Ok. Time to shake off the lethargy and get to work. It's not a stupor in the usual sense. It's more like a boat circling in the water until the Captain gets the compass calibrated. Once the proper coordinates are determined it will be full steam ahead. Or balls to the wall, if you will.
By the way, I'm not inserting that saying just for shock value. The expression actually came from aviation, and by extension, boating. The throttle levers have rounded balls on top. Unlike a motorcycle throttle, to go faster in a boat or airplane the throttle levers are moved forward. Pushing the levers all the way forward puts the little balls up against the instrument panel or dash of the vehicle. Thus, "balls to the wall" means full throttle. Not a painful physical accident. Like my first time playing raquetball.
For the first time in as long as I can remember I am entering a new year without a fixed target. It will be another month before I have all the information required to chart my course. Either way, the course will be different than now. Maybe more on that later. Through it all I remain humbly appreciative to have choices realizing that others don't.
In the meantime, I've decided to quit riding in circles and go back to doing something constructive. That includes re-energizing this blog. I find I can't let it go. There have been too many great connections formed through this medium. I'd hate to miss out on continuing these and forming new ones.
I did, however, park the bike this last weekend. On Saturday Katie and I joined our darling daughter, our great son-in-law, and our cherubic grandson in going to a street rod show. There was a lot of money sitting in that building, let me tell you.
Cars are interesting and fascinating but you know where I ended up. Found something with two wheels and learned something new about Vespa scooters.
I don't know what year this scooter is. I forgot to ask. According to this website it is a 1959 model. The guy at the exhibit claims this was the original scooter used in the movie "American Graffiti". The scooter has been restored and travels with an American Graffiti tribute team.
Inside the wheel skirt are autographs from Bo Hopkins, Candy Clark, and a couple others from the movie.
In the movie this scooter was owned by a guy named Terry "Toad" Fields. This was his only transportation. Unfortunately for the Vespa reputation, Toad was portrayed as a sort of nerd and the scooter was the best he could do. The movie itself is about coming of age. One of the "cool" guys gives Toad his car to take care of while he is in college. A step up, you see, according to the movie.
Anyway, there is a funny bit to this in the movie. The actor who played Toad is named Charles Martin Smith. Charles thought the scooter was the standard CV transmission. What he didn't know was that the Vespa had a four speed manual transmission. So the left handlebar lever was actually the clutch.
In the movie Toad comes screeching up on the scooter. As he goes to dismount, he just lets go of the clutch lever. Which, of course, launches the scooter in a not so graceful move. George Lucas decides to leave it in the movie.
You can see the scene here.
Something new to me, too. Guess it goes to show we should all be sure to check out the controls when we get on a bike we haven't ridden before!
Hope you enjoyed this bit of trivia. It seemed a fun way to break the ice for 2012. Here's to a happy and productive upcoming year for all of us!
Miles and smiles,