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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stages of Drunk

At some stage on this list a few friends and I decided it was worthwhile to create the stages of drunk. Rule of thumb, up until drunk/pissed you are good, after drunk/pissed not so good.

  • Sober - Boring
  • Merry - Starting off well
  • Tipsy - the person you are talking with is looking better
  • Buzzed - a great place to be
  • Inebriated - happy for the night
  • Drunk/Pissed - time to stop drinking
  • Sloshed - should have stopped drinking but too late to stop now
  • Plastered - that embarrassing friend of yours
  • Locked - stumbling around causing a scene
  • Hammered - getting kicked out of bar
  • Wasted/trashed - nausea and spinners
  • Fucked - time to vomit and sleep next to the toilet
  • Shit-faced - sleeping next to toilet and not eating solid meals for the next few days
  • Blackout drunk - waking up in an alley the next day wondering where your pants went
  • Dead - describes itself
  • Irish drunk  - something the Irish people I was with said, because they think Irish are better drinkers than others… they aren't.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Church Goers Ignore Fake Homeless Man

Skimming the web this morning I saw this headline - "Mormon Bishop Poses As Homeless Man To Test His Congregation’s Compassion".

When I clicked into the story I wasn't surprised by what I found, that most of his congregation was rude to him. Many years ago I worked for Starbucks and we all hated working Sundays because after church we would get the church crowd. The church crowd being consistently rude, arrogant, and cheap tippers. Which makes sense of course, they just went to church, they are going to heaven so need to be nice to us heathens who are going to hell for working on a Sunday to make the overpriced coffee drinks they order. And no need to be nice to a homeless man, because as we all know Jesus taught us we are better than anyone who has less than us. 

I wonder how long this lesson was learned by the church, or more specifically how quickly they forgot it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cinema Etiquette 101

A cranky contribution from my new pal M. O'Cognac
We’ve all been to the cinema and one time or another had someone just get on our wick through their rude inconsiderate behavior.  Normally this might irk me for the movie and then afterwards I’d let it go but on a recent outing I had not one but four of the offenses below committed by a couple sitting next to me thus ruining my enjoyment of the film so much this blog post was born.  Below are a few “gentle” reminders of how not to behave at the cinema.

No Talking
The most common offense by far but that does not excuse incessant jabbering so please shut the F up or in the exceptional case where you really must ask a movie related question to your friend, keep it short & to a whisper.  I & your other fellow movie goers do not want to hear it.  Having experienced how the Dutch stereotypically engage in full scale conversation in the cinema, my trips to the cinema back home are a relative spa-like experience but still there are the few that just won’t zip it and continue to babble on through the movie.  Quite frankly it’s usually about something so inane, it could wait until the movie was over or better yet just skip the movie and go have this oh so important gossip over a coffee.

Bathroom Breaks
Sitting in a relatively packed theatre, the couple next to us, I came to ascertain from their constant breaking of the no talking rule, had been out for drinks beforehand. Nothing wrong with that, we’d consumed a bottle of wine with dinner just prior.  However, if you have a weak bladder and a trip to the bathroom before and after will not suffice then don’t bother coming to the movie or if you must insist - find a seat far away from me thanks very much.

No Mobile Phones
Why do some people seem to think that a mobile phone is fine to use as long as it’s on silent. Yes, you’re phone should either be off or the very least on silent. Silent is not a problem and happens to be own default just because it’s more convenient on an iPhone. A ringing mobile is a complete no no and in the accidental cases letting it ring should be a hanging offense. It should never, ever be answered and once the movie starts should not be seen again until the credits are rolling.  Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, that person you’re texting or whatever other reason you use to justify using your phone can wait! If they are more important that the movie and the person you are with then you are a) being rude to your companion, b) ruining the experience of the people around you with the beaming light distracting them and c) an idiot for bothering to pay in to the movies to stare a screen no bigger than my hand.

Keep To Your Own Seat
This is a relatively rare occurrence but my recent experience prompts its inclusion.  There is always the “ah shucks, I have to share an arm rest” scenario when the theatre is packed. That’s fine, it’s all part of the game but to the wonderful couple beside me in their inebriated state, I say thanks for taking this to a whole new level.  It certainly was a first for me. When my neighbors started messing around and with flying arms inadvertently elbowed me in the side not once but twice, I began to seethe.  One of the females (I can’t refer to them as ladies) on the return from her multiple bathroom breaks actually sat on the arm rest.  Seriously if you are that drunk or badly coordinated that you can’t actually sit in the seat properly then just go home!  Thankfully by this stage I was leaning to the other side of my seat in an effort to stay safe but the next flailing arm was greeted with a poke in the arm and a sharp gesture to cut it out or I may retaliate.  In hind sight, I should have done that a lot earlier.

