10 March 2014

Springbutt

Yes... "Springbutt".

Not familiar with the term?

You may not be familiar with the term, but you certainly have seen "Springbutt" in action.
Let me set the scenario for you:
You're at a seminar or class you MUST take. You may be an expert in the subject matter.
No matter, you have to be there for whatever reason. Some would call it a "ticket punch"...
The fact you've attended the class clears the way for you to either continue, or progress. Maybe even be promoted.

Pro pilots have to do this all the time. FAA requirements force them to constantly train. Annual check rides. Semi-annual refresher rides. Computer-driven academics on survival, weather, instrument flying procedures...
Sometimes the work you have to do is the same work you did last year, the year before that, the year before that, the year...
You get the idea.
It's BORRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNNNNG!
But ya gotta do it for whatever reason in order to keep the paychecks flowing.

So I was in this class devoted to keeping me and my fellow pilots SAFE.
There were about 40 in the class. I was sitting next to a contemporary I had known for 25 or so years.
Up front, in the second row, was Mr. Springbutt...
An enthusiastic new CFI who had just accrued enough time to get a job with one of our local helo companies.

Every chance he had, Mr. Springbutt would raise his hand and interrupt the person providing the information most of us were being "refreshed" with, because we had heard it a thousand times.
Mr. Springbutt wanted to share "How his company was now doing it", or a method he had learned that might improve the way the rest of us were doing our jobs.
Each time he'd raise his hand, I'd glance at my friend seated next to me, just in time to see him roll his eyes.
As hours droned on, the rolling of eyes began to be accompanied with a sigh.
There was no question, my buddy was beginning to be tired by Springbutt's interruptions...
The sooner we got outta here, the sooner we could have an icy-cold brewski in our hands!

But the information from the second row continued to be forthcoming. Springbutt was VERY impressed with himself. More eyes rolled. Sighs throughout the class started to be more audible.

At the break before the last hour of class my peer had had enough. When I saw him working his way toward Springbutt I followed along in his wake.
My buddy introduced himself to Springbutt with a smile and asked, "How much time ya got in your logbook?"

"1600 hours".

"My friend, I have more time in my log than that at night, in a 30 degree right bank, in a light mist with 1 mile visibility! Please, no more questions or suggestions."
I had difficulty stifling my guffaw.


Springbutt stayed seated the next hour.
And the cold beer tasted wonderful.

28 February 2014

The List

Newly added: Liam Neeson  

I'm confused-

If you are in the business of selling your talent to the masses, why would you express yourself in a way that would anger 50% (+ -) of your audience? Add to that the fact that most of us non-Hollywood types think you live in a cloister of like-minded people and have NO IDEA whatsoever how real folks make a living out here in the world.
Why not just shut your pie-hole and let 100% of your audience enjoy your work?


I present to you my list...
The list of folks that I refuse to support with my hard-earned $$$$$ because they're destroying my country.
"The List" will be updated and re-posted as new "smarter than you and me" folks make themselves known.
(Feel free to leave suggestions for additions in your comments.)

