Not riding Velvet this weekend, for two reasons. The first is that it's raining here currently and although motorcyclists do ride in the rain all the time, I prefer not to, unless I get caught out in it, as has already happened three or four times in my newly-revived motorcycling hobby.
Reminds me of my youth, back in high school, when I rode my little Honda in every kind of weather there was and got soaked many times. Emphasis on the word "soaked." You will never get wetter than you will on a bike in the rain, outside a swimming pool or the shower. I carry rain gear with me, yeah, but problem is that when it starts coming down, you get thoroughly saturated before you can find a dry place to stop and put the stuff on! At that point, why even bother with it at all?? And the natural wind chill you generate when you're moving is clammy, even in the summer months. I don't need pneumonia; got enough problems without adding that to the list, thank you!
Which brings me to my second reason for not riding -- a very sore left knee. And a little gimpy, too, with a slight limp. I twisted it last week, while I was hooking to a trailer. The place had the trailers stacked like sardines in a can, only inches between them, so I had to scrunch up underneath my loaded box (again) in order to crank the dollies up, then had to crawl back out from underneath it. Somehow, in the process, my body turned to the left, but my left leg and knee were firmly planted on the asphalt and, uh, didn't turn with the rest of me. Felt a sharp pain instantly and something went "GRONK" in there. It hurt when I did that, so I stopped doing that immediately. Pain is nature's way of telling you to Cut The Crap -- Now!!
It was getting stiff and sore by yesterday morning and by the time I got home, it was decidedly painful, getting in and out of my tractor. Riding was out of the question; I didn't trust my sore left knee to securely handle the weight of my 600 pound Harley when I was stopped, so I passed on that idea. I limped in the house, limped to my 4-wheeler, limped to the drugstore, bought some Icy Hot liniment, limped back home, and slathered half the container on my aching joint. Felt a little better, but still stiff as hell and hurt like a bitch when I first got up this morning.I drew a tubful of steaming water, as hot as I could possibly stand it, lowered my jumbo body into it as gently as I could, and soaked there for almost two hours, drawing more hot water as needed. That seemed to take much of the soreness out of it, and now, slathered again with the Icy Hot and wrapped in an elastic bandage for extra support, I'm sitting here, painless for now, writing this and watching the light drizzle fall outside.
Now let's add insult to injury and reveal the fact that I'm home until Tuesday, due to a dental appointment in the morning when I will have two (2) teeth extracted. Oh, goody!! I'm really looking forward to that, on top of my wounded knee, as I'm sure you can imagine! Gee -- oral surgery! What fun!!! I asked for the day off tomorrow because with all the needed anesthesia I likely won't be in any shape to drive, at least commercially. New dentist; my former one retired at the end of last year and I don't know what manner of Happy Pills this new one will give me.
Oh, I could be Mr. Tough, suck it up, and go on out, but that's probably your worst nightmare, isn't it? A driver behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound monster, whizzing down the highway, zonked out of his gourd on Goofballs!! So, in the interest of public safety, I'll sit home till it wears fully off. By then, with any luck at all, my mouth will just be sore and I can live with that for a day or two. Small, minor things, like eating, will be touch and go for a time, but what the hey -- I can stand to starve off a pound or so anyway! I will survive this, trust me. Vacation's coming up next month and I have no doubt I'll be all healed up, ready to hit the road on Velvet again and ride myself silly by then, if not well before!!
In addition to banging myself up last week, I had another occurrence which had me wondering if anyone could see me at all. I don't mean see me in my truck, I mean see me, myself, I, etc. I went to a shipper to get my go-home load, swept out my trailer, smoked a cigarette while they loaded me (outside, of course, as usual), then took the tally sheet to the dock superviser's office, so he could type the loading info into his computer and print my bills out. Stood there at that window for twenty solid minutes while the gentleman totally ignored me.
I held my own hand up and gazed at it, then looked down at my feet, just to make sure I hadn't become somehow invisible. Nope. I could still see myself, so it was more than likely that anyone else could, too. Thoughts went through my head: Uh, excuse me, sir, but I'm -- like, standing here, y'know?? The lights are all on -- no power failure. I'm highly visible. I am a human being. I exist and I'm right here. Why can't you at least acknowlege that fact?? Tell me, "just a second," or something to that effect and at least assure me that you're aware of my presence!!
In the course of ten years on the road, I've dealt with all types of people, all as varied and diverse as people are. I've had arguments with snotty, hateful security guards, some of whom let that little tin badge go straight to their heads, I've been in uncounted discussions with other drivers, both on my CB and in person, played Let's Make A Deal with umpteen lumpers, dealt with uncaring shipping/receiving clerks, including some female ones who were evidently suffering from Permanent PMS, and even had an occasional run-in with a spotter (although most of those guys are okay, in my personal experience.) Suffice it to say that I've been bitched at and hollered at by many, and have given most back as good as I received, when I could do so without jeopardizing my job. Truckers have to be tough, that's a fact. It can be a tough occupation at times. I'm not one to even let my company officials run over me; I have given them my view of matters more than once, respectfully and politely, of course.
Never, though, have I run into anything more rude than simply being ignored like I was at that shipper! I'd feel much better if I were in an argument; at least then, I could stick up for myself in the matter. But there's nothing you can do about such a cold shoulder, really. I mean, the man wasn't impolite, or rude to me, once he did come to the window, finally. He was friendly enough, in fact, and I'm not a rude person myself, by nature, so I responded in kind, but I had to repress the anger I was feeling inside. Am I making too big a deal out of this, you think?? Am I wrong, to let that treatment make me mad? Should I just shrug it off and not let it bother me? What do you readers think?
Finally, I've got a musical treat for you, well at least some of you, anyway!! My older readers may remember this tune well, as it's the theme song from a very popular film that was released way back in 1964. My middle-aged and older readers will be counting the gray hairs on this one, for sure, and for you younger readers, listen in and get educated a little! This is the main theme from the early James Bond film, Goldfinger, and the song, of course, has the same title as the film.
Goldfinger was performed by a Welsh singer named Shirley Bassey, who at that time was unknown in the U.S., although she was a major star in the UK and Europe. She went on to perform the themes of two more Bond films and remained a star overseas up through the mid-70's, although she never had another hit in America. But this gal had one set of pipes on her, let me tell you!! Nobody to my knowlege has ever covered this song and I don't think anyone else ever could do it justice like Ms. Bassey did it. This ain't rock and roll -- it's Big Band music, but very well-performed. It's still about the best all-time movie theme I've ever heard in my entire life.
So, enjoy, and I'll see all of you a little further down the road!!
You MUST CLICK for the song to play.