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Figbuck Chronicles...


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#41 Figbuck

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:58 AM

I wrote a book but it's not a happy story. Nobody wants to read it. It's a true story titled "Expensive Lessons". You could read it for free... You would only pay if you don't learn the lessons.

Just a few more days until the winter solstice. There are a couple weeks there in October where you really notice the days getting shorter and then the weather here really changes. Living in California, I never paid too much attention to the length of the days. I mean, I don't ever remember it having the effect that the it does on me now. I get pretty sad and introspective. Not depressed, but I don't really feel like jumping up and down, clapping my hands either. I guess it's just depressing.

Time runs down into this time of year and I start thinking, another one shot down the tubes. What the heck happened to this year? It's a glass half empty or half full kinda deal. I had a few times when things went great and there was joy and happiness, but precious few. I know better than to say it could have been worse, or dumber... It can't get much worse! Yeah it could.

I can't wait for the days to get longer. It still isn't going to get warmer or drier anytime soon, but just knowing that the potential or opportunity for long sunny warm days helps cheer me up.

It's hard for me to be optimistic, but even though a bunch of booby traps blew up in my face this year, really it could have been worse. In a few weeks or a month, I won't have these doubts and misgivings. The days will start getting longer and we will have another shot at it. I have to remember to be grateful for what I have. I have to remember to remember my personal mythology. Who am I, what am I about here, what the fuck... over?

Posted Image

Ahh, V-4 Liquid cooled, four valve heads, chain driven cam train, six speeds and brakes that made your eyeballs flat. I'm felling better already thinking about all of the fun I have had riding motorcycles.

Near ecstasy, on the gas in the middle of the Corkscrew at Laguna.

Posted Image

In the summer of '90, the motor of the FVR was just getting broken in and I was on a long Sunday ride out in the middle of nowhere in Central California. It was a spectacular day and there is no better feeling than to be on a modern superbike with a full tank of gas and fresh tires. It's possibly better than sex or playing music.

I decided that I hadn't really explored the horsepower in sixth gear since it was a new bike. I crested this hill onto a five mile long straight through a long valley. With nothing around, I started to roll it on in fourth gear. I let fourth go at about a hundred and ten, then fifth at about a hundred and thirty-five. It was pulling strong at nine and a half or ten grand in sixth. I was trying relax, keep my head and body down behind the windshield and fairing. I wasn't able to look at the tach or speedo because at that rate of speed you must focus as far ahead as you can see. Just as I felt the vibration of the intake and the exhaust valves get to a point where they were howling in unison, I knew there must only be a few hundred RPM left to redline. I saw something come at me from the right side.

It happened in an instant. A small bird flew at me from the side and hit the corner of the visor on my helmet. It felt like I got hit in the head with a baseball bat. At something like a hundred and forty five miles per hour, you don't do anything very quickly, especially chop the throttle or hit the brakes. I tensed up for a second but realized that it was over before I could even process what had happened. I rolled off the throttle slowly and started to sit up at like ninety miles per hour.

I slowed down and turned around. I was way out in the middle of this huge desert like, arid valley with not too much around but barbed wire fences on each side of the road. I spotted the bird, lifeless in the middle of the asphalt. I got off and picked it up in my gloves. My blood was still racing. My heart pounding in my ears and the mechanical tick of the cooling engine were the only noises around. I felt so devastated. It was such a beautiful little creature. I couldn't understand why I had just taken it's life. I was out there fucking around and I had killed this innocent animal.

I kept trying to think and sort out what had happened. I felt so guilty. There had to be some cosmic message or lesson here. I wanted to bury the bird, but I didn't have any tools and there wasn't a twig or stick around. The ground was hard and dry as a bone. I decided to cover him with rocks. As I made a little pile of stones as a monument, I spotted a piece of brilliant white quartz like rock. It didn't look like anything else anywhere around. I don't think that it came from that valley. It had to have come from somewhere high in the mountains I believe. For a second, I was going to use it to top the little pyramid that I was building, but instead, I put it into my motorcycle jacket pocket.

That rock has been in my jacket every time I put my hand into the pocket for eighteen years. It is something to remind me how fragile life is. It could have been me that was gone in an instant.

