I also think that vegetables are overrated…

It occurs to me, here in middle age, that I would do a number of things “differently” than the norm/accepted/proper behavior-wise; to wit: I’d pretty much live my life like a cat or dog does.

I do much of it already, taking cues from my furry roommates — I drink when I’m thirsty (not worrying about HOW MUCH I drink on a daily basis) and I sleep when I’m tired.

What I WOULD do if I was single and didn’t work a “real” job is that I would LITERALLY sleep (only) when I was tired, for exactly AS long as I DID, each & every day! Now I pretty much lay in the bed, even when I awake at 4-ish.

I’d have a super-duper reclining office chair at my desk, and a super-duper Lazy Boy recliner in my living room, and when I got sleepy, I’d sleep ’til I awoke; same with when I went to bed (IF I actually “went to bed”) — I’d bet you a cookie that I’d be more efficient, more rested, and get MORE done with LESS sleep in each & every 24 hour “period”…

Dogs and cats don’t worry that much about EXACTLY how much sleep, how much liquids, how much food/what kind of food, or how much they exercise (or don’t) any given day.

I also think that vegetables are overrated…

Had I KNOWN about that bead of silicone…

I removed the cumbersome ~100 pound aluminum 14′ side awning from the top right side of my RV last week, leaving behind a 14′ string of silicone caulk as big around as your thumb, tenaciously attached to the fiberglass.

Spent four hours yesterday “painting” it in 2 foot sections with lacquer thinner, then scraping with a plastic razor blade scraper, then painting, then scraping — you get the picture! Four hours standing on a ladder, aggressively scraping, wiping etc.

There isn’t a muscle in my whole body that doesn’t hurt this AM, and I’ve STILL got two feet to go! Honestly, if I had KNOWN about that God-damned bead of silicone, and it being SO fuckin’ hard to remove, I would have left the God-damned awning UP there!

So last night we hit three of the 5 numbers AND the Mega!

As I think you’re aware, I play the “Mega Lotto” out here – 5 numbers, twice/week; minimum $7MM payoff if you hit the 5 numbers and the “Mega #”.

So last night we hit three of the 5 numbers AND the Mega!

Now, with $7MM for hitting 5+Mega, you’d think that 3+Mega would be what – maybe $100K, right? FORTY-SIX DOLLARS; that’s our payoff. . .

Fuckin’ sucks, man! I was really stoked last night, looking at the results. Two more little numbers and we’d have been in like Flynn. . .

“So ask me how I like my new Armadillo tires?”

Yep, that was yesterday’s project — got me some Kevlar-impregnated, narrower, higher-PSI, road-tread tires for my current ride and mounted ’em on — MUCH less rolling resistance on my neighborhood test ride! Look for that 12.2 average MPH to go up today! These tires are SUPPOSED to be reasonably puncture resistant — same brand — “Armadillo” — that’s on my soon-to-be-delivered bike — so hopefully I got the flat tire base covered on both bikes!

I also RELUCTANTLY bought a bike helmet, after the owner of the small bike store down the street IMPLORED me to get one. I was considering it anyway…How in the HELL did we ever make it through childhood? I bought a PILE of other “gear” for myself and my new bike too, so I guess I really am a “bike man” now — “In for a penny, in for a pound”, as the saying goes.”

***

[later that week]

“So I neglected to tell you — the FIRST day with my new Armadillo super-duper puncture-resistant tires on my bike — I got a flat!! Yep — amazing but true!

I was on the last 2.5 miles of my 14.25 mile ride — going up the steep hill in front of the Ritz Carlton, overlooking the ocean, when I noticed it. I pushed the bike the last 2.5 miles, since I had REMOVED the tire pump and all tire-related tools from my bike, based on the assurances of the bike shop owner that I would NEVER need such conveyances AGAIN on my bike!

Anyway, I got it back to the garage and proceeded to remove the wheel, then the tire and tube. It appeared to be a manufacturing flaw in the vulcanization of the tube that caused it; not really the fault of the tire, to be truthful.

Anyway, I took the wheel, tire and tube into the shop the next day and asked the owner: “So ask me how I like my new Armadillo tires?” He was absolutely SHOCKED that I had had a flat! I said: “So can I have my Airlock Puncture-repairing tubes NOW?” Needless to say, he installed the Airlock tube into that tire and mounted ’em both on the wheel gratis, and sold me a second Airlock for my front tire. . .”

No Service Zone

31392574.25126271.IMG_0284

Yep, it was bound to happen! Almost EXACTLY halfway through my “into the desertful of hot sun, rattlesnakes, coyotes and mountain lions oh my!” ride yesterday, I noticed my mph speed was a couple ticks less than usual.

About the same time, I noticed that my front tire was REALLY low. Jumped off and stupidly examined it (hey – whaddya gonna do?) and sure enough, it was leaking!

The sun IMMEDIATELY got 10 degrees hotter; I put my little hand towel over my head, turban-style. My water bottle IMMEDIATELY got 10 degrees hotter; I took the tire pump off the frame and started pumping – it wasn’t working!

I resigned myself to pushing the bike 5.5 miles back to the house. . .Well, after about 2/10’s of a mile, I decided that THAT was for the birds! I pushed it up off the trail, onto the Niguel road, ‘cross the street to a small shopping strip mall, where at least there was some shade.

Of course, my cell phone was in a “No Service” zone RIGHT there, and of course, I had NOT transferred my next door neighbor’s unlisted phone number into my cell phone’s memory yet, and of course, the ONLY public phone at that mall was out of order. . .

