23 December 2012

Video Killed The Radio Star

The election took the wind outta my sails. 
Up until the results were compiled, I still had hope that my fears were just that... 
Unnecessary worrying on my part. 
But it is now obvious to anyone watching that the country truly has been "fundamentally transformed"... 
There is a very large contingent of our brethren who think "sticking it to the man" is exactly what is needed to level the playing field and make our country a better place, conveniently ignoring the BILLIONS of dollars this administration has funneled to "the man"...
Failed and failing business like Solyndra and General Motors. 

We're in huge trouble. 

It takes time to blog. It also takes a little thought to do it and not make a fool of myself. 
The time, inclination, and inspiration all have to meet at the same place for it to happen. On the other hand, you can throw a quick comment or rant up on your Facebook page in seconds. If you decide it was the wrong thing to do, you can delete the comment in an instant.
Two or three people who stop by here and comment are also FB friends. They also seem to have blogging doldrums, for whatever reason. I haven't discussed the phenomenon with them... 

It'll be interesting to see if they agree or disagree with my thoughts. 

No one seems to care. 
Our country's finances are a mess. 
The rule of law and our Constitution no longer matter. 
The Senate is supposed to pass an annual budget and hasn't done it since Bozo took office. 
We're supplying weapons to our enemies, local, and far away. 
The whole world seems to be going berzerko. 
But no one cares. 
 We're in "Don't let a good crisis go to waste" mode. We certainly don't want to let a crisis get by without doing SOMETHING to make us feel good... 
Decisions made while we're in a highly emotional state are always the best, well-thought out decisions aren't they? And we've certainly had more than our fair share of emotional, chaotic crises lately. 
But I've been shouting from the rooftops at Facebook, trying to get someone into a discussion that would convince me I'm way out in left field, thinking as I do. 
And no one, (except many that also comment here and are an echo chamber) will respond. 
No one cares. 

One of my last FB comments followed the old "All that is necessary for evil to succeed..." quote. 
Few responded. NO ONE argued the point. It's my impression that LOTS of folks feel they are helpless to make changes in the chaos happening around them, even though many don't like what they see. 

So they do nothing. 
And EVIL will succeed.

So start getting ready for it.

And for FB "friends" that keep bugging me...
I have NO INTEREST in playing "Bubble Safari", "Mafia Wars", "Farmville", or "Zynga Bingo".
I'm now spending more time trying to come up with worthwhile blogs.

12 December 2012

On Two Wheels, Part 5+

It would be nearly impossible now...
If you wanted the "fastest" motorcycle made, you'd be buying a different bike every few months.
But for a few years, when I first got home from Viet Nam, that was my goal. In 1970, that meant buying a Kawasaki triple.
There really wasn't anything faster than those two-stroke Kaws for several years. They were noisy, smoky, inefficient, and evil handling when you tried to persuade them to do anything but go straight.
But they were WICKED fast, and I loved the "light switch" way in which the engines produced power...
Twist the throttle and that Kawasaki would accelerate, sorta, until you got to 4,000 RPM.
Then ZOWIE...
At 4K the engine would shriek and all the horsepower it could produce would be transmitted to the rear wheel, causing the front tire to try to reach for the sun.
I loved mine. I now wish I had kept it, 'cause like everything else from "back in the day", decent versions of those bikes are now selling for ten times what they brought when new.

But I didn't keep it.
And the reason I didn't keep it is shown here:

That's a Yamaha "XS1100SF".
And reviews said it was faster than my Kaw.
It also had some things I had come to realize would improve my life on two wheels:
Two disc brakes up front. A disc brake at the rear wheel. Alloy wheels (so I wouldn't have to continually polish individual spokes.)
And it was shaft driven... no chain.
If you don't remember why "no chain" is important on a bike you intend to use to cover MANY miles with, you need to refresh your memory here.

The switch from the 750 Kaw to the big Yamaha was a learning experience.
The 1100 WAS fast.
But it was also quiet. It didn't smoke like a mosquito sprayer. The engine produced usable power at almost any RPM, so I didn't constantly have to downshift to pass. It didn't vibrate.
I bought a "Windjammer" full-fairing and a backrest/luggage rack for it, and proceeded to ride the thing 19,000 miles in three years.

But I missed the quirkiness of the two-stroke.
For years I had heard others sing the praises of the little Yamaha RD350/400.
Reviews said they had many of the characteristics I loved in my Kawasakis, but also handled well in the twisties.
So I added another bike to my stable. It looked like this:

And I was disappointed in it. Yeah, it handled well.
But it didn't have the characteristics I loved about the "evil" Kawasakis.
I lent it to a buddy, who promptly seized the engine.
He then started to do the right thing and dismantled the engine, but then moved away and left me with a "basket case".
Some friend, huh?
I gave the pile of parts to another friend.

Sometime around 1984 Spring came, and I had no desire to ride.
That was weird because up to that time, every year the temperature would rise above 40 degrees, I'd bundle up and get on two wheels (and be miserable due to lack of proper cold-weather gear).
I sold the 1100.
And went without a motorcycle for over twenty years.
And then, for some reason, Spring came and I wanted to ride.
Bikes today are faster. Actually, "faster" doesn't begin to describe the power of today's motorcycles...
They truly are "stupid fast".
And I have no desire to scare myself anymore.
I want to be comfortable. I want to get great fuel mileage. I want my wife to ride along and enjoy the experience as much as I do.
So that brings us to why I've bought six very different motorcycles in three years.
More on all this later.

07 December 2012

We Didn't/Don't See Eye-To-Eye.

Dads see things through older eyes and through the lens of experience.
Sons MAY know things have changed, and need to help Dads to understand.
Some can do it... some can't.
I'm glad my Dad knew how much I loved and respected him BEFORE he died.
I hope my (already good) relationship with my son gets better and better through the years.

How's your relationship with Dad?
If it ain't good, FIX IT.

04 December 2012

Where Do We Find Such Men?

When this song first hit the airwaves I was in flight school and thought "Well, that's kinda schlocky."

Listen to the words.
Attitude adjustment time...
Ask me how I feel now.

01 December 2012

"It's Shaping Up Like Treason..."

I heard the man on the radio, said, "My son is gone and what's to show?"
Defending who knows what for who knows why.
Half a world away they watched for real, they saw the soul of a Navy Seal
"Who gave the order to let my son die?"
Evil men telling evil lies Just to win a vote you let them die
While that drone would only hover.
Finger pointing. They're on the run. Investigations have all begun.
How much more will they uncover?
I'm goin' High on a mountaintop. That's the only place where I can stop this crying
Goin' High on a mountaintop. Closer to God and farther from this lying.
You know it stands to reason, and it's shaping up like treason, this we know.

He didn't even have to venture in, but when his brothers, they all needed him, He was on the spot...
Not flying to Vegas.
Real leaders lead when they are called, Never thinking that they'll drop the ball
But drop to their knees for Him who has made us
9-11, baby, you should have known Al Qaeda coming and they're all alone
Where is the outrage for THIS story?
Laser target, in his sight 60 to one, yea the odds looked right.
You'll never understand their glory
We're goin' HOAM. That's the only place I can go to stop this hurting.
HOAM Justice will come one day, I know for certain.
I know I cannot runaway, but give us just a single day.
These heroes live forever but a coward dies a thousand times.
Yeah you know it stands to reason but it's shaping up like treason, this I know.

Half a world away they watched for real, they saw the soul of a Navy Seal
"Who gave the order to let his son die?"