Sunday, February 24, 2008

Welcome Geezer Kurt

Figured I'd run a quick post this evening just to feel like I'm up to speed. This weekend has flown by so fast. I spent half of today representing the company at the local "Home Show," and had a ball doing it. I've been an exhibitor at the Homebuilders Expo for the past decade or so, and had never worked the Home Show. I'll jump at the chance to do it again next year. It was that fun for me.

Right after I left the high school gym complex where the event was held, I rolled over to JayBee's joint to have a look at the progress that was being made on his Vespa P200 project. Newly accepted member of the Geezers, Kurt was buzy tearing the scooter down to prep for bodywork and paint. He had already plucked the carb and some other parts, and decided after pulling the fuel/oil tanks to replace the hoses, to ask JayBee if he thought that it would be a good idea to go ahead with the teardown now, since they'll have to do it anyway prior to paint. It makes sense since the plan was to paint it to begin with. Geezer Kurt put together a parts list to order tomorrow, and he'll put some teardown time in during the week. We should see some sandblasting done by this weekend!

It's impressive to watch someone with this kind of mechanical knowhow work. As he removes parts and methodically puts things aside in an orderly fashion, he looks everything over and determines if things need to be replaced, or if they are in good enough shape to use again. If they are to be replaced, the part is added to the list, if they are in good shape, they are set aside to be cleaned or painted or whatever. Since we offered to pitch in on this project, I'll be bringing some parts home this week to clean up and paint or polish. I'm looking forward to it.

If all goes well, Kurt should have his '57 Simplex Servicycle on the road in about a month. This cat is good. He just ordered the spokes, and he will be lacing his own wheels! I'm so inspired by being around guys like this. And the bonus here is that as much as we welcome him into our club, he welcomes us to be a part of his project as well. I can't wait to swing by his shop to check out his projects. His other restoration project is a WWII vintage military Jeep. Oh, and when I told him that my intent was to haul my Vespa to Seattle to have a shop give it a once over, he said, "Let me have a look at it first, I'll take care of it." Wow...this is cool.

Welcome to the club Geezer Kurt!

Have fun,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Two Close Calls Too Many

I spent some time dinking around the shop today just tinkering on the scooters and motorbikes, and basically just enjoying the decent weather. Every once in a while, I would run in to get my Daytona 500 fix as well. Never being a big NASCAR fan in the past, I find myself drawn more and more to the sport as I get older. I don't know what the appeal is, but I like it.

The Big Ruckus was in dire need of fuel, so I figured to kill two birds with one stone and took my fuel can with 2-stroke mix and fixed it to the back rack of the BR so I could also fill up the Vespa tank today as well. I figured on riding both scoots today, and the gas run would give me a chance to ride the Big Ruckus. I was glad that I was on the BR since it has more power than the Vespa. The extra juice got me out of a near miss as I was riding home.

I was rolling up to an intersection in the thru-lane, and was almost at bumper level with a car that was preparing to turn left when the dumbass "Jabba the Hut" sized lady decided to go straight and yank her car back into the lane I was already filling. I had hung back long enough to watch her commit with both her actions, and turn signal, so rolling through the intersection didn't seem "iffy." The only thing I could do was wick the throttle all the way to pop out right in front of her with very little to spare. Had I not been wearing gloves, I could have reached into the back of my jeans and thrown some of the crap that I had just taken in my pants onto her windshield. Stupid, stupid woman.

So...I get home and fill up the Vespa tank and fire the old dog up, and off for a little neighborhood ride we go. As I'm putting along on "C" Street with no traffic for blocks either in front, or behind me, with the exception of a Subaru, the blond dumbass chick driver of the Subaru decides that it would be a funny joke to crank her wheel to the left into my lane to give me a little scare I guess. Her and the hillbilly moron dude in the passenger seat were laughing like spastics as their car jolted back into her lane before it was too late.

