Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

bummer @ abate

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September 2018

    How DO you do?

    As much as Iím leery of some kinds of technology (because of my own inability to understand how to use it properly), one of the first things I do every morning when I wake up is to check my email and look to see whatís happening on my Facebook page. Well, this morning someone posted a video of a bull mistaking a motorcycle (that had been parked in a field), for a cow... and attempting to, uh well, you know. This big-ass bull jumped up onto the rear of the bike pushing it forward off its kickstand, then proceeded to dance along behind it managing to keep it upright as it probably wondered why this weird-ass looking cow just wouldnít stand still!!

    I was laughing so hard I was snorting!! At 5:00 in the morning no less! Anyway, this made me recall something that occurred when I was just a little kid Ė about five years old. I was the last one to leave the nest, way younger than my brothers and sisters, and the only one still living at home...

    I was riding along in the back seat of my parentís car gazing out the window one day as we took a leisurely ďSunday driveĒ out in the country (something many people did back when gas cost what it should), when my eyes wandered to a bull mounting a cow in a farmerís pasture. I freaked and yelled, ďMOM! DAD! Look at THAT!!Ē pointing to the utterly strange display of animal acrobatics! Mom turned to see what the hell I was so excited about and immediately faced forward again, but I could see the back of her shoulders were shaking. Dad looked to see what all the excitement was about, but soon he too focused his attention back to the road ahead, although I could see HIS shoulders were shaking as well while he made some funny noises over the pipe clenched in his mouth. I continued with, ďThat must be a place where they raise and train Circus-Cows!!Ē and both of their shoulders shook even harder.

    Now, of course Iíd never actually SEEN Circus-Cows performing, but I guessed they were sorta like those elephants, horses, and dogs that place their front feet on the next oneís backside as they dance and parade around the circus ring while a pretty lady in a tutu, or a ringmaster with a whip, shouts directions to them. Here in this pasture nobody was training them at the time, so I just assumed that the bull and the cow were super-dedicated and just practicing on their own. A few days later an older friend told me, ďThereís no such thing as Circus-Cows you dork!Ē and then he went on to explain what was really going on. Of course it embarrassed me to no end.

    A few YEARS later after I was caught playing ďDoctor, nurse, and patientĒ behind the garage with the twin sisters from next door, Dad decided that it was time to tell me about ďThe Birds And The BeesĒ. I remember thinking to myself, ĎBirds and Bees? Hell, I am now so advanced that Iím a practicing physician!í (I think I was seven.) Of course I didnít actually say anything to HIM except that I knew all about that stuff, which he just accepted with great relief and hurriedly told me, ďNow you stay away from those twins and go mow the yard!Ē Though I havenít thought of all this for a while, the memory is still crystal clear.

    Ya know, Iíll be turning sixty-seven on the 28th of this month, and as I approach my twilight years I keep looking out for signs of mental deterioration (which supposedly begins at the age of sixty). So far, I still seem to be ďwith itĒ, to have a pretty good memory, and to be able to keep it all together... that is unless my mental deterioration is so great that it cancels out even thinking about the processing of thoughts and information regarding anything relevant to what just might happen to be the primary focus of whatever I was, uh... now, umm, what were we talking about?

    Anyway... every now and then I take a real close look at myself, and in doing so I realize there are some memories I wish I DIDNíT retain... things that Iíve said and done in moments of rage and/or selfish insanity that I shouldnít have. I think most of us (if not ALL of us) have regrets about some of our past conduct. If you donít, then youíve: (1.) led an incredibly boring life... (2.) You are a living and breathing holy person of some kind... or (3.) You have even bigger issues than the rest of us do!

    My occasional regrettable behavior has just about always resulted in jail, the hospital, broken relationships, lost wages, or some other form of pay-back that has cost me dearly. But for some years Iíve gradually become mellower, and Iím done with all that crap. As Iíve gotten older (and hopefully somewhat wiser) my rage has been reduced to a trickle of what it used to be about most things, and it seems to have disappeared entirely regarding just about everything else.

    Iíve come to a few simple but profound conclusions, and among other things Iíve finally come to understand that everyone has to be accountable for their actions and words... otherwise what they say and do means nothing to themselves or to anyone else. If we just write-off our mistakes and move on, we havenít learned anything... but others have learned that what we say and do has little worth.

    Likewise itís evident that I just canít get away with ANYTHING illegal!! LOL! (Though truthfully I donít think Iíve ever wanted or even tried to get over on anybody anyway.) Iíve also realized that every time I forked-up in ANY way, good old Karma (in one form or another) has bitten me deeply on the ass. And ya know what? I think my life has been going great these days because of my wising UP and calming DOWN.

