Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm Not Sure How it Happened

I had been looking at a BMW f650 that is parked on the edge of town. Every day I drive by it on the way to work and each day (until Saturday) I wanted it more. In fact I even did some negotiating with the person who owns the bike, but she wouldn't budge much on the price.

Good thing.

On Saturday I went into town to get some oil for the old Suzuki. The motorcycle shop I frequent is owned by an older couple. They are very sweet people and I've always liked doing business with them. When I told them that I also needed a new battery Judy, the owner, asked me what bike I had. She found out I had a 2001 GS500 and stopped in her tracks. She told me they had been looking everywhere for a GS500 but couldn't find one locally. In fact, they were sending a friend to Ohio to look at one at a dealership.

Three hours later I sold my motorcycle and made a little money off the deal to boot.

Now I was prepared to give the person the extra money she demanded for her BMW. But before I went to make the deal I decided to check Craigslist.

That's where I found a 2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200S.

Allie and I met the college kid who owns the motorcycle on Sunday. I took it for a test drive. Honestly, the thing scared me. I would describe it as a muscle car. It's got a crap load of torque. They call it the "Wheelie Cycle" because a lot of wheelie schools buy this model for the high power, low price combo. That same combination has also left it with the reputation as being a thug bike.

Heh. . .

It's not perfect, it needs some cleaning up and I really wanted something fuel injected so I wouldn't have to warm it up on cold mornings. Plus, it's got a modified exhaust that adds horsepower (which I don't need) and engine noise (which I don't want). But oh my god does it fly.

I drove it home this evening. I thought I was going about 70 MPH. I looked down at the speedometer and it said I was doing a little more than 100.


So getting the new bike was a bit of a whirlwind and to tell you the truth I'm not sure how I wound up with a new bike so quickly. After all, the GS500 was a great bike. But my riding habits and girth truly cried out for something bigger.

Bigger, I got.

Friday, June 15, 2007

UPS Says Father's Day was Thursday

My father’s day gift arrived early. It sat on the front porch waiting for me to come home last night. I’m sure that Deb would have preferred that the words “Hammock Stand” weren’t on the outside of one of the boxes. But they were. That must be why Deb thought there was really no point in pretending and, like I said, I got my father’s day gift early.

We went into town to find a carabineer to help hang my new hammock from the tree in the back yard.
But Greg, didn’t you just write that you got a Hammock Stand with your new hammock?
Yes, but it only supports one end. You have to find something to hang the other end on and it turns out neither of the girls is patient or strong enough.

The tree in back is perfect.

By the time we got home the sun was just about ready to disappear. So I worked quickly and after a little trial and error I got the hammock to support my weight, Allie’s weight and after a few minutes Julia’s weight.

As I write about this I’m starting to get drowsy. I’m remembering how the girls lowered their voices a little to accommodate the relaxed look on my face. We rocked a little. We stared at the leaves and listened to the wind move them around. After the girls went inside to bed I stayed outside in the hammock. I tried a few different positions. I turned my body to let my legs dangle over the side and used them to push myself back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth until I knew I was just a second or two away from sleeping.

That’s when I sprung up and tore apart my hammock assembly and went into the house. My almost nap must have provided some benefit because I stayed up half the night. Damn Steve Jobs and his keynotes. This time he’s all about Leopard. It’s coming in October and if I can’t get a copy in my usual, no money involved method then I’ll gladly shell out the $129.

Speaking of Apple, this weekend I’ll find out if the wireless works from the hammock. A hammock post. It’ll take a very long time to write. And it’ll be filled with very short sentences. Short sentences about leaves. Plus I’ve been itchin’ to use the words “dappled sunlight” for some reason. I have other words that have been hanging around for a while. Right now I have detritus on the brain. I don’t know what detritus means but I keep thinking about it. I don’t want to look it up. I just want it to go away. But what I want most is to go back and forth in my hammock.

Back and forth.

Did I say, “Thank you, Debbie”?

