The Coyote's Ramblings - 2012
January 1 - March 28
Copyright 2000-2012 The Coyote's Den
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1/8/12
...and a wunnerful New Year to all!  I would be out riding today, but the scoot is in the hospital, awaiting surgery.  If you remember the end of November, I had replaced the front brake pads but screwed up putting them back on so they wouldn't pump up.  Needing a new front tire anyway, I took it in and they discovered my boo-boo and I had brakes again...sorta.  They worked, but the lever STILL seemed a tad slack but I figured it would get better as the pads seated themselves.  Since I've been just back-roading it lately and coordinate my front-rear braking, I didn't really notice anything wrong until I was exploring some Baldwin dead-ends (it's getting tougher and tougher to find roads I've never ridden before). 
 
I came to the end where it ended in some mansion's driveway and, to make it easier to turn around, I pulled in the upward sloping driveway to coast backward into my turn-around.  As I see shoulder and woods rapidly approaching in my mirror, the brake lever goes all the way to the handlebar and I keep rolling.  It took some frantic readjustment of balance to apply the rear brake but I DID stay on the pavement...and immediately headed for home at a cautious pace since I'm not an advocate of rear-only brakes on about a combined half-ton of scoot.  Needless to say, I didn't go riding that night.
 
The next morning, after mulling it over, I decided to let the experts deal with it.  The bottom line is that the caliper needs rebuilding (only one piston was working) AND the brake line was getting worn and expanding.  The rebuild kit and the steel-braided brake line are ordered, as well as new pads, front and rear.  Until they come in and get installed, I'm scooterless but, by golly, when I ride fast, I should be able to stop fast..again.  In the meantime, y'all stay safe and be good to one another.  I'll seeya when I seeya!
 
 
1/17/12
I figured I'd better jump in now, or this might NEVER get updated...a slight exaggeration, but only slight.  We had the annual planning meeting for biker events on Sunday and I am beginning the long process of updating the "What's Happening" page for the year.. This year's schedule is 2 more pages than last year's,  and that's just raw data.  Once I flesh it out on the webpage, it's gonna be massive.
 
I got the scoot back on Thursday and discovered that I had forgotten how good the brakes were when they were working properly when, on the way home, a car pulled out in front of me (surprise, surprise) and I locked it up, rear and front.  Okay, a little modulation from there on, and THAT'S part of why This hasn't been updated...I've been riding!  Of course, the other reason is that I've started going to an aerobics/fitness class and I've been downright pooped!
 
It's called the Silver Sneakers program (go ahead and snicker)but it's designed for those of us who have been fortunate enough to live long enough to collect Medicare.  It's part of the Medicare Advantage plan I switched to the first of the year to get my drug coverage.  I didn't realize it at the time but it also gave me this Silver Sneaker healh club benefit and no cost.  Otherwise it would havew been another $16/month for the drug coverage and $40/month for the health club.  Couple that with the money saved from quitting smoking over a year now and I'm getting rich!  By the way, I've got this bridge for sale at a real bargain in New York!
 
Well, that's it for now.  I'm gonna get back to my data inputting, do a little Facebooking and BONing and, hopefully, go sleep with the sound of rain on the roof.  Maybe the roads willl be dry tomorrow by the time I finish sweating through my class and I'll see you out there.  Ride safe and look out for one another!
 
 
1/27/12
It's funny how time slips away.  Between the process of inputting the year's events on the Happening page and my exercise classes, I've gone 10 days without even thinking of updating.  Although the class is only an hour, three times a week, between getting ready, getting there, getting home and getting un-ready, that's about 2+ hours.  Since I try to get off the mean streets by 3 in the afternoon, it only leaves Tuesday and Thursday for mid-day riding, so I haven't been wandering much.  I did manage to give the scoot a sponge bath the other day though, so she's not quite so cruddy.
 
I must be adjusting to the exercise because the pain is becoming background again.  Somehow, thought, the instructor always seems to find a new muscle group to irritate each session.  I'm even starting to look forward   to each session....sorta.  At least, my recovery time is getting shorter.  Beyond that, there's not much to yack about right now.  The "What's Happpening" page is done and published, and corrections and amplifications are coming in already....which is the norm.
 
It's Gallery Night tonight, so maybe I'll see you downtown.  If not, look for me on the road and I'll keep an eye out for you.  Take care, ride safe, and be good to one another!
 
