The Coyote's Ramblings - 2008A
January-March
Copyright 2000-2008 The Coyote's Den
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1/8/08
...and another year bites the dust!  Unfortunately, the New Year bit a friend, as well.  If you've ridden through Pea Ridge last week, you'd have seen that Doc's Southern Cycle was closed.  His landlord sold the building out from under him and he had until the end of December to get out.  He thought he had another place lined up, but that fell through as well.  At last, though, he HAS reopened at a new location.  He, Crazy Joe, and their respective wives worked through the weekend and managed to open this morning.  If you want to drop in on them, the new location is in beautiful downtown Pace, across from that big church and almost next door to the Sonic.
 
Although today's ride out and about that way was good, Sunday's was even better.  I did about 120 miles of Baldwin-back-roading and even found a few roads I'd never been on before.  I'd guess I saw hundreds of other bikes while I was out, and it was the best riding weather in weeks.  Now, to top it off, I can only hope it doesn't rain this evening, and spoil the Fairfield Sonic.  Christmas, New Year's and weather has done that the past few weeks, and I'm ready to go.  Maybe we'll see y'all out and about.  Ride safe!
1/15/08
Yup, a stalwart few showed up at the Fairfield Sonic last week, but we'll see about tonight, though.  I, on the other hand, have failed to show at Pace or Milton for some time.  It ain't the company, folks, I just hate Friday evening travel on US90 up there.  Maybe we can get something started at the Sorento Rd Sonic?
 
I've been putting the miles in and, Sunday, I rode over to Navarre to Cocodries.  Where was everybody?  Anybody know if it's been cancelled for the winter or something?  Another local shop has made some changes besides Doc up in Pace.  Vic, at Motorcycle Empoium is now carrying a full line of leather at some great prices.  Be sure to stop in there as well as our other local independant shops and keep the alternatives to the dealerships open!
 
Pay attention to the What's Happening page 'cause it's been changing rapidly, but not as fast as it will after this Sunday's planning meeting.  I've been getting some of the stuff early, but a bunch of folks are waiting 'til the meeting to turn their event dates in...even my own Gulf Coast Chapter(hint, hint).  Finally, you might want to plan on dropping in at the Sandshaker on Mardi Gras (that's Tuesday 2/5).  I hear a local biker is gonna be crowned by Krewe of Coma.  That's it; ride safe and be good to one another.
1/21/08
Yup, a hardy few showed up last Tuesday, but not a lot.  I guess I can't really say too much as I've been down, myself, in the mileage department between rain and cold.  Sunday was one bitter cold ride to the planning meeting at American Legion 240, but it was good to see a bunch of folks I don't get to see much of otherwise, perticularly JoJo and Pigiman.
 
I've been working away trying to get the Happenings page updated and it should be ready by the end of the week.  Rainman has obtained the Gulf Coast Biker News name from Sheely, and is reintroducing it...on the web.  He's at http://www.gulfcoastbikernews.com and, if he can get enough advertisers to make a go of it, I might be able to retire from this scheduling business.   I just realized I've been doing this almost 8 years and....aw, what the hell, what else would I do with my time?
 
Tomorrow night looks like it'll be a tad wet for the Fairfield Sonic but the rest of the week shouldn't be too bad.  Maybe I'll get to see ya on the road, somewhere.  Ride safe and be good to one another.
1/29/08
Another low-mileage week down the tubes...  Wet and cold just isn't as much fun as it used to be, and I don't think I'll be at the Fairfield Sonic tonight, either.  I have no idea how many hardy souls braved the road last Friday for the Nine Mile Road Sonic...one of the few I've missed since it started (the busted clutch cable doesn't count; I ALMOST made it there!).
 
As a rare few of you found out, I was babysitting Motorcycle Emporium last week so Vic could go up to Illinois and visit his father but, he's back and I'm retired... AGAIN!  I don't envy his getting up in 6 degree weather to go outside for a smoke, so I think I'll stay down here where I belong.  In about 11 days, a bunch of South Florida ABATE members will be here for the State Meeting and I have a hunch their temperature differential, although not quite as severe, will be telling as well.  We'll all be partying at the Sandshaker, helping celebrate Gulf Coast Chapter's 13th birthday.  Hope to see y'al out there with us.
 
In the meantime, stay dry, warm and safe.  There's some real crazy cagers out there!
2/6/08
Well, you haven't seen me at any of the Sonics lately, and probably won't until Spring.  The day riding has been pretty good, though, particularly last weekend.  Cocodries had a poster up that the Biker Sundays would resume this weekend although there were a few of us there, anyway...just no band or food.
 
