Monday, May 26, 2008

Remember & Honor

Today is the day that we've set aside to honor those who have given their lives in service of our country, protecting our Freedom.
Wow. The true depth of that sacrifice is staggering. They gave up their lives, for what? An idea? A ho
pe? Did they even know?
What does Freedom mean to you? To me, it's an understanding. We won't always see eye to eye. I promise that I will, at some point, say or do something that will offend you. I won't always like what you say or do. We can have debates, discussions and arguments where you will try to get me to see things your way and I will try to get you to see them mine. You will NEVER hear me tell you that you have no right to say something. I may tell you you're an idiot for saying something and, depending on the circumstances, I may even tell you you're an idiot for thinking a particular way, and in the case of the "reverand" Fred Phelps, Well, He can just go fuck himself to death.... I don't like being that judgmental, but at times, I am. However, you have the right to say whatever you feel. one of many rights that you will only get here in the United States of America.
I saw an article on the internet recently about Bridget Bardot, A famed actress of the 1960's now 73, who is being prosecuted in France for a charge of "Inciting Racial Hatred" for saying that "the Muslim community was destroying [France} and imposing its acts" (Never mind that "Muslim" is a CHOSEN religion, not a race). Prosecutors are asking for a sentence of two months in jail and 15,000 Euros. I don't know about you, but I've heard a hell of a lot worse here and never even batted an eye (I'm with you, Bridget). I could break the entire scenario down & point out exactly how asinine France is about this particular case, but what's new about that? My point here was supposed to be that even though we hear about the "Free World" there is no such thing. There Is America, and then there is everywhere else.
Keep this in mind.

With the United States now in it's sixth year since the start of military action in Iraq everywhere you look are bumper stickers, ribbon magnets, posters and signs telling you to support our troops. I agree. Whole heartedly. But it looks entirely too commercial. Like the newest fad that everyone does and no one really knows why. Like those "Baby on Board" signs & stuffed Garfield dolls. Mostly, I am disappointed that people use support for the troops to silence opposition to the war.
Can you respect and love and honor the warriors without supporting the war?
To truly get the depth of that question, ask the family of a service member killed in
I believe the answer is yes, you can. In fact, I do. I am told to remain silent, but I see that as a disservice to the men & women who have fought and continue to fight to preserve the right for me to speak. I see the only way to honor their sacrifice is to exercise the freedom they fight for. I will not spend this day reciting my reasoning for feeling this way, but I did want to tell you how I feel.
I have two quotes that I believe apply.
The first, I have no idea who said it first. I actually found it as a signature on another person's profile on another website.

"I may not agree with what your bumper sticker says, but I will defend with my life your right to stick it"
The second is from Thomas Jefferson, a Man who within his lifetime, forgot more about Freedom than most of us will ever learn...
"The right to hold one's own views, and to think and to decide for oneself on any question, is an essential right for a free people. A person is free to believe anything he wishes, even if in error, and may not be persecuted nor denied the right to hold public office for those beliefs. The First Amendment protections for freedom of religion, of speech, of the press and of assembly, all together protect the Freedom of Conscience."

From here, I welcome your viewpoint. In agreement or not, Because I value your Freedom to speak as much as your opinion.
Have a wonderful Memorial day, however you choose to spend it.
I'm going for a ride.
To End with a smile...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just a Quickie

Holy Cow! Has it really been almost 3 weeks since I've posted? I am very sorry. All I can offer by way of explanation is that life got in the way. I do have several posts lingering in draftland, but some aren't finished and some others I've promised not to post until after a certain time.
With all this in mind, How is everyone?
I have been riding every chance I get, but that pretty much just means I've been riding to work & back. I graduated yesterday from my Community college with an associates degree in Law (pre). I now get to stress over which step to make next. I'm still planning my trip home this summer, but there may be some hurdles to clear. I'll let you know if I have to cancel.
I hope you all have a great weekend, I'll be writing more soon & stopping by to see you all as I find the time.
Until then, Keep the shiny side up, & I'll catch you on the road!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Nothing In Particular

Well, as you've noticed it's been a busy couple of weeks since I last posted. Truth be told, I really should be doing something else right now, but...
Let's see... I've been doing quite a bit of riding, lately. Mostly to work & back, but that can be quite a ride in itself. Working in construction means I'm moving from one location to another all the time. Friday I was working right down the street from my house, Thursday I was a lot farther away. So I roll with it. That's why Kate has the saddlebags, so I can carry my tools from one place to another.
As I was preparing to leave work on Thursday, I started receiving a lot of static from co-workers because they thought I should have another guy who was going to the same job Friday carry my tools on his truck. I wanted to bring them home so I could take out some that I knew I wouldn't need at the new site. Apparently , they don't understand the ingenuity that bikers posses. I do take a few of the heavier tools out & put them in the opposite bag, to keep the weight balanced better. I know the bags are only rated for a certain weight and I'm rather sure I exceed that on a regular basis. I also understand product liability and the process by which those weight ratings are established, so I take the responsibility on myself. I don't heavily overload the bags, I just use sense. I mean, come on seven pounds?
I had a couple of things that I special ordered from San Diego Harley last weekend that I hadn't heard about, so I gave them a call yesterday. My parts were in. I just hadn't gotten a call. So, I went down to pick them up. I took the truck and the whole family went. As usual, there was a party going on. They have some kind of event every Saturday. So after I got my parts ( A new cover and a hardware rack) we looked around, did some shopping and had lunch. I don't know who the band was but they did a great cover of Johnny Cash's Hey Porter and some other great songs. I wonder if Junkyard would be willing to play one of these?
The new cover fits great. It's a Nelson Riggs. I picked it because it's UV rated and Lifetime Guaranteed. While those are fine selling points, I'm not impressed with the customer service I've received from their website. I sent a very professional looking business style email, complete with greeting, opening and closing, asking what size to get and explaining that it was for a 2007 FXSTCI with saddlebags and windshield. Their response was simply "
An XL would fit well".
Ok, I realize I'm a bit anal, but I would hope that anyone in sales would try a little harder to be polite and professional. I decided to look past it & order the cover anyway, figuring it was maybe a less than educated person on the computer, but when I got the cover, an XL just like they recommended, I practically needed a shoe horn to get it on the bike and no way were the straps going to reach to tie it on. I took it off, folded it up & shoved it back into the box. I called the Dealership & told them the problem. To their credit, there was no hassle, no problem. They told me to take it back & order the right size, now that I was sure what that was. A lot of dealerships would have made me send it back through the manufacturer. I highly commend San Diego Harley for their assistance in clearing this up.
As For the cover, the XXL fits great, and I'll let you know if it fails to stand up to the UV, or if they fail to honor their Lifetime Warranty.
I can be such an Idiot sometimes. I bought tickets for my whole family to see Junkyard Several months ago. Now the show is next Saturday & we've just realized that my oldest son is working on crew for his high school musical and their final performance is the same night. I forgot to put the concert on his conflict sheet and now he's stuck. I can't let him walk away from his commitment, and I can't blame him for being disappointed in missing the show.
I asked his teacher if she could spare him for that one night, but she said no and now I'm wondering if I even should have asked. It's not her fault I spaced it. To top it off, my wife isn't sure she wants to go, so I may be eating two tickets.
Have I mentioned that I'm ADD? In my case that may stand for "A Damn Dumbass".
Take care, all. I'll Catch you on the road...