Sunday, April 30, 2006
An acquaintance, who has the Jane Loves Tarzan blog, made a post yesterday regarding her feelings about tomorrow's proposed boycott. Something about my last post irked her - even though she wasn't mad at me, I think it was the situation to which I was posting -- A Day Without A Mexican.
Not ALL Mexicans or those of Mexican descent support the current chaotic state of things in the U.S. By and large, most I know are quite offended by what is transpiring. This isn't about Mexicans -- it's about Illegal Immigrants -- regardless of what country they are from, nothing more, nothing less.
Jane makes an excellent point about this "Guest Worker" nonsense -- call it what it is, which is "amnesty". A free ticket for brazenly breaking the law.
I really think the media and politicians have it collossally wrong on this issue -- the camera face time is going towards the protestors but there is a seriously strong undercurrent of those that are livid over this situation.
A guy I was riding with today invited me to dinner. Over fantastic steaks he asks his wife how many of the employees at her company are skipping work tomorrow -- they expect the number to be half. He told her he wanted a list of those employees because he is going to blacklist them from receiving any future comped tickets to sporting events that he has graciously provided in the past from his own company which is a major auto parts supplier.
What is the reality of what this situation means to those of us in Texas, Arizona and California? An influx of even more immigrants that we have to support. YES -- you read that correctly. Aside from their basic living expenses, they are sending their money back to their homeland and relying upon our tax dollars to educate their kids and provide them medical care and subsidize other needs.
Texas already took in more than 500,000 evacuees from Katrina -- that is 1/4 the population of Dallas or the ENTIRE population of Montana. 1 state -- Texas. And on top of this we are paying out the ying yang on taxes (thank God we don't have a state income tax) to support illegal immigrants.
This really hit home a few years ago when I had to go to Parkland Hospital to pick up a friend who was being treated for cancer. Glenda was a homeowner for many years, paid her taxes, never was a burden on the system and didn't have health insurance. Then she got cancer and had to go to Parkland - the county hospital that her property taxes help support. On many ocassions she was in a sea of humanity speaking Spanish, filling out Spanish forms -- illegal immigrants that worked the system to the hilt.
Meanwhile, she's in tears waiting 9 hours for a basic check up because she had never burdened the system and didn't know how to play the game.
I truly believe that property taxpayers in Dallas County should receive preferential treatment to illegal immigrants.
And that is just an example of why the illegal immigrant amnesty situation is such a ridiculous concept.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Monday is "The Day Without A Mexican." All Mexicans are supposed to boycott work & school to criticize how awful the US is for not allowing illegals to just have carte blanche citizenship.
So to partake in the festivities on Monday I swear that I will NOT do the following:
- I will not order from Taco Bell
- I will not drink Corona
- I will not beat the hell out of a piñata
Read this experience by a SW Bell (now AT&T) director who worked in Mexico.
I spent five years working in Mexico. I worked under a tourist visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.
During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.
To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies) of my:
1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.
2. Marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.
5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.
6. A letter from The ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun to write.
All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.
Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences.
We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would be committing a felony. We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US customs in Laredo Texas. This meant we rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.
We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.
We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.
We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The companies Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. It was about twenty legal size pages annually.
The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees. Leaving the country meant turning in the FM# and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.
It was a real adventure and If any of our senators or congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico. The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant. They never protest at their White House or government offices but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy.
The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on US or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.
Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on illegal Immigrants.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Spent all afternoon into the early evening at the Arlington Hooters as KZPS was doing their Bringing In The Weekend party live remote.
So sad -- we are sitting at the table closest to where Magoo is broadcasting and it's just cramed full of empty Corona bottles. Naturally I hadn't eaten all day so I had a good buzz going.
Luck smiled on me and my name was drawn -- I love swag. As I got up, Magoo is announcing, "Oh yeah, Raine -- she'll put that Royal Purple to use. This girl has her own bike and she can RIDE!!"
I got a KZPS bandana, shirts, a coupon for all sorts of free Royal Purple stuff (which is exceptional for a bike!) including:
- 6 Quarts Royal Purple Motor Oil
- 1 NAPA oil filter
- 1 bottle of Purple Ice
- Heads Hands and Feet
- Roxy Music
- Loggins & Messina
- The Who
- Judee Sill
- Average White Band
- Jim Croce
- New York Dolls
- Tim Buckley
- Bruce Johnston
- Nils Lofgren
- Hall & Oates
- Joan Armatrading
- The Adverts
- Patti Smith Group
- Siouxsie & the Banshees (YEA!!!!)
- Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark
- Aztec Camera
- Thomas Dolby
- The Style Council
- Suzanne Vega
- Simply Red
- Prefab Sprout
- The Pogues
- The Undertones
Cracked me up because my guy from KZPS is oo'ing and ahh'ing over it -- he had no idea they had it to give away.
