8 Ball In The Wind

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rally Meeting Time & Place

Okay, things are starting to move now.  I have a time and place for the 1st meeting on getting a rally here in the town of Morton started.  It has long been a popular area with scooter riders who enjoy the mountains and the quiet countryside.  Even during the big local Loggers Jubilee, hundreds of bikes are here.  So why not do something special for the bikes all by themselves.

So, Saturday, February 9 starting at 1:00 PM we'll start kicking this thing into something and kickstart the efforts to get a righteous rally going.

If you're in the area come on down and join in on the ground floor.  If not, wish us luck.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What you see here is a photo of me and my M1-Carbine.  It is a semi-automatic rifle in caliber of .30 Carbine.  It has a 15 round magazine, a rifle sling, and a mount for a small penlight flashlight. 

What it ISN'T, is an "Assault Rifle".

That is a military term that refers to a rifle like the M-4.  With selective fire between semi-automatic and fully automatic.  

My M1 Carbine may LOOK like a military weapon, but it is only a semi-automatic version built for civilian use.  It also isn't an "Assault Weapon".  That term was only coined by politicians trying to force through a gun ban back in the late 1980's. Afraid of weapons that LOOKED like military firearms.  Twenty plus years later they still cling to the confusing term because it helps promote their agenda.  As a large portion of society only has the imag they see from television and movies and HOW IT LOOKS to judge by.  

I am hopeful, but just barely, that we haven't falling so far that we will outlaw something (or someone?) simply because of how they look.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Born Free 5?

Since vet and new license fees have just about put my trip to Chicago out of reach for this year, I am having to rethink my options for this summer.  I have been wanting to make it to Born Free in June.  Since Kevin Baas is going to be one of the invited builders, that just adds a little extra reason to go this year.  It's not quite 1,200 miles each way (mostly down I-5...BORING) so it'll only cost about $400 in gas, which is better than what it would cost to go to Chicago.

With things being up in the air, I will keep my options open.  But this is definitely up at the top of my list.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Radical Chopper

My brother Dave came by last night, and after a little while and a quart or so of Apple Pie, he came up with an idea for a really radical chopper trike.  I say it is radical, because I don't know of anyone who has ever built one quite like he was envisioning in his mind.  Whether he actually ever gets a chance to build it or not, it isn't really the question.  But just thinking that far outside the box shows a real creativity.  

Here's a real rough description of what he was thinking.  Starting with a Hyabusa.  Yes, you read that right, a Hyabusa.  Yarding off the front end and replacing it with a 2" under springer.  then removing the swing arm completely.  Replacing it with a trike frame and an axle.

Yep, you have the picture...A Hyabusa springer trike.  That would be one scarey fast trike.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rally Ideas

Trying to get a rough plan together about what I have in mind for the Rally I am trying to organize here in Morton.  Keeping most of the events in one area of town, close to the main highway junction, and away from most of the residential areas (except mine) should help with gaining support amongst the community.  The Senior Center has already said we can use their parking lot, and they'll make burgers to sell so they can raise money.  The field set aside for commercial vendors and a swap meet is already used for that every August during Loggers Jubilee.  So I am not expecting any, or much, resistance on that.  

The area marked "Mini Bike Races & Motorcycle Rodeo" is the High School parking lot.  It is one big open area that will do well for both a bike rodeo and the races.  If we can convince the school board to go along.  During Loggers Jubilee that area is set aside as the large food court.  So I am hoping the district will be open to allow us to use it without too many hoops to jump through.

The area marked "Live Music" is the Loggers Jubilee arena.  It actually would make a bit better venue for a bike rodeo, but that would tear the grass up inside, and the Jubilee Committee would really frown on that.  So I figure to try to work out a deal to use the arena for people to enjoy the live music in a semi-concert type venue.  The two concession stands in the arena could be used to raise money for more "Community Resources".

