November 28, 2004

The Price & Naming of the Bike

Posted by DaveSmith

Financial Crud: My Low Standard of Living plus The Price of the Bike equals Tropical Holiday

Written late October to middle November. Not posted until whatever day today is. Lots of bitching and whining here, but I'm in a much better mood now.

There are worse places to be trapped then the tropics (Tropic of Capricorn, I believe). I sit and wait for my tank to be fixed. A replacement tank should show up any day -- I've been here for 10 days. Getting trapped at a nice house, with internet access, a friendly cat, hospital host, and drunk parrots is one of the benefits about trying this trip on a 40 year old bike. Thanks Bob, by the way. Bob and Jenny Dumma, are in Brisbane at a softball event. The way things are going, as Bob said today, by the time they return I'll still be here waiting for my tank. Bob is another Bevelhead who offered to put me up (and put up with me). Their son Brock is 22, and is putting up with dragging around a 34 year old American around. Thanks Brock by the way.

I'll once again try posting this bit about the price of my bike. Lots of small problems FUBAR me again and again with posting this bit. It was typed and should've been up about a month ago. But still, I can go out and watch drunk parrot shenanigans.

First off, I know the bike is expensive even with the currency exchange. And I'm not made of money by any means. My Office Job almost paid living expenses. It would've covered it, but I like old cars and motorcycles, plus I'm a horrible cook so I ate out every day. But I live low budget and even living my modest ways, I was digging myself into debt. Even if I won the lottery, I'd live in an old crappy house with a yard full of old cars and the house filled with old motorcycles. One of which would actually run at any given point. That's "one" as in "cars and bikes" combined.

I worked Office Job 1996 to 2004 (with a one year break that might be explained later during a slow period on this trip). I made $9.20/hour on salary.

Like most people, I'm lazy, so I kept working Office Job even at the embarrasingly low pay. Went from data entry, to research, to putting together detailed rosters on the computer for publication (nothing like working 18 hours a day laying out graphic laden pages), and finally over to programming.

I bitched about no pay, but working somewhere that was an 8 minute walk from my apartment, with people I liked and a shift that ran from whenever I showed up to whenever I left kept me there. I played bass in a few punk rock bands, so if I left for tour (either going along for a ride or playing), it wasn't a problem. And, right before I got moved to programming, I had my head wacked open which should've killed me.

It was charity work in programming for several months where I'd sit at a desk with nothing to do except learn how to speak again. Nouns still like to hide from me. A common occurance with the dead parts of my brain as I understand from perusing neuroscience textbooks.

I had to end salary when I got a second job hosing monkey shit to pay off my debts and to save money. Hosing monkey shit and being weekend night security was $13.55/hour. I like monkeys more than programming, but I liked the people at Office Job better.

When I first started at the Office Job, I'd work 18 hours a day when it got busy. They won't pay overtime but it worked itself out in the long run because I did a lot of planning for this trip at work. Plus I read a lot of email lists. It sounds like a lot, but most are low content so it wasn't like I was only reading lists 8 hours a day. Only Bevelheads and Brit Iron had a lot of posts. The main ones are: Bevelheads (old Ducati motorcycles), various thumper lists (single cylinder motorcycles), Brit-Iron (British bikes), GB500 (a Honda thumper that looks like an old Brit cafe racer), old Italian motorcyle lists, a sidecar list, Moto Melee (group who rides old motorcycles around Northern California once a year), Lawrence of Arabia, and Sacramento Indie List (mostly people in their 20s and 30s involved in local music). As The Man says, you get what you paid for and at $9.20 an hour after 8 years, that's not paying for much.

If they hired real programmers instead of teaching random employees, they'd have everything done right and fast. The bad part of that is, they would be able to lay off most of the work force because most work could be automated. But the last few years have been walking up and saying, "hey, the doors aren't padlocked shut, that's great" so it might keep them in business.

So yeah, a nice place to work so my laziness kept me there. The $9.20/hour bothered someone in personal, so I got bumped up to $9.50/hour for my 25 hour work week when I switched salary to hourly. At 25 hours a week at hourly, I made $100 less a month than when I worked there 40 hours salary by not paying into health benefits. Medical insurance is expensive in the US.

