Pan's Soapbox Part II
July 7, 1999
This was the year I was gonna take a trip up to New England but a friend in Fort Worth called and asked if I could come out and we would take a little ride thru the four cornors states.
Since I have a tender spot in my heart for Utah, Moab in particular, I decided to take him up on it and it was only a few thousand miles out of my way.
I shot thru the North Carolina mountains into Eastern Tennessee then down thru Georgia, Alabama then down the Natchez Trace thru Mississippi, west thru Louisiana then southwest at the Texas line and came up to Fort Worth from the South.
The weather was nice and sunny but a little hot. I really like to ride early morning and in the early evening. Before I gave up the booze I would hang out in a bar between noon and 5 then ride till around 9 or so before I stopped for the night. Now I just endure the heat and stop around 4 or 5 cause it's just to damn hard to find a place to stay for 4 hours or so.
Got to Mike's Friday afternoon and tinkered with his bike for a while; then we left early Saturday morning with our destination as Clovis, NM. Bout an hour after we left that sunny Saturday morning the bottom dropped out and it rained like I ain't never seen it rain before. It wasn't a gentle summer rain. It was big, hard raindrops with some kinda hard shit mixed in. Like I was riding with marbles being thrown at me.
In Snyder we were told that if we didn't get our asses up to Lubbock within the next hour the road would be closed cause the road would be washed out.--Well we made that stretch in record time. Stopped in Muleshoe for coffee then on to Clovis only to find a Cowboy Convention going on so it took us a while to find a place to stay. In the meantime it was still raining cats and dogs.
Next morning rainsuits were the attire of the day. This was the drill that day: Rainsuits on--rainsuits off--rainsuits on--rainsuits off. I wore out my fuckin rainsuit that day putting it on and taking it off. Stopped at Fort Sumner to see Billy the Kid's grave then on to Santa Fe, stayed in Santa Fe that night, wasn't much of a ride from Clovis but it had rained all the way and I was ready to quit for the day anyhow and Mike wanted to get a T-shirt at the Harley shop there. The shop is only a couple years old and the folks there were friendly.
Left the Harley shop heading up to Taos and it was a beautiful sunny ride. Stopped in Taos for a while then 285 to Alamosa, Co. Rain--rain, and more fuckin rain, hard rain, driving rain then in Alamosa the rain stopped. Route 17 to Salida and guess what? No rain! The fuckin wind about blew my ass off the road. The weather just would not co-operate.
Stayed in Salida that night then off to Glenwood Springs via the Independence Pass and Aspen.Independence Pass,Co. June 15,1999 The weather was still fighting us, it was snowing so hard I lost sight of Mike and had to wait for him several times. Finally I decided to go on to Aspen and wait for him there. Thought my toes were frostbit. Aspen to Glenwood Springs -- rain, cleared finally in Glenwood Springs and I told Mike I was headed West to Utah where I knew the sun was shining. so between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction the temp rose from rain and 60 to sunny and 101 but at least the sun was out.
Route 128 between I70 and Moab is one of the best rides I have been on. It was in the late afternoon, cool and beautiful. Arches National Park, the Colorado River and Dead Horse Canyon are right there. Then south to Arizona thru Monument Valley with a side trip to the Four Cornors Monument on to Tuba City, Az. Ate lunch at the world famous Tuba City Truck Stop then on to the Grand Canyon. I can say that in my humble opinion the South Rim has the best view of the Canyon and the Colorado River. Grand Canyon to Flagstaff on Route 180 is another nice ride, great weather, cool and sunny.
From Flagstaff we decided to ride as much of old Route 66 as we could find. On and off of I40 thru Winslow on to Holbrook then another side trip thru the Petrefied Forest and the Painted Desert--I wasn't to impressed with the ride but I had never been there. Back into New Mexico on and off of I40 at every old 66 route we saw. Tucumcari has a lot of restored Route 66 that was nice to see. Then on to Amarillo with a stop by Vega, Texas to see a guy that ran one of the best Route 66 shops I had ever been in. When we got there the shop had gone out of business and we learned that George Rook had passed away the first of the year. He will truly be missed. I enjoyed talking to him even tho I only saw him once a year.
