]Bueno! But... you now that you have entered Ratsun world... OICS or it never happened!
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Posted by Figbuck on 27 January 2018 - 06:20 PM
Posted by Figbuck on 21 December 2017 - 08:46 AM
Posted by Figbuck on 21 December 2017 - 07:05 AM
The late great harmonica giant Paul Delay used to say, "Life is like a harmonica... sometimes you suck and sometimes you blow."
Figbuck says; "I blow the horn as much as i can... so I don't suck!"
Here we are once again, the planet wobbling slightly in it's spinning orbit to give us the shortest, darkest, coldest days. It's a trade off living on the 45th parallel. We experienced another fantastic summer. We earned it however living through a record rainy winter,
After Thanksgiving the short days until the Winter Solstice have fast setting golden sunsets that impart a sense of impending finality. My New Year's resolution for the last few years has been the same, to play my tenor saxophone every day. Except for a few weeks in the spring when I was very ill after inhaling Black Mold, I have played every day.
A couple years ago I met a lady named Juli, through a mutual friend who is a bass player, She is a grape farmer and winemaker living on the property her grandfather owned in the Chehalem Mountains of Yamhill County, Western Oregon. Her grandfather built a big wooden barn in 1932. It's mostly empty and unused now. It needs a little work but the basic building is in great condition. I have been doing some repairs and clean up around the farm in exchange for room in a tractor shed to keep my utility trailer and job boxes boxes of basic carpenter tools.
Juli's Father and Uncle were professional jazz musicians on the west coast. Uncle Bill was very active in the golden age in the L.A. Studio scene of the '60s, playing woodwinds. He was an original member of Supersax, That is serious claim to fame as a sax player right there. Never mind that he was never mentioned in the documentary movie as a member of the Wrecking Crew, studio session players who made so many famous recordings.
So, I have been taking advantage of the big space, ability to make noise and not bother anybody. It's a lot of fun to play in the barn, and I know that I'm not the first one to play in here. I've heard recordings of the brothers playing in the barn with the unmistakable roar of the crickets in the background.
So it's about a 17 mile drive from where I have been staying in SW Portland on the Beaverton border. We are actually in Washington County with a Portland address not Multnomah County. This spring they began paving Scholls Ferry Road, Highway 210 all the way out into Hillsboro and then out Highway 219 the twisty road that goes over the Chehalem Pass into Yamhill County. Most of the time I was sick, the paving work went on, so I missed weeks of construction and road closures.
One of the first days I felt healthy enough to drive out to Juli's farm, I went out there to look at a huge branch that broke off the giant oak tree next to the house. I want to saw the logs up for lumber to make furniture.
It was a spectacular summer day. Not too hot, and there had been some rain so that everything looked healthy and green. On my way out through Beaverton, I was shocked to see large tracts of land being turned into suburbs, complete with high density townhouses, million dollar single family homes crammed into small lots, new high school, new traffic lights, intersections... and basically a lot of shit that wasn't there last year.A lotta shit that wasn't there last month!!!
This is all pretty depressing because I have seen this movie before, it's called the Politics of Economics. While stopped at a huge new intersection looking at all the new construction started in every direction, two guys riding Sport Motorcycles pulled up next to me.
My heart kind of sank. I'm not sure how many years it has been since I rode a motorcycle. How many summers have been wasted because I can't seem to get a bike again. Six or seven summers now. I can't think about how much time I have wasted not being able to ride, but then playing the horn every day has sort of filled that void. But nothing really satisfies like burning gas, rubber and stretching chains out in the hills.
I continued out to where the zoning is clearly agricultural, then pulled up behind a long line of traffic, stopped for construction flaggers. I killed the engine in the old Datsun, rolling down the window, and to a stop. What a beautiful day! A warm breeze smells so good that I'm trying not to get depressed. It's hard. I have been very sick and lost a lot of weight. I'm not sleeping right and not eating right. I'm living on twelve hundred bucks a month. Well not really living buy getting by.
I click on the Chris Potter bootleg recording I have been listening to over and over. The view from rows of apples and berries on the valley floor in every direction to the Christmas tree farms and vineyards on the Chehalem Ridge, there is beauty and vitality. The traffic is not moving anytime soon. I'm telling myself how lucky I am to be alive and not be sick anymore. It's summer. We been waiting for this the whole nasty winter.
