The Coyote's Ramblings - 2009C
August-October
Copyright 2000-2009 The Coyote's Den
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8/4/09
I'm probably gonna piss some people off, but this is a rant night. For lack of a Tuesday night bike night I want to go to, I just went rambling tonight after the tornado scare this afternoon. In the process, I came across some other scoots out there and I can't say the experience was pleasant.  First, LOUD PIPES don't save lives; they merely annoy those around them that can hear them.  The blithering cell-phoned ear lane drifter already can't hear anything outside their little  world and loud pipes don't register with them.  Idiots are going to pull out in front of ANYTHING.  I know that from driving a rather large white delivery truck for a living for a while.  They flat out don't see, or hear, anything.  All the loud pipes today do is incite the anti-motorcycle public to put more restrictions on us!
 
Second, high beams and painfully bright driving lights aren't saving anybody's ass when you're in a line of traffic, particularly behind another motorcyle (namely me)which doesn't have the auto's option of dipping my mirror(s) for glare.  All you're doing is making it more difficult for me to see safely in front of me.  By the way, at that light, you and I were probably the only folks who could hear your pipes, and louder doesn't necessarily sound better.
 
Finally, I'm sick of the crap I'm hearing about the old man who pulled in front of Bruce Rossmeyer (Destination Daytona) and killed him!  The pack mentality killed him!  The old man was slowing to make a left turn; his turn signals were on and visible; Bruce was next to last in line and tried to go, anyway.  This is why you'll seldom find me riding in a group; it's too damned easy to fall into that follow-the-leader habit instead of riding your own ride and capabilities.  I know, I've done it...but survived.
 
Okay, I've pissed enough of you off tonight so I'll shut up.  It WAS a nice cool ride after the storm, and I've cooled off now.  You might not like what I've said, but I've had to say it because I care.  PLEASE, ride safe!
8/15/09
Wow, I can't believe I got ZERO e-mails commenting on my last rant!  I guess it means nobody is reading, everybody agrees with me..or it's just too damn hot to care!  I'm voting for the latter.  The only thing that's been beating the heat has been the rain, and it looks like more of the same for this weekend(at least we've, so far, avoided the dreaded "H" word).
 
I wasn't happy with my little O'Reilley's beep-beep horn so I was looking into an air horn.  There are plenty out there, but I just couldn't find anything that would look right on the "X".  I finally went to the Fiamm Freeway Blaster.  It's a curley-que black thing with a slight trumpet; I'm sure you've all seen them.  I found out the hard way, though, that you can't mount them in the original mounting position.  I'll get around to buffing out the scratches on my fender someday.  Just a little relocation of the bracket to my upper left engine guard attaching bolt and a little electrical pigtail did the job.  A word of warning, though; 130db inside my metal bike barn is downright painful.
 
The sky's looking really yucky put there this morning, so I hope all the runs today get through without incident.  Y'all take care(of yourself AND each other), and RIDE SAFE!
8/21/09
As I sit here keying this in, I'm listening to the sound of the rain on my metal roof.  Unfortunately for my scooter riding, this has been a much too familiar sound this past week.  I've only gotten rained upon a few times and, usually, just as I was getting home.  As you might guess, I haven't been riding anywhere too far from the house.  I honestly didn't used to care one way or the other if I got rained on (once I got that pesky wet-miss on the old bike solved)but as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that, (1) I don't see all that well in the rain, (2) I can't be seen that well in the rain, (3) traction, both forward AND lateral, suck on wet pavement, and (4) I don't heal nearly as fast or painlessly as I used to.  It's funny how the older I've gotten, the older I want to get.
 
I suppose that's as close as I can come to being informative or entertaining this week.  Maybe I can find something more interesting to write about next time.  "Til, then, y'all, be good and ride safe.
8/24/09
It was such a nice, cool, morning that I finally decided to give the scoot a good wash and catch up on some other maintenance,as well.  I pulled her out on my back patio and put her up on the bike jack to save my back a little.  It sure made it easier to wash the wheels sitting down, as well as checking the rear end fluid and, even, WASHING the coolant overflow chamber!  The final job, after drying everything off was lubing the kickstand.
 