Tomorrow should be interesting -- depending upon the weather I will either be riding or not. Sunday will be a good day for the Germanfest in Muenster. I think a pretty good crowd is up to riding up there. I've got to get a digital camera!
Yes, I know this was supposed to have been posted yesterday when everyone else did theirs -- but I was way busy -- besides I was born on Friday the 13th so maybe a "Friday 13" is more appropriate for me.
So without further ado, here is useless trivia you didn't know about me:
- I prefer the rain to the sun.
- I prefer the cold to the heat.
- I wear Chanel Mademoiselle parfum
- I peel the labels off of all fruit I buy (bananas, lemons, oranges, limes, etc.)
- All canned goods must be organized with labels facing out (think Sleeping With The Enemy)
- I can ONLY have black plastic tubular hangers from Container Store in my closet.
- All clothing is organized by color -- that's why the hangers have to be one color to not contrast.
- I only use Pentel RSVP pens - preferably in purple, green or black.
- For signing legal stuff, I use a Waterman LeMan Opera fountain pen with dark blue ink.
- The only beer I perfer to drink is Corona with a juicy wedge of lime.
- Jewelry has to be white gold / sterling / platinum -- I can't stand yellow gold.
- My favorite candle fragrance is Votivo's Night.
- A favorite band is Concrete Blonde.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
So many projects are really beginning to pick up speed. I was so thankful the weather was so brisk today! It's was 50 degrees cooler than this time last week! I wish all summer could be mild temperatures (80's) all day long.
BTW -- the image on the right is just for amusement sake -- good ad for a law firm!
I stopped American Cycle Company where Ryan was supposed to be working on (This content has been edited by Raine due to annoyances incurred by some desperate female that has been reading my posts.) _____________ bike. So far nothing has been done due to trying to figure out how to make an '06 flywheel work on an '01 __________. _______________________ has put about 90,000 miles on his bike in 5 years so is having a ton of stuff done to the bike. The flywheel is a big issue because Harley cut corners and used a plastic component which should be replaced every 30k miles. ______has never been replaced. So Ryan & Clip are talking to lots of fellow wrenchers to see if this piece can work -- it was purchased for a steal on eBay -- hopefully it can work. Time will tell.
Stopped by KZPS and Hooters corporate and then headed over to Scott Arndt's new shop to pick up a couple things. His daughter is so funny -- she's running around showing everyone a "before and after" photograph that's in a plastic surgery magazine of a woman with fried hair (before) and extensions (after) -- this woman is someone from Scott's not too distant professional past.
All I can say is that if you plan on making enemies -- don't have your bad side displayed for the world to see!
Tomorrow is KZPS Bike Night at the Addison Hooters and then Friday will be KZPS' "Bringing in the Weekend" at the Arlington Hooters -- which, God willing, will have their full bar license on Friday! That's will be very good because a certain VP of Marketing owes me a hefty cocktail!!!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Since so many bikers visit this blog, here is the latest on the North Texas Rock Rally -- the offical press release is below.
I am in a unique position to actually know why the Rally has moved from McKinney (30 miles north of Dallas) to Alvarado (30 miles southwest of Dallas). Initially the Rally had found a nice location in McKinney and the Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, etc., were all enthusiastically supporting it.
Unfortunately, the Commissioners Court needed to authorize the issuance of the Mass Gathering Permit and opted to vote against it. I was at the meeting the Court held and I must say, in my personal opinion and NOT one that is in an official capacity, some of the people that stood before the Court to give their opinion on why the Rally should not be held in McKinney, made the event sound like it was going to be a repeat of the 1969 Rolling Stones' Altamont concert.
Out of the 9 reasons as stipulated by the State of Texas as to why a permit can be denied, the Rally had addressed all of them so there was NO reason to have denied the permit. I think it would fair to note that the Judge for the Court was up for relection 2 weeks later -- he subsequently lost the election. The Rally had the option of appealing the decision or moving to a different county. They moved.
So in a nutshell, this insanely high desired demographic group that so much of corporate America is trying to get a toe-hold into is deemed unworthy by Collin County Commissioners Court. As reporter Ed Housewright, opened his April 4th, Dallas Morning News article, "We don't want you."
I don't know what world some of these people are living in but let's think some things through --
- Texas is the 2nd largest motorcycle market in the US
- Dallas/Ft Worth is the 13th largest urban market in the US
- People who invest $25,000 plus into a HOBBY are usually TAX PAYING and VOTING members of society that more often than not are business owners, mid - high level management.
- They are home owners with 2 cars and many finanical investments.
Who, in God's name, does he think the majority of the motorcycle owners in north Texas are? He thinks they are druggies? Criminals? He thinks they are going to risk their careers and livliehoods to play hoodlums on 2 wheels for 1 - 3 days?
