Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Boring, Lately

Not a whole lot of posts from here, lately.  The wind has blown me away, on the way back and forth to work, but nothing much else has been going on.

I rode the vintage-style fixed gear to Kaladi's, today.  The right-hand side carb on the 450 is puking gasoline out of the overflow tube, so I have to look at it, sometime.  The leaves are falling, but it's still 70 degrees in Denver (this time, last year, I had 16 inches of snow on the yard).

Like I say, boring.

Supposed to ride with Brad, tomorrow, then go to the Webb's and make ravioli.  Maybe I'll have something more interesting to say, after that.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Live Music Night

Rode the 450 to Herman's Hideaway again, last night, and suffered through a pretty crappy opening band before having my socks knocked off by Sugarhouse.  I grabbed some video of them, and asked their permission to post it.  Jana (pronounced "Johna", just like my mother's name) was happy to let me post it up.

I started filming about halfway into the song, but you get a pretty good idea of what the band is like.  Jana is a great singer, and no slouch on the drums, and Jason is one of those guitarists the likes of which you don't often see in a local band.  I feel almost like the people in Austin must have felt when Stevie Ray Vaughan was playing local clubs.

I bought the bass player, Mike, a beer after their set was over, and he gave me their CD, which is excellent.

Check out the video here.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunday Jam

Last Sunday, Tony came over and we set up the drums for a little jam session.  I turned on the video camera, and never even checked to see where it was aimed (or how it sounded).  The vocal amp was turned toward Tony, and away from the camera, so the vocals are a bit muted.

Tony would set a beat, and I would try to think of one of my songs which would fit, or else improvise along with the drums.  This song actually turned out pretty well, I think, and it's a little more upbeat than the last few I've posted up at HRJG.

I put up another song from the jam on my YouTube account, if you want to check it out.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

EcoVelo Photo Contest

EcoVelo is having another photo contest.  Here is my submission.

Let me know what you think.


A Brace of Scramblers

 I was happy to see Brad's Scrambler when I rolled up to Kaladi Brothers Coffee, this morning.  This was the first time that his Scrambler and my CL450 have been in the same place, since I got the Honda.  Old-school meets new-school...


Of Life, Death and Goals Not Met

I had someone ask, this morning at the coffee shop, how my 100-mile rides were going.  I had to just tell her that I had dropped that goal for the year.  Dealing with Daddy's passing, and the inevitable reflection that brought on, just sort of put me off my stride.  And, honestly, it really made all the goals I had set, earlier, seem a little less important.

The other day, I was talking to Carol and I mentioned that certain things in life just weren't suiting me, and that dealing with the emotions of losing Daddy had really brought them to the forefront.  I work a job that only gives me a paycheck, for instance,  and I really don't get any fulfillment from it.  I'd like to do something which actually means something to me. 

She said to me, "Whatever you do, maybe you just need to do a little less.  You have too many projects and goals, and you can't seem to get any of them done.  Don't start anything new, for a while, and see how you feel about it."  (Obviously, not a direct quote, but close enough.)

And, she is right.  I've spread myself a bit thin, trying to find some satisfaction with life, and it really hasn't worked out that well.  So, I think I'm going to back off on some things, and I hope nobody thinks I'm just being a quitter.

I would really like to get some music recorded, but for now I am writing so much new stuff and exploring new avenues on the guitar... so I think I'll just let it happen when it happens. 

I will get back to doing the 100 mile rides, but I'm not going to set a minimum number for them.  When I feel like it, I'll bust one out.  When I don't, I'll ride to the coffee shop and relax.

I'm still riding to work, every day.  I hit the 700-day mark, this past Tuesday, and I see no reason to quit.  I still plan on seeing live music, at least once a month.  And, I will be working on Kyle's motorbike through the winter and spring, so it's not like I don't have some goals to meet.  I just don't need everything I do to be tied to a deadline or a minimum number.

