Thoughts from my garage

I look forward to the time when we don’t have to be divided on which side of the gay marriage thing we stand, and we can go back to the time honored tradition of personally deciding on who’s an a-hole and who isn’t. pffft, People are people.

He popped a shoeshine rag

You can get a good one, maybe only at  an airport.    He’s that guy in the corner, mostly now.    Beyond that, I don’t know where.    It’s worth your time.

Either way, its a great song.      Avoid it, And your shoes look might look like shit.

 

Best. Wedding. Cake. Ever. My Family would spin the Steelers side to the front, and Jordan’s family would spin the Bronco’s side to the front. Over several hours. A true and good football fan, will stand true and never say die. It’s how I knew my daughter married right.

Steeler Wedding cake

Respect.

The problem with that cop in Texas who pulled a gun at a pool party, isn’t the fact that he pulled it, or that cops are bad, or whatever it is. Or even the fine line of what rights you have and who crosses it. The whole thing boils down to respect. Show it, and you’ll get it back, I guarantee it. its human nature. It’s just how things work. When a person gets it, its almost irresistible. For both sides.

 

It is requested

A thing, that maybe not so many people understand.    There’s a time and a place for everything.

A level of respect, at the right time in the right place.

I’ve been to the tomb of the Unknown Solider.    Right on.   Good call.

Why I ride

I just was asked to write something for somebody, about motorcycling.   I wrote why I ride just now.    I don’t know if it makes any sense or not.    I just wrote it, and its part of the reason why I ride.

——

Why I ride.

Honestly, I’ve been trying to answer that question for almost 25 years.    I keep riding, and keep asking myself that question.

I swear there’s a riding gene.    I’ve seen people  who buy motorcycles over the years, and you either love it, or you don’t.    If you love it, you will keep doing it.   It’ll never get it out of your system.    If you don’t, your bike will end up on craigslist after a few years and have 1800 miles on it.     I’m not sure if it scares you, you’re unsure of yourself or how you’ll handle any given situation without 2,000 pounds of steel around you for protection, but if you don’t love it, you may not keep doing it.

I friggin’ love it.   I could drone on for hours about why I love riding, and still not know why.   I’ll give it a try…

Riding is being in the experience:  To paraphrase Robert Persig:   In a car, it’s almost like you’re watching TV.    The windshield is an 80 inch screen.   The weather almost doesn’t really matter.   Your temperature is controlled.     You have enough fuel to make a mistake, like missing a gas station.   Bluetooth, Nav, cell service…   You’re connected to everything that you have in your real world.

You don’t on a bike.     That road below you?   Its right there:  you can put your foot down and touch it.    You’ll watch the weather, because that effects which route you may take, or what you might need to endure.    There’s no heater.   You don’t get the luxury of any sort of fender bender.

Riding, to me is almost a religious experience.   You do all this subconsciously I think…  It’s a Zen moment:   pay attention to those potholes.   Watch out for the gal on her cell phone, you won’t get a 2nd chance to be wrong if she’s not paying attention.     Watch the weather, because you might be riding in the rain.   Fuel up after 80 miles.    Check your map.

All while you’re listening to your favorite song on your ipod, and that unexpected rain storm start pelting you.     It’s a beautiful thing.

When you ride, You’re not a part of the experience, you’re *IN* the experience.

I also think its why some bikes end up on craigslist.    You  either love riding, or  you don’t.

Viking Cycle Angel Fire Motorcycle Jacket Review

MotorcycleHouse was cool enough to send me a Leather Jacket and asked me to review it.    I told them that if I could give my honest opinion of it I would, otherwise I’d send it back to them.   They said fire away…..   So here I go.
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I’ve had my leather Jacket for about 5 years.  I bought it in a leather shop from a guy who knew what he was doing.    I gotta say,  I really don’t like Harley Leather…. Its from China, and for the most part you can get a better Jacket from almost anywhere else.

After a bike, the the first thing you need is a Jacket.   A jacket is totally utilitarian;  It’s a pillow if you’re on a road trip, warmth when you’re cold, saves you from heat exhaustion and exposure to the elements,  and almost no matter how hot it is when you head out, you gotta make make room in a saddle bag for the thing.   If you go down, its going to save you from that one-grit sandpaper called the road before it grinds down to you.     Next to your bike, your jacket is maybe your most important purchase.

I’ve been wearing this thing for a week now.   It’s an $89.00 jacket.    I think I paid $200 for the one I’ve been wearing.    I’ve really tried to hate it, but I can’t.   Its a pretty good jacket.    It’s got decent leather, the zipper is solid and it seems like, for the price this is a great purchase.

