Wishing you all a happy and preposterous new year!
Monday, December 30, 2013
Just finished reading Ernest Shackleton's epic The Heart of the Antarctic again. It is an incredible story of his three month journey attempting to reach the South Pole. After a frightening voyage over rough seas in an undersized, overloaded whaling vessel, Shakleton and his posse spent an entire Antarctic winter in a tiny improvised shack. Then, when the weather turned a balmy -25 F, Shakleton trudged through snow for three months pulling sledges, climbing mountains and nearly starving to death, all with primitive turn of the century equipment. A large portion of the book is his eloquent diary he kept during the march. He made it farther south than any other mortal, but never made the pole. After walking some seven hundred fifty miles he fell ninety miles short before having to turn back before starvation and the Antarctic winter caught up with him.
To use a cliché, Shakleton was from a time when "men were men." Long before such things as bottled water, heated seats, hand sanitizer, manscaping, sensitivity training or wind chill calculations.
I'm first struck by his awesome literary skills, while keeping his journal under the stress and strain of his ordeal. An ordeal which included frostbite, starvation and altitude sickness. Secondly, he NEVER whined or complained. Through snow blindness and dysentery he trudged onward, averaging about twelve miles a day. Incredible, considering the average Amërïkän would throw a hissy fit if the fast food worker forgets his extra cheese, and would weep uncontrollably if he had to walk two miles on a fine spring day in his pair of two-hundred dollar Nikes!
Shakleton's kind of willpower and resolve is a sad juxtaposition when compared with modern Western Man who, more often than not, confuses inconvenience for emergency. Today's whining, prissy metrosexual seems to think someone else is obligated to solve his petty problems for him. A sad population of fretful eunuchs, spending their days looking for reasons to feel "offended," while lamenting the fact that their cell phone isn't working.
Makes it hard to schedule a manicure.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
A mostly true retrospective recycled from the shredder.
I haven't always lived in Jerkwater, in fact I spent most of my early childhood in the much-maligned state of New Jersey. I would like to take this time to share some of my early recollections of this wonderful but misunderstood region.
New Jersey is built upon a swamp, teeming with disease and parasitic insects. I grew up on a dead-end street, which was bordered by deep, weed-choked ditches, their bottoms containing stagnant, foul-smelling water where mosquitoes and malaria flourished despite the industrial runoff. At night the sewer rats would emerge, wet and covered in grease to skin their teeth at the unwashed and frightened children.
My first memories were of that dead end street, lined with tiny houses, each one with a front stoop, where the wives of factory workers would gather to smoke cigarettes and gossip, telling lurid tales about the unfaithful whores who lived on the next block, and speaking in hushed tones of birth control and vaginal discomfort through nicotine-stained teeth. It’s where I first learned to ride my bicycle, careening up and down the street, gaining speed and confidence, while the Catholic children would hurl epitaphs and rocks at me as I raced by the front lawn flamingoes and plastic Virgin Marys.
To combat the summertime mosquitoes, the city periodically sprayed DDT from tank trucks, the Negro driver would smile and wave to the children as we ran into the street to play and dance in the misty vapor. Later, while Sinatra serenaded us from the AM radio, our lips would turn blue and our gums would bleed. Mother would rub liniment on our chests against the racking cough and worry over the listless, distant look in little brother‘s eyes. Nikita Khrushchev always glared at us from behind the bushes and newspaper headlines, his face fierce and monochromatic. Uncle Vankey visited from across the ocean, his face gaunt and drawn from stark Collectivism, and the little girl next door died in her sleep from a mysterious illness.
In the evening, the day-shift men would return from the factories in their Fords and Pontiacs, their blank faces empty as their lunch pails. They’d read the newspaper then get quietly drunk while watching the ball game as the purple sun, filtered through a haze of factory smoke, sank low in the western sky. The sewer rats stirred in the ditches and rubbed their whiskers, preparing for the night shift.
