Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One Hundred

This is the one hundredth Scootcommute blog post for 2013.
This is a blog post stew, a potpourri of random thoughts. Read on, you'll eventually understand.
 
      The bitter end     

On Sunday, November 24th, I put the Vespa into hibernation.

I checked the oil, checked and topped up the coolant level, checked the tire pressure, put in gasoline stabilizer, gave the bike a sponge bath, went to the gas station for a top-up, rolled the bike into position in the alcove at the back of the garage, put the cover on it, plugged in the battery tender, put away all the gear, and that was it.

The ride to get gas was very, very cold, especially on my legs because I was only wearing jeans. The odometer read 34,100 kilometers. The bike had 25,000 kilometers when I got it in March. That means just over 9,000 happy kilometers or 5,500 happy miles for the 2013 season. It should have been more. My moto tour consumed 3,000 km all by itself. But it's the commuting that really packs on the miles, and between March and November there was a lot of out of town travel and inclement weather that chewed into the commuting.

If anyone is counting, I know I am, that's 20,500 miles in the Vespa saddle for me. And I've only just begun. The 10,000 mile patch on my Corazzo jacket now feels inadequate. The next one is a 50K patch. I'm not even half way there.
 
      Not for the superstitious     

On Friday, December 13th, that's right, Friday the Thirteenth, I had tooth #18 (top right wisdom tooth, for the non-dental professionals among you) evicted.

My dentist had been recommending the eviction for years now. But, a tooth, is a tooth, is a tooth, no matter how unwelcome and useless it might be. I had done my level best to save it (actually to have my dentist save it). But in October it started acting out. And Stan did some creative work on it, against his better judgment. He said his last ditch effort "could last a week, a month, or a year" but he repeated his advice "it's time for that troublesome tooth to go".

Push came to yank when the on-and-off pain became distracting. When I went to see Stan fresh from a weekend of throbbing, he said "ready to get rid of it?" Sadly, I was.

The only appointment at the dental surgeon was for Friday the 13th. No surprise there. The fact that I leaped gleefully at the opportunity, tells you how meddlesome #18 had become. Other events had made me select the same day as the record date for all my company's year-end filings with securities authorities here and in the U.S. Now, if I were superstitious, that would have been the fate-tempting decision of all time. Adding a little tooth extraction was only putting one more dicey egg in that trouble-inviting date-basket.

As I write this on Saturday morning, it looks like I dodged the fate bullet. Friday the thirteenth, bah humbug to you! Hello Saturday the 14th! I'm under Susan's orders to lie low. She doesn't want my head to blow up. Fourteen hours post-op, and I'm feeling semi-human. But my mouth feels like Vancouver fourteen hours after the 2011 NHL riot.
 
      WTF - (Why the fuss?)     

It's now Wednesday, December 18.

I think I'll make this the last 2013 post, and cross my fingers that nothing crops up that begs to be shared between now and the very end of the year. Uh-Oh! What if Santa delivers Gerbing gloves on the 25th? What if I figure out how to make a four-way flasher circuit for the Vespa? What if Santa gets me new armored pants...?

If something does crop up, I think I may fiddle with this post to add to it, and in that way keep the Scootcommute to 100 posts for 2013. Ok, ok, that's kind of cheating, I know.

But 100 is such a nice round number. It's also a fairly ambitious undertaking. Just under two posts a week, on average. After all, I don't think I want to hold myself accountable for producing more than 100 posts in 2014. I certainly don't want this to become a chore. Something that makes a negative contribution to my life. And if I do blow past 100 posts, I'll never get to another decent, respectable target or cap. The next semi-worthy stop is 150, and that's a lousy cap. It's like one-and-a-half. 125 is worse, that's like one-and-a-quarter. Like some small ingredient in a recipe. Like cornstarch, or cream of tartar, or baking powder.

