Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Lot of This a Little of That... and Nada to Write About

This here is one of those lulls that come along from time to time. Things going on but little that would be entertaining to read about.

I'm also in one of those "mental" places that are hard to describe. When circumstance and situation keeps you doing things that truly don't toot your whistle... but they have to be done none the less, and you still have to wait on other "things" to come along that give you the tools to get on with keeping on.

Another few days and I'll have things lined up to stack up the parts and supplies to do a brake and bearing R&R on the fiver. Before that however I'll do the Recoat on the rubber roof.

It seems, emphasizing "seems", like I finally won out over the wasps. Haven't seen any on the roof in over a week and locking them out of the furnace vent seems to have sealed that part of the deal. We'll see when I actually get on the roof trying to do that work.

Been riding a lot now that the scooter is back together. Getting ready to take a few days and make a good circle... That should shore up my ambitions enough to come back to that brake and roof work. ;)

And... back at the end of June... I fought my way through the "Other" U.S. Government website that sorta-kinda works... the Social Security Department. Yup, they been swiping that first chunk of every years paychecks right along with the IRS for something goin' on 45 years now...

I've manged to live long enough to start grabbing a part of it back... So come October I begin to get a nice kick in my monthly allowance. :) Combined with the Beet Harvest in Sydney that same month...  I will, with my fingers tightly crossed and a loaded pistol in my belt (waiting on that Miserable Murphy to show his face) be watching for those deposits in my account.

It might could be that I managed through stumble and bungle to have toughed it out long enough to turn the corner on our broke as a bankrupt bedbug finances.

So... back to that "Mental Place"...hmmm... THAT is opening up a can of worms now ain't it?

This is being a long long summer. Arrived here in March... broker than I was when we pulled out. Bike needing work (and figuring to sell her), truck needing still more work and the fiver in trouble as well...

Expenses sitting here are as low as they could be... though it don't happen fast, that lets me divert money that might have been goin' into diesel and camp fees... into the maintenance and repairs.

Truth be told, of all the places I could be "stuck"... this farm is not a bad place to be laid up for a while...

But... THAT... being laid up in one place for all this time has been the illuminating thing in this I think.

Don't misunderstand... I've known my whole life that I was a gypsy... in more ways than one. Any sort of a same old same old is gar-uhn-teed to quiver my liver. I get bored quick and easy... Turns out, I NEED a kaleidoscope of sorts spinning in my eyes to keep me level.

But that knowledge... of exactly who and what you are can get lost to you in all the confusion and trials of living. It's infernally easy to allow what some others think you should be doing to gain an improper influence... and not enforce the rightful power of the whispers of your own heart.

Sometimes you have to have a time where you sit quiet and really look in the mirror to regain that clear notion of who you are and where you're goin'... and where I'm goin'... Will always be the road.

... and not to "get" anywhere either. Only to go... it's the goin' I treasure. It's the change, the wonder... something in that always moving, always with my eyes on the horizon...the wind in my face.

It's there on the open road where that feeling that has swoll up inside, that queasy sensation that is almost a panic... recedes and fades away to nothing... until I sit still too long and that feeling rises up once again...

My heart whispers; Its time Brian, let's move on... and when I do, my serenity returns.

The Road is where I belong. It's where I have always belonged.

This few months off of it, have served to show me clear and undeniable... that drifting and wandering is what suits me. It's what fits. It goes clean back to the middle 70's when I was rodeoin'. I loved the road then... and I love it now... I just let myself get misdirected for too too long.

Folks often go out looking for that thing that "blows them away"... that keeps their hearts pounding... only to be frustrated... because there is really nothing that can sustain that level of impact on you. And you can't endure it if it did... and if you did the exceptional would only become the mundane.

What makes sense is to find that "Thing"... whatever it is... that simply gives you the feeling that you belong where you are. Something that, at the end of the day leaves you feeling RIGHT.

For me... that thing, that Right place is the road. I can cogitate about base camps, home bases, part time wandering and such things all I want... the simple fact is... the only place I am content... the ONLY place I feel balanced and where I belong... is looking over a set of handlebars with my knees in the wind... or looking through a windshield... with nowhere to be and all day to get there.

Just moving down a lonely ribbon of highway.