Anyway -- I think you get the idea of my sentiments over how myself and my fellow 2-wheeled enthusiasts have been portryed. So without further ado -- here's the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
North Texas Rock Rally roars into Alvarado, Texas July 21 – 23, 2006
Dallas, 25 April 2006: The North Texas Rock Rally will be bigger and better than ever. The Rally will take place July 21 – 23, 2006 and has been welcomed with open arms by Johnson County and the surrounding communities.
The Rally will be held at the Diamond W Arena Complex in Alvarado, Texas. This state-of-the-art facility is located at 8901 E. Highway 67 (2 miles east of I-35W) and just 30 minutes south of Dallas/Ft. Worth. On 200 acres and with more than 200,000 square feet indoors to accommodate the main stage, VIP section and Coyote Ugly Saloon, this location provides an ideal setting for Rally attendees. Vendors will be located under cover in the adjacent expo area. Also available are extensive paved lots to accommodate motorcycles, full electricity and water hookups for RV campers and Wi-Fi capabilities.
Gary Littlefield of the North Texas Rock Rally, says, “We are very pleased with the move of NTRR to the new facility. Lisa McCool, owner of the arena, and her staff are very nice and compliable with the needs of the rally. We were nervous moving the rally to another location and especially a new county, but after meeting with Lisa and Johnson County officials, who have been unbelievably receptive, our fears quickly dissipated.”
About North Texas Rock Rally
The third annual North Texas Rock Rally, presented by Hooters, will be held July 21 – 23, 2006 at Diamond W Arena Complex in Alvarado Texas. Each year the Rally has grown and approximately 15,000 – 20,000 attendees are expected this year. This year’s event is presented by Hooters and features musical entertainment from The Outlaws during their 30th Anniversary Tour, Molly Hatchet, Skid Row, Stephen Pearcy (formerly of Ratt) Jimmie Van Zant, Blackberry Smoke, Maylee Thomas, and an all-day Sunday Texas Music Jam featuring homegrown Texas Music, plus 20 local and regional bands. Featured builders include NTRR Host and Master of Ceremonies Kaptain Robbie Knievel, Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas, John Neger of Trik Daddy’s Custom Cycles, Trevelen Rabanal of Super Co Customs, Alan Lee of Gangsta Cycles and Texas Builders Row showcases Mike DuSold of DuSold DeSigns, Denny Garley of TC Custom Bikes, Jimmie Lee & John Coen of Three Two Choppers, Mario Cavazos of Killa Cycles, Danny Davidson of Williamson County Choppers and Scott Arndt of Scott’s Hardcore Kustoms. Activities include the Dallas Chop Shop Ride In Bike Show, Gasoline Alley Car Show, 3rd Annual Chili Rick’s Chili & BBQ Cook-Off, Texas Legends Tattoo Contest, Rock Rally Grand Prix with go kart races, Rock Rally Midway, Helicopter and Hot Air Balloon Rides. The Christian Motorcycle Association’s North Texas Chapter will be conducting the Sunday Morning Services and Blessing of the Bikes.
Tickets are available at all Texas Hooters locations and online at the NTRR site at www.ntrr.com.
# # #
Monday, April 24, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
What is so special about this hotel room? Well, it seems that President George Bush can’t get no satisfaction — after Mick Jagger grabbed his hotel room.
The Rolling Stone splashed out $5,400 a night for the suite days before the US leader tried to book it.
Now Sir Mick, 62, who has been a fierce critic of the Bush-led war in Iraq, is refusing to give it up.
The veteran rocker hired the luxury Royal Suite at the five-star Imperial Hotel in Vienna, Austria, for June when the Stones are due to play a gig in the city.
George and entourage are forced to find lodgings elsewhere.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Once you cross the state line and find yourself within the state of Texas, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Don't kill anybody -- Texas has no qualms using the death penalty. It's an almost weekly occurance in Huntsville.
The language is a bit skewed. Yes, we speak English -- but we have our own spin on it: Here are some examples:
- "Fixin" is universal. I am fixin dinner - I am fixin to go to the store, etc.
- I O No -- in the rest of the country this translates to "I don't know". For us, it's "ahohno"
- Bidness -- (Business) somehow the last "s" can be pronounced but not the first as it becomes a hard "d"
- "Fuck ya'll" -- that's directed to 1-2 people
- "Fuck all ya'll" -- that's directed to 3 or more people
Another quirk is that once you are within the state lines, you will be exposed to the "Texas is better than anyone else" mentality.
But it's more defined than even that -- the cities wrangle for top spot. As a Dallasite, I think Houston stinks -- literally -- it smells plus it's very humid. Austin is too hippy. Fort Worth -- God love them, those people in FW do try their little hearts out.
