Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Yes, this made me giggle for some reason. Maybe I am just loosing it; or maybe random guffaws at spam is a sign of a healthy mind. Eh... Who knows. OK, here it is.. I am still chuckling...

Subject: I LOVE YOU
From: Baby

Hello, (miraclelovedd@hotmail.com)
My name is miracle, i saw your profile today when i saw searching in google search and became interested in you,i will also like to know you more,and if you can send an email to my email address,i will give you my pictures here is my email address (miraclelovedd@hotmail.com) I believe we can move from here! Awaiting for your mail to my email address here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Don't Cry Like A Bitch When You Feel the Pain

It was out of no where, a sucker-punch, a cheap glancing shot. The hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention as the demon scratched at it's grey cell walls. He wanted attention, an he received it.

Walking out of the bookstore for a smoke and inner communion with the jail keepers, he hit again. This time not a glancing blow but one directly to the center of my back. He meant business this time.

But this time it was different. Straddling my bike, bringing this steel and rubber and chrome beast alive, we prepared. Hot asphalt and blood red setting sun swayed to my request; we rode.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What Will the Neighbors Think?

And so, there was wrenching to do.

A friend of mine will be borrowing my Honda Rebel until her bike is fixed. It would not be prudent handing over the key before being certain the bike is in fine working order.

Over the past two months or so I have been wrenching on her here and there. The crankshaft oil seal needed to be reseated. Engine, fuel tank and carbs cleaned out. Spark plugs changed. That sort of thing.

Well, the rear brakes needed to be checked. With only about 6,000 miles on the front brakes, they are fine. However, those rear brakes felt soft and somewhat ineffective. So, my task for last night was to remove the rear wheel and check the brakes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Rebel, the rear wheel has drum style breaks, necessitating the removal of the wheel just to check the darned things.

Alas, I do not have a bike jack or stand. A buddy of mine who lives in the same apartment complex does have a bike stand/jack but it is far too wide. Being designed more for large cruisers and dirt bikes, making it fit the Rebel would have been time consuming and tricky.

So, I MacGyver'ed it. With three tie-down straps anchored to the rafters, and some spare rope, there came to be a bike winch of sorts. I would lift the bike up a little at a time while my daughter tightened each tie-down strap. Suspended, the bike was honestly rather stable and secure. Not that I would recommend this method for larger bikes but it worked well with my little 350 pound bike.

Should probably remove the tie-downs and straps before the neighbors see them. Wouldn't want them to think anything funny is going on in there. :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Motorcycle Plastic Repair - Adventure in Plastic Welding

Aside from a few other things going on in my life, I have been busy experimenting with chemical plastic repair on my project bike. And guess what... SUCCESS!
If you are so inclined, you can read of my plastic repair success on my VX800 blog, part 1 and part 2.

NOW! New and improved with Part 3 - Repairing a completely broken piece.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Offense and No Disrespect, But...

Nearly a decade ago when I started to grow out my beard and hair, my loving work associates started something that still follows. "No offense Ken, but you look like Captain Caveman."

And so I did.

It was a crazy time where I work. Projects and new clients were coming fast and hard. This particularly crazy morning was after a 24+ hour stint in the office; this co-worker was certainly sharp in their observation.

But it was said in jest, in good humor. There was no malice intended.

Perhaps some kind blog reader out there can clarify something... Why do some people preface a patently offensive or disrespectful comment with "No offense or disrespect intended, but..." ???

"No offense, but you stink and look like Captain Caveman." And your point?

"No offense or disrespect but you ride like shit, can't write a decent program to save your ass and the grammar you write with reminds me of my brother's three year old. No offense of course." STFU!

No one said this specifically, it is merely an example. Over the course of the last week many hours have been spent reading public comments on different news articles. This seems to be a new theme, attempting to divert responsibility for comments that indeed offensive or disrespectful. Perhaps it is a societal facet becoming more evident.

Regardless, no offense or disrespect intended, it is disingenuous, irritating and I just don't like it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Abby Sunderland Saved - Soap Box Out Again!

