Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a View


If you lived here, why would you ever leave?

Click the pic for a little larger version.

This is basically looking south (3 pictures stitched together) from the cabin I stayed in while in Silverthorne, CO. At the far right you can see I-70 going off to the west.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SSG Norman H. Currin

This weekend a friend of mine had the honor of standing next to a Vietnam hero as he passed in Hospice care. I personally had never met Norm, I truly wish I had. We, the people of this world, are less as a whole from the loss of such a strong and caring man.

God bless and be with the Currin family and friends. SSG Currin, Norman H., will not be forgotten.

These are her words.

Before you go and while I still have your attnetion, I'd like to pre-echo Kat's words.
To those who served in Vietnam and were unappreciated, I offer my genuine and heartfelt gratitude. Know that you made a difference - know that we are proud of you, know that you are dearly and truly loved. And for those who never once have heard it said in all this time: Welcome home. You did us proud.

***********************


This weekend, I lost a friend and hero. He was the living embodiment of all a hero should be, and was strong till the end. In an attempt to process everything that has happened, and so that I always remember, I've written this below:

SSG Norman H. Currin went to be with the Lord shortly after 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 27, 2008.

Exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War messed him up. For thirteen years, he fought serious physical problems all the time. Six of those years, he got dialysis 3 times a week and for many years was also confined to a wheelchair.

The last six months were a whirlwind of hospital stays back-to-back-to-back - strokes, pnumonia, complications from being a dialysis patient, infection of his dialysis port & bedsores, and lastly, a massive heart attack on Tuesday. Nothing the docs could have done would have saved him, the treatments would have killed him. Norman bravely made the decision to accept hospice care.

Despite massive amounts of morphine and being in a medically-induced coma, he still communicated. He'd squeeze our hands when we said certain things (any of his friends' names or anything about motorcycles, the military, or especially his dear family, for example). The day before he died, while on "enough morphine to choke a horse" (said the nurse), he fully and completely woke up and looked at each one of us - plain as day told each of us one by one, "I love you." He was holding my hand so tightly, my hand fell asleep. He held my hand and the hands of his family and friends strongly off and on for hours all weekend- always his squeezes were in response to something that was said to him, not simply random.

About 3 hours before he left us, he woke up again. He couldn't open his eyes or talk, tho he was obviously trying. He would turn in the direction of our voices and smile -. SMILE!! - at us. Then he slipped back into his deep sleep once more...Shortly thereafter, his lungs were completely filled with fluid as a result of no dialysis for the past week --- a few more brave (but ineffective) breaths, and he was gone.

A phone call was made as planned upon his passing, and others from the Patriot Guard Riders, together with some riders from the Wingmen and Sons of Thunder who were his dearest, dearest friends, came to the hospital and escorted him and his family to the funeral home in the middle of the night. Talk about an amazing and humbling honor.

He was treated cruelly upon his return from Vietnam, as so many of our veterans were. But I have not the slightest doubt that in Heaven, God made it up to him hugely with the biggest, best welcome home parade and celebration EVER.

Freedom is not free. Those who fight for it - now and in past conflicts - deserve our utmost honor and respect. We will never fully know or understand all they sacrificed on our behalf. To those who served in Vietnam and were unappreciated, I offer my genuine and heartfelt gratitude. Know that you made a difference - know that we are proud of you, know that you are dearly and truly loved. And for those who never once have heard it said in all this time: Welcome home. You did us proud.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Trip West

Leg 1 - Indy to Kansas City
Leg 2 - KC to Hays Kansas
Leg 3 - Hays to Denver (Silverthorn, CO)
Leg 4 - Silverthorn to Hot Springs, SD
Leg 5 - Hot Springs/Rapid City to Kadoka, SD - this was after a full day looking at the Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore monuments and Badlands in SD
Leg 6 - Kadoda to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (just south of Souix City, SD
Leg 7 - Sergeant bluff to home.

The Green line is the trip out to Denver, the thicker yellow line is the trip back.

Pictures are coming, promise. For now, here are some of DC's pics.



This one section (see below) of South Dakota is where most of the excitement was. On the far left is my breakdown. Hit a bump and all of a sudden “badabp, badabp, badabp” the engine got LOUD. Turns out both exhaust mounting bolts fell off of my exhaust pipe.

