Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Cat Named Lucky


If you are you expecting a heart-wrenching story
About a cat that got run over by a truck,
Lost a leg and dragged himself 100 miles
After being bitten by a snake.......

Sorry, but......

W R O N G!

Meet Lucky

Oh Yeah, and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day while you're at it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

History Lesson

How many of you know there are two verses in the US National Anthem? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t, I didn’t either. But, at a campaign rally in the just completed Take Back America season a retired Marine wanted to make sure Americans found out there was.

Take a peek as an old Jar Head gives us a history lesson that is more important now than any time since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The original Tea Party was in Boston in 1773 and it takes the Tea Party of 2010 to get out the fact that our founding Fathers did in fact believe that this country was a Nation born UNDER GOD.  Now, I don't care what anyones' religious beliefs are...the fact remains the ACLU and others are on the wrong side of the fence when they claim In God We Trust, and similiar words, violate the rights of Americans.

In this Thanksgiving season I'm thankful for this brave Marine for sharing with the world this verse that seems to have been overlooked for so long.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Musical Selection to Brighten Your Day

Retirement pushed to 69, cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut the Military budget by several trillion dollars. Wait.....for a fleeting moment there was a suggestion to cut foreign aid....but come on that will never happen, they are entitled to the US Workers money.

Yep, last week’s election is going to bite us in the pocketbook as the losers attempt to pay the Voters back for chasing them from the trough of plenty.

In honor of the sensibility of those Voters who voted to take back America I give you a listen to this little ditty.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Careful Where You Ride

This grizzly was hit by a Harley on Lolo Pass. This is the pass between Lolo , MT and Kooskia , ID.

Lolo Pass , elevation 5,233 feet (1,595 m), is a mountain pass in the northern Rocky Mountains on the border between the U.S. states of Montana and Idaho approximately 25 miles (40 km) west-southwest of Missoula , Montana ..

It is famous as the location where the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the summit of the Bitteroot Range via the Lolo Trail on their outward and return journeys in 1805-06.

Look at the claws on that sucker!

The biker spent three days in the hospital! The hog's a wreck!

Lesson learned: Don't go Bear Hunting with a Harley, they're only good for one hunt!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

January 3, 2007....The Beginning of the End?

The day the Democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009.  It was actually January 3rd 2007 the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, the start of the 110th Congress. The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush's Fault", think about this:

January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:

At the time:

1. The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77

2. The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%

3. The Unemployment rate was 4.6%

4. George Bush's Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!

Remember the day...

1. January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.

2. The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?

3. Thank Congress for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment to this CRISIS by dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco's!  (BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie - starting in 2001, because it was financially risky for the U.S. economy, but no one was listening).

Who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac?

Who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie???
OBAMA and the Democratic Congress.

So when someone tries to blame Bush...

REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007.... THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!" Bush may have been in the car, but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel they were driving. Set the record straight on Bush!

So, as you listen to all the commercials and media from the Democrats who are now distancing themselves from their voting record and their party, remember how they didn't listen to you when you said you didn't want all the bailouts, you didn't want the health care bill, you didn't want cap and trade, you didn't want them to continue spending money we don't have.

Do not forget their complicity in getting us into this mess, and mark your vote accordingly!

"It's not that liberals aren't smart, it's just that so much of what they know isn't so" -Ronald Reagan

Above all else get off your ass and GO VOTE NOVEMBER 2.
I'm Arizona Harley Dude and I approve of this message.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Wednesday

A white-haired older man named Mike walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young blonde at his side.

He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend.

The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring. The old man said, "No, I'd like to see something more special."

At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over. "Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000," he said.

The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man seeing this said, "We'll take it."

The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the old man stated, "By check. I know you need to make sure my check clears so I'll write it now, and you can call the bank on Monday morning to verify the funds and I'll pick the ring up on Monday afternoon," he said..

On Monday morning, the jeweler phoned the old man and said "Sir, there's no money in that account."

"I know," said Mike, "but let me tell you about my weekend!"

All Seniors Aren't Senile

Friday, August 13, 2010

So, You Think...

...kids are cute. Well, this might might make you think again.

Little Bruce and Becky are only 10 years old, but they know they are in love.
One day they decide that they want to get married, so Bruce goes to Becky's father to ask him for her hand.

Bruce bravely walks up to him and says, "Mr. Smith, me and Becky are in love and I want to ask you for her hand in marriage."

Thinking that this was just the cutest thing,

Mr. Smith replies, "Well Bruce you are only 10. Where will you two live?"

Without even taking a moment to think about it, Bruce replies, "In Becky's room. It's bigger than mine and we can both fit there nicely."

Still thinking this is just adorable,

Mr. Smith says with a huge grin, "Okay, then how will you live? You're not old enough to get a job. You'll need to support Becky."

Again, Bruce instantly replies, "Our allowance. Becky makes five bucks a week and I make 10 bucks a week. That's about 60 bucks a month, so that should do us just fine."

Mr. Smith is impressed.

Bruce has put so much thought into this.

"Well Bruce, it seems like you have everything figured out," I just have one more question, "What will you do if the two of you should have little children of your own?"

Bruce just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, we've been lucky so far."

Mr. Smith no longer thinks the little shit is adorable.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Ride Completed

Having now ridden in 44 of the 48 continuous states that make up this great country, plus Alaska, I finally think I am beginning to understand why I really ride a motorcycle. Every single day, in every single local I have ever been in I can envision myself living there. Taking in the beauty and differences that make each unique, being “IN” the elements that insure that uniqueness, and having that stupid little smile on my face and in my heart…..that my friends is why I ride a motorcycle.

This trip covered 23 of those states, 14 of which were first timers. Extensive small, rural two lane highways were the order of the ride for 11 of the 17 riding days. Speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down is the name of the game on these roads and it is a great game. The people are friendly on these roads and the real flavor of the area can only be savored on these roads in my opinion. I am still learning HOW to really appreciate what is offered on these roads and allow myself to slow down even more and take more of what they offer. I still get lost in the riding aspect of a road trip and forget to stop as often as I should/could, take pictures, and enjoy the beauty and surroundings even more.