 
 
 
 
 
2/3/12
Thanks for the reminder last night at Helen Back's bike night, otherwise I'd probably forget this for a while longer.  We did have a small turnout...probably because there was rain within 50 miles.  We didn't ee a drop in Pensacola, though.  On the way home, I went via Main street and got to see the test of the Wahoo stadium lights.  Damn, it actually looks like a ballfield!
 
Tuesday evening, I statrted coming down with the first real cold symptoms I've had since I quit smoking (almost 13 months!) and just went to bed for Wednesday and most of Thursday.  Since I slept a good bit of that time, I presume my body needed the rest to fight the krud.  Of course, a sip or 2 of Evan Williams from time to time probably contributed to rest, if not the recovery.  I went tback to my cardio class today and didn't seem any the worse for missing a day.  I AM still sneezing, though.
 
Been fitting in riding whenever I can between Mom, chores, rain and other interuptions.  In fact, the odometer turned 60,000 miles on Tuesday and, weather permitting, it's gonna go a few more this weekend.  Of course, since the Super Bowl doesn't start 'til 5, that leaves a whole day of riding too. Since thi is a Friday eveing, I'm getting ready to ride...probably stopping by Fat-R-Boys and Custom Kitty's before I head for the house where I'll probably be getting ready for bed about the time I can remember leaving the house to go out.  Times sure have changed with age but, at least I'm still in the saddle.  In a couple of months, I'll be riding into my 70th year and I sure a hell never thought I'd make it this far.
 
'Til next time, folks, take it easy, ride safe and be good to one another. I'll seeya on the road!
 
 
2/9/12
You know, you can thank a wise-ass young lady from Andalusia for this week's Ramble.....otherwise I might never had gotten around to it.  I've done the grocery shopping for the week (I hope), ate the rest of the leftover spaghetti for lunch and was gonna settle down and read some more on the new Jack Higgins novel, "A Devil Is Waiting", I picked up at the library yesterday.  With any luck at all, I would have taken a nap and be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Helen Back tonight.  Instead, I'll probably be bifocaled and draggin-tailed!
 
With my Silver Sneakers workout 3 times a week, coupled with my usual attempt to be off the roads by 3 to avoid the beer-run maniacs, I just haven't been getting as many miles on the scoot as I might have otherwise.  On the other hand, I feel like I have more energy since I've started that cardio circuit, so I really shouldn't complain.  I may even get to the point of dancing again if I can find the right place, time, and partner.
 
My regular readers probably know of my quest to ride roads I've never ridden and the difficulty that is presenting after all these years of riding so I'm working on a new slant on it; riding roads from one end to the other.  Since I have to take care of Mom and stick pretty close, that pretty much limits me to state and county roads.  Since our last literary Ramble, I've managed to complete a couple of these and have many more in sight.  One thing I've discovered over in Baldwin County is that some beautifully maintained roads go from one person's driveway to another's.  The trouble I do have in relating this is that when I DO find a good'n, I never seem to take the time to stop and write the number down....and forget what it was when I get home.  I need to find a very detailed Alabama map so I can figure out where I was once I get home.  I do know that several I've ridden that don't end up at driveways, DO end up at boat ramps....and sand.
 
Well, Hell...that should keep y'all satisfied for another week.  I'll see some of you tonight and, probably, more over the weekend.  Until then, stay safe, watch them cagers and be good to one another!
 
 
2/15/12
The TV is off, I'm getting ready for bed and the weather is not looking good for bike night at Helen Back, Mardi Gras or any charity runs this weeekend.  When I stepped outside for my nightly look-around, the fog was almost a mist on the verge of a drizzle.  It was that way earlier when I considered riding to Fat-R-Boys and then to Custom Kitty's, so I locked up the bike barn, closed the gate and vegged on old NCIS re-runs.  Rather than a cold beer, I had a couple of cups of green tea and realized my chest crud was almost gone...in a mere two weeks...and mentally patted myself on the back for quitting smoking.  I'm sure I'd still be in the middle of the episode and miserable had I not.  Pulling my calculator out just now, I also estimate that was about $850 I had NOT spent in the last one year, one month and one week...but who's counting?  I did notice when I was filling the scoot up at the service station that I was ALMOST considering buying a cigar.  Damn, it sounded good right then!
 
I've been sittng here, sipping a little Evan Williams 10 year-old single barrel sour mash and I can't think of another thing to write about tonight.  Since I've already shut down the modem and wireless router, I guess I'm gonna wait until tomorrow morning to upload this so I hope if you're out tonight, you make (made?) it home safely.  I hope, too, I'm wrong about the weather and we have fantastic riding.  Y'all be safe out there and be good to one another; ain't nobody else gonna look out for us but US!  Seeya.
 
