Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Space In Between and Dreams of Silver Lake

I'm not sure if it's sleep apnea or constantly being overtired all of the time, but I don't dream much. Every once in a while I will have a lucid dream that seems so real that it haunts me across the years. I sort of halfway believe in ESP. I have predicted things to come true. My daughter does the same thing, so maybe our family has a penchant for such things. I truly believe that dreams are a private conversation between the heart and the brain. Mostly it is the heart saying, "Hey Brain, this is what he really wants to happen. You're the smart one, get busy figuring out a way to make it so". One dream I had a few years ago keeps coming back to me again and again. And yes, it is a scenario that I would like to see come true. So, here it goes. I had a dream that I was in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California. The reason I came to that particular neighborhood was work related. I got a chance to do some screen writing through a chance encounter. It was one of those "show us what you can do kid" deals. As such I didn't have a lot of money for a hotel and it was an open ended commitment. I might be there a week, months or longer. I called on friends and acquaintances for available couch space in the greater North LA area. One friend who came through was Matt Davis from DicE Magazine. I got into town early Sunday afternoon. Matt was busy with some previous plans, he gave me the keys to his apartment and said something to the effect of, "If you are hungry there is a great brunch downstairs next door". Downstairs from his place I found a trendy but welcoming restaurant. The bill of fare advertised an all you eat gourmet buffet with seafood, eggs, crepes and biscuits & gravy as well as unlimited Mimosas and Miller High Lifes for $50. Sold. I sat at the bar, ate my fill and downed several drinks. Full, slightly buzzed and tired from my journey I went back to Matt's apartment to rest. I opened the door to his building to find that it opened up to a courtyard with a large half pipe. Some guys were skating, I stood and watched for a few minutes then found the door to the apartment. I went inside and collapsed on the sofa. I nodded off thinking, "I could get used to living here". End of dream. Now, I don't know Matt well. But we are acquainted through mutual friends in the magazine world and occasionally exchange emails or chat at events. When I had this dream it was either right before or after my trip to Born Free 3. This was before TriCo opened and Matt was still living in Glendale. I'm not exactly sure where he is living now, but I think I saw that he mentioned it's Silver Lake or somewhere near there. It's funny how in the last 3 years things have come together in ways I could not have predicted or had any idea about. I have been doing some existential soul searching lately about where my life is and feeling the yen get a fresh start in a new locale. I posted a picture on Instagram and mentioned the dream with Matt in the comments. His reply was priceless, "Life is for living bruv". So yeah, let's do that, There's the dream...what my heart wants. Now I just need to figure out how to make it happen, to fill that space between now and realizing my dream. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Black Leather Jackets

This is one of those things from my formative years that had an effect on me. I had forgotten about it until I came across a pic on Instagram. It looks like two stripped down Duo-Glide Pans and a Knuck, either with a Vard front end or an early Hydra-Glide? Note the blacked out rims and forks. For many years an Excel black leather jacket, black t-shirt, Sears Engineer boots and cuffed Levi's were the uniform to go along with my greasy black mop and dreams of rockabilly glory. It wasn't until years later after my hair was gone and I outgrew my leather jacket that I was able to buy my first Harley. Some dreams never die...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lee Bender

Lee Bender got in a pretty bad wreck yesterday. From the looks of the pictures his forks got clipped by some careless driver. A split second later and it could have been much worse. He broke several bones and got a pretty bad gash on his noggin but avoided a concussion. From what I can gather he went through surgery this morning will be be on the mend for a while. We hate to hear about anybody going down. All of us who ride do so with knowledge in the back of our minds "there but for the grace of God go I". Once the healing is done Lee will have some bills to pay and lost wages to make up. So, if you have a little extra please send it his way and help a brother out. You can make a Paypal donation to middlewestern@yahoo.com Get well soon! UPDATE: Turns out it was an uninsured driver who pulled out in front of Lee then fled the scene. You've got to be a very special kind of scumbag to leave an accident that you caused while someone may have been dying. I hope they get theirs. Meanwhile, Mr. Bender seems be doing alright and is home from the hospital. Don't be shy about those PayPal donations, any little bit helps and you could be paying it forward if God forbid it is your turn to take a spill.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fish, skulls, Harley Davidson and a brown interior.