After the children were put to bed, husbands would grunt and sweat as they dutifully mounted their reluctant, consecrated wives, engaging in the brief and passionless sex of fenced livestock, then promptly fall asleep, drooling beer-laden saliva on the white sheets. As Ed Sullivan’s muted voice droned on from living room television sets, the sleepless wives would clutch their rosary beads and weep silently.
Monday, December 23, 2013
As I lay in bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I heard outside such a clatter, that I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Out on the road several of the sheep farmers who live to the East were heading westward, their old pickup trucks bouncing and rattling over ice and drifting snow. My eyes were drawn to the little town of Jerkwater, where hanging above was a heavenly body, twinkling in the dim light of dawn...... beckoning.
Could it be......?
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
The intrepid rider is sized up and strapped in for the long pull upward through the dark tunnel. Nine cogs on each gear click loudly and echo off the blood-moistened walls ‘til he breaks through into the light and is sent plummeting between electrically charged steel rails on decomposing cross ties of dubious character. Time and space collide into a singular, spinning cyclone of swirling colors, like a box of Fruit Loops in a cosmic food processor.
As he nears the bottom, time slows and the cross ties become soggy with moss and wood rot. Needles pierce his liver and spleen and rust creeps into his joints. The steel rail serpents rise up and spray their electric venom, laced with toxic reproof and barbiturates, causing stomach-cramps and blindness. He slumps over the tank and topples to the ground, coming to rest on the dirty carnival floor amongst discarded cotton candy and empty boxes of circus peanuts.
Uniformed officers and stretcher bearers arrive, their skin scraped pink with the jagged lids of pickle jars, to haul him away on a flat bed ambulance. He’s cited for improper eye protection, loud pipes and failure to use turn signals. After a summary trial, he’s sent to the State Mental Hospital where he spends sixty days in a windowless room, lying on a piss-drenched mattress, staring at the claw marks etched into the plaster walls. Wondering where it all went wrong.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
1. involving or limited to basic principles
2. not very developed or advanced
That's the word that kept coming to the forefront my whiskey-addled mind Friday as I worked deep into the night.
Fabricated the top motor mount, will probably strengthen it by adding some gussets. Played around with the idea of hanging the coil behind the engine, a-la stock Dyna, but decided it didn't look right, and mounted it under the top mount instead.
With Deep Purple and Dwight Yoakum blaring through cheap speakers and bouncing off of the metal walls, I was inspired to construct a high-tech instrument cluster, complete with hardware store switches and an oil pressure idiot light only an idiot could love. Next, maybe a frame-mounted tab to hold the Corona-capped choke knob, cigarette lighter and cup holder armrests?
Working with no deadlines or timetable, and concentrating on one piece at a time, I sometimes lose track of the concept that this may be a completed bike someday.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Found this wadded up in he shredder.
The Boat People decided to leave the oppression and slavery of European Totalitarianism where they were forced to live in dank, miserable hovels, watching Monty Python re-runs on 19” black and white televisions and spending their days in piss-drenched Monarchial squalor. They braved the icy chill of the North Atlantic with it’s hurricane winds and sea serpents out of the basic human yearning to be free. Against all odds, they landed hard on Plymouth Rock and scrambled up its sheer, hard surface. They stood atop and looked back eastward, upon the injustice and tyranny. The first months were difficult, nights spent sleeping in flea-ridden sacks, their days filled with toil, smoking hardscrabble reefer.
The powerful costal savages had been living an idyllic existence eating organic vegetables, constructing canoes out of fifty-five gallon oil drums and brutalizing the weaker, Hindu Indians with primitive stone weaponry and sharp, collectivist dogma which the used to eviscerate and cripple. They decorated their huts with the scalps and dried genitals of vanquished foes and turned their women and young boys into sex-slaves.