While there was no little person related incidents on the evening in question and where possible I avoid times more suitable for the very young, I have witnessed and been totally astonished by the behavior of one set of parents in a late evening movie. Sitting with my bff there is the sound of a baby crying, no baby in the movie but low and behold at 2o’clock there sits a couple and what seems a very young crying baby.  Now I'm a fairly empathetic person & can sympathize for the loss of a couple’s social life post baby but when it starts to impact on my social life and especially if you are a complete stranger to me then either get a baby sitter or stay at home! The movie theatre is absolutely no place for a baby and if you take the risk, when the kid inevitably starts screeching, don’t keep bouncing it or passing it back and forth between you – get out of the cinema immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $100, go straight out that door.

Now, I don’t think any of the guidelines above are so difficult that you need a PHD to comprehend them and IMO, are purely common sense, basic manners and a pinch of cop on thrown in for good measure.  I go to the movies a lot and like to be entertained. I don’t wish to have experiences that warrant any further cranky blog posts!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Government Shutdown

Yep, they are at it again, the government is shutting down, both sides of the isle are bickering, and who pays the price, as usual, we do. All because the Republicans are obsessed with the Affordable Care Act.

House Republicans have put it up for vote just under 40 times and every time they have lost the vote. But that doesn't stop them from wanting to provide healthcare to more Americans so they can spend more money invading other countries. So now, Republicans in the House of Representatives are refusing to fund the government unless the democrats defund the Affordable Care Act. 

But don't worry about Republicans. Congress still gets paid in a government shutdown. It's just everyone else who works for the government who doesn't get paid.

Good job America for voting these tea-baggers into office. Thanks for assisting with bringing the US economy down instead of up.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tim Huelskamp Making Up Statistics on Issues that Don't Exist

I sure do love those Republicans who make random nonsensical claims with no basis on reality.

Tim Huelskamp from Kansas recently "asserted that voters will side with the GOP because a whopping '90 percent' of Americans oppose the reform law’s provision that 'every single person under Obamacare' will pay a $1 abortion surcharge"

 For the conservatives, who can read this, wondering what is wrong with that statement, I will tell you. 90% of American's can't oppose that provision because that provision does not exist. He somehow magically pulled a statistic out of his ass on a provision in a bill that is not actually in the bill.

You can read more about this here if you want.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Digging for Gold and Sucking on Nose

Standing on the light-rail on my way home next to this guy.

What's great about this picture is that just before I took it the guy had his finger buried in his nose. He was picking at it so long that I had time to watch, think about it, then get my phone out to take a picture, but I wasn't quick enough. Good thing he chose to suck on the finger after to give me something to snap and blog about.

Monday, August 05, 2013

BMW Gets a New Owner With Same Problems

The saga of the barely working motorcycle (BMW) continues.
About a month after Ride West sold the motorcycle on consignment for me I received an e-mail from some guy. In reading the e-mail it turns out he was the one who bought the bike from Ride West, and surprise, surprise, he had a problem with it not starting and had to take it into the service department there. He was asking if I had any problem with the bike prior to selling it.

I was a little hesitant to reply, worrying he might try to blame me for the problems with the motorcycle. But decided to reply and let him know. So I did, told him that I had the same issue with the bike and that the mechanics at ride west told me it was fixed. His reply to that was, that they told him the fuel pump had never been replaced before. Odd, since it was the same dealer mechanic and they were well aware of the problem I had with the bike that they would have had a record of. Anyway, we spoke back and forth via e-mail and I assured him that was the only problem I had with the bike and wished him luck in getting the apparently incompetent mechanics  at Ride West to fix the bike.

That was the last I heard of the guy, and that leaves me in the hopes he had no further problems with the bike as was able to enjoy the open road and freedom of motorcycle ownership. Even if it is on a brand of motorcycle I will personally never own again.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where Do You Work?

When traveling around Europe we often hear how Americans work too much. That we  don't get as many vacation days each year, that we work more hours in day, and that when we go out our conversations revolve around our jobs. And to be honest, this is a true statement. I get half as many vacation days a year as my European counterparts, and when I am out of work, one of the first questions someone asks me when I meet them is what I do for a living. At which point I have to engage with them on the subject of my job. A subject I don't want to talk about when not at work, because I'm not working.

I travel, I meet people, I engage people in conversation, and I have this expectation that our conversations won't revolve around our jobs. Unfortunately, this turns out not to be the case. Experience has shown that when sitting at a pub somewhere in Europe having a conversation with a group of people the conversation always turns to what I do for a living. I never bring it up, I never ask someone else that question in the hopes that not asking them will result in them not asking me. But they do, and I respond, then I have to explain what I do, and listen to them go on about the company I work for as if my life revolves around it. In the past there were times my responses consisted of lies and making up some job, but that never seems to last long and it gets back around to my job and the job that person does. As if we have nothing else to talk about in the world. 

Maybe I will change my fake job story to a new one, telling people that I am a professional blogger and send them to this post. And after reading it, we can't start talking about interesting stuff, not how many hours I spend sitting at a desk each day. 

Image Source

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Airport Security For The Over 75 Crowd

We trust you... because you're old and old people are trustworthy.


Something for the rest of us to look forward to 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Done With The BMW

For anyone who might actually be following along with the saga of my 2010 BMW F650GS POS (readable here) and wondering what is up with it after my last update of it being back in the shop? Here is the update and last post I will write on the subject.

