Friday, September 28, 2007

My New Bike



So...I got a new motorcycle. Yup, I am a bit crazy. Yup, the one I had before was just fine. But now I have a smile on my face like I'm a four-year-old with a shiny brand new penny in his pocket and narry a cloud in the sky.

Melissa is amazing and supportive about my passions and interests, defending them as she would defend her own, and I in turn do the same for her. It has always seemed this way to me for us, that we bend together in the winds of change, adapt, grow, learn. On top of that, my wife is one damn hot woman, and she is my best friend. And believe me that isn't the new motorcycle speaking.

I've had the flat black and chrome motorbike for nearly three weeks now, trading in my 2005 883C Sportster for an even exchange against what I owed, and I'm past the real giddy stage. I've never owned a brand spanking new vehicle before, never felt the break-in period of a new untouched, unspoilt engine. I've never breathed in the heady smell of an engine setting it's own rings while I was astride it. It is odd--a burning of something not quite exhaust, not quite oil, but something quite a bit more. Tangible. Intangible. It is found in heartbeat, viscera, dilation, wind, earth, fire, steel, chrome, rubber. It awakens some great sense of freedom and flying, something imbued into my bones at an age where I learned to pedal a trike and then a bike, yet still speaks through this iron weight of ballance and speed.

So I do wax all philosophical about it. I do believe it is somewhat of a malaise, this passion for everything HD brand. My garage is being overrun by bars and shields. My closet overtaken by all these black and gray shirts. My bicycles slowly being sold off to be replaced by another bit or piece of something new, an accessory, a passion.

It really is like riding my mountainbike, or carving the perfect arc across the tarmac on my roadbike. The motorcycle slices through the turns, zooms around corners, rumbles, spits, and strolls, leaving me feeling akin and breathless, wondering at the vista life presents in the everyday. Revelations like this just don't happen much in a car (well, maybe if it were in a 2008 Black convertible SS Camaro, cruising down highway 1 on the oregon coast...). It must be the fact that it rolls on 2 wheels.

Wanna see it? Sure. I can get a picture posted for ya. I took a few back at home, but from work I will have to post up a link to one from the dub dub dub. A generic. Sure my bike is stamped with a serial number that is about 20 characters long, and was built by hands on an assembly line, but it's mine. And the fact that it's earned by my own sweat and labor, makes it mine again.

So it sits about 60 lbs heavier, about 12 inches longer, it's displacement about 800 cc's larger, and it's a heckuva lot more comfortable. The passenger seat is ready to rock for Melissa, no longer will her toosh be subjugated to a hardpan seat. It has a six speed tranny, is all blacked out, and is everything I liked about the Sportster (specifically handling and agility) and then some.
So that's about it. I once again must say my wife is most definately a babe. An uber-babe. Yes, maybe I am a bit biased, but I thought so quite clearly before she let me get an upgraded motorscoot. Now I know what a babe she is! And what a lucky stiff I am.
-Jay

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cha-Cha-Changes

If you, like me, picture David Bowie singing this song, then good on ya!

I am at work at the moment, enjoying a lul in the hubub of being a new engineer processing cases. NetApp is a fine company to work for, and I plan on learning about 1.6 billion new things in this position. At least...

I have so far trouble shot three different types of filers, and looked at things in perspectives with eyes freshly peeled to a new frequency of Mhz previously untunable to me. I feel as if I have been rewired in my thinking of system operability, and given a firmware upgrade if you will.

This past weekend Melissa, the kiddles and I were able to spend a few days in Hyde Park helping Beck & Bob to move in and hanging out with Jim and Angie. It was a nice bit of R&R, and was a prime example of someone doing some half-split troubleshooting. Background: I flipped the A/C on my Suburban to full blast a month ago during an especially hot day and the thing just fizzled. I had no idea why, only knowing I'd checked that the charge on the refrigerant and it was full earlier in the month. I figured it was going to cost me about $200 to get it fixed. Boy was I wrong. Jim and I looked it over on Sunday, the weather being pretty rainy and us wanting to do something fun out in his 3000 sq foot shop (and a very droolworthy shop it is). He started to troubleshoot the issue, having me start with fuses and moving systematically along the line. We found out there had been a connector short out, and after the old one had been removed, a new one pinched on and wrapped in electrical tape, the fan turned right on. Moral of the story? A bit of brain power and a few minutes saved me $200 bucks. That is good troubleshooting.