How can 2 cities seperated by 30 miles have such vastly different vibes? I don't know -- but it's real. As a Dallas girl, I still get a laugh out of a stupid joke that is true....
Q: "What is the one thing that Fort Worth has that Dallas doesn't?
A: "A major metropolitan city within 200 miles."
Don't get me wrong - Dallas has it's issues. Vain - shallow - materialistic. We are surrounded by buildings with mirrored windows. There are more plastic surgeries performed on men and women in Dallas than in Los Angles. Good God, even our hard core biker gangs dress better than those in surrounding states.
Another weird thing is that about once a month someone will ask me where I am from and without fail the convesation goes like this:"Where are you from?"
"No - originally, where are you from?"
"You don't sound like it."
"I'm 5th generation."
'You kind of sound like you have a European accent."
"Don't know what to tell you."
Now what I've always found odd about this, is that myself, an ex-boyfriend, Hunter & Lane all have the same accent. We're natives. So wouldn't it seem that we are the ones that would be acknowledged as having the "Dallas accent?" I guess everyone has memories of JR Ewing's twang and are trying like hell to make us fit that mold.
I also have a theory about what perpetuates the Southern drawl / Texas twang / Redneck voices that visitors expect to hear. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that whenever some broadcast news organization needs a quote from someone that claims to be from here, is that they interview 20 people (at least) and select the most hick sounding person for that much needed sound bite.
I can't prove this -- but it's just a theory I have.
Today is the 5th birthday of my beloved Harley Amadeus. He is the inspiration for my "Banned Breed" theme.
Since he's a Doberman, even though he is as sweet as can be, he is considered a banned breed by a lot of places.
Harley Amadeus has his natural ears -- floppy like a Beagle. A lot of people have told me how humane that was of me to not crop them. I would like to take credit, but alas, I cannot. His ears aren't cropped because I didn't want to mess with the bandages and related drama that goes into cropping.
He also has an extensive selection of toys from the Harley-Davidson squeaky dog toy collection. He is the first Doberman I have ever had that could use squeaky toys -- the others took one chomp and it was toast.
The Illustrious One's kid has gotten Harley Amadeus a vanilla cake -- good kid.
Now on to other topics --
Sunday I am attending the Harley Drag Races in Ennis. I'll be chilling in the NAPA suite with my partners in crime.
Next Thursday, KZPS is having a Bike Night at the Addison Hooters. I am sitting here with $160,000 worth of North Texas Rock Rally tickets -- some of which will be used as swag for those attending the Bike Nights.
Yes - I will be attending the ROT Rally (Republic of Texas) in Austin the first weekend of June. The base camp will be Coyote Ugly on 6th Street on Friday & Saturday nights and joining me for the ride will The Illustrious One, Mike DuSold, Denny Garley, Jimmie Lee & John Coen and Scott Arndt.
In closing, I have found out that Sprint will soon be offering the Treo 700 -- if anyone knows where I can get a decadently good and cheap price on one I would greatly appreciate it!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
WHEN unknown writer Charles Webb sold the rights to The Graduate for £14,000, he thought he was quids in. How wrong can you be?
Since 1967, when his novel was turned into a hit movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, it has made more than £60million.
Meanwhile, 66-year-old Webb and his wife Fred have debts of £30,000 and face eviction from their flat in Hove, East Sussex.
Record Boss Who Turned Down The Beatles
IN 1962, the year before Beatlemania erupted in Britain, the Fab Four travelled from Liverpool to London in a bid to get signed by Decca Records.
At their audition, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and then drummer Pete Best belted out 15 songs but Decca boss Dick Rowe was unimpressed and turned the band down. He complained they sounded too much like The Shadows, adding: "Guitar groups are on the way out."
Instead he signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Oops.
Wannabe Who Quit Spice Girls
But after months of hard graft with nothing to show for it, 25-year-old Michelle quit to be replaced by Emma Bunton.
Two months on, The Spice Girls signed a £2million deal and became one of the biggest bands of the '90s. Michelle sighs: "You can't spend your life regretting things."
Toy Firm Could Have Had The Monopoly
IT'S the biggest-selling board game in the world, but Monopoly's inventor had a hard time trying to get it into shops.
Unemployed salesman Charles Darrow, from Pennsylvania, created the real-estate game in 1933. But when he approached Parker Brothers to see if they'd be interested in marketing his creation, they pointed out 52 errors - including the fact it took too long to play, and turned him down.
He put it on sale himself at $4 a set - and the toy company was forced to buy him out a year later when it became a huge success.
Studio That Lost Star Wars
BACK in 1975, up-andcoming director George Lucas pitched a movie idea to Universal about an epic intergalactic battle between good and evil.