After it's last visit to the shop, they replaced the fuel pump and jets again and as usual I started it up without issue and rode it home. This time however, I was able to start it later that evening and the next day. So it seemed the problem had been fixed. I took it for a ride the following weekend, and it did start a little slow and made me nervous as it did, but it did in fact start. So at that point I felt comfortable putting the thing up for sale. I was previously worried about the bad karma associated with selling bike, but since it seemed to be starting consistently now, I felt better about selling it.

So I posted it on a few sites listing the extras I added, and listing it for what I thought was a fair price.

After a week or so of no responses I did some comparisons and lowered the price. to make it consistence with what others were selling the same bike for. After this, I had a few responses but none of them sounding reliable or serious. So, I lowered the price again. This was during the summer months when I thought it would sell well, but apparently anyone interested in buying that particular model has been reading my complains about it. Anyway, I was running out of time on the sale, due to a move, so I was forced to take it down to the dealer and have them sell it on consignment. The fee was a little higher than what I thought fair, but since I was moving I don't have the option of continuing to sell it on my own, and waiting for someone to buy it. I took a loss and learned a valuable lesson of don't buy BMW motorcycles. And so my story ends.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Ireland Finally Doing Something About Ridiculous Anti-Abortion Laws

The Irish Parliament (the Oireachtas) will debate the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 for two straight weeks, after the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar shone a light on the country's controversial 'abortion law'.

Basically, abortion is illegal in Ireland, except for situations of  ‘real and substantial risk’ to the life of the mother. Recent events have shown this not to be true. A woman, who was not even a resident of Ireland was in the country and experienced complications from the pregnancy. The only option to save her life was to abort the baby. But the doctor refused to do it, out of fear of the repercussions. In the end both the woman and the unborn baby died. There was also another recent situation where a girl was raped, and was forced to have the child. I'm sure that child will be well raised, as the mother looks in its eyes, and see the rapist father.

I know some right-wingers in America thing any kind of conception is good conception. And that it is only okay to kill abortion doctors and Muslims. but the reality is, abortion is necessary, and even though other measures should be taken to prevent the pregnancy in the first place, there are plenty of situations when an abortion should be provided.

Hopefully the Irish will figure this out.

Read some more on the debate at The Telegraph

Monday, June 10, 2013

Scarlett Johansson Sues Novelist Over Use of Name

I've always felt that Scarlett Johansson is overrated. And I will quite often have arguments with people on this subject. Sure, she's hot and looks good in a tight outfit in the Avengers and Iron Man movies. But beyond that, she really hasn't been in a movie that has impressed me. Yes, including Lost in Translation.

Now I have more reason to dislike her. Johansson is suing a French novelist for referencing her in a book in a complementary way. The novelist didn't make her up as a character in the book, he compared a character in the book to her, and she is now suing the publisher for ""breach and fraudulent use of personal rights,"

What a pretentious self-involved bitch.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Remember the 4th Amendment

You know what is funny about the right-wing. They are always ranting about the second amendment. "Don't infringe on my rights to a well-regulated militia." Yet they don't seem to have a problem with the government trampling all over the rest of the constitution.

Image Source
This week we have found out that the government is reviewing millions of Americans phone records, text messages, and e-mails without probable cause, under the guise of preventing terrorism. Which seems to be the magic word for the right-wing. Mention terrorism and the fourth amendment's just goes out of the window.No questions.

For the conservative readers who only know the second amendment; the fourth amendment is the one that prevents the government from unreasonable searches and seizures. Which is exactly what the government is doing. They are searching personal information on American citizens in the hopes of finding a criminal, in complete disregard of the fourth amendment. 

So, how about you tea-baggers get out the misspelled signs and go protest this one? Since you rant on about the constituent  as a whole without even knowing what's in it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Review

I generally don't do a lot of movie reviews on this blog. Mostly because I'm just that lazy, but I have to post something about the worst thing I have seen in months. Star Trek Into Darkness. I would say this review will include some spoilers, but that is impossible since the movie is a complete rip-off of all previous Star Trek movies and a few others. And by rip-off I mean, a copy and paste of those movies. 

I can understand throwing in a few references to previous movies as people usually get a kick out of getting those references, but to cut and paste previous movies is a little much. Since this movie is picking up where the last one left off, with the Star Trek universe starting over, it makes sense that they would have a some of those references. So, fine Dr. McCoy now has a Tribble in his lab. In the series they have a story about how the Tribble showed up. In this movie he just happens to have one and everyone knows about it and accepts it. Khan, the villain who is generally accepted to  be the best villain in the previous movies, shows up as a static pointless character not even remotely close to Ricardo Montalbans performance. The dialog is ripped off to the point that the only change is this  time Spok yells "Khan!" towards the end instead of Kirk. The action sequences were all parodies of sequences for Star Wars. Apparently JJ. Abrams was trying to prove to the studios as to why he should direct the new Star Wars series by copying sequences scene for scene from Star Wars. Down to a shuttle they are flying, which looks remarkably like the Millennium Falcon, is doing the exact same movies while being chased by one of the bad guys ships.