Robert Altman
Ed Asner
Alec Baldwin
Ellen Barkin
Rosanne Barr
Meredith Baxter
Joy Behar
Tony Bennett
Sandra Bernhard
James Brolin
Jimmy Buffett
Jim Carrey
Jackie Chan
Ladies and Gentlemen- Cher!
The Dixie Chicks
George Clooney
Elvis Costello
Sheryl Crow
Matt Damon
Ted Danson
Johnny Depp
Danny DeVito
Pee Puff Diddy-Daddy
Phil Donahue
Richard Dreyfuss
Roger Ebert (Assumed ambient temperature.)
Mike Farrell
Will Ferrell
Tina Fey
Sally Field
Jane Fonda
Megan Fox
Janeane Garofalo
Danny Glover
Whoopi Goldberg
Kathy Griffin
Tom Hanks
Woody Harrelson
Heart
Dustin Hoffman
Scarlett Johansson (Man I hate that she's on this list!)
Samuel L. Jackson
Ashley Judd
Val Kilmer
Kris Kristofferson
Spike Lee
DAAAAAAVIIIID LETTERRRRRRRRMAN!
Jennifer Lopez
Madonna
Bill Maher
Barry Manilow
Paul McCartney
John Mellencamp
Jay Mohr
Michael Moore
Liam Neeson
Chris Noth
Bill Nye
Rosie O'Donnell
Keith Olbermann
Gwyneth Paltrow
Sean Penn
Rob Reiner
Tim Robbins
Alan Rosenberg
Tim Roth
Linda Ronstadt
Susan Sarandon
Jerry Seinfeld
Martin Sheen
Sarah Silverman
Bruce Springsteen
Martha Stewart
Ben Stiller
Oliver Stone
Barbra Streisand
Wanda Sykes
Gore Vidal (Assumed ambient temperature.)
Kanye West
Oprah Winfrey
Henry (The Fonz) Winkler

25 February 2014

In The Rickshaw

We see it in movies. (My wife and I watch a BUNCH of old black-and-white movies, so this image may be more vivid for us than you)...
Coolies or slaves slogging across the sand in some desert, carrying a potentate or otherwise VERY Important Person in the curtain-shrouded chair.
Or sometimes the chair is on wheels, pulled uphill and down by some extraordinarily fit Asian, taxiing some foreigner to an important meeting across town.
Whatever...
The person being transported is taking advantage of work being done by others.

I can't help being philosophical here.
Those of us living comfortable lives today are "In that chair".
And, depending on your age, that chair was pulled by your parents, grandparents, or great-grands.

They watched as their world grew unsettled.
It's easy to just deny evil is in your neighborhood, and that's just what they did...
Starting in 1933 they watched and hoped...
Ignored the fact that rules laid down to prevent another conflagration were being ignored.
Ignored the fact that other neighbors were suffering as essential energy sources were being gobbled up by belligerent forces.
What did it matter? The light was at the end of the tunnel...
Beer was back.
The worst of the depression seemed behind us.
Chamberlain had the right idea. "Smart diplomacy" had saved the day and avoided war.
Until it didn't.

And then our parents+ got their noses bloodied. It was no longer possible to ignore what was truly going on in our back yard. And correcting the problem was going to be UGLY...
Uglier that it would have been had we just seen the problem and corrected it earlier.
But they shouldered the ugly task and suffered greatly.
And corrected the problem.
MILLIONS and MILLIONS DIED.

We've been riding in the Rickshaw they provided for years, enjoying relative peace, prosperity, and freedom.
We've all heard over and over the old saw, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it".
I think most everyone believes the saying to be true, but the lessons I glean from my historical studies may not be the same lessons you learn.
And there's the rub isn't it?


I'm scared to death of what I see on the news these days.
I'm even more scared by the feeling I'm surrounded by a bunch of Neville Chamberlains.
I hear drumbeats.
I see folks that bear a striking political resemblance to evil people our parents ignored.
As we now reduce the size of our military, I remember the U.S. in the 1930's and remember how our population and resources came alive after about 1940, at great cost, until we could fight without one hand behind our back.

I fear the Rickshaw ride may soon come to an end.
I fear the tools our enemies have at hand will make this conflagration worse than anything our parents could imagine.
I HOPE our citizens learn from history before it's too late.

God be with us.

05 February 2014

When Parents Die


I'm ready to pull my hair out.
It wasn't supposed to turn out like this. We planned. We solicited advice from "Experts"...
Set up the machinery so things would go smoothly.
Still... this is a fiasco.

When my Dad retired he cashed out his retirement funds, all in Company Stock, and scared Mother to death. Indianapolis Power and Light Co. had always been a solid investment. But new regulations were just over the horizon and things were changing dramatically at the company.
Dad had a funny feeling. My parents sold the stock and put the proceeds into a "Single Premium" life insurance policy. That decision turned out to be one of the best my Dad ever made...
Within two years the value of IPALCO (Ameren) stock dropped 90%.
In retirement Mom and Dad lived happily for nearly 30 years, able to travel and do most of what they wanted without being restricted by money.