But somehow I always come back to how poor and broke I am, and how much stuff I worked so hard for is lost. And for what every reason, I don't seem to be very lucky in terms of being able to manifest money. A friend I have known since high school with, just tripped on her cat in the living room, hit her head and died. Our other friend is descending into schizophrenia and paranoia. Another friend is fighting heroine addiction. I don't have those kinds of problems.
I saw those guys on superbikes all suited up to go have serious fun. The kind of fun that most people will never experience. I'm bumming out, because I feel like I should be out riding too. Finally a pilot vehicle escorts a long line of cars trucks and more motorcycles from the oncoming lane. There is a guy on a very trick Honda SuperMoto 450. Wow, perfect bike to carve the twisty section of highway 219 over Chehalem Pass. Then two high-milers, guys on BMW 1100cc touring machines wearing Aerostich armored suits and hard luggage with Canadian plates. Probably riding back from the World Superbike Races at Luguna Seca in Monterey.
Which is where I would have been if I wasn't so poor. But I'm trying to be grateful for the stuff I managed to save, and for waking up every morning. Then another guy on a black Honda CBR1000RR with all black leathers and helmet. That should be me. I was always a lone rider in black helmets and leather. I'm wondering if they got to blast those nice twisty sections over the pass without hitting all this traffic. Probably blew by it so fast the cars never saw them! Haha
Shit I miss riding motorcycles. As we get up to the junction, everybody in front goes straight to Hillsboro, except the two guys on sport bikes. These guys seem to know the area, slowing for the school and speed zones. As we get out to two long straights connected by long sweeping esses, at the base of the mountain, they roll the throttles on and evaporate towards the summit.
Well, my old Datsun has been running really strong. I just changed the oil, all filters and coolant for the summer too. The road is so freshly paved that it has not had the stripes and markers painted yet. The new black asphalt is nearly perfectly clean and smooth. The guys on bikes must be getting their tires warmed up and are sticking to the hot pavement like a wad of gum.
I found a whole set of used tires last year for $200 mounted and balanced. They are 235mms, about the fattest tire I could get on stock Nissan wheels. They came off a Pathfinder SUV, so the old Datsun rolls really nice on the freeway, and grips well when you brake hard. I had to use 1/4” spacers on the back wheels to keep the sidewalls from rubbing the lear springs. The result is nearly neutral steering and the feeling that the back wheels are following the direction of the turn without having to tug on the steering wheel to keep the front from pushing towards the outside of the corner.
It really handles like a slot car now and ...if I had horsepower... I would be dangerous,! Once I get the old truck rolling, it goes pretty quick. Especially downhill. But now I'm winding the old 1600cc engine out to extract all of it's claimed 97hp to climb the hill in 4th gear. Eventually the steep grade makes me shift into 3rd gear, trying to keep all the momentum possible. Then a series of sweeping corners and esses are perfect flat out in 3rd. Whee, hustle the old truck through back to back to back perfectly cambered corners!
While it's not quiet the same as hanging off the saddle and feeling for pavement at the apex of the corner with your knee puck... it's still the same game of cornering. With my Chris Potter bootleg blasting on the stereo, incredible scenery, perfect brand new grippy as hell road surface... I come flying out of a long carousel of a corner onto a long steep strait... then shift into high gear.
Out of habit when trying to hustle slow roads quickly, I keep looking ahead to the farthest point ahead of me every moment. It's bright out and I'm not sure what I see. I'm wringing every ounce of power I can from the old Datsun engine, thinking, for sure this ain't as much fun as superbikes on a racetrack. But it's still fun to see how fast I can make it go.
I had some brief thoughts about where the limits of grip are on these used tires. I have not had them break traction in any situation yet. In the back of my mind I remember a set of tires that stuck like glue, until they just gave up, and you were sideways with out warning. Other sets of tires were softer and you could feel them start to slide predictably, no big surprises.
Speaking of surprises... something is coming at me down the hill. I don't recognize it immediately. I've got my foot on the floorboard and pulling up on the steering wheel... as if that might help it go faster. In a flash I'm watching the back of a guy on a skateboard getting really small in the side view mirror. Swoosh... he was gone... so was I.
For a split second, streaking down the center of the oncoming lane, was a tall slender guy on a longboard. He was in the classic long-board surfers stance. Hanging ten off the nose of the board, knees gracefully bending him forward with his hands and arms behind his back like a ski jumper. Short sleeve shirt, board shorts and bike helmet with a camera. mounted.