I could go on, and on, about each sequence in this movie and where it was stolen from in previous Star Trek movies, and Star Wars movies, and The Lord of the Rings, and Blade Runner, and Indiana Jones, and even JJ Abrams own TV series Alias. Literally there is nothing original about this movie.

What do you get when JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman,and  Damon Lindelof are sitting in a room snorting coke off a hookers ass while the SyFy channel plays in the background? You get Star Trek Into Darkness.

I realize this review is poorly written by the way, but I can't see strait after forcing my eyes to watch that trash, nor can I think straight after experiencing the worst two hours of my life. 

If you want a better review by someone who spent some time writing it out, read this guys... 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BMW Still In The Shop

And another Seattle area weekend goes by without a motorcycle. On the plus side, I have to give the guys and Ride West props for actually working on it this time. Sounds like it might be the fuel pump and not just the injectors. And another plus, when I go to sell it as soon as I get the POS back, it will have some nice new parts for the new owner.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chase Finally Cancelling a Canceled Account

I logged on this weekend to access my Chase mortgage and received an error:

You're unable to log on for one of these reasons:

  • This website is temporarily unavailable
  • Your User ID is invalid
  • Your profile is locked

Along with a list of phone numbers to contact, depending on which service I am trying to access.

Knowing my user ID isn't invalid I decided to give it a day or two and give it another try, receiving the same error when I did. So the only logical conclusion is that my profile is locked for some reason. So, I call the number listed. I enter the automated validation information and sit on hold for a minute or two before the call is dropped.

I then call back and go through the same process, this time reaching a person. I explain my issue, and she transfers me to another department. Because, the online service department number was not one of the numbers listed in the 12 to choose from at the error page.

I enter my information again, select a few options, and get the next person. She verifies my address and other information before informing me that there was a business account associated to this account which has been deactivated. Which is true, there also was a personal checking account associated that has also been deactivated. Both of those accounts were closed a couple of years ago and can be read about here.

Anyway, she explains to me that they are going to need to set me up with a new online account and login, but first I need to verify some randomly selected questions.

  • The first question: "Out of these names can you tell me which one you have gone by before…." Since only one was my actual name, that was an easy question to respond too.
  • The Second question: "Which of these companies have you worked for…" With a lost of companies.
  • The Third Question:  "Can you verify the age of Twila?"   (name I've never heard of) so I went with the non of the above option.

Luckily I guessed right answer to these lame-ass questions, completely unrelated to the questions I already answered.

And this is where she tells me, "now that I've verified that information, I will be conferencing in someone else. But before I do that, can I verify your address again?"

And on to the next person. "Thanks, can I have your first and last name?" After answering that, she asks me to verify my e-mail address. If there is one thing I can give them credit for, it's Keeping my account secure.

I explain that I want to access my account online again, and that I do not want a personal or business checking account again so they can remove that association. 20 minutes later I can access my account with the new login I now have to use.

Thanks Chase for finally deciding to break the association to my business account I canceled years ago, and not telling me until I tried to actually login to your website.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Beemer Back in the Shop

Last weekend the weather reached the upper 70's, which, anyone who lives in the PNW knows is not something that happens often, and is great weather for taking the motorcycle out for a ride. Unfortunately, as seems to be the case with the BMW, it wouldn't start. After cranking it quite a bit it eventually started but ran like crap. So, back to the dealer it went along with another video of the problem.

On the plus side, a couple of days later when they called me, there wasn't any question of the issue like before, and lack of belief in was it was telling them. This time the guys at Ride West knew exactly what the problem was, another bad injector. So they replaced it and took the bike out for a few shakedown rides and told me I could pick it up today. I brought my helmet and jacket in to work, ready to bus on over to the dealer after and get the bike. That was until they called me today. Today, I received another call that after the shakedown ride they found they also need to replace the fuel pump, which they ordered later in the day yesterday, and now the bike won't be ready until next week. So, I get another nice weekend in Seattle without a motorcycle. A motorcycle that I now only want to get running so I can sell it and stop having to deal with the piece of junk.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Disabled couple denied chance to live together by group homes

sent to me from FoxyNick

This is so wrong, why would they deny people this? I mean I can understand why disabled people are undesired people because at some point society deemed them undesirables, but some how they survived evolution. And they are here demanding rights, they are a community just like gay, lesbians, feminists, blacks, Jews, Catholics, etc... I have a few friends who are disabled and I don't see them as any less of a couple

Hava Samuels and Paul Forziano, who are mentally disabled, say the group homes where they live are blocking their request to live together as husband and wife. They are suing for the right to do so.

