Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Here we are at years end. Tomorrow is a day of new beginnings, and folks everywhere will be making their resolutions of change. Not me though. The only resolution that I have, is to continue to be who I am, and try to continue to make the most out of every day I get to play on this spinning rock.
Rather than attempt to relive this year in recap as is the common theme at years end, I thought that I would open the window to my world a little, and share a few tidbits about myself instead.
So with that in mind, I'll explain the picture at the top of the post. Most folks outside of my small circle don't realize that I am a cartoonist. I've been drawing all of my life, and I even make small bits of money with my talents on occasion. The "Geezer" drawing above is something that I did at the kitchen table on a piece of copy paper that my kids had been scribbling on. Nothing fancy, just doodling. It is something that I would normally discard as a non-finished piece, but I thought that I would post it here as a tip of the hat to my fellow Geezer MotoScooter Club cronies.
Mod Kevin and JayBee are certainly worthy of the "hat-tip" after their great adventure in going to Portland to bring home Kevin's beautiful '66 Lambretta. I won't even try to tell their story. Mod Kevin will lay it out in detail over at his blog site. (My Scooter is my Conscience, found on my blogroll) I will say thanks to these guys for stopping by to show it to me last night in the cold dark of night. Nothing like three parka wrapped boys on the street giggling like little girls. It was awesome!
Another point about me that few in blogland realize, is that I am "Billy Corvette," of Billy Corvette and the Smashers. Still able to call ourselves a rock and roll band after 27 years is a great feat. Even though we play on a once yearly basis these days, we were a smokin' unit in the mid-80's and early 90's. We were a local band playing in the Seattle music "scene," and had a large fanbase in the Pacific Northwest. Then the age of responsibility fell upon us, and steady jobs, marriage and children became our lives. But I still get a chance to dust off my chops now and then when I get called on stage by someone who remembers "Billy Corvette."
Drawing, music and motorbikes are always on my front burner. They are just a few of the components that make up who I am. I figured at some point, I would pass these along to folks that stop by here. Anyway...
If I were make any goals at all for '08, they would be to spend more time with my guitars, and to rack more miles on my scooters. I figure that if I call them "goals", I won't be disappointed like I would about a broken resolution. These are goals that I know I can, and will achieve.
In closing, I want to wish all of you cats out there the very best for the coming year, and may miles of road pass under your tires safely in 2008. "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World"
Have fun,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day Riding

Well, Christmas Day is almost over as I write this post. It seems to fly by so quickly any more. I consider myself quite blessed that I have little ones at home, in that I still get to view the Christmas holiday through the eyes of a child that still believes that Santa Claus is real.

After the last gift was opened, and the sea of ribbons and bows were cleared this morning, we made ready to go visit my wife's parents. It's a tradition to have Christmas breakfast at the in-laws, and the brood was primed to see Grandma and Papa. Either that, or they were ready to go look under Grandmas tree. One way or the other, wherever we were going, I was going to go on my scooter.

Since my wife had the camera ready to cover the days events, she was able to catch my arrival on the Big Ruckus. The weather was cold today, and even though we are getting rain now, when I made my rounds this morning, the roads were clear and dry. With no traffic, I had the streets all to myself.

After trading gifts, we enjoyed a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and all the goodies. I really wish that I would have thought to take a photo of the feast, but I was too caught up in jamming my mouth full of food to think of photo opportunities.

I never really spend too much time at these gatherings, and I probably come across as an "eat and run" type of dude, but that's the way I've always been when it comes to gatherings of any kind. I usually make my intent to leave known, then I'm gone. Kind of a Lone Ranger exit, minus leaving a silver bullet. I had some riding to do.

My parents house was my next stop, and since one of my kids was still fighting a crud, I went alone this year. I didn't want to introduce any bug into my folk's house. No need for them to be sick. It's tough enough when you are older to deal with the daily aches and pains, getting sick just makes things tougher. So I rolled alone.

We had a real nice visit, and while I was there, I got caught up with almost everyone in my family. My sister was getting snow. One of my brothers was getting snow as well, and then a call from my aunt revealed that she too was having a white Christmas. Geez, what happened to my wish for snow? It was on my Santa's list. "Oh well, maybe next year" as I always say.

The weather swami is now predicting snow sometime this week. Maybe Thursday? We'll see I guess. I just hope that if we do get some snow, that it won't hamper Mod Kevin's trip to Portland to pick up his Lambretta. Geezer JayBee will be riding shotgun, and I wish them a safe trip.