Linda wrote about what she learned on her first extended road trip and it was a learning time for me also. It has been over twenty years since I have done so much two-up riding. I had an almost unnatural fear of dumping her, and Petunia, and it was only after telling her I should just do it and get it over with that that feeling started to go away. Of course she was happy to not get dumped and thanked me for worrying about her. I learned it is better to share these road experiences with someone than it is to do it alone. To have to consider the comfort and needs of someone other than myself on a ride was good for me and while I could have been better I think I did OK. At least I had already decided I needed a motel when the humidity was near 90% even before Linda said anything. Plus, Linda wasn’t subjected to 4 AM get-aways or 1,000 mile days.

From the Pig Trail in Arkansas to the corn fields of Kentucky to the wine country of the New York area to the grandeur of Niagara Falls to real Vermont maple syrup to Maine lobster and clams on the shores of the Atlantic to the history in Boston to the barbeque at the Boneyard to suggested roads in Alabama to meeting Lady R and Harley to completing the journey safely, this ranks up there with one of the best trips I have ever been on. Funny thing is after every ride when I sit and reflect on it I always think it was one of the best I have ever been on. Damn, that must be why I ride a motorcycle….every ride is the best one I have ever taken.

Some sights from the road;

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Safely At Home

I safely arrived at home at 5:15 Wednesday evening. After a shower, we went to dinner and I got a call with family issues that I never dreamed would happen. It has dampened the ride a bit, but hopefully it will work itself out in time.

I went today to get my computer fixed and it was as simple as taking out the battery, unplugging the power cord, and holding the power button for ten seconds. I had tried most of that, except for the holding the power button part, and it still didn’t work. At least it wasn’t an expensive lesson and all my ride pictures aren’t lost.

So, today I have done very little and I am still worn out. I guess I am getting old because the 1800+ miles I put on in the last two days seems to have kicked my arse. Hopefully after a good nights sleep I be ready to recap the ride, change the oil, and start planning the next adventure. Now I think I need to start thinking about fixing dinner and having Linda a nice glass of wine when she gets home from work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life Is A Bitch Sometimes

Go figure something is wrong with the computer and it wont turn on. So, I can't respond to comments or Facebook.

I'm sitting in Clinton, Oklahoma after riding a taste over 1,000 miles. That leaves 800 or so for tomorrow and I plan on "Getting Her Done" as the old saying goes.

Dinner with Dianna and Harley was great and I owe them big time. You guys need to come out to the Phoenix area, even if you have to fly, and maybe we can convince the Cali folks to join the party, as well as Ann and Big D. I'll be in touch with an idea in a few days after I get home and reat up for a day or two. And how smart am I to not have photographic proof of our meeting? I had the camera in the room for heavens sake. Anyway, we tore up the town of Motgomery in the alloted time on a Monday evening. It was a pleasure to meet such fine folks and I need to thank you both again for dinner. The next meeting will have to include a ride to make it official.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Monday, July 12, 2010

15 Days On The Road

I am spoiled, selfish, really lucky, and am 5,365 miles into Summer Trip 2010 sitting in Montgomery, Alabama. The beans have been spilt, so I get the pleasure of having dinner with Dianna, Lady Ridesalot, and her husband Harley. It is my belief that more of the Blogging community should just contact the folks who write the blogs they read when in their area and say, “Hey, got time for dinner?” If more of you would do that I wouldn’t feel so forward barging into Salinas and now here in Montgomery.

Whatever the case, anyone who reads my blog has a standing invitation to drop in if in the Phoenix area. Wait, is that OK with you Dear? Meet and greet dinner during the week, dinner and a ride in the area on the weekend, whatever options work for all parties concerned. Remember Phoenix is a dry heat. Getting to meet and put personalities to the faces adds to the enjoyment of reading the blogs.

Changing the subject….I have ridden through, and colored in, 45 states on a motorcycle. This summer alone I have covered 15 new ones. I have reached the goal I set when planning this ride and while it has been fun I am beginning to feel the pull to the house. In the morning when I leave Montgomery I will be slabbing it up to Interstate 40 in Memphis and eating up the miles. The back roads have been awe inspiring and taken a lot longer than I anticipated, but it has been a fantastic trip. Planning and leaving is always fun, but getting home is good also because then I get to start planning the next one. Just might include Hawaii.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nice Evening Under The Stars

This is tonight’s accommodations here in Gaffney, South Carolina. It is windy, cool, and the RC cola is ice cold. It has been a long time since I’ve had an RC and there is no adult beverage, so it is quite refreshing.

The experienced RVers I’ve talked to assure me it isn’t going to rain tonight. That is especially important because of the amount of rain I got yesterday afternoon and evening. When I got here everything in the bottom of the trailer was wet. It rained so hard that it was blowing into my eyes behind my glasses like a million little needles. But on the bright side it was cool and today wasn’t bad either.

Tomorrow looks like some back road time in as I continue to color in my map. Now, I think I will go listen to the birds sing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Afternoon of Rest

We have arrived in Seekonk, Massachusetts, the laundry (my, [because Linda doesn’t do laundry on vacation. I think she is smarter than I am, but I pack lighter]) is in the dryer, our plan for Boston tomorrow is in place, The Boneyard has $1.00 ribs tonight that we are thinking about sampling, and we are resting. That was after the trip to get here that included a trip to the Nashoba Valley Winery and Providence, Rhode Island.

The Nashoba Valley Winery was a new experience for me. Yes, I have visited several wineries in Napa Valley, California, southern Arizona, New York, and now in Bolton, Massachusetts. This is the first one that I have seen that bottles wine, beer, brandy, champagne, distillates, vodka, and cognac. If you can drink it, this place makes it. We did a sampling of five different wines, beers and choose two to take with us for the weekend. In my limited knowledge of wines, I find a wide range of flavors from each region of the country. It is either fortunate or unfortunate, depending on your outlook, that the wineries we have visited on this trip don’t ship to Arizona because there have been some really good wines that we have tasted.