I left Mike in Amarillo, he went south to Fort Worth and I headed east back to North Carolina. I usually avoid the interstates but the weather was so shitty I decided to stay on the slab. It rained from Amarillo to Nashville then cleared up so I jumped off the 'I' and rode the last day back thru the mountains.
June 22, 1999
This is not a scientific study by any means but just a little something I did mentally on my Western Ride this year:
On the road I saw 217 motorcycles of those about 75% Harleys, 24% Hondas and 1% I didn't have a fuckin' clue what they were.
I waved to every rider I saw (some I spotted to late so it was just sort of a half-hearted effort at a wave)and these are the results. It was about 50-50 on wave backs--Some Harley riders and some Honda riders waved back, two gave me the finger, several I couldn't tell if it was a wave or not, some may not have seen me as was my case in some instances, and in pack riding usually just the lead rider waved. (I suppose the others thought that would suffice)
Observations and Comments
Honda riders pack their shit neater--Harley riders tend to pack two ways--either their shit is sky-high or just dangling all over their bike while Honda riders have saddlebags and tourpaks (On Goldwings I believe they carry some shit behind the plastic that covers the motor but they wouldn't take the plastic shit off so I could see) If you really want to know why Wingers won't buy a Harley just pull an old chopped Pan beside a new Wing--Yuppie Harley riders need to ride Wings cause they (riders) act a lot alike. Wing riders as a whole have no fuckin sense of humor--another interesting observation I made was 89% of the males I encountered useta ride a Harley and they had or have a relative that works for a major telephone company. I saw several Harleys in trucks or on a trailer, only two Hondas were spotted being carried. One guy I talked to had his Harley in his truck. When I inquired as to why he wasn't riding it he said he didn't have the time (he was from Florida and this was in Colorado--(whoops, I forgot, I was riding mine.) I told him mine would run as fast as most any vehicle made for the street and if his wouldn't he should take it back to the dealer. To me that is a fuckin lame excuse for not riding and I hear it a lot from the Trailer Queens. Oh well, fuckem.
May 21, 1999
Well I'm on month 4 without a cigarette, jonesin' like hell. It was much easier for me to get off the booze and drugs. Sittin here thinkin bout how good one of those southend Luckys would taste.--If you don't know what a southend Lucky is then I'll bet you never bought a brand new Panhead.
Ok I feel like ramblin on here tonight--haven't added anything to the old Soapbox in a while so here goes.
Personal Web Pages--The Good-The Bad-The Fugly!! I started this page just to see if I was capable of doing it. Then I got a little better and bought a scanner and started on the David Mann stuff. I would hate to count the hours I spend scanning and rescanning-croping-shaping and all the shit that goes into making a good pic. As I learned the scanner better I would rescan, man - hours and hours of work. Night after night--sometime a 2 pack night (Cigs that is).
To make a long story short or at least shorter - I can really appreciate a good web site. Folks that put up new stuff almost daily and make their site a place you want to go back to, original stuff, stuff they think about. My hat is off to you folks cause you are in the minority. You are one of a thousand. That's the GOOD.
THE BAD--Folks that are new--just learning. The 'what's HTML' folks. The folks that want to learn.....The folks that take your shit and use it till they figure out that this ain't them and learn to make their own shit. The folks that have a fuckin thousand animations on their index page. The folks you visit and just hit the stop lite and see what the fuck they got. You can go back to them later and they have improved. Well--my hat is off to them to. Now for the FUGLY--These fuckers don't have a fuckin clue!! They start off as the bad and just stay there. They rob all of us of our good shit ==and have the fuckin nerve to even put their fuckin name on it and use it as a fuckin Banner==Hey Fuck You-- You are the bastards that really piss me off. Your site really fuckin sucks. All you have are other peoples stuff and 50 pages of shit fuckin links to other shit fuckin sites--Hey Fuck You again. I only visit your site once--it has one fuckin page that just scrolls down about 27 miles with shit you have robbed off the good sites--Do us a favor--delete your half ass awards from other half ass sites--delete your 10 miles of fuckin links and go bowling or something.