But the film studio wasn't interested, calling the script unfathomable and silly. So Lucas took Star Wars to 20th Century Fox instead.
Since its release in 1977, the hit sci-fi movie and its sequels have made over £1.5billion.
"Silly" money indeed..
Missed Window Of Opportunity
In 1980, computer giant IBM offered him the chance to supply an operating system for their PCs.
When he turned them down, the firm went to Bill Gates' Microsoft which snapped up the offer.
Now Gates is worth £28billion while Kildall died in a 1994 brawl.
No Notes For Music Pioneer
APPLE'S iPod is the world's fastest-selling electrical item, shifting 41 million units in five years.
Just don't mention it to Britain's Kane Kramer, who invented a way of storing music on a digital chip back in 1979. Nine years later, he couldn't afford to renew the patents and the technology became public property.
Kramer, who now runs a Hertfordshire furniture shop, says: "In a way, I'm the world's biggest failure."
Genius's Power Failure
NIKOLA Tesla was the genius behind the neon bulb, neon lights. He also formulated the principles of radio, radar and the microwave oven.
A Slav immigrant to the US, he was hailed as the world's greatest inventor and earned lucrative royalties. Unfortunately he ploughed his money into an ill-fated lab and a wireless transmitter and ran out of money before it could be completed.
He sold the rights to all his inventions to electrical firm Westinghouse for $216,000. While others made millions from his research, Tesla died penniless in 1943.
Star Who Wished He'd Given A Damn
When Cooper learned the studio had found an actor to play Rhett Butler, he commented: "I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling flat on his face, and not Gary Cooper."
Publishers Who Didn't Believe In JK's Magic
IT'S the tale of a teenage wizard which has be en translated into 47 languages and kick-started a literary phenomenon that's sold 130 million books.
But when Scottish author JK Rowling tried to find a publisher for Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone in 1996 she was turned down by nine publishers, including Transworld, HarperCollins and Penguin.
Finally Bloomsbury took it on, and the rest is publishing history.
The 4 year old nods his head in approval. The 6 year old continues, "When we go downstairs for breakfast, I'm gonna say something with 'hell' and you say something with 'ass'."
The 4 year old agrees with enthusiasm.
When their mother walks into the kitchen and asks the 6 year old what he wants for breakfast, he replies, "Aw, hell, Mom, I guess I'll have some Cheerios."
WHACK! He flies out of his chair, tumbles across the kitchen floor, gets up, and runs upstairs crying his eyes out, with his mother in hot pursuit, slapping his rear with every step. His mom locks him in his room and shouts, "You can just stay there until I let you out!"
She then comes back downstairs, looks at the 4 year old and asks with a stern voice, "And what do YOU want for breakfast, young man?"
"I don't know," he blubbers, "but you can bet your fat ass it won't be Cheerios."
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Today as I was going through my planner I glanced at the date at the top of the page -- April 19. A day of infamy. I promptly checked CNN.com to see if there were any catastrophe's taking place in the world. There were none -- so far so good. Then I picked up the phone to wish my father a happy birthday.
As one born on Friday the 13th, I am accustomed to doom and gloom on my special day -- a plane sliding off the runway in Washington D.C. into the Potomac River, a circus train crashing, etc.
The father though had a benign birthdate -- April 19. But now it is associated with the Branch Davidians fire in Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh. That being said, I have good reason to check the news before wishing him a happy birthday.
My father is responsible for my motorcycle gene - he was the hell raising biker from the wrong side of the tracks that got caught up with the spoiled little rich girl. My mother sprung it on him one weekend that she wasn't really 18 but 15 and since he seemed to handle that info with relative calm, she sprung it on him the next weekend that she was pregnant.
I think he's still shell shocked from that news.
Anyway -- another disaster free April 19th!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I have my beloved Akasha back.
I had been thinking of selling her because of the never ending issues I seemed to be having. The Illustrious One adamantly told me that I would have to be crazy to sell her because she and I belong together. I knew he was right . My girl and I celebrated our 11th anniversary on April 11.
I spoke to one of my partners in crime, Nicky Bootz, about selling her since he's well versed in Corvettes. I believe his calm, wise counsel was along the lines of ... "Are you fucking nuts?"
My friend Pete, a former owner of 8 Corvettes, commandeered the situation and found a highly reliable gentleman that replaced her radiator -- brand new, fully warranted for $340.
On the Superstition front, Scott Arndt takes excellent care of her. He replaced her rear brakes - while I try to avoid braking as much as possible, she was unfortunately getting metal to metal. I asked Scott if I should get an oil change and after pulling out the dipstick and looking at the oil he said, "Nah -- you can still see through it."
I've mentioned to a neighbor Scott's comments and he replied, "An honest mechanic?! Wow!" Ha!
I am very fortunate to have some outstanding men in my life looking out for me.
