Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gypsy's Build...

There aren't many female motorcycle builders. Most women builders assist their boyfriends or husbands -- but then there's Gypsy.

I first met her a couple years ago when she built a bike for a rally that was held in the Dallas area (it shall remain unnamed due to the posers owing myself and others money - but kharma is a bitch and they are no longer in business).

Gypsy built that bike in her kitchen when she wasn't on duty as a cardiac ICU nurse. She was literally working on it up until the time it was loaded onto the trailer.

The bike didn't win the show because it had to circle the lap at Texas Motor Speedway and unfortunately the bike stopped running just as it was getting onto the track.

A few months ago, she was contacted by the producers of Discovery's Biker Build-Off and asked if she would be interested in participating -- she was. She was to build against Kim Suter.

A mutual friend of ours cautioned her about what she was about to get into by dealing with a TV series -- but he also said to me, "Hell, she could show up in a g-string with a box of parts and win that competition."

The hospital wouldn't give Gypsy a leave of absence so she hauled ass for weeks to get as much overtime in as she could before she quit to do the build. Upon cocmpleting the build, she and Kim had to ride the bikes for the finale - so what I am about to tell you is a second hand report of what happened -- but it's from trustowrthy sources so I tend to think it is more truth than fiction.

Kim's bike wouldn't run. According to the show rules, only the builder can work on the bike - no helpers. Kim couldn't figure out what was wrong with the bike, but one of his guys knew. The producers told Gypsy she was going to win by forfeit. She told them she didn't want to win under those terms -- c'est la vie, those are the rules. So supposedly the prooducers were distracted so one of Kim's guys could get out and wrangle the bike back into running order. Once it was running, they were back in action --- Gypsy won.

I love the last photo because Gypsy is wearing her Outlaw Custom Cycles hat -- Brice Judy would have been thrilled for her!

This couldn't have happened to a better person!

The Sobriety - Don't Lose Your Dignity - Phone

(( I can think of one person who really needs this phone!! ))

June 27, 2006 -- They were originally designed to simply make phone calls without tying callers to one location. But today's cell phones can do so much more, from snapping digital photos to sending text messages to playing video.

You can add one more feature to the list: a sobriety test.

That's right, cell phones with built-in Breathalyzers are set to hit the U.S. market. So after a night of too much to drink, you can pull out the device to see if you're fit to get behind the wheel.

South Korean manufacturer LG will introduce the LP4100 this year. The company placed several models on the market in that country last year and already has sold more than 200,000 units.
The phones were previewed at the annual Consumer Electronics ShowCES — in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Here's how it works: Users blow into a small spot on the phone, and if they've had too much to drink the phone issues a warning and shows a weaving car hitting traffic cones.

"So they test it and it says don't drive so they leave their car or call the taxi," explained Sung Mee Cho of Seju Engineering Inc.

The company also sells plug-in Breathalyzer adapters for some phones. None of the models tell you exactly how much you may be over or under the legal limit, but it can keep you from making other alcohol-related mistakes.

The LP4100 also allows users to set up the phone so on certain nights and after a certain time they do not call certain people in their phone book. Think ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

If you have a blood alcohol level over .08, the phone will not let you dial that person. So it not only promotes sobriety, but chastity — and probably your dignity, as well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Billy Lane's Bike On Fire...

So for once Laconia Bike Week didn't get rained on....and they could have used it to put out this fire on Billy Lane's bike!

Story I'm hearing is that some other builder put the tank together for Billy's ride and as he's cruising down the road the thing starts to seperate to such a degree that the damn thing ends up looking like a tiki torch.

Either lousy craftsmanship or a good publicity shot!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Moment of Silence...

Bill "Gonzo" Gonzales who wasn't a famous motorcycle builder but he was passionate about bikes and never met a stranger. Last Friday he left Dallas with a group to ride to Alaska. The first night they stopped in Childress and within moments of getting off his bike, Gonzo collapsed. Childress Hospital sent him to Wichita Falls who said he had a massive brain aneurysm with no hope of survival. His wife Lois made the compassionate decision to donate all his organs and Gonzo passed away on Sunday -- Father's Day.