I finally got around to changing the coolant in the scoot last week.  Now I have a better idea of why PMS quoted me about a hundred and a half labor.  The shop manual explanations tend to gloss over some of the steps but now it's done for another 24,000 miles.  The book also doesn't mention how messy it can be, but that may be partly my fault for lack of experience at it.  Next time will be better.
 
I've a got a bad-news, good-news situation to report.  The good news part is that Motorcycle Emporium is having a big sale of everything in the shop, including equipment, so if you were thinking about a bike lift, tire changer, etc, drop on by.  The bad news part is that Vic is going back to Illinois to be closer to his parents.  It'll be tough losing my friend but, taking care of my own Mom, I know somewhat how he feels.
 
It looks looks good riding weather for the next few days, so be sure to drop over to the Sandshaker on the beach Saturday for the bike show and Chapter birthday party.  In the meantime, ride safe and look out for one another.
2/11/08
The weather's changed and so has my riding!  I hope you had a chance to make it to Pensacola Beach on Saturday for the ABATE car & bike show.  At the time, I thought that was as good of riding as it could get, but Sunday proved me wrong.
 
I started out with the general idea of riding over to the Eastern Shore and just putzing around there, but I discovered my Alabama map was so old it didn't even have the Foley beach bypass on it.  Well, no big deal; just hit the welcome station on I-10 and then drop south to 90 at the Wilcox exit.  Stuff just kinda happened after that...  Somehow, I realized at the top of the ramp that I'd never gone RIGHT from there so....good move.  After some good country twisties (well, for around here, anyway), I found myself on 112, the Bay Minette road.  Okay, cool stuff.  I stayed on that until US31 and somehow, the scoot decided to go right instead of left.
 
Oh well, goodbye Eastern Shore, hello Atmore and points east.  When I finally got there, I was hungry, but I didn't want to head back toward home yet.  Usually you can find some fast food joints at interstate exits, but not THIS one.  What I did find, though, was a bunch of construction for the Creek Casino.  What the hey, it was leg-stretch and smoke time anyway.  Can you believe I actually left with more money than I came in with?  A couple of cents, maybe, but it WAS more.
 
By now it WAS time to head for the barn and I made it before to sun got too low and cool, making one of the best riding days in months.   I hope y'all did as well.  Take care, ride safe, and I'll seeya on the road.
2/21/08
Okay, I've got a good excuse this time; I've been out riding!  Quite a bit of the time, anyway.  You may not see me on the roads as much on Sundays, though, now that NASCAR has started back up,
 
The VA has finally come through with my Nuclear Medicine appointment in Biloxi for next week.  It's been tough complying with the pre-test requirements: no salt, seafood, dairy, eggs, or "most foods prepared in restaurants".  Hell, this just about describes my normal diet.  By the way, grits without salt just doesn't cut it!  First thing, after I get out of there on Tuesday, is stop and get a big ol' cheeseburger, salty fries and a big chocolate milk shake.
 
It was good  to see a bunch of folks at Hub Stacey's last evening; it's been a while between cold and wet.  It doesn't look to good for the Nine Mile Sonic this Friday though, unless this rainy spell blows through fast.  The ABATE meeting on Sunday is supposed to be nice weather, so maybe I'll seeya there.  In any case, ride safe and look out for your brothers and sisters.
2/26/08
Well, I was looking hard into the mirror and I don't see any glow from my thyroid.  I got back from a two-day trip to Biloxi,  primarily to the VA for a thyroid uptake and scan but, more expensively, to feed the slots.  Hopefully the outcome on the scan will be more positive than the gaming.  They don't tell you anything there; it's up to my primary Doc here in Pensy to do that.
 
The trip back today was much more pleasant than Monday morning's trip over.  I REALLY detest Mobile traffic anyway, and an accident at the tunnel had me worrying I might be late to the Medical Center.  I made it on time...just.  Today, I was more concerned with the weather, but the storm front went ahead of me so all I got was light rain.  It'll sure be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.  Especially so since therre's no train tracks near my house.  Do they have to blow their horns at EVERY crossing?
 