Whoosh, this guy was probably going 60mph. OK, let's say he was only going 50mph. I have crashed motorcycles going that fast... it hurts... and I was wearing race leathers, helmet, studded kevlar gloves and armored boots. At any rate he was flying!
I remember the first real skateboard I got with composite wheels was a Hobie with a laminated wood deck. I think they were $16, a lot of money in 1962! The first time I went to ride it was on these long concrete ramps from the parking lot to the high school, directly across from our house. I was flying down the ramp in exhilaration when I spied fallen Eucalyptus acorns strewn across the flat spot on the bottom of the ramp. Before I could process the unique triangular shape of the acorns and potential outcome of hitting one at speed... the board stopped and I didn't.
One second, I was living in the past and feeing depressed, the next moment I was having fun just being alive, cranking music and blasting the old truck though the hills. But now this guy on the longboard is having FUN!!
I sure hope the guy made it down the hill. It's about four miles. I always kill the ignition at the top of the pass, stick it in neutral, then coast the whole thing without using the brakes. Really hard to do. Really scary, but Im not worried about hitting a little piece of gravel.
Right then as my Chris Potter bootleg tape finished, I remembered some other times that I felt this alive and in the moment...
Posted by Figbuck on 27 November 2017 - 09:29 AM
Posted by Figbuck on 20 October 2017 - 08:16 AM
I've been drinking Breakside Ale, but they shipped some Pilsner that was really nice, the last couple weeks Ninkasi is shipping Dawn of the Red that is really good. A while back I tried Ninkasi IPA. I like it a lot but one and I'm done, two pints will kick may ass. Wednesday night is my Saturday night... I go listen to my friends Soul Cookin' band play over in the Hollywood District @ Blackwell's... their motto is "Craft Your Buzz"
Depeche Mode iz plying here soon... I ain't going.
Posted by Figbuck on 15 October 2017 - 01:36 PM
It is profoundly sad how ignorant many of the posts in this thread are.
The situation is already horrific beyond imagination, and it's not over.
The lasting impact will be felt for generations.
Earthquakes... gimme a break... I rode out the '57, The Alaska in '64, The Hollister in '84, the Loma Preita in '89... and two day later was working on 5 stories of scaffolding for two aftershocks... 5.3 & 5.0 ... watched the Marina District burn and the Cypress Structure collapse on live TV.
In 1995 I was at Laguna Seca for the IndyCar Races. Sunday after the races I went down to the Beach in Seaside to watch the sunset. It had been a spectacular warm fall day. Looking out to the north west was a giant brown cloud hugging the horizon. It was smoke blown by an east wind that obscured the sun in a red-brown haze... in an otherwise clear blue sky. I could smell a faint odor of smoke.
90 miles away the Oakland Hills were on fire! There are may similarities to this Sonoma event. So it is not surprising that something like this could happen. It's still early in the fire season.
I'm going to go out on a limb here to say that none of you have ever read or heard of Raymond Dasman. Do your homework kids so you don't sound stupid. Dasman already hashed over all your lame observations 45 years ago. In his book; Destruction of California, his prediction have come true.
One of my High School friends was in Santa Rosa FD then became a Captain in Sabastapol, then retired as an Incident Commander for Cal Fire. Hasn't been heard from for days. So many friends and friend's of friends haven't been heard from and we hope they are just evacuated... or something. Don't know. It's not over. Calistoga has been evacuated. 12 people are sticking it out and the Mayor said they are on their own... all resources are tasked to other locations.
The size and scope of this is almost unfathomable. This ain't gonna buff out anytime soon. The economic impact will certainly be beyond anything we have seen.
I was planning on driving to the Bay Area next week... can't do it. I got two messages from living people west of the freeway that are chilling. They are frightened out of their minds, sitting up in the hills watching the valley on fire. Don't come down here Man, the air sucks and people are freaking out left and right.
Posted by Figbuck on 11 October 2017 - 08:54 AM
Sighted at OSH in Tigard... California plates with '18 tags... maybe visiting? Completely sano car. Beautiful paint and color blue. The photos are washed out. Not a fan of sunroofs, but it might be nice.
Posted by Figbuck on 04 September 2017 - 05:30 PM
On the Oregon Coast. Epic day of listening to music and watching the scenery go by. Nearly 1500 mile trip from Portland to San Francisco on Interstate 5, then back North via Highway 101, through the Redwoods. Then up the Orygun Coast.