Gonzo -- thank you for being so adamant that I have the fastest stock Harley you've ever seen in action. I'm sorry I never gave you the chance you wanted to bet on a race. You were a lot of fun and your Taco Runs rocked!
It's Official -- We're Getting Kinky!

Today the official announcement was made by the Texas Secretary of State:

Kinky Friedman is ON the ballot for the November Governor's election!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Slacking Off On Updates

I've been bad about updating -- crazy deadlines the past few days. So without further ado let's jump right into it:

The following photo is what can only be described as "Eurotrash" -- you know this guy wears the micro-mini Speedo's when he's hitting the Côte d'Azure every Août (August). Thanks to my friend
Teri for sending it on -- it reminds us of his "cousin" we saw last year at Germanfest who was wearing bike shorts that equally showed off his family jewels!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Motorcycles Don't Maim Quarterbacks, Windshields Do.

Your honor, I come before you today to defend my client, that two-wheeled casualty of prejudice, unfairness, intolerance and bad press, the lowly - when it is cornered properly - motorcycle.

Throughout history the motorcycle has been maligned unjustly, and the latest incident with Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has raised again the ugly head of narrow-mindedness and false alarm.

What was he doing on a motorcycle? Why wasn't he wearing a helmet? Why was he risking his career?

These questions beg the question, as if this was unnatural. Might as well ask why Paulie Walnuts carries an ankle pistol.

Our sympathy must be assumed for young Roethlisberger, but let me point out that nothing bad happened to him until after he left the motorcycle.

To be criticized for not wearing a helmet, well, that is another matter altogether and not only perfectly legal in many places but vital to film classics and shampoo commercials.

If Steve McQueen had been wearing a helmet in The Great Escape, how would we have known it was he?

We in the motorcycle community should be used to this by now, but the hurt never heals. If you stare at us, do we not flush? If you turn into a parking spot thought to be empty and find us there, do we not flinch?

We have been blamed for everything from the death of Lawrence of Arabia to the end of Southern rock, if you count Duane Allman.

Think of it this way. Che Guevara was no trouble to anyone as long as he was on his motorcycle.
We are innocent and fuel efficient and do not take up any more space than a bucket seat in a Lincoln Navigator.

You call us bikers and outlaws and worse when the truth is only some of us are any of those. Most of us are middle-aged weekend joy riders who can't get enough bugs in our teeth.

Just look at the company in which we are lumped by sports teams, activities determined too dangerous to do. Sky diving. Hang gliding. Snow skiing. Rock climbing. Bungee jumping, fighting, boxing, wrestling, auto racing, airplane flying . . .

This from sports leagues that have categories for injured players built right into expectations. Injured reserve, as if it is vintage wine or a bank.

Let me tell you, your honor, that I will take my chances on a Honda Nighthawk in traffic before I will on a kick return team.

Those restrictive and dishonest contracts are forced onto healthy, vigorous young athletes, wrapping them like china in bubble wrap. No wonder they resist. The NFL excludes anything that has a significant risk of personal injury, that is anything that is not taught on the football field itself.
The NBA bans mopeds. Mopeds! Why not a Segway?

Guilt by association. That's what it is. When Sonny Bono skied into a tree, did anyone call for the removal of trees? Of course not.

Did anyone organize a ban against venison when Clint Barmes tumbled under the weight of a deer haunch?

Discrimination is what it is, single-cylinder, two-stroke bigotry is what it is. Why, just consider highway deaths from cars compared to motorcycles, 5-1, and do sports leagues keep their players from driving SUVs and low-slung sports cars?

Of course not. They give them away for being the most valuable this or that.

Every time one little incident happens, the past is dredged up. Remember Kellen Winslow Jr., they ask. Have we forgotten Jason Williams? And Hermann Maier, the Hermanator, all motorcycle victims.

I ask, who is the victim? Human beings can be healed, but the poor Harley has only the junk heap awaiting.

We are damned as the natural enemy of athletes, the bane of coaches, the dread of mothers, the assassin of promise, the trap of youth, the symbol of danger. And all we want is a little open road and room for a babe on the back.