It is one thing that the first idiot was just too stupid to realize that she put me in some serious danger, but the other jackass chose her move to provide some hilarity for herself and her pet human. In either case, both persons deserve a punch directly in the face for what they did, and the laughing dude in the Subaru deserves two punches in the face as well. One for laughing, and one for being with a girl that is that stupid. When it comes to riding, I take it seriously. When it comes to driving, I take it seriously too.

The bottom line is that the actions of these two distinctly different, but also the same, bottom feeding assclowns help me choose to not continue riding today. It's almost funny to think that I can hang out and watch the Daytona 500 where the driving is much safer than on my local streets. Even at 195 miles per hour!

Have fun, and be safe!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Signs Of Spring

You can almost feel Spring around here now. The constant barrage of Pacific storms have mellowed out, and the temps are hanging in the 40's instead of hovering at, or below freezing. We may even find ourselves basking in the warmth of 50 plus degrees tomorrow.

Another sign of better weather is the return of motorcycles and scooters to the streets. Sportbikes, high bar cruisers, 50cc and maxi-scooters, and everything in-between are being rolled out and returned to service. Even our employee spots are finding scooters parked in them again. Now if this isn't a good sign...

I've told my wife many times, that to me, the end of Winter is when pitchers and catchers show up for Spring training in the big leagues. With camps in Arizona and Florida slowly filling with position players this week, I guess we are almost there. The only thing left to do is wait until March 20th to make it official. I for one though, will be happy to see Winter put to bed. I feel Spring Fever coming on!

Have fun,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Now This Looks Like A Military Scooter!

All of a sudden, my Big Ruckus doesn't have as much of a military look as I thought it did. The above photo was taken in the Walmart parking lot this morning on my cell phone camera. This has the military look big time!

As I was parking the family truckster, I saw this scooter roll right past me, and I hustled over to where the guy parked to get a better look. As I walked up to the guy I recognized him as the owner of a Honda "little" Ruckus that has been completely tricked out. The dude told me that he had gotten a good deal on this Helix, and he had taken on the project of painting it in the beautiful military shade of Olive Drab. You'll notice that the bottom foot panels have been removed, as well as the plastic nose grille. My guess is that its part of the paint work project.

The guy was telling me that he wasn't having much luck in getting the paint to bond well to the plastic bodywork, and that drawing a fingernail over it will peel the paint. He was on his way into the paint department to buy the cure I guess. I mentioned that we had Krylon Fusion spray paint at my store, but I know that we don't have his color. The Fusion paint is specifically for painting plastic, and works great. My pal Dreamcrusher is going to use the Fusion to repaint his Honda Aero 80 in a two-tone green and cream paint scheme. It will have a sweet retro look when its done.

I didn't talk too long with the guy, but we did walk into the store together. He mentioned that he knew I rode scooters, but has never seen me out on one yet. That struck me as true since I haven't been tearing up the streets lately. On the other hand, this guy is always out there.

It's time to take to the streets again. Cool things are happening in our scooter community, and I don't want to miss it by being the rider that just got out of the Chevy Blazer.

I'm glad that I saw this guy today.

Have fun,

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday's Aren't Just For Work Anymore

It was nice to get a call from JayBee around noon telling me that he was going to be tinkering around on his P200e Vespa, and that a guy named Kurt was going to have a look at it. Kurt is a talented auto paint and body guy, and also has a ton of small engine experience. In fact, right now, Kurt is restoring a 1957 Simplex Servi-cycle. If you haven't seen one before, think of shrinking an old Indian or Harley down to about the size of a scooter and you'll get the idea.

Kurt ran a verbal parts list off to JayBee to be ordered from Scooterworks on Monday. The plan is to get it running in top form and put some miles on it before attacking it with the paint gun. JayBee is ordering the carb rebuild kit, full set of cables, tune up kit, and Shinko 3.50 x 10 whitewall tires and tubes. This will be a good start toward getting the scooter in top form for the riding season. I'm looking forward to hanging out and seeing it all come together. It should be a blast as Kurt is a high energy guy and a pleasure to be around.

