The Coyote's Ramblings - 2010B
April-June
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5/18/10
I came inside to cool down and knew I hadn't updated the Ramblings for a little while.  It wasn't until I pulled it up in my web editor that I realized it had been almost THREE weeks!  Part of my reason (okay, excuse) is that I've been spending most mornings doing the household routine stuff, trying to get stuff done before Mom notices it needs doing and then, over-doing.  The other reason, folks, is that the Ol' Coyote is just that...getting old.  I find myself, more and more often, taking a little nap in the afternoons.  I also find the memory is going a bit, too.
 
I do manage to get out to PMS most evenings that it is open, if only for a "hi & bye".  I did NOT make it to Thunder Beach, though.  Despite Mom's improvement, I still find myself so antsy after 2-3 hours that I have to come back and check on her.  She's always okay, but I can't seem to convince myself of that when I'm out riding.  That said, I've had to satisfy the riding bug with trips of 100-125 miles or so.  Most of those have been over in Baldwin County since there's a whole lot less traffic to contend with.  Scooter-wise, the turn signal lenses seem to be staying in and my lower mileage has meant that I'm not changing the oil as often.  Today though, after laundry and vaccuming the house, I decided to check on the brakes.  If this Retro model didn't have the swoopy fenders it would be a hell of a lot easier to do but, to be certain, I have to remove the calipers to inspect the pads.  It'd been 10k miles since I'r replaced them but they still have a goodly amount of wear left in them.  It was also a good opportunity to blow all the dust out  forgetting that I was sweating like a hog!  I'm a little greyer than usual today.
 
Okay, that's all the update you're getting this time...and I really had to work for this, too.  Y'all take care, ride safely and I'll seeya out and about!
 
 
5/25/10
You can thank the heat and the weather for this update; it's been so damned hot that I didn't feel like riding, and the thunder outside (non-productive, so far) hasn't been real inviting, either.  That didn't slow me down this past weekend, though.  I did take a ride east into Okaloosa county and then back along the beach road from Navarre to Pensacola Beach.  Part was because I knew I wouldn't want to go there Memorial Day weekend, and part to see if I could smell anything of the oil spill.  Although I did stop several times along the beach, the only oil I could smell was the coconut oil from suntan lotion.  The traffic and crowds did convince me that I should avoid that route until after the end of summer.  I also discovered the Taco Bell in Navarre now doesn't offer the senior discount until after age 70!  Must have been a hell of a lot of us old'ns looking for a bargain.
 
Sunday was spent riding around Baldwin county, but even there, traffic anywhere near the beach was getting downright unpleasant.  Combined with the sudden onset of Summer heat, it wasn't a pleasant ride in the countyside.  Maybe, as I become more acclimatized to the heat again, I'll get out for some more lengthy jaunts but, for now, I think I'm gonna stay close to home and air conditioning.
 
My internet has also been down for a bit.  After running every diagnostic I could think of, up to and including Cox's automated phone walk-through (PPPPttt!)I figured out my cable modem was kaput.  I've got a new one now and everything seems to be working properly.  Mom's doing well....again, for 91.... but I'm still sticking pretty close around here for the most part.  If I get to see anyone at all, it's usually up at PMS.  Y'all take care out on the road and stay hydrated; you need all the concentration you can muster to avoid the crazy cagers.  I'll seeya when I seeya!
 
 
6/2/10
Sorry, but if you're looking for this one to be comedic or uplifting, just stop reading now!  Between taking care of Mom, watching BP's misadventures with our Gulf of Mexico, or watching the forecasts of Hurricane Season 2010, I'm just tired...bone-weary, waking at the slightest sound in the night...tired!  Despite the normal afternoon (and, sometimes, morning) showers, my gas-mileage and service spreadsheet tells me I'm getting an average of 30+ miles of riding a day but it doesn't seem to be helping my dispostion a great deal.  Maybe it's the heat and the traffic but it just doesn't seem to be able to blow the crap out of my brain like it used to.  Damn, that's a lot of negativity I just wrote.
 
In the past, I would probably just have deleted this entry and left y'all to fend for yourselves.  If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed such gaps but I decided not to this time...for whatever reason.
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Break there...Mom isn't feeling well and I made her some toast and tea. Then, I'm going to get myself something for breakfast before I drive over to pick up a prescription refill from her Doc and then wait at the Naval Hospital to get it filled.  Thank goodness for Medicare and TriCare.  Maybe I can get a ride in sometime today.
 
Y'all take care and ride safe and I'll catch ya when I catchya.
 
 
6/11/10
Feeling better than the last Ramble so I won't bum you as much this time.  Despite the 5.8" of rain over last weekend, we had a blast at the 1st Annual BON party at PMS.  I guess we can put it down as a 3-day wet t-shirt contest.  I've been able to fit in some riding OUT of the heat of the day but I think the Summer is here to stay for a while.
 
