Monday, January 21, 2013

The Dragon Is Loose On Twisted Roads...


I love the feel of naked women, motorcycle handlebars, and the keyboard of an Apple computer. I do not regard these wonders as things to be possessed, but things that possess me. Nothing in life has brought me greater satisfaction than wild romance, wild rides, and writing the story of both. Yet it appears my luck has run out lately.

I am giving up on women until the summer and possibly longer than that. I had thoughts of hitting on one in particular but have decided to give her the pass. Like a surfer on the beach in Hawaii, where the waves are four stories tall... or like a skier peering down a near vertical drop, ripe for an avalanche... or like a S.Q.U.I.D revving the guts out of a crotch rocket at the beginning of Deal’s Gap... I look at her and my mouth gets dry. She is stunningly beautiful in a cultured pearl sort of way, full of charm and sophistication. Her perfumed embrace could be heaven’s prelude or the portal to an emotional chipper. There was a time when I would have danced on the edge of that challenge— with a drink in my hand. Now, I think, “One false step and it’s in the chipper for our hero.” I think she can only take me in micro-doses before throwing up anyway.

This is a bad sign and I have decided to concentrate on “Plan B.”

"Plan B"is a emotionally rewarding relationship with a sensitive, semi-retired, slightly tanned, 45-year-old pole dancer, who can look at me in that sizzling way, and say, “I decided to do a proper tune-up on your ‘K’ 1300GT.”

My Favorite Things: Apples


She’ll be perfect if her tramp stamp reads, “K Bike Postage.”  I hope to meet her on a ride between the Jersey Shore and the Pacific Coast this summer. The odds are slightly better that a more understanding woman like this won’t take offense if I occasionally fart without filing an environmental impact statement. It would be really cool to end up with a petite redhead who was an expert welder and an authority on the Chicago Manual of Style. Then again, I wouldn't mind meeting a demure blond who knows how to keep a low profile at bike events.

I used to think nothing could match the breathless excitement that comes from undoing a brassiere for the first time. Then came the day I opened up the throttle on a BMW K75 and passed a long line of trucks on a curving stretch of Pennsylvanian interstate. I was doing 70 mph as I went by the first rig at the end of the line. The speedo read a cool 108 mph as I eclipsed the eighteen-wheeler at the front— 12 trucks later. You have reached a certain level of maturity (wisdom) when you’d rather twist a throttle than massage a breast. One is a lot less dangerous than the other.

There was no vibration. The engine growled with Teutonic confidence. The tires were new and perfectly round. Handlebar inputs were as subtle as telepathy and the bike banked on a suggestion. Molecules of wind toyed with the bare skin at the collar of my jacket as my transformation became complete. I was no longer a man but an emotion. The kind of emotion Patti Smith oozes in Because The Night.

The trucks were in my “No Zone.” In fact, anything that was mundane or rooted to the earth was now in my “No Zone.” This included one job, one relationship, one stalled writing project, and anything that wasn’t on the stretch of road in front of me.

By vibration-free I mean the rage that was the engine output found its way to the back wheel instead buzzing through my testicles. Still the ride was far from smooth. The surface of the road was marred by half-assed repair and outright neglect. While thousands of jolts were swallowed by the forks and a Works Performance Shock on the back, the larger cracks, heaves, and seams gave a spicy flavor to the ride, reminding me why I was a god above the sheep in the cages around me. Though there was a good three-quarters of an inch to the red line, this was maximum effort for the K75 and anything else would have just been noise.

All of this happened on the first day I took a motorcycle on an interstate, after not having ridden a bike on one for 30 years. There is something about a motorcycle that just says, “Let the damn thing go.”

I have been a professional writer for more than 30 years. In the early 1980s, my weapon of choice was an IBM Selectric typewriter that could correct a mistyped character. That was replaced by a Brother electric typewriter that presented a line of text on an little LED screen, and which could delete an entire line of text, even from the typewritten page. At the time, I was working for a white slaver of a publisher who wanted me to use a word processor. Writers are superstitious by nature and change is as welcome as a dose of clap. I came into the office to find an early word processor (with a tiny blue screen) on my desk.

“The entire company is switching to these,” said my boss proudly, “What do you think?”

“I think you should shove it up your ass,” I replied. (This is a true story. I don’t like my writing process to be disturbed. Believe me, the way I compose is peculiar enough.) He was back two years later with another bizarre invention. This one was an ivory plastic cube with a gray screen on it, that sort of lit up, and was accompanied by something called “a mouse.”

