The Coyote's Ramblings - 2007C
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9/3/07
Raining again, but I'm not complaining  Growing up...er...being raised here(I still haven't grown up!), this is the kind of Summer weather I was used to before global warming (or is it just that I'm getting older?).  Anyway, my yard needs it.  Thursday, though, this rainy spell brought a kind of good news-bad news situation.
 
Ms Lynn and I had made plans to go to Fisherman's Corner bike night and I was supposed to pick her up at 7.  Well, as you are probably aware, the typical rain pattern around here is to have pop-ups in the afternoon, but by sundown, everything starts fading away.  Howsoever, on the ride over to her place, I kept feeling those cool gusts that tell me this ISN'T gonna blow over or out.  Consequently, when I got there we discussed it and decided there was a real good chance we wouldn't enjoy much of an evening if we got soaked, so we'd try again on Friday evening.
 
On the way home, I noticed a funny sound from the rear of the scoot, but when I did the little wig-wag, it didn't feel like a low tire.  I'd just checked it Wednesday and it was right up to snuff.  Friday morning was overcast with a little breeze, so I decided to give the scoot a good washing.  Part of a GOOD washing is taking the saddlebags off to get a clear shot at the rear end, which also makes it easier to check the rear tire pressure.  Oops!...down 10# from Wednesday...and there was a screw head sticking right in the center of the tread.  Oh, well, it was about time for a new one anyway.  Okay, air it up to 35# and take off for the 4 miles to Motorcycle Emporium.
 
...and Vic didn't have my size in stock and, with the Labor Day weekend, couldn't get it 'til next week.  I bit the bullet and went to PMS to get one, figuring $20 or $30 more it would cost me was well worth almost a week's riding.  The trouble now is I need to get that tire scrubbed in before I feel safe riding in the wet, and it won't stay dry long enough for me to do it....bummer!
 
Anyway, that's the good new-bad news part; it was bad news we didn't get to Fisherman's Corner, but good news that we weren't sitting on the side of the road in the rain with a flat.  The good news is I have new rubber on the rear to be safer in the wet, but the bad news I need the dry to scrub it in...and it's wet!  Hey, if that's the worst thing that happens to me, I'm one lucky man!  Y'all take care and ride safe.
9/7/07
...a bit early, the same week, even...but what the hell!  From the thunder outside, I'm dubious about tonight's riding but at least I got a ride out to Fisherman's Corner last night.  I may have to alter my earlier enthusiasm for their bike nights a tad since I found out their Thursday night music failed to appear the past two weeks, hence my "alleged music" comment.  It's probably a good thing mine was the only scoot that showed up since the paved parking was pretty limited due to the cages on the pad.  Maybe the lightning scared them off?  Still, it was a nice thought.  Maybe once the Summer trade goes home it will work out.  The seafood smelled great, though.
 
The new rear tire is good and scrubbed in.  I guess getting it good and warm on the interstate helped sling off the mold release at the century mark.  Sure glad there weren't any troopers around.  I'm still looking for my new Friday night hangout and haven't really found it yet.  Wonder if I'm just doomed to wander?  It was that way for quite a while after Cack's closed.
 
Well, it looks like rambling is over for now and it's time to get dressed and run to the library for my week's supply of books.  Take care, ride safely, and don't get wet.
9/21/07
I got a complaint Wednesday night at Hub Stacy's that I hadn't updated the Ramblings in a while...but it's all Shelley's fault!  At the Sandshaker last Saturday night, she said she was going to do a write-up on the Ladies Ride and Slumber Party, and I'd put it in the Ramblings since she no longer publishes Biker News.  Shame, girl!  We had fun, though.  By the way, speaking of Hub Stacy's, the local constabulatory came by and did enforce the "no parking to corner" ordinances again.  Nicely, though.
 
I don't think I've mentioned it in earlier Ramblings, but when I installed the Run-Stop system on the scoot, I attempted to comply with state law by using red silicone caps on the rear turn signal bulbs, since I couldn't find any red 1156 bulbs, noe red lenses for the VTX.  Well, as luck would have it, sometime last Friday night, I broke one of the rear lenses and I was surprised to find the cap had lost all coloration.  Thus ensued an extensive search around town AND on the internet.  Still, no one offers red turn signal lenses but I have located a source for red 1156 bulbs.  The cost per bulb is reasonable although shipping is a $5 minimum, so I bought 6, which should be enough for the life of the scoot!  If you are looking for these, or for that matter various odd-ball lamps, try http://autolumination.com .  At night, they show a strong red, even through the amber lenses.
 