The day turned out pretty nice, and it felt good to get a little riding in. I even got to make a run through town with Mod Kevin as we met up on 5th street while both on our way to JayBee's suburban estate. It was nice to hang out with the crew for a change, and just talk about scooters and some future scootering plans. This is what it's all about. Working Saturday's for the last billion years, I now feel like I missed out on a lot of moments like this, and am now grateful to get the opportunity to again join the ranks of the true weekenders. I can get used to this real quick!

Tomorrow will be Vespa riding day. I think that it needs to be wrung out a little, and rain or shine, we'll get out for awhile. I also need to roll the Sportster out for a run. Kurt is looking to get his grease stained hand on a Harley after the Simplex is done, and I told him that "I have a deal for you." He wants to swing by and have a look, and who am I to say no to a true motorhead? My mind is already swimming with potential scooter related ideas with the chance to sell the Sporty and have some cool cash in my hand. Or maybe I'll do the right thing, and pay off some bills. Ahh, what the heck, I'll worry about that later, I'm gonna head out to the shop and get reaquainted with some old projects.

Have fun,

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Windblown Debris

The things that go bump in the night turned out to be the things that were flying around in the 50-plus mile per hour winds that blew overnight. As it turned out, there were some overturned garbage cans and regular old windblown debris scattered around that made up most of the racket that I heard in the wee hours. Just another Pacific storm that wanted to come ashore and kick things around a bit.

It looks like JayBee and I will get some time this weekend to peck around on his Vespa P200e. It needs a little TLC and tweaking, and since neither one of us has to work on Saturday, it might be fun to bomb up and down the country road that he lives on. If nothing else, it'll be a scooter related day.

I really want to get out and "Ride Sally ride," as the character Woody says in the movie Wild Hogs. I watched the flick the other night and now I have a real itch to take off on a scooter road trip. I'm putting together a camping trip plan for this Spring for our little band of scooter bums. Even though the location is great for camping, its really not far enough out of town to qualify as a "road trip." It'll make for a great overnighter though, and is close enough to be able to include wives and kids.

Since I still have some daylight, and the branches aren't flying by horizontally, I think I'll get outside and pick up the things that went bump in the night.

Have fun,

Friday, February 01, 2008

Things Are Really...Nice

At the beginning of the week, we had snow on the ground, followed by some icy mornings that made driving interesting, and now as we end the work week, we were facing the same snowy forecast. I said "were," because after all of this mumbo jumbo about the entire region being in a snow advisory situation, it was as if the meteorologists all shrugged their shoulders and said "Oh, forget it, lets just have rain."

I looked at the NOAA website earlier today, and it was full of color for the entire western Washington frame. Gale warnings, Winter storm warnings, high surf advisories, lowland snow advisories, and then some. When I refreshed the screen later, most all of the color was gone, as were the dark advisories. Even the forecast had a cheerier tone calling for mostly rain, and warmer temps. I'd hate to have a job like that. Predicting change is pretty hard.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of my new schedule at work. After six plus years, I now have the traditional Saturday-Sunday weekend off. I was thinking of my little five year old son never knowing me to have Saturdays at home. This is going to be nice.

Work is moving in a positive direction now for everyone with a recent change in top level management. The man that I most directly work with is now our CEO/President. Not to take anything away from the outgoing honcho, but the new blood has a vision of the future that has been explained to me in clear enough terms that I can not only understand, but can grasp and embrace as well. And...I have the support of the new management to lead my crew my way. Taking on more responsibilities as the manager for my crew is made much easier by the fact that I have a very good crew to begin with. This too, is going to be nice.

As far as scootering goes, I will now be able to have real honest-to-goodness weekends to take part in rallies and events that I always wished that I could have before. Even when I was living in the "biker" world, I would always have to bag out and miss the runs. I am really looking forward to being involved in the Seattle scooter rally scene, and getting to know some of the folks that are involved. This will be really nice.

Our little scooter group is closer to getting involved in the Royal Bastard Scooter Club scene as well. If not for a change of plans for one of the group, we would have met up with Zippy Bastard in Seattle on Sunday. But, as we all want to make the trip over, we will reschedule for later in the month. My thanks to her for being understanding. And following the theme of this post...she too is really nice.

Have fun,

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