Same Billy, Different Message
I'll try to catch up here a little bit. The biggest reason for stepping away from blogging for awhile was that I really started to dislike how connected I was becoming to "the computer." My work requires me to use one all day. My little family is connected to their games and such, and I began to feel that something was out of sorts in that too much of what we think or do revolves around our need to sit in front of a screen to be connected to whatever keeps us going. I wanted to get back to some sort of basics that include imagination and creativity. It was becoming too much. In short, I wanted to distance myself from computer use. I guess I achieved my goal.
Okay, so in that time, I dug into myself a bit and found that what was missing was a commitment to my spiritual health. I've spent a great deal of time working to improve myself, but I had no solid relationship with God. I established a friendship with a biker preacher, and a fire was lit under me to pick up my Bible and read it. I also found fellowship in a co-worker named Jim that has become a real friendship. These guys opened my eyes and have encouraged my growth, and I have found Christ as my savior, and my intention is to follow his path. I want to share the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ in a biker ministy. Pretty lofty goal huh? I know...that's why I'm gonna do it.
So, what else is up? Oh yeah, I got full upper dentures! I guess my beak wasn't intended to keep all of the chicklets, so my dentist and I decided to pluck them out. Ya see, no matter what the dentist did, my teeth rebelled by breaking. They just liked to chip and break. I'll tell you what...having no more pain is worth the price of all the work involved in getting fake chompers. I was one cool daddy when I went in, and they didn't have to put me under. I rode it out, then drove home on my own. All of the uppers pulled, plus one bottom tooth in one hour flat. The gal at the desk told me a few days later that my "remarkable" recovery was due to my positive attitude. It was a cool experience.
Now, in the motorbike world...I have another project in the works. As you recall, I am a bonified scooter nutjob. I was all into the "Mods and Rockers" history, but coming from a bikers background, I couldn't just switch sides and live on the Mod's side of the fence. No, no friend, I am a Rocker for real, so I went out and bought a bike that I could convert into a cafe' styled peg scraper so I could play both sides. One day I can wear the fishtail parka and slacks, the next day I'll wear my leather jacket and cuffed Levi's. I have the cake, and I'll eat it too!
What I found was a 1973 Honda 500 four. You remember those things? I realize that it isn't a Triumph or a BSA, but for the style of bike, and the price I paid, it'll do quite nicely. The first thing that I had to do, was to strip her down. My true friend Oilcan Kurt has dropped in now and then to lend a hand on the makeover, and what started out as a touring bike setup with a sweet Vetter Windjammer fairing and scroll-work sissy bar, now has an almost stock set-up. She's naked.
Not being an upholsterer didn't stop me from hacking the seat foam down to about an inch in the riders part of the seat, leaving the pillion stock. I stretched the fabric down super tight, and re-clipped it back in place. I also hooked up a rear shock lowering kit, dropping the rear end down about two inches. I then scored an ol' school replacement headlight bucket with internals to take the place of the plastic can that hid behind the fairing. A little wiring work will need to be done, but that ain't no thing. I also got some drop bars on the cheap, so I'll be throwing the stock handle bars in the scrap heap soon. (I hate em) I never will figure out why Honda routed the wires through the bars back then, cuz it's a pain now to dink with them.
Some of these plans will have to wait for a few days though. We still have some snow/slush piled up everywhere, and my shop tends to be only one degree warmer than outside, and I've found it uninspiring to hang out for too long out there. Hopefully the weather will warm up for awhile so I can ride. And yeah, I've still got my collection of scooters to buzz around on. My only hassle is the 1 1/2" thick ice that runs the length of my block that stops me from joyriding or commuting. Our little part of the country has had a real taste of Winter this year, and although I enjoy the beauty and the fact that we had a white Christmas, I have had no saddle time to speak of.
All in all, I want to say that I missed being in touch with the friends that I have here, but I didn't miss the feeling that the computer was a big part of my life. It's all about finding a balance, and I think that I have found it. It's in knowing that everything has a place and time, and in having one's priorities straight. I am who I am because of God, and for having accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. I feel redirected, and reconnected in a different way now, and that will make doing things like riding and posting here a pleasure. It has made a difference in my life.
I have found that some folks shy away from a change like this, but in reality people...it's just the same old me. I just don't do some of the things that I used to, or say things the way that I might have. I wear a cross on my cut now, and a patch on the back that says, "These are my church clothes." Once a biker, always a biker. I just have a different message now.