The Good:

  • The lining.   I’ve hated my liner on my old jacket.    It falls out, comes half  unzipped, and I really like how this one is sewed into the jacket.   To be honest, I think I’ve lost the damn thing on mine, and I never took it off on purpose.    I like how this one is sewn in.   A huge plus.
  • This thing has a whole lot of pockets.    On a long trip, you need a few, methinks.    Pockets for a road snack, Pockets for your music, Cell phone, your piece, and whatever else.   This jacket isn’t short on pockets.   I really like that.    A huge plus.  They’re deep and reinforced.
  • The price.    This jacket is very comparable to the one 1 paid 200 bucks for.
  • The Zipper.    You gotta figure its the thing you’re going to use the most often.   Having a shitty zipper sucks.   This thing holds up and I gotta think will stand the test of time.
  • The fit is good.  I have short arms, and for me the arms were a little long which makes it nice when you’re reaching for handlebars.    On a bike, for me, it fits perfect.
  • The company.   They ride.   I like that about them.   They’re very responsive and trying to make their name in the industry, so they try harder.   I absolutely respect that.
  • The leather is OK.  Its thick enough for protection, but not so think you can’t move your arms around.
  • Its comfortable, but even moreso in a riding position on the bike.     That says a thing.

The Bad:

  • The belt.   I love the fact that it has a belt, but the leather could be a little stiffer was my thought.    You’re not going to have that thing flopping and scratch your bike in the wind, so you’re going to use it every time you put it on and take it off.   It wasn’t terrible, but if I could ask one improvement, it would be for maybe a different grade of leather on the belt so it would hold up over the years.    I could be wrong.    The grommets were solid.   I’m almost inventing things to bitch about here.
  • The arm zippers.   It could have used it a little tighter at the wrists.   I have big arms, and I don’t need to unzip the zippers to put it on.     They could have been a bit more tapered, in my opinion.

Summary:

For the price, I don’t think you can beat it.    I’ve found myself wearing it over my old faithful, 200 dollar old jacket.     The best part is all the pockets in the right places.    I think this thing will stand up to time and use.   Ask me in a few years, but from what I can tell, its pretty well made.   They’ve done some really good things to give it an old school look, with some modern features.    Did I mention I love all the pockets?

I think this is the house brand, and they did a good job.   You’re paying under 100 bucks to get this thing delivered to your house.     I give it 7 out of 10.   I’ll break this thing in and see how much I like her in 5 years.    I gotta think I won’t be disappointed.

I asked a lot of questions to these guys, and they were responsive and courteous.     I’d like to try out some of their other stuff as well.     They seem on the ball.   A good company.

Motorcycle House:   Way nice job.   Here’s the link if you want to try one yourself.

Thanks for the chance to review your Jacket, MotorcycleHouse.    Much appreciated.

 

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Focus

A quail, outside the window at work today.

a quail

A brief moment, but I’m grateful that I don’t have some thing hanging over my head like that, flopping all down in your line of sight when you’re trying to get something done. Its thoughts like these, that maybe that I got nothing done at work today.

Memorial

I’ve been searching all day to sum up how I feel about memorial Day.    I went into work for a few hours, and figured I’d go down and see my fathers Grave.    It was important to him that he not be forgotten.   I passed a cemetery and saw the traffic jams, and blew it off for later.

It was easy to go get steaks to grill on our day off.     It was easy to pass up the things that make you remember about this day, like passing through saving private Ryan on cable.

If I wasn’t careful, Memorial day almost just turn into a barbecue, and a 3 day weekend.

This sums up, almost exactly how I feel about memorial day.     The stories of men who went into the military because of maybe a small sense of duty, or pressure, or maybe just the chance of cheaper college.   That changed.   These guys went into battle, fought alongside others, who ended up taking the long view.

they took that home.  Learned to discard the ugly, and take the good to build a country.    A family.   A good place in the world.   They Built businesses and families.    Struggled with what they’d learned and saw.    Powered it out and pressed on, mostly alone.   Gave back.     We’re still swinging from the nuts of the men who did that.   The deserters didn’t learn a thing.    The fighters did.    Those are the guys I salute.

Memorial day should almost be every Day.     Dad, I’ll go decorate your grave tomorrow, and take the kids.   You hated traffic too.  I know you didn’t need to be remembered on just one day, but every day.    I can tell you we do.

My hats are off to the men and women who made the sacrifice I never made.    Happy Memorial Day.