So here I sit, at a desk, helping folks with filers that serve terrabytes of data at great expense. And I want to emulate Uncle Jim. His coolheaded approach to troubleshooting, his haf-split method of finding the problem, and his easy fix. That, my friends is a technician for you. Jim is a technician.

I don't have much more to say, not in this post anyway...I will post again soonish, updates tot he family are coming along, I have gotten a new Motorcycle, I have been reading like some sort of crazy person, and Melissa and I are considering a move to a new city. But for now, think about how you approach fixing something. Is it done in a logical manner? Can you try things that eliminate other possibilities? Together we can benefit one another in our troubleshooting skills.

Jay

Saturday, September 15, 2007

If Narcissus Were an Altruist...

It starts when we insinuate
and then we callously cachinnate
to spark life into all these bold words

Then we mockingly genuflect
around our own self-respect
really bowing and scraping to pride

We languidly masticate
as we verbally masturbate
and pompous, wrap mantles of airs

Oh really how we self efface
all sense snugly self replaced
Ho vision! Ho thought! Bid adieu...

Stay pride and steady tongue!
silence mouth's gaping bung
and wash 'way all hastily spoken words

Let Passion's coursier stay
teamed to Reason's implacable way
a bracered tandem of wills

And tongue and mind together
will stay the tiller through weather
lo wisdom and life's far shore!

JRB
9-15-07

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Autumnal Antistrophe

I heard the crickets tonight
their lingering voices the
passing thought of summer.

It was cool out and the sun
had set hours before and
the equinox drawing ever closer.

Less than two weeks to go
till autumn and summer pass
with a grin and a nod, cousinlike.

And so I mused for a while
on the strophe of the vernal season
and the antistrophe of fall.

Both voices echo, magnified
their resultant strains reverberating
magnavox, the ampitheater of my ear.

Sing on honest! Sing on uncolored!
unfurl your passing paean unchecked
but for a season by winters chill!

Only later wake, ope budlike eyes
and sing, the newness of spring!
But tonight together our words whisper.

Tonight I heard the crickets sing
their voices lingering there
summer passing thought.

JRB
9/6/07

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's 00:14 & I Am Training.

Sitting here at work. The training module was shorter than anticipated and the other modules we don't have access to quite yet. Result? Webcrawling. I call it webcrawling because that is what I do--uninspired (for the most part) and weary dub-dub-dub trolling for things that interest. Ebay, HD, Apple, an author's site, news of the nights windstorm, anything to distract the fact that I'd rather be home in bed asleep. Or reading one of the novels I have from the Orem Public Library.

So I contrast the mundane moments I am currently lodged in with a day of involvement and movement.

Monday was Labor Day. Melissa and our little family met up with Grandma and Grandpa Stephens, and Dave and Kara and their kids, and we went to Thanksgiving Point to see a 3-D Dinosaur show and walk the Discovery Childrens gardens. The wading pool was pretty cool, check out Mestebla's Blog (the hyperlink is located to the left) for some fun pictures. We ate at Iceberg, a place I had previously only partaken a shake or two from (I had a pastrami burger and some fries both to die for, though the ambience was lacking--think peeling wallpaper, sticky floors, and a very dirty bathroom with loudly proclaiming signs that the lack of paper towels and TP was due to "customer misuse" and they weren't going to restock them--yup, punsih the normal folks who need to wipe their bums, just because you are cheap). Later the guys and gals split up to go to Cabelas and Ikea, and their respective interests. The fishtank was the coolest thing by far, some of those fish were monsters.

It was 4:30 when the Blair family got home, footsore and a tad sunburned, and all of us took a nap. I did some yard and housework, nothing really fantastic or frisky, and felt plain ol' satisfied with the days outcome.

It was a few hours later and Melissa pronouced a dictum on the days events--she mentioned how nice it was that we had gone out and done instead of allowing the day to slip by and mention at it's end with a sigh that we could've done something else. The key word in the thought being a verb, the resulting state of our day became a noun. Satisfaction.

Talk about a bit of juxtaposition, when slated against tonight's "training". Yes, I am a bit tired. Yes, the mug-shots on my colleagues computer from thesmokinggun.com are funnier because of it. Yes, Monday was a great day. And it's days like that which I live for.

That and the resulting closeness of being with family all day and feeling like I want to be around Melissa, Hyrum and Maddy even more.

That's what it's all about.

-Jay