Lessee, what else?  Oh yeah...I'm still waiting for whatever this low pressure system is going to bring us this weekend.  I've been awake since 5:55 this morning and it's one of the prettier mornings I've seen.  And they think this might turn into a hurricane by tonight?  Sure!!  Maybe Muff will get back from his Natchez Trace ride without drowning, after all.   I hope so, anyway.  Y'all take care abd ride safe.
10/1/07
Often, other can say more than I can.  This e-mail exchange is in regard to Ride for Pride:
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 7:05 AM
Subject: Ride for Pride
Good Morning,
I received your ride information via email from Jimmy Lee. I believe in your cause and have ridden in support of it before. I did notice that you have dress code restrictions noted on your flier. Although I don't belong to a club, I feel very strongly about personal freedoms. I hope that your foundation board considers that the benefactors of your cause lost their parents fighting to guarantee our freedoms. Those would be the very same freedoms on which you intend to infringe.
Thank you for your consideration,
Xxxxx Xxxxx
 
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: Ride for Pride
Hi Xxxxxx,
Thank you for your e-mail.
I apologize for my delay in getting back to you - I wanted to speak to the President of my Board of Directors in regards to your e-mail.  We sincerely understand your query and agree with you. 
It was recommended to us by local Bike enthusiasts that we encourage our participants to not display their colors at the event in an effort to minimize any potential conflicts.  Since this is our Inaugural event, we intend to take any necessary precautions to ensure the event runs smoothly.  We do, however, hope that everyone proudly displays the colors red, white and blue! 
Again, we appreciate your e-mail and look forward to your participation in November.
Sincerely,
Yyyyyy Yyyyyy
 
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: Ride for Pride
Dear Yyyyy,
Thanks for your kind response. Best wishes with your event. I am unwilling to support it, since it discriminates against some bikers. Be mindful that Blue Knights and many of the military and veterans motorcycle clubs wear colors. The local ABATE chapter works hard to educate people about discrimination against bikers.
It is alarming to me that your Board of Directors voluntarily chose to do this. Perhaps next year you will reconsider.
Regards,
Xxxxx Xxxxx
 
...and that's why Ride for Pride won't be in What's Happening.
 
 
10/8/07
I "kinda" apologize for not being totally original with last week's Ramblings, but not totally.  I consider any e-mail sent to me to be my property and subject to publication, but that doesn't absolve me of responsibilty.  That exchange was just so much better written than anything I could do.  That said, be forewarned.
 
Looking back, it's hard for me to comprehend that I'm now in my 8th year of these oft-meaningless meanderings.  I do remember doing the Ramblings for some time before I started archiving them, but I can't remember exactly when (old age does that to you, sometimes).  It's been less than 2 years since I left Geocities for my own domain name, but I'm still finding bad links.  Please bear with me although since I haven't had any complaints, I wonder if anyone really gives a hoot!  My server's activity reports tells me someone is still visiting them, but not whom.
 
Okay, back to biker stuff....  Ms Lynn and I rode to Thunder Beach a couple of Saturdays ago(duh) but back-roaded it getting over there.  The heat was tolerable at road speeds but there was a bumper crop of love bugs out there.  It was one of those "I wonder where this road goes" things and, somehow, it took us something like 205 miles to get there.  From the look of my windshield, jeans and helmet, that was something like 5 lovebugs per miles...which doesn't sound like much but was a bear to wash on Sunday.
 
This past weekend, the Santa Rosa Bears for Bears run produced none...at least for me.  It was sunny when I left Myrtle Grove but the Escambia fill brought heavy cloud cover and the occasional spritzel on my wind shield.  All told though, it was a good turnout on what could have been a real iffy day.  It was real good to see faces I hadn't seen in a while, and I just wish my memory for names were better.  Hell, there's a BUNCH of things I used to do better, but we won't go into that now.  Y'all ride safe and take care 'til we meet again!
10/18/07
...and almost 10 inches of rain at the house since this little rain event started a couple of days ago.  Luckily, there was a break yesterday afternoon when we were setting up the canopy at the fairgrounds for the ABATE MSA display.  Now, what this afternoon and evening bring is going to be something else!  I've lost power already 3 times this morning, so I hope I can finish this and get it posted.  I've been watching the Channel 3 coverage of the tornado (when I have electricity and cable) but the funny thing is I've had my internet connection even when the TV wasn't coming through.  Hmmmm.
 
