The Coyote's Ramblings - 2005C
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7/10/05
Helllooooo, Dennis!  One more time, I don't know how long I'll be on here ...or even if I'll get it uploaded to you guys before I lose power and comm lines.  Okay, I'm back from visiting the other fools across the street who are riding this out.  Their only storm-related problem so far is that they're running out of beer.  When I asked them what time they went to bed, they didn't know.  They just knew that when the last empty they put on the table pushed another one off, it was time to hit the sack.
 
Security-wise, I've got about 25 rounds of .45, 30 of .38, and about 200 of .22, so looting shouldn't be much of a problem later.  Oops, my son just called to check on us and I told him of Danny's situation across the street and he said not to tell them about the 6 cases of beer he had on hand,  Me, I'll just have to do with scotch.
 
It's early, but I think I'll cut this down and see if I can get it up to y'all.  It looks right now as though we should be near the eye wall and Dennis the Menace is a full Cat 4, so I don't know when I'll be back.  Keep me in your thoughts!
7/24/05
Okay, enough public grousing about my apparent inability to ramble on-demand!  First of all, let me tell you that hurricanes are a lot more fun in the light of day than they are in the dark of night.  Of course, it helps, too, that the eye passed to the east of us instead to the west, as Ivan's did.   We did lose power shortly after I uploaded that last entry, and had to endure the generator noise for a few days.  The only damage we incurred, though, was a few more limbs down, some of which had been up there since Ivan.
 
One result of this, though, was that Mom decided we should have a generator with a longer run-time than 2 hours.  Our little 3.5KW unit did an adequate job of keeping the refrigerator and freezer from spoiling, as well as running the TV and a couple of fans, but I didn't run it between 10PM and whenever I got up in the morning, and I really think she wants a fan for sleeping at night.  Anyhow, I bnit the bullet and got a nice Troy-Bilt, about the same capacity, but with a tank that will run it for up to 12 hours.
 
I got it home, out of the box and assembled, and discovered the engine didn't look like the one in the operating manual, mainly for lack of a dipstick!  I called the 1-800 tech line and, after the usual interminable series of "your call is very important to us, please stay on the line" announcements, I got a voice that actually sounded American instead of Indian or Taiwanese.  This IS the same engine, but they have eliminated the dipstick and instead, have an automatic low-oil cutoff switch.  Wonderful!  I don't know about you, but I like to know what my oil status is, not wait for an idiot swith which may or may not operate properly.  Anyway, I did what any self-respecting tinkerer would do, made a dipstick from some aluminum bar stock in my goody box so I can have some level of confidence in my machinery.  I'll be damned if I can remember what I got that bar stock for in the first place, though.
 
In the meantime, it's too danged hot for me to ride in the middle of the day, so you'll probably only see my out on the scoot in the evenings for a while.  Maybe I'll see you at Fatboys.  Ride safe and stay hydrated!
7/29/05
In an amazing display of something-or-other, you may have noticed me smoking cigars while I was out and about.  You may also have remembered my QUITTING smoking back in January or February.  What I never really publicised was my stupidity in thinking I could smoke "just one cigar, 'cause I've got this habit thing beat"!  I think the Greeks called this "hubris".  In any case, I became thoroughly addicted...again.
 
On June 28th, I finally got back into the VA smoking clinic in order to get my Zyban, which was the only way I was able to quit before.  Well, between the July 4th weekend and Hurricane Dennis, I was prepared for some delay in getting my Zyban. By last week, though, I began to suspect a problem and dropped by the VA clinic...and found out it never got ordered!  Cheeeez!
 
In the meantime, I got an 8AM appointment notice in the mail for 7/28.  Thinking this was for lab work, I just noted it on my calendar...and forgot about it.  Monday evening, the VA called to remind me of the appointment...at the Mental Health Clinic(where the smoking clinic is held).  Okay, at least I didn't have to fast after midnight.  Not that I enjoy alarm clocks OR highway 29 morning traffic, I got there before 8 and found I had an appointment with a hypnotist.
 
I've never had any contact with hypnotism other than the show-biz depictions but I have always had a bit of scepticism.  Dr. Shively put me at ease, though, and we proceeded.  To make a long story short (or at least, less long), I came out of there and threw my cigars in the truck in the garbage can.  I came home and threw all the cigars I had there in the garbage...and I haven't had a puff since.  There have actually only been a couple of instances when I've even thought about wanting a smoke since then...and I'm both amazed and ecstatic!  Now, I just wonder if and when the Zyban is going to arrive in my mailbox.
8/13/05
Rain, rain and more rain....and yeah, the Zyban finally came in the mail on Monday, the 1st.  That was just in time for my follow-up appointment at the smoking clinic on the 5th.  At least, I had a success to report...just not the one I expected.
 
I had actually started this entry last week, and the above short paragraph was all I came up with unil now.  I don't know if you call that writer's block, or just not having anything to say.  I suspect it's pretty much the latter.  Ms. Lynn and I have taken in the last two "Blues on the Beach" nights, and got rained upon to one degree or another.  Last night, though, seemed to have broken the mold.  It was a great riding night under a half-moon and the first starry sky I've seen in a while.
 
I hope the weather holds as well for the folks at the ABATE state meeting in Caryville this weekend.  It's a ways back to Papa John's place and it could get muddy if it rains so, good luck!  It's looking like another good riding morning before the afternoon rains, so I'm outa here for now.  Ride safe!
8/27/05
One month and a day smoke-free...but somehow, it doesn't seem that important right now.  Yesterday's track for Katrina looked like it's coming right into Pensacola, but that can change a lot between now and Monday or so.  In fact, the various tracking models are all over the place.  I suppose I'm as ready as I can be.
 
