Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ain't Them Some Sexy Rhinos?

My new Red Wings, for work. I paid $9.46 for 'em. The company paid $100. Also suitable for the MSF course.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Yeah, It's Getting Put to the Test

I can do two whole days of commuting to and from work before filling up on my 2.1-gallon fuel capacity. That fourth leg, I might be down to 0.2 gallons, but yesterday, I had nearly 0.5 left. Gas mileage is getting better.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Karma Chameleon

Jeff and I went to test a backflow preventer at Haynes Manuals, today. They have quite the operation in La Vergne, including a display case that, I Shit Thee Not, is 50' long, and has thousands of Haynes Manuals in it. Only a dozen or so of the manuals are facing out; most are spine-out, like on a library shelf.

This is one that was face-out. And I caught it as we walked by. How cool is that?

Friday, April 20, 2012


I had to stop in Bost Harley-Davidson, which is less than four miles from my house, and I was near there, anyway. I needed a replacement faceshield for my Fulmer AF-655 helmet, but as luck would have it, now that East Side Scooters is closed, no Fulmer dealers here in town stock diddly-squat for Fulmer accessories. Anyway, this cop Harley was parked out front, presumably for some maintenance. Bost looks like a friggin' '50s diner, and in fact has a cafe in it. Even the vending machines inside have the H-D logo on them, no shit.

Bad Penny beside my cross-the-way officer neighbor's patrol car, which is always parked nearby. He's a big dude. Don't wanna mess with him, badge or no.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


... let me thank Mr. and Dr. C., M.D., and their adorable infant son, Hank for having an awesome cookout at their lovely Sylvan Park home, today. And special thanks to Mr. C. for the lovely and functional Kymco can koozie.  :)

Also, thanks to Kerry and Amy for the sixer of PBR. Gifts are to celebrate the end of my cyber-beggarship.  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jobbed, Jazzed

Yes, yea verily! My long, national nightmare is over.

I got the call Monday morning, with the official offer letter and background check authorization e-mails to arrive about 36 hours later.

I am very pleased. This is a super company to work for, and they have top-notch technology, and great benefits. Continuing education is mandatory, and bonuses and raises are tied to certifications. A nice, no-fudging career path! The map above reflects my near 30-mile commute (which at current gas prices, is about $17/week).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Oil Change #15

... on Bad Penny. Or at least performed by me, I should say. It likely had two before I got it.

Here's what you need to do an oil change on a scooter (any 4-stroke scooter, pretty much); clockwise from upper right:

a.) Catch basin;
b.) Funnel;
c.) Socket wrench w/17mm socket;
d.) Nasty-ass t-shirt, or similar not-completely-disgustingly-oily rag;
e.) Beer.

With the bike on its centerstand on level ground, start the engine and let run at idle for 2-4 minutes. You're warming up the oil to make it easier to drain. Then, shut off the bike. For all the following steps, remember that all parts of the exhaust system are going to be a little hot, so avoid contact with them.

Look underneath your scooter. If you don't see this 17mm bolt with a huge flange on it, you may have a 2-stroke. Otherwise, this be your oil drain plug. It's typically found at the lowest level of the crankcase. Unscrew and remove the oil dipstick from the bike, setting it on the nasty-ass t-shirt for now. Making sure your socket wrench is set to apply force in a counter-clockwise manner, affix said wrench (with 17mm socket applied) to the drain plug, and grunt a little. Break it loose, and make sure you have your catch basin strategically placed in a position where gravity +/- wind will carry the stream of old oil into it. Once that is done, remove the drain plug, completely.

Catch basins that incorporate a coarse grate are nice, as they catch bits that tend to drop out of the crankcase... in this instance, the spring and oil screen. This is perfectly normal behavior for bikes that do not have a separate oil filter, such as the People 250.

Using the nasty-ass t-shirt (or other such rag), wipe off the drain plug, spring and oil screen. Check the oil screen and drain plug for stray metal bits. Also examine the rubber gaskets on the drain plug and oil screen themselves for any damage. If you find any of the above, bring this to the immediate attention of your trusted mechanic, as these parts likely need replacing soon. Re-insert the spring and oil screen into the drain plug (small end of spring goes into the plug; oil screen rests inside the large end of the spring, gasket facing up towards the crankcase). Set the socket wrench to righty-tighty, and torque that mutha down. Place the funnel into the oil fill/check hole, and add your favorite oil in the appropriate amount. This will vary from bike to bike; the People 250 takes between 0.8-0.9L to fill.

Check the level with the dipstick. If anything, you want there to be only as much or slightly less oil in the crankcase than specified in your owner's manual at this point. If that is the case, replace the dipstick and tighten, wipe your oily hands on the nasty-ass t-shirt (you don't want oil on your throttle handle, keys, etc.... trust me), and start the engine.

Let the engine run for 2-4 minutes, checking for drips or leaks. Don't be fooled -- on some bikes, the centerstand is directly in the path of the old oil that you just drained, and if you didn't observe this and wipe everything down with the nasty-ass t-shirt, you might see a little dripping. Always make sure you identify the source of any drips, though... you do not want any oil coming from the area where the drain plug meets up with the crankcase. If that is the case, refer to the owner's manual, and apply appropriate torque to the drain plug using a torque wrench. If the dripping continues from this area after that, do not run the engine until a mechanic has checked it out. Running out of oil is VERY bad mojo.

After the engine has run a few minutes, shut it off, and again, check the oil level. Add oil if needed, carefully re-checking as you add. Do not overfill the crankcase!  If you do, you'll need to drain that costly new oil out, and start over.

Next, go get your Gojo Cleaner or whatever you have, and clean up, you filthy bastard. Open your beer, and drink, appreciating a job easily done in 15 minutes, and saving you at least $30 over standard shop labor rates.  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012


We stopped at the Zombie Shop on our way to taking a ride to Franklin, today. Most of these folx were at Rooster's awesome party the other night.

The reception we got was certainly not welcoming. Not hostile, but they looked at us as if we were carrying a load of shit in our pants. I cannot believe such cool people would take a hangover attitude like that towards scooter trash, who obviously support and dig the whole moped scene.

Our rally will not be this way, I promise.