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Easy rider it isn’t.

Its called “Right of way”, asshole.

No one knows how to drive these days.

And I am not just talking about turning the wheel and pushing the pedals, you could hook electrodes to a dead earthworm and he get push the pedal enough to get you a ticket. (Plus you would probably get hit with the “No seatbelt” ticket too. They are so small, it would totally slip your mind.)

I am talking about those pesky little nitpicking annoyances that those of us who are just being assholes like to call THE FUCKING TRAFFIC LAWS.

You know, silly concepts like right of way, signalling a lane change and driving in the bike lane.

I swear, riding my bike to work has been an interesting mix of blessing and curse.

On the one hand, its a great way to get a morning and afternoon workout in my efforts to change the shape I am in. (Mainly from round into something that looks better.)

However, as I watch my fellow motorists zooming past me, a couple of things are abundantly clear.

  • The shittiest driver’s on the road have the nicest or the crappiest cars. Your high end Mercedes drivers are the most clueless d-bags on the road. Crappy cars are known for erratic driving. no look lane changes and right turns are their stock in trade.
  • Motorcyclists scream the loudest about how everyone doesn’t look out for them, but they look out for NO ONE. An even 50% of observed motorcycles on my daily trek speed, do NOT use turn signals, accelerate 3-4 times faster than everyone else and weave in and out of traffic. I am stunned they are not dropping like flies on an hourly basis.

On the good side of things, and we all know how I love the positive side of things, the ride to work was a great one.

Long enough to get a workout, not so long I am destroyed when I get there.

Hoping to ride a 100 mile race next month, so I need the work out.

But enough about me.

I did see a friend of sorts on my way.

Pauline, my latest homeless meth-head friend, happened to be walking down the street as I was riding to work.

Meth, it seems, does not have a bed time.

I waved and shouted her name and she just looked blankly at me, like she didn’t recognize me.

And she probably didn’t. Hard core drug use is a bitch on the short-term memory.

The morning ride was vastly different from the afternoon ride.

Morning ride starts just before sunup. The streets are deserted except for those with the really shitty commute. (Which was me for a long time.)

Its cool out, slight breeze, and more than enough light to see, but I use my bike lights anyway, more for them to see me than for me to see the road.

The afternoon ride is busy. Lots of cars on the road. Its hot and real humid out, so the sweat starts quickly and truly shocks me with the quantity.

But its a good ride, mainly flat, a few small hills, but nothing even approaching hard.

Had an interesting encounter on the ride home.

Pulled up to a stoplight and waited at the curb for the light to change.

There is a massive street dude standing there, truly a beast of a human being with all the earmarks of the thug life, up to and including facial tattoos.

His shirt print is a really interesting design, kind of an urban cityscape, but with colorful air brushing and some sci fi imagery mixed in.

And then I realized I was staring.

And then I realized he was staring at me, staring at him.

Among the thug world, mono a mono stare downs can get you shot. The best course of action its to change the setting.

“I like that shirt.”

He looks confused, and pulls out his earbuds. He didn’t hear me.

“What?”

“I like that print.”

And just like that, the moment is defused.

A huge grin spreads across his face.

“Its my design. I’m the artist.”

“You are a talented human-being.”

Andre and I talk for a good twenty minutes.

Awesome dude. Grew up in a really bad section of town, had an uncle who wanted to keep him out of trouble, so he taught him to draw when he was little. It worked, sort of.

But uncle died recently and left Andre a 4 color silk screen press.

And Andre is doing 4 color shirts, then doing further painting on them to create some truly incredible stuff. He showed me picks on his phone of a dozen shirts he has done. He sells them for $40. Doing well, he says.

The light has changed a number of times, and I am finally ready to go.

The white walk signal comes up and Andre steps off the curb, heading in the same direction.

And a car tries to turn right with no signal, against the light.

Had I jackrabbited, he might have clipped me.

Andre smacks the hood with his fist and the driver looks terrified and backs up.

As I ride off, I wonder if I can talk Andre into doing the daily ride with me.

Because people drive like shit.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Calm before the asshole storm.

It’s 1955, I’m sure of it.

I am in a diner, having breakfast.

Never been here before, but the waitress poured me a cup of coffee when I sat down without my having said anything.

This is how she took my order.

“What’ll you have, sweetie?”

She is snapping her gum as she takes my order.

The fact that she is about 70 is almost an afterthought.

And then, Vince came in.