Up until this stuff started, it's been some good riding.  Friday evenings have been at Not Bleachers on Blue Angel, as long as the deck is available, since the band is WAY TOO LOUD!  Inside is unbearable.  As far as the Ol' Coyote hisself is concerned, the VA did an EKG (which was good) but the Doc didn't like my heart rate, so he put me on some blood pressure meds to lower it.  I haven't done any riding while I was waiting to see if I was gonna get any of the adverse side effects but, by now, it seems okay, so I'm going to ride as soon as it stops raining...if ever.
 
Oh well, kwitchrbitchin' and get this uploaded while you can.  Maybe I'll seeya at the Fair tonight, or at the ABATE meeting on Sunday.  Ride safe and stay dry!
11/3/07
Okay, quit your belly-aching...I'm writing something!  By the way, it DID stop raining, and I've been riding all over the place...so much so that I've got a new front tire on order.  This weekend has been full of stuff, too.  From the Arts Festival downtown to a couple of car and bike shows, over to Foley for a Heritage Festival with some really nice wooden boats in the show, to just putting a bunch of miles on the scoot in this wonderful weather!
 
Earlier though, it hasn't been quite so pleasant.  Last week, I finally had to admit to myself that I'll be turning 65 in just a few months, so it was time to start researching what I was gonna have to do to sign up for Medicare.  Now, I have to admit that the VA has done pretty good for me (although I still don't have that appointment for the endocrinologist in VANOLA), but it would be nice to have some choices for a change.  In search of answers, I went to Medicare.gov.  Cool, sometime between 1/1 and 3/31/08, I need to make an appointment with Social Security downtown to get it set up but...I have to make a choice between over 20 medical programs and something like 50 drug programs!
 
I spent hours on-line looking at some of these options and, frankly, I'm bumfuzzled.  I spent over 17 years working in healthcare finance, went to PJC, UWF, UAB and UofL and I can't make heads nor tails of it. I'd really hate to be poor, barely-literate, Joe Blow and have to make a decision.  Luckily, I do have a few months to study it and try to make an informed decision, but....GEEZ!
 
Okay, I quit for now and maybe, just maybe, I'll come back a little earlier next time and have something you'd be interested in.  In the meantime, ride safe!
11/12/07
I'm not ignoring the fact that today is Veterans' Day; I'm just somewhat at a loss for words to express my feelings about it.  I volunteered to serve in the Army over 46 years ago, when I could still remember the fear and anguish in my family for an uncle reported missing in action in Korea.  My father, an old China Marine, told me stories of his 20 years in The Corps; from being under fire in China when it was first invaded, to island-hopping in the Pacific.  In 1961, The Red Menace was the enemy du jour, so I signed on the dotted line for three years service.  I could have waited for the draft and a two-year obligation, but it seemed the thing to do at the time.
 
Well, The Red Menace came through all right; first, the Berlin Wall went up and, later, the Cuban Missle Crisis had us all looking at Armageddon.  The only combat I saw, though, was hand-to-hand within my own ranks, usually with alcohol involved.  By the time my enlistment ended in 1964, I was ready to rejoin the civilian world.  It was a part of my life, for the rest of my life, and I'd never give up one minute of it.   Well, there were a FEW moments I'd have passed up but, what the hell!  Anyway, hail to all my brothers-in-arms, past and present.  I won't say "happy" Veterans' Day but, like being a biker, if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand anyway.
 
By the way, Uncle Paul wandered around that frozen hell a few days before he hooked up with a skedaddling Ausie outfit and was finally accounted for a month later.  Maybe that's part of why he finished his days skippering in the Keys?  Ride safe, y'all.
11/23/07
Well, I guess I was the only one who didn't get the memo....  On this beautiful, clear, moon-lit, albeit cool, fourth-Friday evening, I was apparently the only person who showed up at the Nine Mile Sonic.  The coffee was excellent although the company was nonexistant, at least between 6:40 and 7:20.  Maybe everybody was worn out from Black Friday shopping?
 