Abby Sunderland Rescued

Not terribly certain why these comments are rubbing me the wrong way, but DAMN am I irritated. Here are some from this CNN article with my personal response.

"yngvi No, those that put time and effort into rescuing her, have done more of value than she will ever do." So... You can look into the future? Violate the laws of physics that easily and know what she is going to do? Let's talk about the stock market.

"demmieKrat Sad that so many here wouldnt spend tax payer money to rescue a "thrill seeking" teen but would gladly spend tax payer money to repair any gluttonous fast food junky ... that plops their azz in the USA" -BRAVO!!!

"alboze It is no wonder we are witnessing the demise of the once great USA. With all the wooses that are criticising a heroic effort of an extremely brave pioneer, the great heroes of the past must be turning in their graves. You should be ashamed of yourselves! The boat is licenced and has all the safety equipment required by the Coast Guard to make it eligible to be rescued in the event of failure. Are you guys saying that rescue services should be reserved for commercial vessels in the South Indian Ocean? That would be whalers and toothfish poachers and of course a few extreme tourists who have a lot of money. For the people who are afraid to leave the comfort zone of 911, there are adventurous people out there who have a life. It is great people like Abby who once made America great and sissies like you that will result in America's fall. Well done Abby!" - BRAVO!!!

"yngvi You forgot to mention that the boat was not the right type for this kind of journey and older, more experienced sailors have said it was foolhardy to do in winter." #1 - wrong. That type of boat was designed and built specifically FOR the open and rough seas. Foolhardy... Many people thought the Wright Brothers were foolhardy, and Christopher Columbus and Magellan.

"MalTempo Priceless daughter. Yes, the price is the cost to taxpayers. How many more of these daredevil imbeciles must we pay to rescue?" So, we should not pay to rescue someone? Should the Search and Rescue check credit scores? "You have an emergency? What is your credit card number?"

"ghj Does anybody remember that little girl Jessica from a number of yrs. ago? She was 7 or so. Flying across the country w/ her dad. They crashed and died. 'nuff said'." I have flown. I have lost a friend, a trained, seasoned instructor and FAA check pilot when he was instructing a student. Wresting control of an aircraft from a 7 year old is NOT hard to do. Training accidents happen regardless of the student's age.


Some of these people's comments truly irritates me. I think perhaps I will do something dangerous and adventurous rather that sit on my couch watching television or play video games while eating fast food and let my brain atrophy. I'm riding.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Abby Sunderland Effect

If you have not already read the news about Abby Sunderland, here is a brief bit from The Guardian Weekly (click here to read the entire article).

"Rescuers launched a desperate search tonight for a 16-year-old Californian girl attempting to sail round the world single-handed, after she set off distress beacons in stormy conditions in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.

Abby Sunderland's parents lost satellite phone contact with her today after she had told them she was repeatedly knocked down in 60 knot-winds and 50 foot seas, about 2,000 miles east of Madagascar. An hour later the US coast guard notified them that two emergency satellite beacons on her 40ft yacht, Wild Eyes, had been activated."

I hope she is rescued and at worst, has a minor broken bone and minor case of hypothermia. It is my opinion that she shows a great deal of determination, personal ambition and Joie de vivre; all key properties of an adventurer.

The comments posted by readers of articles about this unfortunate situation range from supportive to uninformed to imbecilic. Unfortunately, the majority of comments fall into the later portion of the spectrum.

Since this is my little stage on the interwebs, I am going to take my little, rarely used soap box, and make a few comments about the comments others have left. Registering on a dozen websites to make comments just is not that productive.

