21st Century Hardships, Part the Fourth

The baseboards are in. The wall unit and Murphy bed go back in this afternoon, and with that we’re done with contractors. We did the painting but they did the heavy work. Because the walls and carpet had been damaged by an air conditioner leak, our homeowners insurance covered a lot of the work.

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The color’s off in the first photo because of the sunlight coming through the window, making the baseboards appear green. They’re actually white, as in the second photo. Eventually, we’ll replace the mini-blinds you see in the first photo with wooden slat blinds.

Over the next few days we’ll move the bookcases back in and start replacing all the junk we cleared out to make room for the work. Company’s coming Monday and we may not be quite done, but they’ll be staying in another room and it shouldn’t be a problem.

I quit doing large group motorcycle rides several years ago. Big events like Christmas toy runs attract once-a-year riders who have only the shakiest idea of how to ride, let alone ride in groups. On my last toy run, almost ten years ago, two inexperienced numbskulls in front of me locked their rear brakes and collided. They both went down, forcing me to jink up onto a sidewalk to avoid them. My next-to-last group ride was a poker run put on by the American Legion Riders, a more experienced group, but the ones I got stuck behind didn’t understand the concept of riding staggered in a single lane and kept weaving back and forth. On top of that, they drank before the ride started and then drank more at every stop along the way. And did I mention the joys of being stuck behind a Harley with straight pipes?

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Idiots and drunks are why I don’t do group rides, but I made an exception for Sunday’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The DGR is an annual charity event supporting prostate cancer research, with rides in cities around the world. Here in Tucson, at least 70 riders made donations and came to the ride, most in suits and ties, many on vintage bikes. The organizers did a great job. The route was close to 80 miles long, a big loop around Tucson with a mid-point stop, a van to carry extra gear and water and coffee, even rent-a-cops riding ahead to clear intersections.

The high point of Sunday’s event, for me anyway, was being with experienced motorcyclists who know how to ride in groups. Watching the escorts leapfrog ahead to clear intersections so we could cruise through red light after red light was a gas too, but holding formation with riders who know how to do it was the best thing.

Naturally I took the GoPro along and edited some short compilation clips afterward. I’m trying to load music onto the clips so it’s not all engine and wind noise. I can do it on my desktop, but when I upload the clips to YouTube the music isn’t always there. Copyright and licensing, yadda yadda. YouTube offers generic instrumental tracks you can add for free, but they’re pretty blah. Here’s one YouTube allowed me to load with my own choice of soundtrack (Going In the Right Direction buy Robert Randolph & The Family Band).

With that, I’m unplugging again so the wall unit people can do their thing. If I can remember where the wires and cables go, I’ll be back online later today.

© 2017, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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