I was putting her away in the bike barn when the "Coyote Moment" stuck.  I saw I was too close to the left wall so I was pushing backward to get her in straighter.  I suppose the sole of my shoe had soapy water and spray lube on it because my left foot slipped and gravity exerted its inevitable pull.  Once I passed the point of no return, my shoulder hit a shelf, the mirror snapped the clutch perch in two and I'm kinda jammed in there without leverage.
 
I finally got my left leg back far enough that I could swing my right leg over and, with 2 feet firmly on the ground, push the bike back up and get the kick stand down (sure moves smoothly, now).  I've got a nice little ding in the tank, too.  After I got cleaned up, I went down to the 'other" PMS (Pensacola Motorsports) to order a new clutch perch (actually a "bracket, handlebar, 53172-MR1-000", $25.53).  I figured if I was really lucky, they might get it in by Friday.  Lo and behold, they had 2 in stock.  Apparently, I'm not the only klutz breaking them.  Anyway, now you have one more example of how I came to be the Coyote.  Ride safe, y'all.
9/8/09
I've been trying to figure out what I've been doing since my last update but I'm drawing a blank.  Looking back in my service/maintenance spreadsheet, I can tell you that I've covered about 450 miles on the scoot during that time but, apparently, I've been oblivious.  Conversely, maybe it's just been enjoyable riding with no note-worthy incidents but, on the other hand, perhaps my memory is shot.  Yeah, that's gotta be it; I'm getting senile.
 
What I can remember involves the rubber meeting the road.  No, not the tires but, rather, my boots.  With all the afternoon rains, I've been doing more evening riding and found that a few times at lights or stop signs, my foot would tend to slip a bit.  Now, I'm getting much too old to be picking that beast of mine up very often so I decided it was time to do something about my racing slicks.  That's what the boot soles were starting to feel like.  I've been real happy with my Caterpillar boots so, being the good cyber-biker that I am, I started looking for them on-line.
 
Whoa!  I know I've been wearing them quite a while but my $65 boots seemed to have jumped up to $100 or more!  I figured I could get them resoled for $45 or so, but I'd still need boots for the week or so I'm sure that would take. I decided to go find some boots on sale(Now, I'm starting to remember where some of those miles have gone).  After going as far afield as every WallyWorld in three counties, the Foley outlet mall and some guy on the side of the road, the ONLY place I found my black, lace-up, 6 inch, steel-toed Cat boots was Sears...where I think I bought them the last time.  Although not noted on their website, the $100 boots were on sale for $79.  Done deal!
 
Replacements in hand, I took the old boots over to Jim Simoneaux's (hope I spelled that right) shop on Plantation to get the resoles.  Jim's been good to me over the years with various leather repair stuff, so I stick with him.  Another reality check: what used to cost $45 is now almost $60.  What the hell, this should give me two good pair of boots to alternate and, now if I get soaked in the rain, I have a dry pair to use while the other is drying.
 
Anyway, that's what's been happening in The Coyote's world.  Y'all ride safe and I'll seeya out there.
9/14/09
You can thank the rainy weather for this update.  It looks like that pesky low pressure area is gonna hang around the coast for a while so you may get another, early, update later.  The new boots did get their baptism yesterday.  I figure they must be liberal rather than fundamentalist since it was just a sprinkle, rather than full immersion.  Funny, though, it was a church awning I finally pulled under when I was having trouble seeing.  Jim Early...with no windshield...decided to keep going.  He's a tougher man than I am!  All in all, though, it was a good ride of fast backroads until the rain came.  By the time I got back to PMS, it didn't even look as though it had rained.  Even I was toally dry...boots included.
 
The latest maintenance gig has been the pot-hole lights on my highway bars.  Last weekend, they started acting up, blinking on and off with bumps.  I pulled the headlight and checked all the connectors in the bucket without finding the problem.  Finally, I discovered the problem lay in the wires running between my switch in the instrument cluster and the headlight bucket.  Nice, rainy, Saturday morning seemed like a good time to redo the wiring and it was...except fore the size of my bike barn.  That's my affectionate term for my lean-to where she stays.  What I didn't take into consideration was that the inside area is around 10' by 5 and a half'.  The scoot is about 3' by 8 1/2'.  With shelves and a medium sized compressor, it was a tad crowded for working on a rainy day.  Anyway, I had thought that the break was probably a bad solder joint but after fighting all the shrink tubing off, I found my joint was solid; it had broken NEXT to the joint.  All I can figure is that the extra stiffness of the joint put all the flex action next to it and that's why it broke.  Anyway, fixed now and I re-routed it a little and it should last more than 3 1/2 years this time.  See, no real Coyote moments, just something to think about if you're doing your own wiring.
 