Also on the Scott Arndt front he is now back to having his own shop. He will do service work for select people and building bikes. He's very happy to be back doing his own thing.
I think a lot of us in this industry just can't deal with being employees -- I know I can't. Often when people ask me what I do, I reply - "Whatever it takes to keep me out of a cubicle." The Illustrious One and I have discussed this -- so many people need to know what their paycheck will be every two weeks, when their vacation time is, etc. And I guess for them that's their comfort zone.
For me, while I am quite fond of large denomination new currency notes, I have to confess that I must have freedom and it works for me. I work on interesting projects, meen dynamic people, I keep crazy hours but if I want to take a more scenic route home - I can. Because I can always do my work at 3:00am if the mood hits - I am nocturnal by nature after all.
I believe the saying - "Do what you love and the money will follow." I strongly believe in the power of visualization. I have pictured things strongly like a Corvette, a Harley, a perfect condition matching numbered Peter Max Donald Duck Suite, etc.
For 9 years I have pictured a Waterford Mooncoin decanter -- strange I know -- but I have a reason. While Waterford never discontinues a pattern, they do assign many patterns to "specialty" status which means they only make them once a year. So it behooves me to keep a watch on eBay to replace my collection that was stolen many years ago. The bad thing is that once a pattern goes to specialty status, Waterford for some reason will destroy the mold for the decanter. Soooo -- the decanter has been unavailable for more than a decade and for the first time since I started using eBay in '97, I found one for sale.
My current visualization goal is a 3-floor townhome near McKinney Avenue -- hardwoods, lots of light, 2-car garage, etc.
Somehow, someway, I'll make it happen.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Why, in some cases, does the death penalty have to be so humane?
I know it's Easter and we should be loving our fellow man, but damn it's hard to conjure up any sympathy or empathy for a beast like Underwood. For those that have heard that he had a blog - here's a link to it: http://www.futureworldruler.blogspot.com/
The sheer horror of what Jamie Rose Bolin must have gone through in her last moments on Earth. The reality that her loved ones must somehow come to grips with -- and her poor father, whose entire life was centered around this child, is heavily sedated because reality is too awful for him right now.
The only thing to take comfort in is knowing that Jamie is in a better place now.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
(The following was received via email.....Raine)
This is a slap in the face to every veteran of the United States of America, and to everyone that fought and died to free Texas from the Mexican government. Now these ignorant kids think it's ok to do this to our flag. And, the sad thing is they will get away with it.
They say that they are flying the Mexican flag as a sign of pride of their heritage. Well, if your so damn proud of Mexico, go back there. Don't get me wrong....if you're an immigrant, and you're here legally...more power to you...... I suppose it would be OK for me to fly the rebel flag above the American flag? I mean, I'm just showing my pride for my southern heritage!!! The blacks would lose their minds if I did that.
Not only that, but if we as LEGAL American citizens go to any foreign country, we are expected to abide by their rules and speak their language. No way in Hell would we get away with flying our flag over their upside down flag. Don't think for a second that our government is going to make these illegal immigrants go home.....too freaking scared they'll lose a vote or something. This great country of ours is going downhill in a hurry, and we are watching it happen...
These students are in America! Not Mexico. If you want to stay here America comes first, last, and always otherwise go back and make it better where ever you came from but don't try to turn my country into yours by ILLEGALLY entering mine and then demanding all the benefits of a LEGAL citizen of our nation... NO funding from federal tax dollars for any student out of class that day or any other day for such subversive activities... teacher led or not. Subject: American flag v. Mexican flag at CA. high school--disgusting public acts THE AMERICAN FLAG COMES SECOND By Michelle Malkin March 29, 2006 01:15 AM You will not see this heart-stopping photo on the front page of the NY Times or on the lead story of the major news networks. You should (hat tip: Mika and F/R):
03/28 : Student protest in Whittier area students from Pioneer, California and Whittier high schools walked out of classes to protest the proposed federal immigration bill March 27, 2006. The protestors put up the Mexican flag over the American flag flying upside down at Montebello High. (Leo Jarzomb/Staff photo)
Stunts like this will be the nail in the coffin of any guest-worker/amnesty plan on the table in Washington. The image of the American flag subsumed to another and turned upside down on American soil is already spreading on Internet forums and via e-mail.
Pass this along to every American citizen in your address books and to every representative in the state and federal government. If you choose to remain uninvolved do not be amazed when you no longer have a nation to call your own nor anything you have worked for left since it will be "redistributed" to the activists while you are so peacefully staying out of the "fray".
Check history, it is full of nations/empires that disappeared when its citizens no longer held their core beliefs and values. One person CAN make a difference. One plus one plus one plus one plus one plus one.........
The battle for our secure borders and immigration laws that actually mean something, however, hasn't even begun.