Exhaust pipe 200+ degrees, SD in July, nearly 90 degrees makes for very hot repairs and a long time waiting for things too cool down. Ended up limping on to Hot Springs, spent the night and hit up a local ACE for parts in the morning.

Once we left there we went to the sights at Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse. Expensive. For just being rocks. Crazy Horse is just cool. And Massive. Dc’s pics have a shot at a drawing with some dimensions on it. Massive I tell you, huge.

We left that area dn headed for the Badlands. We went through at about sun set. The colors were awosme and we got some great pictures. Again, you’ll just have to be patient to see mine.

Spent the night in Kadoka and then on home,

No close calls, nothing major needed repaired on either bike. It was a great trip. I’d do it again today if it wasn’t for having to pay the bills.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Open Letter to the Passport Office

Got this in an e-mail today. Kinda says it all.
Still working on the summary post about the trip. . .

***************************

Dear Sir,
I'm in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this. How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a TV cable from them back in 1997, and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.

For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand? My birth date you have on my social security card, and it is on all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30 years. It is on my health insurance card, my driver's license, on the last eight goddamn passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done at election times.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Maryanne, my father's name is Robert and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!!!!!!

SHIT!

I apologize, I'm really pissed off this morning. Between you and me, I've had enough of this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my fucking address. What is going on? You have a gang of Neanderthal assholes working there??? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes. I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach.

And would someone please tell me, why would you give a shit whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I'd sure as hell not want to tell anyone!

Well, I have to go now, 'cause I have to go to the other end of the city and get another fucking copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $60. Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day?? Nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe makes sense. You'd rather have us running all over the fuckin' place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some asshole to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile?! (fuckin' morons)

Hey, you know why we can't smile? We're totally pissed off!
Signed -
An Irate fucking American Citizen.


P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it's me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 . I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had security clearances up the yingyang. However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN COMMUNIST FUCKING CHINA !

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2,897 Miles

2,897 miles. 1 week. Made it home last night bout 10 pm. Spent today catching up with the family and getting ready for work tomorrow. Catchup post should b up tomorrow. Blog at ya latter.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big Bugs

video

You know you are hittingmany big bugs when the flies follow you to the gas station and feast on the remains. They didn't leave till about 30 mph either.

Getting Closer

IL line again.

Heading Home

2400 miles down and about 500 to go. should be home some time tonight. What trip!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Breakdown

Exhaust bolt fell off. in of course the middle of nowhere. and it is HOT!! engine and planet.

Somewhere in Wyoming

Somewhere in WY. . .

Wyoming Planes

video

Just wow!

This video does not do it justice... bummer!

Made it to Wyoming

Made it to Wyoming. there was distruction @ the state line. so this is all i can do 4 now.

No Wymoing state line picture here, got one on the exit side.

11,400

11400 feet

ok, according to the info page this is only 11,112 feet. Still, notice the toatly zipped leaterh jacked. It was cold, like 38° up there, in July and yes, that is snow on the peak in the back ground.

Good By, Joe and Lois

G by Joe n Lois. Tx again 4 everything!

We had just turned out of the road up to their cabin/house. could you imagine living witht his kind of view? Me neither. . .

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

DC Joins the Ride

DC is headin out. Should be here in about 11 hours.

sigh - enough with the

sigh - enough with the meetings, i wanna ride!

(sent sitting in the 2nd day of a 3 day meeting just before heading out west, I was twitchy.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sorry bout all of the

Sorry about all of the Verizon propaganda. I’ll erase it as soon as I can get to a computer. Made is to KC BTW, about 3:30 local time.

** Edit ** All the garbage has since been removed.

Like my Beanie?

Helmet laws SUCK!

The sticker on the front (back, I wear it backwards, just because) says “I’m lost - I’ve gone to find myself. If I should return before I get back, PLEASE ASK ME TO WAIT.”

There is another that says, “You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.”

Missouri

Missouri - just under 5 hours - taken at a rest stop. The 'line' was on a bridge, over the Mississippi. couldn't stop there.

Illinois Line - Heading West

One state down. . . i dont know how many more.
FYI - When a big flashing sign bout 25 miles from the line says 'slow, rough road'. They mean it.

Packed and Ready to Roll

The journey of 3000 miles begins today. KC and Denver, here I come!