Ready the full story here...http://news.msn.com/us/disabled-couple-denied-chance-to-live-together-by-group-homes

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The You Tube Party

I've notice this trend over the past couple of years, and maybe it started earlier and took me this long to notice, but it's a trend and it is lame. I call it the You Tube party. This is exactly how it works. A friend has a party or a little get together. We have a couple drinks, if there is food we eat, and we chat with one another. We see what's going on, tell stories, do whatever it is that people do when they get together in a group. Then, at some point someone will bring up a funny You Tube video. They will then pull up the You Tube video on a TV that has it built in, or pull out a laptop and start showing the supposedly funny video to people.  Think about it, how many parodies of Call Me Maybe have you seen at a party vs. the ones forwarded to you. After the first video is watched, it then leads to another video, and then to another and before you know it you have all just spent the rest of the evening staring at a screen watching stupid videos.

It has gotten to the point that I actually have gone to a friend's house, watched some video that he showed me, went over weeks later and he tries to show me the same fucking video. Seriously people! Get fucking lives! It is stupidity like this that convinces stupid people to video themselves being stupid and posting it on You Tube. So, if you want to sit around and stare a screen watching stupid crap, do it on your own time, and stop inviting me over to watch it. If I wanted to sit around watching stupid You Tube videos, I would do it when you forward one to me instead of deleting it like I do now.

Now go check out The Cranky Monkey on You Tube… Not really. I might have a stupid blog but for the time being, I don't have a stupid You Tube channel. And even if I eventually do start one, I won't force guests to my house to watch it. They can do it at night when they are crying themselves to sleep for being douche-bag.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

BMW Fixed?

Wednesday afternoon I get a call from one of the mechanics at Ride West. He tells me they think they have solved the problem, and that the video I provided them with doesn't have any sound. Personally, I care more about them fixing the problem, which he tells me was the injectors.

By the way, the injection system being clogged was one of the things I thought the issue might be, and one of the things I mentioned when I dropped it off, besides an electrical short. But hey, what do I know, I'm just a guy who rides a bike. They are the trained mechanics that took weeks to figure out and solve a problem.

So, today I went and picked the bike up. It started fine at the dealer, which it did before. But, I did notice on the ride home it felt like it had a little more power and was running smoother. And, most importantly when I got it home, parked it and shut it off, it restarted. Hopefully the problem is now solved and I won't have to take it back again.

Not to sound overly negative as I have been bitching about Ride West this whole time, I fell that it would be appropriately nice about them. They were all very friendly. There, my one nice thing I can say. Now, hopefully my next post will involve actually taking the thing out for a nice ride as the weather finally gets nice here in the Northwest.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

BMW Back At The Dealer

for those who have been following my motorcycle ownership adventures... After getting the bike home and not being able to start it, I did what I did previously. I put it on the trickle charger and charged the battery, but this time I kept it attached to the charger when attempting to start the bike. It took quite a few tries and didn't want to start but it eventually cranked over. I rode it in the Seattle rain to Ride West where I dropped it back off. As we were talking, of course they tried to start it, and as you can imagine it started just fine. So, I gave them the DVD with the video of it not starting for me, and headed home to enjoy an occasional warm weather day and no motorcycle to ride.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Can Repro and I Can Video The No Starting BMW Motorcycle

Nearly two weeks now since I started having problems with my motorcycle, and still the guys at the BMW service department can't seem to identify the problem. I called earlier this week to ask if they were going to give me a loaner, since it is being fixed under warranty. Here is an exact quote, "we only do loaners for one day service. If we gave a loaner to everyone who had it in for warranty work we wouldn't have any bikes." I'll let that statement speak for itself.

Since they couldn't reproduce the problem with it not starting, I told them I would come pick it up. Today I picked it up around 5:00 pm after work. I rode the motorcycle home, about 15 to 20 miles.

I then let it sit for a few hours, and went out to start it and see what happened. As can be imagined, it didn't start. This time however I created a video of it happening and will provide some snarky comments while showing the mechanics the video. 

Saturday, April 06, 2013

5 Day Broke Down BMW Update

I had to leave the bike at the dealership from Sunday night until Tuesday morning, since they are closed on Mondays. Tuesday rolled around, and on my lunch break I swung by the dealership in the hopes that the bike had been stolen, which it had not been. I go to the service person and start to explain the issue. He tells me that it might be a couple weeks before they get to it, because they are so busy with the spring weather and people getting bikes out for service. He also tells me that he thinks the issue is the battery. I tell him I don't think that is the issue, and that it seems like an electrical short somewhere, but I don't argue the point. After all, he is the trained professional.

Later that afternoon he calls me up and tells me he checked the battery and it is fine. He plugged it into the diagnostics machine and nothing came back, and that the bike is starting just fine. Of course it is, I think, isn't that always how these things work.

"So, what could be the issue?" I ask.

"I don't know, right now there doesn't seem to be a problem."

"Well, why don't you ride it home for lunch today, and when you can't get back to work because it won't start, you will experience my issue."

He doesn't see the humor in my commentary, and says he will keep checking it.

The rest of the week goes past and I call Friday to get an update. This time I talk to another mechanic, who was on vacation when I dropped the bike off, and all he has to go from are the notes from the first mechanic. I explain the issue and through the conversation he brings up the idea that it might only happen with the engine is heated, some type of electrical short with the starter possibly. Hmm, I think, someone should have mentioned to the first mechanic the possibility of an electrical issue. He says he will try riding it around and see what happens, but it might be a week or two since they are so busy, and the first mechanic is on vacation.