Thank you, Debbie.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tonight It's Aspirin for Dinner

Living an hour away from America's largest water park means we can hop in the car and have a mini-vacation and be home before the cats wake up. So when Deb got an invitation to spend the day at Noah's Ark without paying we decided to go. This is after last night when I told Deb that I didn't want to go. But by 10:00 a.m. this morning I found myself in the front seat of the car with two kids in the back seat vibrating with anticipation.

Driving to the park in our swimsuits meant we could walk through the gate, get our wristbands and almost immediately jump down a slide.

We did.

My first plunge was cold. Inverted nipples cold. But Allie didn't seem to mind. In fact she was braver than she's ever been on these trips.

We'll get to Julia later.

Allie is now tall enough to go on some of the more intense attractions at the park. Early on, we went on one of the dark rides called Black Thunder. I noticed her screams put the life guards on high alert until they heard the phrase, "THAT WAS AWESOME!" being repeated again and again.

Yes, Allie brought her nads along with her on this trip. That's why she decided she could handle the super intense Stingray. At the beginning of this ride Allie was sitting in a tube hanging over the edge of a thirty or forty foot drop. Before we went over, we got a little stuck and I had a chance to look into her eyes. They said, "Why are you killing me, Daddy?"

It was also Julia's day to be brave. She made several requests to ride the rapids on Congo Bongo. Of course getting her to take that first plunge was like walking her to the gallows. But she soon converted her screams of protest to screams of terror and then excitement. I was surprised when we heard, "I wanna wide dat won again!"

I got the chance to go over the Point of No Return. I'd been on this slide before, but I had forgotten the way it slams your trunks up your butt. People watch you when you go over this thing because they like to see you try to gracefully pull your pants out of your crack without anyone noticing. I walked away feeling as if I could not have shoved my trunks deeper into my body without the aid of greased axe handle. I suddenly felt a kinship to those who have done hard time in prison. It took me a good ten minutes of not-so-subtle picking and pulling and finally a trip to the restroom with some pliers to feel normal again.

One thing about hanging out with so many half-naked people is trying to avoid playing Jr. dermatologist. I'm not expert, but there were a few times when I wanted to pull out out a Sharpie and circle some of the skin abnormalities I had to stare at while we stood in line.

"Dude, I'm not a doctor, but I'm 100% sure that without surgery and massive radiation that thing on your back is going to kill you."

I realize this sounds a lot like all of our other water park posts, but I can't help myself. It was a good day. We're tired. Despite lots of sunscreen I'm red. Debbie and Allie are a little splotchy in places. Julia is as lilly white as she was this morning. But I'll take some aspirin and sleep the sleep of a large, red man who had a nice vacation with is family today.

Of course, I'll let you know (with all appropriate details) if I swallowed enough cryptosporidium to make a difference.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Care for a map (you stupid prick bastard)?

At this very moment I'm watching Bobby Flay grate cheese. This evening on Iron Chef America the secret ingredient seems a little more pedestrian than usual. It's plain ol' beef. And it was dead before they started cooking it. That's a change from when Deb and I watched the Japanese version of the show. They'd take a live fish and chop its head off and we'd squeal in disgust as it flopped around before they made ice cream out of it.

Now Betty White is pitching 1-800-PETMEDS on TV. I wonder what Betty White does for fun these days. She's 85.

I wonder what a day will be like if I make it to 85. I'm thinking something like this:

I wake up. I brush my teeth (including all four wisdom teeth that I'll hold on to despite the recommendations of every dentist I've ever visited). I take a shower, being very careful not to walk on my alarmingly distended scrotum as I step into the tub. After that it's a bio-engineered, hyper-fiber breakfast that makes my colon so clean there's an audible squeak when I walk. The bus picks me up and takes me to my job in town where I hand out maps and mutter obscenities to visitors at the state capital. I'll eat my lunch on a bench on the square and continue swearing at passersby. After work I'll come home and make dinner for Allie and Julia because they'll still be living at home. Deb will be gone. She left us years ago after she ran off with Makoto Nagano. After dinner, I'll give the girls a bath and then find a quiet spot to sit with my mouth open and stare at a ceiling fan until it's time for bed (around 6:30).

Suddenly I don't feel like typing anymore.

My god the ceiling fan in our bedroom spins fast.