Really it's a simple thing. It doesn't have me giggling like an idiot all the time...The road isn't that sort of thing. It simply leaves me comfortable and feeling right... where everything else puts me restless and ill at ease.

A big part of that feeling of belonging are all those little bits along the way... things that to others, I think, aren't even remembered... To me they are THE things to remember... because they are the joyous bits of normal every day life... They don't require you to be in some spectacular once in a lifetime and then gone places... they are the sorts of things, if you pay attention and learn to push all the ever'day Crap of life away... they can put a high shine on your day.

I remember sitting at a table in front of a convenience store on a ride in California a couple years ago. Just sitting quiet watching the people come and go... enjoying a cup of truckstop coffee and a heart stopping sweet roll covered in sugary goo... a good and quiet "moment" in the day.

I remember a road from that ride... two actually... one was a slow roll on a winding foothills road through an area of Oaks dotting green grassy pastures... the serenity of that country has stuck with me. The other was a twisting two lane along a river canyon where the Road, my bike, and me hit sort of a perfect harmony for maybe forty miles.

I ran through there with a grin. It's one of those perfect roads. Not a hard and peg scraping sort of run... It's a place where you can get into a joyous, swinging, fast, sweeping rhythm. No brakes and no shifting gears... Twist the throttle hard in the short straights between the bends... and then let the engine compression pull us back down into the next turn... lean in and accelerate out hard again. Lean over the other way and rumble back down again into the next turn.

Many times there were no straights between the turns. You just came out of leaning into a right hander to swing back over and sweep into the left... Back and forth a graceful and glorious asphalt dance. Back and forth accelerate and then rumble back down. Left  and Right sweeping through the turns.

It was the sort of road you hope will never end. It was an absolute dream of a road...

Yeah... I know... an awful lot of words for not having anything to write about. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

How Can Time That Seems to Drag So Slowly... Race By So Fast?

I got here at the end of March... Been the longest period of time I've set in one place for... five years now I believe... and honestly? Sitting in one place don't fit me.

It never has, but that dis-fit has been polished to a high shine these past few years.

So... it seems such a long time  but yet now the end of this time is racing up hard and fast. Gonna have to haul out sometime mid September to get up to Sydney to repeat the beet piling job...

and there's PLENTY that has to get done before then. and plenty has been getting done...

Number one now... or two... depending on how my Itch works out... will be getting the roof coated. I say maybe number two, because I may just have to take a week or ten days and put the bike in the wind to straighten out a few kinks in my brain...

That roof coating as I'm sure you know got brought to a halt by the swarm of wasps that wouldn't let me be... My bug tent seems to have solved that problem... until the night before last anyway... the buggers came back with a vengeance.

I was trying to sit under the awning and enjoy a cool brew when I noticed a straggler paper wasp heading into the furnace vent. Shortly there were two... and as the afternoon wore on more and more...

I tried running the furnace to chase them out... but when it's 85 or so... having the heater blasting at 90 makes things a mite unpleasant inside... and all that seemed to do is stir 'em up...

So... I did what any self respecting drifting biker cowboy would do when harassed AGAIN by the noxious bowlegged varmints... I went inside and sipped another brew while I waited in ambush for darkness...

When that arrived I broke out my lil' roll of plastic and some flashy duct tape and trapped the suckers.

It seems to have worked... I've not seen a single buzzer in more than a day... I think they're all IN there. Ha Ha Ha Ha... pester me ya yellow butted bug eating galoots! Come heater time up north... or along the road somewhere I'll pull that trap door off so the furnace can run again. :)

While all that was goin on... or just before, I dis-remember... I finally got my scooter back together... and honestly I've not a single idea how. The second tube of the forks, with a special pro tool, refused to go together.

I struggled and strove with help and without... and Nada... So the other morning just after dawn I walked over to the garage to make one last solo effort before nuking it with an impact wrench... and once again failed... arrrrrrgggghhhhh!

I stood for a moment scratching my head and then picked up a wrench to "Check" how easy a part turned (for no particular reason)... and it wouldn't turn... but it should have... What the Hell?

I grabbed the torque wrench and CLICK! when it SHOULDN'T have... WHAT THE HELL?

I checked this and that and all seemed Right. It wasn't together... and then it WAS and no explanation how or why or any durn thing... I took advantage of the weirdness and filled the oil, put all back together and then over the next two days put 400+ miles on her "testing"... and all is right... so... OK... I'll take it!