Enough for now.  I had a great meal of flounder, hush puppies and mac & cheese, so I feel like me again.  Y'all take care and ride safe, and maybe I'll seeya on the road.
3/8/08
It hasn't been bike riding as much as truck driving that's kept me from here for a while but, physically, I'm mostly back.  The day after I returned from Biloxi, I got another appointment notice from the VA...this time for New Orleans, for the 3d. I haven't been to NOLA since the early 80's but good ol' Mapquest gave me the directions right to the clinic entrance.  It also gave me the estimated driving time, which I checked with a few friends who vouched for its relative veracity.
 
On Monday, I pulled out of here in the wee, dark, hours to make my 10:30AM appointment.  It was still dark 'cause I built in a de-coffeeing stop, a gas stop, and "get there early" factor since I'd never been to this clinic before.  Good news, boys and girls: Mapquest's time is right on! (provided you do the speed limit)  Apparently, though, I was the only person on the road who left on time.  I'm used to the Pensacola-Biloxi stretch, and on to Slidell was more of the same, but the rest was a bloomin' nightmare!  The approach into New Orleans has so much buckled concrete that I felt as though I were airborne half the time and, at 75, I was still the slowest thing on the road.
 
Escaping the terrifying I-10, I made it through a bewildering maze of downtown alleyways (again, thanks to Mapquest) and got to my appointment on time.  Working my way through the VA bureaucracy, I finally got to my Pakistani (I think) endocrinologist and about a half dozen assorted interns and/or residents (the clinic is associated with Tulane Hospital).  I must really be getting old because one of these "doctors" only looked to be about 12 years old!  The upshot of this whole narrative is that I have been diagnosed with Graves Disease, which is incurable but treatable. Only about 12-16% of its victims are male, so I must be getting in touch with my feminine side.
 
Okay, now I've explained my recent absence and moodiness; I guess if you've got to have an incurable disease, this is one of the better ones to have and I feel better having written this.  In any case, it looks like a beautiful weekend and I'm going riding...as soon as it gets a tad warmer.  Hope to see you on the road soon and 'til then, ride safe and look out for your Brothers and Sisters.
3/26/08
Been a while, hasn't it?  I finally got my medication (methamizole) from the VA in the mail and, as usual, the warnings accompanying it scared the hell out of me.... particularly the ones saying STOP the medication immediately and see your doctor, if...!  Well, all went well until last Saturday.  I'd gone to the Malibu Friday and Saturday night to catch Mack Daddy, and when I got to the house Saturday night, I had a little rash around my belt line.  No biggie; I'd been doing quite a bit of riding and it had been getting warmer, so.....
 
Sunday AM, the rash was still there so I took a hot shower before I took off for the day, intending to Santa Rosa County and end up at Cocodries since there was no NASCAR race on Easter Sunday.  As the day wore on, I was a little itchy but, again, it was a warm day and I was wearing my body armor.  Getting to Cocodries, I came on the deck, bought a beer and headed over to see some friends.  As I sat down, you could (maybe not!) imagine what went through my mind when I realized I couldn't feel the cold beer bottle on my lip...and I dribbled!  My friend's wife, who shall remain nameless for reasons expounded upon futher in this narrative, said my lip was swollen..in fact the whole side of my face.
 
Well, brothers and sisters, remembering all the dire warnings of earlier stated medication, proceeded to panic (quietly, of course), hyperventilating, cold sweating and all that crap.  Here I was, 30+ miles from home, on the scoot, WAY less than 100% capable of safely riding, and mind a-whirling.  Thank God (literally) for good friends, who came in their cage, AND was among the few people I would trust on my scoot.  Of course, he made me promise I wouldn't tell anyone that he rode a Honda since he is hard-core Harley (so I won't).  Anyway, wifey drove me (in air conditoning) with him following, miles out of their way, to bring this brother home.  Other than my forgetting to tell him the difference in Harley and Honda turn signal switches, he had no problems.  In fact, this nameless and very unselfish friend told me "that is a smooth ride!"
 
Home and stripped, I'm covered with red blotches, hot, and itching out of my mind!  Breathing is okay, so there's no sense going to the emergency room, so I pop a bunch of Benedryl, rub on hydrocortizone cream and still proceed to itch all night.  By the time the sun comes up and I'm ready to head to the VA clinic, I'm involved just about EVERYWHERE...and THAT'S a really scarey sight to a guy!  Rest of the story...I have hives, taking steroids and antihistamines and not riding for a bit until this clears up (it's real hard to concentrate on traffic with this stuff).  That's why I wasn't a Hub's tonight, but I'll seeya when I seeya.  Ride safe, y'all!
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