Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

Feeling Lucky During Unlucky Events

Feeling Lucky During Unlucky Events

For the most part, I loosely believe in luck when it suits me. I tend to think of it as some mysterious supernatural guiding hand or invisible force granting favorable outcomes to select members of humanity at specific moments. I should also point out that my personal tendencies lean towards the existence of good luck versus bad luck.

Much of the time, when I feel like luck is on my side what I what I really mean is, Wow, that could have gone a whole lot worse! This is probably some type of coping mechanism that helps to make sense out of the randomness of life. There is a need to feel like someone or something is at the wheel taking care of things.

Merriam-Webster says that luck is:

merriam-webster definition of luck
a
: a force that brings good fortune or adversity
Luck was a big factor in the outcome.
b
: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual
The loser muttered something about bad luck.

When I read “a force” and “operate” in those definitions of luck it is hard to interpret it as passive. It sounds less like something you trip over versus that mysterious guiding hand I mentioned earlier. I dunno. Maybe none of it matters anyway. Maybe the key takeaway is whatever the goodness is, take it with a grateful heart.

As I started writing this in Indiana, Pennsylvania, it was zero dark thirty and I was waiting for Walmart’s tire center to open. I spotted a slash on the sidewall of my cars tire and wanted to replace it right away.

When I pulled up, the young guy at the greeter booth let me know that Walmart’s policy was to not replace a single tire on my AWD car, so my choice was to do all 4 tires or that I would have to go elsewhere. He then rhetorically asked ~ do you want to pay $700 or $120 and then casually pointed me to local shop.

Uh…okay? I wasn’t interested in asking anything further about the policy and tend to hate Walmart in general so I just moved along. When all was said and done, I had a new tire on my car and was under way in under 30 minutes. Can’t beat that.

I cannot help but consider my luckiness in this situation.

  • It’s my daughter’s car that I’m using and luckily this was not her problem to deal with
  • I didn’t have a blowout on the highway, which the tire guy suggested would have been likely
  • The tire place took me in immediately and got me out the door in 30 minutes
  • I didn’t run into problems while I had been rambling down some dirt forest roads; file under the right place at the right time
  • That I actually saw the slash at all; admittedly I don’t routinely look for such things
image of tire slash

While my morning got off to a not-so-perfect start, all things considered I felt pretty good. The weather was beautiful, I was roadtripping with my dog, seeing cool things, taking walks.

Lucky me.

Cool Springs Station – Route 66, Arizona

Cool Springs Station – Route 66, Arizona

cool springs station route 66 arizona

Sometimes when I scroll through my camera roll, it surprises me how many interesting things I’ve seen over the years. Though I no longer really participate in social media, there was a time when it seemed like I shared so much, so often. In hindsight and with distance, I realize now that I didn’t even scratch the surface. I’m not suggesting that I woulda, coulda, shoulda done anything differently. Simply observing.

cool springs station route 66 arizona

When it comes to blogging, I’m a little old school. In the past I’ve read Instagram posts that refer to their captions as blogging. Blogging! These kids need to get off my lawn. 😉

cool springs station route 66 arizona

Oh. Here’s a couple oldies from Route 66 between Kingman and Oatman in Arizona. Cool Springs Station…

route 66 arizona
route 66 arizona

Visit Cool Springs Station

8275 Oatman Road, Historic Rte 66, Golden Valley, AZ 86413

Rambling Into the Double Deuce

Rambling Into the Double Deuce

Lovely painting spotted in Honesdale, Pennsylvainia – July ’21

Today is the first day of 2022. It’s been about 3 weeks now that I’ve been ruminating on writing a blog post only to be thwarted by my own numbed-out apathy. If there were an award for ignoring that little inspirational spark that tries to light, I’d have that one in the bag. Hell, I might even be able to teach a master class in avoidance and procrastination, if, you know… I could find the desire.

Anhedonia, party of one.

I did make some progress on the attempting to write something down front a few days ago, though! Go me, I plugged in my MacBook and charged it for the first time in months. However, I never actually cracked open the lid to do anything with it. This whizz-bang, swanky new computer that my family gave me for Christmas last year is lovely. In fact, it is the very same one that brought a tear to my eye because I was so surprised by it when I unwrapped it. And, also the very same one that were I to sell it as a used car might be described as “adult-owned, with low mileage.”

I am a slug.

In previous incarnations of myself, a few fleeting milliseconds of inspiration could usually be enough to carry me through to maaaaaybe writing something. Not in ’21, honey. I just fell short. In every way. I wrote nothing. I took few pictures. I shared nothing. I talked to no one.

At the stroke of midnight welcoming in 2021, it would have been hard to imagine that the year to come wouldn’t be better than the one that preceded it. I believed that things would improve. I really did. But as we know, kids, we have no control over anything but ourselves. And what didn’t improve, was me.

Many people suffered through their own illness or that of their loved ones. Thankfully, my immediate family didn’t get sick. Others felt the pain of trying to navigate through loss of work, issues with child and elder care. Thankfully, we didn’t. On paper, I can tally up the marks in my Wins and Losses columns and unequivocally say that I came out a winner. And yet, I spent most of my year in a state of burnout.

Most of my mental exhaustion was the direct result of my work life. I’ve made some changes to try rectify that but my 2021 work year can still eat a bag of dicks and wash it down with a nice folding chair to the face. My job and the way I was committed to doing it, completely drained my battery. 

Once I’d leave work for the day, all of the air was let out of my balloon. Talking to people, going to the store, cleaning, recreating, making a phone call – they all became like my Mount Everest. 

