Saturday, August 29, 2009

Black Label Shadow

I felt like an alcoholic who had been on the wagon for awhile and then fell off and realized it was better than he remembered. Muscle memory went a long way. My leg went over the seat and my foot rested instinctively on the foot peg. I didn't fumble with the key. Kickstand up, ignition on, blip the throttle, noise, vibration...mmm. Feels good. Memories start up with the engine.

Backing out of the driveway was tricky. I guess my leg is still technically broken. Maybe it's healed. Who knows? It doesn't hurt. I put my brace on just for good measure. I'm still a little weak at my knee. I eased out of the driveway and first-geared it to the corner. The alcoholic takes a small sip.

A couple more gears and I'm at the highway. I had planned on just going around the block but I rationalize that the bike needs a little more to keep the seals from drying out and the tires need a few revolutions to keep away dry rot. I'll just go to the first exit and turn around. It's not going to hurt anything. It's like taking a drink and holding it in your mouth for a second to enjoy the flavor.

The on-ramp has never made me smile before but this feels really good. I realized quickly how much difference the windshield made now that I have it off. The wind and noise increase but just add to the feeling of freedom; the feeling of different than normal and yet pleasing. My heartbeat increased as well. Second gear, third... fourth, yes, fifth. Oh, yeah, that's the stuff! I missed this! On the wagon for nearly two months but now I take a long, cool swig of speed until it runs breezy down my chin onto my shirt. The complicated conflict of warmth and coolness mix inside me and come out as a grin I can't stop.

Fifteen miles later, I pull back in the driveway tipsy from the experience but feeling so blessed in my natural high. Several times I have wondered if that beautiful bike and I would ever go down the highway together again and I thank the Lord again for his grace and mercy. I stagger (ok, limp) into the house and grab the camera to share with you my still-intoxicating, always faithful black hooch. Drink it in with me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.

"Funny", like "beauty", is in the eye of the beholder. What I consider funny, some people absolutely do not. Sometimes what everybody else thinks is funny, I do not. It's just how we are made, I guess. Sometimes I agree with the masses. I happen to think The Simpsons is still the funniest show on TV and evidently I'm not the only one since it is the longest running comedy on TV--20-something years now. Sometimes I don't agree with the masses. When Seinfeld went off the air I thought, "Good riddance". I think stupid funny is funny but not too stupid like some British comedies. Anyway, my taste in what is funny is not always like what everybody else thinks is funny.

I say this because not everybody gets my humor and I realize that sometimes I go overboard. Maybe it's how I grew up. As a kid, I and my friends would rag on each other unmercifully. Not much was held back and it made for some tense times along with the funny when somebody would say something that probably crossed the line and somebody would get their feelings hurt. What made it funny, though, was that thing that crossed the line was usually the thing that, after everybody made up, was the thing we ragged on that person the most about and it was even funnier then. Dysfunctional? Probably, but still funny and that was all that mattered.

Like alot of people, I kid the people I like. You know I consider you my friend when I insult you and call you names or say something mean. My wife understands that when I call her a smelly pirate hooker that I say it with the love that is reserved only for her. She's the only smelly pirate hooker in my life. That's a term of endearment only for her. She also gets "skank hide" and "lying jap" and some others that are only between us. Hopefully, if you are a friend of mine, you too can look forward to being called a bald-faced liar or a stupid Mexican. Or maybe I will make fun of your clothes or the way you walk. There's nothing wrong with your clothes or the way you walk! It's just my idea of funny. I didn't say it was right. I'm sure you are perfect and never say anything bad about anybody. I'm the only one.

I realized today that I don't think I have ever really had my feelings hurt. That hit me today like never before. Sure, I've gotten mad at people for doing something but I've never had the thought, "Wow, they really hurt my feelings!" In fact, I make fun of myself and think it's funny. I'm short, fat and bald. Tom Cruise, I ain't! At some point, I had to realize that and get over it. Oh, well! But because I've never had my feelings hurt, I don't always realize that not everybody thinks like I do and not everybody thinks things are funny like I do. Not everybody rags unmercifully on their friends like I do. I don't know why. It's probably best that they don't, come to think of it.

So, all of this to say that if I make fun of you or say something mean, it's because I like you. I'm not a mean-spirited kinda guy. I'm also not a "in touch with my feelings" kinda guy either so if I ask you if this is going to be a long story, or tell you I know you are gay because...whatever, then accept it as affection. Just don't get all mushy on me sweet-pants cuz it ain't like that with me. Cowboy-up fat boy! Does your sister know you're wearing her shoes? Do they sell those shirts for men? How does it feel to be the only...I mean...I like you. Have a nice day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Already gone to the dogs

Michael Vick, Michael Vick, Michael Vick...I don't read, watch or listen to any sports and all I hear about is Michael Vick...back in the quarterback...highest paid...blah, blah, bladoggety, blah! Everybody knows his history of dog-fighting and prison and all that stuff and everybody is so up in arms about this killer returning to football and what a disgrace it is.

Here's my opinion and this comes from (if you couldn't tell from this blog, inluding the last post) a serious dog-lover: I think it was a good move to bring Vick back to football. I think it was very smart and will be a win-win situation for everybody. Seriously, why not? Why does it make a difference what he has done in the past or even what he is doing now? He plays a game for a living. He's an entertainer and he's good at it. He is not a role model and if your son looks up to these people so much that their personal lives are interfering with your son's emotional development then it is your responsibility to train your son (or even realize it for yourself, big boy) that these people, like actors and musicians are just for entertainment. Enjoy what they do when they are entertaining you but leave it at that. It would be good to realize that these people are usually messed up individuals and should not be listened to or watched when they are talking about anything but the entertainment they specialize in.

