Saturday, May 21, 2016

Memories

Is today the day my father passed away 2 years ago, or is it three?  I've always been bad on dates and times but the one thing that stays with me is his memory.  I've been thinking a lot about him lately but didn't put two and two together until my brother mentioned it.  I miss him.  He was a good dad.

The Lessons of 1912

This is why I'll never vote for either.  An article from the Weekly Standard.

The Lessons of 1912: With Donald Trump the presumptive nominee of the Republican party, conservatives face their biggest crisis in generations. Professional Republicans are mostly boarding the “Trump Train, convinced their self-interest requires party unity, but principled conservatives find the choice between the dissolute, erratic Trump and the liberal, corrupt Clinton unacceptable. What comes next for them?
This insurgency should field a candidate for the White House in 2016, which would require a leader to offer him or herself to the voters on the November ballot. Trump and Clinton are the most unpopular nominees in the history of polling, so why can't the people elect a fresh face or a trusted elder statesman over these unsavory characters? Moreover, the danger for down-ballot carnage with Trump as the nominee is substantial, and an independent may provide electoral cover for vulnerable conservative officeholders.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

WOW!

So, nearly 3 years since the last post.  I haven't gone back to check what was on my mind.  I know I was probably in a dark place back then.  I've not been happy the last few years but some things have changed so I thought I'd check in.  I just did not want to turn this blog into a bitchfest.

I've been driving the wife's car with the XM Sirius radio so I'm on a musical renaissance the past few weeks.  I'm digging the crap out of B.B. King's Bluesville.  I'm listening to The Cannonball Adderly song "Mercy Mercy Mercy" which is some kind of miracle song.  It's deceptive in it's simplicity.  I'm no music scholar, I love AC/DC for crying out loud, but this song affects me on some crazy primal level.  You'll know the song when you here it.

On to Walter Trout and the radical's (their captilization, not mine) "The Best You Got".  It's a decent rocking blues tune.

Peter Wolf has always been a favorite of mine and he's aging gracefully.  I loved his album Restless and it appears looking at iTunes that he's had a few more since then.  The song "How Do You Know" seems to be off of his latest album.  It's pretty funny has a catchy beat and includes some goob-a-lator on it.

With a name like Guitar Slim you better bring it especially if you name your song after yourself.  On "Guitar Slim" he does (bring it that is).

More up my traditional alley, if you know my tastes, is "Blue Jean Blues" from ZZ Top.  I came late to ZZ Top, late being Tube Snake Boogie and LaGrange.  As I get older I appreciate that the current music isn't the only music (obviously because God knows I'm not listening to Justin Bieber) which leads me to ...

Dion.  Up until the other day I had no idea he was still around then I heard "Ride With You" off of his 2012 blues album.  I always loved "Run Around Sue" and "The Wanderer".  "The Wanderer" always seemed to be something more than a simple 50's pop/rock tune to me.

Then over on Willy Nelson's Outlaw Country I heard a fellow named Chris Knight.  The song "Jack Blue" sounds a lot like an old Steve Earle song back when I still enjoyed Steve Earle.  I know nothing of Chris Knight but the few songs I sampled on iTunes were pretty decent.

I also downloaded Ugly Kid Joe's "Everything About You" because why not?  And Uncle Ted's cover of Areosmith's "Ragdoll".  I know Ted has seemed to have lost his every lovin' mind the last few years but he's still the guy that brought the world the solo from "The Journey To The Center Of Your Mind".  Groovy.

And finally can someone tell me if Soundgarden and Rod Stewert pulled a U2 promotional stunt?  I have "Silent Night" from Rod and "Halfway There" from Soundgarden which I apparently downloaded on December 11th, 2012.  I have no recollection of where they came from.

The proceeding post has been brought to you by Jack Daniel's Fire, which tastes like sugar ass sweat but is irresistible.  Go figure.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Not Feeling It

So the Government has shut down.  Now what?  As some of you know I work for the G'mint.  I'm considered essential and what this means is if the budget thing isn't settled by the next pay period I'm working for an IOU from Uncle Sam.  That's reassuring.  I'm also not allowed to take leave which is convenient since we were leaving for Ohio this Saturday (or I should say we were leaving for Ohio).  Every day in every way I can't believe people want more government involvement in their lives.  And to the people that voted for Obama again, I would like to say thanks.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Week!

I thought I would write a separate entry for the rest of the week, I don't want to end it on a sad note.  The rest of the week has been pretty good.  I've been riding the new bike all week and it's been a blast.  It's got 444 miles on the odometer now.  I'm looking forward to taking a ride tomorrow up to Deckers.  It's suppose to be 67 and rainy so we'll have to see.  Might be worth going just to get some pictures.  The day we picked up the bike I rode it over Monarch Pass.  They were filming some scenes for the new Fast and Furious movie on the pass.  All we saw was a black bus with the rear end blown out and a bunch of camera cars and booms.  I did get a thumbs up from one of the crew for the bike which was neat.

We're watching Sons of Anarchy these days.  We've been watching since the first season.  It's kind of going down hill the last few seasons and it's becoming a parody of itself.  Hell on Wheels is starting to lose Lisa, I'm hanging on and the last couple of episodes are getting better.  Lisa is upset that Cullen Bohannon hasn't shot anyone in the last three or so episodes.

