The Coyote's Ramblings - 2011
January 1 - March 29
Copyright 2000-2011 The Coyote's Den
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1/1/11
Happy New Year, y'all!  I meant to do this earlier (like in 2010) but I've had that head and chest crud going around and simply didn't feel like it.  I did manage to make the party at PMS last night but I only lasted 'til New York New Year and was home in bed when the fireworks started around here.  It was a good party, with Ultraviolet playing and marked the last day of Panhandle Motorcycle Society.  As of midnight it became Knuckleheads Saloon, although it may take some time for the signage to change.  One change you WILL notice, if you stop by, is that they'll be open 7 days a week at 11, Monday through Saturday, and at 1 on Sundays.  How late they stay open will depend on when they can get the last partier out.  Of course, staying open later depends on having folks there, so let's support them by showing up and partaking of their refreshing adult beverages.
 
I hope I can get some riding in tomorrow since that always seems to help my breathing when I've got a bug like this (positive air pressure?) although I did play rain-tag on New Year's Eve.  It was fine leaving the house, with patches of blue and actual sunshine, but as soon as I picked up my passenger it seemed to be raining everywhere we turned...and we turned quite a bit, trying to find dry riding.  We finally gave it up and I came back home so if I DO get to ride tomorrow don't look at the road grime too hard; I'll get around to cleaning it...sometime.
 
In the meantime, ride safe and take care of one another.  It sure is nicer on the road after the shopping frenzy is over but there are still crazies out there.
 
 
1/10/11
37 degrees and dismal out, there's snow and ice to the not-very-far north of us, and I'm STILL hacking.  I do think I'm on the downhill side of the crud, though, since my nose isn't running as bad as it was.  The scoot, on the other hand, thrives in this colder weather; the carb just loves the denser air.  Too bad my body functions better when it's warm.  I know: bitch, bitch, bitch!
 
In addition to Knuckleheads picking up business during the week, Fat-R-Boys, on Old Palafox, is working to get opened.  It's the old Davy Jones' Locker but it's taking a lot of renovation to get it licensable.  Fargo's doing the artwork, so stop on by and check it out when you're in the neighborhood.
 
I wish I had more riding related stuff to riff on but, frankly, I've been feeling as shitty as the weather has been doing, and I'm afraid it's gonna have to wait a while.  There've been more hardy riders than me taking good, long, rides, but they're not the ones with the website.  Since this has decended into a classic ramble, I'll just cut it out right here.  Y'all ride safe, look out for one another and I'll seeya on the road!
 
 
1/18/11
I can confess, now, that one of the reasons I was feeling so crappy last time was that I was just 2 days into quitting smoking and wasn't really sure I could make it.  Now, 10 days smoke-free, I'm more confident that I won't back-slide.  I really thought I was doing well when I went to the annual planning meeting on Sunday but, before it even started, I was so close to bumming a smoke that I had to get out and ride, rather than give in.  I got out into Baldwin County and rediscovered some roads I hadn't been on in a while and,  150 miles later, I was back on track without having made a serious mistake.  After a week of really shitty riding weather, I really needed those miles of wind therapy.
 
Last I heard, Fat-R-Boys has gotten their license and yet another optimistic soul (or 2) is entering the biker-bar business.  Deanna and Celestra are reportedly taking over the old Betty's Bluegrass on Blue Angel and planning on opening as Custom Kitty's  or something like that.  Don't hold me to that name but check it out for yourself.  I just hope the market isn't getting over-saturated and that they (including Knuckleheads) can all survive.  It's nice to have alternatives.
 
I've been working on inputting the 2011 ride schedule for What's Happening, but it's slow going.  Despite the stated objective of trying to avoid conflicting events, I see there are already 6 events celebrating my birthday on April 2.  Well, they're not really MY celebrations, but it will be my 68th birthday that day.  Okay, got my plug in so I'm gonna finish this and get myself moving.  Sunday night, I somehow broke my upper plate so I spent Monday morning getting a mouthfull of goop and today, I go get a test fitting so I can chew again.  Hopefully, I'll have the final product by tonight but I suspect it won't be until Wednesday.  In the meantime, ride safe and take care of one another.
 