That's going to be the key to this.  Get enough people willing to pitch in, and work to bring  money into the "Community" and provide a good time for the motorcycling community of the Pacific NW.  There seems to be some support already in the community, and if I can get enough of it to make a difference, hopefully we can build the framework for a righteous annual event that can bring money into an already economically depressed area.  As well as show more of the riding community of the NW some of the great riding we have around here.  It's gonna be a long haul, and a lot of work.  But I think it'll be worth it if I can pull it all together.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pat's Chopster Project

My friend Pat has wanted a Sportster chopper since he was a kid.  One day he mentioned that fact to me, and I told him I just happened to know where a basket case dual plug Screaming Eagle Sporty chop was for sale.  I arranged a meeting between Pat and Slo Mo who had the basket case.  The got together, and worked out a tentative trade for a jeep that Pat had.  After seeing the jeep, Slo Mo made the trade.  He sold the jeep before he even got it home to his place.  So he was happy with the trade, and as Pat began to acquire some additional parts and put it together as a mock-up, he was pleased with the deal as well.

With a 2" over front end he made a trade with Brando for, and the 21" front Dunlop tire, it was beginning to take shape.  A spun rear fender from Low Brow Customs sits nicely on the back tire.  Pat is going to bob the rear fender for a nice clean look, and from talking with hi it will look sweet as Hell.  With a few other items from Low Brow, and a new wiring harness that Pat will build himself it'll be ready to fire up in a month or so.  Pat wants to replace the fuel tank with a late 90's vintage Sporty peanut tank.  Then he is going to build the oil tank and battery box himself.

Then Pat will pull everything out of the frame and paint it.  Another friend of Pat's is going to machine him some brass footpegs.  With a new sissy bar and rear caliper mount that Pat is going to fabricate he'll be just about ready to put her on the road.

He used 3 sets of old exhaust he had around to make up the bends he wanted for his exhaust. Pat's going to run mid controls, and one of the things he is considering getting from Low Brow is a seat pan. He'll cushion and cover it himself, and then Pat wants to tattoo the seat with his own design.

This Sporty is a 94" motor with all Screaming Eagle internals, jugs, and dual plug heads.  The coils that came with the basket case were Dyna Tek racing coils.  So it gives you an idea of how hot this motor was set up to be.  Pat's going to replace the racing coils with more streetable and roadworthy ones from Dyna Tek.  This Sporty will be a real ground shaker when he gets her finished.  I'll keep you all updated as things progress.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Monday, January 7, 2013

"If it saves one life, it will be worth it."

I have been looking at things lately, and I have begun to wonder at the way some people are so worried about trying to protect others  from seemingly remotely possible dangers.  They pass legislation to "protect" us.  But rarely do they have any factual knowledge of what they are legislating about.  They seem to legislate more from an overly developed "do-gooder" mentality.  Or perhaps it is a lack of a relationship with risk.  The tragic death of a child caused by an injury due to a extraordinary accident with a playpen latch causes them to ban that type of playpen from sale in the US.  Often reciting the same phrase again and again; "If it saves one life, it will be worth it."

There is the problem.  How do you measure "lives saved"?  If the loss of life of this kind was at a very low rate statistically, let us say a fraction of a percentage point to begin with, is there really anyway of measuring whether they had actually done any real good to society?  I remember watching CSPAN several years ago during a debate on a piece of legislation that would ban the production and sale of a device which was already owned by millions of Americans.  Over and over, I kept hearing the politicians admit they felt voting on the Bill would be little more than a "symbolic vote", but "If it saves one life, it will be worth it."

It was even shown that several of the Representatives in Congress didn't even know what the purpose of the items they wished to ban actually was.  They didn't really care.  All they knew was that a tragedy might be averted if they voted to ban the manufacture and sale of these devices.  "If it saves one life, it will be worth it."  They did not remove the playpens already in so many homes in America.  But they knew their "symbolic vote" would prevent further tragedies from happening.

If memory serves correctly, there were only three young children who were killed in those playpens over a span of two or three years.  Statistically barely even a bump in the national death toll for infants and toddlers.  Much was made of the good that was done, and how much safer the infants of America would be.  But since there were already so many of the same playpens still in American homes, did they really do any good?  The more affluent members of Society simply discarded their playpens, others donated them to thrift stores, and others even lower in the economic strata of America had little choice but keep the playpens they already had.
These same "do-gooders" seem to have the mentality that since they have been elected to lead, they know what is best for the rest of America.  If the rest of their fellow citizens don't agree, it is because they don't know better and need to be shown how best to be safe.