Oh, sure. This is how clear it all is. There are lists ranking the worst results of a jock on a hog, or whatever the machine of choice, and no one mentions how many power forwards have gone out for milk on a chopper without crashing into each other.

Fair is fair. Motocross racers are perfectly free to try and dunk a basketball if they like. But point guards are banned from catching a little medium air.

Dirt bikers can field all the groundballs they want to. Flat trackers can field punts all day if they like and, let me tell you this, you won't find one making a fair catch.

You can have my motorcycle when you pry the handlebars from my cold, dead hands.

The defense rests.

Copyright: Bernie Lincicome

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Deer Comfort Dying Cat

Margie Scott was devastated when her 9-year-old cat Sammy was diagnosed with kidney failure, but she never could have predicted what would give her comfort during her pet’s last days.
Scott, who lives in an apartment just south of Lake Whatcom, had adopted the long-haired white and gray cat when he was just six months old.

Last month, Sammy stopped eating his dry food and would sit in a corner for hours. Scott took him to the vet, who treated him for dehydration. But it wasn’t enough.

“He was better for awhile, but then he started going downhill,” she said. “He just had this haunted look in his eyes.”

Because Sammy was declawed, he was strictly an indoor cat. But he always wanted to go outside. So, in his dying days, Scott decided to let Sammy spend some time outside each day. Sammy enjoyed his time outside the apartment, which is surrounded by woods and wetlands.

A family of deer regularly visits the complex, and one day, Sammy was sitting outside in the grass when two young deer happened by.

Scott watched in astonishment at what occurred next.

“One walked up to Sammy and they touched noses,” she said. “The deer jumped back and made a sort of a snorting noise, like he was sneezing. It seemed like he was taken by surprise,” she said.

What she saw next was even more surprising.

”The deer started licking him all around the head and neck, and Sammy just sat there allowing the deer to do this,” said Scott.

For several minutes, the young deer licked the small cat. Scott grabbed her camera and got a picture of the tender scene.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I truly believe the deer was able to sense that there was something wrong with Sammy and that was why he started licking him, like he was trying to nurture him.”

Two days later, Sammy died.

Though Scott is still grieving the loss of her cherished pet, she takes comfort in the photo she has of Sammy and the deer.

“I have some amazing memories, including this one,” she said.

Slide show: Deer comforts dying cat

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Pussy v. Bear

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white pussy cat, sits under a treed black bear in a backyard in West Milford, N.J., Sunday, June 4, 2006.

When the bear climbed down, the cat chased it up another nearby tree. Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing pussy.

The cat's owners called it away and the bear ran off.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Half-Ass Adventures On 2 Wheels....

So I was invited to hear an acquaintance play at Standard & Poors at South Side on Lamar Wednesday evening. I hurriedly toss on the new Coyote Ugly shirt and and as I pass a mirror notice large white lettering on the back ...."White Trash". The location in Austin gave me the shirt last week and I never bothered to look past the front.......silly me.

Naturally I was in the midst of doing laundry and had everything in the process of needing to be washed, wet or in the process of drying. WTF -- I wore the shirt. Normally writing on the back of shirts don't phase me because the hair is so long. Except when you go to pull it back so you go to ride the bike.

For some odd reason every man of darker pigmentation got quite the giggle on the North Dallas Tollway. I was just thinking to myself -- "My grandfather would be so proud......yeah, right."

I think I'll gift that shirt to The Illustrious One. Guys can pull off "white trash" better than some shallow, vain girl whose wardrobe goal is to have Karl Lagerfeld & Chanel design the ultimate biker girl collection.

So I made it to the gig and Mr. Troll put on a good show. He played a collaborative song titled "Let You Go" which was recorded by garage musicians from around the country that he met up with on Garage Band .com -- everyone contributed their little bit. You can check it out at:

Mr.Troll is a curmudgeonly but tender-hearted hermit living longer than he ever expected to, therefore having to find new ways to be strange. Many years of playing to captive audiences in living rooms across the country has finally given him the courage to step out into the light of public exposure. What has the world come to?

