V-Star 650 Classic Rehab!!!

A lot of my hobbies and interests were shelved for quite a while during my time in trucking. I was out on the road 3-5 weeks and home 3-5 days. Time with Ember and quality time were priorities. One of those hobbies/interests that I put on hold was motorcycling. I got my V-Star 650 Classic back in 2012 and I’ve ridden through just about every weather condition, over widely varied terrain, and I’ve enjoyed several road trips on this machine.

I’m happy to report that after a couple of years of inactivity, my V-Star is back on the road and I have plans to take my daughter Ember for some short rides to start with. Eventually I hope to drop her off and pick her up at school and maybe go for some slightly longer rides. I’ll be doing an oil/filter change, fuel filter change, air filter change, new front brake pads, and a few other things over the next weekend and it’s getting brand new tires in a couple of weeks.

Expect to see lots more motorcycle fun around here in the future 😎

First run in a few years and it just keeps getting better


My Roces CDG Paris Skates
My Roces CDG Paris Skates = These are from the 1990s and feature period correct decoration

Nearly a year’s passed since I left my former career in long haul trucking. Life has been turbulent to say the least. I’ve finally had a chance to start going through all sorts of stuff in storage and that was put away while I wasn’t home most of the time and I’ve found some cool stuff. I’ve found my remote weather station, my 35mm and Polaroid cameras, old cellphones, and so much more. To quote Jimmy Buffett, times are tough, I’ve got too much stuff! Can’t explain the likes of me LOL!

These skates aren’t genuine Rollerblade brand, but even if it’s not this way now, Rollerblade was used generically for the type of skate kinda like Xerox is used generically for photocopiers. These are actually pretty special skates from a company called Roces and if you look you’ll see there are five wheels on each skate. These are for speed and endurance and they were my transportation before I got my driver’s license. Yes, they’re from the fabulous 1990s and the decals that decorate them are from that glorious time as well!

I’m probably going to work at losing quite a bit more weight before I get back on these as I don’t want to inadvertently damage them, but I do plan on putting a bunch more miles on them!

I Found My Old Phones!

So, I’d used my old Camelbak backpack for clothing and just about everything else during my years on the road in a semi truck. With that life firmly in my past, I finally got around to going through my old backpack which is when I found these old phones. The iPhone 4 was my first smartphone and the iPhone 6 replaced it a few years later. Both were subsequently succeeded by my iPhone 8+ which is what I’m still using.

The iPhone 4 is a 3G CDMA phone, so it’s never going to get back on a cellular network as 3G is being deactivated across the USA later this year, but it still works on WiFi. The iPhone 6 is still a viable backup device. Both needed new batteries and the iPhone 6 needed a new screen. I purchased all the parts for a total of around $35 on eBay and replaced them with YouTube videos serving as instructions.

Both of these old phones are now back in good working condition and it’s fun to use them and think of how much things have changed in personal tech over the last few years.

My Caribbean Blue Chevy Spark

Growing up in SoCal, cars didn’t just take me from point A to point B. We often spent more time in our cars than we did in our homes. In many ways, our hom had quite a few cars over the years. The first car I ever drove became my first car. That white on blue interior 1983 Buick Regal took me to so many places. After that, I drove a 1993 Regal, a 1988 Chevy IROC Z/28 Camaro (black on black and I dearly miss those T-tops!), a 1988 Ford Ranger, 2001 and 2002 Chevy Cavaliers, a 2008 Chevy HHR, a couple of 1990s vintage Suburbans, and a 2004 Honda Odyssey. Each has their own tale to tell and each has powerful memories from my time with them. Yes, I connect to cars emotionally.

I got sick and tired of dealing with repairs or purchasing a new car when I had a couple of days off the road during my time in trucking and decided to get something with a warranty. This car only has a 1.4L engine, but it also has a clutch pedal and the fuel economy is outstanding! It drives like a little go cart LOL! In keeping with tradition in my automotive adventures, this is another base model with crank windows, manual door locks, etc., but it’s not bereft of tech. No, this little car that was built in Korea has a 7″ touchscreen infotainment system, traction control, Stabilitrak, ABS, OnStar, a backup camera, and TEN AIRBAGS. The only option it has is the Caribbean Blue Metallic paint which I love, but I only paid the extra because it’s all that was available when I needed the car.

So far it’s been a great car and I look forward to teaching Ember to operate a manual transmission and probably passing ownership to her as well.

Songs I’ve Lived – Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

How does this fall under “Songs I’ve lived” you might ask? Yes, I lived in Las Vegas and I’ve gambled in more than a few towns in the vast state of nothingness known as Nevada. Now, all of my gambling experience has been in entirely legal establishments. That is all of my CASINO gambling experience…

We won’t talk about the guy I met in the New York New York casino in Las Vegas, NV shortly after my 21st birthday who wanted to go in on a pallet of wine, who said, “We’re Italians – We don’t play games.” and who I’m sure was a mafia hitman from later disguised interviews…

You see, there’s a lot more in life that falls under this song than just playing cards in casinos. There’s CDL school. There’s solo long haul OTR trucking. There’s learning to ride a motorcycle and then riding that insane machine all through Las Vegas.

Don’t get me started on helping to raise an 8yo daughter 🤣

Good times and if they weren’t good then, they’re freaking awesome looking back years later 😎

Songs I’ve Lived – Junior Brown – Highway Patrol

Dad was California Highway Patrol for about 31 years. He didn’t care for office or organizational politics. Dad was a patrol officer for his entire career by his own choice.

I remember Dad bringing his patrol car home for dinner a few times (especially on Thanksgiving) and letting me play with the PA system and lights on the car 😁

Dad’s a lot older now than when he retired back in the early 2000s. But Dad was and is a true American Badass 😎👍

WX2HOT – Getting Back on the Air

WX2HOT… That might be a bit familiar to some of y’all reading this right now. WX2HOT is my vanity call sign for Amateur Radio on file with the Federal Communications Commission. My originally assigned call sign from the FCC was KE7VYA. Now, there’s nothing wrong with my original call sign, but I thought it was funny with the rather toasty summer weather in Vegas to get WX2HOT since WX is a contraction for weather 😉

I’ve renewed my ham radio license for another ten years, but I’m missing actually having a radio. You see, things happened to some of my stuff on my truck… Anyway, as you can see above, I’ve ordered a new radio which should be delivered in the next week or two. The new radio is made in China, but no other radio I’ve found has the combination of features in this one.

This should be fun and entertaining 😁

Songs I’ve Lived – Floor Jansen – Alone (Cover)

Yes, this is another post in the “Songs I’ve Lived” series. And that’s because I definitely know this feeling deeply, personally, and repeatedly. The version most people know is by Heart and is great in its own way. It’s very energetic and very 1980s. This version with Floor Jansen is slowed way down, has no electric guitars or drums, and uses only Floor’s voice and a piano (played by a member of her first band who has a Knighthood and operates his own recording studio) to reach in and push so many emotional buttons…

As I said in an earlier post, sometimes I’ll explain the backstory with people, places, and history. Sometimes I won’t. A few of my friends will probably know the details on this one. But I’m not going to give details here or now.

Click, listen, and drink it all in.