Now it's time to switch my brain from holiday mode back to work mode. Back to the grind tomorrow.

Have fun,

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

My procrastination has caught up with me today, making everything so doggone rushed that I feel like I'll never get caught up. But then again, that has become my tradition.

I may not be a last minute shopper, but boy am I ever a last minute wrapper. And to make things worse, I wrap worse than a ten year old. Hell, I wrap worse than my neighbors cat!

Anyway, I thought that I would stop, cool out, and post a quick note to everyone in our nicely decorated moto-bloggers neighborhood to have a very Merry Christmas, and I hope that we all get a chance to get out and ride.

The forecast actually calls for a chance of snow tomorrow or maybe Wednesday, but I'll find a way to get out and play in it on one of my scooters. Riding on Christmas has become one of my traditions too.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Meet The Mod Blogger

I thought that I would take a moment to let you guys know that the infamous "Mod Kevin" that I have mentioned in recent posts has struck out on his own, and is now the proud owner of his own blogsite. You can find him on my blogroll at "My Scooter is my Conscience." I hope that you take a moment to swing by and have a look at the sweet photo posted on his first entry.

The photo above was taken back in late September on our first ride as the Geezers Scooter Club.

I have found a world of inspiration and information in my time as an avid blog writer, and hope that Kevin enjoys the same success that I have had. There are friendships to be made, and tales to share, and this is only the beginning.

Have fun,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"How Much Did You Pay For It?'

I really wish that I had a photo to share, but I don't yet, but I will tell you that JayBee finally has his 1980 Vespa P200e at home. Now the good part...

The P200e has just over 900 original miles on the odometer. The previous owner stands firm that these are true original miles. No hanky panky messing around here. But the sweet cherry on this icing is the price that it went for...Hold on to your shorts, fifteen hundred bucks!! Yep, only $1500.00.

It seems that the original $2800.00 that the dude was asking wasn't getting any bites, so he went down to around two grand, or best offer. JayBee's offer was the right price I guess, so the deal was done. It's in straight shape, good tires, it runs, and had a valid title. What more could a parka wearing, Piaggio loving scooter bum want?

So now the adventure begins. Cleaning comes first. JayBee and Mod Kevin stopped at work to show off the Vespa that was still tied into the back of Kevin's truck, and while there, JayBee scored some steel wool, and primer among other things to start the cleaning process. There is a bit of surface rust here and there that needs attention, but overall that part won't be too big of a deal. The dude had hit the scoot with a coat of beige paint, and I don't know if he was drunk or blind, but I scored his paint job as being in the "piss-poor" range. At least he didn't hit the seat. But it doesn't appear that he was covering up anything like Bondo, or scab welds. He's just not a good painter. But...I told JayBee that the color isn't that bad. If he cleans up the overspray, it will look pretty cool. He could even run some vinyl pinstriping or something to dress it up until he is ready to have it painted right. Just a suggestion.

The main thing is to get the old "Wasp" running soundly, and getting it on the road to actually enjoy riding it. The opportunity to own an old Vespa purchased in this neighborhood is pretty slim, and the score that JayBee made was great. As a friend and one that apprieciates old scooters, I can't wait to see my buddy tooling down the road on this great find. Now the next score to wait for will be Mod Kevin's Lambretta that will be picked up in Portland on December 30th. I'll share pictures of the new scoots in the club stable as soon as I get them.

Have fun,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Willy's White Wild Ride