 
1/25/11
Its a dreary-looking Tuesday with heavy rains expected before long, and I still haven't washed the bike in weeks.  On the flip side of that statement, it's because every time I've thought of washing it, I'd go out and see it was nice enough to ride...so I would.  Keeping the rides relatively short beacause of Mom, I've still run through a couple of tanks of gas a week.  No epic rides, but just good wind time.
 
For those of you curious as to my motivation for quitting my beloved cigars (I'd already quit everything else...and I mean EVERYTHING), when your doctor schedules you for chest x-rays and pulmonary function tests, AND asks you where you plan on mounting an oxygen tank of the scoot, the knowledge that you SHOULD quit beomes a tad more urgent.  I'm now into my 3d week and the urges are getting weaker and further apart  My cilia even seem to be coming back to life so I don't rattle when I breathe.  The only tough time was Saturday night at Knuckleheads for Muff's and CC's wedding reception and someone in the crowd kept lighting a cigar.  Every time I got a whiff, I'd have to go outside for a bit.  I wonder if that part will ever totally go away?
 
As you may have already seen, the 2011 Happenings page is updated and popcorn event are already popping up.  I finally learned how to make a multi-paged html page, so there should now be room for these added events to be listed without my having to redo half my work.   I don't know that I'm really that dumb; just that the manual is that obtuse.  Okay, NOW it's reduced to rambling again, so I'm gonna close it out and load it up.  Y'all ride safe and look out for one another...ain't nobody else gonna do it for us!
 
 
2/2/11
Wednesday morning after a nasty storm front moved through last night...and the temperature is dropping.  We had some great riding weather over the weekend, though.  I went rambling around Alabama on Saturday and rode another road I'd never been on before.  Those are getting harder and harder to find, and further from home.  Didn't matter, though; I had a full tank of gas, plenty of sunshine left and the wind in my face.  Life is good!
 
I'm still not smoking and getting the urge less and less.  It seems the smell of a cigar is the only trigger left and that seems to be relatively rare.  I had a pulmonary function test up at Baptist Hospital yesterday and the preliminary feedback I got was that, for a 50+ year smoker, I'm doing pretty good.  I think the heavy exertion of the test broke loose some of the junk in my lungs 'cause I've been coughing up a storm since.  At least, I haven't woke up coughing, which I have done in the past.  I think I can do this if I can just remember that I AM AN ADDICT!  I can't have "just this one".  That's what did me in last time.
 
It's looking to be cold and rainy the rest of the week, so I don't know how much riding I'm gonna try to get in.  The good thing is I have the truck so I have the decision to make, instead of it being made for me.  Y'all take care, ride safe if you do go out, and be good to one another.  I'll catcha when I catcha!
 
 
2/9/11
I'm sitting here in front of a blank screen, trying to think of what I've done since last week, and my mind is a blank as the screen.  Finally, I pulled up my scooter maintenance/service spreadsheet and realize I haven't filled the tank since 1/29...10 days ago.  I'm not getting senile; there just wasn't anything to remember!  I know I've done SOME riding since then but I sure as hell couldn't tell you anything about it.
 
I did spend time around the house, particularly in the bathroom.  No, not that way!  Mom has been gradually getting more and more unsteady on her feet and, consequently, has been uncomfortable taking a shower in the tub.  I've been researching replacing the tub (which neither of us use, anyway) with a walk-in shower, even to the point of talking with a contractor and getting a pretty good price for removing the tub and installing a conversion kit.  All was good until I got down to the nitty-gritty of actually measuring the opening to order the kit and found out there isn't one standard measurement in this 55+ year old house.  Custom building would have cost almost as much as the whole house did originally!  I finally got her comfortably back in the shower with only a couple of grabrails and a shower chair.  Ain't nobody happy if Mom ain't happy.
 