This same mentality has been brought to bear on several issues over the past couple of decades.  Each time, as if reading from the same script, I have heard the old phrases that worked so well repeated again and again.  "If it saves one life, it will be worth it."

Once again, after another tragic incident, there is a hue and cry for another ban.  This time for a reinstatement of the old (and dubiously effective) "Assault Rifle & High Capacity Magazine" ban.  Once again, as tragic as these "Mass Shootings" have been, they are only a small percentage of the nations murder rate.  But it is, if not statistically significant, highly emotionally significant.  The previous Assault Weapons Ban did quite little to affect "violent crime".  All the weapons that were banned accounted for LESS THAN 2% of "violent crime" in the US.

Of the features that were listed that qualified a gun as an "Assault Rifle" few of them had anything to do with the function of the gun.  They were virtually all cosmetic features.  Only the "High Capacity Magazine", and the flash suppressor had much in functional ability.  The flash suppressor allowed the gun to be fired with less vertical recoil, so it allowed for better accuracy.  The "High Capacity Magazine" simply allowed the person firing the gun to shoot more rounds before changing clips.  Which can be done in four or five seconds by a skilled shooter.

Most of the public, when they hear the term "Assault Rifle" visualize a machine gun like they see in the movies.  A fully automatic weapon that fires at a rate of hundreds of rounds per minute.  Not a semi-automatic weapon that only fires one bullet with each squeeze of the trigger.  This point is lost on most people, and thus they go along with the idea that these weapons are used for nothing but murdering people.  That any other use is just a sham played out by gun owners with an overly developed sense of machismo.  They have fallen prey to their perceptions...and in politics, it is the perception, and not the reality that is important.

A brief sample of facts will give (I hope) some balance to the scale of the "Assault Rifle" crisis in the US today.  In 2011, there were over 12,000 murders in the US.  Of these, just over 9,000 were committed with guns.  Out of these 9,000 plus gun related murders, 363 were committed with rifles.  Not just "Assault Rifles" but any type of rifle.  The FBI doesn't specify between "Rifle" and "Assault Rifle" in their murder statistics.  Even assuming for arguments sake that all of these rifles were "Assault Rifles" that still brings the rate down to 0.24% of all murders in the US.  T

Like the tragedy of an airliner crashing, these "Mass Shootings" are a quite vivid and horrendous thing to happen, and emotionally quite disturbing.  However statistically speaking, they account for only a very small amount of the violent deaths due to firearms.  But the images in peoples minds become quite visually connected to their own impressions gleaned from decades of watching action movies, and playing video games.

With so many "Assault Rifles" already in the hands of citizens, will instituting another "symbolic vote" on another ineffective "Assault Rifle" ban really do anything significant to lower violence in the US?  Keep your ears open to the Representatives pushing for this ban.  See how many times you hear the same old phrase; "If it saves one life, it will be worth it."  I can already hear the echoes beginning.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cold Frigging Ride

Well the sun melted some of the ice, and Gypsy FINALLY started.  So off we went and hit the roads for a while.  Hwy 508 was a bit too icy to really relax enough to whip out the camera and take some pics, so I didn't get any until I was on my way back into town, and  by then my hands were cold enough I wasnt ever really sure if I had pressed the shutter release.

But I got a couple pics.  It was hovering at 32-33 the whole time, and 50-60 mph windchill must have been...oh I guess pretty close to MUTHER FUCKEN COLD!!  It's suppose to be half assed decent again tomorrow with temps in the mid 30s.  So I might just head out again before I go back to work on Thursday.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

New Years Ride

Well the sun may be shining, but it is below freezing.  The roads and ground are covered with ice and frost.  If I can get the bike started, I am planning on taking a little New Years Day ride.  It ought to be one cold fucker out there, but it'll be worth the effort.  I'm going to put the charger on the battery for a bit, since I am sure this cold has sucked the charge down.  So I'm planning on being on the road about noon.

Catch ya on the road sometime...