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The Book Is Out!

50 States in 50 Weeks: Easy Rider Revisited is here! Woo hoo! Yes after much writing and rewriting,editing and tweaking, it's available on Smashwords. Simply go to  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473944
and it should pop up. If it doesn't, go to www.smashwords.com and search under Kevin B Parsons. Faithful followers will recognize the cover. 
You'll be treated to thrill and spills, snow, rain and a hurricane. Meet Dan, who taught me about living one day at a time. Enjoy a 'test drive'of a Dodge Ram pickup with a Viper engine. Tour museums and Capitol buildings. Bear with Kevin as he gets screwed by a church.
$2.99, cheaper than a gallon of 87 fuel. 
43,000 miles of fun! Hope you can ride along. 


Libby Gets a New Tire

I fired up Libby one hot, dark morning (90 plus in Vegas) and saw the 'low tire' light. Riding off anyway, she felt squishy. I stopped and saw a very low back tire. Drat! It's a very new, very low back tire. I parked her and took the truck.
That night, I filled the tire while stupidly hoping it somehow healed itself. Nope.The next morning an inspection revealed a screw in the tread. Yep, I got screwed.


It must be easy to change a Gold Wing tire, right? I heard they were engineered similar to racing bike wheels, where the wheel bolts on from one side. Simple.
Putting her up on the center stand, I removed the rear fender, the trailer hitch, and the wheel. Huh. It doesn't come out the back. Drat again.
Good old YouTube. I searched 'change rear Gold Wing tire' and got a detailed video, where a guy laid the bike over and pulled the wheel out the bottom. I checked the time on the vid... three minutes, thirty six seconds. Nice and quick. That's installing it too!
To prevent scratches- although why I would care, she's been down enough times- I set some moving blankets down. I walked her onto her side like I learned from the video. Then I grabbed the bottom side, lifted it and slid the center stand under her. I took off the five lug nuts that I wisely left loose before tipping her over.



Off to the tire shop. Can they patch it? It's just slow leak. Oh, nonono! Not in America, the Land of Litigation! New tire. It's just a teeny weeny pinhole! It lost ten pounds in fourteen hours! Sorry. $359, free mounting. I picked myself up off the floor and squeaked, "Okay." Waited a bit and out he came with a brand new tire to replace the brand almost new tire.
Back home I mounted it, unjacked the center stand, and back-walked her upright. Stood back and admired my work. An hour and forty-five minutes. Actually two days.A bit slower than the video.
I checked fluid levels- she lost none- and fired her up.She started like nothing untoward had happened to her. Not a scratch, either. At least no new ones.
But now I know how to do change a rear Gold Wing tire.
$359. Ridiculous.

That's how a new tire looks on Libby. No one stops to look and says, "Hey, new tire. Nice."


My Favorite Highway Sign- And a Rant

On our recent trip to Alaska, I once again saw the signs:

'End Double Penalty Zone'

You've seen them, at the end of a construction site. Here's the way I read it:

'Sale! Half Price Speeding Tickets!'

It all depends on your perspective.
The sign is wrong, so wrong, on a number of levels. First, if the penalty is doubled for speeding in work zones, why would you tell drivers that it is over? If we're concerned about safety, let the guy drive in ignorance to Topeka, Kansas, going the speed limit.
Next, can't we figure it out ourselves? Like this scenario:

Quilter Girl: "I don't see any dozers and loaders."
Me: "Yeah! We passed that flagger a few hundred feet back. And the highway isn't torn up anymore."
(We ride on for another mile or so.)
QG: "I think we're past the construction."
Me: " Do you think? The highway looks old, the shoulders are covered with grass and weeds, and nothing is disturbed."
QG: "Just great! We could have been speeding all this time, at a discounted rate."

Finally, what a waste of money. I know, it isn't much. A Public Works Sign like that probably only cost the taxpayers maybe a thousand dollars. Multiplied by a jillion construction sites, and it's millions of dollars, a paltry sum. But you add a sign, and another, and other ridiculous add ons and we're wasting cash, friends.
What can the common man, the peasant, do?
Just whine, I guess.
And be careful to speed only when it's half price.