The Coyote's Ramblings - 2009D
November-December
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11/5/09
Thanks for backing off the inquisitive e-mails when I take these little breaks from here; this update is self-driven...not to be confused with self-drivel, which you should be used to by now.  I really wish I had some interesting, ride-related, tale to tell but the truth is that life has kinda settled into a predictable pattern. As Mom has slipped downhill, day by day, I've been spending more and more time sticking closer to home.  As it is, I've managed to pre-empt most of her energy-sapping chores, from grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning and dish washing, but God help me if I try to help with cooking!  That's her last bailiwick and, to semi-quote the gun lobby, I'll have to pry the frying pan from her cold, dead hands.  She's enjoying the added mobility her walker has given her, but I've attached a ride bell to it for added protection from the floor gremlins (those lesser, but no less dangerous cousins of our road gremlins).  Unfortunately, the added stress has caused me to backslide and I'm now smoking my evil, but sweet-smelling, cigars again.  Hell, better those than some of today's therapeutic chemicals.
 
The previously-rambled-about Alert button has let me get out on the road in this nice Fall weather, but I still don't go too far away.  It seems I spend most of my time scanning for texting cagers and, as much as I dislike govermental meddling, I really think the damned things should be outlawed while driving, along with the regular cell phone usage.  The latter mostly concerns concentration but the former, actual control.  Am I getting reactionary in my dotage?
 
I wish I had some more misadventures to report for your amusement, but life seems to have settled into something of a routine so, maybe this frequency of Rambling will be around for a while.  If I have nothing else of value to pass on to you, appreciate your parents while you can (IF you still can); the day will come when it's too late.  As much work and worry as it is, I'm still blessed.  Y'all ride safe and look out for one another, y'hear!
11/9/09
There's something fundamentally wrong about a tropical storm in November.  It was even felt cold when I stepped out on the carport to check my rain guage.  Incidentally, at 9:30 this evening, I already had 3.20" of rain so I dumped it since it only has a 5" capacity and, at the rate Ida's going, it would have overflowed by morning...it still could.  I had already cleared the yard of blowables this morning before I headed out to gas up, cigar up, go to the library and get groceries.  It was already starting to rain by 10 or so, when I got back.
 
I couldn't get into Monday Night Football, so I've been reading Ralph McIneerney'sThe Letter Killeth while listening to jazz on WUWF.  There's been very little wind here, but I suppose that could change overnight.  Channel 3 said Ida's about to make landfall between here and Mobile in the next couple of hours but, for now, I'm actually enjoying the sound of the rain on my metal roof.  This is the first good storm we've had since I had it put on back in the Spring.
 
I'm gonna shut this down for now and upload it to The Coyote's Den so my sons can check on Mom and me.  I hope everybody comes through okay; I'm sure we will.  G'night, y'all.
11/10/09
...just a short update.  Combination of yesterday and last night's attack of the sneaky T.S.Ida: 6.10" of rain, about 50 gallons (loose-pack) of yard debris (leaves, sticks, etc.), and something like 10 million little mosquitoes.  The above observations are the result of my getting out this morning before 7.  Mom reported to me last night that a big limb had fallen on the roof at the back of the house, where she watches TV and crochets, and in this morning's big cleanup I found a stick about 8" long and weighing...maybe... 6 ounces.  That metal roof is interesting. Anyway, no damage, no power loss, no big deal.  May all our weather events be Ida's.
11/19/09
Have you ever heard of The Law of Unintended Consequences?  It seems that nuking my thyroid was very successful in getting rid of the heat-intolerance I'd suffered the past few years, allowing me to be able to ride in the summer heat again.  The flip side of that development seems to be that I'm not nearly as cold-tolerant as I once (foolishly, as it turns out) prided myself for being.  Either that, or I'm just getting old.  I prefer to believe the former, or else I just don't aclimatize as rapidly as I once did.  Whatever, I'm just cold!
 
