New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Friday, February 22, 2008

Old Fools Anti Pants Journal #1

Number 1 in a series of Rants about Pants

I hate pants. This abomination has been foisted on men in the last three to six hundred years or so as a way of making them pay for their sins while they are still alive. Women have adopted them which shows that women can do anything a man can do and do it worse or better as the case may be. Why women would do this when there is no societal pressure for them to do so I will never understand. Men can't just go out in a skirt or a dress in some places for fear of being stoned to death although I saw one at Walmart today in a beautiful Kelly green calf length dress, tight at the top and flared at the hips with a laced leather vest and laced knee high boots. Obviously an ensemble and I mean ensemble not an outfit or a get up. This rather tall gentleman with his below the shoulder wavy brown hair and rugged manly face (read that as homely) looked rather fetching and purposeful. His 5 foot tall chubby lady (read that as fat) friend looked dim in comparison in her floor length drab overcoat. Make me feel as if I were back in San Francisco my favorite city of all time. OK now where was I?

Oh yeah.

Why would a man want to wear pants or women either for that matter. They are merely leggings joined at the top by a hacksaw with a carbide tipped blade. Women are less vulnerable with their indoor plumbing but men have this very sensitive paraphernalia that their inseam does not take into account. “Manly men” will tell you that your underwear takes care of that by giving you support. I think that only if its made of Kevlar will it give the protection I want. I hate underwear anyway unless it's really cold it's unnecessary. Of course there are sacred undergarments but I'm really wary of those. What if you had a little accident and stained them and whatever god that blessed them got really pissed. I don't believe in that stuff but why take a chance? And then there is always crotch rot. A problem even in the north but really a problem in the tropics. One of the first things to go when I was a young man in the Navy was the tighty whities or as my wife calls them “chili chokers”. In the years that I lived in the tropics I notice that women from northern climates shed their panties pretty quickly. I know where your mind is going. That is not the reason (well sometimes).The idea was to lessen the bacterial problems and irritations that underwear seemed to magnify. Believe me,those that learned it on their on and did not get advice from a friend in advance were not one bit interested in sex until that was straightened out. In fact I had a doctor friend that had a sign on her office wall. It said “loose the panties”. Some said that I had a sign like that on my forehead.


Near as I can tell it's the white man (only a white man would come up with this) that came up with “pants” or trousers as they are called in civilized countries. The Scots had a great idea in their Kilts. The original kilts would be a little unwieldy in todays world and totally useless in warm climates. Not to mention the weight. Wool is heavy and when its wet it's really heavy. But this was worn by men that carried a heavy two handed sword. I mean who wants to lay down to get dressed by rolling up in a bolt of woolen cloth. Looks great when it's all fixed and it is great protection from the weather. Also it could serve as your bed covers. When they discovered the needle and thread (they were a little slow) It evolved into an easily donned garment while maintaining dignity and functionality. They did have to carry a sleeping bag after that though.


500 years ago the Irish men were wearing tunics so what's wrong with that. So were the Romans and the Greeks. If someone had shown up in pants he would have probably been treated as a devil. The tunic is still worn all over the world although now it is often worn with trousers. Are men stupid or what? The tunic is a great all purpose garment and like the Kilt doesn't have a hacksaw blade in it.


There is also the many variations of the “sarong” used world wide. The list of names for this simple garment is longer than I want to publish here. I quit counting at 30. It is used worldwide but not so much in North America. There are those of us that would like to see that change.


All over the world there are examples of what “real men” would call men wearing skirts and dresses. Mostly these “real men” are just unsure of their own masculinity. You get them in an environment where it's accepted and they will deck out in a skirt or dress in a heart beat. Then parade around saying things like “does this make me look fat” or “does this make my butt look big”. I would warn “real men” to not go to a member of the Black Watch and show disrespect for his skirt unless he wants to have his face used to mop the floor.


Me, I like Kilts. I like the music that goes with it, the history of it, the tradition of it and the pride that's in it. Tunics are alright in the winter but when it gets warm its kind of hard to take off your shirt with out getting total nude. Which is OK but sometimes a little inconvenient. I have a version of that for around the house use in the winter. It's called a very long tee shirt. I use to just porky pig it around the house but with grandchildren and their friends running in and out and the fact that I ain't as pretty as I use to be it's prudent to cover some of my flaws.