 
 
 
2/23/12
It's kinda gloomy looking outside, but we're not supposed to get any rain until after midnight so I might just make it to Helen Back tonight.  My riding lately has mostly been of the daylight variety, and not a lot of that.  I'm glad I didn't ride in the 8 hours since that last sentence because I got pretty wet this morning.  I was running errands in the truck and one of them has lightened my mood considerably.
 
I got my homeowner's insurance renewal notice a while ago, and it had gone up 35% since last year.  I did some shopping around and found I COULDN'T get any other insurance since my home was wired in the 50's with aluminum.  In fact, talking with several agents covinced me that, within a few years, I wouldn't be able to get coverage anywhere.  Needless to say, I've been a little bummed for awhile.  One of my errands today was to drop in on the company who sold and installed my whole-house generator.  Although we had a few initial issues with the generator, the company went above and beyond to make it right and satisfy me.  I had goten straight answers from them, so I felt I could trust them.  Based on out initial discussion today, I'm probably going to have my house rewired to current code and, based on the quotes I did get before they found out I was wholly-aluminun wired, I should be able to recover the cost in insurance saving alone in around 10 years.  Considering I plan to stay in this house the rest of my life, I'm feeling better about the future.
 
With any luck at all, I am going to make it to HB tonight for Bike Night.  It was pretty gusty awhile ago but the wind seems to have subsided and the rain is supposed to wait until after midnight.  It's just going to be a wait-and-see for riding this weekend but I'm crossing my fingers for all of us.  Y'all try to stay safe and I'll seeya on the road!
 
ps:  I just went outside to open the bike barn and the sky is too yucky and the wind is too gusty; I'm NOT taking the bike out tonight.  Maybe next week...?
 
 
2/29/12
It's been so damp and yucky out that the bike is probably growing a layer of mold.  I haven't even looked at it for a few days, so I couldn't even tell you for sure.  When I went out a few minutes ago, the sky was looking brighter than it has, bu there was a mist in the air.  Hopefully, by the time I finish my Silver Sneakers Cardio today, I can ride this afternoon for a bit.  I say for a bit because I still try to get off the roads by the time the 3PM idiots hit the highways, the beer-runners with no eyesight except for that first six-pack after getting off the job site!
 
I just went out to check the mail (and the sky), and the misting seems to have stopped.  With any kind of luck at all, I'll ride this afternoon!  ...Many hours and miles later, I'm sitting down to finish this up.  As soon as I got back from my cardio class, I geared up and took the scoot out..just wearing a short sleeved T-shirt and my vest (yeah, yeah, jeans and boots, too, wiseass!) and enjoyed the hell out of the afternoon.  By 3, though, the idiots were clogging the roads, so I made it home.
 
A few minutes ago, I was outside trying to decide whether I was going to ride tonight, and decided that my diminishing night vision and the possibility of fog/mist precluded doing it safely.  Years ago, I would have just done it but, being Mom's sole caregiver, I just can't afford to risk it anymore.  As an andication of the weather, though, the neighborhood bats were out in force, swooping all over the area around the house, indicating the flying prey are out and Spring is near.  After all, tomorrow is the first of March and daylight savings time is only 10 days away.
 
On that note, I'm gonna shut it down for now and probably head for Custom Kitty's Saloon for a refreshing adult sparkling beverage.  Friday and Saturday's forecast is a little iffy but maybe it'll surprise all of us and I'll seeya on the road in the next few.  Y'all ride safe and look out for one another!
 
 
3/7/12
A week passeth...and what a week!  The upside is that last Sunday, I found a road I'd never ridden before.  It's getting harder and harder as time goes on and this one was just a combo of streets and drives with a little stretch of County Road 191 thrown in for variety in Santa Rosa County.  South on Coronado Dr off Gulf Breeze Parkway, all the way to 191/Bay Drive, then East to the dead end on a creek.  I think I never got out of 3d gear on that whole stretch but what was really interesting was the variety of homes along Bay Drive.  From original homesteaders to mansions to trailers, every facet of housing was there.  Unfortunately, I tookout a kaikazi squirrel at about 10 mph when it tried to dart across the road after my front tire had already passed.  Of course, he may have been trying to attack my right foot and misjudged his tragectory and wound up under my rear tire.  RIP, my furry, flat, friend.
 