I've passed the month mark smoke-free with only the occasional twinge, so maybe, just maybe, I've gotten this thing under control.  On the down side, my weight is up some but I'll tackle one problem at a time.  My next Doc visit is next week so I'll approach it then.  Well, it's looking real yucky outside but, at least it's dry and above freezing.  With another front supposed to come through tonight, I think I'm gonna try to put at least a couple of miles on the scoot.  Y'all take care and ride safe now, y'hear!
 
 
2/15/11
As a follow-up to what I wrote last week, it was finally 14 days to the next fill-up, but only 2 more to the next one.  It ain't warm yet, but it's sure as hell warmer than it had been, and the forecast looks the same for the next week!  The scoot's gonna turn the 50K mark sometime before this weekend.  Speaking of that, by this weekend, we should have another choice of biker bars to stop at (at which to stop?...some teacher, some time, said something about "dangling participles"??).  Custom Kitty's is, allegedly, getting their licence this week and opening on Thursday.  Now, if they can just do something about the gravel in the parking lot.
 
Thirty-six days and I'm still smoke-free!  I'm still coughing up a storm but I guess that should be expected after fifty-something years of smoking.  What REALLY caused a gasp, though, was when I got the billing from Baptist Hospital for that pulmonary function test a couple of weeks ago.  I really think I should have had a little more fun for the $1,026 that was billed to Medicare but I'll be interested to see my doc has to say about it on Friday.  Between my new dentures, and dentist charges on trying to maintain my the remaining teeth, I'm gonna need every cent I'm saving by quitting the cigars.
 
Before I leave, I've got a favor to ask of y'all out there.  I just found out...from the PNJ, of all places... that Famous Dave's has closed.  Their bike night will be off my website by the next update but I'd appreciate y'all going to my "What's Happening" page and letting me know what else on there is no longer correct.  I can't go everywhere and check myself so I need your help to keep folks informed.  Okay, I'm shutting it down for now so I can get myself up and operating.  After a dentist appointment this morning, I'm hoping I can get some more riding in this afternoon before the crazies get turned loose on the roads around 3.  In the meantime, y'all take care and be good to one another and, just maybe, I'll seeya on the road somewhere.
 
 
2/21/11
Six weeks smoke-free and still working to clear around 50 years of accumulated crud from the lungs; I don't mind THIS coughing!  My doc was pretty happy with my results, too.  He want to schedule another spiromtry in about 3 months to see how much recovery the lungs make.  There's some other stuff he want to check, too, but I think I can dump this extra weight from quitting by then.  Everything sure does taste better, though.
 
As the temperature has been increasing, so has my mileage.  I turned over the 50K mark on the scoot last week and have had a couple of century days.  Saturday was one of those that almost ended in a Coyote Moment.  I'd been running Baldwin backroads and was on my way back into Florida on the Lillian bridge when I spotted an ultralight float aircraft doing touch-and-goes on Perdido Bay.  There was a cager behind me who apparently thought I should be doing more than 5 over so I had one eye on him at the same time.  With the other eye (I'm ambi-ocular), I notice the ultralight is REALLY close to the bridge as he starts fighting for altitude.  With my brain rapidly running the oh-shit calculations I realize that, at out current relative speeds, the ol' Coyote is about to become a participant in the first recorded ultralight/motorcycle collision in Escambia County history(I assume; I haven't heard of any others).
 
Tapping my brake lever, I'm trying to keep the cage off my bitch seat as I'm watching the aircraft approach the railing of the bridge, little engine screaming for altitude, but at least getting ahead on my anticipated point of collision.  Now, I don't have enough eyeballs to watch everything that need watching at this point but the squeal of my follower's brakes make me think that, just maybe, said asshole has finally seen what's going on decided to react.  Almsot simultaneously, the float of the ul;tralight JUST clears the rail of the bridge and it keeps rising and is clear before I reach that point.  Bear in mind, all this takes probably no more than 10 seconds but I am definately ready for that beer when I got to Knuckleheads.  I can also attest that my gel seat pad keeps creases from forming in the vinyl of my seat.
 
