahhhh, Gene's and Chan's!  I should quit while I'm ahead here.
 
They keep on making the improvements out at Fat Boyz (as I've been told is the 'official' name.  The band stand is now covered and they're working on additional outdoor bar seating.  Now, if they can just keep from running out of Amber Bock!
1/15/05
Riding first!  Up until Thursday, short sleeves prevailed, but that front that came through seems to have put the brakes on that for a while.  I rode up to the Milton Sonic last evening but the turn out was pretty light.  Although it was fairly cool, I think the real reason was that most of you were smart enough not to get into that horrendous stop-and-go traffic all the way from the Escambia fill to Milton.  I hadn't fully realized the effect of the I-10 bridge situation.  Yipes!
 
The prescription of Zyban finally arrived yesterday and after more reading of the paperwork, I've figured the absolute quit date should be sometime between the 22d and 28th, and when nothing stressful is expected(per the instructions).  That, now, is a good proposition considering I just got a jury summons for the 24th.  Hmmm, on the other hand, smokers are treated as pariahs at the courthouse, so that might actually be a good time.  I'll let you know. By the way, never thoroughly read the info sheet that comes with medicine.  It might scare the hell out of you.  Seizures, suicide?
 
On the social security front, all I'm waiting for now is my 2004 W-2 form.  Then comes the wonderful prospect of actually showing up at the Social Security building on Garden Street and finding out what kind of hoops I'll have to jump through then.  Life is such a flippin' adventure!  Tomorrow is the regular monthly meeting od the Gulf Coast Chapter of ABATE, so come on out and join us at 10:30 (or earlier, if you want to pig out on breakfast).
 
Ride safe and watch out for all the idiots on the road.
2/9/05
..over two weeks and only a couple of tough times with the smoking (or not, as the case may be).  That was yesterday, just as Muff was cutting some wires in my wiring harness!  I'd found a new after-market switch assembly for the left bar so I could have  a low beam headliught again, but I wasn't comfortable  with my ability to do it.  Watching him cut those wires was akin to watching a doctor do surgery on a loved one.
 
That's over now, and all is operating as intended.  I think the gasket work is also a success, since I don't seem to dripping oil.   Now, all I have to wait for is my jacket.  They called yesterday and apologized that the zipper hadn't come in yet, but they wanted to let me know why it was taking so long.  Okay, that's a plus for this guy, although a couple of you e-mailed to remind me that Ace does leather repairs, too.  I must really be getting old since I had forgtten that completely..and Ace is who repaired my jacket after the wreck.  Oh, well.
 
The last piece of repair work this week was on another old wreck: me!  I guess my warranty ran out a long time ago, 'cause I broke another tooth.  Dr. Bosso took care of that this morning, and the novacaine is finally wearing off, so I've about stopped inadvertantly drooling.  What's next?  Ahhh yeah, my VA Dematology Clinic appointment is next Wednesday.  I think these are only going to be frozen and no knives should be involved.   Use sunscreen!
3/8/05
6+ weeks and I'm an ex-smoker!...or should I say, a recovering smoker?  Dang, they still smell good and I think if I were to smoke one, myself, I'd be right back at it.  I am an addict!
 
No apologies for the long time this time;  Ramblings will just happen when they happen.  As far as the other old wreck (my scoot), the latest replacement is a new starter relay.  You'd think they would last longer than 25 years and 130+ thousand miles. Maybe this one will last at least that long.   Other long-neglected maintenance this past week has been changing spark plugs, changing the fork fluid and adjusting the clutch.  With yesterday's storms, I only got to ride it around the block before buttoning up, but today looks like a good riding day, so I'm outa here.  Seeya later.
3/16/05
This week's mechanical mystery was the sudden loss of my turn signals while out riding on Sunday...in Alabama, of all places!  ...with a helmet, of course.  I know, I don't usually ride where I have to wear a skid-lid, but I decided to stop by some friends' house, and found him working on consolidating two good bikes into one excellent one.  Well, there would also be one good one left over which would be sold, but that's another story.
 
Anyway, he was too busy to ride but he asked if I would take his wife riding, so she would be quiet and let him work.  Well, sure, I would...and I was lucky I wasn't caught in the vortex of her whirlwind of getting geared up to go.  or was I?  In about 15 nanoseconds, we were on the road and riding into Alabama to the Orange Beach art show.  Getting to the park, some "helpful" deputies told us to ride all the way to the end (past the exhibitors) and park in the bike area.  Getting tons of dirty looks, although we were almost coasting, we made it and parked, only to be confronted by one of the show officials who told us we couldn't park there.  We told her the deputies SENT us here and she stormed off.  FEITCTAJ!
 
Interesting, pricey, stuff but mostly pretty cool people and we had a good time, but it was leaving on the Orange Beach Express racetrack that I noticed I had no turnsignals.  (See, I got to it sooner or later).  I dumped her back with her old man and got back to the house by lap 12 of the Nextel race.  When I headed out to Fat Boys (new approved spelling) after the race, I was reminded of the lack of signals so, first thing Monday morning, I started to track it down.
 
If you're a regular, you should know by now that doing ANYTHING electrical on this scoot means removing the fairing...and that's when I noticed the turn signal panels were coming apart.  DANG, even glue doesn't last 25 years anymore!  Fixed them and set them aside, and started tracing.  Fuse okay, the new switches are okay, get into the harness...  Argh!  Call Muff, the electrical guru who helped put the new switches on.  Spends a long time to find out a wire came unplugged in the fairing-to-bike harness.  Amen and thanks.  Now, it's raining.  Seeya at the ABATE meeting on Sunday?
3/31/05
Rumbling thunder, pouring rain and...I'm NOT riding today!  Not to say that I haven't been putting in a hundred miles a day for the past few days...but not today.  In fact, I've been napping.  The sound of the rain on the roof has been kinda hypnotic.
 
This is MUCH later...4/1...but I lost power a couple of times and then decided to forget about it all until the heavy lightning was over.  It isn't over yet, but I'm just going to finish this entry and upload this morning.  By the way, both of my rain guages, a six inch and a foiur inch, overflowed before 10 last night, and I had to wade through ankle-deep water in my driveway to get my paper this morning.  I sure hope nobody got flooded out.
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