That's it for now; my laundry should be about dry.  If it gets dry enough, soon enough, maybe I'll see you out there.  Ride safe!
9/23/09
So much for the earlier update, but thanks to those who did e-mail and remind me to update the "Happenings" page.  The mysterious jumbling of some of the later entries in the year has bugged the hell out of me for some time and I came to the unsupported conclusion (software documentation and help sucks!)that because I'm constantly updating it, something screwy has gotten embedded in the code.  I, therefore, decided to start with a brand new file and rebuild it from scratch.  Well, I'd gotten down to the troublesome section and, even inputting from character 1, I'm getting strange spacing and overlaps.  Since this had (and still is) been eating away at my beady little brain, I completely forgot to upload the 9/20 update.  Thank Bill and Pat, y'all, for getting your Happening fix.  Not happy yet?  I'll give you double your subscription money back!
 
Oh, yeah....scooter stuff...?  Well, I have been riding, with nothing noteworthy other than getting various degrees of damp to soaked.  I did change the oil the other day.  I know Honda's shop and owner's manuals say the recommended oil change interval is 8,000 miles but, somehow, I can't bring myself to let even my Amsoil full synthetic stay that long.  I spent too many years on the old 2500-3000 mile change cycle with air-cooled engines and traditional petroleum products and I guess it's engrained in me.  I have managed to get to 5,000 miles now before I start getting antsy, but then I have the overpowering need to change it.  Considering the price of Amsoil, I'm probably wasting a lot of money, but it's for my mental health (what's left of it).
 
Well, that's it for now.  The sun is shining, my laundry is drying and I think I'm gonna go ride.  Seeya on the road (well, above it, I hope) and ride safe!
10/2/09
You can thank that little line of projected storms moving through (haven't seen it yet) for this update.  Otherwise, I'd probably be on the road.  This week's saga involves my denim vest, man purse, whatever.  I think I've had it ever since I worked at Academy.  It's their house brand and I've liked it since it didn't fade to that yucky bluish-purple a lot of black denims do.  I've been waiting for their Fall lines to start coming in so I can replace it before it falls apart on me and I just found out they've discontinued it.  My next choice was Wrangler brand since I like their jeans, so I went on-line looking for "unlined black denim jacket" and found that Walmart.com had the best prices, but their online illustration just looked like a black blob and I couldn't tell if it had the inside pockets I like.  They ALSO only sell it on-line in 2x and not in any local stores.  Okay, I remember that Wrangler is one of the Vanity Fair brands, so I head over to Foley to the outlets.  Yup, Wrangler, Rustler and Lee jeans and they even have the blue version of the jacket I'm looking for.  2x IS what I need and it DOES have the inside pockets.  What they don't have is the black one!  Back home...on to Wallyworld.com...and I just got the email that it has shipped out of Oklahoma City last night and should be here next week (and shipping was only 99 cents!).  I spent more than that on the gas looking for it, but the ride was worth it.
 
On the same ride, I'm sad to report that the millionaires are being hit by this recession, just like the rest of us.  I stopped by The Wharf on the way back and even the million dollar plus yachts are being marked down.  It just breaks my heart to see that....HA!  Anyway, I enjoyed watching the guys polish and shine those babies out there on the docks.  The best was when a blue heron soared over the cheap boats and left a dump on one of the million dollar-plus boats.  I'm so easily amused!  Ya'll take care, ride safely and maybe I'll seeya on the road.
10/15/09
I've done some riding, somewhere, since last we yakked, but I can't think of anything memorable about it to pass along.  If it weren't for a casual comment last night at PMS I probably would still be ignoring you. I did get the jacket and I'm totally happy with it.  Unfortunately, I've also have more occasions to be pleased with Walmart.com.  Unfortunate, you say?...hence cometh the latest saga.
 