I really like the modernized variations of kilts. I like sarongs in all their variations.


I especially like the new American work kilts. Amerikilts (http://www.amerikilt.com/), Utilikilts(http://www.utilikilts.com/), Sportskilt (http://www.sportkilt.com/why-buy-sport-kilt.cfm) and many others. Utility at its finest. I would like to have a utilikilt but I can't afford one however I have a sewing machine so I can make it happen.


As for the couple I mention earlier at Walmart if I had the balls to dress like I want I would have been in a League tartan kilt with a Pendleton shirt, my Cat In The Hat Socks and clogs. Now just picture that on a short fat man.


As you can see from the picture Kilts are very dignified and worn in good company.

Healthy too with plenty of ventilation.




Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Old Fools Bike Journal #3


Refers to my flights from the Peugeot flight pad Feb 16 & 17
Whilst pedaling my fat butt around in circles in Trollville here today I had a sudden revelation. I remembered that I had an experience with another Peugeot once before in the far, far past. Only this was with a car in 1961. My true love (at the time)(more about that later when I get it sorted out) and I bought a 1956 Peugeot model 403. It was a 4 door automobile with a strong 4 cylinder engine. I mean strong in that it would make a good boat anchor. It also had seats that made into a double bed (Leave it to the French to take the American custom of starting a family in the back seat of a car to a new level). It also had the racy styling of a 1951 Plymouth. It was butt ugly. We had no hesitation buying it using the logic that since our 1956 Renault 4CV designed by Porsche in the '40's was so utilitarian and reliable that the Peugeot would be also. It didn't work out quite that way.

The main problem was like the bicycle. It didn't fit. Now there are 5 controls that need to be readily available to the driver when driving. The steering wheel, the gear shift, the accelerator, the clutch and last but not least the brake. You would think that some French engineer would have sat in this car when it was assembled to see if all these controls worked and perhaps they did because it could be operated. With difficulty. The problem, for me at least, was that I wanted to be comfortable with all the controls not just one. Most cars manufactures try to set up all the controls so that they can comfortably be operated and most succeed with at least 3 or 4 out of five. Not so the Peugeot. I could only get comfortable for one. There was just no way I could get a comfortable position for two. I have owned 34 automobiles and light trucks in my short life and I think I know about this.

When I got out of the Navy in August 1962 we hit the road in that car to tour 6 western States for a month or so camping along the way. I learned about metric tools on that trip as the only metric tools I had were crescent wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers. Finally fixed the French idea of a distributor with a good old American coat hanger. When we got home we traded it for a Ford. It was still sitting on the dealers lot 6 months later.

I don't know why that came to mind today except that it was a gray rainy day and needed some gray rainy thoughts. The birds weren't even out. I decided to ride my homemade long bike to exercise some different muscle sets and boy did it ever. This bike is just before being a recumbent and either needs a seat like a Rans fusion or a seat back to push against. I get away with it by friction on the seat when not much effort is needed and pulling on the handle bars when I really need torque. It's really nice to ride and since I can reach the ground flat footed both sides I hardly ever fall off.

I have been reading other blogs for some time and there are some really good ones. They are not from around here however as I believe the majority here are illiterate. At least those who publish the local newspapers are. And the politicians they quote. Don't forget the grade school teachers that can't write a grammatically correct note.

Oh boy I can't wait 'til I can talk about Kilts, sex, the meaning of life and other things. I got a ton of stuff and pictures.


This bike is constructed from two BMX bikes. It is similar to the construction that the current batch of DIY extracycle/big dummy bikes in the Bike Forums are using. No welding was required. I have several hundred miles on this one. I intend to do a more build post on this one soon.




Monday, February 18, 2008

Old Fools Bike Journal #2



I have built and rebuilt a lot of bikes over the years but this was my first attempt to hack one.

