It's been a good ride so far!

Since I was just a kid all I have ever wanted to do was to make people laugh or just smile. As a child, an educator sent a note home to my parents. It read; If your son thinks he is going to get through life making people laugh he is in for a RUDE AWAKENING! He is not living up to his potential. WELL, I'M STILL NOT! But at this site you will at least see me try. From the heart, thank you for even being interested, it means the world to me. I always say, I have not a single fan but many a friend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunny California -- MY ASS!

Don't believe all you read or see on television!  They try and sell us this bill of goods that it's always sunny in Southern California.  Well, it's not!  It may always be sunny in Philadelphia but it's not in Malibu.  As many of you fine folks know by now that Bean're and I took a trip out to California.  Bean left on Friday but I could not, I had to wait until Saturday to go.  Now some of you know Bean're in real life, many of you know him from TV or ALL the biker magazines and some of you may just know him because you had mutual friends on Face Book, but to know him is to love him.  I am not normally in any way shape or form a jealous type of guy but if I had to be, I would be jealous a little bit of him.  I'll explain why.  This guy lives the life that we all dream of.  He is like Outback Steakhouse, NO RULES, JUST RIGHT!  He gets on that Purple Pimp bike of his and just points it in a direction and takes off.  He may not be back at home for 6 months to a year.  When you live your life like this you meet so many people along the way.  When you are charming like he is, you make many friends along the way and they all want to hang out with THE MAYOR OF FUN! 

Now, being good friends and knowing that he left for California with no plan or place to stay, you can understand  why I was worried about him.  It takes some time for you to realize that the one person you never have to worry about is Bean.  Turns out that Big Ben put him up down in Long Beach for the night, not too shabby and in the morning, the one sunny day we had, he rode his bike up to the Canyons of Malibu and went horseback riding!  That son of a bitch!  While I am worried that he froze his ass off sleeping in a storm drain, he is riding a beautiful horse with a couple of women through some of the most beautiful landscape on earth.  That bastard even rode that horse down to the set of MASH, remember that show?   WHAT A LIFE this guy lives!

As I drove out from Arizona, visions of the beach danced in my head.  It's been sometime since I dipped a toe in the Pacific Ocean and I couldn't wait.  I had read a post that the Rock Store had put up about taking a ride there. I believe it was something like "the weather was gorgeous and was expected to be in the high 70's to low 80's all week".  Oh man, I couldn't wait.  As I got near the end of Arizona and crossed the border of California I noticed something off in the distance.  It looked a bit cloudy!  Okay well it is the mountains, clouds happen right?
Hey wait a minute damn it!  Those are not clouds!  That's SNOW!  Is there supposed to be snow in California, in Southern California?   Well not that I have ever heard of?  Oh well, maybe it's a good thing that I threw the knuck up on the trailer to race out there.  It sure got a bit chilly coming through the pass but it warmed up as I came out of the mountains.  I was making amazing time and rocking out to some good tunes and occasionally dipping into my bag of nacho cheese Doritos that somehow made it through the entire weekend and helped me survive the drive home with a few hand fulls still in the bag.  As I drove late in to the day on Saturday I couldn't help but notice that there was virtually no traffic at all.  As I drove into Riverside, the traffic going the other direction was dead stopped but I was still flying.  It was like it was written in the stars, nothing was going to stop me getting to Malibu, ah hell, nothing was even going to slow me down.  Those of you who live there or travel to California know damn well that there" not being traffic" at any given time was really more of a freak occurrence, not the norm.  As I hit the 101 North off of the 60, the traffic hit.  I have only 33 miles to go till I get to my destination and the sun was still shining.  I was way ahead of schedule!  It took me an hour and forty five minutes to go that 33 miles!  I was losing my mind!  It seems that if someone stops on the shoulder, the entire freeway stops to see what they are doing.  Then they race back up to 80 mph only to jam on the brakes again to look at a tree frog off to the side of the road.  That was my trip up the 101.  0 - 80 mph back to 0 again and repeat.