“Wait until you see this one,” he said. “It does simultaneous composing and typesetting, it will give you a printed copy to hold in your hand, and the hard copy will look like it came out of a print shop.”

It was the first Macintosh computer by Apple and I fell in love. The machine came with no directions. It worked intuitively. It worked the same way every day. It required no code. It never broke and it never broke my balls. I have had four Apple desktops and three laptops in 30 years. I believe that my current laptop, a MacBook Pro, is the finest computer ever made. I cannot imagine life without it. I certainly can’t imagine struggling through life with a PC. If my only option was to compose on a PC, I’d have stayed married and been dead by now.

The MacBook Pro’s illuminated keys and polished aluminum case feel like the finest brassiere silk to my fingertips. Composing on it is one of the five earthly comforts. The other four are the taste of French kissing in the office, the aroma of exquisite cigars, the bite of Irish Whiskey, and the the sound of a hot motorcycle winding up for the pitch.

The way I compose has driven three women and two publishers to madness. I first go into a kind of trance that entails drinking 9 cups of coffee, watching old black and white movies, smoking a few cigars, and generally doing nothing, while some part of my brain — a part not directly connected to anything — tries to figure out what the hell it is that I want to say. Then suddenly, it come out like a torrent, washing whole villages and civilizations downstream.

I was once commissioned to draft Congressional testimony for a client looking to impact some obscure legislation. It was due at 2pm. My editorial assistant was a lover whose intellect was substantially larger than mine. She said, “They are going to fire your ass though a cannon if you don’t meet that deadline.”

I was sitting in a comfy chair at the time, watching Jimmy Stewart in Mister Smith Goes To Washington. This Hollywood Classic had just reached the point where Jimmy Stewart, a junior Senator from someplace, stood up, pulled an apple out of his pocket, and launched a filibuster.

She: “Are you nearly done with the testimony?”

Riepe: Nothing

She: “Have you started it yet?”

Riepe: Nothing.

She: It’s 11:45am. You have two hours and 15 minutes.”

Riepe: Nothing.

Jimmy Stewart finished speaking, and I said, “Honey, could you take dictation for me?”

I spoke for 11 minutes. She emailed the text to my office, 20 feet away. I cleaned up a few points and sent it to client. It was approved on the first take. It went to Congress in its finished form at 1:57pm.

She: “Why the hell didn’t you do this yesterday? You’re making me crazy!”

Riepe: “This movie wasn’t on yesterday.”

I never learned to type. I use two fingers. The forefinger on my left hand works the shift key. The forefinger on my right hand does everything else. I have written two books, 395 short motorcycle stories (actual count), and millions of words this way. I have written hundreds of press releases and speeches (on site at conventions) this way. I write a monthly column this way. I answer email this way. I have always done it this way... until this weekend.

The arthritis that is turning me into a gimp has now spread to my arms, hands, and shoulders. There are days when I cannot hold a pen in my right hand to autograph books. There is a wheelchair parked at the edge of my desk. I regard it as the ghost of “Arthritis Future.” Right now, there is a box of cigars sitting in it. I will take the LeBrea Tar Pits or the gas pipe before I sit in this fucking chair. (That is a promise.)

If you combine my odd composing style, complicate it with the pain of arthritis, and add to it the postpartum-type of depression that followed the release of my new book, you’ll understand my absence from this blog. The book was a success from the word “go,” and was received with overwhelming enthusiasm from just about everyone who bought it. The “really liked it” crowd ran about 99.44 percent to the .66 percent who politely said, “This is shit.” I couldn’t keep up with demand and won’t have that problem solved until February. But I didn’t anticipate that. I worked myself int a funk wondering what people really thought.

My new book sold out three times before Christmas! There is a waiting list for the next release!


The lack of blog activity here sparked concern among a number of my readers (none of whom have ever left a comment). Banding together on a BMW MOA (Motorcycle Owners Of America) forum, they determined that I had turned into a giant shapeless mollusk. They assumed I was stretched out on a shit house floor, blinded by a whiskey rage, with ineffectual slime stalks resting on a keyboard.
They were 66 percent right. (I wasn’t drunk.)