Thursday night involved Johnny B and I meeting Magoo after his broadcast so we could ride together to KZPS Bike NIght at the Underground Ice House in Ft Worth. Kevin, the owner, was a bit miffed because everyone wanted to watch the first game of the Dallas Mavericks & Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. He felt that basketball is something you can watch without the TV sound on -- I agree.

The only downside to having Magoo as a friend is that I don't get any damn swag -- I love swag. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a swag whore, because those types are the ones that bitch about what they've won. And it's kind of interesting because there is this whole sub-culture of radio groupies that go to all of the events and after enough appearances, the radio crew dubs them with names if they are particularly memorable.

I had a couple guys hitting on me and one was insisting that I dump the boyfriend. Ok -- you have a Sportster and I have a Low Rider. No offense, but the guy has got to have a bike close in power to mine. Otherwise, I would just embarass the guy -- plus I could quickly tell that I would have that guy dazed & confused in no time.

For some insane reason Johnny B decided we should ride up 35W to go home. We stop at a gas station across from Texas Motor Speedway for go-go juice and the dinner of champions -- Slim Jims, Doritos & Hersheys. Since I don't do fake meat that left me with some chips & chocolate.

The next thing I know we are on bloody 380 cruising through Denton. Finally, after miles & miles Johnny B points out the turn to the North Dallas Tollway. But I was so damn far north that it's a 2 lane under perpetual construction with no lights and it's 12:20 AM. Riding like that is so taxing it's not even funny. He bought me lunch today at Pappdeaux to make up for it.

I'm tired -- I've been working on something for 2 weeks straight. I think I need to chill out with my book, The Reckoning -- I love European historical fiction.

The Photo -- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt's Baby

Here it is -- the $6 million+ photo the world has been waiting for:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Walton family has no shame.

At the same time America faces a costly war, record debt and soaring gas prices, the Walton family, worth over $80 billion, has the nerve to lobby our government to repeal the estate tax.
Repealing the estate tax will not benefit 99% of Americans, and will give the wealthiest 1% of Americans a nearly $1 trillion tax giveaway over the next 10 years. In fact, the Walton family alone will get a $32 billion tax break.

Are we going to let President Bush and the right-wing Republicans in the U.S. Senate give the Walton family a $32 billion tax cut while real Americans struggle just to make ends meet?
Your action is critical. The showdown over the estate tax is tomorrow and the vote is very close.

Please write your U.S. Senator today and tell him/her to stand up for the American people and oppose repealing the estate tax for billionaires like the Waltons.

According to a new report by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy, over the last decade, the Walton family, along with 17 other wealthy families, has spent nearly $200 million to lobby Congress to repeal the estate tax.

This is not democracy. America was founded on the belief that our government should be of, by and for the people. Unfortunately, under President Bush and the Republican Party, Wal-Mart and the Walton family has been able to use our government to line its own pockets at the expense of the American people.

Rather than stand up for America, Wal-Mart uses its influence to ship our jobs overseas and not provide company health care to more than half of its employees. We cannot allow Wal-Mart, and now the Walton family, to take America in the wrong direction.

It’s time to take our country back from billionaires and billion dollar corporations and fight for the American people.

Please write your U.S. Senator today and tell him/her you oppose repealing the estate tax for billionaires like the Walton family while average Americans are struggling to get by:

Only you have the power to change Wal-Mart, fight for everyday people and change America for the better.

Thank you for all that you,

Buffy Wicks


For those of you that ride - this is great information to keep in mind. I had NO idea that I could loose 3 quarts of water in an hour riding -- that explains a lot!

by Terry Horan

Texas seems to be entering a summer of record high temperatures, when in combination with Austin's relatively high humidity can be fatal to unprepared motorcyclists. When the ambient air temperature in the shade is 100° F., it can be well over 120° two feet above the black asphalt of a Texas highway. Compounding the heat from the sun is a pair of cylinders and exhaust pipes radiating temperatures in excess of 500° F just inches from the rider's legs. A safety conscious motorcyclist will be wearing boots, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a helmet that restricts the body's ability to cool down through evaporation of perspiration.