...and people ask why my road name is Coyote....shee!  Hey, y'all take care, ride safe and I'll catch you on the next go-round.....and watch out for low-flying ultralights.
 
 
2/28/11
Seven weeks as a recovering nicotinic (would that be the smoking version of an alcoholic?) and I'm still hanging in.  I'm glad I've been able to be at least a little influence on someone else's decision to break the chains.  Hang in there; if I can do, you can too!  Come to think of it, smoking is just another toxic relationship that one tends to cling to until reality slaps you in the face.
 
I've been riding a whole lot the past week...to the extent that I've exceeded the ability of my gel seat pad to alleviate my sciatica...so I'm taking a day or so off.  Luckily, it's looking rainy for today and yesterday I had NASCAR, so the withdrawal isn't too bad.  What is bad (sorta) is the realization I'll probably never do a ride to Daytona again.  On the other hand, I'll be 68 years old in a few weeks, and I've had a damned fun run at life.  Naw, I'm not done with fun...just moderating my activity level.  I think that losing some of this weight I've picked up since quitting the cigars will help, too.
 
Everybody heading to Daytona, please be careful; it's getting harder and harder to hear of friends (and strangers, for that matter) I'm not gonna see again.  There's way too much of that going on.  Even if you're not, take care, be good to one another, and I'll seeya on the road!
 
 
3/8/11
TWO MONTHS TODAY!  The really funny thing is that last week, someone said "Hang in there; no temptations" to me and then had to point out to me that someone had just lit up a cigar...and I hadn't even noticed.  That's probably a real positive sign but I can't get cocky.  I've done that in the past with "just a puff won't hurt" and been back to square one in nothing flat.  I AM AN ADDICT!!!  I'm not proud of it but I am glad it was tobacco, and not drugs, trhat I got hooked on. 
 
Lots of local activities are going on, Mardi Gras wrapping up, and Daytona is in full swing this week, so folks are scattered across the countryside.  The first-weekenders are back with no reported mishaps so I hope we can get all the way through Bike Week with everyone safe and sound.  With that, I've just run out of things to say so, rather than ramble aimlessly as I sometimes do, I'm going to cut it down right here and go change the sand-ravaged blade on my lawnmower so I can suck up some leaves when they finally decide to stop falling..if ever.
 
Y'all ride safe and look out for one another, 'cause them cagers sure as hell won't!
 
 
3/14/11
Let's see; what to write about when the sun is shining, it's 65 degrees out and I've got nothing on the "have-to" schedule?
 
Okay, it is now about 12 hours later and I have trimmed hedges, blown leaves, paid bills, taken Mom for a ride and totally exhausted myself.  See what happens when you keep the extension cord in the bike barn, and one thing leads to another..and another...and another, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.  Maybe I'll get to ride tomorrow?  I really shouldn't complain about it since this IS the first day I haven't ridden since our little rain-out last week, if you count 3 1/3" as a "little" rain.
 
Most of those were just area run-arounds to blow the stink off but Saturday was really busy with the Custom Kitty Grand Opening and Eagle's Talon's shindig.  I didn't do the poker run, but I managed to make most of the meet-ups and did my share of partying, as well as I party anymore.  Sunday was for giving a friend some wind therapy and, while in Baldwin County, we came across the Orange Beach Arts Festival.  Really neat show with artists I haven't seen before, plus some good barbeque.
 
I wish I had some interesting Tales of The Coyote to pass on, but life has been blessedly normal for a while.  I can remember the days when I used to crave excitement, and chase after it, but now I'm just happy to make it home in one piece at the end of the day.  There are stories still to be told, some funny..some scarey, but I'm not sure the staute of limitations has run on all of them so they're going to stay untold for the moment.  Well that, but also some of them would embarrass others without their permission and I try real hard to not do that.
 
