Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Just figured I'd throw the Holiday greets out early as in a couple hours, we're heading to Mississippi to spend the holidays with our youngest son, his wife, our new grandson, our oldest son and his fiance are going with as well! I can't ask for a better Christmas than to spend it with my family! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and an even better 2012!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The family grows..

On December 9th, 2011, at 6:02pm Colton Troy Fickbohm came into this world. Weighing in at a solid 8lbs, 1oz and measuring 20.5", he was tired of waiting around for the due date (Dec. 19th) and came to us early.

Our Grandson, Colton-

Chillin' with his momma, our daughter-in-law Julie-

Already practicing his "WTF dad!" look on our son, Jayson-

I never gave a whole lot of thought to the idea of me being a grandpa and I don't know if it's really sunk in yet. I really wish we could have been there when he was born, but with them being just over 1000 miles away and with our work schedule it just didn't work out. Jayson and Julie are both SeaBees in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Gulfport, Ms. I am very proud of both of them for choosing to serve America, but even more-so now considering the challenges they'll face and the sacrifices they'll make in raising a family while serving our country. I know from experience how tough that can be. Our oldest son Jimmy was born in Song-Nam, South Korea while I was stationed there with the Army back in the late 80's and our youngest, Jayson, was born on Ft. Riley, Kansas while I was stationed there in the early 90's. It's a tough road they have ahead of them, especially with both of them being in the Navy. They both tough, strong willed people, they'll do just fine.

As for my wife and I, we are both counting the days till we head to Ms to spend time with Jayson, Julie, and Colton. On Dec. 22nd we're taking off for a Christmas vacation and spending both Christmas and New Years with them. To make this an even more special holiday our oldest son, Jimmy, and his fiance, Paige, were both able to get time off and we're all going together. I don't think I could ask for a better Christmas!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

'76 Ironhead

Well, here's a couple pics of it. It was a rainy crappy day so I didn't get to ride it and the battery was pretty dead so I didn't get to hear it run either. It looks to be in very clean shape with lots of parts that'll either get taken off or sold. We agreed to wait for a nicer day so we could get it out, get it running, and ride it. If that all works out, I'll do the trade and start gathering parts for next years build!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Decisions, decisions.....

In '08 I bought a new, left over, '07 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic. It's been a great, trouble free, bike for me. Between myself and my son we've racked up just over 30k miles on it. I still have it. A friend has the same bike set up for touring and just loves it. I was at the Carquest store he works at last week picking up some parts and we started bs'ing about bikes. He goes on about how much he likes his 900 and says that he should probably sell his other scoot cause he doesn't ride it much. It's not comfy enough for him, and with him being quite a bit older than me I can understand. So I said since you like that Vulcan so much how about we just trade. I've got 2 other scoots and would love to have some old iron again. He says, let me think about it. Now the scoot in question is his '76 XLH iron head. He said the motor has been rebuilt a couple years ago by a very reputable local guy, bored, cammed, and such. I did some checking and that checks out to be true. He said the carb(S&S, not quite sure which model) was built and tuned by a local carb guru, this also checks out to be true. I've also talked to couple guys that have actually ridden the scoot and both of them say it runs like a scalded dog. I stopped back in the store yesterday and ask if he's still thinking and he says, nope, I'm done, let's do it. I'm going to give it a look this weekend and decide........

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy turkey day everyone! O.k., so I'm a day late, lol!

 Even with as bleak as things can look at times these days, I do have a lot to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, a wife that has put up with my shit for the last 24 years, 2 sons that are also my best friends and I couldn't be prouder of both of them. They've each chosen a good woman to share their lives with and our youngest son and his wife are expecting their first child on December 19th, our first grandchild, the family grows.

With as much as I can bitch and complain about my job, I have a good job for this area with very good job security. We're swamped with a lot of different projects with no end in sight, can't complain about that in this economy.

I've got a handful of true friends that I can always count on.

I've got scoots in the garage so "wind therapy" is never very far away.

I've got a lot to be thankful for.....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ass Hats......