Minimum wage in California is $6.75 to give people a point of view, and California isn't the cheapest place to live. But by working both jobs, 7 days a week, day, swing and graveyard shifts, for 18 months, plus selling off most of my stuff, and donations from friends when I left, I should have enough to get me around Australia, New Zealand and into Japan. Although Japan will be living on my credit card again for a month or so.

Okay, back to the bike. It's Italian, so it costs money. And it's 40 years old, so some parts are hard to find and expensive to buy in any condition (the tank). I'm guessing most people never worked at a place that rebuilds old vehicles. It's expensive. Getting neat stuff rebuilt costs the same as a buying a cheap new car. Even something rare like a Vincent Black Shadow or a Green Frame Ducati Super Sport in great shape costs less than a brand spanking new Chevy Suburban (around $30,000 American dollars). Even most "expensive" old bikes and cars costs the same as getting a new Hyundai or Ford Focus ($12,000 American). But now I just sound paranoid about the price of the bike with all my excuses so I'll go to the list.

But first, I set up camp after taking the wrong turn. Found a
nice spot, near a lake, and ate pepperoni and bread. Typed up how
much the bike cost here.

Prices are in Australian dollars.

Basic bike (1965 Ducati Monza 250cc) 2,000.00
Building it 3,000.00

All bearings
RH coule bush 6.00
Big End Assembly 300.00
74.4 Piston and rebore 300.00
gaskets, seals 30.00
2 valves 110.00
2 guides 80.00
circlips 6.00
lock tags 20.00
rewound magneto 120.00
exhause flange nut 42.50
oil 18.00
spark plug 4.00

PAGE TOTAL 6036.50

Handlebars and levers 90.00
universal muffler 95.00
Honda toolbox 50.00
Sprocket Brg Used 10.00
Air pod filter 18.00
Horn 25.00
2 throttle cables 20.00
Clutch/brake cables 26.00
Handlebar weights 15.00
Low maintenance battery 140.00
wire, connectors, fuseholder 15.00
fuel hose 4.00
Front/Rear brake shoes 80.00
Pr Exchange Fn legs 250.00
Lower tapered roller kit 110.00
Swing arm pt 50.00


SH Bags 50.00
Rear sprocket 35.00
4 wheel brgs 20.00
2 sets heavy duty spokes 160.00
2 rechrome rims 220.00
F seals and oil 35.00
Pair Heavy Duty rear shocks 195.00
Powder coating glass black 200.00
Chrome pipe fittings 60.00
Paintwork and repairs 750.00
2 swing arm caps 20.00
solo seat 120.00
Tank badges 36.00

PAGE TOTAL 1961.00

Invoice 01 6,036.50
Invoice 02 998.00
Invoice 03 1961.00
Registration/Basic Insurance 352.00
GRAND TOTAL 9,347.50

Basically, $6,000.00 American dollars, although the bike isn't paid off and the US dollar has been sinking. I thought the bike was paid for, but got another bill when I showed up.

And yes, a few teething problems. Sort of like buying a brand new Ducati in the 1980s and early 90s. The fuel hose was vacuum hose. Oil leaks. The headlight, even including the upgraded electronics to 12v, doesn't work very long.

The upgraded alternator puts out 12.68 volts which I don't think is enough to trickle charge the battery to keep the headlight lasting long. I'm running 35/35 halogen bulb, and I'm not riding at night (much) but it's no good. Once I get back around Australia, I'll get Phil to put the old Aprilia headlight assembly put back in, and go back down to 6 volt. So if someone is thinking of upgrading a Duc to 12volt, it'll probably be fine for around town riding, but don't try any long trips on it.

The lead up for the next part is, I'm at Sexie Coffee (great coffee by the way -- the best I've had in OZ so far) and one of the barristas (fancy pants word for "coffee server") says, "You smell like fuel". I say, "My tank is leaking" meaning out of the cap. Gav and I doubled up gaskets at the cap hoping to keep it from leaking. Two gaskets are almost as bad as the old gasket. Almost.