Dad died in 2003. Within a year, Mom had a minor stroke that impacted her vision. No longer able to stay in the lakefront home she shared with Dad, we knew big changes were in store for her.


For three days my Sister and her clan worked frenetically to sort out the "stuff" Mom HAD to have, then organized and had a Yard Sale to dispose of the rest.
Working, I couldn't be there, and I was glad to have the excuse. But I wasn't spared the stress of this change...
We put the house up for sale thinking it would move quickly. Ha!
The bubble in real estate had burst. Folks looking at the house offered "Fire Sale" prices. One prospective buyer hired a house inspector to look the place over. His list of things that had to be repaired was disheartening. Sara Jean and I drove 10 hours round-trip several times over the next months to spend my time off work to paint, do carpentry, clean, and tinker to make the house sell-able.

"Luxurious Senior Living" read the sign...
Sis got Mom situated there and started a new chapter in Mom's life.

An empty house is a nuisance. Insurance companies don't want to insure them. I had a Dickens of a time finding a company that would cover it for catastrophes... for a shocking premium.
The house sat empty for the better part of a year before it sold.

But let's get back to the money...
When Dad died we took the advice of one of our "Experts" and hired an attorney to set up a "Living Trust" for Mom. We then took the proceeds from the life insurance policy Dad bought with his retirement funds and bought an annuity, naming Mom's Trust as the beneficiary. Of course, the Trust laid out instructions as to how Mom's estate was to be handled in case of death or incapacitation.
Smart. Simple. Painless. Right?

Mom died late in June of this year. I've been struggling with the annuity company since.
I'm about to pull out my hair.
It's almost as if they think the money is theirs, not ours. After much struggling, cajoling, and finally threatening to hire an attorney and sue for damages, they issued a check to the Trust last week.
Then I had a hassle just finding an institution that would take those funds so I could pay Mom's bills.

We're finally on our way. When the checks for the new account arrive I can finally pay Mom's final bills, a full eight months after her death. What remains will be divided up as per instructions laid out by the trust.
But I have to wait until the I.R.S. gives me a green light...
They have to have their pound of flesh before we can finalize Mom's wishes.

I have a suggestion for you all, dear readers:
Give ALL your stuff to your loved ones while you're alive.
Save those you love the chaos.


Die BROKE!

31 January 2014

The Pied Piper


They sure don't make 'em like that anymore.

And maybe that's a good thing. One of the luxuries we allow ourselves since we retired is movie-watching. Since we feel our country is a force for freedom, good, and the general betterment of all our neighbors, we like the old movies more than the new crap being put out by Hollywood socialists these days. Before we'll go plunk down the better part of a Twenty dollar bill at the theater, we'll make ABSOLUTELY certain it won't offend us. (We went to see "Lone Survivor" last week and, although we can't say we "enjoyed" the movie, we were glad we saw it and hope the movie's success will force movie-makers to make more that portray our true heroes as heroes.)


But since we've vowed not to line the pockets of those trying to destroy our country and our way of life, we're boycotting certain movies we'd otherwise like to see; "Captain Phillips" with Bozama-supporting Tom Hanks being first to come to mind.
So instead of watching new films, we generally find ourselves plunked in front of the little box, lap covered with a bowl of popcorn, watching many old GREATS on TCM. I first look to see how many "stars" the movie has, meaning how good critics thought it was-
Four stars indicates a "must see". One star means you might consider scrubbing the grout in the kitchen floor while the movie drones in the background.
Anything over 2-1/2 stars is further investigated by checking on who is in the movie. Names like Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, Frederick March, Joan Crawford...
They get bookmarked for recording. There are now 24 of those on our DVR and the hard drive is now so full, the machine sometimes notifies us we don't have enough space to record another.
Bummer.