It was a good move to bring him back because everybody gets publicity this way and publicity is another word for money. Vick gets publicity which means more people, in the long-run, will be sitting in the bleachers. The anti-cruelty to animals people get publicity which means more interest (money) in their cause. The NFL gets publicity through this whole thing and like they say: even bad publicity is good publicity. The NFL indefinitely suspended Vick which made them look like good guys and now they have lifted the suspension which makes them look like good guys (go figure!) so they are sitting pretty.

In fact, I think the NFL should recruit directly from the prisons. Now, that would be entertaining! Pay them minimum wage and watch them play then when the game is over, lock 'em back up! Ticket prices go down because the salaries are down so low and now we can all afford to go see some serious smash-mouth football. I might even watch that! I think they already do that in hockey anyway.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bo, Sara, Dori

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it. --Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My friend Nancy

This is my friend Nancy. I'm sorry it has taken so long to put her picture up here but her husband Kirk (you remember Kirk) just sent me this picture of her. Nancy is a true friend and I just had to show my appreciation to her here. Nancy flew (see her wings?) up to Utah and she and my wife got me out of some hospital up there and brought me home. Not many friends would leave their job as president of the Baby Seal Protectors Society just to fetch me from some foreign state. I know that job doesn't pay much but it's her passion. In her spare time she teaches blind orphans in Nepal to read and write and was also the inspiration for the Victoria's Secret angel theme. Thank you, Nancy, for all that you have done for me and my wife and really, for the world. You are an angel!

Concealed carry

How many times have you thought to yourself, "Now where am I going to conceal this handgun in these tight clothes?" How about next to your belly button? Or just below your nipples. I hate to think about where he kept the ammo! Do you need a concealed carry license if you're not wearing anything? What else was in there that he forgot about? I bet that's where my receipt book is! Hey...where's Dori???

Sunday, August 02, 2009

First and last time

At my age, there are not too many things that I am too cool to do but I found one yesterday. I told my wife I needed to go to Walmart and get a few things and I would be back in a few minutes. Evidently, I sometimes forget I'm on crutches because it wasn't until I walked into Walmart and went to grab a grocery basket that I realized that my hands were already full. I tried sort of bumping it with my chest but that didn't work and I tried a couple of other ways to do it but I finally was about to give up and just go home when the sweet little old greeter lady at the front door saw me and immediately said she would get a motorized cart.

"No, no, no!", I pleaded but it was too late. Here she came, pedal to the metal. I looked around to make sure I didn't know anybody and finally just got on. She even took my crutches. "Don't go too fast" she said seriously as I sped off at 1/10th of a mph. How embarrassing. The old, fat ladies on the other carts looked at me like I was a gangster on the wrong side of town. Little kids looked at me like I was the Elephant Man. Everybody else that saw me tried not to stare but I know they were trying to figure out why I was on there. The worst part was the certain people who pretended that I wasn't trying to get by and would just stand there in the way. I would have run them over but the cart just stopped whenever it hit something and they never even knew it hit them. They're lucky this time...and there will never be a next time. Even I'm too cool for that!


Three weeks ago today I woke up in the emergency room in Vernal, Utah. I didn't know at the time that it was Vernal, Utah. In fact, I wasn't even sure I was in a hospital. I just knew I wasn't on my motorcycle like I knew I should be. A concussion was keeping things mentally cloudy for me but after a few hours of being in and out of it, I finally realized that my leg was pretty messed up. It was the next day before I knew it was broken but I knew pretty quickly that this was going to be a big problem.

I didn't know where I was. I didn't know where my bike was. I didn't know where all my stuff was and didn't even know who did know. I have to admit that a wave of self-pity swept over me and I remember turning on my side and thinking to myself, "God, why would you do this to me?" and just as soon as I had the thought I realized how ridiculous that was! I knew the answer but couldn't help myself from asking the question.

The first and foremost answer to that question is that I don't know. Isaiah 55:8 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD." I don't know the answer and that in itself is an answer and I'm ok with that. How does the sun come up? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do rabbits eat pellets but their poop is round? Why don't I have hair? (Ok, some of those questions are scientifically explainable but it doesn't mean I understand it.) I understand that I'm not ever going to understand some things.

Secondly: Why not me? Matthew 5:45 says, "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Maybe God has allowed me to go through something like this so that I can relate to other people who have been in similar or worse situations and maybe I can even help them somehow. Maybe they need to see how God works in my life through this and they decide they might like to have Him work in their life in a similar way. Any ol' fool can have pity, Mr. T, but the Lord gives grace.

The third way I could answer the question of "Why would God do this to me?" is to ask myself what else could have happened. All that happened was that I broke my leg and had a concussion. I fell off of a moving motorcycle and that's all that happened! Talk about grace! I'm thinking about telling people some other story when they ask what happened because I'm tired of people telling me their motorcycle horror stories. Especially doctors! I know what could have happened but it didn't and I'm very grateful in a way that I wasn't before.

So, the question of "Why?" is a natural one, I think, but not necessary. Maybe I haven't broken any new ground here but nothing in my life has helped me to understand this as clearly as having this happen. The whole Book of Job is also a little more clear to me now, as well. I still don't understand the rabbit poop thing but some things are better left unknown. I hope that helps.