So I hollered at my wife, "Hey, get a picture of me riding in the snow!" Then away I went on Ol' Blue, my sweet little Vespa, whipping and squirreling all over like I was speeding on warm grease. It was sweet!
You see, up till just recently, I was commited to keeping my Vespa in as pristine condition as possible. That is until Sunday before last, when I noticed a paint chip on the headset. Something had fallen off a shelf in the shop and made a direct hit, that in my mind, now made the old scooter a rider, and not just something to bring out on a sunny weekend day. In reality, I was glad that it happened. That chip was in my mind, the difference between a "show piece" and a scooter in really nice shape that you can ride all the time.
Really, what good does it do to have something this cool locked up only to be enjoyed every once in awhile? No good at all I say now. By gosh, I'm going to ride this doggone thing, and use it for what it was meant to be used for. From now on, it is going to be ridden and enjoyed...a lot.
This past Sunday rose cold and dark, and the fairly hot weather chick was calling for snow flurries. I went out the back door to get the newspaper, and on my way back in, I started to notice the first flakes. Swirling light wispy flakes turned into quarter sized flakes in no time, and started accumulating. Hot weather chick said that there would be nothing more than "maybe a half an inch," and "not much more than a ground cover." Well, my math had it at a total ground cover, and at least a good 2 inches. So what's a recovering stomach flu victim to do? Yep, go ride your scooter like a nut-job around in the snow.
I rode my old Chinese model 125 scooter last year, and even had my Big Ruckus out a number of times, but I really wanted to take Ol' Blue out and see how she handled. And like I said, it was squirreling all over the place trying to find the traction that just wasn't there. When in an upright position going straight, the ride was pretty good, but leaning into a corner, the backside wanted to kick out a bit. I just planted a foot and gave her the gas till we righted again. And we did it till my face was soaked, and my goggled eyeballs were too teary to continue.
All in all, I'm real happy that I finally got over my over-protective, "I don't want to get it dirty" feeling toward this scooter. Every time that I would want to break away from keeping it a "showpiece," I would end up tucking it way again, only to wait for the perfect weather opportunity to take the cover off and ride.
Well that day was Sunday, and in the cold, blowing snow, I found the "perfect weather opportunity" to take her out and ride, and I had an absolute ball.
Have fun,

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Should Have Gotten A Flu Shot

In my last post, I had told of my family being bitten hard by a flu bug, and my wife even spending time in the hospital. Well, in my mind I was above this crud, and I thought I was going to roll merrily along without being taken down. I was wrong. "Acute viral gastroenteritis with dehydration" is what the discharge instruction sheet from the ER at the hospital read. In other words, "stomach flu."

After playing the role of chief, cook and bottle washer for a solid week for my family, I was hit like a dumptruck load of rocks. I knew to keep hydrated, but once bitten, I couldn't seem to keep anything down. Whatever I took in, twice as much came out. I couldn't find a comfortable position to sit, stand or even lay down, and I knew that my mind was getting goofy when I couldn't figure out how to use the phone at one point. I just didn't know how rough it was going to get.

To cut to the point of my crash, I ended up on the bathroom floor in a variation of the fetal position, with my forehead on the linoleum in a small pool of sweat. I know that I must have been making some pitiful noises, because my wife came to my aid in a hurry. She had been gone to get number two son from school, and wasn't home when I started feeling some intense pain in my stomach. I guess that since the bathroom is the logical place to go when you're feeling crappy, that is where I ended up. I actually don't remember the whole line of events except that I was really wishing that she was home because the pain was getting past my "comfort zone." My wish came true, and she came home. God bless my little wife.

I remember thinking that I was sure sweating an awful lot all of a sudden, and wondered what the deal was with that. If my body was so tapped of fluids, why was I raining so hard on the floor? A persons body must keep fluids in reserve for such events.

In all, it was a strange experience to be a patient in the ER. You wait for awhile, get checked in, get placed in a room, get naked, get dressed in a gown, then wait again. After playing 200 questions, you get your vitals taken, then you wait some more. At least I was entertained by a "Code Three" call-out for a wild woman that went off her nut and was freaking out and screaming and fighting a few doors down. I'm sure this is what held up my doctor from coming in right away. But I was treated very well, and I appreciate the staffs care. After a bit of rehydration and a good talk with the doctor, I was given my walking papers almost 4 hours after being admitted. Still sick, but feeling relieved to be going home.

We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to pick up my prescription, and after getting home and taking it, I went to sleep right away and really only woke up in time to take it again 6 hours later. One good thing about this anti-barf medication, is that it knocks you right out. I sawed logs until my usual wake-up time of 5:00 a.m.

Today was spent just relaxing and trying to get my batteries back up. I was a little bummed to miss work since I had used up my personal leave time taking care of my family and there was no time left to cover today, but I wouldn't have been worth squat anyway, so I made peace with myself and settled in to lay around like an old dog all day. Now as I sit here feeling a whole bunch better, I'm glad I did. Besides, my wife would have probably put me back on the bathroom floor if I tried to go to work anyway. Once is enough for me!

Have fun,

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What A Weird Week

Do you remember in the movie "Groundhog Day," when Bill Murray's character barked, "I'm having the weirdest day?" Well, I kind of feel the same, in that I'm having the weirdest week.

