Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The 100 Mile Ride and So Much More

What do you get when you mix Willy D, Viking Dave, Arizona Harley Dude and his lovely lady Linda, Me, Big D and the whole Arizona BACA crew at a campground on the Colorado River with a floating dock bar??? You get one hell of a great weekend!!!!!

There is really a lot to tell, and I don't want to steal anyone's thunder, so I'll break it down by each day (as I remember them).


We left Phoenix at 3:00 pm on Friday afternoon. It was sunny but windy as hell. The bikes were ready to go, Annabelle even got a new front tire for the trip. Me, Big D and Vicki saddled up and headed out. We took the 60 through Wickenburg, rather than taking I-10. The freeway is just so boring.

Things were going great. Annabelle is a good pack mule. After fueling up in Wickenburg, we headed west toward Aguila. We had to make a brief stop in Aguila. I looked over to check on Vicki and she had her helmet on, but no glasses! WTF?! I made Big D pull over. We pulled into Woody's Hardware Store. Vicki had lost her glasses while we were in Wickenburg. I'm sure they were in the restroom at Circle K. Anyway, I gave her my clears and told her not to lose them, and off we went again.

There were many bugs out, and it was kind of gross, but they weren't a problem. Just had to keep wiping my glasses off. (Ewwww.) About 15 miles outside of Aguila, I heard a very strange, very loud noise under Annabelle. I thought, "I know I'm new at this, but I don't think she's supposed to make that sound." Then I realized I had no power. The throttle was useless. I gave Big D the high sign and pulled over. He asked what was wrong and I told him. I had no clue what had happened. I told him I thought I blew the transmission because when I put the bike in first after stopping, it wouldn't go, like it was stuck in neutral or something. Big D came and looked at Annabelle and said, "I'll be back." (Yes, I was reminded or Arnold at that point.) Me and Vicki watched him go back the way we came and he was gone for about 10 minutes. When he came back he asked if I had figured out what was wrong yet. I hadn't. Then he pulls my chain out. Yes, I lost my chain. The master link had snapped.

Now, under normal circumstances, people who run a bike with a chain carry an extra master link with them on the bike. Unfortunately, these were not normal circumstances. When Big D gave Annabelle to me, I didn't like the tool bag on the handlebars and made him take it off. He put the tools in the little pockets on my saddlebags instead. But apparently he forgot the master link. Now we're in the middle of f'ing nowhere with no master link. And there damn sure ain't a Harley dealer anywhere nearby.

Big D remembers Woody's Hardware Store in Aguila. At first, he wanted me to go buy a master link at the hardware store. Now normally any chance I get to ride Marie, and I'm all over it. But I have no friggin' idea what the hell I'm looking for. And by the way, the name Woody's is a bit misleading: nobody in the store spoke English! So off Big D went, leaving me and Vicki on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Vicki was a great sport, and kept me entertained by singing songs about her belly. :)  I decided to call Willy D and Viking Dave to let them know that we would be late getting into Parker. Willy D asked where we were and what had happened. I told him, and he said, "OK." About 20 minutes later, the two road whores pull up. You could have knocked me over with a feather! I am always happy to see our brothers from Cali, but I was especially happy to see them at that moment! While waiting for Big D, we chatted, took pics, and Dave set up  some bottles for 'target practice' for he and Vicki. (Good job, Vicki!)

When Big D finally got back, he was surprised to see Willy and Dave. Then he told us that they didn't exactly have the right size master link, but he made one out of two. This was Big D's first MacGuyver move of the weekend. He and Willy D put the chain back on Annabelle, and we were back on the road and headed to Parker.

Once we got into Parker and found the campground, we headed to the floating dock bar for some dinner and libations. It's only once or twice a year that we get to see all our BACA brothers and sisters together in the same place, so when we do get together, rest assured we are not going to be quiet about it! After 20 minutes of hugs and hellos and introductions to everyone, we ordered dinner and a drinky for me. :) Big D, Vicki and the boys went to set up the tent after we ate and I stayed at the bar. I wasn't going to be useful setting up the tent, anyway.

The floating dock bar has a stripper pole, and I actually made a few dollars on it Friday night. Fully clothed. Maybe they were paying me to keep my clothes on? Or to just stop? Who knows? Anyway, there was a great jukebox full of rockin' music and we kept it loud. I danced all night with my girls and we had a great time! After putting up the tent, Big D and the boys came back and Big D actually started drinking. This is highly unusual. So the Jack Daniel's was flowing freely. Life was good.

We stumbled back to camp after closing down the bar. It had been a very long day, and we were feeling it. We got ready for bed and laid down on the air mattress where we had the following conversation:

Me: There's not enough air in the mattress.
Big D: Shit.
Me: (In a sing-song voice) I'm rolling into the middle! So are you! Not good!
Big D: Shit.
Me: I'm going to the bathroom while you figure it out.

When I get back from the bathroom I find Big D with the air mattress outside the tent. He has the small air compressor plugged in and he's filling it up. We get the air mattress back in the tent and all set up. Big D lays down and I hear "Whooooooooosh".

Me: There's a hole in it.
Big D: What?
Me: There's a hole.
Big D: Where's the hole?
Me: (laughing) I can't find it. Oh, here it is!
Big D: I need some duct tape.
Me: Seriously??!! Do I look like I have fucking duct tape on me? Let me just pull it out of my ass!
Big D: Shit.

At that point, I was done. I went over to Vicki's mattress and said, "Vicki, move over, make room for Mommy. Daddy's mattress has a hole in it." Vicki said ok, but there was no room for Daddy. (LOL) We then heard Big D rooting around in the bags for quite some time. We were laughing at him. Then we were laughing at farts. :)  We finally fell asleep. In the morning Big D told me what he did to fix the mattress and why he woke up sleeping on an empty mattress:

"I found some bubble gum and a maxi-pad with wings and fixed the hole." (This was his shining moment as MacGuyver!) "It held for about two hours and then I heard a loud POP! but I didn't really wake up." (I'm picturing the mattress blowing a bubble with the gum, are you with me here?)

