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Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4, 2015

Wow, more than 6 months have slipped by since Southern Comfort was last updated, and that's a me, anyway.....that life is short, and if you're not very careful, it gets away from you before you know it. Seems like the pages on the calendar in my shop just keep flipping over and over.

I actually had to stop and think back about where I've been, and of course, what I've been doing for 6 or 7 months, and damn, I'm sorry to say, "Not much!", or that's the way it seemed before I started writing this. (Turns out I was wrong!) See, my retirement was cut short after a dose of financial reality set it, reminding me to NOT buy things like expensive new motorcycles or Harley trucks when my monthly income was poised to take a precipitous dive.

And I was also reminded that I'd long since lost all my retirement accounts to lawyers, exes, and Anheuser Busch. You just can't live the life I've lived, and end up with any damn money! No regrets, mind ya, but taking all that into consideration, my sorry (but happy and still grinning) ass had to go back to work for a little while! And working takes away the travel time, bringing me back to the subject at hand: What have I been doing?

Cross country rides not being an option, I've been exploring the local areas, learning more about my adopted home state, Florida. Turns out, there's more to this state than Daytona! I've ridden to places like Cedar Key, Tarpon Springs, Leesburg (the Bikefest), and most recently I was introduced to a new place just north of here called Fernandina Beach.

Cedar Key, Florida

Near Tarpon Springs, FL. Gulf of Mexico

Near Tarpon Springs

Rained in...It happens. I did learn that if I get hungry enough, I'll ride in it. I did.

A day away from my bike. On my boat, Dixie Belle, at Ponce Inlet, FL

In the middle of my sabbatical from this blog, Daytona Bike Week 2015 happened. Attending this event requires almost zero effort on my part since I literally wake up in the middle of it every day. Heck, Willie's Tropical Tattoo is practically in my back yard! But I was careful to tell everyone that "I rode mine!", which sometimes wasn't quite true either. I actually WALKED to Willie's to catch the chopper show and festivities on Thursday, LOL. Bike Week turned into a damn good time, made even better by visits from my daughter, Marianne, and also friends Sol, Amanda, Don, and Sue. And right after that, Linda and Charlie passed through. It's always good to be with close friends and family.

Marianne and Amanda, Main Street, Bike Week 2015

Sol and I...Bike Week 2015 at the Cabbage Patch

Sue and Don, working on bikes in my back yard. Bike Week 2015

Iron Horse, Ormond Beach, Bike Week 2015

Linda and Charlie, Cody's in Ocala, March 2015

Hey, that's right...Just before Bike Week, my son Kenny and wife Debbie visited, and before that Chris was here, and before that, Fred and Debbie! Damn, it hasn't been so boring after all! I reckon it just seems that way since I haven't took off on a long, long ride lately. Again, no whining and certainly no regrets. I still wake up with a smile every day, and lately even a bigger smile due to that little hottie that gave me the Fernandina Beach tour. BTW, she has a name....Brenda!

Me and my son, Kenny. St Augustine, February 2015

Kenny and Debbie, St Augustine, February 2015

Fred (where's Debby? Sorry, Hon...) and Cowboy, January 2015

The Big Dog....the 2013 Harley Limited...continues to run like a dream. No issues at all since the failed voltage regulator on the way back from Sturgis. I just replaced the tires I put on before riding up there, so the mileage I got was damn good on those Dunlops, at least in my opinion. I got about 10,000 miles out of them, which was my second set since the bike was new.

I did a lot of research on tire replacement before springing for the new set of tires. I considered the Michelin Commander IIs, Metzler 888s, and Dunlop American Elites, all in the same relative price range....maybe a little more than the stock D407/408s....but then I thought back on my experience with the stock Dunlops. I rode that bike...hard....through the Black Hills, rain or shine, and spent three miserable days riding back home in pouring rain. Those tires never once slid, hydroplaned, or went flat. So what the hell was I shopping around for? I got another set of 'em, and wow, are they nice. My new-bike ride is restored, and I can now lay it back down in corners (reading this, Brenda? :-) ) without feeling and hearing the worn cupped edges whirring away.

And so on..... I reckon that's about it. The last 6 or 7 months hasn't been so boring after all, has it?

Cheers, all, and Happy 4th of July.

PS I just noticed that Southern Comfort has now been visited 91,000 times from readers all over the world. Pretty cool, and certainly unexpected. To be sure, most of the visits are related to the posts about work I did on the Joker bike, but the trailer, bike lift, and trip posts are also popular.