It's getting real close to True Confessions here, so I'm gonna shut it down for this edition and get it posted.  Til next time, ride safe and be good to one another.
 
3/21/11
In my own back-handed way, I've discovered the downside to quitting smoking: when I DO get a cold, it is so much worse after breathing well for a few months.  I'm not used to coughing anymore and it hurts!  With the coming of the Spring-like weather, I've been riding most days but nothing epic to report upon.  I haven't even had any close calls but I suppose that's because I try to get off the road by 3PM during the week.  I don't know about your experiences but, it seems to me, folks drive just a bit more erratically and irrationally between 3 and 6....particularly on Fridays.  Paycheck and beer syndrome, I call it.
 
Saturday was as close as I'd come to calling an epic ride.  Not in distance but, rather, in traffic.  Repeat to self, "do not ride to Pensacola Beach during Spring Break" as many times as necessary to remind oneself to avoid this folly.  I even did it the back way, riding on 98 to Navarre and coming back on Santa Rosa Island.  My first clue was the bumper-to-bumper traffic in Gulf Breeze until after the turnoff to the Bob Sikes Bridge.  What really clinched it was the traffic on the island, itself.  I could barely find room to park the scoot and survey the acreage of flesh with the sqaure-incherage of bathing suits laid out all over the sand. Ah, the dermatologists of the future are assured of steady income!  Leaving the Island by mid-afternoon, the traffic was bumper-to-bumper nearly the length of the 3-Mile Bridge.
 
One item of note on the journey was the discovery that the old Cocodries is now labelled as The Beach Monkey.  There were a few bikes parked there and a band on the deck but I didn't see anyone familiar so I didn't stop by.   I've been told that it is the original ownership with new additional partners and they WILL try to be more biker-friendly in their daily dealings.  We'll wait and see.
 
Well, this is as much as I care to stare at my screen for the moment.  My head is pounding, eyeballs being pushed out by my sinuses and nose is running; I'd better go try to catch it.  In the meantime, y'all enjoy this wonderful weather and I'll catch you on the road sometime.  Be good to one another and ride safe, y'hear!
 
3/29/11
Considering it was about 7 hours ago that I put the date on the line above, I can see that this is not going to be one of those easy rambles to write.  Considering that I've been refueling the scoot every 3 days, I know I'm getting miles in but nothing in particular seems to jump out and demand telling.  I can pass along some random thoughts, here and there, and maybe that's what this edition will become...
 
Maybe I'm getting old (well, duh; I'll be 68 on Saturday!) but it seems to me that every bar I frequent plays their music, both live and juke-boxed, too damned loud.  If you have to shout in another's ear just to have a conversation, it sure isn't enjoyable to me.  If you have an outdoor area, don't blare the speakers there, too.  Gimme some place to escape.
 
I'm not sure if it's just the eternal optimism it takes to become an independant businesperson, but does anyone do a realistic market assessment before pouring their heart and soul (not to mention, money) into a new business?  Every independent motorcycle, and accessory, shop I know is struggling to survive in a finite marketplace, in a severely sucking economy, and a new shop is planning on opening in Gulf Breeze in a few weeks.  I've spoken with the proprietor and he totally believes his business plan of offering expanded service hours (and days) at reduced hourly rates will overcome the competition.  Maybe I'm a pessemist; for his sake, I hope not.
 
Those 7 hours I referenced above weren't spent riding, unfortunately.  I did manage to get the house vaccumed, cut some new carpeting for the bathroom, gave myself my Spring haircut and took a shower.  Now I smell better and won't feel guilty when I do ride.  I'd better end this and get it posted before I start getting the nasty-grams from my loyal readers who apparently can't live without their Ramblings fix for the week.  Y'all take care and ride safe.  Just maybe, I'll seeya out there while I'm enjoying a cold one somewhere.
 
 
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