The mattress deflated and Big D slept on. The problem is, his half of the tent was on the gravel. Ours was on the grass. He was hurting bad when he woke up.

Also, poor Dave was sleeping just outside our tent, and remembers hearing, "Where's the hole?" "I can't find it. Oh, here it is!" Glad we gave him a good laugh, anyway!

That was the start to our kick-ass weekend. I think I'll give you all a break and tomorrow I will continue with all the fun.

Ride safe!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Constitutional Carry Law Is Signed By AZ Governor

In case you didn't hear about it, Arizona has just passed the Constitutional Carry law. What is that, you ask? That is essentially the right to keep and bear arms as the 2nd amendment intended.

Here are a few blurbs from the announcement on the acmc list I'm on:

"Arizona now becomes the third state to not require written permission from the government for law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to bear arms discretely. Because Arizona is the first state in the U.S. with a large urban population to take this significant step, this is a watershed moment for the entire country."

"If you don't have a permit, don't start carrying concealed just yet. The law won't become effective until 90 days after "Sine Die" when the Legislature officially adjourns. Since they are still working through a slew of bills, we don't expect Sine Die anytime soon. In past years, the effective date of bills has been around September."

"CCW permits still have a purpose. You'll need one to streamline gun purchases, to carry in states that honor Arizona permits and for carrying concealed in establishments that serve alcohol. And, the training you receive to obtain a permit is an added bonus. Along with restoring your right to bear arms, SB 1108 added additional training opportunities for obtaining a permit. NRA classes and training from places like Front Sight
and Gunsite will be able to qualify as permit training."

"If you decide not to obtain a CCW permit, that doesn't mean you shouldn't train. The heaviest thing about wearing a firearm is the responsibility that comes with it. Take that money that you save on permit and renewal fees and spend it on quality training as often as you can. Lead by example - the world is watching."

Now, surprising as it may seem, this has been a hot issue here in the Valley of the Sun. Some people think it's a bad idea. I've heard people say this will make it easier for criminals to get weapons. Really? Criminals are not going to the local arms shop or gun show to buy their weapons. This law has no effect on how criminals obtain guns. You still must pass a federal background check in order to purchase a gun - that did not change. You just don't need special permission from the state to carry the gun concealed.

I have also heard some folks talk about what a danger this will be for LEOs. Um, not so much. Again, I know lots of people who carry concealed weapons, and people who open carry; none of them are a danger to LEOs now. They still won't be. One more time: this law has no effect on how criminals obtain guns.

I am personally tickled pink that this law has passed. Some may think this is taking a step backward to "The Wild West", but perhaps it's a step forward.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Talking In My Sleep - Updated

I felt Big D get into bed and the following conversation ensued:

Me: Did you turn off the hose?

Big D: Huh? Yes.

Me: I'm cold.

Me: Can you get me a blanket?

Big D: Do you think I just came to bed?

Me: Yeah

Big D: I just rolled over and you started asking questions

Me: Oh. Can I get that blanket?

(And yes, he did get up and put a heavy blanket on me.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Has It Been That Long, Really?

Over the last month I have had very good intentions of posting. But what is it they say about the road to hell? Anyway, I do have lots to tell you, but this could turn into a VERY long post, so I'm going to do this list-style, otherwise I'll be here all damn day!

  1. My baby girl turned 12 on March 24. We went to Kartchner Caverns in southern AZ. Stayed at a neat little hotel in Benson, AZ for the weekend. Had a great time. I totally recommend the Caverns to anyone who is NOT claustrophobic. :)
  2. I took Annabelle on my first overnight trip last month. We rode to Tucson for BACA's Pima County Chapter's 1st Annual Poker Run. I ran out of gas on the freeway because Big D changed my fuel tank, and I had never run reserve before. It was real fun running out of gas at 80 mph on I-10 in front of 3 big rigs the day after that fatal crash involving a meth-head truck driver and 9 bikes. The good news is, I found out I have a 72-mile range on this tank before I hit reserve. :)  After that, my throttle got stuck wide open as we were pulling into Tucson. Yeah, 85 mph and I can't slow down without hitting the breaks. I pull in the clutch and Annabelle is screaming. But of course Big D was able to fix her. We think I picked up some bad gas when I ran out. It was a great weekend, and I'm not afraid of the freeway anymore. :)
  3. My grandson Jayden turned 2 on Sunday. :)
  4. As of today, I have been 11 days without a cigarette. Chantix really works. (aka: no dead bodies to hide)
  5. I am maintaining my 3.91 GPA in school, and am now beginning my core classes.
  6. Really good things are happening at work, for the company and for me.
  7. We just found out that Dave and Willy D are going to join us for the BACA 100-mile ride camping trip! We're sad that BB and Mrs. Willy D can't go, but so happy that some of our crazy Cali friends can go! If anyone wants more info, email me. (Paul!)
  8. My mother's condo has finally sold! Closing is at the end of June. We will be in our new home by my birthday...I hope. :)
  9. Big D let me ride the Dyna. Now I know why he didn't want me to ride it. I love Annabelle. But seriously??? For those of you that don't know....a '99 Dyna is to an '88 Sportster what a Cadillac Escalade is to a Ford Pinto! WTF?! I keep threatening to take the Dyna to work some Friday. I will eventually. :) 
I know there's lots more, but I have to get ready for work, and the Chantix makes me a little crazy. :) I will try to post more often so I don't have to do these crazy list-type posts.

Ride safe!