Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Random Quotes

  1. "Freedom in its most elemental state is the power to withdraw one's consent when the State-or anyone else-lays an improper claim to one's life or property." -Will Grigg 'Reflections on Resurrection Sunday: We're Commanded to be Free' ProLiberate 3.23.2008  http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2008/03/from-jay-robinson-actor.html
  2. Garbage in, Gospel out -Howard Hayden
  3. Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Mark Twain
  4. A man’s greatest pleasure is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them that which they possess, to see those whom they cherish in tears, to ride their horses, to hold their wives and daughters in his arms. -Ghengis Khan
  5. Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.--Gandhi
  6. How do we solve all the world's problems?  Get the hungry to eat the homeless.-http://www.jokes2go.com/qtoday.html
  7. "We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing." --attributed to Mother Teresa
  8. "Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
    Watch your words, for they become actions.
    Watch your actions, for they become habits.
    Watch your habits, for they become character.
    Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."
    -Lao Tzu quoted by Monty Roberts, 'The Man Who Listens to Horses' 
  9. 'But where everyone is blind-- who misses the day, who notices the darkness?'--Joan D Vinge, 'The Crystal Ship' 
  10. 'Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own'--Robert Heinlein, 'Stranger in a Strange Land'
  11. "Systems get improved to unusability". That's one of 'Converys Rules'. It applies to Nations as well as software. -Andrew Convery 
  12. "To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."--Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 'General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century'
  13. 'When then does humankind recognize that Freedom is a birthright of all, and that to ensure ones own birthright that one must fight not only for their own freedoms, but those of others as well?'--Two Wolf @ BikerorNot.com
  14. "And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more—we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."--Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago Vol. I, pg. 13 (footnote 5)
  15. 'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.'-Georg Orwell
  16. .....sometimes people don't want/need to be rescued from their storm they just need someone to ride out the storm with them!--Jane Bookham
  17. What is individual freedom and what is the proper function of law? Liberty is the absence of human intervention with the endeavors of an individual to utilize his life, liberty, and property (and all adjunct rights flowing therefrom) as he sees fit and for the ends he desires, limited only by the equal liberty of all individuals in society.
    — Ridgway K. Foley, Jr., The Freeman [June 1971]

  18. "One tragic fact is plain to see: There are too many Americans who simply fear Muslims more than they love or understand freedom."-Will Grigg, ‘Hysterical Blindness’ Pro Libertate 3.24.2011
  19. The universe began with a word. But which came first: the word or the thought behind the word? You can't create language without thought, and you can't conceive a thought without language, so which created the other, and thus created the universe?--Tom Hood [December 2011] 
  20.  "Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive." --Josephine Hart
  21. .    “green” is really red – or brown.  And it’s all about control.--Eric Peters comment on August 5, 2012 at 9:39 am at http://ericpetersautos.com/2012/08/02/v2v-the-end-of-driving-by-you-anyhow
  22.  Truth, the new hate speech.  ---Art Wilmeth on Facebook during a comment thread 2012.12.30
  23. We fight cathartic battles, and win Pyrrhic victories. --Nash Montana at https://www.facebook.com/montananash/posts/653225644710569 


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling on the Road to Sturgis

Every year at the beginning of August thousands of motorcyclists converge on Sturgis, a small town in western South Dakota, for the Black Hills Motorcycle Classic, an event often described as 'Mecca for bikers.' Daniel Moriaty and I were among the faithful who made the pilgrimage this year.

Dan, a combo driver, rode his new-looking burnt red 1983 Harley Davidson XLX Sportster. I rode 'Gomer,' a ratty black 1968 XLH Sporster chopper. We had both just gotten our bikes out of the Iron Eagle Shop in Castaic, CA.

We left Dan's house about noon on Friday, August 2, and got to Las Vegas nine hours later. Because we were riding in very hot weather and were still breaking in the engines to our scoots, we would ride for about an hour at 50-55 mph and break for a half hour.

We left the Vegas KOA early to try to beat the heat. That was the plan, anyway. But I screwed up in packing my goodies on Gomer and held us up for at least an hour securing and re-securing my load. As we got underway, my stuff wourld lean to the right at about a 45 degree angle, threatening to fall off. It was a bit unsettling, and frustrating, too. After the third stop, I was able to quit worrying and enjoy the ride again.

We went north on I-15 and saw several Viking triples going south as we rode along. Before we knew it, we were out of Nevada, through Arizona, and in Utah. We turned east at I-70 and camped for the night in Richfield.

