Alright, I can finally admit it...worst of all, to myself...; I'm turning into a "Grumpy Old Man"! These periodic little
trips into my brain seem to have evolved (devolved?) from ramblings into rants and reminicences. Egads, I'm turning into
my own father! Of course, as an old China Marine, HE would have used a much saltier exclamation...but I digress. Yesterday,
declining the opportunity to ride to Panama City and Thunder Beach with its attendant traffic and amateur drunks, I took instead
a more local tour and wound up at the Harley Davidson open house. Yakking with a friend (in fact, several) I was asked if I
was going to take a test ride on one of the 2011 models. That's when Dad answered; I told him I trusted riding in a group
wih maybe ten different folks I knew well, and I sure as hell wasn't getting in a group ride with a bunch of strangers who were riding
on bikes THEY weren't intimately familiar with!
Okay, enough B.S. for now; I'm getting ready for NASCAR. Can you pronounce
curmudgeon? Ride safe, y'all.
5:30 in the morning, the coffee is brewing, bird feeders filled, paper brought in from the street... and I'm still sore from
yesterday. All I did was get the scoot up on the bike jack, strip it down to adjust the valves and change the brake pads.
It may have been a Freudian slip that I forgot to get the new o-rings beforehand so I wouldn't try to do it all in one day.
As it is, I have to wait until the dealership opens and HOPE they have them in stock. A few years ago, I would have done it
all in one fell swoop but the ol' body just doesn't cooperate like it used to. Oh, it'll still do it if it HAS TO, but it'll
keep complaining longer. Maybe some sort of wisdom does come with age.
The dry cool weather has been wonderful for riding
but I've still been sticking to short runs, relatively close-in. For 91, Mom's doing wonderfully but, still, she is 91 and I
just don't want to leave her alone too long. Life Alert button aside, I'm not sure how I'd handle the guilt if something
happened while I was out riding. Besides I just get antsy after a few hours and I'm not at all certain she can hear the phone
ringing too well anymore.
Alright, back from running around in the truck. First, I had to take Mom for her lab work before
her doctor's appointment next week. Then, it was off to the Honda dealership for the gaskets and 0-rings for the valve adjustment.
They probably won't need replacing, but, at 47,500 miles, I'm going to do it just to take out $14 worth of insurance in future performance against
leaks. Finally, it was on to WallyWorld for some interim pickups before the next major grocery trip. This should get me
(us) through the end of the week. ON the way home, the sky opened and the bottom dropped out. It's still raining and the
carport (where the scoot is) is soaked and, besides, my tools are locked up in the bike barn and I don't feel like getting soaked
to get them. Hence, a little more time than usual yacking with y'all. I MAY have the scoot finished by bike night at PMS
but, if I don't seeya before then, take care, ride safe and be good to one another!
No, I didn't get finished for Bike Night. In fact, I haven't ridden at all for a week, and just LOOKED at the scoot
for the first time in 3 days this morning. Why this anomolous behavior, you ask? Sticking with the slower-is-better game
plan, I only checked the front valves on Tuesday (only one needed adjustment), and then cleaned and checked the spark plug gaps.
All were right-on and, after cleaning them with carb cleaner spray, they looked brand-new. Wednesday, I checked the rear cyclinder
valves and all 3 were spot-on. Since replacing the brake fluid required the front reservoir to be level, I reassembled the bike
to take it off the jack and on the kickstand.
Before I rolled her back off the carport to finish the brake maintenance, I cranked
her over and she started as soon as I hit the button. Satisfied with that part, I started to roll backward down the driveway
and, pulling the lever....she kept rolling! Watching my truck get quickly larger in my mirror, I hit the rear brake and stopped....finally.
Oops! Riding around to the bike barn, I figured I must have, somehow, gotten some air in the front system so I proceeded to
bleed..and bleed..and bleed it. Nada. Feeling blessed that the failure occured in my driveway, and NOT on the highway,
I went to the stealership to get a master cylinder rebuild kit.
Now, the last time I had to rebuild a master cylinder was a LONNNG
time ago, with my old CB750K, and I thought $15 was outrageous for a few pieces of rubber, a clip, and a spring so when they
said $40, I went into mini-shock...and it wasn't even in stock. Almost facetiously, I asked what a whole brand-new master cyclinder
assembly cost. When he looked it up and told me $90, I told him to forget the rebuild and order me a new assembly.
I still remember what a pain the ass and mess it was before, and it was worth it in the end. So, here I sit, 8 days without
riding and, probably, a couple more yet to go. This has been some gorgeous riding weather and I hope y'all have been taking
advantage of it. Ride safe and look out for the idiots; they're everywhere...even when I'm in my truck.