Since you've seen the photo of Bogie above, I suspect you're ahead of me here...
Portraying the military as heroes, and showing God-fearing people as normal isn't the only thing that has dramatically changed in movies today.
Virtually ALL of the male leads in these classic movies is a smoker.
Some of them, like Paul Henreid in "Now Voyager"  romantically offer a nicotine delivery device to their co-star.

My Father died of lung cancer at age 81. He smoked for almost 70 years, with me nagging him to quit for about fifty of those. Truly an addict, he continued smoking even after his diagnosis... even while he was carrying a portable O2 device on his hip. At his death I was simultaneously crushed at losing him, and furious with him for denying his family the years he might have lived had he quit.
But every time I see Paul, or Humphrey, or Robert Mitchum light one up, I can see my Dad and others of his generation watching them on the big screen, thinking "how cool is that?", and "the gals will think I'm cool if I can just be like Bogie".
It's no wonder so many of those stars, and our parents, died of tobacco-related diseases.

And this brings me to the indirect point I want to make-
Movies influence thought AND behavior.
The CRAP being put out by Hollywood has the same power on us today as those old movies did on our parents and grands. Much of the reason this incompetent (and, in my opinion ineligible) man was elected was because the populace was spoon-fed the propaganda that our country was evil and needed changing, on the big AND small screen.
And remember this...
Every time you go to a movie starring Tom Hanks, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, or their ilk, you are reinforcing that propaganda machine.

Don't do it.
Vote with your feet, AND your $$$$$$$ ! 


14 January 2014

Evolution and Technology


That's a likeness of the first real motorcycle I owned- a 1963 Harley-Davidson Sprint "H", made for H-D by the by the "Aermacchi" company in Italy.
At 250cc's it was Harley's attempt to compete with Honda in the small-bike market. I owned the bike a little over two years, putting 9,000 miles on it in that time. You'll hear many of my fellow bikers bemoaning the fact they didn't keep their first motorcycle. Not me.
Oh, the bike was fun to ride and reasonably dependable. And at the time I bought the Sprint the technology it used was about equal to most Hondas it was trying to compete with.
I still think about this little bike and smile, realizing how far technology has advanced in 50 years.
It had one cylinder, and vibrated so badly the license plate cracked and fell off.
It leaked just a little oil somewhere on the left side of the engine, insuring my left boot and pantleg would never rust away.
It had a manual fuel shutoff valve beneath the gas tank. If you failed to remember to turn it to "off" when you got off the bike, you were likely to find that fuel had syphoned down into that horizontal cylinder. If that happened, when you flipped that kickstart lever down to try to fire the bike up, your efforts would be futile... the cylinder would seemingly be seized, because liquids are NOT compressible. The only way to start the bike would be to remove the spark plug, kick the engine through a couple times, then replace the plug to start the bike. If the bike had been sitting overnight with fuel in the cylinder it also required an oil change, because fuel would have seeped past the piston rings into the crankcase, diluting the oil. (As a 16 yr. old kid, I found myself in this position more than once.)
Most bikes today come with "on demand" fuel valves... they only provide fuel to the engine when the engine is running. No more fear of "hydraulic lock".

To start the bike you inserted a big, metal and plastic key into the top of the headlight. Turning it one click to the left would turn the headlight on.
If you lost the key, a 3-penny nail would suffice in place of the key, but turning the headlight on would be problematic. (I think many old BMW motorcycles used this same system.)
Bike keys today are like cars... individually purposed for individual bikes. Turn the key on, and the headlight comes on automatically.

The old Sprint had drum brakes front and rear. Most bikes today come with a disc brake on the front. Many have a disc, (maybe two) on the front, and one on the rear, (as does "Pizza Bike", my Moto Guzzi).

Electronics have revolutionized motoring, both in cars AND motorcycles.
Like automobiles, many bikes today come with traction control and anti-lock braking systems.
Ignition systems are also electronic.... no more points and condenser.