While I was searching the web about my jacket, I noticed my monitor sometimes doing funky little tricks like squeezing in at the edges or taking a slight hourglass shape.  I suspected what was going on but dropped by Technologies for Tomorrow, who has sold me my last two systems.  Yup, either the power supply, or the tube itself, was was telling me it was tired and about to go bye-bye.  Since I didn't want to be without if it went suddenly, I shopped around and decided on a Dell flat-screen 1366x768(they don't even sell CRT's anymore).  I got it home, hooked it up, installed the new driver and discovered that the picture was a little squished so that all my girly pictures had gained a few pounds.  That's when I found my on-board graphics didn't support that wide a resolution.  This was taken into account and the docs said I would probably need a graphics card.
 
Okay, I start doing my research and find that there are THREE (or more) standards: my PCI slots, a newer PCI-Express, and another I ignored or just can't remember. Shopping around town, I found nobody carries in stock PCI graphics cards for my antique. I then went back to my trusty WallyWorld.com and found a whole slew of graphics cards, most of which are available only on-line.  Okay, here come the first stinker.  I lined 'em up by price point since I'm not doing intense gaming but rather, just want my circles to not be ovals. The descriptions of the cards start with the connector type, followed by the model number.  I ignored all the PCI-Express and the other one I can't remember and found a couple that said PCI.  It wasn't until after I'd placed the order that I found that they also abbreviate the former to PCI-E...I thought that was the first letter of the model number.
 
I went back and found a true PCI card and order it, and when the wrong (PCI-E card) came in, WallyWorld took it right back and issued me an immediate credit (one reason I like to deal with them).  Okay, new card arrives, I de-energize (neat word, eh?) my system, do a good cleaning while its open, and install the new card.  Hooking the cable to the new connector, I boot up and....nothing!  Back to the docs.  Switch to the old output,go into BIOS on setup and change the video source setting.  Now, BIOS terrifies me, but I managed to find the place where I switch (I think)the output to PCI, reboot, and now I have video up to the point that XP starts loading, and I get a blank screen again.  I see my flashing lights on the front and hear the hard drive working but, otherwise, nada!
 
That's it!  Back to the on-board and my fat girls (Oh, yeah< and I've lost that crystal sharp color I had before to a kinda washed-out pastel.  I finally gave up and my grandson will be over tomorrow to straighten it all out for me.  Ride safe, y'all and get out the leather for this weekend; Fall's finally coming!
10/20/09
As I sit here at the keyboard, I'm looking at a gorgeous, full-colored, properly-proportioned monitor.... and I can't get on the internet!  My grandson and I found the magic switch in the BIOS setup (which terrifies me to access) and we're now working off the proper card, right resolution and everything, but then I found my wireless access card had died.  My computer is set up some 3 rooms away from my cable entrance and, being a solid brick house on a concrete slab, the process of running ethernet cable was too much so I opted for wireless.  For almost 3 years now, it has operated flawlessly to transmit this drivel y'all can't seem to get enough of, so I can't complain.  Now, I can't get the new access point to access.  It tells me it's there, but it won't connect.  My tech from Technologies for Tomorrow is supposed to be here in about an hour so maybe...just maybe... we can get this show back on the road.
 
Okay, it's some 3 hours later and I'm back here.  There is a 1 hour minimum charge of $99.99 for an on-site visit and he got me on-line in about 15 minutes so I put him to work on some other little quirks; he's got this thing screaming!  We have dicovered that my dinosaur won't boot with too many USB devices hooked up... the new adapter being such a device, so my printer will only be hooked up as I need it.   Ride-wise, I'm sure glad the wind has died down some.  Saturday and Sunday, I was getting blown all over the road and the ride was more work than fun.  You may have noticed I'm not out on the road as much as in the past, but it's not for wanting to.  It's just that Mom is deteriorating daily before my eyes and I don't want to be away from the house for extended periods.  Getting her to finally accept wearing the emergency alert button has given me a small degree of comfort but while I'm riding, there's still that little inkling that she's on the way to the emergency room and I'm not comfortable until I see her doing okay.  At 90, "okay" is a relative thing but this is my choice and she'd never be happy anywhere except her own home for the past 55 years.  I suppose, someday, my son, Sean, is going to go through something similar if I survive my riding days.
 
Enough of that crap for now; it's beautiful out, Mom feels good, and I'm going riding.  Seeya out and about.  Ride safe, y'hear!