I really loath and despise waking up at 4:30AM and not being able to get back to sleep! At least the paper was
here and it was pleasant to sit on the front porch with my coffee and cigar in still-warm weather. Is it REALLY almost November?
The sound of acorns dropping onto my roof, however, make me wonder about the winter to come. As best I recall, the old wives'
tales say that's a sign of a tough one.
I got the new master cylinder on Tuesday and replaced the old one with no problems...thanks
to not-in-the-book tips from several of you. I appreciate it. I didn't even spill a drop of brake fluid anywhere.
If I hadn't covered the tank with a plastic sheet, though, it probably would've been different. With everything installed,
both front and rear systems replaced with Castol synthetic brake fluid, AND the new pads, I took some slow loops of the neighborhood,
seating everything in, before I hit the highway. DANG, those are real stoppers, now! The last thing before I have a like-new
ride is replacing the rubber. Using the old penny guage, the rear tread was just showing daylight between Abe's hair and the
tread while the front was almost there, as well. That's tomorrow's chore and I should then be good for another 8-10 months.
The younger me would have said 5-6 months but I just don't leave Mom alone as much now.
I've put a couple hundred miles under
the scoot since then, but still haven't crossed the state line. I think I'll wait on the new shoes for that but, COWABONGA Dude,
she's running like the proverbial scalded dog (shut up, PITA; that's just an expression!). 'Til I see you next time, take care,
ride safe, and be good to one another.
New rubber on the ground and the tune-up makes for a new-bike feeling! It's still funny to me, even after all the tire
replacements over the years, how much improvement in the ride there is. Since the degradation takes place so gradually, I get
used to it and then...WOW, that's what I remember! It's amazing, too, what a few millimeters of rubber adds to the suspension.
Of course, I was glad no deputies were following me while I was scrubbing them in; the way I was swerving back and forth (in my own
lane, of course) would probably have gotten me stopped for a sobriety check.
All that said, the really bad part is that I haven't
even gotten to ride since last Sunday..and 4 days is a long time to go without. Since Tuesday, my rain guage has accumulated
almost 8.5 inches and its coming down right now. The front is expected to pass sometime this afternoon and bring some cold,
dry, weather with it. At least, my jacket still fits (I checked) and we should be good to go for Bike Night at PMS tonight.
may have spoken too soon. I just came back inside from a smoke break and I think the front is here. The wind is dead out
of the north and what I thought was rain on the roof was residual water from my oak trees hitting my steel roof, along with a bunch
more acorns. There were some good 15 to 20 mph gusts and the wind feels drier already. I hope we'll have enough dry wood
for the fire pit tonight.
On the non-riding front, I went to the Blood Center last week to try to donate again. It has
been over 2 years now since my radiation for the Graves Disease and that's how long they told me I'd have to wait before donating
again. When I registered, they told me there was a hold and I'd have to wait for a medical review out of Jacksonville before
they could take my blood again. It took almost a week before I heard from them again and I should get my clearance in a few
more weeks. I'm 1 pint shy of 14 gallons and I'd sure like to reach the 15 gallon mark before they find some other excuse not
to take my blood.
Okay, that's it for now. The sun is up somewhere behind those clouds and I'm out of rainy-day chores.
I feel the real need for asphalt under the tires. Maybe I'll seeya on the road but, just remember, if you wave and I ignore
you, you probably didn't look like a hazard to me...and that's what I was looking for. Take care, ride safe, and be good to
Eight days and a few tanks of gas later... Mom's been feeling unusually well lately, so I've felt more comfortable leaving
her for a little longer periods of time, although I do still get a tad antsy after TOO long. Last Saturday, though, was
the longest in quite a while...heading over into Baldswin County backroads and windng up at Heritage Harbor Days in Foley. It
must be the antique in me, but I really enjoy the wooden boat and antique tractor shows there. I just wish they did
a little better job of advertising as I only found out about from the PNJ Weekender on the day before. I started out with chaps
on but had to stow 'em in the bags before too long, as the sun was feeling real good. Since then, I've managed to get a couple
of hours of wind time almost every day.
I FINALLY got my medical clearance and I've been "reinstated as a blood donor in good
standing"! As soon as I got the letter, I headed down to donate and found a few changes in the procedures had taken place in
the almost 2 1/2 years since my Grave's Disease. They've finally decided that we really CAN read the donor questionnaire and
they don't have to re-read the questions and verify I knew what I was answering. In a way, I almost missed being asked about
my personal sexual habits. Some of the phebotomists have been there for years, but I always enjoyed getting a newby and watching
the expresion on her face when she'd ask me about any exposure to mad cow disease and I'd reply that I'd been divorced from her since
before the outbreak. Hey, you take your fun where you can find it! Anyway, that donation pushed me to the 14 gallon mark
so my next goal is 15, before they figure something else to disqualify me. Seriously, though, if you can do it, please become
a blood donor. There's more and more need all the time and the pool of qualified donors gets more restricted with time.
