Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

bummer @ abate

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April 2018

    Greetings all you April Foolish people,

    I STARTED to write a genuine “fake news” story for April Fools’ Day. Then, I realized you couldn’t be getting your magazines on the first of the month which IS the actual holiday (even if our printing company DID send them out in time) because it falls on a Sunday this year... EASTER Sunday no less! It’s as if the calendar insisted I scrap that idea, so I threw it in the trash. Instead, I’ll lay some “TRUE news” on ya...

    Ya know, every time I think to myself that I’ve seen, heard, and/or done it all, something comes along and destroys that notion, and once again I become a child awestruck by a new reality.

    I’m a very visually oriented person – I relish having the use of my eyes to see the interesting and the beautiful in what’s around me. I like looking at thought provoking paintings, viewing nature in all its forms, appreciating sculpture, watching things that move on past me... and things that don’t. I’ve dabbled in art (drawing and painting) but didn’t pursue it because I always seemed to be too busy doing other things like working a real job, taking care of my home and family, and partying my ass off whenever possible (that’s why my ass is so flat now).

    Now that I’m retired and I live alone, I no longer have the ambition to study anything that requires much effort and concentration. I often tell people that after a lifetime of learning useless crap, my brain is about as full as it can get, and every time I learn anything I have to forget something. But I still appreciate visual art and form in any context.

    Anyway, ever since I was a little kid I’ve often thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if someone could invent a different color?’ Think about seeing a color that has never been seen before!

    Imaginations are usually somewhat limited to what has been experienced, or at least what can be based on those experiences. So how could we even think of seeing a new color if we’ve never seen it before in nature and had nothing to base the imagination of it on? The same could be said of all our other senses: smell, taste, touch, and hearing.

    About twenty years ago I first heard of a new paint developed by BASF. It came to be commonly known as “Flip/Flop” and quite expensive when it first came out (more than $700 a gallon over twenty years ago.) A friend named Karl Gruhlkey first told me about it when he happened to have a pint or so left over from painting a car for a customer and asked if I was interested in it. I needed some new skin on my old Shovelhead anyway, and he was generous and gracious enough to spray the bike’s sheet metal (just the two fenders and both tanks) with his left-over “wonder paint” so, soon my scoot was coated with it.

    From one angle the bike was very red. Move a few steps away, and the bike was deep blue. Step away again, and the bike was golden! It was the damnedest thing I ever saw and people would stop and stare, especially as the bike moved down the road changing hues in the sunlight or under the streetlights in the evening! Mine was definitely that “Horse of a Different Color” mentioned in “The Wizard of Oz”. I heard that a “sister” paint by that same manufacturer would reflect as orange, red, and beige (or something like that), but I don’t remember ever actually seeing it and that’s the only way to really appreciate it since it’s all a matter of light and angle reflection.

    Nowadays that paint isn’t that unusual to find on some “custom” vehicles, but it’s RARELY used for everyday things because it’s still so expensive (though most of you have probably seen some version of it). A few months ago on an interstate, I spotted a big old independent semi-truck tractor that was painted in the same color(s) as my bike pulling a Wal-Mart trailer!

    Well, recently another friend of mine, Bob Hanek (who often sends me stuff that amazes and entertains), sent me an email with an attachment telling of another new development in the world of color...

    The Lexus car company has produced a line of paints for some of their car models that are very different than existing coatings and colors. Oh, the actual base colors are the same (the color spectrum seen by the human eye is limited), but the process used to make these paints is SO advanced that it creates a different coating that can’t even be viewed in its magnificence on computers, television screens, or in photographs (something about the pixels I guess). If you’re interested, a web-link to the story of that, with an explanation of how they came up with it and what it’s all about is at: Since I’m not a very “techno” person, I’m not sure if this is the easiest way to turn you on to the site, but there it is. Maybe googling something like “new Lexus Structural Blue paint” might work better for yuns. Like I said, it’s disappointing that the only way to actually SEE these paints is to see them on a new Lexus, and how many of us go browsing in Lexus showrooms? But that’s how it is for now.

    There at this website, they show how they’ve produced something called “Structural Blue” that’s made from a certain kind of butterfly’s WINGS!! And a “black” that is SO black that the matting of it makes anything with the same coating completely disappear when passed over it in any kind of light and from any angle... I imagine powder coating the chassis and motor parts on your bike with it would look outrageous! All you’d see is the silhouette of it all. (But on MY bike the dirt would soon definitely stand out.) There’s also a “Pinkest Pink” that they say really shows crazy properties. In addition, they’ve developed the “Greenest Green”, the “Yellowiest Yellow”, and something they call “The Most Glittering Glitter” (I bet Vegas show-girls and 80’s rockers would just LOVE this stuff!)

    The reason I think all this is so important (and why I’m making such a big deal about it), is that most of us might think that the world is rapidly becoming so, well, small, simply because we don’t pay attention to most of it. I personally know of a few people who seem to spend their entire lives playing video games and being awed only by the latest bullshit they’ve either read or shared on FaceBook instead of even taking the time to notice the many true wonders of this world that have always been, that still remain, and those that are waiting to be found.

    New developments in medicine and in ANY science go unnoticed for the most part unless they directly affect you or your loved ones. Hell, we STILL aren’t even sure what mysteries lay in the deepest parts of our oceans. And outer-space still baffles everyone so much that most people stopped paying much attention to that long ago when mankind first set foot on that big thing that we rarely even notice circling our planet in the night sky. That happened way back on July 20th, 1969. Regarding that, not many folks even know how many humans have actually walked on the moon. Well, the answer is twelve... during SIX different lunar landings. (Sorry because if ya didn’t already know that, now YOU will probably have to forget something.)

    It seems that the only times we even pay heed to anything we see is if we can figure out ways to use it up, make more of it, destroy it, or to make a profit from it. You can bet your ass the only reason money was provided for research to develop this new paint was for profit.

    I’ve never understood how anyone could be, or even want to be, obsessed with constantly acquiring more stuff and always making a profit. But I HAVE realized long ago that as long as it isn’t all about greed, financial profit isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And from that, at least sometimes we all might gain something new... something we’ve never seen before. And isn’t that worth noticing and paying attention to?

    It seems funny that the older I become, the MORE I’m amazed and often delighted that this Earth we live on, and the “space” enveloping it, holds such wondrous things... things that should astonish and stupefy even the most knowledgeable people among us, let alone dumbasses like me. How can anyone who pays even the slightest attention to that which surrounds them ever actually be bored with living on this wonderfully mysterious planet? Life is such a trip!

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