See all the damn break lights?  This was about mile 3 of the 33 that I had to travel.  As I got closer to my destination the sun was setting but seemed to be setting a bit early and everything was turning grey and getting harder to make out.  I thought I was having a stroke or something.  It wasn't a stroke after all, it was FOG rolling in through the canyon and the temps dropped immediately!  77 degrees rapidly became 57 and then 47.  I got there, rolled the bike off the trailer because I could not wait to go for a ride.  I took my bags up to my suite and with that, the phone rang.  It was my favorite equestrian!  I told him where I was and that he was more than welcome to come sleep in the suite with me, after all, it was ridiculous to have it to myself.  He said he was right down the road and would be there soon.  I told him to just call when he got there and to just pull his bike right up next to mine, I saved him a spot.  Bean're arrived, made the call and I went down stairs to meet him.  Imagine my shock when I opened the hotel door to find out that it was now about 40 degrees and I could barely see the other side of the parking lot.  Well so much for my ride up to Santa Barbara to visit Keith and Tiff and so much for a ride to Ventura to see my friend Greg who is an amazing artist who creates his work with nothing but scrap metal!  At this rate, begging my way on to a fishing boat seemed out as well.  Okay, no big deal. That is when I noticed as Bean got off of his bike that the inside of each thigh was completely covered with white hair.  Oh my God, he finally did it, Bean're screwed a sheep!  He said that he was having fun but my God!  Turns out that he actually rode the horse bareback and the horse was white, much to my relief.  The last 33 miles of my trip had beat me down as a man.  I was so frustrated with the drive that the last thing I wanted to do was ride my bike through canyons that I have never ridden before with virtually no visibility.  Warm bed and television it was going to be for Mr. Shit! 

I can tell you this much.  If you get the chance to stay in Homewood Suites by Hilton, don't hesitate.  Every night there is a free cocktail hour.  Of course the night that they don't have it is the night that I am staying there, oh well.  Each morning there is a "real" free breakfast, not a muffin and coffee.  The plan was to get up early, ride the canyons and to hit the Rock Store around 1 or 2 PM and introduce ourselves in person to the Producers from the BBC who were hosting the casting call for the show that we want to be part of.   To say that I didn't need an alarm clock to wake up is an understatement.  The pounding of the driving rain against my window was enough to take care of that task for me.  Houston, we have a problem!  Those of you who know me, know damn well that there is nothing that I won't hesitate to ride in.  I won't be happy about it, but I'll do it.  I have ridden in snow, on black ice, during a nor- easter and worse yet, I have ridden across the desert at 121 degrees.  The problem as I see it though is that this is about television and television is about appearance.  We were now going to look like two drowned rats by the time we got there.  The idea of riding my old knucklehead through the twisties of the canyons and to do it in torrential downpours with no front brake, mehcanical rear brakes that have been my albatross since I got the knuck and to suicide clutch and jockey shift through it all while my oiler for the chain is turned way up and the bike is spraying oil on to my back wheel just wasn't feeling all that appealing to me.  We took our time to get ready, spent some time on facebook and watched a bit of world news.  To be honest, since living back east and living through the 9/11 aftermath I was really trying to see what was going on in the world, I am a bit of a news junkie.  Sorry to burst any bubbles but I am well versed in world affairs.    As luck would have it, each time that I looked out the window the weather seemed to be a bit less horrible.  I went outside and took the chain off of our bikes that I had put on the night before to help assure that they would be there in the morning when we awoke.  I couldn't believe it, the clouds had parted and although there was nasty looking clouds in every direction, above my head and towards the ocean the sun was shining and it had warmed up drastically!  Oh yeah, it's on like donkey kong.  I damn near ran back to the room to tell Bean the good news!  Within 20 minutes we were rolling the bikes out of the parking spot.  Now my bike isn't use to sitting out in monsoon rains all night and every part of it was soaked to the bone.  I figured that it would be hell to start.  I took a minute to explain to KOKO how very important this ride was to me and that she had to perform to the best of her ability and I swore up and down that upon our return to AZ, I would give her a fresh oil change and even a bath.  The moment of truth came, my glasses were already fogging over and it was time to kick her to life.  SHE STARTED WITH THE VERY FIRST KICK!  Oh yeah, she wanted to go, she knew what she was there to do and she was doing it!  We pulled out of the parking lot, got off of the service road, pulled out to Kanan Road and crossed over that damn 101 which of course was near empty.  As we crossed the 101 the sky opened and dumped on us with all the vengeance it could muster.  We knew that it was only between 4 and 6 miles to the Rock Store so we had nothing on to fight the elements and since we were so close we didn't bother to stop and put the right riding gear on.  BIG MISTAKE!  Bean're said he didn't trust those fucking GPS things so he got directions from a tow truck driver who had stopped on the side of the road to help someone who had just gotten a blow out from hitting some jagged pieces of boulder that had come down on the road from the ROCK SLIDE!  He told us we passed it and had to turn around.  With that, Bean took off in the opposite direction of traffic, yes, the wrong way down the lane and I had to go through a tunnel and up a mountain to make my u turn.  A few miles down the road I found Bean waiting for me and pointing.  We rode a few more miles and once again found ourselves making another u turn.  Bean called someone to ask them about where this place was.  One more u turn and we were off.  At the next stop sign we made yet another wrong turn and rode a few more miles in the deluge and dodged a few more ROCK SLIDES only to find out that another u turn was in order.  A short time later, we eventually found our way into the parking lot of the near empty Rock Store.  We were soaked to the bone!  As we pulled in, the door opened and I heard someone saying hey, it's Jack Shit and Bean're!  Since we had already sent in a video people were curious to know why we were even there?  How could we not be is what I asked?  To see short clips of us is in NO WAY like meeting us in person and I wanted them to meet us!  As we got off of the bikes another guy comes out and it turns out he knew Bean too.  He was another producer that had nothing to do with the BBC or their show, he was just there to see Bean're.  I told ya he was a star!  We were so cold and so wet when we got inside we weren't so worried about meeting people as much as we were about sitting down someplace warm and getting a bit of food in us.  There were a few other guys there that we had met on our travels around America on Harleys they too had come to try and get the show for themselves.   Luckily the weather was terrible and the "fair weather Chicken Shits" didn't show up!  The ones who did, I was actually really happy to see!  We ate some lunch, talked about bikes and spent some time with the fine folks from the BBC.  That was it.  We took a few pics, well Bean broke out his camera, I was too wet and cold to even take mine out and we said our mutual goodbyes and we rode off into the proverbial sunset, THERE WAS NO SUN.  Luckily for us, the last hour that we were there, the weather had broken and stopped raining so we hung out in the lot for a bit before we rolled out.