You might be saving a Brother or Sister's life!
Okay, off the soapbox for now. Mom's up and about and I think I'm gonna
hit the road for some breeze time. Y'all ride safe and be good to one another and I'll catch you next time!
Thanks, Bro, for the reminder e-mail; time just kinda got away from me. There's just been a lot of stuff running around
in my head and nothing seemed to want to surface. I've been pondering getting a civilian doctor since the thyroid situation
seems to be under control and I do have Medicare now. If I do have to be hospitalized for something (hey, I'm beating the hell
out of 70 y'know...68 in April), I'd prefer it to be in Pensacola. Mom's been concerned with the news of break ins locally,
so I've had an ADT system put in and I'm still trying to figure the ins and out of that. The user manual seems to be geared
to the more techno-minded than myself, but I'm doping it out. There's other BS floating around that I'd rather not add to, and
I think I'm just tired.
I have had some good rides, though. The only problems are the usual Fall riding ones; correct
layering as the temperasture fluctuates during the ride. The only thing to really note was the ride I didn't take. This
was the first ABATE Toy Run I've missed as long as I can remember. For one thing, the mere idea of 23 miles of escorted ride
made me shudder, and the fact it was the same time as the race in Homestead sealed the deal.
Sure wish I had more to enlighten
and entertain you with but that's about it for now. Everybody have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and be even MORE vigilant of
the cagers; Christmas shoppers see nothing but the next sale.
I might as well be sitting here at the computer as outside; the cold front is somewhere between Pensacola and Mobile
and, according to the TV, it's already 20 degrees colder there than here! No wonder we have tornado warnings. It was a
nice little warm spell, but leather is back.
I, as well as many of you, got an e-mail this morning announcing the end of PMS.
It was a noble experiment to try to maintain a private biker bar but the economy and other outside influences have finally brought
about its demise. I've spoken with the new owner (effective January 1) and have a few things to let you know. First, itwill be open 7 days a week so you won't have to wait for the weekends. The downside might be that it will be a public bar since
that is the only way to financial success. Next, it will still be a biker bar so that part won't change. We'll just have
to think of the civilians as subsidizing the place. Finally, the name of the place will be Knucklehead Saloon which, to me,
sounds like a pretty good name for a biker bar. All other things aside, I guess I'd rather be a knucklehead than a panhandler.
I just noticed from my handy, jim-dandy, atomic clock and weather station above my computer that the outside temp has dropped 5 degrees
just while I've been typing this. I expect the heavy winds and downpour aren't far away, now. In fact, looking out my
window, my yard light has come on and it's not even 1PM yet. I do believe I'll end this for now and see if I can get it uploaded
before something happens to my Cox connection. Button up, y'all, and I hope we all weather the weather okay. It might
even be nice riding...tomorrow!
Dammit; electricity is magic! When I do manage to fix something, I like to know what is was that I did that fixed it...if,
in fact it IS fixed. My right pot-hole light stopped working last week sometime so I just figured that the MR-16 had blown and
needed replacing. After I got the bezel off and unplugged the lamp, I noticed that the ceramic base was broken. I had
a spare replacement (the same thing had happened to the left a couple of years ago and when I finally tracked down a source, I bought
2) so I proceeded to cut the old one off and soldered in the new one. Being lazy this time, I didn't remove the whole thing
from the scoot and work on my bench but, rather, decided to work in place. I now have a small inkling of what a surgeon goes
through in laproscopic surgery, working with tiny, enclosed spaces (an MR-16 is only 2 inches across).
No fool this time, I tested
it before I reassembled everything and it worked. Buttoning it all up, I went riding and, when it got dark, I turned them on
and the right light was out! Arghhh! By this time I was thoroughly disgusted and figured the problem must be in the headlamp
bucket where I hooked it all up. Well, today was the first day I felt like getting in there and mucking around (well, I didn't
REALLY feel like it but it was a tad chilly for riding), so I took my multi-meter out to the bike barn, took the headlight out and
disconnected all the wiring for these lights. I also did something I'd been thinking of doing ever since I put the system together
almost 50,000 miles ago...I labeled the connections. Okay, I had voltage where I was supposed to have voltage, ground where
I was supposed to have ground and resistance where I was supposed to have resistance; everything checked out! Being completely
bumfuzzled by this point, I appled dilectric grease to all my connections, reconnected them and turned her on before I put the
headlight back in. Now, everything works! Maybe she just got lonely and wanted me to handle her. It'll go out again;
I can just feel it.