    Now donít get me wrong... my life has NOT been full of trouble and woe. Despite having been married and divorced three times, which I guess isnít really THAT abnormal these days (just ask around), I HAVE been able to plug away at a good job on into my early retirement at the age of fifty-two. IN spite of the incredible abuse Iíve heaped on my body before and after that retirement, it still functions relatively well... though Iíve gotten fatter over the years and thereís a bullet in my spine that keeps me from standing or walking for any extended amount (but I have no trouble riding the scoot comfortably for a few hours at a time without a break). As far as I know, nobody actually despises me (which is big). My sons Jason and Ben have both turned out to be responsible, honorable, and all around good men whom Iím proud of. My grandchildren seem to be fine kids and free of catastrophic issues (theyíre all teenagers now, so weíll see how that goes, but I think they have it together). I stopped drugging hard, drinking hard, and being a kinky pervert long ago (well, two out of three ainít bad). Lastly, everything I own has been paid-off for some time, I donít owe a penny to anybody for anything except my monthly utility bills which are paid in full immediately, and I have more savings than I ever thought I would. My point here is that for years I havenít had a damned thing hanging over my head and no obligations of any kind. Iím not bragging about all this, Iím just relishing my good fortune.

    Someday I might stumble across a woman who can put-up with, and actually enjoy, me (and I her)... and in that person I hope Iíll find a partner to do things with, go places with, to ride with, watch movies and eat popcorn with, plan stuff with, etc.... then of course my whole world will surely change again (hopefully, even for the better). But until then Iím okay with living by myself (and Pussy, my cat).

    One good thing about living alone (like Iíve often said in the past few years) is that there is absolutely NO conflict in this house! But I would like to come home from somewhere to find someone waiting for... and glad to see... me. Oh well, like my sons say all the time about many things, ďIt is what it is.Ē At least I always have Pussy waiting for me. Even some married guys canít say that! LOL! (Uh, I apologize to anyone that didnít find that very funny for whatever reason.) Anyway, moving away from blabbing about whatís up with me...

    By the time you read this, summer will be ending as fall shows its often beautiful face. Soon youíll have to break out your full leathers every time you ride (chaps, gloves, etc.) The trees will start changing, the temps will drop dramatically, and then those gorgeous red, yellow, and golden leaves will die, turn brown, and start falling. (That must be why they call it ďfallĒ! Yuk yuk!)

    Donít forget how slippery those leaves can be on the blacktop! And watch out specifically on corners. Just like freshly cut grass is often blown onto the roads from lawn mowing (which is actually against the law), leaves can be slick if theyíre damp and they can take you down too. Some types of trees drop leaves that are slippery even if theyíre NOT damp! And good old Mother Nature doesnít pay attention to any laws but her own about where she drops them. My driveway is cement, and my feet often slip and slide on leaves just backing the bike out of the garage and turning it around.

    When youíre ready to put the bike away for the winter, make sure youíve purchased a ďBattery TenderĒ if ya donít already have one. These things have been around long enough to be inexpensive and there are generic versions as well as the original. What they do is keep your battery charged and automatically shut themselves off when it IS... then they kick themselves back on and start charging again when necessary, keeping your battery always fresh, extending its life (mineís 19 years old and still going strong), and letting you climb on and go riding whenever ya want.

    In the old days ya had to actually take the battery off the bike and store it in warmth or it would freeze. If you had a heated garage and left it on the bike, the battery might not freeze, but it would still be dead from sitting dormant - unless you used a 12 volt ďtrickleĒ charger (which didnít kick on by itself or shut itself off).

    A little cable attaches easily to the battery and stays on the bike permanently, so all ya gotta do is plug it into the ďTenderĒ when ya park it, and simply UNplug it each time ya wanna ride all year long. Of course they work for anything with a battery... tractors, golf-karts, cars, ATVs, personal massagers, whatever (smile).

    Next, (and many people forget to do this) Iíve always tried to make sure I remember to top off my gas tank(s) as much as possible whenever I shut the scoot down for any extended length of time. This is so that rust doesnít form inside the tank while it sits.

    NEVER drain and empty gas tanks unless theyíve been sealed internally REALLY well (or theyíre just off the bike for a short while to paint or whatever). That is when that rust I was talking about earlier forms on the walls inside due to condensation, then your fuel-lines, pet-cock, and gas-filters may get plugged-up by picking up any tiny little rust flakes, grit, and particles of sludge that might have accumulated on the bottom of your tank and could try to pass thru. And if that didnít happen... youíd probably foul-up your carburetor-jets or your fuel-injectors, which is even worse. Itís a simple thing to do, but it can save ya lotsa grief in the long-run.

    If youíre relatively insane (which I am) and if ya wanna take the scoot out in really cold weather every now and then (which I have), be aware that you HAVE to dress accordingly... as if youíre gonna be on a snowmobile. And itís VERY important to remember that when you leave to go anywhere, the roads might be clear of snow and frost at that moment... it might even be clear and sunny... but when ya head back home later, all that might be entirely different! Remember this is Ohio!

    Well, thatís all I got for this month...

                                        Yíall ride safely through all the days of your lives!


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