 Bean're was the first to pull out and take off, I'll see ya back in AZ bro!  I put on my leather overalls and got all bundled up and it was time to kick start my girl to life!  Ut oh!  What I hadn't thought of was that my clothes were so wet that they were stuck to me.  Now add the weight of the overalls and the fact that I was buttoned up and now water proof like a submarine I could barely lift my leg to kick.  As I tried to kick the first time and came to this realization I said oh shit.  Two friends were waiting for me to leave so that they could show me the "ACTUAL" way back to the freeway and I thought for sure they would be waiting an hour.  The first kick sent out a huge fireball out of the back of the carb and nothing.  The second series of kicks and the bike started and instantly died.  It was like running in quicksand.  By the grace of God she fired up on the third attempt. 

I had plans to race back to the hotel, put on dry clothes and ride on up to Santa Barbara.  Like I said, that was the plan.  As we rode out and got 1/4 mile from the Rock Store, God had one more practical joke to play.  He threw everything at us.  Rain, oil slicked roads and yet again, MORE ROCK SLIDES!  I got back to the hotel, found a safe place to park and secure the bike and went inside.  Once in my room I had to PEEL my clothes off of me.  I was freezing cold and soaking wet, this ain't Arizona!  I jumped in the bed and got under the covers and started watching the X games.  I was asleep within 30 minutes and out cold for four hours.  The weather was miserable.  I got up and showered again just to warm up and took a drive, yes, I said drive up to Ventura and even in the dark I must say, what a gorgeous city.

Since moving to Arizona with the exception of PF Chang's, I have not had decent Chinese food.  I know that California has a tremendous Chinese population and San Fransisco is known for it's great food, I hoped that this area would as well.. had to take this chance while I had it and go out and find some, to make a long story short, I did not! 