When the hazy days of summer gave way to November‘s chill the Pilgrims decided it was time to show the heathens how to party. The celebration began. Dead deer and diseased birds were piled high on picnic tables while beer and Nyquil flowed freely from birch bark vessels hung high in the trees. Young lads and savages played Frisbee and touch football in woodland clearings while a Polka band played dance music deep into the moonlit night. Young, fat squaws were fed Frosted Flakes and buttermilk, then dragged giggling and kicking into the forest to be courted, cajoled and injected with semen and syphilis. Small pox and intravenous engine coolant. A good time was had by all.
That small Jamestown settlement soon became a great and prosperous nation, complete with a mighty industrial base, interstate highways, political scandals, bungee jumping, Coldplay, breast enlargement, vaginal mesh lawsuits and clinical depression.
The Indians fared much better as they were pushed ever westward at the point of muskets and artillery shells, until finally coming to rest in Government reservations complete with house trailers and health clinics. There they made a living selling rubber tomahawks, plastic trinkets and tobacco products to fat, indifferent tourists in Chevrolets, and went on to find marginal employment in the glamorous, fast-paced world of the Casino Gambling Industry..
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Fourteen lonely little Fahrenheits last night, (-10 Celsius) with a howling wind and snow flurries was brutal proof that the long Midwest winter is upon us. The tiny shoots of spring, with all their short-lived promise, lay brown and shriveled on the cold hard ground of discontent. Summer’s wine is nothing more than a slushy, oozing pool and the delicate songbirds have all fled south in a mad exodus.
But winter has its bright spots. I burnt the dust off the shop heaters and sipped some Jim Beam while mating the 1200 with the nekkid, oxidizing frame, the whiskey and kerosene fumes created a warm internal glow as I cussed and stripped threads under the watchful eyes of Shopcat the Eighth.
Should be able to pick up a rear wheel this week. Need to fab a top motor mount, coil mount and a plate for some switches. I still need handlebars, controls and a headlight. I’m still not sure if I’ll have someone do some flames on the tank, or just rattle can the sheet metal myself.
I have all winter……….
Friday, November 22, 2013
A sad day. I was five and don't remember the assassination, (I think my parents shielded it from me) but I do remember my dad stayed home from work and I stayed home from school to watch the funeral on our old black and white TV.
Sadly, our current president's ideology differs from Kennedy's and is more in line with Oswald's.
I weep for my country.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Was kind of breezy over the weekend. After the storms passed and the sun came out The Wild Child jumped on her scooter and did some wind surfing on the concrete drive. Also some whitecaps breaking on shoreline gave the ducks a hard time.
Some day I'll learn to hold the smartphone sideways while making a video.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I am working in the "Big City" on a project at a former machine shop which finally gave up the ghost and shut down in '08 at the outbreak of The Great Recession. I walked alone in this silent cathedral and snapped this pic as the late afternoon sun slanted through the dirt-smudged windows, casting light upon the sleeping behemoths of bygone industry. Everything was still just as it was when the last worker vacated the shop and chained the doors shut.
Located just south of Indianapolis’ downtown, with its gleaming high rise office buildings, the soft industrial underbelly is crumbling and empty. It is slowly being replaced by billion dollar sports venues, trendy bars and expensive restaurants.
Not far away, down by the river, is a homeless shanty town, its inhabitants the alcoholic sons of the former workers who lost their jobs in the seventies and eighties, living in tarp-covered pallet skids and sipping wine from discarded lunch sacks, rendering it into staggering gratification and street vomit. Around the fringes the dependent class are caged and policed by government baby-sitters who mend the overpass fences to keep debris from being thrown on the cars passing on the interstate below, as the rats and lemmings rush to their downtown cubicles in a frenzied, stress-fueled madness.
I'm glad to live in the equally artificial, yet bucolic agricultural hinterlands, where at least I can shoot my guns out the back door and no one cares, and pee off the front porch and no one sees.