I don't have much in the way of riding to report on since yesterday was the first day back in the saddle
for a week. I had a slight masculine medical problem which took a prescription costing $184.60 to alleviate. The other
stories related to this will NOT be committed to writing but are funny as hell...in retrospect. In the meantime until I see
you, ride safe, stay warm and watch the holiday shoppers: they aren't watching us!
News briefs: The lights on the bike seem to be working properly (although I've said this before); it is 28 degrees out
(Energy Sevices of Pensacola can't WAIT to send me my gas bill); I woke up at 4AM and lasted until 4:15 'til I rolled out (seemed
a lot longer than that); and my humidifier is making funny noises (fairly common according to reviews on the internet). I sure as
hell haven't been doing much night riding with it as cold as it has been but, based on observations from my trusty old (heated) S-10,
neither have many other scoots. It's dropped another half degree or so in the time I've been tapping this out but I guess that's
to be expected with over an hour to go until sunrise.
Okay, an hour, a cup of coffee, some web-looking and the massive (kidding) News-Journal
later, he's back. I almost wish I hadn't gone on-line although I do realize I'm, in all likelihood, not going to win the PCH
sweepstakes. My dismay is over friends attacking other friends. I've never been an advocate of the "friend of my enemy
is my enemy" nor the obverse, "enemy of my enemy is my friend" schools of thought. I've lived long enough, and made enough of
my own mistakes to discover that absolute truth lies somewhere between "he said" and "she said" if, in fact, it exists at all...truth
being hugely influenced by the emotional filtration of the observer. I just want the hate and discontent to end. Too much
to ask for Christmas, you say? I guess prayer is my refuge in this instead of Santa.
Surprise, surprise...I didn't delete
it this time. Whether it'll do any good is doubtful but, at least, it's out and not tearing my innards any more. Take
it any way you want to but, please, ride safe and TRY to be good to one another! ...just sayin'
Talk about deja vu! I could copy the first paragraph from last week, only adding a half hour to the time and
10 degrees to the temperature, and I'd still be accurate. At least the humidifier hasn't gotten any noisier! The traffic
insanity does seem to have ramped up a notch or two in the past week, though; I'll be glad when the shopping season subsides.
Unless I make it to the Baldwin backroads, local riding seems closer to combat, watching for ambushes and suicide attacks.
such a creature of habit; several cups of coffee, a cigar, a perusal of the meager News-Journal and he's back at the keyboard.
Another habit (of long standing) is my Day-Timer calendar. I've gotten my 2011 version and been notating the various medical
appointments for Mom and myself, reminders to renew stuff and when I'm next elegible to give blood. The PNJ mentioned in an
article this morning that there is a shortage of certain blood types which, coupled with the local driving habits and increased crime
rates, I can certainly understand. This leads to one of my few soap-box topics; if you are able to give blood, please do!
It only takes less than an hour, walk-in to walk-out, and is no more painful than getting a shot. Come the first of the year,
I'll be starting my 15th gallon and I'm challenging y'all to help carry the load. After all, we may be the ones needing
it sooner or later.
Th-th-that's all, folks, for this edition of The Coyote's Ramblings (sorry, Porky). As always, be careful,
ride safe, and take care of one another. Oh, yeah....Merry Christas!
Passing this along from Jimmy Lee:
Everyone, I have received updates and new dates from the following clubs/association/individuals:
Coast HOG, ABBA Shriners, Patriot Guard Riders, Gold Wind Riders Association, VFW Riders 706, 11367, ALR Chapters 75, 240, 382, Janet's
Mustang Bar, Housewife's of Innerity Point, Viet Nam Vets/Legacy Vets M/C, Krewe Du YaYas, Pigiman, Sandollar M/C, Fan Club Pub, Hadji
Riders, Bike-o-rama, Harley Davidson of Pensacola, AMVETS Post 12 Riders.
Time is getting close since Christmas is done. Remember
I would like all the inputs and changes to the schedule before the Meeting on January 16, 2011 at American Legion Post 240.
This makes the meeting go faster and smoother. So, if your group is not listed here, please have the person in charge of
groups rides please send me an email with the Start time, Date, Place, what the ride is for and Point of Contact and date of last
year's ride, so I can get your rides on the master schedule;
His contact info is on the "What's Happening
page. By the way, it's either snowing of sleeting at the moment. Could we call that "slowing"? Ride safe and warm.