A few hours later, I notice the tank is leaking after I stop to call Bob Dumma to let him know where I'm at and to give him a rough idea when I'd show up at his house. Actually, I noticed the oil leak is acting up again, then I notice the fuel dripping from the tank. I tried to make it to Miriam Vale but it starts raining. I enjoy riding in the rain, but it means the headlight won't last and I don't know how much further Miriam Vale is, if I'd make it there before dark, and if so, would the headlight make it? I had close to a full tank when I noticed the leak, and I should've stayed in Gin Gin but what fun is that? I rolled the dice to see what happens.

I made it to a rest area. Luckily, they're all over OZ. I check all the trash cans looking for an empty bottle to save what fuel is left. No bottles, so I drink what's left of my water adn fill up the 1.5 liter bottle. I pop off the tank to put it on it's side to save what's left. Have to put it in a weird spot so the fuel doesn't pour out the leaky gas cap and doesn't pour out the hole in the tank. There's a couple here and the guy looks like my old slumlord The Colonel. The Colonel is an okay guy, is in the US Marines and doesn't have enough time to look after my apartment building, so it's a slum. Or maybe, as others have said, he just doesn't give a damn because it was a slum before he re-enlisted to go fight The A-rabs.

So the Australian version of The Colonel gives me a bit of Army Tape that's should hold up long enough to take it to a garage in Miriam Vale tomorrow. I'm just a few kays out of town. "Kays" is the same as "klicks" which is short for kilometers. Learn something new every day.

Oh yeah, one good thing about riding up in the rain is it put out the brush fires. No big deal about the smoke from the smouldering fires -- I'm from California -- Land Of Smog.

Tonight, I'll sleep on a picnic table. I'll take a picture and maybe the smoke will show up. I don't see a sign that says "don't drink the water" at the rainwater barrel, so I won't have to suck my anti-seizure drug down dry.

Speaking of epileptics and faulty Italians, maybe my bike knew I was thinking of naming her Matilda. I've always liked that name and since I bought the bike in Australia, it gives a sort of Waltzing Matilda type of feeling (the national anthem of Australia -- really). But if it wants to be a beautiful red-haired Italian pain in the ass, I should name it after ex-fiance Number 1. Epileptic, just like her, because of it's starting problems. AFD dyed her hair red, but that's okay, this bike wasn't originally red headed either. AFD isn't bad because it's gives me the choice of meaning A Fun Ducati and A Fucking Ducati depending on her mood. Both usually at once (that's both as in the mood of the bike and the hit or miss moods of the ex).

But maybe I'll bastardize my nieces names: Emily and Sophie and come up with something there. Sophily. Somily. These decisions take up a lot of your time when you're riding a comfortatible 50-60 mph. I think I'll just name it Mach 5, after Speed Racer's car. To hell with crazy girls.

Dinner was leftover pepperoni and bread. Not too bad. Maybe I'll break out the banjo and bother The Colonel as I learn how to fingerpick.

Even better events.

A tow truck driver stops and The Colonel comes over and says, "Go bug that guy", so I do. He's got nothing to stop the leak but The Colonel finds some heavy duty glue that doesn't give a petrol warning.

The tow truck driver files off some of the bondo (bog in OZ) on the tank to uncover the leaking braze. He makes the first comment (out ofdozens) about what a shitty job was done on the tank. The braze and bog on a tank meant for a round the world run. It's also my first look at the JB Weld (not sure what the Australian term is for that, but it's kind of like a liquid metal glue).

And then he dumped fuel on his nuts from the leaky gas cap. So even doubling up gaskets won't work, so I'll try going back to one. He wasn't too thrilled with that, but he rides a thumper (KLR650). Not sure if the glue will work. Good thing I spent this morning typing out the cost of the bike, so I remember that I paid $750 on bodywork and repairs for the tank and two fenders. Nice to see some brazing, bondo and JB Weld.

Damn, if I'd known it was going to be a half-assed job like that, I would've had Phil mail me the tank in California and I would've had it done right. Robert, my brother in law, who is glad I'm out of the country because I'm not bothering him with repair work, would've replaced the crap bottom of the tank and would've worked out the dents. And the price would've been "here, leave the country and quit bothering me" although he would've gotten a case of beer or two.