This picture that I use to head these journal entries is of a bike that I built out of parts off seven of the bikes in my parts pile in 2003. Five years ago. How time flies. This was taken at the at the 2003 Bike fest at Abita Springs, LA. http://www.ucmmuseum.com/bikefest_2003PHOTOS.htm. I actually built the bike at the time I did to take to this annual event or I would probably still be putting it off. I wanted a recumbent to try and this was the only way I was going to get one. I have no welding equipment or skills so it had to be a bolt together affair. It went together rather easily and was a good rider right out of the box except for the learning process and believe me riding a front wheel drive machine is a whole other thing.

prototype: quick and dirty construction >>>>

It was originally a 26” ladies Roadmaster that one of the local bike shops gave me because the frame was sprung and it was not worth straightening so the derailleurs would work. So I, not knowing anything about that, looked at it from the front and back and it didn't look bent to me so I adjusted the derailleurs and rode it for over a year. It was a real nice riding bike. It was the only bike I had that fit my idea for a front wheel drive project. Besides I had plenty of other bikes I had picked from the trash that were perfectly good riders. Hacking and sawing, hammering and wrenching, and mostly sitting and thinking (mustn't forget the wine drinking) took about a week as I remember. Don't hold me to that time frame because one of my mottoes (I love that word) is “I can remember anything I want”.


This is the latest picture I have as a bicycle. I later removed the decals added a nice rack to the back.

I wish I had stopped here and kept the bike like this but I was on a roll so I moved on. Are you starting to see where the Oldfool name comes from?

Moving on I decided I just had to have a trike so I acquired a premade chinese piece of crap conversion for a 20 inch bicycle and added it. Easy to do as all the complicated drive mechanism is on the front. Found some really nice aluminum wheels in the junk pile and this is what turned out. Never did hook up the rear brakes.


It rode remarkably well but it was heavy and center of gravity was too high. Better to run over something than to try to dodge it. About this time I kind of lost interest and let the kids ride it. One day using no judgment at all (oldfool) I let one of the neighbor kids take it around the neighborhood and he brought it back in a wagon. A complete set of parts but not all the

original parts. Never did find out what happened. I stripped it and stored the parts. One day perhaps I'll put it back together again.

Building notes:

You need a front fork that will accept a rear wheel. That probably means spreading one. I used a 26" bike with a slender tapered fork and spread it easily with a scissors jack. Disadvantage to this is it will twist under hard pedaling. Brakes don't fit without additional bracket. Tubular forks do not want to spread when cold.

Use large clamp or large vise to sq

squeeze the rear to take a front wheel.

Seat tube clamps and the clamps on the seat itself are very useful.

When cutting a bottom bracket be sure to leave enough seat tube to hold a front derailleur.

Seat post make excellent adjustable sections for the bottom bracket.

I do not take credit for this design only for this bike. I originally saw one on the internet built by a gentleman in New Zealand but I have lost all references to that and several other sites with good ideas. MS Windows is the culprit. I use Linux now and maybe I can hang on to stuff. I spent more time in the 10 years that I used windows tinkering with it to keep it working then I did using it. Now the computer is just another tool. I turn it on, use it and turn it off. How nice. I have been using PclinuxOS for about 3 years now.



Sunday, February 17, 2008

Old Fools Flight Journal

I should fall off my bike more often. I slept good last night, woke up this morning with no aches and pains (well not any more than usual at least) and wasn't even grumpy. Unfortunately it was raining and a very dark morning so by the time lunch rolled around that changed. Oh well at least I got a little work done on the skate boarders bike.

I just don't know what to do about the Peugeot. It just sat their glaring at me. Once when my back was turned I swear I heard an evil laugh and as an evil stepfather I know what an evil laugh sounds like. Why would anyone design a bike too tall for normal people and make it so nice that I lust for it. I think it's discrimination. Who do I sue?

I'm thinking that out of spite I'll hack it and put it in Alt Bikes except that I'm afraid some Peugeot freak would have me killed.

Oh well I've only got $50.00 in it even with the new tires and tubes so I'll let it sit for a while and think about it. I have done a lot of foolish things in my life (thus the name oldfool) but I think that I will exercise discretion and stay off that bike.

I took the light of my life back to her mother tonight. So there is an emptiness I will have to deal with for a couple of days. She will be with her dad tomorrow. I use to think I was too old for this but it turns out that I am just old enough. I use to think that dedicating ones life to the health, welfare and protection of a princess was just fairytale stuff and I guess it is but some old men need someone to be a Shining Knight for. Lucky is the man that that finds that someone. There are plenty of princesses and not near enough Knights. The unfortunate thing about the job is that there are people that you really dislike that you must protect in the best interest of the princess.

