Thursday, October 9, 2008

Old friends and some new ones

Wow! I can't say enough about how nice it has been to reconnect with an old friend the other day.

I felt the same way when I was in Portland, Maine in July or August, in Houston in June, Charlottesville in July, Seattle last month or Haines, AK in August. There is nothing better than sliding back into a comfortable place where you know each other so well that there is just a little bit of catching up to do before everything is exactly as it was when you last spent time together.

Here is to Chris and Jack and Curtis and Aaron and Chris and Kelly. Thanks for remaining who you all are, and thanks for allowing me to rehash the memories of bookstores in Denver, weathering the rockets and mortars in Iraq while instilling discipline in our employees by stabbing them in the eye-socket if they didn't do what we (you) asked, spending $90 on two pints of Guinness in Hong Kong, mohawks and boas in Greenland, "Why walk when you can ride" and holding Barbie hostage at the South Pole.

Thanks to all of you (and all of you back in Denver who have kept up and followed along) for allowing me into your homes for pancakes, a cup of tea or a sandwich. Thanks for catching me up on your lives and allowing me to blither on mercilessly about what I have been doing the past 3-8 years and what I am doing now. 
I wish I had pulled out my camera for everyone along the way, but it seems like I just have a few of Kelly and Ellie (Kelly's oldest girl) and Annabelle (Kelly's youngest). I'll let the reader determine who is who:-) Gawd, they are adorable! The spitting image of their mother.

Before I just log this entry, I feel a need to come clean about a few things... one - I am not as mechanically inclined as I would like to think I am, two - my right leg is not as long as it was required to be when I had to make a very immediate stop, three - I am not strong enough to keep my motorcycle upright when I realize # two.

In a much shorter version of the above paragraph... I set the bike down a few blocks from Kelly's house. Yeah, that happens sometimes. What has never happened before is not starting right up. For over an hour I tried everything (almost) to start the bike. I was so determined to pretend that I was not in the city and close to help that I wouldn't just walk to get help.  

The bike was running when it went down and when I set it upright I checked the fuel gauge, opened the cap on the tank and could hear fuel slosh around and thus determined that I had fuel. I checked the plugs, an oxygen sensor, the side-stand cutoff and several other things that I though might be wrong. I was out of answers. It was about this time when I called AAA for a tow to the dealer where I had a service the next day. While I was waiting for AAA to get back to me, Kelly drove past while running errands and stopped. Her suggestion... "Is there gas in it?" I had done everything I could up until this point and what could it hurt to get a small bit of gas from the filling station? Besides, it wasn't as if I hadn't checked that off the list! Minutes later I was filling the two liter container with gas and spilling more on the canister than inside. Once again, Kelly comes to my rescue and puts a diaper on the gas can to prevent it from leaks. 

Back at the bike I add the fuel and turn the key... 

Kelly, do I really have to tell the rest of the story? Aggh! I am not at all good at diagnosing a problem because as stated in the theory of Occam's Razor, shortly - "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.", I should have looked at the miles I had already ridden and used that to tell me that it was just a few drops at the bottom of the tank. Mikey would be shaking his head and saying, "Tater, Tater, Tater" if we were in Greenland.

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