I guess I'm just a magnet for ass-hats. My wife and I were invited to a neighbors birthday party last night. Nothing huge, just a gathering a friends and neighbors to celebrate his 40th b-day. As the evening progressed this guy(still have no clue who he was) comes up to me and asks what I ride (had my HD ball-cap on). I told him" '06 Sportster." Then it started. "Man, I couldn't ride one of them, too small, too slow, not comfortable, not comfortable with my ol' lady on, I gotta have a big bike. I put on way too many miles to do it on a sporty." Really, I asked, how many miles would that be? "Oh about 7000 a year." At this point I couldn't help myself, I started laughing. He asks, "What's so funny?" When I told him that he was about a third of the way to the miles I put on in a year I was hoping he would just STFU and leave me alone. Nope, wasn't gonna get that lucky. His story then turned into, "Well, mines a collectors bike so I don't want to put too many miles on it." My interest was kind of renewed with that statement. I'm thinkin' maybe an old knuck or pan so I set myself up. "Really? What is it?" He then proceeded to tell how rare and collectible his '09 Wideglide is. Ass-hat.

Just when you thought it would end, he starts with a whole new story line starting with, "I have a dilemma." Now having been drinking for a couple hours, I figure what the hell, I could use some more entertainment. He then starts with his dilemma of 2, 1% MC's that want him to patch in. One is an MC on his wife's side that within the next 3-4 years is going to patch over to H.A. The other is the dominant for our area that his dad has been a member of since he can remember. Really, I ask, which would be who? He says SOA. I couldn't fucking believe he actually said SOA. Just to be sure he wasn't meaning something else I asked,"Seriously! Sons of Anarchy?" He said, "yup, quite the dilemma huh" Time for me to go home, as I'm leaving he puts the icing on the cake and says, "Later Bro!" I really wanted to just turn around and punch the guy, but out of respect for the others there and my neighbor that threw the party I just kept walkin'. Fuckin' ass-hats!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The rest of the Detroit school ride.......

The 1st day of classes got out at noon so I did what any normal guy would do....spent the rest of the day riding around the Lake St Clair area. Fall is definitely a beautiful time to visit!

The next couple days it was back to business to take these-

disassemble them-

Then put them back together(see the before pic, lol!)

I had a blast, robotics is a lot of fun, especially integrating them into a weld shop. Tested out at 92%! Woohoo!

I didn't get a lot of pics, but I did grab one crossing the Mississippi on my way home-

Covered just over 2200 miles and got a couple certs to boot! Sorry about the crappy pics, all I had was my phone, lol!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

1100 far

Previously I posted about going to robotics school, well I'm here(north of Detroit, Mi.) and classes start tomorrow. The last 3 days have been a blast. I got a new front tire on the Drifter and with a decent forecast I hit the road. Friday was a short day, got a tire put on and headed for Jimmy's for a short visit. We ended up hangin' out drinkin' some beer and changing the oil over to Amsoil in the Drifter, a good 200 mile day. Saturday was designated as miles day. At 6:30am I was on the road. Made it across Missouri into Illinois-

Then across Illinois into Indiana-

Once into Indiana I decided to stop for the night. I stopped in Peru, Ind. I think mickey d's in Peru hire only 
crack heads, lol! 600 miles for the day, not bad.
Up at 5:30 this morning it back on the road bound for Clinton Township Mi. Made it to Michigan!

A detour through Hell is in order-

Hell, Michigan that is!

After I got checked in at the hotel, there's only one way to celebrate an 1100 mile ride-

22oz Leinenkugel!

Tomorrow morning it's off to class for robotics!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Ride to Remember

I'm usually not one to go on huge group rides or even poker runs for that matter. I generally prefer to ride the roads less traveled with a small group(2-5 bikes) of friends.Today was different. I participated in a local 9/11 Ride to Remember put on by a local ALR chapter. 290 bikes and quite a few cages gathered in the heartland of America to remember 9/11 and pay tribute to our heroes. The route was right at about 88 miles and traveled though 6 small towns. There was a stop in each town and each town rolled out the red carpet for the bikers, streets lined with American flags, refreshments for the riders, and eager citizens, from infants to the elderly out showing their patriotism. The ALR did a great job coordinating with local law enforcement so that all crossroads were blocked and the huge group never got separated. I've to be honest though, it was also the longest 88 miles of my life taking almost 6 hours as speeds rarely exceeded 40 mph, mainly due the fact that probably 50 of the lead bikes were flying 3'x5' flags with the rest of us flying smaller ones. It was an awesome sight. The one image that is etched in my mind is that of an older gentlemen standing along the street as we came into the last town, hand over his heart in honor of all the American flags passing in front of him and tears flowing down his face. He wasn't the only one, a lot of tears flowed today as 9/11 was honored, our heroes were honored, and our pride as Americans was reaffirmed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day ride

Since we didn't work today I took a lazy ride around where we live, yes, we live in the middle of nowhere, but I like it that way....

Tried "stitching" frames together, need more practice...

Why am I always broke when deals come around!! $2700!!