Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My daughter’s first motorcycle ride.

My wife and I got up early Saturday morning to do some much needed yard work. After many hours of working in the yard I realized I needed a few things from Ace hardware. It was a nice day outside so I decided to take my bike up to the store…and to my surprise my daughter wanted to go along for a ride. So off to the bike we went with my mom running behind us with my dad looking on wanting to get a shot with her camera of my daughter’s first ride.
We snapped a few photos and off we went;
the first couple of turns I could tell made her a little nervous but after I explained that the lean of the bike on curves was normal she was good to go.

About three minutes into the ride she put her arms out to her side in airplane mode, she was loving the ride. Minutes later I hear from behind me “Daddy can you Smell the honeysuckles”
I replied yes and explained the best I could at 40 mph on a country road that, that was one of the many reasons I ride a motorcycle…you just see, hear, and smell (sometimes touch…when a bug hits you in the face. h a-ha)

so much more than when you are just sitting in a car.
Next thing I noticed was she was giving the beauty pageant wave to everyone we passed...
Noooo!!! So I had to teach her the top secret motorcycle wave

by placing your hand down beside by your leg. As luck would have it we passed another biker and I preformed the wave and received the wave back

after that we reached Ace and bought our stuff. Minutes later we were on our way back home this time we took the hwy home so she could experience a little speed…no problem then it seemed only like seconds passed and we were home safe and sound. Great ride… short but very sweet. Anytime spent with my daughter is always a great time but on the back of my motorcycle makes it even better…hmmm maybe I should get her one of her own.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The mind of an 11 year old boy…

Let me just start off saying I’m not talking about myself...my mind is up to at least a 14 year old level by now…I’m sure. Ha-ha. I wrote about going to CPO9 training in one of my last blogs and how I got home as it was getting dark outside from the training…well what I didn’t tell you was what happen a few minutes after I sat down to rest. Ok here is the story…

When I walked in the door I started looking around for everyone (my family) the girls were in the den watching TV and my boy had a friend over named Tanner (best friend lives next door)

they were both playing video games in the MAN CAVE like any future to be man should do. Ha-ha. (Ahh the Man Cave) Ok back to my story, I stuck my head into the Man Cave and gave a quick hello to the boys, I think I got a grunt back…man talk. (You women just don’t understand) Then I had a seat in my chair and talked to the girls (my wife Signe any daughter Allison) when to my surprise my boy came running in and asked me if I had seen his fort that Tanner and himself had worked on all day. I said no, where did you build it? Then he went on and on about how they built it out of sticks and trees and it was over by were they had parked the golf cart. Hmmm I remember seeing the golf cart when I came in but did not see the fort, but it was getting dark so maybe I just over looked it. I told him I would check it out in the morning before I left for work and he ran back to the MAN CAVE very happy with what he and Tanner had accomplished that day.

The next morning came but it was still dark outside (Remember I go to the gym at 5:30am) so I gave a quick look around and could not find the fort…so I figured they must of built it in the edge of the woods, I would have to wait and check it out as soon as I got home from work.

My work day now complete I got my camera out and went in search of the fort. Well my boy tells no lie; it was right beside the golf cart like he said…it was a master piece. Ahhhhh what a thing of beauty. A father could not be more proud.

Yea that’s a water bottle from my boys bike I placed next to the fort, just to give you an idea of the scale of this all day project.

So that night I question him about his day of fort building and was quickly told the fort only took up half of their day. Building this dinosaur out of Lego’s took up the rest…

Ohhhh to be 11 again. Ha-ha.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunday morning 4:30am??? TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY!!!

Sunday morning 4:30am, I’m awake and getting ready for work…there is something very wrong with this picture. Truth is I was heading to Jackson to do eight hours of CPO9 training. I mention in one of my last post that AT&T may be going on strike in April and if so I would be on a plane to Hamden, CT to be an operator for the duration of the strike.


I left the house around 6:00am and made a quick stop by the office to get a few things I needed, then I was off on the 90 mile drive to Jackson. I got to the training center around 8:30am (and yes I used my GPS on my Iphone…it took me right to the front door) I snapped a quick photo of the building as I was waiting for the security gate to open.

Once inside I was greeted at the door (another security door) by one of the helpers (sorry I can’t remember her name) and was given a brief tour around the building before entering a large room

normally filled with operators so I was told. There were 5 or 6 fellow trainees already in the room, we did the meet and greet and then I saw her…my instructor for the day.