So, my fair readers, here is what I read:

  • This sentiment was posted so many times it strengthened my belief that the pseudo-anonymous public would rather speak an uninformed opinion than read and perhaps change a personal opinion. Many, many places, ad nausium, people posted their concern that so much money is and will be spent paying for the search and rescue. First of all, there are insurance policies for this particular situation. If she has it, great; you people lamenting, "...Oh, now WE are paying for her..." can ST%U. Secondly, there are loose international treaties covering Search and Rescue and fiduciary responsibilities. Google "search and rescue treaty," do a little reading, learn a little.
  • This is one of my favorites: pirates. "THAT IS PIRATE AREAS AND THEY KNEW IT!" "The only thing she has taught people is sailing around the world by yourself in pirate infested waters is stupid." "Did someone else, such as a pirate, board the boat?" OK, all you pirate folks, check out here: The Live Piracy Map. Abby is roughly between the southern-most tip of Africa and Australia, and just a little south. That would put her about 3,000 miles from known pirate activity. Next.
  • "...Horrible parents..." "...child endangerment..." "...the parents should be held responsible..." blabla friggin' BLA! Let's do a little logic, reasoning and abstraction here, shall we? It is my understanding she was a fairly experienced, certified and trained sailor; not a 'weekend at the Yacht Club' sort of person. So, let's extract that into an abstraction; person A is certified to perform B. Further, person A was trained to perform B. Now, let's fit that abstraction into something more concrete; drivers licenses. A 16 year old gets a driver's license. But there is more, say that person had already been driving for years, and trained for years to drive. If that person proves themselves as being a competent driver, should they be restrained from driving and exercising their certification? And further, if there is an accident while they are driving, are the parents to be held responsible?
Seriously, some of these comments are aggravating me near the point of anti-social behavior. Should we keep our children indoors, on the couch playing video games in a nice child-proof sterile home, or out in the world? Adventurers such as Abby push at our preconceived notions of things. In order for the human experience to be expanded, the envelope must be pushed.

Honestly, the comments some people have made are disgusting, inappropriate, ill-conceived, uneducated, illogical and disrespectful. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Here is mine...

I hope she is rescued and tries it again, several times as a matter of fact. People such as her do not typically come about (as proven by the majority of comments I read.) She is an adventurer and it seems to me her parents did what they could to prepare her for this journey; and for that they should be applauded.

It seems to me the majority of the public commenting on this story would rather live meek, safe lives while judging people and their actions behind the pseudo-anonymity provided by the internet.

Soap box is put away and I am checking out for a while.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Vixen Has Her Brain Stem!

No abstractions or metaphors here. This was a hot, busy Sunday.
Vixen has her brain stem! I ripped her wiring harness apart, scrubbed it down, taped it up in protective wrapping and assembled the front end. HOLY COW! Read all about it here if you are so inclined.

She is definitely coming together.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Found When Not Looking

It has been said that to truly find something, one must not be searching.

While at Nevada Suzuki last week, the owner and I were discussing my little VX800 restoration project. I had ridden in to say 'hi' and order the radiator guard mounting screws, headlight assembly dampener and ignition module boot/holder/rubber thingie.

Last year he told me of his VX800. In the 90's he had several and ended up selling all but one. His VX had engine problems and a fellow rebuilt the entire engine in exchange for some money that was owed. The owner told me she ran like a top for a little bit then the rear carb began malfunctioning. He had other things to worry about and put the bike in a storage container.

Over the last ten years or so he sold off the headlight, exhaust system a few other items.

After buying my first VX about a year and a half ago, and subsequently deciding to rebuild her, I started searching for a donor bike. I became nearly obsessed. For months I would check CraigsList and E-Bay and the local classified ads and even the auto auction houses.

Late in 2009 I made the choice to back off. If one became available, all the better; and there by chance I found a donor in San Diego. By merging VX #1 and VX #2 I now have a complete frame, front end, wiring harness, drive train, seat and tank.

Oh but that engine. Both engines in my garage combined could not operate properly. Minimally about $400 worth of parts will be required to make these engines merge into a functioning internal combustion engine.

And, after the analysis of the situation and needed parts, I did not search any of the places I used to. Sure, occasionally I would peek to see if anything was out there, but there was minimal stress; plenty of other things to deal with.

While talking with the owner, he tells me his VX is out of storage, and at his home workshop. He is ready to sell it. The engine should be in good shape and simply require a good cleaning; same with the carbs.

I don't honestly know much about her; She may be a match, or with all the different minute variations, she may not be. But it is worth looking; worth the time thinking of the possibilities.

I know where she can be found; the more apropos question is "Where do you want to ride?"