Roland Sands will be having an open house memorial service for Johnny Chop tomorrow -- you can check out the details at www.rolandsands.com. Johnny's family has scheduled an official memorial service; however, I'm not at liberty to disclose the details yet. Once the family makes the official announcement, I will make a posting as well as I know a lot of people are visiting this blog for Johnny Chop info.
In regards to the Johnny Chop Invitational -- it IS still a go and will be held in Long Beach in June.
On a different note, I'm just going to vent about a situation that kind of has me miffed for some reason. The Illustrious One and I have known a guy (we'll call him DC) for a number of years. DC is one of these guys that kind of has a dark cloud hanging over him - granted he's been battling the booze for quite some time, but it's more than that.
When I co-owned the tech company, DC would show up every now and again wanting to do sales -- he never sold anything but The Illustrious One kept giving him a chance. I freely admit to having a low tolerance for stupidity and DC just seemed to keep pushing that button.
He roughhoused with Harley Amadeus (my doberman) which somehow made a toe nail rip out of his paw. I had just gotten him out of splint from when he slid into the gate and then the nail happens. I carried Harley Amadeus to my car with her pale gray interior and the poor baby bled all over her. He had to be in a splint yet again.
DC opts to drive us to a meeting and as he's flying down the road at 70 mph the car starts beeping. He had to blow into a breathalyzer in the car to keep the car running! I was so stressed after that trip.
The cherry on the icing of the cake was when DC brought some female he met at a recovery house to our offices and started boning her -- IN A PLACE OF BUSINESS.
That was just it for me.
So fast forward a couple years and I'm flipping through the paper and see an article about some guy that was backing out of his driveway and ran over his 3 year old daughter killing her. You got it -- it was DC.
We attended the funeral and DC's breath reeked of alcohol from 10' away.
Now -- DC and his wife are SUING Nissan. Why, pray tell? It seems that somehow it's Nissan's fault that they didn't have cameras in the back of the SUV's showing people what they are about to back into.
So let me get this straight -- we've been driving cars for about 100 years with no cameras behind us and TAKING RESPONSIBILTY FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS and this yahoo has his "tragedy" as he refers to it and it's Nissan's fault?!
Supposedly Nissan has offered $20 million to settle the case -- supposedly the wife turned it down. Supposedly they are going to court in a couple weeks to go after $60-80 million. Talk about blood money. It just disgusts me.
I guess what is really bothering me about all of this is that I KNOW how DC drives -- I've seen him fly into reverse to take off, I know he has bamboozled his neighbors into lending him their cars so he won't have to deal with the breathalyzer -- and I guess I can just too easily visualize him flying out of the house, jumping in the car and slamming it into reverse.
And I just don't see how this is Nissan's fault nor financial responsibility.
DC talked to The Illustrious One to bemoan all the bs his attorneyw as putting him through. Seems the attorney is prepring DC for what Nissan's attorneys will do -- like bring up all his DWI's. DC thinks it's unfair.
Our society has become too "law suit happy". I know we are too far down that slippery slope but it sure would be nice if people took responsibility for their actions again. Because honestly, if someone can't look in their rear view or side mirrors, why would they look at a monitor in the dash board? Next they will be suing Nissan because a personal assistant wasn't made available to guide them out of their parking spaces.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them.. Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman.
My name is Ron......Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Julie.
When I took "early retirement" last year, it became necessary for Julie to get a full-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age. I usually get home from the golf course about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead , I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the club so eating out is not reasonable. I'm ready for some home cooked grub when I hit that door.
She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.
Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think. For example she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days.! That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think tact is one of my strong points.
When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while.. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me too.
I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Julie. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older.
However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other...
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ron died suddenly on October 3rd. He was found with a Calloway extra long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II rammed up his ass, with only 2 inches of grip showing. His wife Julie was arrested, but the all-woman Grand Jury accepted her defense that he accidentally sat down on it very suddenly.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Will the celebrity madness ever cease? First we are inundated with pre-pubescent teens going on the cover of People Magazine to talk about their stays in rehab facilities.
Then the insanity of all things relating to Michael Jackson.
And now we are confronted with the timeless, lovable Winnie-The-Pooh being ostracized for going pantless to his award ceremony! This gives a whole new meaning to Sans-A-Belt!!
I shudder to think of how we will now be inundated with expose's on Pooh & Paris Hilton -- Pooh & Spice Girl du Jour --- eh gads I shudder to think of what Page Six and the National Enquirer will do with this.
Don't forsake us Pooh Bear -- grab your honey pot and get back to the 100 Acre Wood -- it's too brutal out here for you!!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Dear President Bush, and all Members of the House & the Senate:
I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few arrangements. I know you can help with this.
I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:
- Free medical care for my entire family.
- English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
- All government forms need to be printed in English.