One of the previous guys who commented on the oil leak works at a Ducati dealership and he said, "Nice oil leak. You should have Phil Hitchcock fix that for you". He was surprised that Phil built the bike and I had it less than a week at that time. I'm frustrated. A cane toad just jumped out of the rainwater barrel and onto on my head. The same barrel that I drank water from to take my medication with.

But as Ted Simon says, "The problems are the adventure" and I've only had to push this bike a quarter mile (starting problems).

Ted Simon rode a brand new Triumph 650cc round the world in 1974-78. His bike dumped a quart of oil blocks after he left the Triumph factory because the gasket wasn't in right. I don't think Phil is having labor problems like the Triumph factory before they went under, but there's some half-assed stuff on this bike that he had about 18 months to build. But long term stuff for customers always waits until the last minute, so I understand why it seems like it was thrown together at the end. Even though it sucks being on the receiving end, not that I liked having to do that on the renovation end either.



I know this is long. The price list was typed at a nice camping spot next to a lake. Then a bunch of problems that ends with me, at a rest area, sleeping on a picnic table during the rain.

I wake up in the mornings when parrots make noise. In Sacramento, I lived next to train tracks and I sleep through trains, but parrots I'm not used to. It makes me laugh that a million noisy pet store and zoo birds wake me up.

I got up and headed to tiny Miriam Vale. I had to wait outside the mechanics while he was picking a car up in his tow truck. He returns and says, "hell no, I'm not welding a tank" so I moved on. As I was packing up to leave, a bungee cord (octy cord in OZ) wacked me in the eye (Oct 30th around 9:30am for those keeping track). I've always wondered what that'd be like.

I'm standing there, blood is pouring out. I thought it just wacked me, but I notice blood on the sleeve of my jacket. I'm hoping I'd still have vision and wondering when I could open my eye. I was trying to get a look in the bike mirror but keeping my good eye open was still hard. The metal part cut me next to the eye and my eye was dotted by the force of the cord wacking me pretty good. It's hard for me to get a shiner -- this is the third time its happened in my life. At least I did it in front of the mechanic and the lady with her daughter. Making an ass out of yourself is always better with an audience.

On my 30th birthday, my grandfather gave me a card that read, "Bet you didn't think you'd live this long" and I didn't. I was pretty surprised that I made it to 30 and life after that is my "bonus level". Anything over 30 is gravy. Maybe because I've seen and done so many crazy and stupid things, that I'm immune to most stuff.

I don't know if the flow to the next part makes sense.

It's like going a year without watching television, then when you watch it again, you realize how insipid it is. Try it. Go a year without watching Prime Time (but whenever you cheat and watch The Simpsons you'll miss a lot of pop culture references). You can walk away from the dumb stuff that just fills your time or you start watching it again, and get sucked into it. Shows that would be challenging for a 13 year old, you say, "wow, this is a good show -- it doesn't dumb it down" because you've accustomed yourself to absolute crap.

As I was told by high traveling Jeff Darius, "Once you come back from this trip, you'll be an insufferable bore for a few months. Don't worry, it happens to everyone who goes on big trips but you'll get over it". I've been gone almost a month, someone will have to shoot me when I'm back.

Next on my reading list is: The Rites of Spring. It's a history of the political and social conditions around The Great War and how they led to The Modern Age. That's World War I if you're not up on your war names. You need to have a book when traveling and I can't afford the Oxford edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

Don't worry, the next post will talk about a topless waitress showing her boobs for spare change at a pub, a guy who ratted out his best friend for drag racing on the streets, and throwing rocks at jelly fish.

Added when I posted this at end of November:

Rites of Spring is some art history student's thesis, I think. Man, it's full of itself. Lots of French and German phrases that aren't translated into English, so I don't know what they're saying. And it's always when he's making a point. C'est la vie. So I found a copy of Catch-22 which I've been reading instead.

Here's some pics of the bike problems.

Not too bad for a bike that I paid $9,000 Aussie dollars for about 2 weeks before this picture was taken. Can't hardly see any leaks from this point of view.