Linda is holding up rather well considering the humidity. The number of miles we have ridden isn’t staggering, but considering that the majority has been back road, two lane, 50 mph, slow going, time consuming miles it is beginning to take a toll. She hasn’t complained except to say she doesn’t know if she can stand up and even my butt is starting to give out about 3:30 every afternoon.

Tomorrow will consist of a short ride into and out of Boston and a few miles of walking and sight seeing. The humidity will dictate how much walking we can do and may try to ride Petunia between the things we want to see. There will be lunch on the pier at the No Name Restaurant on the agenda and everything else will be by the seat of the pants.

That is the news from the East Coast as I see it and now I need to see if the cloths are dry so we can go eat. More to come later

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Checking In

Is it Wednesday morning already? We left Canada Monday morning about 9 AM and except for a total of 9 miles we have only been on back roads with a top speed of 55 mph. We are in Rumford, Maine this morning and will be traveling to Belfast, Maine to a local lobster shop to have fresh off the boat lobster.

Can you say HOT? They are in record breaking heat out here and yesterday it was 96 with 70% humidity. Truthfully as long as we were moving it wasn’t that bad, but being stopped just for gas or to take pictures we really felt it.

Linda is enjoying her first extended road trip…I told her it WAS enjoyment…and she doesn’t complain. However, it is a lot more comfortable in a motel with air conditioning than in a tent. We agreed it would be nearly impossible to sleep in these conditions in the tent.

I'll get to more later, right now I need to go get coffee to entice Linda to wake up, so we can get on the road for the day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Greetings from Canada

Our Saturday started with a ride back toward Erie, Pennsylvania to take Highway 20 back toward Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The reason for this ride was to take in some of the wineries that dot the area and to find some local libations to have while in Canada. We were told we could tank three bottles in without paying customs and we found two we liked.  As I am writing this post we are enjoying a very nice red named Rufus Red.  This wine is named after the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of the young man who was helping us with the tasting.Rufus planted the original grapes for this winery.  Rufus planted the original grapes for this winery 150 years ago and some are said to still be growing.  This wine is a semi-sweet wine and reminds Linda and I both of cranberries. It would be easy to forget it is wine and consume to much of it…..hey is it all gone already?

At the border we were asked if we possessed any alcohol and I declared the two bottles because we had just seen them search two different vehicles in our lane. The Border Guard asked a few more questions and then said, “Enjoy your weekend in Canada,” and we were off.

We went to check into our hotel and everything was almost set except they were just finishing a remodel and needed about half an hour to finish up. Since we needed to get something to eat and drink that wasn’t much of a problem. When we got back the room was ready and we were told there were special instructions to get to the room. We had to ride the lobby elevator to the 29th floor, get out and go a special elevator, use a hey to access the 30th floor to reach our room. When we got to the new elevator we were greeted with this sign:

Yep, we were in the Penthouse. Not just that, but the center room overlooking the Canadian Falls.  When we opened the door this is the view were greeted with:

The view from the doorway.

The Canadian Falls.

The parking lot below our room and Northern end of the Falls area.

We are doing all of the big four tourist attractions Sunday. Maid of the Mist boat ride right up to the falls, White Water Walk a close look at the rapids, Journey Behind the Falls which is below and behind the heart of Niagara, and Niagara’s Fury, which is a 4 D movie describing the Creation of the Falls. It should be a day to remember.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ye Tale of Olde

It has been written of a time the King was occupied with womanly charms. The gate was forgotten on this day and word quickly spread. And soon all of the Villages' idiots took for the hills. They weren't used to this freedom and wondered from side to side of this paved playground. First quickly and then slowly. They were happy to be free, but the King laughed because he knew and hoped many wouldn't find their way home.

There was one, Sir AHD, who wouldn't let this disrupt the plan to meet the Fair Maiden Linda. So, upon the trusty steed Petunia, Sir AHD played the game and knowing he had plenty of time to await the big dragon delivering Lady Linda was content to let their games go unnoticed.

Alas, it was written...All good things take time.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just For Dave

Hey Dave I think they are moving East.  This started about 3:45 this morning.  I believe it is Nature's Alarm Clock.  My only question is why so early?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AWWWW Shit Moment

Here I sit in a nice campground in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and my wireless is working and I am just about ready to post. I've had a great barbeque dinner that I unhooked the pig pen to go get and as I start to log on I look over at Petunia. This is what I see:

After only 1,300 miles of a 6500+ mile trip I saw cords showing on my rear tire.  Now what?  I'm 60 miles from Fayetteville and that seems my best bet for a new tire.  I'll have to leave the trailer here at the campground and make a run there and pray the tire holds out.  I guess it could be worse it could have blown out.

Day 1 was a touch over 800 miles from Peoria to Shamrock, Texas. Because it was Interstate 40 riding, the most interesting part was the marble size hail that hit me for about 10 minutes. I gotta say that hurt like Hell, but there was no place to hide. The entire day was overcast and nothing was special until I noticed the mile markers. I started timing them and found for every ten miles I traveled Petunia's odometer only registered 9 miles. I triple checked and found after 20 miles of mile markers she went 18 miles and after 30 miles of mile markers she only went 27 miles. That might have something to do with Willy D and Dave going 80 mph compared to Petunia registering 70 when I went to Salinas. SO, at the next gas stop I took off the side cover and went to adjusting the Dakota Speed Sensor Override to make it all time right. After 45 miles of playing with it I think it is finally set where it was supposed to be when the 6 speed was installed 8,000 miles ago. No wonder my fuel mileage sucked.

This is just before the hail and when the sprinkles started.

