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!
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!
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.
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.
Went for a short ride today but, between the chill and
the traffic, I was better off staying home. PLEASE get warmer!
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
safe and watch out for all the idiots on the road.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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