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#42 510rob

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:29 AM

Figbuck,

I've had a few experiences where things have happened to slow me down or to somehow force me to pull over (and/or otherwise at the time felt like something was simply "in my way"), only to find that potential doom/peril/serious injury was laying in wait only one or two corners/hills ahead. I always like to see those events as the hand of the great unknown supreme force intervening and letting me know that today was too early for me to go.

It would be neat to see a picture of the brilliant white quartz like rock because it sounds as if that neat rock has helped to keep you safe and alive, in one piece, for 18+ years. If you think that posting a picture of it might jinx things, I understand - I don't like to mess with the balance of some things.

Oh yeah, your stories are really interesting to read. Thanks for writing them and posting them.

#43 agentalpha

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 05:56 PM

AWESOME stories, Sir.
Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your past with us.
I can almost imagine you chillin' with Hunter S. Thompson.
I remember a small bit of that flavor you described during the 70's.
I was a child, but I still clearly recall it.
I guess all those weird metallic greens and browns were pretty appropriate for the times.
I moved away from Cali (SF East Bay) when I was 17.
Lived all over the country, and just recently moved back, from Ohio.
I miss it back there. So much more chill, much more greener, old forests...

And now, Cali is just lame, expensive, over-rated.
And I was told by an illegal at my last job I "Need" to learn Spanish.

Wow.

Cherry old cars though.

Can't wait to get the hell outta here.
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#44 Figbuck

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 08:53 AM

I have a friend named Ted, that I have known since 7th grade. We spent many summer days riding skateboards and learning tricks. We were pretty tight.

We grew up and went off to do what we did. 35 years later, I get a phone call from him. In the passing years, Ted had been a very sucessful painting contractor, bought property in a remote part of the Northern California Coast and built a very special house that took him many years to construct.

The reason for his call, was that his house had suffered some leaks in the harsh coastal environment and he needed a carpentry contractor with advanced remodeling skills and the capability of setting up a small woodworking shop onsite to restore his house.

Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with emphysema and he ran up some huge medical bills. He needed to fix the water damage and put the property on the market. No way he could do any kind of work. He is rarely able to even go outside.

Ted calls his house the exquisite prison. He gets up with the sunrise and goes into the kitchen to make coffee. He watches the the pair of Ravens that live on the property, as well as the flock of crows, quail, 65 chip monks, two different spiecies of rabbit families, herd of deer, bobcats, skunks and an occasional black bear that travels through the back patio.

Emyphasema is an insidious disease. Ted is on oxygen but only to allow his heart to work less. He has less that one percent or normal lung capacity. Getting oxygen is not the problem, but his lungs getting rid of CO2 is the problem. If he exerts himself too much, the result is much like drowning. Ted is a fantastic artist, designer, painter & cartoonists. Mostly his day is spent on maintenance. Eating, taking medications, washing dishes, but just relaxing and taking it easy, listening to music and reading.

Mostly he sits in the dining room, with its huge picture windows on three walls, watching the sun travel across the sky and his animal neighbors. He likes to draw, but can't get too into it, or his heart rate will rise and cause his lungs to spasm. Just listening and grooving on music can cause him breathing problems. He told me that even thinking too hard or worrying about things will cause him real problems.

Ted sent me this e-mail earlier in the year.

Lime Forrest Celedon Hunter Asparagus Heather Pea Pine Olive Chartruese
Deep Light Warm Dark Bright Cool.

Blue Grey and Yellow.

GREEN

the show was just begining on the tips of the tallest firs and in the
shadows of oaks, redwoods and madrones. the beauty of this cloudless
sunrise would be on the ground in the colors of needles, leaves and on the
blades of fresh new grasses.

i had forgotton about spring. but spring had
not forgotton about me. it reached deep inside to rescue me from my wintery gloom.

later i would stay outside and stare as the textures of bark changed with
the slow shifting of shadows. witness a few brave flowers bloom early on
this warm spring-like day in early february. i'd watch light pierce dense
green canopies and walls of forrest to spotlight grey decaying logs,
blankets of dead needles, and hollowed stumps.

i listened to the sounds of surf coming up the canyon and pictured the greens change to tan then white then Sky Powder Navy Berry Slate Royal Ice Gingham Midnight Deep Light Dark Pale Bright Cool.