Day 2 started cool and clammy. The humidity was up, but that allowed the riding to feel comfortable. Whenever I stopped I realized just how warm it really was. I knew I wanted to travel up to Northern Arkansas to take some of the back roads in the Osarks. At the Visitor Center a lady suggested using Route 71 with scenic overlooks or Arkansas 23 with twists and turns. Turns out Arkansas 23 is really the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.  I am happy that I chose this option as it is 132 miles of 571 curves.  I have only covered the first 100 miles of the route, But after getting a new tire I will be checking out more of it as I roll toward Harrison, Arkansas.

These are poor quality shots of the Pig Trail, but the scenery was spectacular.

Well it is time to look for the shower and think about calling Linda before turning in.  I'm guessing I won't be able to get a tire until 9:00 or after, but I will be there when they open.  The adventure has just begun!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Saturday In Salinas

Saturday morning in Salinas started about 7:45 with overcast skies and cool temperatures. Dave, BB, and I headed over to Rollicks for a cup of the good stuff and then across the street for a really good breakfast.

Quite differently than in the Phoenix area, in Old Town Salinas people really come down and spend time there. Besides Dave’s shop there are restaurants, shops, a new movie theater, and a parking lot that had a bike gathering on Friday evening and a Farmers’ Market on Saturday. Friday when we got there the street parking was all full, but since Rollicks is near the end of the block parking was as easy as making a U turn.

After breakfast we wondered back for more of the Hawaiian roast coffee that was the flavor being brewed Saturday morning. Hanging out at the shop seemed more like sitting around the kitchen table at my Granny’s house than being at a commercial establishment. Everyone, it seemed, knows Dave and BB and stopped for a chat, those driving down the street stopped for a quick word before going on their way, and it really was a great environment. We were just hanging out when the rumble of a couple of Harleys were heard rolling down the street. Willy D had ridden out and escorted the lovely Ms M to town. Ms M rode down from the Bay area for a visit and I was honored to be able to meet her in person.

Josiah asking BB about Bob, Willy D talking to Ms M, Dave and a friend talking.

About 10:00 or so we headed over to Willy D’s for the garage party. Ms M is preparing to attend the 2010 edition of the Sturgis rally and needed to make a few modifications to Bob.

Willy D was just the man to help in that department.

Dave and BB changing a rattling shift linkage

As is the case with most jobs on a bike something always seems to not go as planned. In this case it can be attributed to a mechanic who stripped a bolt and just left it instead of fixing it the right way. Then when the dealer returned Ms M’s parts they somehow forgot to include the heel toe shifter levers. Undaunted, Willy D went to the drawer and pulled out a set. I’m pretty sure Ms M was planning to have a stern talk to that Dealer when she got back home.

When the wrenching was done we went for a quick ride to pick up some things for a barbeque and headed to Dave and BB’s. Dave was the grill master, BB was at work, Willy D, his bride Carol, Ms M, and I watched. It seemed like I watched a lot today and didn’t do much constructive, but it was a great day. After dinner Ms M had to head the hour and a half back home, Willy D and Carol escorted her to the 101, and the rest of us just shot the bull until pumpkin thirty and I had to turn in.

Sunday morning was an escorted ride down to Paso Robles where we went our respective ways.  It was a great weekend of riding, visiting, and meeting new friends.  700 miles for a cup of coffee might seem extreme for some, but that coffee came with a lot more than cream and sugar.  Thank you all again for making my trip one that I will remember.   

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Ride Put On Hold

Regrettably, I have to put my summer ride on hold and will be out of touch for several weeks starting immediately. I have been very upset about the impending damage to the Louisiana coast, so when I received the call for help in clean-up and saw the picture of the oil soaked creatures that are washing up on the beach at Grand Isle, I immediately decided to answer the call. These poor creatures (as you can see) need to be thoroughly scrubbed and a lot of protective oils need to be applied before we can clothe them again. The call is loud and clear and the Obama Administration is not offering any assistance. While the Obama Administration does an environmental study these poor creatures cry out for help. It’s a humanitarian duty I cannot decline. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Going For A Cup of Coffee

Coffee. Some have to have it to get going in the morning. Me? I just drink it because after 40+ years it is what I do when I get up. Plus it is also a good excuse to go for a ride. Such was the case last Friday when at 2:30 AM I headed out to get a cup. The cup above is what it looked like to me because I didn’t get that first hot, robust, full flavor sip until somewhere around 5:00 PM, some 695 miles later. Yep, I am just crazy enough to ride almost 700 miles for a cup of coffee and smiled every inch of the last 682 of them. As I was leaving I could feel the stress of the past school year evaporate, my mental state improved by about 1,000 percent and my attention turned to just enjoying the ride.

As I was standing there, enjoying that first cup of the day things became more focused. Ahhhh, Salinas, California at Rollicks Speciality Coffee and Internet. Salinas, California is the home of Road Grits CafĂ©, BB’s Road Trip, and DR. WRENCH. Dave, BB, and Willy D graciously encouraged me to come on up when I suggested, or told them I was on the way, that I might be in the area. Since Linda was hosting a girls night party for her daughter, sister, sister-in-law, and friends I jumped on the chance to get in a little pre-ride before the actual summer trip.

The ride up was just superslab get you there stuff. The kind that is conducive to setting the cruise about 80 and watch the scenery click by until the next gas stop. The exception was the LA morning commute traffic that I found myself in about 7:00. I don’t think I would be able to handle that on a daily basis. I know I needed my head on a swivel because they seem to think they can just push you over if they want your spot on the road. But even that couldn’t dampen the feelings that the ride was producing.

Dave and Willy D were going to meet me in Paso Robles to escort me the final 98 miles to Salinas. The plan was I would be there about noon. But, when I woke up Thursday at 2:30 ready to leave I knew I wouldn’t be waiting till 4 Friday morning to depart. So, at Lost Hills I stopped to say I was early and would be there at 11. Alright, so I beat them there. It was not a big deal and I didn’t mind standing up far a bit anyway. They arrived and options were given. Ride the 101 or the 1. Dave cautioned the 1 was longer and slower and because of the golf tournament traffic might be a problem at the end. The discussion really wasn’t a discussion and we were headed to the 1.

