Just so we’re all on the same page again: cultie=cult bike=Ducati. That there is a Ducati bag I’m tempted to buy. It would go on the little rack in back. Of course I’d need a magnetic tank bag as well. Oh, wait. The cultie’s going to be Polly’s ride, not mine. Time to stop thinking of it as my own (although technically it is, since so far all the money that’s gone into it has been mine).
Polly’s three-day motorcycle safety class is this weekend or the next, so we’re getting close to the turnover. I still want to take her out on some country roads before she starts riding it to work. I’ve been putting around on the cultie a couple of days each week, ostensibly to keep the battery charged but really because it’s just plain fun to ride. It’ll be a fine commuter bike … once it has a bag or two to keep stuff in, that is.
Imagine my surprise, earlier this week, when the “good” motorcycle … the Goldwing … up and died on me. I’d ridden it into town, and nothing was wrong. But when it was time to go home I turned the key and … nothing. Total electrical death. After cogitating on my situation for a few minutes, I called my buddy Ed. He knows everything there is to know about Goldwings and I thought he might have some miracle fix for me, some wire I could wiggle, some special way to turn the key. Instead he grabbed a spare battery (he has spares for everything!), hopped in his truck, and drove down to the parking lot I was stranded in. He pulled the old battery (which, oddly, showed a full charge), put in the spare, and I was back in business. I bought a new battery Wednesday afternoon, charged it up that night, and installed it Thursday morning. Half an hour ago I strapped Ed’s spare battery to the back of the cultie and dropped it off at his garage. A friend in need, and one to whom I owe, at the very least, a steak dinner.
Now it’s getting hot and I’m happy to have finished my morning errands and be sitting in our air conditioned home office. I’m at the computer desk by the window, watching sparrows eat the bird seed I just sprinkled on the ground for the quail, ignoring the freshly-filled feeder hanging from the tree branch three feet above them. Hope they don’t gobble it all up before the quail find it.
With regard to my earlier post, Conduct Unbecoming, it appears I’m not the only military officer outraged at the conduct of a certain group of swiftboating back-stabbers:
“If someone uses the uniform, whatever uniform it is, for partisan politics, I’m disappointed by that, because I think it does erode that bond of trust we have with the American people.” – General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
“This is an unprofessional, shameful action on the part of the operators that appear in the video, period … [attaching the title of special operator with any political campaign is] in violation of everything we’ve been taught, and the opposite of what we should be doing, which is being quiet professionals.” — Major Fernando Lujan, US Army Special Forces
For a long time now I’ve been following the libertarian blogger Radley Balko, not because I’m libertarian but because Balko is one of the few people tracking incidents of police abuse, from the use of tasers on innocent or already-incapitated people, to the insane levels of law enforcement militarization occurring in small towns across America, to surprisingly frequent police shootings of family pets, to armed shakedowns on rural roads and the confiscation of travelers’ property and money. In happier days (so long as you were white, that is) you could teach your children that the policeman was a friend. Today savvy people understand that you do not call the police for any reason whatsoever. Now, it seems, even if you don’t call the police, they might just come into your back yard anyway and shoot you. You know, maybe these Second Amendment gun nuts are right, and we should all arm ourselves and deal with crime on our own.
This way lies paranoia. Next thing you know I’ll be raving about black helicopters and FEMA camps. Time to get back on a happier track.
Donna’s in Los Angeles helping a friend set up and learn to use an embroidery machine. She flies home Sunday. In the meantime I’m feeding myself, so it’s a good thing I know a little bit about cooking. Last night I broke out a bottle of Patak’s hot curry paste and cooked up some chicken to serve over rice. One of my better efforts, it was. I had to force Polly to eat some before I finished it all off, which I could easily have done. Curry? Food of the gods.
Speaking of heavenly food, pretty soon it’ll be cool enough to start making chili again. And speaking of cooler weather, I booked a night at the Hannagan Meadow Lodge later in September. I’ll be riding the Goldwing on a two-day loop through southeastern Arizona, from Tucson to Safford to Alpine and Hannagan Meadow where I’ll RON (USAF for “remain overnight,” spoken as “R-O-N”), then on the second day ride to Show Low, where I’ll turn back south through Globe and Winkleman and Oracle to Tucson. The route includes a part of the state I haven’t explored before, the famously twisty mountain road called Arizona Highway 666. Well, that’s what it used to be called, but the fundies got wind of it and now it’s now Arizona Highway 191. There you go, from heaven to hell in one paragraph. Don’t say I’ve never done anything for you!
© 2012, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.