Think I'll take off my armour now and go to bed. This being a knight is hard work.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Old Fools Journal: Latest Flight

I could fly until I was about 11 or 12 years old. I soared, I swooped and I would glide above the poor lesser beings that live down in the mud and dust. At least I was convinced I could if I could just figure it out or better yet find “The Secret”. Well it turned out that I never did do it successfully. I flew but it was so very short a flight and the only direction I could control was down and once started that was not very well controlled. A successful flight was one in which I did not break any bones and there was no blood. Fortunately the Gods of Flight let me down slowly until I became, as most children do, like the afore mentioned “poor lesser beings who live down in the mud and dust”. With it went the ability to become invisible, x-ray vision and talk to animals. Fortunately at about the same time I discovered the magic wand where my legs came together so I became busy trying to master that instrument and did not mourn my other losses.

It was much later that I realized that during those years of magic that I learned some real magic such as how to use a rope as a tool, catch a horse and convince it to let me ride. I couldn't snap my fingers and make fire but I could make fire with and without matches. I could find my way in the woods with out a compass using many different indicators that did not include a compass. When I obtained a compass that was a whole new magic.

When I wasn't busy with my magic wand I travel to the stars, far into the past and far into the future. I did this by opening the cover of books that resided in that magical portal “The Library”.

--------------------------

I flew again today. First time in a long time. I have this 1973 Peugeot that I put a new set of 35c
tires and tubes on today. This is such a nice machine and such a joy to ride however it has a 57c seat post (22 inch). When I am in the saddle I cannot reach the ground with my tiptoes. When I stop I have to get off. I easily average 3 to 5 mph faster on this bike than any of the others and without any extra effort. I love riding it but today while trying to dismount I took a short flight into the mud. Made a nice landing. A one pointer with a short roll out. Missed the wheel of the car with my head by an inch but an inch is as good as a mile. While I was down there I checked the underside of the car as there was no reason to make the trip for nothing and besides the cats were watching and I wanted them to think that I did it on purpose. Glad I didn't hurt the car as I will need it tomorrow to take my granddaughter home.

I didn't break anything but I expect some of these little sore spots are going to hurt tomorrow and I'll be grumpier than ever. I don't remember these flights being so traumatic when I was a kid. I also don't remember it taking so long to get up. Hmmm It would probably be prudent to get rid of this bike.

I had forgotten but you know the world looks a lot different from the mud and so distant.

Pictures are of the launch pad. The handle bars are from a 1976 Schwinn and the seat from a mid 1970's Chinese road bike. The seat was the only thing I could salvage from that bike and it was really grungy but it cleaned up really nice. It is quite comfortable on the launch pad when I'm in it. It's the getting in and out that's the problem. The handle bars were to thumb my nose at the french.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Old Fools bike journal #1


Riding a bicycle is meditation in motion.

Elegant Simplicity is how I see bicycles and their variations. In their worst form they are art and in their best they are fine art.

A bicycle is art made from an art collection.

If you want peace then take an old or even a new bicycle, take it apart and put it back together. Not necessarily all at once but perhaps a part now and another at another time. I prefer the whole at once. This is not for the end result of a maintaining or repairing a bike but for the satisfaction and peace of touching each part of a whole. A whole that when apart does nothing but be an interesting shape but when together has a perfect function. Don't watch yourself doing it just do it. This is one of the two things that I do that I do not observe myself doing. Or for that matter observe me observing me doing it. When I find myself observing I take a nap. That's the second thing.

Riding a bicycle is a personal thing. That's why I have never cared for bicycle's built for two. I don't even care to ride in the company of others. It is entirely too tiring.

Riding or fondling a bicycle is when I can revert to the time before the big change, if only momentary. The big change of course was when I lost my ability to fly, become invisible and talk with animals. That's another story to be dealt with another day.

All the other animals are just being but we human animals are consumed with the pursuit of happiness. So who is superior?

