Sunday, July 29, 2007

2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200S Oil Change

About a year ago I did a post about breaking off the oil filter cover mounts on my GS500 when doing an oil change. Since then I've received email from people who think I actually know what I'm doing when it comes to motorcycle maintenance.

I don't know what I'm doing.

That said, when it comes to tackling basic maintenance it's nice to have some photos to let you know that you're not completely destroying your vehicle. So this weekend when I changed the oil in the motorcycle I decided to take a few photos that someone might find helpful.

Okay, you've warmed up your bike for a couple of minutes and you're ready to get started. Getting the Bandit on the center stand wasn't as easy as it was with my GS500. But if you stand very close to your bike and maintain your weight on the stand - a tug or two on the handlebars should get the bike to pop right up.

You've got your pan beneath the bike and it's time to start wrenching. I've never been able to get my hand out of the way of the hot oil. I never thought that was much of a problem until I read my Clymer manual and they write that prolonged exposure to motor oil causes cancer. Can they make that kind of medical declaration in a motorcycle repair manual? Apparently the answer is, "Yes."

The old oil filter is easy to find. But don't go any further until you've got a pair of mechanics gloves on. I didn't have any on. Little bits of the skin from my knuckles are now clinging to my exhaust. I'm not sure what I was thinking but do yourself a favor and put on a pair of mechanics gloves.

Removing the old filter doesn't require a delicate touch so I just got a pair of channel locks, crunched it and started twisting. Remember, lefty loosey - righty tighty.

When it comes time to install the new filter you will want to avoid any crunching so put away the channel locks and get out an oil filter wrench and a ratchet.

Some people claim that FRAM filters are crap. If you change your oil on a regular basis I don't think it really matters plus you can find FRAM everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. So for your 2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200S you'll want to use a FRAM filter #PH6018.

After you've got the plug and new filter in place (careful not to over-tighten either) it's time for some fresh oil. You'll want to put 3.5 liters (3.7 quarts) of fresh 10W40 into your Suzuki. You're asking, "Do I really need to use motorcycle oil?" I was always told that it didn't make a difference but the more I read the more I discover that there is a difference beside the higher price. Believe it or not, one of the main reasons is that oil for cars is too slippery and can cause problems in your bike.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Whole Tooth - Nothing But. . .

I went to the dentist today. 2.5 hours to get my teeth cleaned. He's very thorough. He said I had great gums and I do a good job taking care of my teeth. He also provided a consultation resulting in a recommendation of $14,000 worth of minor corrections he could make. He promised that once I had these procedures I would have a perfect mouth of teeth that would bring great honor to my family.

Allie went to the dentist today. She likes going to the dentist and did a great job of convincing her sister that a good teeth cleaning is about as much fun as a person can have.

Julia had her turn in the chair. It was nothing like her first visit to the dentist. This time there was no screaming, no kicking, just a few uncomfortable moments when Allie got a little carried away with "Mr. Thirsty" - but otherwise Deb and I felt very grateful.

Yeah; it definitely was a family affair. I was really surprised at how involved the hygienist allowed Allie to become. In fact, I almost asked for a discount considering the amount of work Allie contributed.

I guess this means the only person in the house with a filthy mouth is Debbie.

God bless her.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Neiguan Pericardium 6

I didn't get any sleep last night (and not because Bon bon called me a jerk). I have a cold and I could not stop a raging case of hiccups. All night long these little spasms jerked my body at regular intervals. A couple of times I wound up on the bedroom floor trying not to wake Deb (she later told me that was a wasted effort).

They started around 7:00 p.m. last night. It's now 12:14 p.m. and I just got them to stop.

I went to this Web site:

I had tried many of the cures listed but then I saw one referring to acupressure. As I am fond of touching myself I saw no harm in giving this method a whirl.

It worked.

Coincidence? Maybe. But after 17 or so hours of hiccups I got to know the rhythms of my malady and I was at the peak of a hiccup cycle. I applied pressure to the spot indicated:Suddenly - no more hiccups. My eyes got wide and I looked around the room to see if anyone had witnessed the miracle. The cat sat up and looked at me for a moment. I don't think it had anything to do with some sort of ethereal energy that had been released by my use of this ancient Chinese healing art. He just yawned and flopped back down on the bed.

