Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

bummer @ abate

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January 2016

Happy New Year!!!

    According to the Chinese zodiac 2016 is the “Year of the Monkey”. The Red Fire Monkey to be precise. Not sure what that means exactly, but I’ve always thought that monkeys were cool....but not those flying monkeys in the Wizard of OZ of course. And certainly not the ones that scratch their butts as they make faces at you in the zoo. And not those nasty ones that throw coconuts at Cheetah just because he’s Tarzan’s little ass-kisser. And what’s up with that “Red Fire Monkey” stuff? Sounds sorta bad doesn’t it? Okay, okay, I guess monkeys can be sorta creepy. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how this “Year of the Monkey” thing goes.

    But all kidding aside, every year really is a fresh start, a new chance to see what you can make of your life if you’re not completely satisfied (and very few of us are). It might take something simple like a new seat for your bike, or then again it might be something much more like a new job, or moving to a different home and neighborhood.

    In my case, most years I consider beginning a new diet and I try to control my appetite instead of allowing it to control me. But then hunger causes uncontrollable urges to get the best of me if I just ride past a greasy burger joint or every time I watch a lip-smacking episode of the “The Walking Dead” (I know! Disturbing isn’t it?). In any event it’s obviously best to not set yourself up with goals that might be difficult unless you’re sure you are up for the challenge.

    A few New Years ago I solemnly decided to shake things up a bit when I told myself that I would quit drinking, quit smoking, quit swearing and quit being such a deviant. Then I got over the hangover.

    I think that’s the way with many of us....we might have a deliberate intention to do something that would affect us in a positive way preventing some kind of personal misery, but then when we get over that specific misery and actually pause to think about it, we realize that following through with the solution would be too difficult or we talk ourselves out of it by telling ourselves, “That’s not what I really wanted to do. What the hell was I thinkin’ about?” And ya know, I think that’s not a bad thing because if we were always carefully avoiding bad decisions and constantly striving for excellence in our behavior, we’d not only be bored, we’d be boring.

   And now for something completely different..................
    I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot about those “self-driving” cars in the media lately. Well, if we could instantly go straight to the time when they had been tested, perfected, and were dependable, that might be fine....BUT (and notice there’s a big but here) until these things are proven to be super-reliable and super-trustworthy, imagine all the technological screw-ups that are certain to cause death and destruction. I mean, how often has YOUR computer messed up? And all this stuff is going to be governed by computers: The vehicles’ “on-board” computers that plot the paths of these things individually and the “Smart Highway” computers that monitor and determine the flow of the surrounding traffic that these things interact with. Other related issues may include specifically directed viruses....very tempting to any hackers who would want to cause mass pandemonium and chaos. By the way, it was discovered by ABATE a few years ago that there is absolutely NO plans concerning motorcycles regarding that “Smart Highway” system that is being developed for these self-driving vehicles.

    Unlike a car, a bike isn’t just stop and go, turn left or right...there are SO many variables like leaning, counter-steering, and dealing with two wheeled stability as opposed to four, all of which must certainly depend on the “human guidance factor” and are, in fact, the things that would be the joy of riding a motorcycle. Maybe our “Human guidance” would cause mayhem with that automated Smart Highway system. I’m more than a little curious about how all this is going to turn out in the future.

   Speaking of the future (and to change gears once again)........
   Recently my good friend Jackie turned me on to a guy named Manoj Bhargava (pronounced Minosh Bargava). He’s the guy who marketed and made major bucks from that “5-Hour Energy” stuff.

    If you ever feel (like I do) that we NEED to occasionally hear something good about people and something positive about the future of mankind, then look for this guy on U-Tube, Google, or whatever. If you have a few minutes, take the time to watch the 43 minute “Official” clip titled, “Billions in Change”. It really IS interesting and he’s not asking for something or trying to sell anything.

    I’m not necessarily someone who is into people who preach about stuff like, “Things you can do to become a better you” or “How to make a better world” (although Jackie does have me sorting my trash now and she even hauls the recyclables away). But it’s great to hear of someone who really tries to make a difference and often succeeds in doing so by not just talking the talk, but walking the walk (like Jackie) and he spends much of his massive fortune on it. This guy gives hope for a better future on many levels, if nothing else simply because he doesn’t seem to be just another rich, selfish bastard. I’ll admit that in most cases I have an attitude about the truly wealthy, not out of jealousy or because I covet their wealth, but because they have more than they deserve or need while so many have so little. Even Jesus supposedly said something like, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” And that’s probably the only time yer ever gonna hear ME quoting the bible LOL!! Do yourself a favor and check out “Billions in Change”.

    Now, lastly for this month......
   The other day Sherry from Region 8 emailed me with a request for two radio commercials that I had made for ABATE a while ago. So I sent them to her and she can do whatever she wants with them. I’m mentioning this because I’ve written about these things a few times in the past and very few have taken me up on my offer of sending out these commercials to anyone who asks for them, and that’s disappointing (maybe because it feels like nobody’s reading my columns LOL). Yet, I still think this is a step in the right direction for us.

    We are SO in need of the public attention that is required for any grass roots, volunteer, organization. These things are professionally made, they’re safety oriented, and are designed to be easily broadcast by your local radio stations as PSAs (Public Service Announcements) prominently mentioning ABATE of Ohio. Just ask your local stations to do it and they probably will. They (the stations) are required by the FCC to run so many PSAs anyway to maintain their licenses, and now would be a good time to ask them to do so due to the fact that it might take a few months for the stations to get these PSA spots into their broadcasting rotation. Email me and ask me to send them to you. My email is and ya don’t even have to say please. If I become swamped with your requests, so be it. I’m up for the task.

                    Hurt me,

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