I think, for the next little bit, I'm just going to live life and try to get the most out of it that I can.  Life is too short to be constantly stressing about goals and deadlines  I get enough of that at the lab.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Man Cave - Edited with link

It's that time of year when the motorbikes need to be under a roof, not just a protective cover.  The V-Strom is under the roof on the back porch, and the other three reside within the shop building.

I don't winterize the bikes, because I ride year-round, but they need to be protected from the elements, and in a place where the battery tenders can be plugged in.  I have to move them out, if I want to heat the joint up with the kerosene burner, but that's a small inconvenience, really, in order to keep them accessible.

Last year, I couldn't ride during a couple of months because the bikes were in the backyard storage building, and snow in the yard prevented me from getting them out to ride on the dry roads.  This should allow me more motorbike days, this year.

EDIT:  I put up another slide guitar song demo on HRJG.  If the last two haven't worn you out, check it here.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bad Week For Me On eBay - UPDATE

Well, the seat guy agreed to a partial refund, bringing the cost down to what I consider reasonable for a piece in this condition.  Hopefully, I can patch it up well enough to use it.  If not, I'm not out too much.

The seat cover guy is supposed to be sending me a replacement, in the correct size.  He even double-checked with me to make sure of the length of my existing seat, so it will hopefully be the right cover, this time.

I'm feeling a bit better about it all, at this point.


Monday, October 04, 2010

The Circumference of The Earth, at The Equator, Is Approximately 24, 900 Miles

I have covered almost half that distance on my bicycle, commuting, in the last 3 years and 5 months.  I hit the 12,000-mile mark on the commute, this morning.

Maybe that will become my new goal:  Commute non-stop until I ride the equivalent of a global circumnavigation.  (I like big words, sometimes.)


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Bad Week For Me On eBay

I decided I wanted to put a lower-profile seat on the CL450, but I really don't want to mess up the one that's on it.  Nor do I want to spend big bucks on a custom seat.  So, I decided to buy a stock seat-pan, and a cover, and modify those to suit my vision.

So, I bid on a seat auction, on eBay, and won it.  With the seat-pan in transit, I hit the Buy-It-Now for a seat cover.  Total cost:  About $75.00.  Not too bad, considering a premade cafe seat for the CL450 would be about $250.00.

Imagine how thrilled I was when I received this (pictures taken after I removed the stock cover and foam - the condition was obvious, even before that):

Nice, huh?

Here's the message I sent the seller:


I just wanted to contact you and let you know that I am pretty dissatisfied with the seat I bought from you. I understand that used parts are used parts, but the seatpan on this seat was totally rusted away all the way around the edge, and even up into the seating area.

I honestly don't see how you could have handled this item and believed that it was in usable condition. If I had a seat in this bad shape, I would simply throw it in the trash (which is probably where it's going, although I may try to glass it and make it somewhat usable), rather than sell it to someone who can't inspect it first.

I took photos of the condition of the pan, after I removed the cover, if you have any doubts about the condition the seat is in. I will gladly email them to you, if you want to see them.

I won't leave negative feedback, in the hopes that this was, indeed, an example of someone just not paying attention. Due to shipping cost, I will not return the seat.


Jon Grinder

I'm hoping that he will offer to make good on this, but I'm not holding my breath.  I'm certainly not going to pay shipping to send it back.  Combine that with the shipping I paid to get it here, and I would still be out just about the purchase price.  At least I only wasted $35.00 on it, total.

I hope I can grind off the rusty parts, and fiberglass it to the point where I can use it, but it looks doubtful.

To top it off, the seat cover came in, today, and it is actually the shorter version which fits the CB450 (CLs have a shorter tank/longer seat).  It's marked as a CL cover, but here it is in comparison with my existing seat:

You can see not only the comparative size, but the gap between the nose of the seat and the tank.

I contacted the seller, pointed out that it is not what I ordered, and asked him to refund my money, and pay the return shipping, due to that fact.  Again, not holding my breath.

Oh, well.  Caveat emptor, and all that, I suppose.