When goodhearted, well-intentioned people would email, text or message asking how I was doing – even being able to formulate a courteous reply like a normal human being went by the wayside. And the more people tried to reach out to me, the less and less I wanted to talk to them. It made my skin crawl to have another person communicating with me – even if it was personal and out of an abundance of care. See: “I gave at the office.”

Sometimes loving someone means leaving them alone but that seems to be the hardest trick to learn. We don’t often see this as an appropriate response – it’s typically seen as a signal of not caring.

In the moments when I willfully chose not to communicate, I did so on behalf of my own wellbeing. It’s nearly impossible for the person on the receiving end of the withdrawal to understand this. In the end, when you close off to people, the why doesn’t seem to be quite so important, they only feel the end result. Yes, I’ve burned some bridges. They were the choices I was capable of making at the time. While I am sorry if people felt discarded, I needed to do it. And so I try to make peace with that.

It is strange to me that ’21 is my year that wasn’t, moreso than ’20. Life is nothing if not mysterious.

Here now on this first day of the double deuce, I’ve been contemplating what part of myself I ghosted last year. What did I lose or quiet in order to survive? And it struck me that I have forgotten how to see beautiful things. I don’t remember what it feels like to follow a whim just because. My fancy hasn’t been tickled in quite some time. I’ve poured all of my secret fun-time sauce into surviving and left nothing to slather on the bread of my happiness sandwich. No glitter. No silly. No fun for fun’s sake. Just existing. When did I become so afraid of being my authentic self even when no one else is looking?

What. The. Fuck. WHATTHEFUCK!?

What the hell kind of life is that?

At the risk of making any promises or plans that will inevitably set me up for failure with regimentation, my only goal for this new year is to try to remember that life is indeed full of weird, wonderful, beautiful things and experiences. And when I fail, to try to remember that if I want to, I can try again. I don’t need to explain my actions or inactions to anyone. The only thing that I owe is to myself ~ a shot at feeling happy.

Welcome to the New Year. I hope it’s a good one.

Welcome to… Area 66?

Welcome to… Area 66?

Area 66 Roadside Tourist Attraction - Yucca, Arizona

Zipping along on I-40 East, I saw the white geodesic ball of Area 66 come into view. “What the…?” escaped my lips as it drew closer.

Area 66 Roadside Tourist Attraction Sign - Yucca, Arizona

There was nothing that would have stopped me from exiting the highway to get a look at this nonsense. Besides, my fingers were frozen in my leather gloves in the chilly January air. The temperature hovered in the low 40’s that morning. Warming them up was the perfect excuse for a stop.

Area 66 Roadside Tourist Attraction - Yucca, Arizona - Geodesic Ball

It was still early in the morning when I pulled in. The UFO museum inside was not yet open. But I did get to walk around and take in this curious sight.

Area 66 Roadside Tourist Attraction - Yucca, Arizona

As I walked around the lot, I wasn’t sure that even if the museum were open that I’d have payed to take a look. But, I love that such places still manage to pull in enough curious customers to exist.

Area 66 Roadside Tourist Attraction - Yucca, Arizona - UFO Museum Sign

Between you and me, UFO-stuff freaks me out. I think if I ever saw a flying saucer or an alien, I would just die immediately.

Area 66 Roadside Tourist Attraction - Yucca, Arizona - Ford Arizona Proving Ground Sign

One interesting point of note is the Ford Arizona Proving Ground sign at the entrance to Area 66. You can see on Google Maps satellite view that the proving grounds, which now belong to Chrysler, are still an active site. I wonder if Area 66 was once the entrance or if these folks just picked up the sign when Ford moved along? Or… maybe it was aliens.

Area 66
12716 Alamo Road
Yucca, AZ 86438

Mail Pouch Barn at Cantagree Farm – Stanfordville, New York

Mail Pouch Barn at Cantagree Farm – Stanfordville, New York

Any road trip that includes a pitstop at a Mail Pouch Barn is a good day.

mail pouch tobacco barn duchess county new york yamaha fz07 motorcycles

One of the “local” areas that I love riding my motorcycle is Duchess County, New York. Granted from where I live on Long Island, it takes a couple hours to get to get there but a good chunk of the gettin’ there is a big part of the fun.

Much of Duchess has my favorite type of riding – rambling roads that line horse and other farms, big green rolling hills, small towny towns and less traffic than some of the neighboring counties.

mail pouch tobacco barn duchess county new york

In addition to great riding, there are some roadside sights that I love in the county. Just up the road from Wing’s Castle is one of the southern portion of New York State’s few Mail Pouch Tobacco barns. You’ll find it on Duell Road in Stanfordville.

mail pouch tobacco wall ad beacon new york
Mail Pouch Tobacco Wall Mural – Beacon, Duchess County, New York

Though the western tier and the most northern portions of the state do have a good handful of Mail Pouch Tobacco barns, they are hard to come by in this neck of the woods. What we’ll find here downstate more often are city-based mural ads on brick buildings.

Mail Pouch Barn Relocated

A quick search around the web turned up a great blog post from Chuck the Writer with information about how this barn was actually relocated to the wonderfully named Cantagree Farm from Spring Green, Pennsylvania by former co-publisher of the Daily New and U.S News and World Report Fred Drasner. In 2003, the renovated farmhouse on the property was featured in Architectural Digest.

mail pouch tobacco barn duchess county new york - duell rd - c5 corvette

It makes me so happy when I am able to find information online about such sights. I hope that other curious bloggers continue to research and share their findings. Documenting the world around us is important. Keep exploring, keep sharing, and thank you!