Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy In The Rain

Well, it wasn't raining when I left work, why would I think that it would before I got home? Oh yeah, it always rains in June here. Maybe Summer will officially begin on July 5th like it does every year.

I gotta say, there has always been something about getting caught in the rain that appeals to my twisted sense of what is fun. Riding home on Mule in a total downpour had me grinning like an idiot, and I was laughing as I sloshed my way into the shop to park the scoot. I have to ask myself, what makes my spirits rise on occasions like this, compared to a putt on a warm sunny day? Ahh, who cares, I'm happy and thats all that counts.

Here lately, I've been making a bold attempt at getting into better shape, so I've been running a few days each week, and riding my bicycle a couple of days as well. Now, having been a competitive bicyclist in days long ago, I decided to try another path other than the one before. This time around, my bicycle of choice is not a top-end Trek or Cannondale, it's a hundred dollar beach cruiser with a coaster brake. Yep, no gears to shift, no cables to adjust. Just climb on and go. I figure that simple is best, and you can't get a whole lot more simple that that.

My wife probably thought that I was nuts the other night when I went peeling down the road wearing my cargo shorts and a skull design tee-shirt, yelling "Wooo"! Not your typical Tour de France garb, but I did have my Bell bicycle helmet and gloves on.

So now my list of passions has grown. I ride my scooter to work and back each day, then either jog super slowly for a few miles, or pedal down the road looking like an aging grunger on a boardwalk classic. This is some healthy stuff friends, both for the body, and for the mind. If you get a chance to give it a try, do it. Who knows, you might even have a rainy day to play in, and you too might end up with the "idiots grin". It feels good.

Have fun,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Man, Standing In The Rain

Nope, no scooter in sight in this shot. Just my little man standing in the rain soaked grass just beyond the cluster of cabins that we called home over the weekend.
Sol Duc Hot Springs has been a Summer destination for our family since I was a wee lad, and now the tradition continues as we took our little family to visit for swimming, hiking and total relaxation. Although the lodging is a bit spendy compared to when I was a whipper-snapper, as is the cost of getting into the natural hot spring heated pools, the feel of the place is the same, and that is what brings me back. There is a price to be paid for what brings you happiness, and being at Sol Duc this weekend was worth every penny.
This post brings to mind something that Dave M. asked me about when we visited a while back. We talked about how most moto-bloggers stayed the course of only two wheeled related writings, and how I strayed into personal thoughts, work and family related points. I'll say it again, my thoughts that I post are where I am at the moment, and how my world turns today. The moto-blogging is why I'm here, and I really need to refocus and get back on track, so look forward to more "on-point" writing as the season rolls on. I have not slipped as a moto-commuter, and riding is still the "happy pill" that I need to take to balance out the stresses of a work day. It's just that sometimes one needs to pack up the whole family for an overnighter to relieve the stresses of a whole bunch of work days.
Have fun,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Time Machines

So I hear this really loud plane this morning, and look up to see a B-17 flying slowly above the tree tops heading for the local airport. The sight brought my usual "Huh"? reaction. This warbird, along with a B-24, and a B-25 are in town till Wednesday. I loaded up the family and went out today for a real nostalgia fix. There was a pretty good little crowd milling about, and I was surprised at how many folks were shelling out $425.00 to get rides. I came up short by about $413.00. Oh well, watching is still free.
A little update on the assumed treasure trove of old iron in Ken's shop. Not everything that had been there in the past was there when I popped in Saturday after work. But...there was still some cool stuff.
Ken walked into my work and told me that I needed to come by as soon as I got off. Since he was going to be leaving town right away, I didn't have time to grab my camera from home, much less have time to really look at everything in detail. What I did find was, a 1980 Vespa 200 PX as soon as I walked in the door. I wanted it NOW, and I wanted it BAD, but I was told that it was off limits. Now slumped over in disappointment, I looked at a BMW 60/ 6 in undressed condition. It had been set up for touring, but the tank was nowhere to be found. The license tabs were Dec. '87, so it's been down awhile. It was parked with a '40's vintage pick-up, and a mid '60's Pontiac. The only ride that was available for purchase was in another part of the shop.
Here is where we found the 1986 Honda Helix 250. The color is almost pearl white, and the overall condition is cherry. I didn't expect to see it, so I gave it a crooked look and asked how much?
Going back in time to the weeks leading up to the purchase of my Big Ruckus, I was bouncing back and forth between the Helix, and the BR. There have been times that I wished that I had gone with the Helix instead, but not lately. I wanted something "different". Now I'm faced with the prospect of buying one, and although it has my name on it, I didn't jump on it right away. I won't be seeing Ken again for a couple of weeks, so I have some time to ponder the deal.
I guess the BR and my old Vespa have finally grown on me enough to not let just any scooter share their space. Either that, or my old "grab and go" impulse for buying motorbikes has finally softened enough to let a little common sense in the door. Whatever the case, I have a decision to make, and I'll take my time to do it. For now, I think I might ride back out to the airport to watch the old Veterans take turns in the flying time machines.
Have fun,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sitting Down With Dave M.