Sunday morning we rode to Salina for breakfast and gas. We knew that we faced an intimidating 108 miles to Green River without any gas stations. No problem, we thought, we'll just buy a one or two gallon gas can with gas and carry it with us. Yeah, right. None of the places we checked had gas cans that small.

Fortune smiled on us, slightly. A trucker, hearing of our plight, dug up a gallon container of window wash, distributed the contents among his buddies, and gave us the container. I filled it, bungeed it to the back of Gomer, and we were off. Well, as it turned out, we made it to the next gas station 108 miles down the road on what we had in our gas tanks. I used the gas in the container, and threw away the container.

We got as far as New Castle, CO and camped at the KOA there, a beautiful campground nestled right next to a stream in an evergreen forest, with squirrels scampering upand down the trees and birds chirping in the branches. If you are ever in that part of the world, do camp there for the night. You'll be glad you did.

The next day, we were up at sunup. An hour later, Dan and I began riding through the scenic Rockies, with green trees, multi-coloured rock formations, fantastic clouds, and lots of blue sky. We rode through Denver and turned north onto I-25 heading for Cheyenne, Wyoming.

As we got to the Wyoming border, Gomer ran out of gas! Just then a group of bros heading up to Sturgis stopped to take pictures of the border sign; one bro transferred some gas from his bike to mine, and we were able to continue.

We gassed up in Cheyenne, and seeing a fireworks store next to the station, decided to buy a few firecrackers for later. When we bought the merchandise we had to fill out a bill of lading, and the baper bag in which the firecrackers were carried had to have a hazerdous material label that said, 'Explosives-Class C!' Dan and I traded jokes about transporting HM on our motorcycles before resuming our journey.

We left Cheyenne thinking we were headed north. When we crossed into Nebraska, we realised we'd taken a wrong turn somewhere. Checking our maps, we determined that we could still reach Sturgis via Highway 385.

At our last daylight gas stop, I discovered that my headlight didn't work!?!. So Dan and I rode for an hour-and-a-half in the dark using just his headlight. Believe me, I stayed real close to Dan during that time!

Thirteen hours after leaving New Castle, we stopped in Hot Springs, South Dakota for the night.

Next morning, on our way to Mount Rushmore, we were in a paradise of motorcycles. There were more Harleys than any other make, but other marques were well represented on the road. I saw VW-powered trikes, sidecar-equipped dressers, choppers, old bikes, new bikes, etc, etc.

There was a feeling of excitement all around and everyone was so friendly to each other. When we stopped for gas, we'd chat with riders from all over. It was nice, let me tell you.

When Dan and I arrived at the parking lot of Mt. Rushmore, we found a place, among the hundreds of motorcycles there, to park and dismounted. I was quite impressed with the sculpture making up the Mt Rushmore National Monument. We took some photographs of the monument, gazed at it for a while, and hit the road for Deadwood City.

In Deadwood City, we went to the Number 10 Saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot dead while playing poker. Dan and I played the slots until we got tired of losing. We were just havin' fun, anyway.

We rode toward Sturgis, deciding to stay at the Buffalo Chip Campground just outside of town. For less than $20 per night, we each got camping, access to food and beverages, and concerts by bands like Steppenwolf, Charlie Daniels, and the Doobie Brothers, among others. We stayed three nights there.

During the day, we'd ride to Sturgis and walk around taking in the sights, looking at motorcycles, babes, motorcycles, babes... We went to Deadwood City again, wandering around and checking out the saloons up and down the main drag.

Our last day in the area we went to Rapid City to 'Shotgun Willie's' a bar featuring strippers. There were some real beautiful ladies there, and in stark contrast to some other places to which I've been, they looked like they were having fun.

Friday morning Dan and I headed west along with Phil, an owner-operater out of the Bay area. Phil was on a late model 80" Harley and set the pace all the way to Reno.

Along the way, we stopped just east of Wright, Wyoming to photograph a herd of bison. Our concern about stampeding the herd from the noise we might make kept us from getting any real good pictures, however.

When we got to Reno, Phil went on to the Bay, Dan stayed in town to do some sightseeing, and I headed home to plan next year's trip to Sturgis.

Any Vikings wanting to go along with Dan and me are welcome to ride with us. Just contact either of us at SFV. See ya, and ride safe!

Fall 1991 Independent Times, Viking Freight