Green Grey and Purple.

BLUE.

once i watched as scattered diamonds on windswept water turned to embers of burning driftwood. between the stars and the deep water below tangerine and gold dragons battled to stay afloat.

http://gualalaproper...om/default.html

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#45 Figbuck

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 09:07 AM

I packed up my tools and spent the summer of 2006 in Southern Mendocino County, high in the Redwoods over looking the Pacific Ocean. Ted's wife Debby, told me that she had to go feed her neighbor's cats each night and would walk down the road to the ridge overlooking the ocean. This went on for weeks, until I ask if the neighbors were ever coming back. Debby looked at Ted and they smiled at each other. Ted said, "Why don't you show him the place?". She said, Ok let's walk over there.

Slowly, Debby told me about all the years that they lived on the ridge property. They could have bought this other property out on the cliffs, but they thought that the 37 acres they ended up with had a more sheltered home site, trading a direct ocean view for protection from storms. They shared a common road through the ridge property and so, when... let's call them the Jones, bought the cliff property, they had many common dealings.

Ted described Jones as a survivalist wing nut. The Joneses wanted to move out into the sticks and be self sufficient, so when the end of civilization came, they would be able to live in paradise.

Wow, this was a pretty mind blowing location I thought, as we got to the end of the narrow gravel road and spotted the ocean through the forest. The house was not visible until you got right to the edge of the cliffs. I could see a narrow wooden stairway between two boulders about 40 ft. in diameter. The stairs were set into pockets chipped out of these huge boulders. At the top, the stairs connected to a weather beaten deck that wrapped around to a similar looking, three bedroom house perched like an eagle's nest on the side of this thousand foot mountain.

The inside of the house was beautifully decorated, modern, and had picture windows all across the western elevation with sweeping vistas of the Pacific. Sure enough, here were the cats. They didn't go outside. Debby said Mrs. Jones spends most of the year in San Diego. Debby fed the cats and said, let's go look at the house site.

I was confused. We walked out, back down the stairs, down a path to a big flat area. It too had a sweeping views of the coast. There was a big building that reminded me of a county or state road maintenance facility. It had three big commercial style roll up doors with glass transoms as wide as the doors. It had a standing seam, metal, shed roof that went from two stories on the ocean side to three stories on the eastern side. There was a big 6' thick concrete driveway with a Case 580 back hoe/loader, a little Ford dump truck and a Ditch Witch, all in new condition, parked in front of each door.

I'm taking all this in as Debby unlocks a man door on the side and lets us in. I find that we are in someone's dream garage. There are big Snap-On rollaway chests on each side of two big work benches all strewn with tools. There are lockers chock full of every kind of mechanics tool you can think of. There are book shelves with repair manuals and a desk. On the floor, is a built-in hydraulic auto lift, with all the goodies you would expect in a auto shop. There were welders, plasma cutters, transmission jacks and rolling oil drain pans.

I'm stunned. This was the last thing I would expect to find way out here in the boondocks. Debbie walked away to check on something while I took it all in. On the ocean side of the building was a big furnished office with picture window so you could see into the shop area. In back of the auto repair area was a staircase going up to a mezzanine over looking the shop and a furnished apartment with a full kitchen.

The thing that struck me as odd, was the tractors and truck being parked outside. In the bays, were row upon row thousands of used books in eight foot tall book cases, cobbled together out of #2 1x12 pine boards. I start looking at this "library" and realize that they are all how-to kind of books. How to make Stained Glass, how to can vegetables, how to make whatever.

Debbie comes back and motions to me to follow her. I'm not really putting two and two together, and ask what all this stuff is. I ask what does Mr. Jones do?

Do? She replies. He doesn

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#46 AtomChurch

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 11:37 AM

Well said.
Built not bought.
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#47 ]2eDeYe

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 12:24 PM

Merry Christmas :)

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Whenever I think that I'm out of my mind for putting this much time and money into an old Datsun, all I have to do is look some of your threads to know that I'm not nearly as whack as you are.