Those 250cc's would propel that bike to 80 mph... plenty fast enough to safely run with traffic on major roads. But the Hondas it was to hopefully compete with would run off and leave it breathing hard. (I once was embarrassed/outrun by a beautiful little two-cylinder Honda 160.)
Many 250's today will tap 100 mph. Some will actually exceed it.

As my first step into motorcycling after I'd been riding the wheels off motor scooters for a while, the Sprint served its purpose.
But I sure am glad technology has taken much of the irritation out of motoring in general.

24 December 2013

Christmas In Phoenix

An old friend wrote about the blog, "You haven't written lately".
She stays updated on my life reading the blog, but doesn't provide me the same convenience, via blog OR Facebook.
So...  I take her comment while biting my tongue.

But her point is well-taken-
I wrote and told her much of the pressure to rant is now vented via Facebook. There's no denying that outlet tempers my urges to come here and express my thoughts.
But, although I cannot put a finger on it, there's more to it than that.
Is it because I feel "the inevitable" will now happen in spite of all my warnings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Fraser_Tytler
Tytler was right, (if indeed the quote is his).
And we are THERE.

But it's Christmas Eve.
We're in Phoenix, and good things are happening all around us.
Our son is healthy. We are healthy.
We look at the world around us and realize we are blessed in ways for which we cannot possibly thank our maker enough.

So I'll not trouble you with a rant today.
Today I just wish for you these things:
A roof overhead.
Warmth.
More than enough food to eat, shared in the closeness of those you love.

There certainly ARE indications good things are beginning to happen around us...
Because God IS in control!


Merry Christmas everyone.

29 November 2013

Pet Friendly!

When you think/thought of retiring, is/was TRAVEL big on your "Bucket List"?
It was on ours. We had visions of taking off at a moment's notice to attend some festival, celebrating the return of Starlings to Ft. Campbell, KY, for instance. (That's an inside joke right there, doncha know!)


So here we are-
Healthy enough.
Prosperous enough.
And we have more than enough machines... both two wheeled, and four.

But there's a small "fly in the ointment"...
We have this furry, black, 12-pound daughter. Part of the reason we drove straight-thru from Destin to Phoenix early this month was because we didn't want to deal with the worry of leaving Lucy in her bed in the truck while we slept in a warm, comfortable motel bed.
(Get caught sneaking her into many motels and it can get VERY expen$ive in a hurry.)
So we drove 1700+ miles, 25 hours, stopping only to eat, "rest", and refuel, so that Lucy wouldn't be forced to sleep in the cold truck.


While in Arizona, friend Max opened my eyes...
All ya gotta do is type "Pet friendly motels" into a search engine and worries about animal abuse disappear!
Most "Drury" and "La Quinta" Inns are pet friendly... at NO extra cost.
We stayed at a Ramada Inn in El Paso with Lucy sharing the Queen-size bed with us for just an additional ten dollar charge, thanks to a simple internet search.

We still have to make arrangements for her if we, as we dreamed, want to take advantage of cheap deals on "last minute" cruises, or if we want to go on a long flight.
But we now have a weight lifted off our shoulders when we're "trucking" across the U.S. with a bike in the bed of the Cummins-powered Ram.

And that's worth more than you might think to us.
Thanks Max.



25 November 2013

Destin-Gilbert-El Paso-Terrell-Home

Well, it's been an eventful few weeks.
When we departed Destin at 0900 Friday morning I figured we'd drive about halfway, then stop and spend the night. With another twelve hours or so of driving, that would have put us arriving at my son's house late Saturday night. We'd have had enough time for hugs and a little chit-chat before heading for bed.
My wife is normally a reluctant traveler, so I figured that was the way things would unfold.