Mom's on the energetic side this morning, the laundry's done, the house has been vaccumned and mopped, I did the grocery shopping last night so, if the temp can get itself a bit higher, it looks like a good riding day.  I stopped by PMS for a beer last night on the way to WallyWorld for provisioning, and it looks like the card game is getting a pretty good reception; TWO full tables.  Maybe we should be so lucky for open house tonight.
 
I've got new rubber, front and rear, and it's funny how much better the scoot turns with no flat bottoms to overcome.  Since I always get better front tire wear than rear, this is the first time in over 40K miles that the wear cycles have coincided and both have been replaced at the same time.  Sorta like you forget how much smoother the tranny works after an oil change.  Rambling?  I suppose so but, what the hell, this IS what this is and you're reading it, anyway.  I see by my new gadgety, atomic clock and calender, indoor-outdoor, min-max, temperature toy that it's up to a balmy 54 degrees outside, so I'm gonna leave this and get ready to hit the road soon.  Y'all take care out there and keep looking for that escape route.  Catch you later.
11/25/09
I just looked back and realized that today's inane commentary marks 9 years, 1 month and 1 day of The Coyote's ramblings; I guess that says I'm now in my tenth year here.  Know of any other blogs running that long continuously, much less, readable from the beginning?  Of course, looking back, I'm not sure that "readable" is the operative term but, rather, "reviewable". At the start, I had a lot more energy, somewhat more enthusiasm and a lot more teeth but, then again, I'm still plugging away.  The light laundry is underway and the dark is sitting, waiting it's turn.  I did a catch-up grocery run yesterday since there's no way in hell I want to go near WallyWorld for the next few days and "The Season" makes me even more glad than ever to be retired from the retail industry.
 
Click!  Shifting gears...  Giving the scoot a good bath last week, I noticed a crack in a weld on my luggage rack.  Since it supports a backrest on the rear bag, that could be real hazardous for a passenger, so I went on-line, researching.  Damn, prices have gone up since I first got the VTX!  After some other consultations, I decided to go with the Hondaline rack and mount.  Lo and behold; Pensacola Motorsports actually had them both in stock so Sunday morning became a workday.  Now, I've done a great variety of things like this, so I estimated it would take probably an hour or 2 to swap out the racks and have plenty of time left over before the race from Homestead started on the tube (wait, it's not a tube anymore, but an LCD matrix, but you know what I mean). 
 
As many OEM add-ons, these were multi-model and came with an assortment of different bolts and spacers as well as detailed (HA!)instuctions for each model.  What they WEREN'T designed to do was work in conjunction with National Cycle hardbags and mounts!  Without going into great detail about the assembly, disassemby, reassembly with different spacers, re-disassembly, etc...   she was finished just in time for "...gentlemen, start your engines..." and a cursory hand-wash.  My back kept (and still is) asking me why I didn't go to the initial trouble to put it up on the bike jack, but the job is done.  As a cautionary note, I would suggest that anyone else doing this do one more thing never mentioned in such manufacturer's instuctions: check INSIDE the fender for tire clearances to new bolts.  One more dis and re to cut and grind bolts is real disheartening when You THINK you're done!  Anyway, one more thing to mentally file away for furure reference.
 
Okay, lights are done and in the dryer; darks are underway, and it's a beautiful day out.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and rides safe.  All these shoppers are going to even less attentive to us out there, so look for that escape route.  Ciao for now.
12/12/09
Long absence from here but, it's 44 degress, raining, and you're stuck with me for now.  Otherwise, I'd probably be out with Wreaths Across America with PMS and Post 240.  Ten years ago, I'd probably be there, but, at almost 67, I just can't hack it anymore.  All my riding since the last update has been real local and not too long away from the house.  Mom had to have a "suspicious" place removed from her forehead but since it's been 10 days with no word back from the doc, I'm hoping he was wrong.  He did a nice job with the 8 stitches and she's felling better, although she's still slowing down a little more each day.  There, sorry to burden anybody with that, but it's been one of the biggest things on my mind and I guess I can't get on to other stuff until I let it out.
 