You're going to skin a few knuckles, stand up too fast and bump your head, hunt around the floor for the nuts and bolts you dropped, invent a few new cuss words and when you're finished you'll say "That wasn't so hard after all!"


#48 datzenmike

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 01:38 PM

When I was reading this, I was reminded that the greatest possession you will ever have is not what you collect or amass, what you buy or earn or are given. It is priceless beyond the imaginings of those that daily take it for granted. If you have good health and know it's true value, all the problems in life are truly put into perspective.

Merry Christmas
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#49 510rob

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 04:05 PM

Merry Christmas

#50 Skib

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 05:13 PM

great storys figbuck :D

"your wrong like sex in a crib and someone needs to slap the shit out of you!"
 

 

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#51 mklotz70

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 08:10 PM

WOW! The story, the house and property....WOW!
Don't have to be too bright to be me!! :D
Sadly, I prove this nearly everyday!!! :(
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#52 Figbuck

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:50 AM

This is one of those episodes that occurred during a transitional time. It was the end of one period and the beginning of another. I didn

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#53 Figbuck

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:58 AM

Just after the first light penetrated the canyon, my brother got up and administered a dose to each of us, then we turned over and went back to sleep. In about forty-five minutes it was like a two hundred amp circuit breaker switched on in our nervous systems. I sat right up and we were all sitting up in our sleeping bags looking at each other. It seemed so absurd, that we all started laughing uncontrollably. The trip had started.

I knew from past experience that staying hydrated and having food ready to eat through the day was necessary. I got up and fired up my little gas stove to make some tea. Little rays of morning light found their way through the canopy. As I dunked my tea bag in the hot water, I noticed oils from the tea on the surface of the liquid, creating swirling colored rainbows. I could see geometric patterns in the steam coming out of the cup and visual aberrations in the light from the exchange of heat. I watched that phenomenon until the tea was cool enough to drink. The sensations of drinking were at once foreign and familiar.

It was like every sensation and perception was rich with fresh experience. I could write at length about psychedelic trips. It is not the focus of this story. I won

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#54 agentalpha

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 12:34 PM

I won
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
The TRUTH about Our Once Great Country, and Our World:
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com
Not much to argue with here:

#55 Bandit240

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 03:22 PM

That last story was great. It is amazing how such a little thing can have such a big impact on the way things are. There are times that i wish i could have been around back in the 60's and 70's.

#56 Farmer Joe

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 06:36 PM

man i love reading your stories!! you have a way of writing that keeps me intrigued. i read fear and loathing in las vegas, and when i read your stories it reminds me of how hunter s. thomas writes.

keep the stores comin!!

"but its that gut feeling of you're drawn to what feels right for yourself and what you're passionate about..."

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#57 Figbuck

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:05 AM

It was a rainy sunny Portland day Sunday, not to cold not that warm. I went out to the garage to pull some Datsun maintenance and noticed that the Daffodils were starting to bloom. It made me think about my old girlfriend Susan. Her birthday usually fell on the first day of Spring. She lives in Eugene and has a family and a pretty mellow existence. We still keep in touch. I called her and left a message on her cell phone. In a way, I

"What ever you do, don't add up what you are spending! :D
J2eDeYe

 

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#58 JFX001

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:13 AM

Great story!

I was wondering when you were going to update this thread.;)

#59 ]2eDeYe

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:22 PM

X2 :)

Smokin' Joe's House of Datto's

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Member- *Japanese Trucking Association*

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1978 620 kingcab 4x4 - KA24E SAS w/Dana 44 front and Toyota rear

1967 RL411 Station Wagon

 

Whenever I think that I'm out of my mind for putting this much time and money into an old Datsun, all I have to do is look some of your threads to know that I'm not nearly as whack as you are.

You're going to skin a few knuckles, stand up too fast and bump your head, hunt around the floor for the nuts and bolts you dropped, invent a few new cuss words and when you're finished you'll say "That wasn't so hard after all!"


#60 mklotz70

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:04 PM

:)
Don't have to be too bright to be me!! :D
Sadly, I prove this nearly everyday!!! :(
www.bluehandsinc.com
youtube.com/bluehandsvideo