I'm not the only one here noticing the heat; Mom usually takes to the rocking chair on the front porch for her relatively infrequent cigarettes (you think at 91, I'm going to try to get her to cut THAT?) and the heat is really too much for more than about 10 minutes.  This, coupled with the hurricane forecast for this year, made me decide to start looking into a full-house automatic generator.  Researching on-line, I came to the conclusion I wanted a Generac natural gas model so I started looking at contactors.  I've never made a major purchase like this without multiple bids so I contacted the Generac-authorized service folks, a big-box home improvement store, and 2 local contractors recommended by a neighbor and friend I trust, asking him who HE would use.  I called all 4 last Thursday.  By the end of the day, I had call-backs from all but the big-box.
 
With 2 of them, I was able to set up appointments for the following day and one said he could get back to me as soon as he could free up the time.  Come Friday morning, the first(Generac Man) called me a half hour before his appointment and said he was running a little late and asked it were alright if he were about 15 minutes late.  13 minutes late he showed up and got all the info and made some suggestions.  I had scheduled them 2 hours apart and the second showed up 20 minutes late...without a call.  We went over the same ground as the first, actually faster as I then knew some of the things he'd be asking about.  I had already prepared an anaylysis of my last 18 months' electric usage from my Gulf Power bills and included my name, address and e-mail addy, which I gave each a copy.  I still hadn't heard from the other 2.
 
Monday morning, I got an e-mail with 2 alternate proposals from Generac Man with a turn-key price(equipment, install, permits, inspection, testing, instruction, etc.  Later that day, there was a message on my answering machine form the big-box guy with an out-of-state phone number...scratch that one.  Tuesday, I called the second contractor to ask if his proposal was ready and he said it was, but back at the office.  He was on his way to a service call but would get back with me by the end of the day with the numbers...cool.  On Wednesday, I called Generac Man to discuss the relative merits of the 2 alternative proposals and made a decision on which was better for my situation.  Still no call-back from the third contactor, OR the proposal from my second appointment.  I waited until noon yesterday for the second proposal, and then went to Generac Man and signed a contract.   While I was yacking with the office manager, I saw the order being faxed to Generac and was told it should be here within a week.  At 4PM, #2 showed up at my door with his proposal which indicated I had to seperately contract with a plumbing contractor for the gas hook-up instead of his including the plumbing sub-contract in his bid.  Never mind, Fella!
 
So, Boys and Girls, that's what I've been doing (besides laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, yadda, yadda) besides riding since we last met.  Y'all take care and ride safe, y'hear!
 
 
6/26/10
Sorry for the long pause...yes, I've been reminded of it...but time just kinda gets out of hand.  I'm tired, bone tired, but not in the physical sense.  Mom's been having what the Doc describes as mini-strokes so it's been the rounds of MRI's, scans and pharmacy runs.  The utter fatique is from trying to maintain the upbeat facade to help keep her spirits going.  I do so appreciate the times you let me unload on you, AND the offers of help but it seems there's no way to turn my brain off.  Well, there ARE, but drugs would seem to be rather counter-productive, and make things worse.  Okay, end of pity-party!
 
As you may expect from the above observations, the riding time has lately tended to get shorter and shorter but I have tried to get out for an hour or so whenever Mom is feeling good and settled in.  The urge to turn back and check on her, though, comes more frequently now.  On the plus side, I don't have to change my oil as often as in the past and it's too damned hot to even think about it, anyway.
 
As far as the generator project goes, we know it has physically left Minnesota and is probably receiving a nice vacation tour on it's way to Pensacola.  That, at least, was the word as of this week.  The contractor says that's all he is waiting for as everything else is all lined up and ready to go.  Of course, that only slightly helps my anxiety level as the first tropical depression of the season does it's little trip through the Carribean.  I wonder if it just happens to be a coincidence that, should it develop, it'd be named after Mom....Alice.  Hmmmm?
 
Thanks, guys...I'm feeling a little better...so I'm going to cut this down for now.  If you are riding out there in this heat, do remember to stay hydrated (with water, NOT beer) and alert on the road.  I've seen so many close calls with red-runners in the past couple of weeks that I wonder if the oil spill is causing more insanity amongst cagers than even before.  Take care, y'all!
 
 
4/26/10
I don't know whether it is the economy or not, but parts delivery is sure getting faster.  I had ordered my new turn signal lens on Tuesday morning, and Thursday afternoon brought a phone call from Pensacola Motorsports that my order was in.  I know many of you buy parts over the internet to save paying sales tax, but if you are an AMA member(no, not a doctor...American Motorcyclists Association), they offer a 10% discount which outweighs our 7 1/2% sales tax...and no shipping charge, to boot.  I sure as hell never got that kind of delivery time on-line, either.  On the negative(sorta) side, I was a little saddened to find that Honda doesn't make the VTX anymore.  It has been replaced by the VT1300, an offspring of the mating of the Fury and the VTX.  I'm still trying to figure out if I like it or not.
 