These incredibly sensitive guys — led by Mark Morales and Chris McCarthy — rallied 18 or 20 others into buying me a Dragon Dictate for the Mac program. The assumption was that arthritis would ultimately leave me a chattering head in a 10-gallon aquarium tank. This program would enable me to dictate my memoirs, observations, and stories — even as a severed head in a tank. It was suggested that they could put my head in a top case and ride me around too. Chris McCarthy offered to take my head bowling. (This has a sinister ring to it.)

I have never been so flattered and so honored by readers in my life. This was more significant to me than winning a Pulitzer Prize. (I am saying this because I am fairly certain I am not in the running for a Pulitzer Prize. If, in fact, I am being considered for a Pulitzer Prize, let me say that the honor paid to me by these kind readers could only be surpassed by a Pulitzer Prize.)

The Dragon Dictate For Mac arrived last week. I was so excited, I squeaked. It was followed by another box that was a more deluxe headset and microphone. I opened each and poured over the abbreviated instructions. I had visions of sitting with my feet up, cigar in hand, while a captured Dragon took note of every word and turned it into text.

The installation went as expected and the program came alive. First, the microphone had to be calibrated. That took about 90 seconds. Then I had to read 12 paragraphs of a short story (provided), so the computer could learn my accent. At the onset, I checked the option for “British Accent” and British Spellings.” I guess I still had hopes for impressing the woman in the opening paragraph. I have a Jersey City accent that makes me sound like Leo Gorcey, and the program kept asking, “What? What did you just say?” Then it automatically recalibrated itself for a “low brow, New Jersey accent common to urban Morlocks.”

The program steered me into a highly simplified tutorial designed to get you dictating like a fascist leader in record time. The best way to describe the manner in which the program takes direction is to compare it to the way telegrams were originally composed. (As I write these words, I realize there isn’t anyone under the age of forty-five who knows what a telegram was.) All punctuation is stated. Each simple sentence ends with the word “PERIOD.” Yet in composing an email to a friend today, I described a former relationship (not my last one) as “juggling loaded pistols with a woman whose period lasted 7 years.” I couldn’t complete the sentence as the program kept typing “juggling loaded pistols with a woman whose.”

Then there is the other challenge: I talk to myself. I intended to write, “The bike leaned into a turn so tight that I nearly split my pants. There is something wonderful in being able to reach out and touch the pavement, sliding by at 80 miles per hour.”

What the program typed was, “The bike leaned into a turn so tight that I nearly split my pants. Who the fuck is going to believe I ever leaned a bike over that far? There is something wonderful in being able to reach out and touch the pavement, sliding by at 80 miles per hour. But I wouldn’t know shit about that.”

The program also has a hard time believing that a human can be as scathingly vicious as I am. It translated the word “douche bag” into “elected official” and thought I wanted “insurance company lawyer” for the phrase “that fucking scumbag in the suit.”

This dictation program is amazing as it works in every Mac application. I answered 40 emails today in the time I would have typed responses to four. The instant spell check is really good. I plan to spend an hour a day with the manual, memorizing every command option. I intend to write the sequel to Conversations With A Motorcycle without ever touching the keyboard. In fact, I intend to write it with a cigar in one hand, a drink in the other, and a brunette (or a redhead) in my lap.

I cannot adequately thank the BMW MOA Forum of guys — the Posse — who made this possible. You guys snapped me out of a tedious malaise. Some of the folks who contributed to this project comment regularly on this blog. Others I have just met (online) for the first time. Mark Morales is a great guy and Chris McCarthy... well Chris McCarthy is some kind of a guy too. Chris is likely to become a recurrent theme on this blog. I would like to ride with all of my blog readers sooner or later — but if I can ride at all this summer I will meet up with Chris.  I suspect he has visited a number of locations mentioned in my book, within an hour of my last being there.

There will be an interim blog post in two days. The madness is again on me. I’m sorry I was gone so long.

Readers Pictures Will Start Running Again in Two Days.... 





©Copyright Jack Riepe 2013
All rights reserved...

84 comments:

K75 fan said...

Welcome back Jack. Missed the blog. Also, thanks to Chris and the others.

Mike Shipley said...

Jack,
Great to have you back. Hope to see you this summer on your ride to the west.

Nikos said...

Jack
I'm waiting for the book in audio so that I can plumb it through my newly fitted helmet intercom system and hear you whilst I lane split through Stroke 0n Tent.

All the very best to you for 2013 and we both hope that the dreaded afliction can be held in check - have you thought of becoming a vegan?....

N from grotty England and E from her bed in Germany

BeemerGirl said...