We hung out at the Coffee House until BB arrived and went to enjoy a great meal at the restaurant where BB is a manager. The food was great and they brew their own beer. As it had been a long day by then and we still had to ride to their house I limited myself to one. That was a hard decision because the beer was ice cold and very good. 

After dinner we left for Dave and BB’s place and about 11:30 I was ready for slumber time. It took about 45 seconds to fall asleep. Funny thing was I fell asleep with that jingle from Gilligan’s Island in my head.

...to be continued

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Started Yesterday

Linda is having a girls party this evening and that gave me a great excuse to take a short weekend trip on Petunia.  This was also the first day of my summer vacation because I taught summer school this year.  So Petunia and I found our way to Highway 1 over in California.   

2nd try

This is what it was supposed to say;

Blogger on the go? From my cell phone? This might work if I really went somewhere.

I am awake at 1:58 on a Friday morning and nothing to do today but wait until I leave on the summer ride. Might as well go get a cup of coffee.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Friday, June 18, 2010

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anniversary Day

Here it is June 8th already and I haven’t even attempted to write about the Parker trip. Worse than that, I haven’t ridden much since then either. Well, that isn’t entirely true because my commute has grown from 6 miles a day to 44. I have to be the only idiot that celebrates getting to extend the commute to work multiplying five fold. Well, that is what riding will do for you. Since the start of my move I have happily been enjoying the extended time to ride sometimes on the freeway and sometimes on surface streets, it doesn’t really make any difference.

But, then I remembered today is my 2 year anniversary of leaving to Alaska in the summer of 2008. 729 days since Get Away Day. There have been many changes over the last two years. A long term relationship has ended, a new love has evolved, a marriage is in the planning stages and as normal, if anything is normal, a new ride is just days away.

Maybe I'm in a reflective mood today for many reasons. Whatever the reason on the ride to work today I got to thinking. I have Petunia's ThunderMax adjusted to get 39 MPG. But, on the way to summer school I got to thinking my thinking was flawed. You see, I had the air fuel ratio set leanest at the lowest RPM. My thought today was, isn't it really supposed to be leanest at higher RPM when the air is moving across the cylinder heads to keep it cool and MPG would be at optimal range?

Well, I got home, readjusted everything, and had to go test it out in 105 degree temperatures. I had just over a quarter tank of gas and decided to go the 45 miles to Black Canyon City to get gas. I rode it like I stole it and on every heavy acceleration the gas gauge went to the E range, but upon reaching cruising range it came back up. Once in Black Canyon City I gassed up at Shell and then stopped by Rocks Springs for a cool off. Then it was the same 45 miles home at 80+ and the gas gauge hasn’t moved.

There is plenty of power, the oil temperature gauge never got above 200 degrees, and I’m smart enough to realize that I need to ride the next few days to see what was really accomplished. I am hoping to not stop at a gas station for at least 450 miles on the summer trip. Wait, I know that isn’t realistic on five gallons of gas, but I will be carrying an extra five gallons and plan on using that as a water stop on the way. Along that line of thought, except on special days, it means stopping for gas only twice. The second time is when I’m stopping for the night.

Ahhhh, planning is always the way to prevent problems and I don’t need any problems this summer. Funny thing is my feeble brain is now planning on somewhat stupid ways to check this all out. Well, some might call them stupid, but I do need to leave the women folk to plan a wedding. Yep, that same event that isn’t happening for just over a year. Funny how women folk want to plan a year in advance when there is a great ride that is just twenty days away that needs attention. That is the difference between men and women. I'm not really making a judgement here, because if God created anything better than women he kept it for himself.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where Does The Time Go?

Where in Hell does the time go? It’s the end of May already? Four and a half days left at this school with the sorry excuse of an administrator? Thirty days until the next chapter of AzHD’s great motorcycle adventures explodes onto a blog post on your computer screen? This year is blasting by and there are times I think I’m missing some of it.

On a good note I am reuniting with a former principal next school year and am looking forward to being able to focus on the students again. The wedding plans are progressing in an acceptable manner. I’m almost all moved and getting ready to put the finishing touches on my house in preparation for the tenants moving in. The planning for the summer ride has taken on a newfound importance and priority as the days roll by.

I am starting to seriously search http://www.byways.org to find roads that I want to travel in the states I am visiting for the first time. On my original departure I will have five days to cover 2400 miles to get to Buffalo in time to pick Linda up at the airport. That is an average of 480 per day. I know I will at least double that the first day as I have been to Oklahoma City four times on the bike. From there I start looking for the Blue Highways that hold the allure for me by allowing the ride to slow to a more relaxed, enjoyable pace.

The anticipation of the sights, smells, sounds, and adventure that await are building and waiting is getting harder every day. This road trip promises to be different than the ones for the past several years, as it will partly be shared riding two up. If Linda can live through those nine days with me and Petunia, marriage should be a piece of cake.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Arizona's New Immigration Law

This is why Dimocrats don't like the new Arizona Immigration law.  Now that you know the truth don't you feel better?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Huge Thanks To Viking Dave

The brake report is in and it is exactly what Dave warned me about on Sunday morning.  The clutch cable wears against the brake line and wears a hole in it.  While I couldn't get a good picture of the hole, you can clearly see the worn area that blew out.  Yes, it had a plastic wire protector over the area and it is worn through as well. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this hole was impossible to see and I found it by putting fluid in the master cylinder, pumping the brakes with one hand and tracing the line with the other hand. The damages are about $60 and waiting for 5 - 7 days for the special order to arrive at my local Harley Dealer. Well, not exactly MY LOCAL dealer as he wanted $157 for the brake line and the one 28 miles away only wanted $57. I don't know why the difference, but in both cases it had to be ordered.

How fortunate am I that this happened at the end of a 450 mile weekend of all highway speed riding, two up, and pulling a trailer?  This again speaks to that little voice that we all seem to have.  I've met Dave on two rides and he mentioned this possibility both times. This time Dave seemed more insistent and less than six hours later you can see the result. The evasive actions needed weren’t all that drastic, but no response to your brake peddle at 75 mph is a puckering experience.