We had Cary's Yamaha 650 VStar in the bed of the Ram truck. Cleaned and polished for delivery, I was pleased to depart with clear skies and a good forecast across our entire route. We crossed the Florida-Alabama State line with no traffic delays, dived beneath the bay at Mobile, then drove into Louisiana, my first time in that State since I drove from Mineral Wells, TX to Savannah, Ga. to start my next leg of ARMY flight school in 1968.

I was amazed, crossing the 18.2 mile long bridge at the Atchafalaya basin.
I was somewhat dismayed, seeing the "mile-marker 880" sign as the "Welcome to Texas" sign passed by.
EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTY MILES TO NEW MEXICO?
Yep. But the saving grace is that Texas roads are mostly good, with relatively light traffic, and some of the speed limit signs have the number "80" on them. (Even some of the desert two-lane roads have 75 mph speed limits!)

Sara Jean surprised me. As the sun receded below the horizon she asked, "If we drove straight through, what time would we arrive?"
"About Noon their time. How do you feel about that?"
"Let's do it."

I drove until midnight while she napped. When my eyes started feeling like they were filled with gravel, she took over while I slept and gave Lucy a lap to curl up on.
Like a real trooper, she drove until 0430, (through a few rain showers that ruined all my cleaning/polishing work) where, just West of El Paso, we stopped at an IHOP for breakfast. When we got back on the road the sun was just brightening the Eastern sky and "Carmen the Garmin" said we had another six hours of road to cover.

Las Cruces. Deming. Lordsburg. Willcox. Tucson. We clicked 'em off and arrived at our son's new home in Gilbert, AZ Saturday at 1230.
He was moved in, but not yet organized. We spent the next few days getting furniture in its proper place, boxes unloaded and out of the way, and window coverings changed/improved.
Many hands make light work... in short order the place looked wonderful.

Cary came Sunday afternoon to pick up his Yamaha.
He seemed pleased with it. I was pleased to see him ride off with a smile on his face. Three nice things happened with this bike...
In selling it, the previous owner got money she needed for medical testing. I got to ride it a few miles to learn its characteristics, (which are VERY nice for a 650cc machine), and Cary got a bike that turns heads and gets compliments from everyone who sees it.
Good deals all around.


I have a few friends in the Phoenix area. In addition to Cary, there's a female High School chum of mine who Winters in Mesa. Her hubby "Max" has a nice Harley dresser, and had agreed that it would be nice to ride when we came to Arizona. I called and we agreed to ride on Wednesday. When I got "Roswell" the Suzuki out of Big Bubba's garage I got a surprise... no rear brake pressure.
Now, the front brake on this sportbike is powerful enough to lift the rear wheel off the ground in a "stoppie", so I wasn't worried about stopping power. But I obviously didn't want to ride longer than it would take to fix the problem, so I called Max and he said he had the necessary tools to bleed the rear brake to see if that would fix the problem. I left Wednesday morning, stopped by "Autozone" to buy a can of DOT 3/4 brake fluid, and continued to Max and Kathy's place in the mountain foothills of Northeast Mesa.

In 30 minutes we had the brake problem resolved.
In 45 minutes we were on the road, heading uphill to Tortilla Flat, where, after 30 minutes or so of climbing and switchbacks, we stopped and had lunch. We then continued up the mountain until pavement changed to gravel, where we stopped to take a look around.
Breathtaking. (And cool enough to make me glad I was wearing my Belstaff jacket.)
We then rode back down the mountain, waved bye-bye to one another at Apache Junction, and went to our respective digs.

Cary had mentioned we could take a nice ride the following Saturday.
I asked Max if he'd like to come along and he answered affirmatively.
I was surprised when I arrived at the designated place/time Saturday morning to see those two standing with another biker. I introduced myself and met "Nick", and cast an eye upon his Honda "Fury"...
Well worn with battle scars, but still a nice machine.

A Harley, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Honda departed from "Whataburger" at about 10 A.M. headed for Wickenburg, Arizona. Arizona roads are mostly smooth and well cared for. Most of this leg was accomplished at 75 mph. We stopped in Wickenburg for a little breakfast, then bade Nick farewell. He returned to Phoenix as we remaining three departed to climb our way to Prescott.