WWWWEEEEEEE! Let the games begin!! I think the idea of dictation software is fabulous. You may be struggling against it right now as it is changing your anticipated wording. But when you train it properly, I think it will work in your favor. :) You'll be able to say four words and it will automatically give you your paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Finally! It took a bribe to do it, but it looks like Jack is back!

Paul S.

cpa3485 said...

Sounds like an excellent solution to the problems, except for maybe getting your head screwed on a little tighter.
You did have a few of us wondering and now glad to see you back at it.
One thing's for sure. That second book is a masterpiece, and I bet that third book will be a "real pisser" if I could be so bold as to borrow one of your lines.
Take Care,Jimbo

nhdude said...

Well, your wit is as sharp and humour as scathing as ever :-) Really great to see you back here and look forward to more great works! Be well!

Clifton's Place said...

Welcome back, Jack. Two-finger typers rule. I have resisted voice-to-text for the very reason you mention - heavy editing of my tirades would be necessary to remove politically incorrect comments and descriptions...

Toymaker said...

Glad to have you back. Your book was a riot, I swear we knew the same people with different names. Looking forward to buying you that Lobster dinner here in Maine.

DBC said...

Welcome back, Jack! You've been sorely missed. As a member of the "Riepe Posse" in the MOA, I'm glad to hear the new toys are working.
Now we need to figure out how to get you back on the roads. Trike out Fireballs, maybe???

Take care,
Daryl

Jack Riepe said...

Dear K75 Fan:

Thank you for taking a moment to read my blog, and for leaving a comment. It is is great to be back. I missed this the writing part. I also miss the naked woman and motorcycle part. They will follow this summer.

I cannot thank the Posse enough for their dedication.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mike Shiply:

Unfortunately for you and others, I am back and feel like writing these days. So this blog will be fired up again on a regular basis.

Mike, you sent me a great account of a vintage bike show and pictures. I had a problem with the picture CD... but it is resolved now. Look forward to seeing your piece on Twisted Roads soon.

Great hearing from you.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Nikos:

I had never seen a triangular toilet before reading a FaceBook post from you today.

There is actually an AudioBook in the works, and it will be available before the summer.

Speaking of Stoke on Trent, I really wanted to see the place, as I heard it was the "pot" capital of the United Kingdom. Then I realized I had probably gotten that wrong.

While my arthritis, I will not become a vegan. I do not eat vegetables. Like most Americans, I prefer that vegetables live out their lives in peace, serving in the US Congress.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Beemer Girl (Steel Cupcake):

Great to hear from you today, Lori. And thank you for the thoughtful review of my book on your blog.

I am not training the Dragon Program... It is training me! This morning, it made some recommendations as to how I should dress.

This keyboard is playing like a piano today... And I haven't touched it.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Paul S:

I never said I wasn't open to a bribe. And I know you had a hand in this one. Thanks a bunch, Pal.


Fondest regards,
Reep

Cantwell said...

Dear Jack,

I'm disappointed you didn't include a description of the two hours of screaming at Apple support's automated help line. Although, in retrospect, you probably don't have the parental settings set right on your new dictation program to allow you to include the expletives that gushed with vitriol.

Glad you're back on the horse...

Michael

Jack Riepe said...

Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):

If my head was screwed on any tighter, my ass would be flat.

I am thrilled that you liked my opus: Conversations With A Motorcycle... And thank you for the kind review you wrote.

There will be a sequel and the outline is already underway. Some have speculated that it will largely be comprised of the 33,000 words cut from this one. Not true. It will be the stories I had opted not to tell.

I had doubts as to how well the book would be received. Those doubts were groundless. I am under no illusions though... It would be ready this summer. Whether I dictate it or not.

Great to hear from you today!

Fondest regards,
Reep

Dan Mckenzie said...

Ahhhhhh....got my Jack fix again. It had the usual result, a long chortling chuckle, this time followed by a minute of hacking my lungs out. ( Just go over a month of the Flu, still have the cough )

A sequel!!! I'll buy it! Sign me up!

I think there should be a "Riepe Ride" this summer. People would come from all over the country to ride with you. I envision the ending of "Long Way Round", where hundreds all ride in to the destination together whooping and hollering.

Richard said...

Glad your back!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear NHDude:

The ether has worn off and I am back at the keyboard. I spent the past 6 weeks in a kind of reflection. What a waste of time! This was almost as productive as trying to get in touch with my feminine self.

Great to hear from you today.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Terlingua Moon said...