Everyone is waiting to see if Congress will actually shut government down or not.  Kerry signed the U.N. Gun Treaty and is stirring everyone up.  I don't discuss politics too much on here anymore because I tend to get worked up.  I'm reading Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.  It's pretty chilling to read the comparisons of the Wilson administration, Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany as compared to today.  If you judge the book by the title you would be led to believe that it's an inflammatory criticism based along the same lines as all the name calling in the press these days.  It actually lays out the history of fascism which is probably the most misunderstood and political movement and most abused insult of all times.

And then there's Obamacare.  I guess we'll see.

I've been rediscovering Flickr. I also started hanging out on the FZ1 forums (US and International) again and found the Adventure Rider forum which is chock full of great photos and riding stories.  I am getting some great ideas for the Mid-Life Crisis Tour (as it's unofficially come to be known).  I'm looking at camping gear now.  The idea of sleeping in a tent during large parts of the trip appeals to me.

So that's a small part of the week.  Oh almost forgot, the new bike...

Monarch Pass sign and most awkward photo participant ever!


The Memorial

A co-worker passed away late last week from a heart attack.  He was a pretty good guy.  He always went out of his way to help me and did it in a timely fashion.  Most everyone else you have to beg for help.

They had his memorial service today and I went.  It was a pretty rough one.  He was obviously loved by his family.  I am however doomed to be a social misfit.  I thought I had outgrown that urge to sit by myself at lunch back in high school but apparently not.  I just do not know what to say or do in these situations.  The youngest of the three of us brothers is pretty good in those situations.  The middle brother is more like me although he handles it better.  He just doesn't talk, where as I have some irritating need to comment like a huge nerd with tourrettes.

I don't like memorial services as I know most don't but this one was particularly difficult because of the level of emotion displayed.  I felt almost voyeuristic being there.  As uncomfortable as it was I'm glad I went to pay my respects.  They had a pretty touching slideshow playing and at first it was a shock to walk in and see Robin's face and realizing that was it.  It was nice to see how much he was loved.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ole Blue

Tomorrow Lisa and I are headed to Gunnison to pick up a (almost) new Yamaha FZ1.  If you've been paying attention (I won't hold it against you if not) you'll know that I love to ride my '02 FZ1.  Just a little.  I'm looking forward to getting the new bike.  I took a spin on a co-worker's '08 model which is similar to the '12.  It was more comfortable on the tailbone and had better wind protection all around.  The decision to get it is what has made me think this huge mid-life crisis tour is possible.  We'll see how I feel after riding it for awhile but I think I can go much further on the new bike.

As excited as I am to be getting the new ride, I was feeling a little misty eyed while washing Ole Blue (the name I gave the old bike just now).  Almost everywhere I've been that bike has been.  I know guys like motorcycle journalist Pete Egan go through bikes like a lot of us go through t.p. but I'm one of those people that holds on to something for ever.

Just for my own benefit a list of the places I've rode the bike include a cross country trip from San Diego to Zanesville Ohio when I bought the bike back in 2003.  That was a long almost crippling ride but a lot of fun.  Some things I remember about that trip were almost getting lost somewhere in southern California around Death Valley.  Freezing my tookus off in the early morning hours through Flagstaff.  And a particularly painful conversation I had with a woman working at a gas station about my mesh Joe Rocket jacket.  She seemed unable to grasp that the jacket was for protection while keeping the rider cool.  Of course the fact that it was about 50 degrees and raining didn't help my cause.

I also remember kicking myself ever since that ride for staying a day in Terra Haute Indiana.  Of all the places I could have spent an extra day in why I picked Terra Haute I'll never know.

Brian, Bud and me, Durango CO 2004
 Back in 2004 I had the bike with me when I met Lisa, my wife.  I rode all over Colorado that summer and that's really the year I took my riding abilities to the next level.  Riding the roads through the Rockies was an experience I'll never forget.  A buddy liked my FZ1 so much he got the black and yellow model.  Another buddy was so inspired by the fun we were having riding, he took the MSF course and bought a Harley.  After Colorado we all went to California and rode the Pacific Coast Highway and around central California together.  I usually don't like to ride with people but that was the best year of riding ever.

There have just been some many wonderful rides I can't begin to list them all.  Actually that's not true, I just listed two of them a minute ago.  Truth is I could list them all but you would get bored awful quick.

To conclude I'll just post some pictures of past beautiful rides.

Somewhere in California headed toward Lick Observatory

Watching snow come in on top of Mt Evans at 14,000 ft

The beautiful Pacific Coast Highway

The Tetons in Wyoming (but you knew that)

Clarksdale Mississippi, home of the blues
Now I'm really sad.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Change Of Plans (ALREADY!)

I was looking at the intended route for the ride and discovered that the mileage for a trip around the perimeter of the United States is about 10,000 miles.  I'm not so much worried about the distance as the time.  I have a pretty generous vacation plan but I think three weeks will be the maximum I care to be away from home.  I was looking at the map of the U.S. and noticing how much vast emptiness there is in a lot of it.  I got to thinking that maybe I should try a little more focus.  I've always wanted to ride my bike down to Key West so I decided to aim for there.  I started calculating in times and distances and thought I would throw in some spots I haven't been but always wanted to go and some spots I have been to but wanted to revisit.


View Larger Map

The plan is to stick to back roads and State routes as much as possible.  I want to go through the swamps and backwaters.  I'll still be making use of the guide books and AAA but I don't want anything to do with the interstates.

I've also already been tweaking this plan.  I originally had the Memphis/Savannah leg of the trip as the starting route.  The more I thought about it the more I don't relish going through Kansas at the end of a trip, gotta get that stretch of dullness out of the way early.

Well stay tuned for more changes, coming soon I'm sure.