With that, I gave up.  I never got to see any of the friends that I had intended on seeing that night.  I damn near moped  back to the hotel and went to sleep and hoped for better weather before I left to go home. 
The next morning I got up to see that the storm had passed and that the sun was shining, although by Southern California standards it was still cold as shit!  There was no way that I was leaving and going home without taking a ride through the canyons and down to Malibu Beach, no way, so that's what I did.  It was so worth it.  If you ever get the chance to do this I highly recommend this trip.  As you come through the canyon and through a series of tunnels, you crest the mountain and the valley opens up and all you can see is rolling green hills, mansions and the Pacific Ocean, it was so amazing.  I have been to many spectacular places in my life and I have seen some views that will stick in my memory forever but I can surely see why this is some of the most valuable property on earth and why people work their entire lives to live there or even so much as visit there, it was truly awe inspiring!  Here are a few shots that I managed to capture.  I actually shot more video clips than I did stills and I will probably just post those up on Face Book, it's much easier that way.  So check out a few more pics, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.

I went up the Pacific Coast Highway until I could find a great place to stop albeit illegal.

Well it was about time to get my shit together and get the hell out of Dodge!  I decided to go back up the canyon and over the mountain instead of going all the way down the PCH.  I knew that there would be too many distractions and I would never get back home.  This time I knew what the roads had in store for me and it was a much more relaxed trip back to the freeway.  On the way back I saw this street sign that reminded me of someone special, so Roadside Marty, this next pic is for you brother! was all good now.  All I had to do was make the 440 mile trip back home and give the little woman her shot, yes, it's Monday and it's shot night and you guys no how much I love that right?  I got back on the 101 and I couldn't believe it, smooth sailing.  Well with the exception that my GPS could not find a satellite to connect with and I didn't remember where the hell I was supposed to turn.  Who knows, my next stop if I miss my turn off may just be Tijuana!  So I am driving down the freeway, not a care in the world and I see this car in the lane to my right just ahead of me.  The car was beautiful and had a temp plate on it, it was brand new.  I guess the woman driving hadn't heard about the bad economy.  She was so excited about driving her new car that she was on the phone and then finally texting, I could clearly see her reflection in the mirror.  As you know, texting and driving really don't go well together and she crosses the line and nearly takes me out by pushing me over in front of a semi.  I might add, the semi should not have been in the left lane anyway so I almost got taken out because of two assholes.  I was able to capture a photo of the car just seconds before she crossed the line.  Some folks said that I should have man'd up and taken the hit so that I could have retired with the settlement.  I said "oh yeah, as I am steering my wheelchair with a straw for the rest of my life everyone will be enjoying my settlement".  Here is the shot I took, nice car huh?
Yes, the woman in the brand spanking new Ferrari almost took me out while she was texting!  What a world we live in and sometimes nearly die in!  I don't typically cry wolf.  You know that person who "was nearly killed" 5 times today, that's not me, but I know in my heart this was going to be bad!  My exceptional driving skills got me through this one!   The trip was event free from there on out.  I travelled fast enough to catch up with and pass the storm.  It will be here in Phx. tonight.  FREEZE WARNING for central Arizona, thanks California!
So in the end, I made it home safe and sound and as a bonus, Diane's shot was actually a good one.  Virtually no reaction whatsoever!  Anyway you slice it or dice it, the trip was a great one that I got to share with a great friend and we all made it home safe and sound.  I got to meet some new people that I wouldn't have gotten to meet had I not made the trip.  I am a better person for each new friend that I make while living this amazing life that I lead.  Not to mention that Pam Anderson couldn't take her eyes off of me in Trader Joe's!  I swear she looked at me like she was on a no meat diet and I was made out of steak AND SHE WAS HUNGRY!  Luckily she was there with a cute blond and she was able to distract Pam while I got away.  Although I have no photos to document this part of the story, with a court order I am sure we could pull  Trader Joe's surveilance tapes.

So that's it, that was my weekend in California.  Road trips rock but it's always nice to come home, especially when you got a sexy woman waiting there for you with dinner hitting the table as you walk through the door.  I promise to keep you posted on my next adventure if you promise to keep on reading about them.  Thanks again for keeping up to date on what's happening in Jack Shit's World!


  1. from the SF Bay Area i'll just say SORRY now ;)

  2. no appology needed, but thank you!

  3. Goin' down the road feelin' bad.
    Goin' where the climate suits my clothes.
    Goin' where the water tastes like wine.
    Goin' where the chilly winds don't blow.