Monday, June 22, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Hopefully I'll be spared seeing ads for the boots, leathers and other various motorcycle accessories I had been recently drooling over.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Came back and chilled with the pups for a while in the shop, then built some very basic fender struts for the rigid. I'm thinking this bike will look better with nothing obstructing the rear wheel and fender.
Other spring projects include planting the garden, cleaning out the dead 'possums from the crawlspace, splitting wood for next winter's fuel, and replacing the leaky seal in the Ratglide's fork.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Back to semi employment, and flush with a few extra coins in my pocket, I finally took the never-ending Sporty project off the lift. As soon as it hit the ground, I was not feeling the longish sissy bar. So, back up on the lift 'til I figure out what next. I want to mount the license plate bracket somewhere else but can't use any of the axle-mounted ones offered due to the way the axle plate is configured on the Kraft-Tech frame. Maybe a weld-on bracket.
The frame has been a bitch from the start. It seems to be well-built, but with 1 1/4" tubing it's heavy and nothing from the typical after-market world fits.
Memo to all bolt-on hacks like myself: Go with a Paugho frame, it will make life easier.
Disappointed, I did what any self-respecting young man would do. I got comfortably drunk 'til the wee hours while listening to "Southern Culture on the Skids" on the iPod.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
I'm certain someone will get a great deal on a slightly damaged van though.
Monday, February 16, 2015
I did not come seeking the beach but stumbled into it by accident. Even as a child my heart rate quickened when I came upon the sea, topping that last rise and confronting the ocean, extending to touch the sky, then arching endlessly into a chartless and unknowable oblivion. ‘Neath it lie mysteries; the rusted hulls of battleships, pods of harried beluga whale, sunken Spanish Galleons, undersea cities, and the dispersed and digested remains of Amelia Earhart, Blackbeard and Osama Bin Laden.
I’m on a little spit of land jutting out from the "Forgotten Coast." It’s damn cold, 28 degrees last night and a high of 51 today, so I won’t be body surfing, sunbathing naked or parasailing.
Not that I ever intended to.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Sputnik has resumed her rightful place as the undisputed Queen of the Florida State Park system. She looks out over her realm with the quiet confidence of a benevolent ruler, lording over squirrels, common campground mongrels and endangered woodpeckers. The panthers and gators genuflect as they pass by. An awe-inspiring picture of aristocratic nobility. The locals tell me of a large and increasing black bear population in this area. I’ll never see them. Bears tremble in fear at the sound of Sputnik’s name.
My primary southern headquarters is an obscure little outpost located in the pine flatwoods of the vast Apalachicola National Forest. I find the pine flatwoods aesthetically pleasing due to their unique quality of being both open and wooded. The lack of thick canopy allows a pleasant view and the tall columns of Longleaf Pines add a sense of dimension, while low growing wiregrass and palmettos flourish underneath. The old adage, “you can’t see the forest for the trees” doesn’t apply here.
I finally found a grocery store within twenty-five miles. North Florida ain’t Miami, and that’s why I like it. The parking lot is filled with lifted pickups and ATV’s. Tank tops and camouflage are in fashion and the children respect their elders while they stab each other with scissors. The checkout clerk has a distant, half-witted look on her face, wipes her nose on her sleeve constantly and communicates with a series of simple, monosyllabic grunts. But they have semi-fresh bread products and kick-ass Cajun sausage.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Sputnik knows long before I do that a journey is imminent with that unearthly canine intuition we mere mortals can never comprehend. Days before our departure she’d leap into the truck’s open door and stubbornly refuse to exit. She must be coerced and cajoled with veiled threats of violence and promises of dog biscuits and cheddar cheese. Hooked up and loaded the Gypsy Pod and was ready for takeoff Saturday morning. The weather was moderate, unlike the poor conditions during last year’s southern migration.
Trailing the Pod on my tiny pickup and traveling at interstate speed is similar to towing an obstinate, tethered parachute like the one used to stop the space shuttle during landing. Doesn’t do well up hills or into a headwind. Maybe a truck cap would help streamline its overall aerodynamic properties, but right now ten mpg is as good as I can get.
The landscape in Kentucky was frosted with a fresh coat of benign snow, but the roads were fine, and we made our way to a cold little campground of I-65 just north of Nashville. They placed me in the back row with the rear of the camper about one-hundred feet from the interstate. I fell asleep to the sound of the nightime highway, which is among the loneliest sounds on earth, and also a favorite of mine.
The siren song of the highway is the sound of restless movement, commerce and flight. Bleary-eyed, high-ballin’ truckers with doctored logbooks trying to avoid the twenty second nap that will end their run, or worse. Desperate families, their meager possessions piled high in the back seat of ancient Chevys, hoping the next town will bring them employment. Undocumented migrants and drug runners crowded into mini-vans and non-descript Buicks flying under the radar and hoping their secrets go unjudged before they make their destination.
After a decent night’s sleep I batten down the hatches, pull up the landing gear and power up the on-ramp as I join the others on Amërïkä’s endless, infrastructural, asphalt bloodstream as I move ever Southward.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Been slacking on the blog of late and gripped in another Midwest winter. The hibernating bikes are crowded into the shop so my tired, old diesel skid loader can benefit from the heated motorcycle garage if called upon, with just a short blast of ether, to perform snow removal duty.
The chopper project sits shrouded in rags and ninety-five percent complete waiting on funding and motivation.
This winter has been rather pleasant compared to last, with many days above freezing but Sputnik and I have been planning a mobile hovel run south nevertheless.