The list of “items” that were NOW gonna be ON that bike from NOW on kept adding up in my head, with AIRLESS TIRES occupying the #1 slot! I gave the tire pump another try – SUCCESS! After 75 pumps from my vestigial arms, I managed to fill up the tire. I quickly snapped the pump back onto the frame, and took off back UP the trail.

I was able to complete my route by riding for 5-7 minutes, jumping off, pumping up the tire, and riding again – 4-5 pit stops total. . .Immediately upon my return, I jumped onto the computer and logged into the Airless Tires website that’s been bookmarked for the last two years. . .

I’d like to start designing and building my own bike here soon. Due to the $4,500 to $5K that it’s gonna come out to, I’ll have to go a little at a time, starting with the custom-built titanium frame, I guess. Or I may start with the Aerospoke Wheels with the disc brakes and Airless Tires and bike computer transmitter and 50 speed gear cartridge and. . .

“Parade of Lights”

Parade of Lights

We went on the Newport Beach “Parade of Lights” last night. It was listed as one of the “Top Ten” X-Mas attractions in USA Today yesterday. It consists of a 90 minute “Harbor Cruise” on a ~50 foot fishing boat, the purpose being to check out all the X-Mas lights on the houses and boats in the NB Harbor.

This HAS to qualify as one of my all-time MOST overrated experiences of my lifetime, right behind driving a ’56 Thunderbird! What you DON’T think about is that there are ~300 OTHER boats doing the SAME thing at the SAME time in the harbor, causing a COMPLETE & CONSTANT diesel fuel/exhaust smell for the ENTIRE 90 minutes, with NOT one breath of fresh air the entire trip!

That and the fact that if all those cheap, gaudy “Chevy Chase/National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” lights were ANYWHERE else in the country, they would be considered – well – cheap and gaudy!

I was completely “done” after the first ten minutes, with the remaining 80 minutes of trapped MISERY to go down in my diesel-addled brain as one of the BIGGEST bustouts in my ~48 years, short of being a bottlefed baby. . .

Get ready for an AMAZING story, fair reader. . .

cars© kalafoto – Fotolia.com


On Sunday, a friend and I were driving up to L.A. We were detained at a routine traffic stop along with MANY other vehicles; due to the out-of-state driver’s license that my friend had, we were waved over to a more “private” area for further “questioning”….

Now you know ME — I’m not a big fan of authority, and I’m REALLY not a big fan of the FBI, which I refer to as “feebs” – as in feeble-minded Stormtroopers!

Due to a couple of smart-assed and derisive comments that I made to our detainers, we were brusquely ushered “inside” for even FURTHER “questioning”….at this point, it ain’t lookin’ good, but I’m just getting MADDER and MADDER at the bureaucratic BULLSHIT that exists here in our “free” country.

We were seated in a small bunker-like room consisting of four institutional chairs and a hard table that was bolted to the floor — all this within eyeshot of the busy freeway. It’s one of those nondescript buildings we’ve driven by a million times with never a second thought. We got to sit in there for about 20 minutes, after being FULLY stripped of all contents of our pockets, including all money, cell phones, wallets and ID.

No explanation was offered, nor were any refreshments….At this point, I guess I should have been scared — I was simply angry. Before being LOCKED into this cube, I DEMANDED ID’s from THEM, since they were taking MY ID — hey, when you are being held against your will, it seems like a pretty fair request to see something other than some FBI windbreakers, doncha think?! My request/demand was both ignored and chortled at; I was promised that soon some answers WOULD be gotten….

After the 20 minute proper “staging” interlude, in came two strongly Aryan-featured Feebs. They TOLD us to sit down, whereupon they assumed the “power position” sitting over us on the edge of the table, files and fresh computer printouts in hand.

We were then ASSAILED with two hours of questions of the most personal, intimate, and oft-times even embarrassing nature — these guys knew EVERYTHING! The window I accidentally shot out of the Johnson’s farmhouse back in ’68 with my Crosman BB gun, while shooting at pigeons; said incident duly reported and submitted by Chief Fritz Wagner.

My parents’ alcohol problems from the ’40’s & ’50’s, my National Honor Society “rejection”, etc. Terrorist connections were alluded to time and time again by our interrogators, as my financial history and certain high-dollar (guitar and amp mostly) purchases were reviewed.

National Security was clearly at risk by these two late-40-year-olds with their respective checkered pasts, CLEARLY dotted with anti-American activity. Further checks were “in order”, further detainment “necessary”. Phone calls were strictly prohibited, and LEGALLY so, due to the newly-passed security laws. We were split up and put into two smaller basement rooms, totally devoid of furniture. At this point, shoes, socks, shirt, shorts were confiscated; oddly enough, my e2U underwear raised an eyebrow or two. . .

I suggested that perhaps they should change THEIR sportswear to “KGB” windbreakers — What’s the fuckin’ difference?” was my query. . .At this point, the larger of the two men struck me with a LIGHTNING rabbit-punch behind the ear that sent me to the linoleum like a ton of Hungarian bricks — I stayed down….NOW I was S-C-A-R-E-D!

Time truly IS hard to judge without light, a watch, sound, or much else in the way of external stimuli. I would have GUESSED that my time in that room was about 16 hours; it turned out to be closer to 12. No food, no drink, no bathroom break — yeah, I pissed in the corner….

Too tired to finish the story tonight — tomorrow comes “the rest of the story….”

[The next day Dick Jones revealed that this was actually just a description of a particularly vivid dream that he had had the previous night.]