I was given a bicycle when I was in my eighth year by my stepfather, the finest man I have ever known. It was a 26 inch Hawthorne. It weighed a ton and since I was a runt it came nowhere near fitting me but I didn't know about any of that so I rode it anyhow. I rode it everywhere and when I didn't ride it I pushed it. Then I rode/pushed it back. that went on until I discovered motor scooter/cycles. They only lasted two years because when I turned 16 I turned my back on two wheelers and bought a car for $20.50. A 1938 Chevrolet with a one piston removed so that it only ran on five cylinders. It ran and ran pretty good. It had a household light switch for a regulator, two spare tires and wheels and a box of parts that were left over from the last teenage transmission repair. The best tire only had one boot and the worst had three boots and one of the boots had a boot. It got me around spring and summer of 1955 in style. Not high style but high enough for me. That was the end of bicycle for me until 1968 when I pick up a sting ray frame and some parts from the swap meet to build my seven year old daughter her first bike. During that same time period I found an old abandoned 3 speed with some missing parts in the carport that I was renting and a few days later another in the dumpster. It was a sign from the Great Spirit. A little wrenching and I was back on two wheels again. I rode that bike until some time in the 1970's and put a lot of miles on it but try as I might I cannot remember what happened to it. After turning those two junked bikes into a usable one I was hooked again and except for some very short periods have not been without since.

I now have three that I personally ride, my grandson has two, my granddaughter has one and my bride has one. There are three beaters, two kiddy bikes, three tricycles, three scooters and a custom skate boarders bike I am building for my grandson. Sometime for relaxation I just clean up old parts for some future unknown project yet to be revealed. I quess you would say I am a bike man.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oldfools Journal:

Today was an event day. 24 years ago I was flying to California in my aeroplane when I suddenly had a urge to see an old friend. I bypassed my fuel stop and flew on to where they were building a new development in east Jesus Arizona. I then proceeded to land on the road, get drunk, spend the night, fill my airplane with car gas, rescue a damsel in distress and leave. I took the damsel with me. We have had many adventures together and we are still together which is the greatest adventure of all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Old Fools Journal

These scribblings are for and from my journal. I have always written but always to a journal or to someone and not for public consumption. I viewed a movie the other night that affected me profoundly. It was "The Bucket List" and although I found that I had already crossed off most of the things on their bucket list there where still some things that were in my grasp. Fly the space shuttle was out but write publicly was still possible. I became aware recently that a number of people in the Bike Forum's that I have come to respect have blogs so there you go and here I am.

I have notice that there are many old fools but I did not expect to find so many with blogs. The thing about old fools is that they usually know it and accept it and go on. Fools on the other hand seldom know it with out having psychological problems. It is a shock to discover that one is a fool. It is best to become aware of it on your on and be brought to that awareness by someone you love. Someone you are not ashamed to be a fool for. Someone who will not hold it against you.

I posted this in the Bike Forums last April:
"04-18-2007- It's a shock to anyone to suddenly come to the realization that they are a fool. If you are young it can be devastating but it is quickly over when you realize that it must be a mistake (denial) and that you are really OK. The most vulnerable are men in or near the midlife crisis. If they can hang on to denial they are OK but if the reality embeds itself as the stone truth then defeat is surely the result. This may be true for women as well but I don't know as I have never been one. Since men and women are more alike than they are different I suspect it applies to both. The best that can happen is to coast through the weakness of youth and middle age on denial or abject ignorance. No one escapes being a fool but denial is a defense mechanism that allows us to coast through the vulnerable periods. In my early sixty's the veil was lifted from my eyes and I could see the light but I could not understand what I saw. Fortunately I have a mentor in the form of a granddaughter that allows me to see that being a fool is not so bad and in fact can be quite pleasant.

Eight years later I am still working on it. Examining a lifetime of foolishness in eight years is nearly a full time job and at times it becomes exhausting and has to be shelved for a while. There are times when it is so overwhelming that it makes you cry but so far the cumulative result is very positive. Thus I can take the title of Old Fool and be proud of it. I am much more selective of what I am a fool for now but I am still a fool. When someone calls me an old fool I can only say yep and the only thing that changes is I'm getting older."


There will be post about bicycles, grandchildren, the unfairness of it all, world domination and gardening which I am just getting into with my bride which I have been with 24 years tomorrow.