So, a hearty THANKS to Viking Dave for planting the thought into my head. I owe you Brother and am thankful for your persistence. Now the rest of you get out there and check your brake lines.

UPDATE 4/28/10  Stubbs Harley called this afternoon to say the part they ordered and I paid for was an obsolete number and the right part was a hundred dollars higher.  Then he asked if I wanted to cancel or pay the hundred when I pick it up.  Well, you can't ride without brakes so I didn't get a smoking deal afterall.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Can't Stop, Only Time For A Quickie

Sunday morning on a cool, sun drenched start to the day I'm having this conversation with Viking Dave from the Roads Grit Cafe.

VD, "Have I told you about my brake discovery?"

AHD, "No, I don't think so."

VD,  "I was cleaning my bike and found my clutch cable rubbing my brake line."

AHD, "Wait a minute, isn't that when you put that tubing around the brake line?"  I'm old and forgetful at times.

VD, "Yea, have you ever checked your clutch cable?"

AHD, "No, I haven't done that."

VD, " You should check it out."

AHD, "I should because if it is wearing and you need to hit the brakes really hard it could blow out and then you wouldn't be able to stop."

Well, arriving back in Peoria and dropping off Piggy at Linda's, cleaning up the mess the dogs made, enjoying a cold beverage, and talking about the great time we had just had,  I was off to my house to get the truck so I could retrieve Pongo.  Hitting the freeway at 74 I floated over to the high speed lane and was sorry the weekend had to end.  Just then I see the car enter the freeway and start to shoot across four lanes, right to my lane.  Of course when they get there they stomp the brakes because it isn't until that instant they see a MOTORCYCLE.  So, I slam down hard on the brakes and........nothing happens!  Quick glance, opening, evasive action, and I'm past them, but still no brakes.  Pull off the freeway and brake fluid is dripping from under Petunia.  I slowly and safely make it the 4 miles to the house.

Now, I'm not sure yet what broke, but I have to give a big thanks to Viking Dave for that conversation because maybe I was still thinking about loosing the brakes at just the right time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's OK to Be Angry Now

Two weeks ago tomorrow there was a terrible accident in the Phoenix area where four Brother and Sister bikers were killed. Five others were injured, the most serious still in the hospital. I knew and have ridden with three of the victims of this accident.

I have visited the site of the crash three times. The first time was just to try and understand how it could have happened. On a perfect, sunny day, at about 1 in the afternoon, to get hit from behind. A terrible accident. I have defended the truck driver and asked folks to hold judgments, while waiting for the facts.

Judgments can now be made. The truck driver who ran down these Brothers and Sisters had drugs in his system at the time of the crash and Phoenix police arrested him on Tuesday.  Toxicology results showed that illegal drugs, believed to be methamphetamines, were present in his system at the time of the collision.  He was booked for 4 counts of manslaughter and several other charges.

So, it wasn't just a terrible accident after all.  It was much worse than that and I'm sure the victims' families wake up this morning feeling like they have just been hit again.

It is now OK to be angry with that moron who killed 4 innocent wife, husbands, mother, fathers, daughter, sons, sister, brothers, aunt, uncles, friends.   

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Past; Good or Bad?

The past is something that can help or haunt a person. Every individual is different and their past experiences define who and what they are. It can be a good or bad thing depending on one’s outlook.

In my past I was always a risk taker. As was the case when I was about 10 and my dad had warned me I had better have the yard mowed when he got home. He arrived to find me standing in the driveway and the yard unmowed. “You need to take me to get a gasket kit for the lawnmower,” I announced as he got out of the truck. I explained that the mower wouldn’t start and I took it apart to fix it. When I say took it apart I mean totally took it apart, down to the crankshaft lying on the shop bench. He walked into the shop with me and after surveying the mower in pieces asked if I had bothered to check the gas. Of course I……..hadn’t checked the gas. That is why I had to tear the thing apart. He took me to get the gasket kit and explained in clear language the yard had best be mowed even if I had to use a pair of scissors by the time he got home tomorrow. Of course I put the mower together, filled the gas tank, and mowed the yard.

Kind of like the possible lifter issue with Petunia. Willy D said it was an easy 10 minute job to pull the lifters and check them. Well, when you never did that on a Harley it takes more than 10 minutes. But, I did pull them out, went over to Big D and Ann’s to get Big D’s opinion, brought them home and reinstalled them, and Petunia lives. A bit more consternation than when I was 10, but the result was about the same. The lifters are OK, Petunia runs, I can adjust adjustable lifters, and the noise isn’t as bad as I thought last week. Go figure.

Then there are those pesky relationship issues that old adults deal with. I have been divorced for going on eleven years. The ex and I are on friendly terms and I even occasionally fix things at her house for her. In that time I had a six year relationship with someone I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, but she had other plans. So, I have spent the larger part of the past two years drowning in the past and what might have been. That was until nine months ago when Linda came into my life. She is cute, funny, a great person, and I fell in love with her. During the process of the last nine months I have struggled with my feelings from my past and how they influenced the me of today. Linda has taught me that I am capable of overcoming my past and of loving again. Because of Linda I am willing to live in the present and future again. That is why I choose Valentine’s Day to tell Linda I truly love her and asked her to be my wife. I am pretty lucky because she accepted my proposal even with all of my warts and faults.

The past can bury you or make you a stronger person. I’m not ready to be buried and Linda has shown me that there is plenty to look forward to. There are many miles of adventure ahead of us and for that I am grateful. Today, not only am I in love, but I am looking forward to sharing the rest of my life with my friend and partner in crime. For me the past is the road to the good stuff.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Luck Isn't In My Favor

I have been enjoying riding Petunia with the new setup and things were going well. I have been dialing her in and everything was looking good and then Tuesday when I started her up I noticed an intermittent clicking sound coming from the valve train. I didn’t ride her Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday because of a cold, but took her to the indy shop that put the S&S cams in. He said it sounded like the lifters, but without taking them out he wouldn’t know for sure. I asked if they had been replaced last May when the cam was installed and he said no because they were OK at that time. Now he can’t get to it until the 23rd of February and I can’t ride her because I don’t want to blow the motor if it is the lifter and it comes apart.