I haven't gotten as much road time the past week due to Friday and Saturday's rain event...not to mention the NASCAR race in Talladega on Sunday... but I'm sure glad the pollen got washed out of the trees and onto to ground.  I was getting tired of trying to convince folks that I had a gold metal-flake paint job instead of a constant coating of the stuff.  If Mom continues to feel as good as she has been, I may take a day-trip over to Thunder Beach this weekend although it may stretch my comfort level for leaving her alone.  Her accepting the use of the Rescue Alert system has helped me considerably, but there always seems to be a point in time while I'm out riding that I feel the need to check on her.  Hey, a biker's only got one Mama and I think I'm luckier than most!
 
Okay, I'll shut up for now.  Y'all ride safe and watch out for the crazies...both four AND two-wheeled varieties.  I've made it to 67 by trying to figure out what is the stupidest thing the vehicles around me can do and TRY to plan an out, but I still get surprised sometime.  I hope you don't!
 
4/20/10
Well, it's a tad less time between updates this time, but I can't blame your prodding; this time it's just old age.  At least, that's all I can figure why I couldn't sleep past 4AM this morning.  I actually woke about 3:30 and tried my damnedest to go back to sleep for another half hour before I surrendered and got up.  I'm doing a load of laundry because vaccuming is too noisy.
 
Mom's been doing quite well for 91, so I have been getting more riding miles in.  I did get over to the Hawg Pen for the swap meet, and this past weekend was even busier.  Riding to Cantonment on Saturday, I finally found the Fugly Worm although I really couldn't say much for their car and bike show.  Riding down to the bayfront, it was an entirely different story with the British car and bike show.  This time, the bike portion consisted of only 2 Nortons, but the car part was fabulous.  Highlights for me were an AC Cobra, an Astom Martin DB5 used in a James Bond movie, and the neatest little Minor Woodie...complete with surfboard rack.  Another was a TR8 with totally chromed out engine.  There were Jaguars, galore, but I guess this was too common an activity for any Rolls or Bentleys, as there wasn't a one to be seen.  All in all, it was a gorgeous collection of machinery.  From there, I rode out to NAS for the Corvette show...which I guess you had to be a Corvette fan to appreciate; they all pretty much looked alike to me.
 
After home, to check on Mom (doing fine) and dinner (also fine), I wound up at PMS for the evening.  The band was kicking and I somehow got drug out onto the dance floor multiple times by multiple partners.  It was almost a good thing when a pair of deputies pulled in the parking lot a little afer 10.  It seems that although the band sounded great (their personal assessment), said assessment was from over 4 blocks away by a complaining civilian.  It was just as well for me, anyway; I was wearing out.
 
Other than discovering on Sunday that my left rear turn signal lens had left my possession sometime Saturday, that was pretty much it.  I hope all of you I didn't see enjoyed Faunsdale and The Freedom Rally, and have made it back safely to read this.  I've got to order a new lens today.  Y'all ride safe and be good to one another now, y'hear!
 
4/10/10
It seems to be pretty bad when I don't get around to saying anything here until someone gently(HA!) reminds me I'm falling down on he job.  I want to refute that, though: a job is something you do for money; this is, at best, a hobby.  I think I've done a pretty good job (dammit, that word again) of keeping the What's Happening page relatively current and accurate, but I can't do that without YOUR input!  In particular, I need your feedback as to what the current state is of the weekly and monthly events at the top of the Happening page.  I really don't want to lead anyone astray to show up at some "bike night" or another and find it hasn't been going on for months (or, if anyone actually remembers it happening, at all).  Mom is doing extremely well for 91 years old but I just can't get away and check up on the current stuff like I used to.  PLEASE, someone in the areas around these, check them out for me and drop me an e-mail as to their current status...positive OR negative.
 
Although the weather is finally warmer, my riding is still relatively local and short, due to the Mom situation, so there hasn't been much to report in that area.  I did step outside my usual parameters on 4/2, my 67th birthday.  I've got to confess that I broke my own rule of thumb limiting myself to number of drinks corresponding to the wheels I was on(or in).  What started at PMS wound up at the Blind Mule and it was indeed fortuitous that it was less than 2 miles home afterward.  It was the first time since New Year's that I'd been up past midnight and, definately, the most I'd had to drink in a long time.  Surprisingly, at least to me, I had no ill effects on Saturday except the need for a nap.
 
Well, Chillins, I'm gonna wrap this for now and, if Mom's feeling pretty good, see if I can check out the Outlaw Swap Meet over at the Hawg Pen.  Please remember the Freedom Rally in Tallahassee next weekend and keep our legislators reminded that we're their constiuancy, too. Ride safe and aware, and just maybe I'll seeya on the road.