*along a 300 mile circle testing the bike over the Snowies yesterday in Wyoming*

So now... back to the jobs... I also need to R&R the brakes and bearings on the fiver... and the rear brakes on the truck... and the crack in the windshield is starting to look more like a canyon, and really needs replacing... then there's a few other odd bits and pieces that need doing... looks like my skills at stretching green paper are gonna get a work out ;)

...and I still have a few sprinkler heads on Evin's farm to move... no rest for the wicked...

...and just to pester me... the road, and Sonja, keep calling for several days of my knees in the wind... so the next six or eight weeks, if my count is right, should be busy...

A lazy man trying to be ambitious

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Funny How Those Circles Continue to Link...

I've been "associating" with some people from a "Circle" taken many many years ago... 

I started a "Thing" a couple weeks back... A VA thing... I'm torn and I'm ambivalent about it... I know I risked for and earned what I get there... it's not a charity... but just the same... I have a difficulty with it.

On top of that... going in there to get anything, I'm taking dollars out of a cruelly underfunded system. Dollars desperately needed by these young guys, and gals who've been coming home the past ten years... many of whom are in far worse shape than my wore out old kiester... I feel a sense of guilt... almost like I'm taking treatment away from them... so it's not easy.

But... the VA is my only Protection against the fines and punishments of not obeying king obama and his socialism... so I go... ambivalent and torn or not.

...and they treat me very well. Hell, they always have. I've said it before... the issues there are not found in the professional medical people at the VA who take care of us... sure there are the rare fools you find in any large institution or organization, that's just human reality... but the problem there is and always has been, the deceitful sob's the American people keep putting over us in D.C.

You want to "fix" the VA... you are first going to have to "Fix" yourselves and your own perceptions... so you can clean up that sewer you call government... don't do that... and the VA will never be repaired.

So anyway... I went in... with ONLY the idea in mind of getting my "Name" back on the active list so I'm protected from the friggin' IRS...

...and the people in this Institution, that has been getting ripped and torn and accused of all sorts of Malfeasance... have insisted (contrary to how they are portrayed)... almost demanded that I get certain checks and things looked at... Like I said... The Medico's at the VA are the best. The assault against them is a game of misdirection and lies... told to protect the lying sob's that keep lying their way into congress and the white house... enough said...


It looks like our return to the Beet Harvest in North Dakota is a solid go... a lot of work has to happen to get there though... I discovered a lack of brakes on the Fiver on the run up to Red Feather, as in NONE... so New brakes all around on the trailer... and I'm thinking the bearings have got to be worn... so IDK... maybe have to knock over a liquor store ;)

The "wasp tent" is still active on the roof... I decided to just leave it up until I have to move the rig... or darn near. I've been checking things daily and not seeing any activity at all... but I'm playing it safe.

I did manage to get up on the roof and apply some seam/joint sealant in some spots that needed it. That had to be done before I can re-coat ... so it has time to cure first... Hoping to do a recoat in another week or two...

Still waiting on another shipment of a small tool so I can get my scooter reassembled... Hoping hard for that to arrive late in the week...

While I'm doing that waiting... I decided to try to fabricate a carrier for my phone...

More time on the new stitching horse... So far that has been pretty much a total success. Thing works better than any other I've built.

Took me two tries to get it sized right.

The first time I was off just enough I couldn't even stretch it to fit... yup... leather craft is a perishable skill... leave it lay too long and it takes a bit to get it warmed up again.

This time, with a slightly enlarged pattern... I juuuuust squeezed by.

Not sure I'm gonna be happy or "comfortable" with it though... with this humongous new phone I blundered into... It's kinda like having a small laptop strapped to my belly!

I was given the comment that I look like an "Insurance salesman or a Realtor ready to draw my phone and pull the Trigger! Bang! Bang!"

... um.... that stung!... and, No... So... we'll see how it goes. It is better than carrying the thing in my hand or having to take it out of my pocket every time I sit down so I don't crack it like the last one... but...

... it's like Facebook... I think it may be time to back away a good long distance from quite so much gadgetry... and just go back to Motorcycles, Horses and Far Country... Far More...

Off now to another VA visit... :-?