Sunday, September 14, 2014

2011 has it been that long???

So, I was at a Scooter rally this past weekend and out of a random conversation the topic of blogs came up.  Of course, i think... Oh I had a blog once..

I go to look it up and wow, April 2011?  Oh blog how I have forsaken you.

So call me inspired.

For the sake of catching all of my followers, up it's been a weird few years (He snorts at his own witty remark and thinks 'followers!, you wish').  When I started this blog, we'll just say that my life was in a very different place.  Over the last few years life has changed quite a bit.  New job, with less free time.  Fewer chances to just get out and ride.  Then, new friends that draw me back in.  Then a better job in the same company but with more free time.  Then more chances for going to rallies.  Then more friends.

Yes.  Friends.

I am very fortunate to be able to attend rallies in other towns.  I like to meet the club, meet new people, see great scooters, and partake in what we will just call "Scooter people shenanigans".

Granted, this means different things to different people.  To me, this means just meeting new people that share a common passion.  The ability to sit around over Mexican food or coffee and laugh. Or, to go to the opposite extreme have very surprising intellectual conversations where you learn things things you never knew.  Yes, the later situation is less frequent but it does happen.

I've had the chance this year to take a long ride to two rallies.  Both Memphis, TN (about 500 miles round trip not counting the riding done while there) and Lexington, Ky (about 460).  I remember the same feelings on both legs of the trip.  On the way there, the feeling of excitement of what the weekend will bring.  On the way back, the smiles from the memories and friends made.  And even the longing for the next time because the weekend was SUCH a great time.

This weekend was no exception.  You know when you are having a good time?  When you are sitting at a restaurant for breakfast you realize it's "Wow, I have been here 2 hours...  I don't want to leave but I have a 3 hour ride ahead.." So like removing the 'proverbial band-aid' you suddenly get up to make your leave.

I'm not saying every one is like this.  But these times do make it more memorable.  And definitely why I will continue doing this.

I am also not saying I am alone in this.  I know my experiences at rallies are similar to many if not most of my like-minded scooter-folk out there.  I just say I consider myself very lucky to have found it.

And now to quote one of my best Rally friends.... "We Rally, Cause we Can!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Showers - FOR THE LOVE!!!!!

OK, yes I know it happens every year.  Yes, I know it's been happening so long that there is that nice little saying “April Showers bring May Flowers…”


Come on!!  I mean really?  According to this site we have had as of this morning 7.42 inches of rain in April.  According to the UK site we have had rain of some type 18 of the last 30 days…

This is giving me a serious downer.  Scoots are in the garage.  Rain for the foreseeable future.  Sigh….  And of course the first song on my ‘random play list for the day’?  “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin…  Universe how you mess with me.

I have at least been lucky enough for a couple of nice Saturdays so I guess I can’t complain too much.  I’ve been able to stick to my “Ride at least once each month of 2011” new-year’s resolution.

Take this past Saturday for instance.  It was high time I got lost, and it was a great day for it.  I took out on Stella for a nice ride.  It still amazes me that after growing up in this area I can take a turn and still get lost.  LOVE. IT.
Note to self:  Get small compass for Stella….

Yes, I think back to my 4-H days (wasn’t a boy-scout) and learning how to find a semblance of where North is due to the time of day and the sun.  And it came in handy, but for a while there I really thought I was going to be stranded in the back-woods of southern KY and northern TN with no gas.  Man I didn’t know that road went there.  But now I know, and I know that it’s a good hour and a half ride.
I’ve found that I’ve started developing ‘routes’.  So far I have a ‘15 minute’ route, a ‘half-hour’ route, and now an ‘hour and a half’ route.  I’m pretty sure that if I go much longer on the Stella however I’m going to have to find a ‘make sure you go by a gas-station’ route. 

Sad thing, they just aren’t as frequent way out here in rural areas.  Finding some beautiful country.  Great landscapes.  Nice gently curving roads.  Just not that many gas stations. 

Challenge accepted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beware the Rides of March.....

March in Kentucky.  No longer winter, but not quite spring.  Days of wonderful Sun and warmth bringing you to come down with a strange yet strong case of spring fever.

Last night I was buoyed by the prospect of my first ride to work of the season.  I went out and made sure all was in order.  Charged the battery on the Stella, made sure my lights were working.