Call me crazy, but if everyone is suddenly bringing their bikes into the dealer for service with the now warming weather, it seems like an odd time to be taking vacation. We do, after all, have eight months of rain and cold here in Seattle, eight months that might be more well suited for a motorcycle mechanic to take a vacation. But that's just me, being logical and all. And, as pointed out, also not a motorcycle mechanic.

I can't wait to see what next week will bring.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Motorcycle Troubles Day 2

First thing Sunday morning I decide to start troubleshooting issues with the bike. I put it on the trickle charger, just to be sure that isn't the issue. Even though the battery is only two years old, it could be an issue with the battery. I add some Sea-Foam to the fuel system, thinking maybe I got some bad gas at some point that was clogging the fuel injection. And I get out the owner's manual and start checking what limited information it contains, and I can actually access on the complicated machine.

After it is all done, I start it up, and it starts just fine. So, I let it sit for most of the day, when I decide to take it out and see how she runs. This time to Seattle, and a well populated area with phone service and nearby towing companies. I start the bike up, it starts fine and sounds fine, so I cruise on down to Seattle and meet a friend for some food. After we eat, I walk back to the bike and nothing. Not even a slight showing of wanting to start. We try the push and pop the clutch method that worked last time, but get no response from the bike. I'm thinking some kind of electrical connection issue at this point. So I call AMA Roadside Assist again.

Representative: Thank you for calling roadside assist. Are you in a safe place to talk?

Me: Yes

Representative: Do you in need of tow service?

Me: Yes.

Representative: Can I have the address please?

Me: I don't know the address

Representative: Is it okay if I use GPS services to locate your location?

Me: Yes

Representative: I'm showing you are at ….

Me: That's close to my location I think. The address across the street from the parking lot is….

Representative: Can I have the address of the destination.

Me: I don't know the address. It's Ride West BMW can you look it up?

Representative: I'm showing they are at …

Me: that sounds right.

We go back and forth just like the previous day, I get put on hold forever while I watch the battery slowly drain on my cell phone. I eventually hang up, and call my roommate for a ride to come pick me up, but he is drunk so he calls another friend of ours, and the two of them plan to meet me at the dealership. The roadside service calls back and tells me they found a tow-truck but it's an extra $45 dollars to the driver even though it's within the 35 miles included in my roadside assistance. I agree to pay it, just to get the bike to the dealer. The driver shows and we load the bike up and drop it off at the dealership. Leaving it in the parking lot, praying that it will get stolen at some point through the night. My friends arrive, and around 11:30 at night I finally arrive home and go to sleep to get a few hours before going to work the next day.

But wait… there is still more to come in this saga, as the bike is still at the dealer who can't seem to find a problem with it. Tune-in for my next post.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

John "The Gay Moralist" Corvino - Sodom and Gomorrah

Breakdowns and My Fancy BMW Motorcycle

Spring is arriving here in the Pacific Northwest, and with our first nice weekend, I texted a buddy to take our bikes out for a ride. First thing Saturday morning I'm up, doing my pre-ride checks and ready to roll when my buddy R. showed up. The route involved heading north out of Seattle via some back roads to the lovely little town of La Conner, across the Deception Pass Bridge, and back to the city via the Mukilteo ferry: similar to this route that I posted a while back.

A funny aspect of living in the northwest is how when the weather starts getting nice, everyone pours out of their homes and hibernation to enjoy the little vitamin D we get each year. The back roads to La Conner were packed with people out for a nice drive, and fellow riders running the winter fuel out of the gas tanks that had sat for so many months. So, after a few wrong turns through the farms on the way, we made it to La Conner, with the crowds and lack of parking, and found a place for lunch while we rested our sore asses. And my buddies sore balls, because he rides a crotch-rocket, and we exceeded the 20 minutes that a person can ride a crotch-rocket at any given period.

The La Conner Pub was a fantastic place to make a stop for food. We sat on the balcony watching the river flow past while I ate a chili burrito, something that I can't believe more restaurants don't offer. A burrito with chili on top are the perfect combination of foods, and this place makes it well. When we went back to the bikes, mine took a couple of attempts to get started, maybe the battery needed more time on the trickle charger I thought, or maybe the gage was wrong and I needed to fill up. If it was the battery, I wasn’t too worried since the alternator should be charging it while we rode. So, we stopped at station and I topped off the tank, which was about half full, and we were off to Deception Pass Bridge.

chili burrito

At Deception Pass the parking lots were ridiculously crammed full of cars and people, all with the same goal of enjoying a quick walk onto the bridge and snapping a few pictures, without being rained on.  One of the many advantages of motorcycle ownership, of course being, it is easier to find parking, We parked the bikes and walked for a few photo moments. Walked down to the beach area and checked out the asses on the occasional chicks that walked past, and enjoyed watching people skipping rocks with children in the sun.
Busy Road
The Beach from the bridge