She waved me over and introduced herself to me… her name is Adrian (I have to admit I had a good laugh inside every time I heard her name, it reminds me of the seen from rocky at the end where Rocky yells out “Yo Adrian! I did it!!!)

That was my plan at the end of the class and yes I screamed it out loud once the class was over. Adrian turned out to be a great instructor, very good since of humor, she kept the class lively but still moved us along at a fast pace. I admit I would have rather been at home but I did enjoy the class.

I would say there were around thirty of us that attend the class, we were paired up in twos at a very small desk

(a desk made for one…I might add) I sat with a guy named Billy through out the training (sorry I don’t remember his last name) we ended up having a lot in common we both are into motorcycles and best of all he could type with more than one finger, so guess who I let do most of the typing.

That’s right... old Billy boy. He was a good sport about it and my plan was working great until I heard Adrian yell “now switch the key boards” NO!!!!!!! Well turns out it was not that bad even typing one handed, here is a photo of the key pad

in case you were wondering what the operators use to type on…it takes a little time getting use to but this key board does everything and you can find everything…so be good because trust me I now know how to find you whereevery you are…I’m a bad boy, with my new found knowledge!!!

Well the class went great, I thanked Adrian for a class well done, and drove home, I got home around 6:30pm…long day but at least it rained all day so I did not feel like I had missed anything. Overall it was a GOOD DAY!!!

Ps: Once I got home I put a little pen to paper

(in case you might be thinking AT&T is not making its share of money in the business world) directory assistance gets $1.75 a call, my guess would be there are 50 operators on a normal day working in this one room, each operator answers between 800 and 1000 calls per day…hmmm…let go with an average number of calls, say 900 calls times 50 operators = 45,000 calls, times $ 1.75 per call = $ 78,750 a day, times 365 days a year = $ 28,743,750.00 a year. And let me remind you that is just one 8 hour shift in one office…here is the scary part…directory assistance is open 24 hours a day seven days a week. Wow!!! That’s a lot of money.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bike rally or not to bike rally? Life or death?

I was talking to Chessie http://chessiestales.blogspot.com/
the other day online about an up and coming bike rally and she was telling me why she had mostly given up going to rallies. Some of her reasons were the hard drinking and truth be known they are just never as fun as they are made out to be. I have to say I agree with her and it made me have second thoughts about going to the Smoke Out Rally
coming soon.

Well this was the plan until I got home from work today and my wife told me about the death of TapOut
leader Charles "Mask" Lewis (mixed martial arts promoter)
I know you are asking yourself what does this have to do with a motorcycle rally.

This made me start thinking of rallies I’ve attended in the past; I went to a large rally in New Orleans many years ago, I went to the rally to try and buy a frame for my chopper and ended up meeting two guys that were sharing a booth selling their products, one guy was named Billy Lang

and the other was called Indian Larry.

I had a chance to have a brief chat and got photos with both of them (great couple of guys) but right after the rally Indian Larry was killed in a motorcycle accident, it was a big lost in the motorcycle world.

Here’s how the two events come together, truth is I don’t travel in the same company as a lot of the hardcore bikers, TV stars, mixed martial artist, most of them I just don’t run into on a day to day basics in the big city of Petal, Mississippi. Ha-ha. So rally and events are the only chance I get to meet them…and I have found some are great people and some are quite frankly ass-holes…take the American Chopper bunch for instance,
I meet them at the same rally and I pretty much found unless you were a girl stroking their huge ego’s or a guy buying their products, they would not even speak to you. I did not get along with them at all, BUT I’M STILL GLAD I GOT A CHANCE TO MEET THEM.
I wish I could say the same for Charles "Mask" Lewis; it’s not like I was a big follower of his career but I have to admit I would have loved to have talked to him and picked his brain a little bit. You have to admire anyone that can turn a t-shirt business into a muilt-million dollar business.
So I guess all this said; life is short...get out there people!!! You may not get a second chance to meet someone that may change your life forever…long live the Mask and Indian Larry in our minds and may they R.I.P.. Till next time…
Big Al

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The smoke out-Rockingham North Carolina

Anyone planning on going to the Smoke out bike rally http://www.smokeoutrally.com/in Rockingham North Carolina? This is the 10th anniversary and it sounds like a party of a lifetime. It all starts May 8, 2009 in Cottonwood AZ with a 2000 mile group ride starting on Sunday to Rockingham North Carolina http://www.gorockingham.com/where the party ends.