Maybe it is time to get a backup bike and put in my garage. Maybe a rice burner, I hear thes bikes are nice;

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Orleans You Just Won The NFC Championship What Are You Going To Do Now

We are gonna have 5,000 hairy legged ol boys put on dresses and have a parade!!!!!

Buddy D Parade from Cottage Films on Vimeo.

Who Dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time to Start Playing With It

Because the TunderMax seems to be working, and I don’t bowl on Wednesday, I decided to begin playing with the adjustments. One of the benefits of this system is every time you change something you save it and if it doesn’t work you just click on the last one that did and reload it.

My rational for getting this system is to be able to have Petunia run and obtain a decent number of MPG while cruising on the highway. The factory AFR, air-fuel-ratio, is 14.8:1. The default on the ThunderMax is 13:1 across 32 monitoring points. This is what that looks like in the program;

I don’t want to go as high as 14.8:1, so I will try 13.94, between 2048-3328 RPM, and run it for a week or so to see how it runs. That means getting out while hitting some open roads and giving it time to dial in the new points. The new AFR at cruising RPMs looks like this;

The yellow markers are the original AFR and the red is where I moved them to.  To make these changes you have to move each point separately on the first page and then simply cut and paste on subsequent map pages.  Now it's off to school and wait for 3:27, so I go for a ride.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Preliminary Report

I think Dave just might be on to something when he wrote, …..this is why I insist on keeping my bike as stock as possible. I don't need high performance or tweaking or anything like that. I just want it to run. I was well past that point of stock and like his friend with the softail I have spent a ton of money to get nothing more than an ill running, obnoxiously loud, piece of crap. The stock exhaust is long gone and to replace it was more than I was willing, or maybe I’m just stubborn, to spend. So, last Thursday I put on a set of Bub 7 2 into 1 exhaust and a ThunderMax ECM with auto tune.

I really liked the Bub 7s on the first start. They have a nice tone and don’t blast my ears at highway speeds. The installation was very simple, fit and finish are perfect, and I can’t see the single exhaust outlet from my favorite perch on top of Petunia.

The ThunderMax was even simpler to install than the exhaust. Truly a plug and play system with plug it in, connect to the computer, start the bike and let it warm up, go for a ride. Couldn’t be any simpler……..right? Well it does come with a 195 page installation manual. I only got to page 96 before I went out riding. Freeway, blasting away, in and out of traffic, accelerating, slowing down, accelerating, Petunia running like a newly fed pig, and then FLASH….missed the speed camera loops when I swung out to make a pass. I looked down and the speed-o-meter said 72. Got home and looked at the manual and seems the module was set with the wrong code for my bike. Might have been closer to 92 than 72, but without all that noise it didn’t seem that fast. I’ll know in a couple of weeks when I get the Love note in the mail.

Anyway, after 400 miles and a couple of easy adjustments this is the report from the ThunderMax.

I'll do some more riding and give a more detailed report with video of the sound and looks on the latest 'new' modifications to Petunia.  Just for the record, counting the original stock set, this is the fourth exhaust system and fifth set of mufflers.  It will also be the last.  At least that is my opinion this morning.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

With the rainy, cold weather I haven’t been riding as much as I would like. I have also been trying to solve the issue of Petunia not wanting to run and having no power in fifth or sixth gear. Willy D suggested that it could be an intake leak and the air/fuel mix seemed wrong. Well, I found the rubber plug used on the throttle body, from when I added the Ness Big Sucker, was cracked and leaking. So, I replaced it and while it ran better, it still lacked power in the top two gears. Had it looked at and seems the Power Commander isn’t interfacing with the ECM correctly for some reason.

So, what do I need do about it? Replace one and hope I picked the right one? Replace them both and know I got the right one? In either case it requires a trip to a dyno shop for another chunk of change. Nope, I went to three shops and talked to them about recommendations to upgrade her into a 95” full fledge hog.

First shop wanted to pop in a set of off brand pistons, bore my jugs, do, and I quote; some head work, and use a canned map that he has. Nowhere did he address the mentioned problem between the PCIII and ECM. His price was cheap by comparison to the other two.

Second one offered to use Wiseco pistons and remanufactured jugs, replace the ECM and change out the PCIII with a PC 5, port and polish the heads and dyno it. His price was just over double the first one.

Then I went to Iron Horse Corral. I discussed my issues with Nathan and ask his opinion of what I needed. Before he answered my question he questioned me about the type of riding I do and what I expected to get out of the build. A 95” kit for sure with Wiseco 10:1 forged pistons. But to make it work the heads would need to be ported, polished, reshaped, and shaved down. Just happened to have two sets already done and waiting. One set would allow for 100 HP and the other 110 HP. The 100 HP set has been diamond cut and he explained that that allows more surface area and helps with cooling. He said my S&S 510 cams wouldn’t make it jump and said putting in a set of 625s would be the preferred set up. Then he addressed the current issue by telling me to throw away the PCIII and ECM to be replaced with a ThunderMax EFI w/AutoTune .  His price, without the ThunderMax was just a few bucks higher then the second shop. Adding the Thundermax would add an additional $900.

I left with a decision to make and after three days of arguing with myself I have decided to have Iron Horse do the work.  They are also going to install the set of Bub 7 2 into1 exhaust I already ordered.  All they have to do now is be able to squeeze me in.

Oh yeah, and I have taken the pig pen off of Petunia and listed it on Craigs List.  Anyone interested in a nice hack let me know.  When I get too old to hold Petunia up I'll look into a trike conversion.   

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did You Hear That Noise Mr. President?

It was the American people standing up to the change we don't believe in. This, sir, is change YOU HAD BETTER LISTEN TO. The good people of Massachusetts have spoken for most of America and regardless of your attempts to spin the result; it is a reflection on you, your policies, and the village people you surround yourself with.