Monday, November 11, 2013
I don't know the full story on this hottie, but I salute her and all those who've left parts of themselves in some hot, dusty shithole far from home, so the rest of us can remain relatively comfortable as we cling to our diminishing freedoms.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
A chilly 32 degrees F, but If it ain’t raining or iced over, I’m riding to breakfast on Sunday morning. I left plenty of room for the other degenerates I eat with, but as you can see, the bunch of chicken shits couldn’t man up and ride. I chalk it up to my superior mental toughness, and steely resolve in the face of adversity. (tall windshield, Firstgear® heated vest and gloves)
But, I was really freaked out on this first Sunday after Halloween. I snapped a picture of my bike on what appeared to be an empty Jerkwater Main Street. However, when I checked my phone, a mysterious, blue apparition showed up in the form of a ‘51 Chevy pickup. Could it be the spectral image of Jerkwater's ghoulish past?
Old folks around here tell the tale of Clem Bodine, who was decapitated in a tragic combine accident during the fall harvest of November, 1951. The story goes that Clem had just bought a brand new Cheverolet pickup that very afternoon. After the blood and bone fragments were cleaned off the thresher and the funeral was over, Clem's grieving widow could never bring herself to sell the truck. It has sat in the old Bodine barn ever since. According to Jerkwater Hollow legend, every November the headless ghost of Clem Bodine climbs into the old truck and cruises the back roads and small towns of Jerkwater County looking for soul food and a place to eat....and his head.
I still managed to choke down a hearty breakfast and several cups of coffee. Takes more than some paranormal shit to kill my appetite.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Not sure if she's in the kitchen. She can't seem to get off the ground, so she obviously has the wrong kind of broom. Not really feelin' this one. No cat or cauldron. I'm not even sure which witch is which.
It's Halloween, so someone's gobblin' that goblin.
Monday, October 28, 2013
After saving my nickels and dimes, and a thorough exhaustive search, I finally found a unit small enough to be pulled comfortably. A compact and mobile domicile, lightweight and nimble, yet with all the creature comforts to meet my humble needs. Now, when Winter’s gnarled, arthritic fingers throttle me with its long-suffering frigid tedium, I’ve an escape pod. I shall travel to strange and exotic places such as Bowling Green, Memphis and Jacksonville, an itinerant ambassador, spreading Hope, Joy and holding tank effluence all across the Southeastern United States.
And, any skeptics who think my ride inadequately powered for this type of service, I say you are vastly underestimating its capabilities. For it is not a “Weak Glide” or an “Average Glide” or even a “Pretty Damn Good Glide,” it is after all, a SUPER Glide!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I can make sparks and stick metal together, but I’m no welder. My welds, performed with a hardware store wire-feed MIG, is like an old East German hooker. Hairy armpits and ugly, and may need some covering up with Soviet-era pancake makeup, but they get the job done.
The gentleman pictured is an old redneck hippy I’ve known since the days we spent smoking surreptitious joints in the high school parking lot, between mind-numbing indoctrination sessions in the Jerkwater Central Public School System. Here he’s puzzling out some electrical demons plaguing his ‘70 Honda 750 four (never did get it figured out.) He is a rum-drinking eater of fish heads and spends his weekends scraping the scales off of mud carp with the edge of hubcaps and riding quads at a retired meth lab in the scenic southern hills of our great state.
On top of all these accomplishments, he’s also a fine welder of titanium bicycle frames and top secret government aircraft parts. I finally got all the pieces tacked on to the river rat rigid and brought it to this wild man for some proper, tender loving TIG beads.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Many don't realize that beside being a wealthy venture capitalist, an amateur paleontologist and a two-time champion Ballroom Dancer I am a breeder of some of the finest Blue-leg Jungle Fowl in Jerkwater County. These birds date back to pre-history. In fact, all domestic poultry that ends up betwixt a piece of Styrofoam and plastic at the local Piggly Wiggly can trace their lineage back to the steamy, tropical jungles of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. You can thank the descendants of these birds the next time you dig into a greasy bucket of Colonel Sander's best. Some fascinating food for thought.
(Like my other enthralling YouTube videos, this will go absolute viral and become an instant internet sensation.)