40 year old new bike doesn't take long to look 40 years old again.

Hardly any weeping from the clutch cover (that's the part that says Ducati) and the kickstarter

Not too bad here. You can see where I removed the fuel line to drain out some of the leaky gas. Didn't want to get trapped at this Rockhampton camp site and have to walk for petrol.

Ah, here's a leak that I expected. It's from the oil in the points and coil and it oozed out the cover. The oil that made it's way to the exhaust pipe will just keep it from getting rusty.

Not too bad up here.

Just a bit coming out of the forks. I'll have to keep an eye on the forks too.

Hardly anything out of here. Probably a normal amount for a bike this old.

You can't really see the smoke from the smoldering. I like riding in the rain, and riding in the rain, when there's fire on both sides of the road proved to be even nicer. That sounds sarcastic, but it's not meant to be. Fires aren't as active as the fires in California. Probably because they let fires burn out here instead of stopping them so the bush build-up gets really dangerous. Of course, the population of Australia is 20 million so letting them burn won't cause as much damage. The population of California is around 36 million.

This is a lovely bit of camping ground. You can see the rainwater tank that holds Cane Toads that hop onto your head when you're lying down. My tank is on the bench, next to a water bottle with fuel that I bled out of the tank. A few minutes before the tow truck driver showed up to pour gas on his nuts.

This is where I bought a 6 pack. I filled up my jerry tank (aka water bottle) and as I'd kill a beer, I'd fill the empty with fuel. A lovely spot to camp at. The girl camping next to me was a Norweigen who bought a station wagon (Ford Falcon) for $4,000 and was making her way south to Sydney to find a job as a physical therapist.

A lovely shot of the leak caused by the oil ring.

Posted by DaveSmith at November 28, 2004 06:00 PM

We finally learn what caused your black eye and THAT'S all there is? Downey was sure you said the wrong thing about Yahoo Serious. Oh well. The No Kill I stuff is mixed. I think it sounds focken great, but Sheman thinks it needs fine tuning. Hell, it already sounds too much like we actually WORKED on it, but you know how those faux broads are. Take care. Hope things are going a little smoother. You don't need to go through a bunch of hooey to have nifty stories to share. Sincerely, The Captain.

Posted by: ed at November 29, 2004 11:21 AM

excellent post. where do i send funds to help perpetuate this odyssey? i just bought an old honda odyssey dune buggy, and i've been dying to use that word in a sentence. :>)~

Posted by: bob b at November 29, 2004 11:26 AM

This is my favorite blog post yet. Your trip'll make a certified bloggy out of you yet.
A word to the wise: do not eat cane toads no matter how hungry you get.

I'll send a monthly tenner to keep you in pepperoni.


Posted by: Amy at November 29, 2004 12:57 PM

I'm learning waaaaay too much about motorcycles, man.

Posted by: Danny B. at November 29, 2004 02:30 PM

Why ya player-hating the 'Net, Smith? I know I am likely seen as A Tool Of The Man, and fuck it, whatever. I don't come to work to be popular. I come to work to make a living. This screed certainly won't help...

I work with The Great Brown Guru, and he often waxes poetic about the trials we as employees go through. *He* is the one who hires competent, interesting people who show promise from the inside, rather than blowing his budget on so-called "real" (meaning outside) talent *.

Amongst our IT staff are three former line managers, a person or two who used to answer phones here, people who used to work accounting, and dudes whose previously ordained immediate future included dead-end data entry job prospects.

The Company pays for-shit, and I'm not beyond going on the record to say it. I am one of the few for whom this is not true, but by the same token I did managed to work my former data-entry job into a reasonably paid position at one of those Real Companies, and let me tell you -- the Real Job was For Shit.

Real Companies are For Shit, and it disturbes me to think that Smith is obviously as much of a tool as I am if he thinks that trimming the fat and watching the bottom line and stabbing each other in the back so we all get the right amount of scrilla was what we should have been doing.

The Job affords us a lot of privledges, such as going onto former coworker's boards and perhaps harshing authors now and again during work hours.