Back at the parking lot, after piss breaks, we were ready to make the trip down to the ferry for the ride back to Mukilteo; when my not-quite three-year old, under four-thousand-mile, BMW motorcycle wouldn't start at all. Just like the earlier. I gave it a few more tries, we attempted to push it and pop the clutch, but with not even a slight kick of showing a desire to start, we began pulling the bike apart. Most motorcycle manufactures have the battery under the seat. This makes accessing it pretty easy, as a rider only needs to remove the seat. BMW however makes things a little more complicated. In involves removing the center fairing, via 6 separate screws. Two of which are kind of a pain in the ass to get too. The battery connection was fine, and the wires to the ignition and fuses looked were good. We couldn’t check the spark, because between the two of us, and a few other bikers who stopped to help, none of us could actually find where the plus were on the overly complicated BMW. The Harley guys sure enjoyed making fun of my non-running BMW while their Harley bikes were starting just fine.

After a while, we gave up on it and decided it was time to call my AMA Roadside Assistance. My T-Mobile service had no connection. Not a surprise, as they are known for the lack of coverage. R.’s Verizon phone had one bar of service, and after walking around the parking lot, climbing a hill, I got through. But the call dropped. So I tried again in another spot and was able to actually get a representative.

Representative: Thank you for call roadside assist. Are you in a safe place to talk?

Me: Yes

Representative: Thank you for call roadside assist. Are you in a safe place to talk?

Me: Yes

Representative: Thank you for call roadside assist. Can you hear me?

Me: Yes, I hear you.

We go back-and-forth and through a spattering of me yelling over the car noises and the Harley’s leaving with the unnecessarily loud exhaust, I began trying to tell her my situation when the call dropped. So I called again.

Representative: Thank you for call roadside assist. Are you in a safe place to talk?

Me: Yes

Representative: Thank you for call roadside assist. Are you in a safe place to talk?

Me: Yes

Representative: I am having a hard time hearing you.

Me: Yes, I know.

Representative: Can you change locations?

Me: don’t you think I would have if I could. I was just talking to someone and we got disconnected.

Representative: Let me try to connect you to that person. (Long pause while we watched the battery on the phone drain) The other representative is assisting someone else. It looks like you need a tow.

Me: Yes. I’m at Deception Pass Bridge.

Representative: Do you mind if I use GPS to find your location?

Me: That’s fine.

Representative: I’m showing you are at something, something on I-5

Me: No, that’s not close at all. I’m at the south-side of the bridge parking lot in Deception Pass

Representative:  Reception Pass?

Me: No Deception?

Representative: Where?

Me: Deception Pass Bridge. Deception, like you are deceiving someone.

Representative: Do you have the address of your location?

Me: No! It’s a bridge. Like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Except for it’s in Washington, and it’s called Deception Pass. If you send a tow truck from Anacortes or Oak Harbor they will know where it is! They can’t live here and not.

We go back and forth before getting cut off again. I hop on the back of R’s bike and we ride down to a nearby gas station, where we find a super helpful clerk who lets me use his phone.

I call again, and go through my story again, explaining that I don’t have an address again, or the address of the destination just the closes motorcycle dealer I can think of, because apparently they can’t look one up for me. And, she says she will call me back. Eventually I get a call, and find out that the only tow-truck that they can find is going to charge $145.00 per hour for a three hour minimum and it’s not covered by the 35 miles in my roadside assist program. So, after wasting literally hours of time, and as it is getting dark we decide to go back to the bike, give it one more try, and if not leave it, and come back Sunday with a truck to load it up, hoping that overnight someone will steal it.

Me: (To the clerk at the store) If you know anyone who happens to be interested in a motorcycle, there is a blue BMW that will be sitting overnight.

Back at the parking lot it has cleared out, so we decided to give it one more try with pushing it and popping the clutch. R. who is a heavy smoker starts pushing and huffing, and we get it going quick, I pop the clutch and it sputters and dies. But, with that hopeful sign we decide to give it a few more tries when some guy comes up and offers to help. Between the three of us, and a few more sputters and dying we finally get it running. It’s running like crap, but it is running. So, we head down to the ferry in the hopes on making it home. On the ride to the ferry the bike starts to run better, and sounds pretty good by the time we arrive. But, I still refuse to turn it off to the ire of the people working on the ferry, but, after explaining to them that my shutting it off might block cars getting off the ferry the let me off.

I make it home, well after dark and exhausted, and put the bike in the garage to deal with the next day. More to come on the next day.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Anger on a Plane

A post from occasional contributor FoxyNic

I don't always understand why I have the urges to be uncooperative or violent, perhaps It goes back to the animal instinct in me that just hasn't died out quite yet. Or perhaps it is in conjunction with lack of impulse control that follows anger issues. All I know is that there seems to be only two options, just accepting my fate or doing something about it. Now this is where it gets tricky; I could accept my fate and let the resentment built like the pressure behind a hose where the nozzle is off but the water its turned on full blast, this will most likely yield poor results as understood by how physics works eventually the pressure will become too much for the nozzle and blow shooting it off potentially maiming or even killing someone. Or the even more dangerous option: action. This only results in danger if the state of mind is in an irrational state. Although even rational people do irrational things. Sometimes I wish I had better control over how I responded to a situation. 