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
As the winds of autumn begin to blow through the quickly changing leaves the inevitability of winter is indisputable. Having lived for a time in a tropical environment, I’ve come to appreciate the changing of the seasons, but the long, drawn-out Midwestern winter is something which I dread more and more with each passing year. My seasonal work means Winter’s depressing cold and discomfort is amplified through the gnawing prism of boredom and cabin fever. I can work on projects in the shop, but the rest of the dismal season is spent reading books I‘ve already read, listening to the radio and perusing the increasingly redundant internet. Finally, I sit drooling, shitting small calcium pellets into a bowl of warm goat’s milk, staring at the sinister, oversized clock hanging on the hovel wall which marks the passing of time by taunting me with its unrelenting second hand. Mocking my plight by driving its ticking madness deep into my troubled psyche.
I’ve taken winter bike trips before, but like last year’s ill-fated journey, they can be sometime less than pleasant. So next week I will go in search of a small camper that can be pulled behind my tiny Ranger pickup. With luck I can stick my V-strom in the truck bed and go where the weather suits my clothes with some type of semi-comfortable headquarters.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Though the cheap paneling and sloppy trim paint doesn't bode well for good housekeeping, the nutritious apple, Irish Whiskey and silhouette shadow tracing of Thomas Jefferson gets her a pass.
And by pass I mean nice ass.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Shaniqua grew up in a tiny village on the edge of the vast Kalahari desert. Life was primitive, yet simple. She spent her days gathering roots and pounding them into a starchy pulp which was then baked and served as a nutritious bread-like cake. Beetles and goat milk supplemented the diet of her simple nomadic family who faced little adversity beyond the harsh climate and an occasional squabble with neighboring tribesmen.
Shaniqua was unsatisfied however. She had heard whispers of a place far away where gleaming structures of steel and glass housed people who were whisked around in air-conditioned cars. The inhabitants of this mystical place spent their days counting their vast wealth and sucking the pimentos out of manzanilla olives.
Longing to acquire a ticket out of the African plains, Shaniqua soon found herself involved in the only profitable endeavor available on the Kalahari. To satisfy the hunger of millions of impotent Chinese men she was soon immersed in the lucrative trade of illegal rhinoceros horn. She was a midnight poacher who could down a rhino with poison darts fashioned from the bones of dehydrated hyenas, hack off the valuable horn while the unfortunate beast was in its death throes, and still make it back to the village in time for morning coffee.
With the proceeds from her nefarious activities Shaniqua was soon able to secure the means of her deliverance from a traveling Bedouin spice trader in the form of a fine Royal Enfield scrambler.
So, as father and little brother are left holding the family camel and wishing her a tearful adieu, Shaniqua motors off to a world where people spend their days in meaningless repetition. Walking in hard concrete circles with their heads bowed down to tiny lighted screens and totalitarian governments, gathering dog shit in Ziploc bags. A brand new life of strip malls, deadlines, reality TV, traffic jams, fast food and corn gluten.
Hope she finds something to cover her ample bosoms before she gets to Nairobi, the nights can be long and cold.
Friday, September 20, 2013
As a former Military Policeman, I salute my brother soldier from a bygone era. When I served in the seventies, we were told we were all one color....GREEN!
As one can plainly see by the picture below I was a handsome, dashing, un-colored young soldier willing to defend my country from the forces of evil. I was the worst MP ever, the only guy I ever arrested was a drunk who jumped me while I was on gate duty. As my tour was drawing to a close, stationed in Louisiana and riding my Kawi around post with reckless abandon, my superiors tried to get me to re-enlist with the promise of Motorcycle Duty.
I was wise to them though. Yeah, there was a sweet old Panhead dripping oil in the motor pool, but "Motorcycle Duty" consisted of riding the Bike about two miles, parking it, and performing traffic control during the rush hours, then riding it back and parking it. When my tour was up I jumped on my Kaw and headed for California.
By the way, top speed on that Jeep was 45 mph. Not a real good pursuit vehicle.