My entire family came down with the stomach flu one after the other this week. I felt like frozen garbage for a day or so, but never launched groceries. I was the lucky one. I ended up sending my wife to the hospital Tuesday night when I found that after feeling better for a day, she got popped with another round that literally had her collapsed on the floor. Scary stuff when all three kids are fighting a bug at the same time, then little Momma hits the deck.

The good folks in the ER at the hospital were able to rehydrate her, and added some anti-nausea stuff to her drip to bring her around. She was running an impressive fever as well. It turns out that after her first bout of the crud, that she wasn't able to re-hydrate enough in time to stave off the second, more intense round. My in-laws took her and baby daughter back to their house to spend the night. I had our two boys at home with me, and they were down as well. The living room became our own little MASH unit where we all spent the night making quick trips to the bathroom. Ahhh...making memories.

I'm happy to say that we have everyone back on the mend now (knock wood), and I was able to take a few days off from work to play Nurse Daddy. And I've really enjoyed the challenge to be quite honest. I know that sounds strange, but there is satisfaction in helping everyone through a rough time.

Now, speaking of rough times...did you guys see the news about how freakin hard our region was slammed by the storm on Monday? The media likes to call it the "Pineapple Express." I think that this stupid term is a little frilly for a deadly weather event that had hurricane force winds, record rainfall, incredible flooding, and real people losing loved ones, and others losing all of their belongings. Cities were closed off from the world by the flooding and mud slides. Main power lines and huge trees blocked off all access as well. The National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters are still working around the clock rescuing folks, as well as other local and federal agencies. Our state is in a state of emergency, and we call it a "Pineapple Express." I hate that stupid term.

You see, when a storm system has its origins in the South Pacific or Asia, and runs South to North, (in this case it had a nice little hook that connected us with Hawaii), the weather folks pull out the "Pineapple Express" term, and say it as often as they can throughout their forecast. It's catchy and sounds neat. Why not call it "Winnie the Poohs Blustery Day?" If this was the Gulf of Mexico, it might have been catagorized, and called a hurricane. Ahh, what the heck, you know?

Anyway, with the weather being over-the-top, and my family being under the weather, I haven't had a chance to even think about scooters, or getting a chance to ride at all. I hope that JayBee is going to pounce on the '80 P200 soon. I'll talk to him today, and post an update as soon as I know something. If I get an opportunity today, I'll suit up and ride. Maybe It'll clear my head. Maybe I'll even go to the store and buy a pineapple and pay for it in the "express" lane!

Have fun,

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Snow Of The Season Adventures

The winter weather arrived today in a real hurry. An hour before, JayBee and I had been on this stretch going in the opposite direction in a cold rain. By the time we arrived back at his digs, the roads had become downright covered and slick. Now as I sit to type this post, the rain has returned making a slushy mess of all the local roads. By the way, the above photo is a stretch of four lane freeway that was narrowed down to one lane in each direction by the snowfall.

The word is, that the snow event is "punch" number one in a "1-2-3 punch" system of storms set to wreak havoc in the area through Monday night. The balance of today has heavy rains and strong winds forecasted. Tomorrow is supposed to offer up what they are calling the "Big Kahuna" storm with "potentially damaging winds, and river flooding rains." Sustained winds projected at 40+ mph, and gusts to 60+ are on the way from the south, so my best hopes are that the Olympic Mountains will buffer the winds, and hopefully spare us the brunt of this "punch." Hurricane force winds are forecasted on the Pacific coast, and I hope that they stay out there.

Anyway, the reason for the roadtrip this morning was that JayBee has a line on a 1980 Vespa P200 for sale from some cat in Sequim. We rolled down to have a look, and it looked to be in real straight shape. I even took it out for a short spin in the rain. After an impressive first kick start, we rolled it out of the covered parkway and tried to get it to go in a forward direction down the street. A little choking, and some time to let it warm up had me strapping on a helmet and plopping down on the drenched seat. I had to really twist hard to get the shifter into first, but was finally able to get her to roll. The gear selection process process took some effort due to some real tightness, but once I found 3rd gear, I was pretty much flying. After finally rolling back under the dude's covered driveway dripping wet, I found that JayBee had pretty much sewed up the deal with the guy. And for the price that they agreed on, my Geezer brother scored a very sweet deal.

Now, the trick will be to get the old beige beauty home. If this bleak forecast holds true, who knows what kind of adventure we will have just getting it back to JayBee's shop. Through rain, snow, flood or blow, it looks like my old pal the scooter bum is going to add another ride to his stable. Then the real adventure can begin!

Have fun,

Free Counter