The Coyote's Ramblings - 2013
January 1 - April 19
Copyright 2000-2013 The Coyote's Den
[What's Happening]
As best I can recall now, I did take the scoot out for a ride on New Year's Day, as well as a few times since, but the riding has been sparse...primarily due to to the weather.  Mom's been doing well, so I feel relatively comfortable leaving her alone for a while, but the opportunities to ride just haven't been working out.  During the work-week, I try to get off the road before 3 as that seems to be when they let the crazies out but, by the time I can get the household chores finished and geared up, it's after noon anyway.  I'm HOPING this weekend is relatively dry and I can remedy my riding deficit.
Now, a note to pass on regarding moto-maintenance: I try to remember to check my air pressure (along with the other routine checks) at least once a week and I have been noticing that my front tire tends to lose a little more pressure than my rear and it's just been one of those niggling little puzzlements in the back of my head.  With the long fenders on the scoot, it's always a real pain in the butt to check the entire circumference of the tires, but I've haven't found any cuts or foreign objects to explain why.  The wheels are cast aluminum so it isn't rust around the bead.  I've been running out of ideas until I took the valve stem caps off and checked the valve cores.  The rear was snug, but the front one tightened, just barely perceptively.  Guess what... no more leakage!  All I can figure is that the front being smaller, as well as carrying less load, must vibrate more from the road and that caused the valve core to loosen slightly.  Anothey mystery solved (I hope)!  If you've got a pressure differential in your bike, you might want to check that....or I might just be full of shit.
Well, I'm waitng for the storm front to get here, dinner is cooking, and I'm gonna leave you for now.  I hope you're getting in more riding than I am but, just maybe, I'll seeya on the road.  Y'all take care, ride safe and be good to one another 'til next time.
I haven't been getting all that much riding in, and the weather's only been part of the  The first part of this week, I broke my upper partial plate...again.  I was warned several years ago that I should have those last 4 teeth taken out or this would continue to happen..and they were right, dammit!  Figuring that I should finally bite the bullet (pun only SLIGHTLY intended) since Mom and I are, at the moment, both in pretty good health, AND I started remembering how painful abcesses can be, I set up the appointment.  Besides loathing tooth extractions (or any other violations of my body) I suddenly remembered, lying back in that dentist's chair, how much I ALSO loathed getting the impressions made!  If ever we should need an alternative to water-boarding, filling the terrorist's mouth with that goop...whatever it is...and leaving it there for more than 10 minutes should, in fact, induce anyone to talk.  Of course, you'd have to take it out to talk.  Hell, I'd have given up state secrets if I'd known any!
Anyway, yesterday, I went in and had the deed done.  Actually, the most pain involved was from the insertion of the novacaine needle (surely at LEAST a half inch in diameter) into the roof of my mouth.  By the time I could uncross my eyes and pry my fingertips loose from the arms of the chair, she was ready to go.  If you've never had extractions done, let me warn you that uppers are far more traumatic than lower jaw extractions.  Pain isn't the difference, sound is.  The lower jaw, being connected to the skull only by ligamenture does NOT conduct sound to the ear anywhere NEAR the magnitude of the upper jaw.  Bone conduction makes the sound (and there are many, terrifying ones) seem like they are occurring right in the middle of your skull.
Okay, enough warm fuzzy thoughts about that.  Last evening, Mom asked me to take her to the new (for her, anyway) department store in Cordova Mall to buy some pajamas she saw were on sale.  Remembering the chaos of that area, AND looking for an excuse to ride, I took the scoot over to check out how close the parking was and whether we would need her can, walker, or wheelchair to get around.  Folks, what I really needed was an assault vehicle with twin .50's on the roof.  NOW, I remembered why I quit going over in that area.  I determine that the wheelchair was the expedient choice and rode the long way home (ahhh, wind in the face), dreading the trip back in the car.
Wrestling the wheelchair into the car and getting Mom safely buckled in, were were on Fairfield, just aproaching Mobile Hwy, when she said, "Why don't we go to Wal Mart, I know where everything is there?"  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
Anyway, she's happy, I'm happy and the weather is warming again (for a bit).  Life is good!  Y'all take care, ride safe, and be good to one another.  I'll seeya on the road!
No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth...yet.  Everything is good; Mom's doing well, I'm doing well, and the front tire is continuing to hold pressure (see a couple of months ago).  I suppose I haven't updated here just beause one day pretty much flows into the next and there hasn't been anything happening to really trigger a Ramble.  I'm still limiting my riding to 3-4 hour jaunts at the max, but there has been some good riding lately.
I took a jaunt into upper Escambia County last weekend (or was that the weekend before?)and decided to find some roads I haven't ridden before.  I succeeded to the point that I saw only 4 or 5 other vehicles in over 30 miles of roads with no numbers...only names.  I won't, of course, ever admit to being lost but I will confess to being directionally self-delusioned a few times.  I was also a tad concerned with the proximity of shotgun reports a couple of times, as well.