Boy, did I ever get a big helping of "It's a small world" when I visited with Dave M. and his wife Marcel a few days back. Dave brings us scooter bums, news, music and scooter related information on his podcast found at and as a follower of this online resource I suggest that you pay a visit today. TODAY!

A number of months ago I received an email at work from this "Dave" character who was putting a podcast together, and he recognized the name of my business while visiting my blog site. No way did I ever think that I would be interviewed months later by this gent from Richmond Virginia. But I did in fact get to sit down with Dave, and our conversation can be found on episode 15 which appeared this morning. Access the podcast by simply clicking the "Pickle Player" icon, and enjoy. I was given the opportunity to share my beginnings in blogging, and also to tip my hat to a few of the fellows that inspired me. I know that I left out some folks that are important to me, but I wanted to acknowledge the three dudes that welcomed me aboard when I began.

The "small world" part comes from the fact that we have close ties to a lot of the same people. My wife even worked for Dave's Mom! My half crazy father-in-law was a childhood friend, and I am good friends with his cousins. I even shopped and hung around at his uncle's motorcycle shop. We touched on quite a few more in-common points that made me feel right at home in his company.

It is amazing to me how our scooter community can be stretched so far across our great country, and I end up making new friends in Dave and Marcel from Virginia. Wow... all because I took up the invitation to create a blog site of my own.

If you have some spare time, have a listen. Let me know what you think. Let Dave know too!

Have fun,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Waitin' On Ken To Call

I got a phone call the other night that has had me on pins and needles since I hung up the phone. My Dad wanted me to know that a family friend was finally ready to sell off his fathers motorcycle collection, and I was getting first choice on whatever I wanted.

Ken has been a friend of the family since I was a little boy. As a close friend of my Dad's, Ken would spend hours in the family garage working on old cars, and hopping up his '68 El Camino with my Pop's help. Ken would become an engineer later on in life and work as an independant contractor for Chrysler, Boeing, the State of Washington DOT and the University of Washington to name a few of the outfits that he was a "trouble shooter" for. I just know him as a really cool guy that I looked up to as a kid. I also remember his Dad.

When I was a pump jockey at a Chevron station, Ken's Pop would ride by now and then on any number of "old" motorbikes and bicycles. Only living just over a block from the station, Mr. "Z" would stop in every once in a while for gas and chat a bit. I always thought it was cool that he rode old iron, and was bummed to hear of his passing many years ago. I wondered what became of his collection.

Fast-forward to now, with Ken coming home to Port Angeles to work on his Dad's old place more frequently from his home in the Seattle area, the offer has been made to one of my younger brothers to rent the old place, and handle the upkeep. The determination was also made that it is finally time to clean out the old shop, and the motorbikes will have to go. Thankfully, I've shown interest in "looking" at the bikes, and Ken realizing that I am the "real deal", he is willing to let me in to look with intent to purchase.

My memory can't come up with a clear picture of what I saw back in the late '70's and early '80's, but I remember that there was variety in the bikes that Mr. "Z" rode. I was told recently that there "are some scooters, and a bunch of other bikes in there". This might be one of those "barn find" gold mines that I often read about. Whatever the outcome, next time Ken rolls into town, I'm supposed to meet him at the old place and "we can have a look around'.

I don't want to seem too excited, so I stopped jumping up and down clapping long enough to write this post. But doggone it, I am excited. The end of the rainbow is on 6th Street, and the Pot 'o Gold is right inside the old shed. I'm just waiting for the next call.

Have fun,

Saturday, June 02, 2007

My Scooter's View

After posting my most recent entry, Irondad commented about the direction that my faithful steed was parked. Any rider worth his salt should know better than to park "nose-in". My insensitivity was robbing my scooters need to look out into the world to see what he was missing during these non-riding hours of my working day. The above photo is the view from my parking space, and what a wonderful view it is.

I hope to think that I am not the only person in our company that spends a moment each day taking in the Olympic Mountains from our storefront windows. I can't think of a better setting to work in.

Today was day two of our grand opening celebration, and it was a true carnival of activity. Aside from the crush of customers coming in to take advantage of the sales event, we had a car show both days, featuring stock vintage restoration's, hot rod's, and a full row of Mustang's, and '55, '56 and '57 Chevy's. And I never really had a chance to get up close to any of them. I was in the mosh pit behind the counter smilin' and selling like a mad man. We also had all of our major vendors displaying their products in the front lot in perfect sunny conditions. At last count, 2500 hamburgers were served at the free barbecue, and probably even more hot dogs. Pepsi was on hand to keep the soft drinks flowing, and prizes were handed out every hour.

What had me pleased, was all of the scooters finding our little parking area. There were makes and models that I have never seen up close before. And the Harley's...geez, when you have a parking lot full of hot rod's and a barbecue pit, you will attract the big bike crowd like bums to a baloney sandwich.

But it's finally over. We moved in, got settled, and had a huge party. Now we can get back to work, and maybe find a comfortable pace and get away from the hectic hustle that has been the past three weeks. Tomorrow I'm on tap to pull one more day of overtime, and as I back my scooter into his spot, I'll stop to look at our view, then I'll get back to work.

Have fun,

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