While the cat may not give a shit, I do. I'm planning a rigorous acupressure regime for myself starting right now. I'll start with points 5, 6 and 22 on my legs. I don't know how this is supposed to cure flatulence, but if I had known it was this easy I could have spared my family a lot of misery over the years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sounds Like You're Making Fun of a Pig

Ham mock.

From the sounds of all the small motors I hear sputtering around the neighborhood I should be mowing the lawn.

Screw that. I've got a hammock.

The girls are two doors down playing in a neighbor's yard. I don't think there are any other children, just them running around in circles and screaming, "Feed us! Throw out candy or we'll shit in your bushes!" Actually there appears to be about five or six of them and they seem to be getting along. I'm never sure if I should make my presence known to the other parents. It seems like I should pop over for a second just to let them know that I'm not depending on them to take care of my children for an hour or four.

I think I'll avoid contact. After all, I'm busy. I'm swinging in my hammock, listening to Radio All That Comes With It and wondering how god is punishing the evil people.

I'm looking at the sky and it reminds me of Bon Bon's photo of the capital shot through the fountain on Monona Terrace. It's a great picture. All that sky. It makes me want to close my eyes and take deep, deep breaths in through my nose. I haven't talked much to Bon Bon lately. We got in a huge fight just because I didn't hold the door for her one morning. I wound up standing in her office yelling at the top of my lungs. She wasn't there - but I felt better.

Speaking of confrontations with friends. Dwayne, you need to get your ass back here and pick up your trash. Who hops on their motorcycle and rides for hours just to drop their waste off on a person's porch? Who does that? I've walked around the house three times so far to see what else you may have left for me to pick up. So far I didn't find anything but that doesn't mean there's not a surprise waiting for me.

Julia just came by and crawled into the hammock with me. "Why aren't you playing?" I asked.

"Austin is trying to kill the turtle with a truck. I told him two times not to do it but he won't listen. "

"Yeah, but why aren't you playing with your friends?"

"Too many blueberries on the ground."


Time to give the girls a bath. I suppose their hygiene trumps my hammock time. They'd better be freakin' filthy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lucky Day

We were in Chicago yesterday for Anika's first birthday. Holding my niece reminded me that babies release massive amounts of procreation chemicals in a parent's brain. As much as I like kissing babies I was able to overcome the desire to throw Julia out of her room and convert it back to a nursery.

By the way, Anika has the grip of a pro wrestler.

It was a great party and we had a wonderful time celebrating Anika's first year. After the party we made our way to a downtown hotel. One thing we noticed was that everyone in Chicago was getting married. 7/7/07. Supposedly a very lucky day. This meant we saw two weddings in our hotel, we walked along the river and saw people being married on a boat. People were walking around in tuxes and bridesmaids' dresses.

Love was in the air.

I was thinking about what advice I'd offer a new bride and groom. The only thing I can think of is don't pee in front of one another. Leave a little mystery.

Actually, there are others, but I'm not sure I'm fit to offer advice on marriage. This isn't false modesty. I'm simply not a good husband. So when I tell you to never go to bed angry, I'm thinking you should probably push your husband/wife down the stairs before you hit the hay. Otherwise you'll stay awake all night long trying to think of ways to get him/her to stand at the top of the staircase without raising any suspicions.

Avoid doing any maintenance on your spouse's vehicle. The more knowledge you have the more likely you'll discover where the brake lines are.

Work on tempering the tone of your voice. Even the most subtle screaming attracts attention in public places; like church.

When glaring at your spouse, cough, jiggle around in your seat, flap your arms wildly so he/she will notice and you won't waste the energy it takes to burn a hole into the back of his/her head with your heat vision.

Buy your spouse an iPhone. That's the only thing that really says, "I love you."

When farting in bed make it loud so they know what's coming.

Do your share. Unless you know you can get away with not doing your share without any repercussions. Then it's okay to make them do all the work.

Passive aggression is healthy. Say it. Say it over and over again through your gritted teeth.

Um. . . I'm going to stop here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Empty Trash? Yes. Empty Trash. NO! WAIT!

If you click on the multimedia button to the left you'll find a new movie at the top of the page.