- I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking teachers.
- Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.
- I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole at their school with the Mexican flag flying lower down.
- Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
- I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.
- I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.
- In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone, please be sure that all police officers speak English.
- I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
- I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws or tax laws.
- Please tell all the people in the country to be extremely nice and never say a critical word about me, or about the strain I might place on the economy.
I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all the people who come to the U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that Pres. Fox won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.
However, if he gives you any trouble, just invite him to go quail hunting with your V.P.
Thank you so much for your kind help.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
As there has been so much traffic to my blog due to people doing searches on "Johnny Chop", I am including the press release I received today.
Also, I have inserted a footnote after this PR due to some misinformation that has been listed in here. The information regarding the Real Original Biker Build-Off in this PR was not confirmed by me and, while myself and the other producers appreciate the mention, the information is in fact incorrect.:
5/3/71 - 3/28/06
Johnny "Chop" Vasko, one of the finest classic-old school builders in the custom motorcycle industry, unexpectedly passed away at 7:30am, on Tuesday, March 28, from heart complications at the age of 34. Industry followers will greatly miss Johnny's very unique style and personality. Johnny Chop was feated as a 2005 Discovery Channel biker-build off contender, and a 2005 Hard Rock Road House Builder. With appearances on ESPN, ESPN2, The Discovery Channel, and Chopper Nation, Johnny Chop touched millions of lives throughout the world. He traveled to almost every bike week event and rally, and his presence graced dozens of biker publications throughout the world. Johnny's website described his unique style as being "not the influence of any one thing in the last ten years but the collective sum of all extra detail that makes his late 60's Frisco-style choppers unique. A simple and basic design that steps away from gaudy is more visually practical, yet punk rock." Johnny was currently working on filming a new show for The Real Original Bike build Off, www.BannedBreed.com, featuring an episode with friend and industry builder Roland Sands of Roland Sands Design and Performance Machines. This filming will continue as well as promotions for the Johnny Chop Invitational show on June 23-25, 2006 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. For more details on Johnny's unique legacy and to keep his legacy alive visit www.JohnnyChop.com. For more info on the upcoming Johnny Chop invitational and memorial tribute visit www.JohnnyChopInvitational.com. For more information on the Johnny "Chop" Vasko Memorial Block Party please visit www.RolandSands.com.
***NOTE FROM RAINE --- For those that read this blog that are aware of Johnny's involvement with the ROBBO series, of which I am one of the producers, the official press release regarding how Johnny's death has affected this series has not yet been issued.
Out of respect for Johnny, we will not issue the ROBBO press release until after his memorial service.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
America is made up of immigrants and I doubt few of us really have any issues with someone that wants to come here to make a better life for themselves. However, to brazenly break the law and then expect the same rights, is pushing it a bit.
Honestly, why should a Mexican citizen be treated any differently than someone from another nation? If we allow one country carte blanche, why don't we just allow everyone in? And furthermore, if Mexico is all that, why aren't these people back in Mexico trying to make their own country better? It's pointless to take to the American streets waving the Mexican flag and screaming "Viva Mexico" and then expect Americans to embrace the cause.
I was most disturbed to see the above image in the Dallas Morning News last week. Michelle Marquez was criticized for having a U.S. flag during an immigartion protest. She said, "My heart is with the Mexican flag and Mexico but I'm standing on American ground and I'm Mexican-American."
At times like this, I think of that brilliant quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
... There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native" before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.
The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
Laws exist for a reason -- and without them there would be anarchy.
Pro America Rally - Dallas
Many of us have decided to meet at Poor Richard’s Restaurant in Plano at Ave. K and Park, at 8:00 am. We are going to have breakfast, then wait on some other rider groups that have decided to join us and ride out together up Hwy. 75 to Dallas City Hall.
KSU should be around 9:30 am to 10:00 am.
We are not protesting. We are going in support of America and her flag.
Mexican Nationalists have decided to have a Pro Amnesty/Pro Mexican Nationalist day and have utilized Hispanic radio, TV, internet and text messaging to get the message out. The expected Hispanic turn out is estimated at 200 to 300, 000 people.
We need to show our support of America and that we aren’t going to just surrender to the wishes of Mexican National interest. We want this to be a peaceful, orderly support for America and the flag, not a battle ground!
The media from all over the country will be there, and many politicians will be watching. Many of those politicians started caving in to the demands of the illegal aliens on what they wanted after seeing them in vast numbers on TV. As Americans we can do no less if we want our country.
Please either join us at Poor Richard’s Restaurant the morning of April 9th or come down early to Dallas City Hall.
Bring your flags, your voice and your patriotism, but leave your attitudes at home, let’s show them bikers can assembly peaceably too.
If you have any questions, please email: Ghost at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ghost President Republic Riders MC