The other half of the week has been frantic.  Monday morning, just as I was getting ready to leave for my cardio class, Mom called out to me and when I went to her room, she was shaking and clutching her left shoulder, saying she was having knife-like pains in he shoulder and back.  Oh shit!  I grabbed two aspiring and helper get them down since she couldn't even grasp a glass and I dialed 911.  It only took about 5 minutes for the Myrtle Grove emergency truck to get there and I started moving stuff around so hey could het the Stryker in there...experience from last year's episode.  County EMT showed up shotly after that and got her off to Baptist ER.  That's when I lost it and came back in the house.  I knew at that moment, I couldn't drive safely so I took the time to change out of my gym gear, get a message out on Facebook and on Biker or Not and call my son.
 
By then, I was back in control but, as soon as I left my driveway, the truck headed for the nearest place on the way I could get a cigar.  Yup, I NEEDED it and I admit it...to the world at large.  Anyway, buy the time I got there and found a parking spot, Mom was all hooked up and feeling better.  Long story not shortened by much, she was diagnosed with bronchitis and a torn muscle in her shoulder and discharged home.  The next day we figured out what happened with the shoulder.  I had gotten her an exercize band band so she could exercise her legs while lying in bed and she expanded my instructions to include TRYING bicept curls with it.  As usual, being the stubborn old Marine widow she is, she overdid!
 
We have her follow-up visit with her primary doc this afternoon, after my cardio class, and just maybe, I can get some riding in before the next rain.  Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts and y'all ride safe now, y'hear.  I can't handle any more emotional crap for a while...please!
 
 
3/19/12
Twelve days later...finally!  I've been fighting the chest crud but still riding a good bit.  In fact, I think I breathe easier when I'm riding so maybe it's a ram-air effect, getting more oxygen to the lungs.   Mom's been doing pretty good but she IS avoiding the exercise band and using the walker for exercise, instead.  Even so, she does tire after a few hundred feet of walking and goes back to her crocheting.
 
I got MY share of walking this past weekend when I went to my grandson Tony's wedding.  It was held at pavilion 46 at Big Lagoon State Park.  When I got to the gate, the ranger said to just ride to the parking lot at the end of the road and take the boardwalk.  She didn't mention that the boardwalk was about a quarter mile (or so it seemed with the unseasonable temperature), OR the that restrooms were located on the parking lot end of said boardwalk. Neither were there any shrubbery tall enough to eliminate the need for that walk.  I guess I drank too much iced tea with the reception.  One real surprise was that my granddaughter Kat from Kentucky, who had just gotten married up there, was there with her new husband and announced that they were moving down here.  In fact, Justin was starting work today, at the Lowe's on Mobile Hwy.  Surprise, surprise!
 
Okay, I'm back from my cardio class with nothing else left to say.  Y'all be good, ride safe, and I'll catch ya on the road!
 
 
3/28/12
Let's see, now...   I'm going to the dentist tomorrow to have my upper denture repaired and maybe I can feel comfortable chewing on the left side of my mouth for the first time since last Sunday.  I was watching TV Sunday night and munching down on some popcorn when I missed an unpopped kernel and cracked  the left side.  At least it didn't break completely in two, so I've been able to still wear it....carefully, but I've also been careful with WHAT I ate.
 
Monday was five months since I had my spinal injections and, although some of the previous back pain has started to come back, it's nowhere near the intensity it was after the Great Oppossum Debacle.  I think some muscle toning from my Silver Sneakers program is helping that in the long run, as well.  I never thought I'd stick with any gym-type program as long as this but I find I'm actually enjoying it, and feeling better, to boot.  I even feel like dancing again...after a few beers, of course.
 
I have been riding somwhere nearly every day and noticed I now have over 61,000 miles on the scoot.  I'm discovering many new roads to travel but that's primarily a function of having ridden so much around here, AND not taking longer rides so I don't leave Mom alone too long.  Getting older has absolutely nothing to do with it, either!  Speaking of that, the next few weeks just bring that fallacy closer to home.  On Monday, the 2d, I'll hit 69 years old, Mom will turn 93 on the 17th, and my first great-grandson, Sean Wesley Trees, III will be born sometime in between.  Okay, I AM getting old!
 
Whether permitting tomorrow, I'll probably be heading to Midway for the first Renegade Classics Bike Nite of the year and, depending on the timing, may stop by Helen Back downtown on the way back.  Whatever y'all wind up doing, please be safe on the road and watchout for the crazy cagers.  Be good to one another and I'll catch you later!
 
 
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