I enjoy writing blog posts. I never once thought I'd commit so much 'ink' to any topic. At least not to the Scootcommute. I did begin to write a spy novel. I haven't touched it in about five years, it seems. I tell myself that it's like wine in an oak cask. It's maturing. I'll come back to it when I get myself down to one day-job. I'll have a fresh perspective then. A better sense of my narrator's voice.

The Scootcommute has given me a little more confidence, at least as a writer. How pretentious does that sound? A while back I was in a cute little shop, full of cute little stuff. One thing was a small book of insults. One insult that comes to mind was suitable for a book reviewer. "That's not writing, that's typing!" Ouch!

If you're into insults, but you're already immersed in the spirit of the holidays, have a listen to You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!. The version I have is off the Glee! Christmas album of a few years back, sung by K.D. Lang and Matthew Morrison. I don't want to spoil it too much for you if you haven't heard it, but "Your brain is full of spiders" is a personal favorite. Now Dr. Seuss, he was a writer.
Well, that's enough musing for one last post, if you ask me. Besides, there's an even chance I'll have to return and dump in more stuff to keep the total down to one hundred.

Time will surely tell.

26 comments:

  1. I'll hit 1000 posts sometime next year. I'm not sure if I have anything of substance to say but it has been an enjoyable past time for me. And have made some wonderful friends along the way. Well done (but 101 sounds as good as 100!)

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    1. Man Richard, that was quick!

      Since you might still be hanging around the water cooler, I'll wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and all the best for the new year!

      Your consistent good cheer up there within spitting distance of the Arctic Circle is surely contributing to global warming :)

      All the best, David.

      Delete
  2. David:

    Oh Oh. I just never checked before but last year I had 217 posts. and this year so far only 152 posts

    and my all time total so far is far short of Richard's all time high

    I think you should do 101 this year

    I also had a dentist experience but on December 16th. My glue is wearing out . . .

    I am also grateful for all the friends I have met over the years thanks to blogging and the internet

    Merry Christmas to you and Susan too. If she says to Lay Low then Lay Low. I know who the boss it

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    Replies
    1. Bob, a few have suggested 101 posts. I must say I like the whimsy of that idea, it might lend itself to some interesting material.

      Bob, you are my first close friend the internet introduced me to. All the best to you and Yvonne for the holidays.

      Oh, and Susan may be very influential, but each of us firmly denies that we are the boos of each other, even if I eventually do whatever she wants (mostly).

      I hope your dentist is as good as mine :)

      Delete
    2. David:

      If I interpolate from the past couple of years using your series progression, then this year should be 108 posts

      just thought you should know in time to write a few more entries

      My Female dentist is fabulous, she is so gentle . . .

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast

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    3. Bob, you may be right, I may just be spooked at the big round number.

      I will take your advice under advisement.

      101 does has a real appeal. As in, "Riding 101", "Touring 101", "Blogging 101

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on your 100th post of the year. That's a lot of riding by any standard. I know what you mean about not thinking you would commit much ink to a blog -- that's how it started with me. And I credit my blog as the practice I needed to learn how to write...

    As far as putting the Vespa to bed for a long winter's nap --- humbug. You can pull that machine out of the garage in no time to take advantage of any clear cold day that offers itself up to you -- especially with Gerbing Gloves.

    Maybe I'm just voicing my own fear of having to bench the scooter.

    Have a great holiday David and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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    1. Steve, I may dig the Vespa out and document the act just to pay hommage to you. It would be very fitting. Maybe I'll do it once the neighbours toss their Christmas trees and tie one on the Vespa. Now that would be truly fitting.

      Here's wishing you and Kim the very best for the holidays.

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    2. Those tossed trees have value. One year Kim had me gather up eight of them, dig some little post holes, and "plant" them in the yard so the birds had places to hide. Looked like a fine Christmas tree farm until they started drying up...

      Maybe burying the Vespa in them would be nice...