Looks like Rockingham North Carolina
is around 700 miles one way from my house in Petal, MS. I would love to make the trip and do some camping along the way. I am going to start planning my trip but will have to wait and see if AT&T (my work place) goes on strike.
April 4, 2009 if so my orders are to travel to Connecticut and get this…be an operator…

you know directory assistance. The funny part is I type with one finger and have a hard time spelling big words like “kat… I mean CAT”. Ha-ha. Yea I will be responsible for giving out your phone numbers

12 hours a day 7 days a week until the strike is over (it’s the price you pay for being in management) so good luck to you if you need a phone number after April 4, 2009 if a strike happens.ha-ha.

I’ve been reading The Horse Backstreet Chopper Magazine http://www.thehorsemag.com/for years and have been dying to go to one of their events; I’m hoping this will be my year to attend one of their rallies. I wish I could do the complete week long rally but will have to settle for the weekend in Rockingham North Carolina; starting May 15 and 16, 2009, 4 pm to 11 pm Friday, 10 am to 11 pm Saturday.

I know a lot of biker’s read my blog and I was just wondering if anyone was planning on attending or maybe have a story to tell of a past trip to the Rally.
Big Al

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Motorcycle product review

Woke up early Saturday morning with motorcycle riding on my mind but after breakfast I decided it was time to give my bike a good wash.
I had all the cleaning supplies I needed expect for something to clean the windshield. Since I have heard horrid stories before of people using household products and scratching up their windshields I decided to play it safe and go to Hattiesburg Cycles (local motorcycle dealer) and buy a cleaning product made just for motorcycles. It was really just a good excuse to get out and ride. About fifteen minutes later, I was there looking at cleaning products…and then I saw it a small can sitting on a shelf called…Pig Spit…

That’s right I said Pig Spit…with a name like that, it has got to be good. Ha-ha. It was a little price-EEE

But what the heck it is for my baby so money is no object. I left the shop and made a quick stop at Gander Mountain (more on that stop later). Once I got home, I got all my stuff out and gave my bike a good washing (ladies I promise next time I’ll get all lathered up in my thong and take photos while cleaning by bike…ha-ha…oh man now I’ve gone to far and now have that image stuck in my head..I may be sick...Ha-ha) some things are best left to the ladies.

Once I got the bike cleaned and dried off

it was time to try the Pig Spit, I shook the can up and gave it a spray covering my windshield with a thin foam then took a rag and wiped it off…Wow!!! This stuff worked GREAT!!!
All the bugs and road debri was gone and there was no scratching or streaking, the windshield looked as good as new. So I sprayed the headlight, taillight and turn signals too; they also came out great. I give this product a thumbs up,
once you get passed the name PIG SPIT and the price, I have to admit it does everything the label says it will. Great stuff.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chopper in the works

Ok everyone as you will soon read in one of my next blogs “The Compound going green” , my wife and I have decided not to build a new compound (house) but stay in the one we have now. (More on that later) The reason I am bringing this up is now I plan on finishing up my chopper I’ve been working on over the last few years (on and off). I spent most of Sunday getting what I call my motorcycle room back into shape. When we built the four car garage, we added a 16’x 16’ room

on the side where I keep my automotive and metal working tools. I have a large air compressor that sits in the main garage but I have the air lines piped into the motorcycle room to a 50’ retractable air line (very sweet set up…easy to run my air tools) and yea that is old gym lockers next to it, they work great for storing tools.

I bought a motorcycle lift from Harbor Freight for 200 dollars and now have my chopper on it ready to be worked on. It’s a great lift, but it’s a little short for the chopper (the chopper is nine feet long) but holds my other bike just fine and my chopper too, as long as I use straps.
Most of the parts I have ordered off eBay…gas tank,

fenders, breaks, sprockets, seat, handle bars, tires and wheels. The oil tank and frame I ordered from J & P Cycles. I order the nine inch over Girder front forks from Custom Chrome (Pricey 1,200 dollars)

My plan is to do as much of the work as I can myself (and no I have never built one before) so this means a lot of questions. I want to build a kind of old-school chopper. It’s a ridged frame so I’m mounting a Springer solo seat,

I also have a remote oil filter (eBay) that I plan on mounting on the rear of the bike near the tire.

I have a small Mig Welder that I want to use to at least tack all of my metal work together with then I will most likely take it over to my buddy's business to have the final welds completed (a man has got to know his limitations…ha-ha). As for the painting, I plan on doing that myself. Right out of high school I work at a car dealership painting cars…so I think I got that part covered.

I'm in the process of looking for some "how to" videos, to help me along the way…web sites would also work. Any suggestions would be great help.

States I’ve traveled to over the years

big als music