Monday, October 30, 2006

Christmas Trees and The Great Pumpkin

The temps have finally dipped under freezing in my neck of the woods, so I added a polar fleece under jacket and balaclava to my outfit. I've been wearing a 3/4 shell helmet with a shield lately, and want to see how long I last before I have to put on the full-face. Just another test of wills. At least with the shield, I'm not having fogging issues yet. Just nose running issues.

So, back to the title of this post. I passed by a jewelry shop Saturday evening and did a triple double take when I saw that their showroom window was completely decked out in full Christmas decor. Tree, lights, fake snow, the whole holiday she-bang. I hadn't even carved jack-o-lantern's with my boys yet. I don't, and won't get it. When I was a kid, there seemed to be a kind of separation in time between the "big three". Everything seemed to be about costumes and trick or treating, then you hung out for a month, watched the Macy's Parade and had turkey day with family, then ramped up for Christmas and all of the magic that the season brings. It was wonderful. Now we overlap by two months. It sucks, I say! Man, I've still got summer seasonal items including tiki torch oil for sale on our clearance shelves. I'm not ready. I'm old fashioned. But at least being the way I am, I hope to teach my kids a little bit about the simpler pleasures of how we approached the holidays when I was their age.

I hope my kids also remember how their old man would pull his scooter out of the shop in the cold morning darkness and putt off to work no matter what the weather. It probably doesn't click right now with them, but, somewhere down the road in time, maybe they will think it was cool. Or maybe their dad was a freak. Who knows? For now, I get a big kick out of how my little baby girl lights up when she sees Daddy in full riding gear and comes to give me a hug when I leave for work. There isn't a better way for me to start my day than that.

Anyway, the pumpkins are carved, the costumes are ready and we'll be out prowling the neighborhood tomorrow night. But I won't be passing by the jewelry shop in the foreseeable future. I'm not ready.

Have fun,

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Getting My Feet Wet

It wasn't that long before I bought my first scooter that I was riding a chopped Harley Davidson Sportster with 18" ape hangers and too-loud pipes. I wore a club patch, and lived the lifestyle. But there is something about being a husband and a father and being an owner of a company with a management position that wouldn't mesh with the scooter tramp lifestyle. So I hung it up, and became a scooter commuter instead.

My wife Dena supports me in my hairbrained life adventures, and I think that when I turned the corner toward the scooter world, she breathed a sigh of relief. She started it all. She's the one who found the 1966 Vespa GT125, which in turn got me thinking and researching the scooter world. Now I own 4 scooters. My main ride being my '06 Honda Big Ruckus.

The Big Ruckus is a 250cc scoot without all the Tupperware plastic. Open tube frame with a flip-up pillion that makes for a nice back rest. It'll do 75 plus mph, and still get around 67 miles per gallon. At least thats what I average in local commuting. I average under 20 bucks a month for fuel, and I'm diggin that, since my sled is an '86 GMC Suburban. The word now is that the Big Ruckus will not be offered in the U.S. in '07. I've either got a dinosaur or a collectors

I outfitted the Ruckus with a Memphis Shades windscreen that I bought used from my pal Monte at his motorcycle shop, and my wife put a Kuryakyn tour pack on the rear "cargo deck" to give me the ability to haul all my junk without having to run a spider web of bungees. Without a plastic body like the Reflex or the Helix, my mule doesn't come with a trunk. Just a cargo deck to utilize however you wish. So I'm set, hot to trot and good to go. And I have.

I bought my BR in early June, and have ridden to work every day since. Granted, we had the nicest Summer and early Autumn that I can remember, but I've found myself in good old Washington rain here lately. But overall I dig the Ruckus the most! I grin like an idiot sometimes, just because I'm riding. I never did that back in my club days. That idiot grin would have probably changed my dental plan. But this is a totally different world. And I like it. By far my scoot is the most comfortable ride that I've ever owned. And boasting aside, I've owned over thirty motorbikes including three HD's.

But all that hoo-rah for another day. For now, I'm jumping into the blog posting world with both feet. I've been encouraged by the Rush Hour Rambler and my wife to begin my own blog, and Little Billy's Scooter Tales is it. This is all new to me, so you veterans can sit back and check out my chicken poop mistakes as I make them, and hopefully laugh at some of the views of life that I'll share. All the while tooling along my little commute in wet and wild Washington State.
Have fun,

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