I'm not sayin' my site is all that good--but I try to make it interesting. I try to keep load time to a minimum and not use animations but I do like to try new shit. I also know folks like to download the stuff I have here.
If you have read this shit more power to you--next time you visit a good site take the time to let the owner know you liked it. I try to leave a personal message on the sites I like and I ain't talkin bout these pre=recorded notes some of these shitheads use. You know the ones I'm talkin about--they just hit the button and load a 'Nice site--Keep up the good work'. Hey Fuck you too, if that's all you can do -don't fuckin bother to leave it.
I just had a thought: I'll make some pre-recored choices so you lame fucks won't even have to go to the sign page.
Oh well--Good Night Mrs Calabash, where ever you are
April 14, 1999
Well tomorrow is the day--I should be able to get my 1040 in the mail tomorrow and if not I have an extention form at hand. I don't have a lot to say about tax day. I'm sure you've heard the old joke-- How much did you make? Send it in.--well in my case it comes down pretty much to that. Fortunatly I do my taxes on my PC--It really takes all the fun out of it.
I remember when I use to make some money and pay a lot of taxes, I would go thru the same ritual every year, ie: I knew I would be getting a refund but I would always count my chickens - well you know the story--. I would sit down, case of beer and a O.Z of the good stuff close at hand--do a mathmatical calculation in my head--smile real big thinking of what I was gonna spend my windfall on when I got the check, take a long toke, then get down to business at hand.
After a couple hours I could see my windfall turning out to maybe be enough to buy a case of Blue Ribbon and a three fingered bag.
This was the same shit year after year--elation then letdown. Hey-- Watdafuk--Things are different now--I took an early retirement-- Invested my lump sum--don't pay taxes till the fuckin IRS bills me-- usually 3 or 4 months after I file. I figure I make more interest by holding it, even with their chicken shit penalty, until they threaten to take me away.
Here's what I can't figure out: Even tho I didn't pay quarterly like the bastards wanted me to I did send a check with my return. I was under the impression that I paid taxes on what I made for the year, not so. The sons-a-bitches still charge you a penalty even if you send a check with your return. Sons a bitches!
Anyhow this year--my adjusted gross income was about 3 grand--3 FUCKIN GRAND--POVERTY--and the sons a bitches want me to send them about 3 hundred bucks--Can you fuckin believe that?
But I live the American Dream.
April 14, 1999
I have never been an advocate for the AMA but I am smart enough to know they do have influence over a lot of shit that controls a lot of stuff that effects us as Bikers.
I also know they have been instrumental in having some bans lifted that restricted bikes from public parks and public roads that we as tax payers pay for. I also know they nipped a ban on North Shore in Chicago in the bud before it turned into a major fiasco.
A few months ago I was so overwhelmed by that North Shore incident that I was moved enough to send them 25 hard earned bucks and join the AMA (God forbid-and don't tell my Brothers). Immediately they sent me a patch, pin and a magazine called 'American Motorcyclist'. AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST--Can you fuckin believe a fuckin piece of shit full of fuckin Jap bikes calling themselves 'American Motorcyclist'?
Then the third issue I received from them (May 1999) was the last fuckin straw. Below is a quote from page 75 under the Road Report section:
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED? Funny, they didn't seem like the Wild Ones. But when 13 motorcyclists on nine Hondas--mostly Gold Wings--left a Cave Creek, Arizona, resturant in February, they caused quite a stir. According to the Sonoran News Weekly the riders were chased down by no less than six deputy sheriffs. Their crime, apparently, was not leaving a sufficient tip. Head Deputy, H.E.Carson forced the riders to return to Harold's Cave Creek Corral, where the owner claimed that an $8 balance was owed on a $50-plus bill. Seems the mix up was over whether a qratuity was mandatory or voluntary. After the incident, Deputy Carson, was reportedly on "administrative leave."