Cold rain isn't the only thing that tells on my age, either.  On Thursday, I'd decided I'd had enough of the little pea gravel in the parking lot at PMS.  More than once, I'd almost lost my footing as I was putting the kickstand down and I finally remembered it when I wasn't on the scoot.  What I didn't realize was that it would take me almost 4 hours with my leaf blower to clear it; that sucker's bigger than it looks.  Consequently, I've been paying for it yesterday and today.  Aleve helps, but only so much.  Maybe it's just as well it's too wet to ride since I'm too stiff to do it safely.  All things considered, it might be better to stay off the well-traveled roads on the scoot until after the Christmas shopping frenzy.
 
Well, I'm warm and snuggy in the house so I'll end this for now and get back to my novels.  One GREAT thing about retirement is the chance to catch up on all the reading I missed while I was chasing the almighty dollar.  Just too bad I didn't catch more of them but, that's life.  Y'all take care, ride safe, and be good to one another.
12/21/09
...and I thought it was a while for the last entry, although this isn't quite as tardy!  In addition, it's even cooler (read COLDER) at 39.  I have gotten the steel steed on the road between soakings but, between the temperature and concern for Mom, I haven't ventured far.  Yesterday, after the ABATE meeting, I did take a run over to Santa Rosa Island during the heat (HA!) of the day and stopped for a smoke at Pensacola Beach.  There were a few bundled beach-walkers but this is the first time I can remember there being not a single person in the water.  Perhaps it was too cool for even the intrepid neoprene-clad surfers, or maybe just the flat surf?
 
I have what may be a philosophical puzzler: why is it that dental problems always seem to show themselves at the worst possible time to obtain a dentist's appointment?  On the Friday evening just prior to the onset of Christmas week, fillings just happened to come out of both of my remaining 2 molars.  They aren't giving me pain..yet, but they are the two anchor points for my upper partial.  The other question is why does one's tongue have an unerring tendancy to feel for the sharp edges?  I'm waiting for the good doctor's office to open to phone in for an appointment.  I just hope they're not closed for the entire week.
 
Hoo hoo; the outside temp just lept up to a blistering 40 degrees!  Maybe I'll even get up the gumption to wash the bike today...for the first time in too long.  Y'all ride safe and stay away from the malls until people can get ther minds a little back toward what's on the road around them.  At least that's my Christmas wish to you.  Take care and catch you when I can.
12/28/09
At last, probably the final entry for this year.  It's a blistering 45 degrees out and forecasted to drop to freezing tonight.  The bird feeders are filled and delicate plants covered, so I guess I'm as well prepared as I can get.   What I can't get prepared for is RIDING in this cold.  I think I've already mentioned that curing my Graves Disease allowed me more riding in the summer, but it sure has cost me my cold tolerance.  Oh well, at least, around here, there's more warm riding months than there are cold riding months; kwitcherbitchin', Coyote!
 
Today was dentist day.  As I mentioned last time, broke two more teeth and this morning was extraction day.  It was one of my more harrowing experiences but she did a good job except for having to listen to the exchanges between her and her tech: "Is that a bit of the root?  Naw, I think it's just bone."  Aaarrrgghh!  That was this morning, and I just got back from there to get my upper partial with the new teeth added.  It's still a tad tender but, at least, it keeps the stitches covered and I THINK I can chew.  We'll see.
 
I guess the next unknown for me is whether the rain will hold off long enough for me to make the Stagecoach ride-in in Stockton on Wednesday.  They're forecasting showers that afternoon but, with weathermen, who knows.  Heck, it might just be too cold and I'll chicken out, anyway.  Whether I do or don't, y'all have a safe New Year's Eve as well as the year to come.  Take care!