Bridge over Troubled Waters

bridge

I’m happier this morning than I’ve been in nearly two weeks. My cold is finally on the run. I’ve been off the non-prescription meds for two days now, Kleenex consumption is dropping to pre-cold levels, and after days of drinking hot tea with honey I’m craving coffee again. Whew! In the past I wouldn’t have crowed about it, but now that I’m older colds hit harder and last longer.

By the way, those non-prescription meds … do they really do anything? I mean, I know they don’t cure colds, but do they offer significant relief from cold symptoms? Any more than plain old aspirin, say? My wife and daughter swear by pills, pills for anything, pills as the first resort. I’m skeptical, but that may be my inner Puritan speaking. This time around, I freely confess, I reached for the Sudafed, also Robitussin and Afrin. So much for my inner Puritan. Maybe next time I’ll tough it out. Hah.

This morning I’m riding to the Ducati shop to buy parts. I’ll be taking the Goldwing, thank you. I rode the Ducati to motorcycle guru Ed’s place yesterday to undo some of the carnage Polly has inflicted on it, and while I did (with a bit of struggling) manage to get my left foot up on the peg, shifting gears was almost impossible. The new left knee, adapted now to the Goldwing, needs more stretching and bending before it can handle the sharp bends the Ducati demands of it.

So what has Polly done to the Ducati? Dropped it in her driveway, she says (more than once, I suspect). The rear brake pedal was twisted, the right bar-end mirror smashed, the instrument/light cluster atop the headlight cracked in half, the turn signal stalks broken. The big thing, though, was that the rear brake wasn’t working. I actually knew about that before I left on my long motorcycle trip at the beginning of May, but Polly had assured me she had a friend coming over to fix it. I should have known better. Earlier this week she dropped by and I discovered she still had no rear brake … no friend, no fix … so I insisted she leave the bike with me and drive her mom’s car home. And then I called Ed.

Ed and I bled the rear brake and got it working again. It had been working fine before. We think air got into it somehow when Polly dropped the bike … that twisted rear brake pedal is right next to the rear master cylinder, after all. Among the extra parts that came with the Ducati was a mirror and instrument/light cluster, so we replaced those. We bent the brake pedal back into position and jury-rigged the turn signal stalks so that they’d do for a while. The taillight was loose and we found that the mounting brackets, part of a single plastic piece that forms the rear fender, were broken. We jury-rigged that too. The Ducati is safe and rideable again, but I’m going to order new turn signal stalks and a rear fender, hence today’s visit to the dealership.

Once I get the Ducati fixed I’m putting it up for sale. I’ve come around to Donna’s point of view vis-à-vis Polly riding a motorcycle for daily transportation. It’s just too risky, and we have solid evidence she’s not being as careful as she promised to be. Go ahead, call me a hypocrite. But if I die on a motorcycle, it won’t be because I’m drunk. Troubled waters? Fuck, yeah (sigh).

Speaking of which, another interstate freeway bridge collapsing into a river? Whatever happened to Obama’s infrastructure rebuilding plan? Oh, right. Republicans happened to it. I think the bloggers at Wonkette have summarized the GOP plan perfectly:

Step one: yell about how the gubmint is ineffective at doing anything. Step two: Use austerity measures to drastically reduce spending on everything. Step three: watch government not be able to function because of lack of said resources. Step four: yell about how the gubmint is completely ineffective. Step five: Thunderdome!

© 2013, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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