I am, in fact, not even -at- work, covering my job remotely while Loud Music plays in the background.

This is the life I live. I'm sure I could work 30% harder and we could have 30% less staff at the day's end. Our slop allows us to afford literally brain-dead programmers if we so chose to do so -- if they showed promise and past loyalty.

I know this is of GYOFB length and faces either censure or truncating, but as a long-record Transcript that Smith can use later to Do Something Serious With, I wanted to make sure he would recall the opportunity costs of his own much-loathed salary. If we wanted to be Bad Men, we would have fired a lot of slackass motherfuckers and while it would have made some people some more money -- at what cost?

It wouldn't much be a company I enjoy working at.

* -- of which much history has shown that outsiders are as bullshit as regulars when put on the front lines.

Posted by: Cardinal Bill at November 30, 2004 10:46 AM

So, it sounds as though everything is going according to plan then. Excellent.


Posted by: Dr. Biggles at November 30, 2004 03:47 PM

Bob B- Cool! There's a paypal link on the left side of the main page.

Posted by: deeann at November 30, 2004 05:44 PM

Bill- your experience at the job is/was different from Daves. Mine has been different than both of you. It's mostly subjective, but the fact is he did get embarassingly low pay for what he was doing after regaining his faculties* - and I couldn't do a damn thing about it. I was the one who had to apologize to him for it. I didn't see it as 'playa hatin'- look again, he talks about the perks you mention and also the people. He's never referred to you as a 'tool of the man'- but as 'Bill'.

Though he calls it 'charity work' it wasn't and I'm sure he'll be the first to admit how supportive the place was after he got hit. I don't think you'll find that elsewhere.

* Side note- I didn't really want to bring it up here but when he got hit was one of the worst times of my life. I don't think you have any idea of what he went through and getting better was a huge stuggle for him- I know because I saw it almost every day. I dealt with it almost every day. Do you have any idea of what it's like when your friend of almost fifteen years can't remember your name?

Anyway- as a site admin I'm not going to edit your post, and I very highly doubt Dave will either.

One last thing (from me). Have you ever wondered what all of the post-it notes at his desk were for?

Posted by: deeann at November 30, 2004 06:38 PM

Hey kids - stay tuned as tomorrow *I* get to respond to Bill! This one's gonna take some time that I ain't got right now...

Posted by: Lurch at November 30, 2004 07:15 PM

Howdy Bill. No, I liked working there. Otherwise, why would I have stayed there 8 years? I know that you and Dennis jumped ship and came back. I understand the reasons why. I figured that I would've gotten an pissed off email from Phil who built my bike, not an Office Job guy. Like I said, it was typed out after some frustrating days, and I don't want to seem like the typical Ducati guy who has money burning a hole in his pants. Just saying, "Hey, I'm broke, just like I've always been and always will be". I worked a lot for this trip and the bike.

DeeAnn was right. I should've mentioned how helpful the Office Job was after getting brained. Other employees donating money to help pay medical expenses, as I didn't have health benefits when that happened. And when I was going to get layed off while in ICU, The Owner saying "no, don't fire that guy" was nice. Or maybe that was in the weeks sitting around my apartment getting fat after I got out of ICU. Either way, I like the people who work there. Although you should all be asking Betsy how to move to Mexico to avoid Bush.

But no matter how frustrating things can be on this trip (such as right now as my exhaust is fubared), I'm still overseas and it's fun. It's a mild frustration like running out of cigarettes or going home and your old roommate Mike R Mike has let himself in and is drinking the last beer. I'm not worrying about paying rent or my annoying roommate (that's not Mike, by the way). And Jax, if you're reading this, I like you, you're just a pain to live with. Probably no worse than living with me.

Posted by: Dave at December 1, 2004 12:29 AM

All this talk of hating the 'net! Please remember it's DAVE talking here. You know, Dave..uh..Smith.
He's on a mission brought on by the braining that everyone remembers- everyone at The Job stood by and supported him through that and not one member of our family will forget that. Well... Dave might, but he has trouble with words still and you can't hold that against him.
My only real comment is: if you're reading this chances are you know Dave. If you know Dave, you know that sarcasm runs deep through his blood. Pass a grain of salt please. His rants are never personal, he just calls them like he sees them. Jax this means you.
And I agree, I thought for sure the anger would come from the motorcycle builder!