The evening wasn't lost, however.  I had gotten an email earlier in the week that Deana was now bartending at The Keg, on Old Corry Road next to the Warrington post office, so I took a nice long ride around the city to make a short ride long.  I think I may have found my new home bar!  Although the side parking lot is gravel, it's well packed, well lighted, and well camera'ed, with a monitor right behind the bar so you can watch your scoot without going outside.  There were already a couple there, so I felt right at home.
 
By way of a review, my beer was good and cold, as well as relatively inexpensive.  They do serve the hard stuff if you're so inclined.  They do have a couple of pool tables which were of better quality than the pool I saw being played.  All in all, I'm pretty satisfied and I think you're going to find me there on more than just this Friday night.  The owner, George, told me he's starting a bike night on Tuesdays, with 50 cents off regular dring prices after 6PM...if you're on a bike.  That's almost like happy hour all evening, which is a waste for me.  If you do decide to try it out, please drink responsibly and ride safely.  That's it for now, y'all!
12/11/08
Well, the ol' Coyote crawled out of his den one more time and, whoa, it's Spring?  If you wonder why I haven't been writin', it's 'cause I've been ridin'.  As soon as I finish this, I'll be doing some more.
 
The Toy Run on the 2d finally fulfilled my expectations, running over the one thousand bike mark for the first time in the 12 years we've had it.  Unfortunately, by the time we got to the Shrine Temple, my clutch hand felt like we'd been down Main Street in Daytona a couple of times...but part of that is just my getting old.
 
Speaking of getting old, yesterday's mail brought the ultimate reminder: my Medicare card.  It isn't effective until 4/1/08 but, sitting next to my AARP card, it sure weighs heavy in the wallet.  It'll be nice to have an alternative to the VA, though.  The latest scheduling combobulation from them concerns my alleged hyperthyroidism.  VA Biloxi finally scheduled a thyroid uptake test for me and I got the letter last Wednesday.  Now, this involves my swallowing a couple of pills of radioactive iodine, having one nuclear medicine scan a couple of hours later, and then another the next morning.  In order to measure only the amount in the pills, you are instructed to abstain from injesting dairy, fish, salt and a whole list of other stuff I subsist on for 1 to 2 weeks prior to the test.  I got the letter 5 DAYS before the appointment!  It took 3 days of leaving messages on their telephone menu system to get the appointment cancelled, and a promise (Hmph!) that when they rescheduled after the first of the year, they'd get me the letter in time to comply.  We'll see.
 
That's it for now.  Y'all ride safe, and be good to one another.
12/30/07
Surprise!  Bet you didn't think I'd make it back this year, didya?  The lead-up to Christmas and all, combined with this infinately variable weather, has put me kinda behind and there's no promise that nex year will be much better.  With the New Year approaching, I started looking into that thyroid uptake thing, particularly the no NSAID's requirement.  Because of this cold dampness we've been having, the only thing that's been keeping my arthritis mobile (and that's a relative thing) has been my naproxen.  For you folks out there who buy brand names, that's Aleve.  I've asked two different RN's what non-nsaid I can take and both referred me to ask a pharmacist.  Smart thinking, but I'm not gonna sue if you're wrong, gals!  Anywho, I finally got around to stopping in and asking one, and she said Tylenol was probably the only option I had....except I had already gone on-line and found that Tylenol IS an nsaid, as is anything else effective for arthritis.  Anybody out there got any suggestions?
 
Another thing that's been on my mind has been the headlamp aim on the scoot.  I've piddled around with the adjustment screws in the headlamp housing according to the instructions in my Genuine Honda Service Manual ($69.95, thank you) and just have never quite seem to get it right.  Well, folks, in a fit of disgust, I dissassembled the whole damned thing and, lo and behold, the service manual has the vertical and horizontal adjustment screws mislabelled and reversed.  Well, gosh and gee-willikers, NO WONDER I kept making it worse!  I guess tomorrow night will be my first chance to find out if I got it right.  In the meantime, ride safe and have a happy and prosperous New Year.