I told the wife, "Yes, I think I will 'man up' and ride in tomorrow."  I knew it would be cold in the morning.  And also knowing by the new work hours (in at 6:45 am now) it would be colder than normal.  That's OK.  I will thaw, and I've been way colder on a ride.  By noon it was supposed to be near 70, so "Scoot-On!"

Was I right about the ride?  Yes.  I was COLD.  Well, my legs were cold.  My torso and arms were OK due to the leather coat (more on that in a minute), and my gloves were just right.  I have somehow developed a wind leak around my visor so my face was a bit chilly.  But not bad.

But let's get back to that jacket and another thing no one ever thinks about over the winter while you are shut up in your cozy house attempting to stay warm.....

We will call that EATING...  Yeah, that..  Far more than normal.. Because hey, here you are shut up in the house, watching TV, and Oh.. I think I want some chips... or popcorn.... or whatever that's quick so you can get back to that episode of 'whatever is on tonight'.  It seems that I may have put on a few more pounds than I thought. 

Due to the cold I got out the trusty weathered leather riding jacket.  You know, the old 'Harley-Davidson' kind with the kidney belt.  Best yard-sale find ever.  My mother-in-law found it for I think $30 for my brother-in-law.  He is tall and thin, it didn't fit.  But me (shorter and 'more round') it worked perfectly....

Until this spring....

I get all of my gear together, put the coffee in the thermos, slip my coat on and go to zip... oh bother....

Suck it in....

OK, it's zipped.  I put my back-pack on with my trusty thermos in the side-pocket and get on the road.

My drive to work isn't long.  About 10 miles.  Through my small Kentucky town, not much traffic at that time.  All of the old men are already at the diner getting coffee.  Sleepy people stirring around.  Kind of nice actually.  But WOW, was it cold.  :-)

Anyway, I get to work.  Walk in taking off my helmet, already forgetting about the smallness of the jacket due to the thoughts of the upcoming day.  Then the fun starts.

First, let me pass this small fact along.  I work for a Japanese company.  And of the Japanese companies I've ever had dealings with, one thing that is common is what is called an "Open Office".  No cube walls, only VP and HR in an office.  Just desks sitting right next to each other.

I walk in, saying hi to the folks around me.  Set my helmet on the desk and take off the gloves, then go to take off the backpack.

OK, have you ever seen someone trying to catch the sleeve of their coat by spinning in a circle?  Kids do this a lot.  Well, take that mental video and run it in reverse and you have me attempting to get my backpack off. 

The jacket was tight and to get the backpack off of my back I have to reach over my shoulder and lift it up to remove my arm.  Yeah, that was pretty.  I won't go into it.

I look over at a couple of ladies that work near me, yeah they were laughing....

I'm so glad that I can give other people a chuckle in the morning.  Looks like that new year diet needs to start now....  yeah....

Monday, September 13, 2010

A ride into the past.....

So Saturday turns into one of those really great days for a ride.  Yes, I hadn't mowed the yard yet but there was still Sunday.

The wife was out with her mom doing the yard-sale thing so I decided to just take off on the scoot.  I sent the wife a quick text to tell her where I was and took out on Stella.  I have to admit I wasn't headed for where I wound up.

For those who ride, you know what I mean by just heading out to ride and test your sense of direction.  AKA, just going to see where you would wind up.  Today, I wound up RIGHT on memory lane.  And I have to admit not all of them were good ones.

I decide to ride on the west side of town.  Mainly due to the fact that that's where I am most familiar with the back roads, and second because hey who needs a second reason.

I head out one road, randomly take a left, randomly take a right, consider where I am, vaguely consider where I want to end up and head in that general direction.  I usually have a pretty good internal compass so I was pretty sure where I was but then I round the corner and I'm on a farm out in the country that my Dad once farmed. 

[ NOTE: For those of you who don't know my father passed away in 2005.  I had the best Dad anyone could ever have, and I'll fight anyone thinks otherwise... ;-) .]

I know that he worked this farm because I too worked this farm.  I think we started working it when I was in the sixth grade.  I remember it being the first time I had ever worked in tobacco and  remember being so short getting I would feel lost in the middle of the patch because I couldn't see over the tobacco (and will admit to being just a little scared about it).

I remember this being the place where my grandfather handed me his shotgun and told me to shoot it at this groundhog in the soybean field.  That was the first time I had held a shotgun and remember being so pumped with adrenaline that I don't think I aimed very well.  I remember my grandfathers smile and chuckle at my boyish exuberance.  I still have that shotgun now even though I no longer hunt.  It reminds me of him and of good times.