One saving grace of all this activity up here is that just maybe, the ABATE Annual party will be okay down in Central Florida over the Labor Day weekend.  Last year's was hurricaned out...but I'm wasn't going anyway.  Funny, but I just don't party like I used to.  In fact, last night, I left Fat Boy's by 9:30, just as the crowd really started arriving.  Oh well, 10PM news and bed; what a life!
 
Okay, I've been working on this for the better part of two days and have run dry.  I had a good ride around town after the previous paragraph but it's just too damned hot!  Let's hope New Orleans doesn't drown with Katrina.
8/30/05
The power just came back on...thank you, Gulf Power...after only 28 hours.  This is a new hurricane record for us.  I really wonder how we did it back in the days before we had air conditioning here on the Gulf Coast.  I'll reiterate my feelings expressed last month for Hurricane Dennis: hurricanes are a lot more tolerable in daylight!
 
Sunday morning, I did my last scootering around before the blow, and turned over the 10k mark before I got home.  That's 10k on this odometer, which I installed when we put the rebuilt engine in last year (which I just looked up, and was on 7/31/04).  By 10AM, the storm surge was already up to Baublits Drive in Navy Point, Innerarity Point Road was almost awash, and ESO was stopping folks from going onto Perdido Key.  I got back to the house around noon to finalize my preps.
 
We survived Katrina with no damage and only a little sweat, but let's send our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters in Mississippi and Louisiana.  Our blessing were their curse.  Ride safe!
9/1/05
Good news:  here's the e-mail I got from Kawasaki Pat this morning, so I'm passing it on:
 
"Howdy, just got time to write and say hi. I got back from Mississippi, yep right in the middle of it all! We went to grandma’s house to help ride out the storm. We figured at the time it would hit Orleans and be a tropical storm by the time it hit us up at Richton. WRONG, we had cat. 1 and tropical storm winds for about 16 to 18 hours. The pictures say a lot but real life is more shocking. But enough of the good news, I am now officially a biker again. I am a proud owner of a v-star 650 dark red on red, came with a windshield[ which I took off] saddle bags, and bag racks and a backrest. I am looking forward to burning up a expensive tank of gas, and enjoying time with my brothers and sisters, it has been such along time!!!

Ride Careful or Bounce Better,

Kawasaki"

{No, I don't know why I can't change his font)

9/2/05
...and yet another e-mail you may be interested in:
 
My name is Melissa Brizzi and I am the Art Director for the film "What We Did On Our Holidays" that is filming up at Adventires Unlimited off of Hwy 87. We have a scene where a young woman is riding, along with the driver, on a motorcycle roughly 100ft. We are looking to borrow a motorcycle, We are also interested in having the owner drive the motorcycle within the scene. The shooting days will be within the next three weeks. If you are at all interested or can point us in the direction of someone who is, please, give us a call, 850-981-2388 or Tiffany at 386-235-5683.
 
Thank You,
Melissa Brizzi
9/5/05
Just in case anyone noticed that the "Happenings" page didn't get updated over the weekend, on Saturday morning, one of those tall debris-picker trucks came down my street and ripped my phone line right off the pole...and didn't even pick up my debris by the street.  When I did call BellSouth (from Ms Lynn's house), I was told it would be anywhere between a week and ten days before it could get repaired.
 
In the meantime, I've run through all my left-over 92 octane from Dennis and have been using octane booster to bump up the 89 stuff to run the scoot.  Actually, I think I bumped it over 92 since it's running better than it did before.  Methinks I may run a dab of the booster even when hi-test become available again.  I think thare's a good chance the gas shortage may be lightening up a tad; in my running around today, there were much more station with gas, and the lines seemed to be shorter.  Keep your fingers crossed!  Happy Labor Day.
9/11/05
Here I am, 8 days after my phone line was so unceremoniously ripped from the pole, still waiting for BellSouth to arrive!  Now, I realize they have to send crew to Louisiana and Mississippi, but couldn't they have left more than ONE crewman to handle the panhandle of Florida?  Okay, enough bitching!
 
The up-side to the past week has been the lack of rain and humidity, making riding a lot more pleasant...when you've got gas to ride.  Even that situation seems to be easing up some as I've seen a bunch more open stations with shorter(or no)lines.
 
Beyond that, there's not much new except I can't wait for cooler weather.  C'mon, fair time!
9/21/05
Pretty much back to normal, except picking up some rain from Rita's outer bands.  I was really hoping not to have to mow the lawn this week, but it looks like it's going to grow, anyway.  I was invited over to P.C. on Friday for the Thunder Roads party at Thunder Beach, but I have a hunch I'm not going to make it.  Between the heat, now possible rain, and the fact that I'm tired of crowds, drunks and drunk crowds, it just doesn't seem worth the effort.  Vivian, the assistant editor, had dropped me an e-mail saying how much she used this website and referred folks to it and would like to meet me.  Oh well, maybe she'll get to my area.  I think I'll just enjoy the Seafood Festival right here.
 
I had a little pucker factor the other evening, riding on New Warrington Road/Fairfield.  I had just crossed Mobile Highway on the overpass and was taking the off-ramp west without realizing the pavement was ground down in preparation for repaving.  That's a hell of a feeling, dropping off the smooth and onto the grooves in the dark!  Okay... maybe I should have been going a little slower, but....?
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