Posted by: cary at December 1, 2004 01:47 PM

Net hating is not a spectator sport. You have to work here or be a pissed-off client to participate. Still, when I read a post containing a snide reference to Dave's getting a very painful tuneup by some apologist for the suits on cheese row, I think it should be known by non-netters that said apologist is the only person I know of here who would use a severe head injury to basically call Dave a crybaby. Maybe it is because I had a similar (tho not nearly as damaging) tune up that I fail to find nastiness on the subject of assault with intent to murder at all amusing. I regret that I am not violent by nature. If I were, maybe I could educate such persons about post-head injury comedy stylings. Forgive me for my lack of tact. I assure you that I am not kidding. Please know that if this post seems as though the writer is "hopping mad" or "sputtering with rage to the point where he can't even think straight," it is because that is my mood exactly.

Posted by: ed at December 1, 2004 02:34 PM

Well, now I am not sure I *will* post a follow-up.
I do not want to in any way distract from ed's post above, as there are similar feelings on my end. That REALLY says it all! Of course, I used "fuck" a lot more times... and a lot more about how the pay situation around these parts causes severe problems for good people. But I guess that if you are doing just dandy (financially) and have a little bit of power, then no one else is allowed to bring up valid points on *their* own blog without treading on certain cardinal sensibilities... And to think there is no bottom-line watching behind a lot of the problems here is just ignorant or blind.

Posted by: Lurch at December 1, 2004 02:45 PM

One last thing I forgot to include above:
apparently the ironic fact that hosing
animal shit paid substantially better than programming which keeps the company actually running and making money was lost on you. I mean, that is pretty funny.

Posted by: Lurch at December 1, 2004 03:07 PM

and the fact that I made more money at the 'Net after two years than Dave did after eight. Not to mention, Dave was the one fixing the filters that I broke. still, they allowed me six weeks off to 'see the world' so I ain't complaining.

Posted by: scummer at December 1, 2004 04:27 PM

japan here-just returned a dvd to tsutaya got me another one.belted out some karoke at the flat-o bar they would not let me leave until i sang an elvis song.then off to the yamazaki for a cheap plastic bottle of shoo-chu(%15)and a beer.the lady the other day laughed at me when i said"ya-su ka shoo-chu doko deus ka?"--where is your cheaper shoo-chuu in kumamoto ben-the local dialect...wells it`s 1.45 in american with the guy sittin watchin the tube on the a plastic bottle so when ya get drunk--you don-t break it!!!!so no using the ol` kredit kard when ya get here will point ya to the cheap & kill...

Posted by: jay at December 2, 2004 04:42 AM

you're damn right I would have replaced the crap
bottom.. or made you get a new tank. You should just find somebody with a welder-I showed you how to fix tanks..or did you forget already. As for the bothering me part, it was never really a bother as long as you stayed and watched sealabs
with me....cary's over them. I have info on some one speed guys over there from the kanook..cary will send it. I'd give up on the cigar smoking til your tank gets fixed.

Posted by: robert at December 2, 2004 08:10 PM

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but sometimes I get the impression a lot of the posts following your blogs are your own work...sounds all wrong to say that's cheating, but I'd sure like to have that many total nutballs as friends and family!

Welcome to the world of classic bikes. As they say,m if it's not leaking oil you'd better put some in. When strangers ask you about it in the street you can always divert their suspicions by saying "Leaking oil? Man, this baby's just marking its territory!"

Posted by: carloscarlos at January 7, 2005 05:10 AM

The first bike I ever bought new was a 250 Monza. I still miss it. I worked three jobs in college to buy the thing and then rode it all over California for a couple of years. It wasn't as fast in a straight line as the 305cc Honda Superhawks of the day but once you got into the hills and curves, it ruled. The CHP outlawed the bike the following year (1966)because the headlight was very poor. Good luck.

Posted by: wjr at January 28, 2005 07:49 AM