Sunday, April 24, 2011



I’m a biker, not the Harley type, but a real biker; and have been all my life. I bought my first bike back in 1958 – a Triumph. Since then I have owned a slew of bikes – including one Harley that never ran right.

After I retired from the Navy my wife and I attended college. For the four years we lived in an old hunting camp with no water, no sewerage and no electricity: and our 650 Yamaha was our main source of transportation.

Three years ago, after returning from Alaska, I bought a Honda Shadow 750 – touted as my last bike:  It's a  sweet bike that gets 55 mph packing both my wife and me. It was due for a tune-up…set the valves and new plugs etc and I told my wife that I wasn’t about to pay $250 for someone else to do the work for me – I have always worked on my on ride.

So out I go and spend about $100.00 for metric tools including a special $40 special wrench that Honda said you need to do the job. Today was the day – a warm sunny day forecasted in Northwestern  Maine. I hit it at nine this morning – what I thought might be a two hour job turned into and all day marathon. Just in order to get to the valves I had to rip most of the bike down. Getting the cylinder heads out of the tight morass of hoses and wiring harnesses took me over two hours. Two trips down to VIP for an ultra thin spark plug socket they didn’t have, etc. and I'm getting pissed.   It's a pretty machine, but I won’t go into the lunacy of the placement of the bike motor parts and their inaccessibility.   I finally completed the job and started putting it back together.

Two screws left and I’m done; but the cylinder head bolt seemed to need one more turn.

Fuck it! The screw broke off. Now I’m screwed. Tomorrow I will rent a trailer and haul the bike to a repair shop. Best case scenario is they will be able to use and easy out and retrieve the broken screw – worst case scenario … $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I use to have an old friend up in Rangeley that always commented “God damn I!” when he fucked up. Well God damn I!

There's coffee when the whiskeys gone
But there is whiskey for tonight
(song by Dave Mallet)


  1. Didn't the indoctrination take or what?? My cousin did 20 years in the Navy on his third attempt and is now part of an "Anti-Government Circle-Jerk Echo Chamber"!! After his first hitch he was kinda rational, then after a couple years went back in as a TAR?? Still kinda normal. Another gap of some years and he went back in for a third time until he got in enough time to retire. He used to joke about the lobotomy that was mandatory when you made E-6, now I wonder if something like that didn't happen!! He retired as an E-8. Now he's a Far-Right-WingNut Bible-Banger.

    But from what little I've seen of your blog, you are not like the typical ex-military. I have met a couple of rational thinking ex-military (retired or not), but they are the exception. Most are Ultra-Right-Wing.

    As for the bike, Shit Happens.

  2. Kulkuri: No the indoctrination did not take. The day I retired I hung my uniform on the coatrack outside the Commanding Officers door and walked out to a new life. I did my job and earned my retirement - but it is not a memory I choose to live in. I feel sorry for the vets that live in that past - it is their only claim to fame...that is a sad thought.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."