I remember when my father thought that the tobacco hands were not getting back from their break quick enough and what he did to speed them up.  It was nothing mean, but it was humorous.

I remember the laughter, I remember the sweat, I remember the dirt in my teeth and hair and clothes.  I remember how good it felt to take that long shower at the end of the day and how GOOD it felt to be clean after that good day's work.

I don't know who farms that land now.  I do know there is a nice looking house there that wasn't before.  The small empty house that we sat in the shade of to eat our lunch is still there, but barely.  The barns that we hung tobacco in is no longer there.   Several of the trees I remember are gone too.  Time does still pass.

It's amazing how memory works.  It amazes me how a memory is not just a picture in your mind, but smells and sounds and feelings.  How no matter the distance you are from them some still sting.  Some make you laugh uncontrollably.  Some make you weep.

I'm sure this won't be the last time I ride into a memory like this.  At least I hope not.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The voice-mail.....

So, Saturday my wife and her best friend went shopping in Nashville.  I take the opportunity to take a nice ride out though the country.  The weather was great all was well with the world.

So, I stop to top off the tank and as always I check my phone to see if I have missed any calls.  I had one, the wife had called.  I kind of thought I would, so I checked my messages...

In a VERY sexy voice I hear, "Hi honey, I've got something hot,.. sweet,... and sticky for you." (end of message).

I'm obviously floored.  The wife NEVER leaves me this kind of message, but at the same time a little intrigued.

I head home....

So the wife gets home, she has this BIG GRIN on her face.  She walks in with a few bags.

She pulls one bag out in particular...

And with a big smile says, here is what I got for you.

My wife, she knows how I LOVE doughnuts....   :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scoots and Giggles, Now being read in Bulgaria....

OK, Recently "" has been offering a 'status' page on it's blogs.  Of course being the big attention freak that I am check my 'stats' each day...

Today's shocking find?  I'm being read in Bulgaria.  Yes, war-torn, former communist Bulgaria.  I somehow feel like that guy on CBS morning news that throws the dart, then goes and does a story.

Except, I'm not a journalist.

And, I could never afford to go there.

And of course, it was probably an errant link.

But I can dream right?

And where is Bulgaria again? (Just kidding I know that one.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I think my truck is jealous...

I'm believing to think that my truck is like those cars with feelings you see in the old Disney movies.  Yes, before you write me off as a cook, hear me out.

You may remember from an earlier post that I've had some major trouble with the truck of late.  We'll this weekend we had another.  Lately I've been having more and more issues with my truck.

After using it to run errands in on Saturday, I come out Sunday morning and I have a flat tire.  Flat tires don't usually bother me.  I used to have a car with so many plugs in one tire that I was surprised it held air.  But that's just the beginning of it.

I get out the air-pump and go to start the truck.  No dice.  I had been having a little bit of an issue of late with it not wanting to start, but really didn't think about it.  Today, it would kind of fire but not catch.  Fuel pump.....

I know it's the fuel pump because I've had this issue before.  Not on this vehicle, but others.  One of which was on a vehicle pulling a U-haul trailer somewhere in the middle of West Virginia.  But I knew what it was immediately.

I will even claim to be somewhat handy with mechanical stuff.  I have no doubt that, having the proper place to do it, I could fix this myself.  Yet I have NO location, and my driveway is sloped so forget that.  Plus now with the flat tire, it's not like I can tow it anywhere.

One small thing here.  Does anyone out there know the brilliant sole who thought it would be a great idea to put the fuel pump in the top of the fuel tank so you have to drain, then remove the fuel-tank from the vehicle before you can fix the fuel pump.  If you do, could you please go up to them and smack them right in the face?  I would really appreciate it.  I've changed out fuel-pumps before.  Most were about a 20 minute job.   But noooo...  Can't keep it simple.  Let's put it right up in the middle of something.  Where it guarantees the owner at least a $300 repair bill.  (Insert a word my mother told me not to say here.)

It may be because it's just a lemon.  I've been pretty lucky in that department over my life, I guess I'm due.  But why does the issue always show up after I've not started the truck for a week because I've been riding one of the Scoots to work?

Jealousy? ? ? ?  Hmmmmm......