On another trip over into Baldwin County, I became a scofflaw.  I believe I was on County 91 when I came to a road closed barrier and decided to see why.  There was a new bridge with another set of barricades but, from there I could see that it seemed the point of being I figured if the bridge would support a paint-striping truck, it would hold me and the scoot.  I was just glad there wasn't a deputy around the curve.  From there, I wound my way up to US90, stopping at Ruby's for a REALLY cold beer.  They reminded me of their Chili Cook-off this Sunday, the 10th.  Y'all need to stop by..but bring your antacid pills; there's been some real GOOD chili there in the past.
Okay, I'm outa sh...stuff to write about so I'll wrap this up and get it posted.  Y'all have Mardi Gras fun this weekend and ride safe.  Be good to one another and I'll seeya on the road!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Lassie was wonderng what had happened to The Coyote...  He's still here, but just not HERE.  My major oncern AND activity lately has been trying to figure out how to ride...and walk...and dress.  For some time now, duration indeterminate due to my memory but at least a year or more, I've had a pain in my right ankle.  It's not constant but rather, sporadic, and varies between stabbing, burning and aching.  I've pretty much ignored it, putting it down to the inevitable aging process, but staying in the back of my mind.  Some weeks ago, I had an annual medical checkup of the usual chemical nature of someone with no thyroid and a family history of diabetes.  It was kind of a casual "Is there anything else going on?" question and I happened to be having the pain so I mentioned it.  Doc fondled my ankle and told me there was SOMETHING amiss there and set me up for an MRI (patience, please; we'll get to the motorcycle part in due time).
Okay, fast-forward through the authorization process, actual MRI, results sent to my doc and, finally, my appointment with him to discuss it all(11 days ago), and I find out my right Achilles tendon is torn in 3 places.  The next morning, I was sent to an orthotist and I've been wearing a "Coreline pneumatic high walker with metal uprights" ever since.  My first task was re-learning how to drive with an ankle that doesn't bend since I had driven myself across town to Creighton and 9th Avenue...not the best place, traffic-wise.  The next task was learning how to walk somewhat normally (ha!) and finding out which of my left shoes came closest to mtching the height of the boot.  Luckily, my motorcycle boot worked best.  Thirdly, was how to cover the open toe of said walker.  Those of you who know me personally know I prefer steel-toed boots for riding..and for good reason.  There was no way in hell I was going to ride the scoot (once I mastered walking) without foot protection.
Utilizing some sheet metal from my "goody stack", I fashioned a proof-of-concept toe cap for the walking boot.  Finally getting to ride I found that it did it's first job of protecting the toes from frontal impact, it did little to keep the cold air off them.  Mod-2 put some sides on it which helped in that regard but after a few miles of wind and vibration, it tended to come loose from the boot.  Long story short (I know, too late already for THAT line), a newly constructed toe cap, version 2.3, seems to work and, as soon as this monsoon lets up and the roads dry, I'll give it a try.  Version 2.2 did quite well for almost 80 miles yesterday before it came off on Michigan Avenue and somehow did not get flattened by traffic before I could retrieve it.
Anyway, tht's what's been happening in The Coyote's world lately.  Beyond relating my obvious out-of-warranty stuff, Mom's doing well (hell, GREAT for almost 94) and I'm tired of writing for now.  Y'all take care, ride safe and look out for one another and the idiot cagers.  I'll seeya when I seeya!  Peace and love!
...not quite 3 weeks so it's not my worst lapse.  This is the start of the fifth week in the boot and I'm REALLY getting tired of it but I've got to wait for another MRI to see if it can come off.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a few days of some of the worst pain in the tendon I could remember.  When I talked with a nurse about it, she said that was probably a good sign that the nerves were reconnecting and that healing was well underway.  I hope so.  It hasn't hurt at all for at least a week although I will warn anyone who has to wear one of these boot things...if you get a charley horse in the boot, it takes WAY too long to unstrap the damned thing because you can't massage that muscle with it on!  All in all, tough, I've adapted to riding with it pretty well.
Okay, I started this yesterday and interrupted myself by going to Cowboy's run, the Big Boys Toys show and then to II Wheelers last night... I WILL finish this morning.  Yesterday's riding was a wonderful first blast of spring except for getting a little overly warm.  Why didn't I wear my summer-weight mesh jacket, you say?  Last week, I noticed the elbow and shoulder armor in my heavy jacket felt a little lumpy and when I attempted to rearrange them, they fell apart and crumbled.  Okay, lots of miles and time so I decided to get some replacement pads.  Going over what was available, I  discovered Icon had a new pad, the D30, coming out that uses a new polymer which is pliable, but stiffens on impact.  In addition, it has ventilation holes, so I figured this would be even better for my mesh jacket and summer wear.  They are supposed to ship the end of March so I took the stiffer pads out of the mesh and put them into my leather jacket.