Today I had some time and an afternoon of good weather to tackle a few projects on my van. The first order of business was removing most of the stickers the previous owner had applied, especially the huge HD emblem on the back door windows. As you can see it was quite the tribal skull abortion. There were also some stylized HA stickers adorning the doors as well as skull door locks and even a skull radio antenna topper. The guy REALLY liked skulls. After a few minutes with the widget and some Windex the goofy images were gone, butI left the largemouth bass. Inside of the van the fish motif continues. There are fish shaped night lights cut out of the same brown Masonite used in the floor, the door panels and dashboard. He also made a handy rack for fishing pole storage. Opening the back doors lets everyone know that the driver has "Gone...Fishin". The platform bed and LED lights added later enhance the magic of the 70s era brown naugahyde and bubble windows. The stereo speakers are cobbled from a home theatre system, complete with a free standing bass cabinet. The HD floor mats really pull it all together. In addition to his love of skulls I noticed that the previous owner wasnt really into basic vehicle maintenance and repair. Body repair from a fender bender is clumsy, but he did a great job of matching the paint. The battery tray was sort of half connected and shoved into the engine compartment. I secured it with a nut and bolt, easy. Next I fixed the radio antenna. Instead of putting it back together he had jammed it in the hole in the fender. No wonder I couldnt get in any stations. Again, it was another obvious and simple job. The real head scratcher came when I checked the tire pressure. The Wranglers called for 35 psi, each tire held around 15. No antifreeze or wiper fluid either. Sigh... Yeah, he was one of those guys. Anyhow, the van runs like a top despite any neglect it might have experienced. I dumped some Sea Foam into the gas tank. Hopefully that will take care of the carb loading up and running rich. All in all, after 2 weeks the van is a real pleasure to drive and I look forward to some new projects. The front brakes need some attention, the door locks need re-keyed, Id like to add jump seats or a removable bench seat, add cigarette lighter and the sliding door freezes half open. Id like to get the windows mirror tinted and it will definately need a real tune up before any major road trips. Oh, and I found a nifty cup holder at Autozone that fits righ in the map pocket. I like those modern conveniences.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Brooklyn, a month later.

No way in the world did I think a month ago that the biggest hurricane or extra tropical cyclone, whatever it was, would be hitting Brooklyn like a punch to the face from Randall Tex Cobb. I talked to my buddy Jeff Mowrer on Monday and he was prepared with beer, cigs and dog food aplenty. I havent been heard back from him since the storm hit. His place in the Bushwick neighborhood wasnt in an evacuation zone, so I'd reckon he is fine but probably inconvenienced in a major way. If you look at the map you can see the Bushwick Inlet in Greenpoint in the red zone along the East River. 14th Street, which ends at the inlet, is where Root Gallery, The Gutter Bar and Works Engineering are all located. I haven't been able to confirm it but I fear that all of those places got hit by the storm surge and may still be under water. I hope Im wrong. Those sunny days of September seem long, long gone.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New rides in fall colors

I completed the trade of my 1980 Ironhead for a 1977 Chevy van the other day. I was sad to see her go after all of the work I put in. But that's life. We build up what we have until we can get to the next step. I have been wanting a van for a while and now I've got one. Though I wont be bikeless. My neighbor is a hoarder of vintage Japanese bikes and set me up with a very cheap, and mostly original, 1974 cb750 sans title and in need of some work. It's a little step back true, but come spring it will be something I can tool around on and will make me some money when I decide to sell it. Im still gathering parts for my Evo Sporty build. Confidentially, it is not as good a deal as I thought previously. The numbers on the case are missing. The stamping numbers next to the oil pump reveal that is an 883 made on March, 15 1990. Despite the pulley in lieu of a sprocket that would make it a four speed. Apparently the belt drive conversion was a popular "upgrade" in early 90s. Bah! Honestly, once I work up to a reliable big twin chop I will be done with building and trading...I promise.

About Me

My Photo
An unfocused dilettante. I'm not half bad. Overall a very good yegg and a wrong guy in an increasingly right world.

Followers