Dr. Richard A. Beauchamp, a medical consultant for the Bureau of Epidemiology at the Texas Department of Health exclaimed, "High temperatures are physically tolerated by most people for short periods of time," but some form of heat—related illness may occur when people are exposed to high temperatures and humidity that produce a heat index of 95 degrees F or higher for 30 minutes or longer. At temperatures above 90° F., a motorcycle rider traveling at 60 miles per hour can lose three quarts of water every hour. If these fluids and salts, lost through perspiration, are not rapidly and continuously replaced then dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can occur. Dehydration further impairs the body's ability to maintain the proper core temperature which could lead to heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death.

To prevent dehydration and hyperthermia, a motorcyclist should stop every thirty minutes to consume at least a quart of water plus prepare another quart to consume while riding between breaks. Water, milk, fruit juices, as well as many of the commercially available "sport" drinks are excellent fluid replenishes, but do not drink anything containing alcohol or caffeine as they will actually dehydrate your body. You can also reduce dehydration by wearing light colored, loose fitting clothes and drenching these clothes with cool water at each thirty-minute break. This artificial perspiration can make the body feel 20 degrees cooler and reduce the loss of body fluids. At 60 miles per hour on a 90° F day a soaked shirt and jeans will be bone dry within twenty minutes. If you own a Kool Tie or similar product, it will keep your neck and shoulders cooler and prevent sunburn on this otherwise exposed skin. If you do not own a Kool Tie, a light colored neckerchief or bandanna soaked in ice water can serve the same purpose.

If you experience nausea, dizziness, headache, fatigue, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, disorientation, cold and clammy skin or hot and dry skin, you should take immediate steps to rapidly cool down the body. The best and fastest method is to get into a tub of cool water and add ice as fast as you can stand it until you core temperature has returned to normal. If a tub is not available, a cool stream or lake will help and if that is not available simply soak your clothes with ice water from your cooler.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The ROT Rally Weekend

I left last Thursday and only returned late last night so no time for upates the past few days. So without further ado, here is a brief recap:

Thursday: Left in the morning for Austin. Rode down I-35 with a brief couple stops. There were about 7 of us in that group. Upon arriving at the Hilton everything went well until I was told that it would be $13 per day per bike. I replied, "But both bikes fit in 1 space." They were adamant -- $13 each. As luck would have it, that was my only run in with members of the service industry -- I'm not renowned for being on the same sheet of music with the service industry. I do try.

So after freshening up, we all met for an early dinner at Serranos on Red River. As it had begun to rain we had to dine indoors. The drink special was "Raspberry Ritas" so most everyone promptly sucked 2 of those down. My partner in crime was feeling particularly giddy after consuming those on an empty stomach. So bearing this in mind, when Johnny B makes a comment about a situation by summing it up with, "That's as fucked up as a soup sandwich!" it somehow hit the my partner as hysterically funny.

What is so funny about that is that he's usually so in control of his emotions -- he will smile or kind of chuckle but to laugh deeply for an extended time doesn't happen often. When it does, it's so fantastic to see.

After everyone had an excellent dinner, we headed out towards 6th Street to venture about.

Friday morning the parnter and I headed towards the ROT grounds to check things out by doing a quick walk thru. As usual the poser that said I was hooked up with passes failed to live up to his promises. The Rally graciously allowed me and my partner in though. We agreed to turn in our passes when we were done and the Rally was so stunned to see me returned to turn them in.

The Rally was ok -- a bunch of the same stuff though. You can only see so much black leather and patches.

Friday afternoon the setup began at Coyote Ugly and the builders pulled into town to exhibit. Scott Arndt, Denny Garley, Jimmie Lee & John Coen and Danny Davidson. It was very good diversity in bike styles -- something to please everyone.

The partners in crime took me to dinner at Finn & Porter at the Hilton --- very nice.

Saturday was decent -- had brunch with Amy while the guys decided to go to the Hill Country for some riding. We were at Coyote Ugly again by 11:30 having Corona. I went to the hotel for a couple hours to chill out and chatted with some guys I know that were hanging out in the bar.