Let me say right now...don't believe any advertising crap that jacket pads are easily replaceable.  The shoulders aren't TOO bad, but leather sleeves somehow aren't designed to get two hand and a pad into that pocket and the velcro back on!  I managed it, though, and what got WARM yesterday...WAY warm!  After my wrestling contortions, no way was I gonna swap those pads back, so I guess I'm either going to sweat a bit or have to ride armorless until the new pads come in...which I just found out have been delayed another week.  Maybe I'll get them on my birthday.
Anyway, enough for now.  I'm blessed that this is the worst problems I have (except being awakened by a charley horse this morning...dang, I'll be glad when I can walk right again!).  Y'all ride safe, be good to one another, and I'll seeya on the road!
Only one more day...I hope...and this air boot can come off!  I don't wear it to sleep but that's about the only time I take it off (well, except in the shower, too) and I'm REALLY, REALLY tired of it.  Interestingly enough, the new pads for the mesh jacket are supposed to come in tomorrow, as well, so that combo would make a very nice birthday present to myself.  Riding to the Wounded Warrior Project ride over in Lillian this weekend was a very warm experience in my winter jacket, even with all the vents opened and half unzipped in front, so I am totally ready for my mesh jacket!
Not really much to comment on although I have gotten at least SOME riding in most days.  I put new rubber on the scoot and, once again, was pleasantly surprised at the ride improvement.  You'd think with around a quarter million miles on two wheels that I'd be used to it, but it still sneaks up on me...she feels brand-new!
That's it for this session..getting I'll just wish you all safe riding and clear skies.  Be good to one another and I'll seeya on the road!
One week later and lots of changes!  Last Tuesday, I got a really good 70th birthday present...a couple, in fact.  First, the air-boot came off.  Unfortunately, NOT because the torn achilles tendon had healed but, rather, because the MRI showed there was no change at all.  In all likelihood, it's been torn for some time and the edges would not rejoin despite the immobilization.  I suppose I'll just have to put up with the occasional pain but what's one more?
The other plus for my birthday was the new D30 shoulder and elbow pads came in and I've been wearing the mesh jacket which is a LOT more comfortable as it gets warmer.  They're really comfortable as they are more pliable than the old ones plus have ventilation holes in them.  Developed from military technology, they are supple under ordinary circumstances but supposed to stiffen under impact.  I just hope they perform as advertised if I ever DO need them.
The same day I took the boot off, I was referred for a physical therapy evaluation, due to the immobility, but I've been rehabbing myself to point I feel like I'm back where I was before but I'm still going to the evaluation today.  By the time I made the decision, it was too late to cancel and I might just get some cute young lady to fondle my ankle anyway.  With my luck, though, it'll be some guy! 
I've been riding every day since and it really feels wonderful with regular footwear.  I even finally broke down yesterday, before NASCAR started, and washed the bike for the first time in 7 weeks.  I'd given her minor "sponge baths", but I didn't want to chance getting the boot wet, nor was it easy with a non-bendable ankle.  After the race, Itook her out for a ride and wouldn't you know it...I ran into probably the only rain spritzles anyone saw in the area.  I did get to see the odo turn over 70,000 mils though.  I'd hoped to do that by my 70th birthday, but at least it was in the same week.
Okay that's it for now.  I'm getting ready for the PT visit and then, to the library, with a high probability of riding some more afterward.  Y'all take care, be good to one another, and I'll seeya on the road!
Well, I was WAS a guy doing the PT eval and he didn't even fondle my ankle!  For my $31 copay, I got a piece of paper showing me how to do what I was already doing to rehab myself.  Big deal.
Today's cold front has precluded any riding yet, but it has let me do some catching up around the house.  So far, it's been a load of laundry, vaccuming the house and cleaning up the humidifier (hoping, of course, that we won't need too much heat; Mom likes the house temperature much warmer than I, and the humidifier helps her).  I have been getting a bit of local riding in, but only a very few mile-burners.
The last one took me through Baldwin back-roads and I finally got to see Barber's Stonehengel  If I'm not totally mistaken, I think some of the dinosaurs have moved, too.  If this sounds strange, you probably haven't ridden to Barber Marina, over in Baldwin County.  This is owned by the same guy as Barber Motorsports Park and museum, near Birmingham, and is quite a place. It's located just short of Pirate's Cove, which has a great cheeseburger (as I remember) if you don't mind seeing a dog come out of the kitchen.
Okay, it's cold and yucky outside and I've run out of stuff to say for today so I'm gonna shut it down for this session.  It should be some nice, if cool, riding this weekend so maybe I'll see you out there.  Take care, ride safe and be good to one another...and watch out for those cages!
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