Case and point, here I am sitting on an airplane and after consuming a beverage in the morning to get me alert and able tolerate this four and a half hour flight, now at this point my bodily functions have alerted me that it is now time to void my bladder yet the flight attendant is currently passing out more beverages blocking the very narrow isle. This causes two problems for me; one, do I get up and use the restroom before they come possibly missing my chance to get a drink or do I wait until after they've passed by and I've finished my ginger ale? The rub here is that even after my drink is consumed; the process of handing them out takes much longer and now I am stuck to either wait as my bladder builds pressure and a possible infection ensues, or I can try my luck at using the first class lavatories. Unfortunately those are guarded just as tight at knox, which brings me to my inevitable irritation with the whole situation. Clearly first class passengers pay more for certain luxuries; larger seats, warm towels, better service, priority boarding, more room in general and closer lavatories. But why do they seem to get exclusive rights to the front lavatories, how many first class passengers are there in ratio to coach passengers; that's a lot more bladders and a lot more urine. So i sit here contemplating my options and i think about what might happen if i try my luck at the first class bathrooms; of prior experience, the stewardess will tell me i need to go back to my seat or try my luck with the rear bathrooms as these only for select passengers.

Now i wouldn't say i have a short fuse or that i am some kind of psychopath but after being put through the song and dance that is now our airport security, the fact that i have to bag up my tiny little bottles of "liquid", remove my shoes, pay extra to check my bag, and get visibly molested by full body scanners I'm definitely worse for the wear. Not to mention when i get to my gate instead of a nice civilized line its some hoard of people all trying to force their way on to the plane first, the so called order they try to apply to boarding gets lost as there are a million exceptions to the rules so that half of the passengers that weren't supposed to be seated are already on the plane taking up overhead storage space. Don't even get me started on the price gouging the comes mid air with internet access and horrible plane food that one can barely stomach in the first place at prices that would cause riots back on land. This all on top of my other neurosis in my life; am i going to do well at my new job, will i survive the weekend with my family, will i get any sleep with the time difference, what will become of my relationship.

However even after being called the weaker sex i can still manage to not to lose my shit, literally. Although the pressure on bladder is persistent and all i can imagine is throwing a fit in the front when the attendant refuses to let me pass; i imagine cussing at her and the front passengers exclaiming loudly about the unfairness and then popping a squat in the middle of the isle and pissing all over the shitty fabricated "carpet" feeling such a sense of vengeance and relief. The pure carnal satisfaction of relieving my bowels where i know it is wrong, yet so right. Now we all know per the world wide news from the breakdown of mental faculties in other individuals that this behavior would cause an immediate landing and most likely a spot on the no fly list. Since i like to travel, especially to see my family, i can only fantasize about this outburst in my mind. Smirking about how wonderful it would be to right a so ridiculous wrong with out the grave consequences to follow. 

Yet i continue to sit here typing away instead. This is my solace, instead of suffering in silence i let my imagination complete the horrid task the impulses in my primal brain, the ultimate offense and yet the most baser need of a human. Which is why i say no exclusive bathrooms, not in public buildings or restaurants and not in air planes. Though i don't have any control over my imagination and all the sick and twisted things that go dancing about in my brain i do however have some control of my body; besides the fact that i have to ask two people to move out of their seats before i can even reach the isle. So inevitably and rationally i wait with out complaint or snide remark for my seat and cell mate to get up and politely as ever used this opportunity to use the bathroom as well. Unfortunately to him this was an excuse to try and become chummy with me, and if you are like me the last thing on your mind is to have a meaningless conversation with some stranger that you'll never see again on a tin can with the words Alaska Airlines plastered on the outside. Especially when you feel as if your bladder is about to pop. So. Mr. Chatty and i make our way to the rear of the plane and wait in the accumulating line of people who also had to make that difficult decision to wait or not to wait.

They might be trying to engineer a new, cleaner, more streamlined bathroom for new planes and let me tell you it isn't happening soon enough. I suppose you'll have to pay more for a ticket to use those puppies too, as if this world isn't racking one large bill per person already. Soon it'll be like the movie the lorax where large corporations make bottled air a commodity and give ads men job advertising it to rubes. So i complete my business; relieved and ready to get out of the tiny stinking closet and trying to avoid getting get that nasty blue "liquid" on my pants, when i step out only to find the trash pickup cart heading my way and as i look around i realize there is no where for me to get around it. The result is realize myself and the four others who just wanted to get back to the cement block that is our seats have to stuff back into the sewer boxes to allow the cart to pass. So i curl back behind the door keeping is cracked slightly as not to plunge into complete darkness except to get by the stewardess with the cart has to forcibly shut my door to jam the damn thing by trapping me in the lavatory. If you can imagine the fear and disgust when faced with no escape from this flying disease trap and my urge to vomit was very strong in those seconds that felt like an hour. Finally free from the tiny hole i made my way back in line with the other sardines in row 22, praying to the diety of flight that i wouldn't have to use the bathroom again.