Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Badass

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

The Early years: 1960's New Jersey

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

O' Little Town of Jerkwater

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


I somehow deleted this morning's post, where I prattlef on about the devil living in a thermostat, or some such shit.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

For Sale

Nice older off-road bike
One owner (RIP)
Engine's strong, but transmission shot
Beautiful bike, everyone who sees it says, "Holy Crap!"
Gas tank may have slight leak
Call BR-549

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Laundry Day

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.......


..........out of the frying pan and into the dreyer.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Don't Try This at Home

A brief treatise on this wild roller coaster ride we call life. (And why is there a Pringles can mounted on his handlebars?)

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

Kitchen Chick

Cluttered countertop, exposed plumbing and poor cabinetry but it's still Tea Time!

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.