There is simply no way to describe this ride.
There are places where you can look down the mountain and see where you've made three switchbacks in order to climb the side of the hill. Some turns cannot be negotiated at speeds higher than about 15 mph.
Breathtaking views? That description does it NO justice. You have to see it to believe it!

Prescott is a neat place... kinda tourist-y.
At one stop Cary told me, "We'll be turning right at the next block."
I nodded my head, then, distracted by auto and pedestrian traffic all around, promptly forgot his warning. At the next stop he turned right, as he had warned. I looked up just in time to realize I was gonna T-Bone him on his new-to-him Yamaha, grabbed a heaping handful of that powerful front brake, and at about 5 mph, crossed a painted white line. The ensuing front-wheel wipeout put bike and rider on the pavement instantly. My ankle was twisted beneath the bike. The pain was about as intense as any I have felt in my life.
I was embarrassed. (Damn Sportbike brakes!)
I jumped up, hobbled around, flipped the kickstand down, then hoisted the bike onto the stand.
Two or three folks then arrived asking, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Just embarrassed as heck" I lied. My ankle was killing me.
We rode a block or so to a bar, and stopped to take a breath and have a soda.
Walking was more painful than being on the bike.
Cary asked, "Do you want to go home from here or continue to 'Jerome'?"
Macho took over. I didn't come this far to wimp out. We finished our sodas and rode on.

I'm glad we did.
In spite of my pain, this ride was more extraordinary than the first leg.
I had never heard of Jerome, AZ, but I promise you this...
I WILL go back there!
Google it. (Arizona highway 89A.)

At the end of the day I had ridden 330 miles, about 1/3 of it with a nagging ankle.
When I got home I was fearful of removing my boot, afraid of how it would look.
It was SWOLLEN, but not black and blue.
Big Bubba wanted to take us to "Chipotle Grill". In agony with every step, I hobbled my way along and had a nice meal.
But my ankle woke me several times during the night, and was almost impossible to stand on the next morning. I had movement in every direction with it, so I'm assuming it's a severe strain, not broken.
(More than a week after the incident it is still swollen and sore, but improving by minor degrees every day.)


It was sunny and 70 degrees when we left Gilbert on Tuesday afternoon.
Six hours later in El Paso, when we stopped at a pet-friendly motel, it was 48 degrees.
It's easy to see why some folks LOVE to Winter in Phoenix.

The new-to-me Honda Valkyrie I bought was in Quitman, Texas.
We drove 9+ hours to Terrell, Texas and spent the night in a pet-friendly "La Quinta Inn", then arose to go get the big bike.
"Brad" was waiting on us. Interestingly, he too was selling his machine because he had medical problems to deal with.
His loss is our gain... the bike is BEAUTIFUL, and came with lots of extras:
Three helmets, (two of 'em wired with intercom hookups), owner's manual, service manual, bike cover, four quarts of oil and a filter for the next oil change.
Loading this HUGE machine with a bum ankle was a little scary, but we got-r-done.
Then it was back on the road for the leg home.

Just shy of the Arkansas line, the rain started.
And continued... for hours, until we got home.
Valkyrie got a "road bath".
Cleaning it will give me a good chance to look it over and get to know its nooks and crannies.

It was 17 degrees here the other night.
Our plan is to head to Destin in time to have T-Day dinner at the "Golden Corral" there.

It has been unseasonably cold there, so jackets may be in order.
But if I've got to be chilly, looking at the surf meet the beach will help to warm my insides.

07 November 2013

Destin To Phoenix

1756 Miles.
25 Hours.

Our son has bought a new home in Phoenix. Tomorrow we depart Destin to go help him get situated in his new digs. We'll be on I-10 for the better part of two days.
One of these days I'd love to make this drive, just for the "pleasure of the drive".
One of these days.