Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

bummer @ abate

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March 2015

    “The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, no matter how persistent.”     Albert Einstein
(Yeah, it’s gonna be another one of those and I apologize in advance. I’ll try not to get too far “out there” in future columns. Just been thinking too much and riding too little.)

    Sometimes when I recall something from the past, I mistakenly think it happened, say a month ago, when in reality it was much further back in time. For instance: I was recently moving some stuff around in the garage and ran across a Torque wrench thinking, ‘I haven’t used this since I bought it last summer. It hasn’t even been out of the box yet!’ Then I realized with a shock that I bought it over six years ago to replace one that someone had “borrowed” from me a few years before that!

    One of the things about getting older is that time seems to blur, and I usually find that humorous. Though it CAN get confusing, rarely is the “blurring of time” issue that much of a negative thing for me....except that it’s surprising when I realize the reality, then I might worry about losing my mind because I’m turning into an old codger. During those moments I sometimes feel that maybe mistakes regarding time aren’t so much “mistakes” as they’re simply like reaching into a file cabinet and finding that things have been filed incorrectly. To me, other than imagination and reasoning, that’s most of what the mind is: A file cabinet, with a little guy running around in it trying to find and sort stuff out.

    Besides, all of the great minds of the past century (including Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking among others) agree that time isn’t linear anyway, meaning it doesn’t just go from one point straight to’s flexible. Others think that time itself, as we understand it, doesn’t even exist (which is WAY too big for someone with my limited intelligence to get his brain wrapped around).

    But if nothing else, I’m sure that time IS relative.

    A child thinks something that happened three months ago was far in the past, but an old man might think that same thing happened just the other day (like the Torque wrench thing). But both can be right AND wrong. And we’re not even talking about senility or Alzheimer’s here, we’re talking about perspective and context. Ya see, it all depends on what you have to compare the duration to. For this reason, the older you become, the faster time seems to fly by. But the younger you are, the slower it goes. So I guess sometimes it can all seem to be about what percentage (for lack of a better word) of your life’s experiences the duration is compared to.

    Please bear with me for a moment............
    I’ve owned and rode many street bikes ever since I could drive. Now that I’m in my “mature” years, it often seems that my current one, a Road King, is new....until I stop and really think about the situation and realize that I’ve had her for over 16 years (which is less “time” than I had my last bike, my Shovelhead). So the Road King is anything but new, she just seems new to me compared to all my other ones because “time” has flown by quicker due to MY age and experiences, and because she’s the “newest”...the most recent. So, even a simple thing like “new” can be relative and in the eye of the beholder. (That, and since she’s the only one I’ve ever bought brand new and didn’t start out as a basket-case like most of the others, AND since I’ve kept her from running or looking too shabby and “used”, she still seems sorta “fresh”.)

    Another confusing aspect of “time” is the way we measure it. That measurement is based on our solar system, our star - the sun. Since one “day” is the rotation of our planet around “our” sun, what is a “day” if you’re in deep space away from our sun? Hence, how long would be a year, a day, or even a second? How would you measure time unless “our” sun was used as a reference point? (By the way: Did you know that a “jiffy” is literally 1/100th of a second?)

    In space, a clock would only tell you what time it is on Earth where we have all kinds of time “zones”, and it would be as obsolete of an accurate tool, for anything other than measuring duration, as a buggy whip (actually, I can think of all kinds of things to do with one of those.) But getting back to it, alien beings coming here from another star’s system wouldn’t even measure time like we do because the speed and distance of their planet to their sun would be different than ours, that’s IF they even used the same method (whew).

    And then there’s that thing that says time, and apparently even aging, slows down the closer you get to the speed of light (and it might even go backwards if you went faster)....which IS a logical fact established by way of physics and mathematics (except maybe the backwards part). And that is definitely as far as I want to go with all this stuff because we’re only as smart as we think we are, and I don’t think I’m that smart. However I would like to sum it up by asking the question, “If we can’t fully understand even the BASIC concepts of time, what does it matter if we can’t remember things like what we had to eat for breakfast this morning?” It’s done, (burp!) and so is all of that...

    I attended one of our local ABATE meetings last week and was pleased to meet a few new, younger, enthusiastic people who had just moved here from another state. For some time we’ve acknowledged the facts that we not only need new members (obviously), but we also need to try harder to attract younger ones too. That or we’ll soon become a small bunch of burnt out old geezers fighting for motorcycling freedoms while those very same freedoms rapidly become things of the past.

    This month, ABATE of Ohio’s Legislative Seminar, where members and non-members from across the state and beyond come together to share information, strategy, and tactics, will be held on March 27th, 28th, and 29th in the lodge of Deer Creek State Park in Mount Sterling, fifty miles or so south of Columbus. My good friend Jackie and I are planning on going down, and I hope all of you give it some thought too. Aside from gaining a wealth of info, I see old ABATE friends there each time I go whom I never see otherwise. And don’t worry, this year I won’t be a speaker! But I WILL probably be singing and jamming on the gee-tar, with TJ and whoever else wants to join, in a room or someplace else (like maybe the lodge’s “pit” room in the lobby with the big fireplace), as we zestfully and enthusiastically make musical fools of ourselves! LOL!

   Moving on...
    I went to a bar owned by a friend of mine the other night and hung out for a little bit. When I entered, there were some pretty laid-back people there, a mixed crowd (maybe a dozen young and old, males and females). But soon a group of five barely twenty-one year old “dudes” who haven’t learned how to act in a tavern yet, came in. And everything immediately changed. Remember those damned annoying flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz? Well, that night the bar was blessed by their presence. And they listen to crappy music.

    I swear, the few women in the place were so pestered by these “boys” (they seemed to take turns being assholes) that one by one the ladies slid out the door and left, pissing off the rest of us to the point that one of the more mature men told the young guys to, “Just get the hell out of here!” Well this set in motion something I haven’t seen in years – a good old-fashioned knock-down and drag-’em-out bar fight!

    After some shouting one of the young guys pulled out a gun, and my friend the owner immediately reached out, grabbed me, and pulled me behind the bar where we both ducked. Too much was happening at once! Apparently someone got the gun from the kid and threw it behind the bar where the damned thing hit the floor and went off exploding a bottle of Jack right next to my head! I mean this was turning into a real mix-‘em-up! it wasn’t just some wham, smack, and then wrestle on the floor for a few minutes kinda thing!

    We finally just gave up and stood there watching as all hell broke loose! I mean bar stools were just a-flyin’ through the air, bottles were swung and thrown, and then the juke-box got smashed. When THAT happened, my buddy called the po-lice and within’ a few short minutes two cops came through the door, the first one slipping on some blood and falling on his ass.

    But the boys in blue soon got everything under control. An ambulance was called and one of the customers ended up being taken to the hospital. Two MORE cops arrived, and the young gunslinger was taken away to jail in handcuffs for discharging a weapon in a liquor establishment, while the two original responding officers stayed, questioned, and filled out reports, including the official police account necessary for the bar’s insurance company regarding the juke-box.

    Actually to be honest, none of this last part is true. I just thought a good-old rip ‘em up, MANLY story was needed after all that sissified talk about time and relativity. I feel better now.


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