...The Old Figbuck 620 was running great... until a few minutes after I took this sunset shot... the Alternator light started flickering just as I rolled into Port Orford. I shut the headlights off, and thought it was either a loose wire/ground, or the Diode was failing. I pulled over into a bar parking lot with a big light pole, so I could see.
Put a Volt meter on it and it was toast. A couple of locals stumble out of the bar with drinks in hand. One old guy yells, "Loook it's a Fuckin' Datsun!! When was the last time you saw one of these? What's wrong with it Man??"
The Idiot light came on. I'm and idiot... or the alternator is smoked.
In a minute, the whole bar is emptied out watching me fuck with stuff. One guy says, that little sucker is so clean, how could anything be wrong with it. These guys know engines. Dood, it's the fuckin' Battery!!
Nah, brand new Interstate, look it lights the head lamps and fires the starter.
Uh, Oh yeah, Your alternator is fucked. Prolly just a diode. Usta be able to 'git them for Four Bucks, pull the plastic cover off the back and change 'em out.
The next drunk argues, "Ah, then the bearings go out ten thousand miles later. You wished you woulda had a couple bucks to change it with a new one so you ain't crawlin' in the dirt some night when it finally dies!
Sheeit! You guys are killin' me here...
I don't know... after driving it for 44 years, I thought I fixed everything! Everybody is blown away that it's a one owner truck. Within ten minutes kids on bikes, every street person and drunk in town was standing in a circle around the light pole watching me. The only entertainment around. They told me the only place was Auto Kare just up the street, and they were expensive as hell!!! A total rip off. Yep, that is what they all said. Or there is a junk yard in Bandon. But Florence is closer and has a Napa store.
How can all you guys be drinking out here in the open? Oh, we are on private property! Can I park here over tonight? Sure park in back where it's quiet off the road.
They didn't have a KA 60 amp common to the 80's 720, but they had one for me first thing the next day delivered from Vancouver Washington. The two parts guys and lady who helped me were fantastic. They were like comic book characters! I'm going to send them posts cards! $112 with a core return.
What a hustle, what a burn job, what a rip off!!! $112 to get me out of Port Orford? Priceless!
The parts girl timed me... 22 minutes to get it out.
On the Road Again... off to see the Eclipse.
Posted by Figbuck on 29 August 2017 - 07:20 AM
I'm so lucky to have come up geting "Experienced". I'm looking for recordings of Hendrix @ Winterland. I went Friday night. the ticket was $3. Not long after that I saw Cream @ Fillmore and then This concert @ the Oakland Coliseum Fall of 1968. We were listening to this stuff with Virgin 1960 Top 40 Radio ears... not our Jaded-azzed 2017 Ears. Listen to Clapton's playing... were you playing that much guitar in 1968? haha and Ginger Baker? Wasn't nobody that was playing that much drums... so much so that this defined a genre. of "Jazz-Rock, because of the lengthy improvised ensemble playing. And loud as anybody... Hendrix loud, Who loud. Burn a fattie and fall back in time. When you could cop a bag of weed on Haight Street, for $10 and 4 way orange barrels for $2 that everybody just dropped the whole thing... Who knew? Hey, let's go to Fillmore and see Led Zeplin Friday night?
Posted by Figbuck on 29 August 2017 - 01:01 AM
I love Michele Camillo! I've been following him for years. Seen El Negro and bunch too. So listen, I grew up in the Mission. Short story, I played in a band with percussionist Jorge Bermudez who went to Balboa High with Karl Perazzo and Raul Rekow. They got box seat tickets to see the Giants and the Braves. They had an extra ticket so I got to sit next to Armando Peraza. He told me stories about playing semi-pro ball in Cuba and coming to New York and playing Bongo with George Shearing and all the shit that is history.
When I lived in Redwood City, Jorge and I played in a band with drummer Jimmy Sanchez, he was tight with all those guys too. Armando bought a house near Jimmy when Raul, Karl and Armando were in Santana. One Saturday afternoon I went to Gelb Music and Armando was sitting in the drum studio playing two drums. He was so fucking loud, and he was an old man! Jimmy says, but his hands aren't even taped. Mongo Santamaria loud, Giovani Hildalgo loud. So lucky to get to hang out with this legend, still have the Giants vs, Braves ticket stub!
But Raul was just unreal. i so fucked it. I was in the Bay Area when Raul had his 60th birthday party in Redwood City at the Fox. A bunch of my friends played and went. I was in Half Moon Bay and too burnt to drive... RIP Raul.