Back to Coyote Ugly around 3pm to oversee the set up. Amy called to say the guys were 3 hours away -- I said, "Where the hell did they ride to? The Mexican border?!" Thankfully Country showed up about then with his van stuffed full of Rockstar "Energy Juice". It's carbonated mango -- that's all you need to know -- it rocks! Even Scott Arndt said, "This is GOOD!" and he's not the kind of guy to be drinking fruity drinks.

Lori is already planning drink concoctions to have on hand at the North Texas Rock Rally in their Scott's Hardcore Kustoms booth.....I think I'll be hanging out there a lot!

As everyone was hanging out on the corner of 6th and Neches watching the action pick up, various critiques were being made. Denny was watching the buffoons revving their engines and then peeling out as fast as they could possibly go in the 100 yards 'til the next red light. He rightfully commented that it was just stupid to ride the bikes like that -- it's far cooler to cruise by slowly so people can check out your bike and the riders can check out the girls.

John, who had been sitting on the pavement 'til is ass fell asleep was commenting about the affects of various body parts when they fall asleep. The most memorable one was that when his hand goes to sleep he can play with himself and it feels like it's someone else doing the work!

The partner in crime shows up around 7:30 -- well tanned after 400 miles of Hill Country riding ad wedges of apple pie from Medina in his tour pack -- ahh yes, the hardships of today's Harley rider. He parks his bike in a high profile location at Coyote Ugly then walks the whopping 1 block to the hotel to shower and change for dinner.

About 8:30 we take off for the Inter-Continental Hotel at 7th and Congress for dinner with Johnny B and Magoo and various corporate types. Magoo is telling me a funny story about standing in a barn in Leakey Texas as they were n a drink break earlier that day and this guy starts looking at him really weird -- his mouth is trying to move but nothing comes out. Johnny B is standing next to him and tells the guy, "Yea -- that's him." Then the guy spurts out, "Hey, you're Magoo!" Yessssss....? "Where is Bike Night next Thursday?"

Magoo said the concept of being 150 miles from no where, standing in a barn drinking water and having some guy recognize him and ask him about KZPS' Bike Night was just surreal.

So after recovering from the laughter we glance up to see this younger, better looking version of Fatal Attraction Glen Close glaring at a guy in our dining party. Upon looking at this girls' eyes some words came to everyone's mind ---- Crazy -- Insane -- Fucking Nuts -- etc.

She demanded that the guy follow her to the lobby and he complied. Amy, who had been in the ladies room came back to tell us that Fatal Attraction was screaming at the guy at the top of her lungs calling him all sorts of vile names. Evidentially, since he was on the afternnon ride -- miles away from the closest cell tower -- he MUST have found some girl to boink and all these other guys were covering for him.

So througout dinner she would venture in and we finally had management and hotel security fluttering around us trying to determine if we, the placid quiet group having a nice dinner, were the crazy instigators. But alas everyone was on their best behavior so no it was just the psycho girl.

Meanwhile a few blocks away at The Drink some people were just getting hammered. If you know biking and weren't there, you will figure this out pretty easily. One of the Brothers was so drunk he coulen't even keep his head up and was proppped up in the corner. Also, some mohawked Brit was so blitzed he turned and walked right into a door.

Sounds like that's one open bar that should have been shut down a bit earlier!

Also on Saturday night, we caught the last 30 seconds of the Dallas Mavericks game -- they won. For the first time in franchise history the Mavs are going to the finals -- nicely done!

Sunday we headed out and took back roads to Crawford. The president wasn't in residence so we didn't have lunch with Secret Service guys -- just a bunch of "after church" types. Magoo flirted shamelessly with ladies from The Red Hat Club and one of the other ladies was kind enough to tell us to turn right at the Fina station and we would find "the falls". We did and it was a lot of fun.

Upon exiting the water the local police was waiting to talk to us about the bikes. He was very nice and said they liked everyone -- but not Cindy!

Magoo, in his infinite wisdom, waited patiently for the cop to leave -- he didn't, so Magoo proceeded to completely uncloth right in front of the cop car. He sat on the picnic bench to get redressed -- his bare doodads right where God fearing people sit down to munch on watermelon.

Thankfully for all parties concerened he was reclothed mere seconds before a van load of Girl Scouts pulled in.

All in all - an interesting weekend.