      Delete
  4. Ouch on the wisdom tooth, but congrats on 100 posts for the year. To me, that is quite the accomplishment. Especially in a year where I think I hardly posted.

    Great job David.

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  5. Thanks for the kind words Brandy. May you and Brad have all your wishes granted!

    All the best for the holidays!

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  6. I have no good memories about losing my wisdom teeth… Ouch! Hope that with the care of Susan you are better now.

    Given that I had my scooter from July onwards only I racked up a thousand km per month since then. My commute is somewhat short, less than 40km a day, but as long as I had afternoon light riding home often involved a detour.

    I very much enjoyed your eclectic postings, and hope that you will continue to post about both, the commute and the scoot(er). Thank you, David for investing your time in maintaining this blog. 2013 was a blast to follow. Here's to 2014. Happy Holidays from Sonja & Roland

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    1. Sonja, hardly a day goes by that I don't find myself trying to find an angle where I could swing a little two or three day moto tour in Tuscany or Provence. Who knows, I may figure one out yet.

      Right now I'm thinking that Susan and I rent a villa for a few weeks in Tuscany and I carve out a few days for moto fun while she... well, it's still in need of more thought.

      All the best to you and Roland for the holidays!

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    2. David, in case that things with Tuscany would be getting closer to realization… we have tentative plans to visit and vespa there in 2014.

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    3. Ha! Our kids are all here and we were just having a family chat about a major group vacation for next summer. We'd be 3 couples plus our daughter. Tuscany and Provence came up. The plan would be to rent a villa and mix lazy days with tourist days.

      Delete
  7. David,

    I have enjoyed reading your 100th post and all of the previous ones! Take care and I wish you a lovely holiday season and a healthy, happy and many miles to travel in 2014.

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    1. Dar, one of these days I hope to find myself back in Victoria. If it's like last time and I'm there for a conference, we'll see if I can find a rental bike and you can show me some sights.

      If it turns out I'm there on vacation and time is at a premium, then at least coffee or tea and moto chat.

      All the best for the holidays!

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    2. David, I would love that! Here's hoping for you to find a conference in Victoria!

      Delete
  8. Hi David , i must say that i have really enjoyed reading your blog 100! WOW , The information you have put out across this blog as been really great ....showing a wonderful insight into owning maintaining and running a Vespa motor scooter ,I have also enjoyed .....well the great stories of life and the display of some lovely photo's ....i particularly enjoyed the rider interviews of fellow bloggers ,wonderful!
    Happy xmas & new year ,
    all the best to you and your family
    may 2014 be fab!

    kindest regards Len

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  9. Len, happy Christmas and New Year to you and your family. Who knows, some day a UK riding opportunity will present itself. If so, you'll certainly know and we may be able to meet.

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  10. Lots of writing, lots of scooting! It's all good as they say!

    I'm for keeping the scoot readied to ride out on any semi-decent day that comes along from now until spring! Keep the hope alive for a little ride, I say.

    Have a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!

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    Replies
    1. Deb, thanks for the season's greetings and encouragement to keep the scoot handy!

      Right now we're in the midst of lots and lots of snowfall, so all I can do is dream and scheme.

      Delete
  11. Dave (MV fledermaus)December 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Congratulations on reaching 100, David. Much better in blog posts than in years! I've enjoyed reading your posts and following your adventures over the past year (and learning a bit as well...).

    Best wishes for the Holidays and New Year!

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    1. Dave, thanks for dropping by with kind words! I always enjoy your posts on MV.

      I regularly distribute good karma like pixie dust and will do so when I see your posts.

      All the best to you and your family for the holidays. I hope your wishes are granted.

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  12. David - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Susan.
    100 posts Wow ... I bet there will be another before the year is done. All the best for 2014, Tuscany sounds like a great place to start!

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  13. Thanks Karen. I believe that there will be at least one more post. Maybe 100 is just another number. All the best to you for the new year!

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.