NOW--I may read something into this that you may not. I really don't give a rat's ass if those cheap bastards left a tip or not. What I take exception to is the reference to the kind of bikes-- "Hondas--mostly Gold Wings"--
Does this mean if it were Harley riders then something like this would be expected or the norm?
HEY--FUCK YOU AMA--Fuck your patch-Fuck your pin and fuck your 'American Motorcyclist' piece of shit magazine. Enclosed you will find my hardly used AMA card.
March 31, 1999
I can't remember how many times my ass has been stopped by the 'Man' for 'weaving in my lane'. All it amounts to is probable cause when they just wanna fuck with you.
Here is a quote from the Department of Motor Vehicles Drivers Manual.
In my humble opinion I can weave all over the lane if I am so inclined.
Ain't it a Bitch!
February 21, 1999
If memory serves me, we fought a war over States Rights and it seems to me our Government has cast that aside and just use it as they see fit.
According to law, each State is suppose to respect the laws of other States and I suppose they do to a certain extent.
When you move to a different State you have a grace period in which to transfer your bike title and to get a new drivers license. You also have to register to vote in that State, pay taxes in that State, etc.
Take this example: In the State of South Carolina you are not required to wear a helmet or have a vehicle inspection. In the sister State of North Carolina there is a helmet law and vehicles are required to have a current inspection sticker.
The State of North Carolina will allow a bike to drive in the State without an inspection sticker but they will bust your ass if you are not wearing a helmet.
It's my contention that North Carolina has their priorities wrong if in fact they are that concerned about the citizens of their State. Doesn't it seem that it would be safer for the citizens of North Carolina if they would stop a vehicle at the State line if it did not have a current vehicle inspection as opposed to a person on a bike without a helmet? Seems to me the citizens would be in more danger of an un-inspected vehicle with no brakes than some poor bastard just riding thru enjoying the scenery without a helmet.
The point is: If North Carolina is gonna be so chicken shit then they should really be chicken shit! Either enforce all the laws or none of them, but be consistent not selective.
January 11, 1999
The past couple of years I have used a little equation to see if prices are in line with what they were 30 years ago. It's pretty simple and as far as I know I'm the only one that has used it. I call it the 10 times rule.
For example: In 1965 a loaf of bread was 17 cents now it's a buck seventy. A new Buick was 3,500 now it's 35 grand. Now you got the picture.
We bitch about how expensive everything is now but generally it's in line with what it was 30 years ago. Some things are actually cheaper. Gasoline, using my 10 times rule should be about 3 bucks a gallon, cigarettes about 3 to 3 fifty a pack. Course it probably won't be long before they are that much.
Wages are pretty much in line with the rule also. The only people getting screwed are the "working poor". Using the rule, minimum wage should be about 10 bucks an hour. It's half of that now.
Slick Willie and our elected officials tell us how great the economy is now and all the jobs that are available. Have you heard them mention about the thousands and thousands of the GOOD jobs are gone? Sure, you can get a job in a 'choke and puke' or as a night manager in a convience store and take your chances of not seeing the sunrise again but I'm talking about the good jobs with benefits, vacation, health insurance and retirement.
I don't give a damn about Russia, Israel or any other country's government. I could care less if their government folds. I'm sick and tired of giving foreign aid to countries that stab us in the back. I do feel compassion for the citizens of those countries, but contempt for their leaders.
I say lets cut the foreign aid--increase the minimum wage, scrap the vice-pres 75 million dollar camera shot of the earth, send Slick Willie packin' and get on with runnin' this country.
I love the good ole U.S.of A., I just detest our elected officials, and that's on a bipartisan thought.
Pan's Soapbox Part II