I want to send out a heartfelt THANK YOU to every citizen of Massachusetts that took the time to vote and especially to the ones who stood up to history, political pressure, and voted for facts and not rhetoric and elected Scott Brown.

November is just around the corner and this is just the beginning. Lets hope there are more truck driving Americans that want to restore America to what our Founding Fathers envisioned when this great country was founded.

Tonight, for the first time in fourteen months, I’m proud to be an American. Thank you Massachusetts for restoring my faith in America.

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Want My Advise?

Another long week, ending with a meeting about budget cuts and how it affects my employment next year.  Can't wait to get outta there for a three day weekend.  Just reach the parking lot and press the alarm on Petunia when a fellow teacher calls out, "Hey Paul can I ask you a question?"

What the Hell, it won't kill me to be nice once in a while.  So, he starts in, " My uncle collects old Triumphs and he is coming down with a couple.  He wants to sell me one of them and I was wondering what you think about me starting to ride?"

My brain begins to churn.....nice young man, married for just over a year and a half, step-father to one, father to a very young baby, riding in the streets of Phoenix, West Valley traffic to be specific where the red of a stop sign is like waving a red towel in front of a bull, and he asks what I think.

"DON'T DO IT," I told him without even a second thought, "nope don't even think about it without contacting MSF and taking a rider training course."  I sometimes surprise myself when I think that quickly.

We discussed it for a few minutes, I gave him what information I had off the top of my head, and he said, "That is what I had been thinking, but wanted your opinion.  Thanks."

With words like that I'm really glad that I steered him in the right direction and I hope he buys that Triumph and rides many miles with the grin I'm sure he will have.  I'll talk to him more on Tuesday to be sure he takes a rider training course.  It is a jungle out there on the streets and I would feel really bad if something happened to him and I had told him he didn't need the training.  Yep, sometimes it pays to be nice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mid January Already?

Wow! It is already the 13th and this year is just bounding by. I have ridden nearly every day this year so far, but that comes to an end today. Not a serious reason, just a reason. I guess I need to back up.

I reattached the pig pen to Petunia back on December 20th. It took the best part of two days to get her aligned just right. I loosened up every adjustment point on the mounting brackets and cut blocks of wood to hold both the hack and Petunia where they should be. Checking the alignment with every tightened bolt was time consuming and worthwhile in the end. When it came time to remove the blocks the ones on the hack just pulled right out, the outside one on Petunia came out with a touch of effort, and the inside one required the use of a BFH. That would be a big f’ing hammer in technical terms. Took her out for a spin and she drove great. I was surprised just how well she drove.

A couple of weeks ago we were going to ride north, looking for that cold, white stuff that has many sitting next to a fire instead of riding. Left out in 36 degrees and by the time we got to Wickenburg it was down into the high 20’s. Petunia wasn’t running very well, Linda was a popsicle, and I was shivering, so we stopped for breakfast to warm up and then headed home.

The issue with Petunia was she would run 80 in fourth gear, but not over 65 in fifth, and even slower in sixth. Plus the gas gauge was dropping like it had an anchor. After eating we filled up and headed back to town. It was warmer and Petunia started running better. After forty or so miles of hills she came to life and would run 80 in sixth gear. I noticed when she began to run that the oil temperature was up to 180. So, I have a question to the mechanics out there; is it possible that the cold temperature and running an oil cooler won’t allow the motor to reach operating temperatures? And if it can, would that explain why she wouldn’t run. I have since blocked off the oil cooler, but haven’t taken her out to see if it made a difference.

That leads to not riding today. Terrible Terry the Texting Idiot didn’t notice the lane restriction until he was about to run into the barricades. Instead of stopping he accelerated and cut over, not really in front of me, more like next to me, and I had to test the stopping ability of Petunia for the first time with the pig pen attached. She flunked the test. No, I didn’t hit TTTI, she stopped, but the brake on the hack locked up. Tight. With some effort I got her out of traffic and unhooking the brake line allowed me to get it to loosen enough to ride the ¾ mile left to get home. I’ll be taking it apart tonight to try and find out what happened.

A year ago getting a hack seemed like a good idea to me. Today not so much and I’m beginning to believe that this is an exercise in futility that is about to come to an end. I’m thinking….if I sold the pig pen and had a 95” upgrade to Petunia wouldn’t that be better than a new bike? At least there wouldn’t be any payments.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My 1st New Years Post Ain't About Riding.

I have a ride report that I just can't get to.  It has been a loonnngggg week and I'm tired.  2010 has just started and my ass is dragging, but I have started looking into summer riding plans because Linda needs to ask for the days off.  I feel bad about not posting yet this year, so because it is almost beer thirty I will leave you with this little gem and I hope everyone's New Year is off to a good start.

Harold is 95 and lives in a Senior Citizen Home.  Every night after dinner Harold goes to a secluded garden behind the Center to sit and ponder his accomplishments and long life.  One evening, Mildred, age 87, wanders into the garden. They begin to chat and before they know it, several hours have passed.  After a short lull in their conversation, Harold turns to Mildred and asks,

"Do you know what I miss most of all?"

She asks, "What?"

"Sex!!" he replies

Mildred exclaims, "Why you old fart. You couldn't get it up if I held a gun to your head!"

"I know," Harold says, "but it would be nice if a woman could just hold it for a while."

"Well, I can oblige," says Mildred, who unzips his trousers, removes his manhood and proceeds to hold it. Afterward, they agree to meet secretly  Each night in the garden where they would sit and talk and Mildred would hold Harold's manhood.  Then one night Harold didn't show up at their usual meeting place.  Alarmed, Mildred decided to find Harold and make sure he was O.K.  She walked around the Senior Citizen Home where she found him sitting by the pool with Ethel, another female resident, who was holding Harold's manhood!  Furious, Mildred yelled, "You two-timing son of a bitch! What does Ethel have that I don't have?'

Old Harold smiled happily and replied, "Parkinson's."