I know his name is Vince, because the hostess, my waitress and several customers all said “Vince” when he came in.

He sat at the bar with the air of a man in his place of power and confidence.

He never ordered, but he got coffee, eggs and toast.

Pretty much all he did from when he came thru the door, till he walked out about an hour later, was hit on the waitress.

Did I mention he looked to be in his 70’s?

The counter I am sitting at with Vince has a full view of the parking lot.

Vince rolled into the parking lot in a vintage Buick Roadmaster, circa 1955.

Thats the one with the steel dashboard.

Like Jay Leno said, you hit your head on that, they hose it off and sell it to someone else.

I watched the interplay between Vince and the waitress and really felt better about life.

That makes me nervous, because I rarely feel better about life. (Call me a cynic, But I am usually convinced we are all fucked and out to screw each other over as a general rule.)

There was an innocence to the symbiotic relationship.

If either one of them was under the age of 50, this would be sexual harassment.

As it is, its a relationship that existed during a particular bubble in time.

Like the attitude/perception version of a unicorn, rare and almost mythical in this day and age.

Eventually, breakfast came to an end. (They don’t offer wifi, and I had some writing to do. All of my stuff is in the cloud and, yeah, its annoying at times.)

Outside, the real world intruded.

I was about four blocks away, the light had just changed to green, when the 500lbs beast in the car ahead of me lost his shit.

The lady ahead of him must have been texting, or just not paying attention, but she did not drive off immediately when the light turned green.

So the beast laid on his horn and began actually screaming.

“MOVE YOU STUPID BITCH!!!!”

There was more, but it was worse.

Karma, it seems, is reminiscing about a gentler time today right along with me.

To the left and back half a car length of the beast and his battered Oldsmobuick, was a sheriff, sitting right in the beast’s blind spot.

And his window was open.

Sheriff’s deputies are known for 2 things.

The first is, they are usually huge human beings that DO NOT TAKE SHIT.

The second is, there is nothing they love more than to protect good people from bad people. (The phrasing there is very specific, by the way.)

His lights came on and I was more than happy to let him over as traffic moved forward.

They pulled into a parking lot and I rolled past.

I am truly bummed that I did not pull in to watch.

But, just in case the beast shot his mouth off and forced the sheriff to beat the living shit out of him, there shouldn’t be any witnesses.

Mainly because the beast deserved it, and I am on the sheriff’s side on this one.

Because some people just need their ass kicked sometimes.

“What’ll you have, sweetie?”

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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I do not abuse my car, honestly.

I was driving on the freeway with the girlfriend and a Shelby Mustang Cobra passes me.

Passing a 97 Taurus with transmission issues is not that hard for a Shelby Mustang Cobra.

“Good god.” That is really all I can say. I grew up in a car family, and although I am pure crap as a mechanic, I can recognize the real deal when I see it.

“That man has no penis.” Is my girlfriend’s comment. “He is compensating for something.

At this point, I don’t care if he has a vagina. I am not wishing I could sleep with him, but his taste in cars is stunning.

Maybe not the taste, but the financial ability to have a Shelby Mustang Cobra is the impressive part.

He could have gotten a Mercedes, top of the line Lexus, Ferrari, anyone of those European super cars.

But not this guy.

He bought American.

He may as well be John Wayne behind the wheel.

Not sure what being behind the wheel of the terminally ill Taurus says.

I tend to chose quickly and cheaply.

Ok, I’ll own that.

In my own defense, the Taurus was not a car I set out to get, it just kind of showed up.

Like some sort of automotive herpes, not my choice and I have just been stuck with it.

It will die, eventually, and I have made a DNR in my own head for it. Do not rebuild. When it dies, I will let it go.

Shitty cars are like that.

If you are into cars, this makes no sense.

But, if you only view a car as something to get you from point A to point B, this makes perfect sense.

I have always wanted to get an old classic and restore it into one of those “Cruise Night” cars.

I just don’t have that kind of attention span.

Growing up, I figure I broke my father’s heart several times with my treatment of my cars.

Or rather mistreatment.

Ignoring regular maintenance is one thing, by my big issue was ignoring things that demanded maintenance.

Like water leaks, oil leaks, warning lights, you name it.

This was the type of thing that destroyed several of my early cars.

These I like to refer to as my serial car-killer days.

I try to be better now, but those were my formative years.

I even gave my car an oil change and a sloppy tune up last weekend.

(But I also made sure my bike tires are properly inflated. Just in case.)

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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