Bay Beach.

It's a big hackin' file so if you don't have broadband, click it then go make a sandwich, mow the lawn, maybe rearrange your sock drawer.

I accidentally erased all the clips I used so this version is the only thing that's left of the footage I shot.

Good thing I wasn't messing around with our wedding video.

I Can't Stop Watching This

I Like the Purple and Green Ones

The orgy of burst and boom came to an end around 10:30 p.m. last night. That was after Allie and I made our way to the fair grounds to see what fireworks the city had to offer.

We walked to our usual spot and put our blanket down next to an older guy wearing a hat that told us he was a Vietnam Veteran. He looked over at Allie and said, “Hi.”

Allie said, “Hi.”

“Are you ready for the show?” the guy asked.

As I watched Allie’s lungs fill up with air I knew this guy had no idea what he had launched.

home.Thisguyinatruckranoversomeofourfireworkstonight!Hejustpulledintoourdrivewayand. . .”

It didn’t go on as long as I expected but from the way our neighbor grinned at me it was clear he got more than he bargained for.

With a little help from our cell phones Larry and Karina found us and sat down on our blanket. Their three kids were already in their pajamas as we all waited for the explosions to start.

It was a good show. Parts of it were downright spectacular but I’m sure that was more a matter of proximity than anything else. Getting close to the action is vital to making any fireworks display great. When the first burst of the evening set off a bunch of car alarms it was fairly clear we were close enough for some greatness.

Allie was as vocal as she usually is. “That’s what I’m talking about, baby! Oooooh, that one thumped me in the chest! PRETTY!” In fact, we were all providing more commentary than usual. I’ve learned from Allie that while watching is fun, participating in anyway you can is more fun. Hence I threw in a few that’s what I’m talking abouts myself.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating - as much as I love the fireworks, I think I enjoy the walk back to the car as much, or more. Allie and I weave through the crowd and I listen to her go on and on about the fireworks or whatever it is that attracts her attention. I know just the right time to let go of Allie’s hand (before it gets too sweaty). And after there has been sufficient drying time, Allie’s hand always seems to find mine again. We talked about Naugahyde, North America, how nice it is to live in a small town and why the cookies from the bakery on Main Street are better than the ones from the grocery store.

When we got home we fired off our own contribution to the annual 4th of July ruckus. I decided I’d better get rid of the bigger stuff while everyone else lit their illegal mortars. It was clear that a lot of people decided this was the year to risk a fine. I didn’t feel as bad as I usually do that Deb had to miss out on the city fireworks because she was surrounded by some pretty high-powered stuff just standing in our driveway.

We still have a bunch of fountains left. If you’re interested, stop by this evening. We’ll be at the end of the driveway.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Little Miracles

While Dan's over in England preserving his present for his children's future, I'm sitting here thinking I should write about the fuzz in my belly button.

One seems to be a much nobler pursuit. But I'm not going to be the one who tells Dan he's wasting his time with this whole legacy thing.

As for me, I'm going to leave my kids tales of the fluff I've pulled from my navel. It's not that I don't have the urge to chronicle my kids' kidhood. I can be sentimental. It's just that I simply don't feel that my children deserve it.

They are brats.

They make me yell at them and behave in ways that force me to become inventive about being cruel.

Okay, they don't make me do these things. In fact, I must like to do these things because they come easily. That said, I still wouldn't want a recording of me yelling at my daughter to close her bedroom door because none of us downstairs want to hear her sobbing to be played during my eulogy.

Two bites. Two goddamn bites of cottage cheese and she was behaving as if I was making her eat something out of the litter box. She likes cottage cheese! She asks for cottage cheese! I give her cottage cheese! She doesn't eat the damn cottage cheese!

But Greg, she's only three.
She'll be four at the end of month.
You need to learn to be more patient.
You need to shut the hell up.
See what I'm talking about? You're a very angry person.
I'm not angry. I'm totally freakin' bonkers and it's all because of my daughters' incessant whining. That and the fact that cottage cheese is expensive. Now come closer so I can give you a big - great big hug.

I like to pull the lint out of my belly button. How it gets in there I'll never know. It's a little miracle that happens just about every single day. Just like when I don't call that list of boarding schools I carry in my wallet.