Loaded up and truckin’ we’re going to do what they said can’t be done

The stupid is strong.

Check out this article and the response by the 11yo kid to the racism he was subjected to.  Sebastian FTW.  Racist assholes have a little problem on their hands.  They are about to be outnumbered.   The United States is heading to the mocha slush I predicted 20 years ago.  I originally thought it wouldn’t happen in my life time, but I’m beginning to think it may occur in the next 25 years.  Which hopefully is my lifetime.

What?  That Old Repulsive crew from the late 80’s and 90’s has been decimated by way before their time deaths.  There were four Advisory Title Officers.  Me, Teri, Jon and Jimmy.  Jon died of throat cancer at 52.  He never smoked or chewed.  Jimmy was 51 when he died of liver failure after he received blood tainted with hep during his back operation.  That leaves me and Teri.  And I suspect there is a death pool.  For the record, I intend to win this thing.  My money is on me.

Of course this is front and center on everyone’s mind with the passing of Princess.  Her funeral was Wednesday.  I spent a lot of time on the AIDS/Lifecycle processing what happened.  What else do you do on a bike for 10 hours a day over 7 days?  I was able to peel away the recent years and remember a lot of the good.  A lot of the old crew showed up for her funeral.  Her mother was afraid that no one would show.  The mortuary was packed.  Even the people who the evil clowns dialed in on forgave and showed up.  The funny thing is Princess’s sister is a knucklehead drug addict and her brother is a head case.  They both did most of the speaking.  She would have been outraged.  I watched the whole affair and thought “this is not what she would have wanted.”  The only redeeming quality was something that her son wrote that the deacon read with him standing there and a heart-wrenching story told by her ex-husband.  He never stopped loving her, despite what he went through.  He never said a bad word about her to me ever, even through all the crap.  He talked about the day they were married.  They took off to the Virgin Islands alone.  And the story had a punch line which was proper for any story about her.  She was 49.  If you’ve had chemo please go get your ticker checked out and make them explain the correlation to you.  Princess was out of moves and this was inevitable.  I was reminded last week that I predicted this.  I reminds me of the finale of the Sopranos.  There’s nothing left to say or do.

About that ride.  I love Day 6, it’s my favorite.  We leave Lompoc and head to Ventura.  I don’t love the part where we ride on the 101.  I almost got pasted this year outside of Mussel Shoals.  I was riding on the far right side of the bike lane and the road dropped off a bit.  I lost traction on my rear wheel and then when the back end of the bike had come around I caught traction which started to propel me into traffic.  On the 101.  I turned into the fishtail and corrected.  And then pulled over and let my heart rate return to something normal.  I try not to be stupid but every now and then when this sort of thing happens I think “God wasn’t ready to punch my ticket yet”.  That was a close one.  Years ago a friend of mine spun out on Mullholland Drive.  We hit the bridge.  If we had been five feet short we would have been in the ravine.  The car was drivable.  My famous quote “Give me the goddamn keys and don’t you dare say another word.”  I drove the car back to Santa Barbara.

Anywho, I love the Gaviota Pass even though it’s dangerous and you have to be really careful.  I love coming around the corner at El Cap and I love the reception we get in Santa Barbara.  This is Phyllis.

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Phyllis is 102 years old.  She was sitting out on Meigs with her family waving a flag for all the riders as we went by.  She was awesome.

Sometimes the people as we go by are the best.  These guys were out in the driveway in Lompoc.

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Meet Smokey.  He had on his best dress for Red Dress day.  Which was Dress Red Day for about 15 seconds 12 years ago.

Did I mention that we raised $14.2 million dollars?  It was the largest AIDS fundraiser in history.  We broke all records.  Did you know that AIDS was the number one cause of death worldwide?  We did something amazing to stop something terrible.  I’m good with that.  And in spite of how rough of a time I had this year, I signed up for next year.  Whether I ride or not is another story, I will have to re-evaluate in January.

And I totally lost my mind last week.  Not exactly.  I had something hanging over my head for the last year or so.  The lean green machine has 211,000 miles on her.  She would do weird things and scare the crap out of me.  Repairs can be huge.  And my mechanic is stuck in San Carlos with an ankle bracelet.  So I would have to use all of my AAA 200 mile towing to get it over to him if things went sideways.  And probably lose days of work.  I loved that car, but it was time, past time.  Way past time.

lean green machine

She was a trusty steed.  It’s time for her to be moved out of service.

I ended up doing the right thing, even though the original plan was not to buy a car that day.  I wanted to know what I needed to do to be in the position to get a new car because I needed one badly.  My credit is so battered that I figured it was going to take more cash and time.  Turns out I had the cash, and making the payments on this new one will give me the time.  The sales guy kept asking me about color.  I am the worst car buyer ever.  I don’t care about color.  What color?  I don’t care.  Do you like the light colors?  Yes.  Your car is Oxford Green do you like the dark colors? “Yes”.  Any color you don’t like?  No.

So here she is, the new addition, who obviously needs to be named.  I’m thinking Devil in a Blue Dress or Ol’ Blue.  Suggestions?

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She’s a six on the floor.  This car is not for pussys.  It is a driver.  The steering and suspension are much tighter than the old one.  And it’s freaking quick.  Basically I can take out anyone on the line with this thing.  I shouldn’t, but I can.  I just have to remember to shift.  That’s been the latest issue.  I’ve only owned two automatic transmissions in my life, the lean green machine and my 1975 Camero.  Two stick trucks, the Mustang is three on the floor and the MX6 was five on the floor.  I remember years ago I almost bought a GMC that had three on the tree.  I kind of wish I’d done that.  It’s a 2008 but that makes her 7 years newer than what I was driving and she has 150,000 less miles on her and 40,000 left on the warranty.  Yeah, the BMW warranty!  Woot.

A huge weight is off of my shoulders right now.  That’s done, I paid off a large credit card last week, I rehired my housekeeper and the office finally solved the transaction coordination debacle.  I even told ownership that solving that made a huge difference in my business.  Basically she forced me to quit using my person and use hers, who was a buffoon.  I was ready to leave when our Team Leader called me in and told me they were bringing back the best that ever did the job for the office.  Then they solved the Broker Review issue.  That’s always been a bug a boo.  The original one, if I saw her coming, I would leave out of the back door to avoid the 45 minute conversation that would grind my soul down to a nub.  The next one couldn’t use the system and we never got paid on time.  The next one consistently moved the cheese to the point that I actually ended up screaming at her to quit moving the freaking cheese.  Now we have this grandfatherly like guy who is reasonable, gets to our stuff on time and I’ve gotten paid on time ever since the new system is in place.  It is freeing up a ton of my time and has taken a huge burden off of my shoulders.  Are you still reading?  I thought not.

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