He's back! And in the finest of forms!

Voni
sMiling

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Clifton's Place:

I cannot begin to list the personal triumphs I have enjoyed using two fingers. I am using this Dictate program to its best effect at the moment. I cannot deny that the editing work was done the old-fashioned way - with two fingers.

And with my writing style, I don't want to argue about my right to say "fuck" occasionally.

Great to hear from you today.
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Toymaker:

If it is at all humanly possible, I want to ride from Maine to Key West this year. Ride now, I'm struggling to walk upright. But better days are coming.

I am so thrilled you liked the book. I'll buy you the dinner. You can buy the whiskey. (You are so screwed in this deal.)

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear DBC (Daryl):

You were in on the Posse? I should have figured. Thank you so much for this great gift.

I want to have tee shirt made for all you guys so the crowd knows who to blame. They will say something like, "I Changed The Way Jack Riepe Writes... The Twisted Roads Posse."

Daryl, your story about your ride is very much alive. I just haven't been fooling round with any material for a bit. I'll be calling you about it shortly.

Thanks again for everything.

Fondest regards,
Reep


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dan McKenzie:

And I am happy to have provided it for you. I'd be delighted and flattered to sign you up for the sequel. I just had an artist's brief regarding that book's cover.

I want to do a reader's ride next summer. I want to visit all the places that I mentioned in the book. I'll give you a few month's notice, so you can squeeze it in, if you are so inclined.

Yet I did tell Curt Yeager that first on my priority was a ride across country. I want to ride the Pacific Coast, and he offered to babysit me.

Naturally, I'd darken your door on the way out.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michael (Cantwell):

That segment did appear in the original, but I edited it out. By the time I got you on the phone, I was nearly hoarse from scream "Fuck you," into the Apple automated phone line.

Here's my message to the folks at Apple.

1) Not everyone who uses your products is a 22-year-old hipster in red fucking sneakers.

2) I have spent a fortune over the years on Apple products and I want a little consideration.

3) When I want to talk to a human, get one.

4) Some of your App pages and other sites are all very fashionable. The button for purchasing something should be as big and as easy to find as the red Staples Easy Button.


5) If you discontinue the MacBook Pro in its current form, I will ask the President to order the nation's flags at half mast. That decision will be about as smart as New Fucking Coke.

I'm not on the horse yet, Mike. But I am headed back to the barn.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Terlingua Moon (Voni):

Thank you for reading my tripe and lending some credibility to these proceedings. It's is always special to heard from you.

Fondest regards,
Reep

bob skoot said...

Jack:

welcome back, we missed you and were getting worried.

the Dragon sounds like a good solution. It's good to have friends who miss you

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Welcome back! You've been missed...

mtlcowgirl said...

Did the folks and/or literature at Dragon warn you of the sensitivity of the thing? Mack had ordered it because his medication was making it difficult for him to type. I was running water IN THE NEXT ROOM one day and the thing asked Mack to repeat himself when he hadn't said a thing. Just so you know. Welcome back, by the way. I was worried about you.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bob Skoot:

It's good to be be back and making some big changes to this blog. You will be par of them. Remember to check in again in a day or so.

It will be better to be in the saddle again next riding season, hopefully.

Great to hear from you,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Richard M:

I have it on good authority that you were part of the BMW MOA Posse too. I can't thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. You'll get a commemorative Posse tee shirt too. Someday... You have experience with how fast I move.

Thanks for reading my stuff and buying my book.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Chunk Norris said...

My computer took an extra 20 minutes to boot up this morning and then froze. I shoulda known it was you on the interweb. Welcome back.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear MTL Cowgirl:

I left the microphone open yesterday, and got up to move around. I flushed the toilet, and the program wrote six paragraphs by itself. That's a little scary.

How are you Karen? I'm okay. It's always a pleasure to hear from you.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chunk Norris:

It was the least I could do. Thanks for reading my tripe and leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Clifton Crews:

I just went to your blog and read the favorable review you wrote of my new book — Conversations With A Motorcycle. I was very touched. I took the liberty of adding your blog to my "Destinations List." I hope you don't mind.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Clifton's Place said...

Thanks Jack. The book is worth the praise. Now I must get your spirit installed to keep up the blog. [sigh]

Canajun said...

Welcome back Jack. I've been using Dragon for a few years now because I'm such a lousy typist. I get paid by the word and if I had to type every one I'd be better off at Burger King. But the best parts are the periodic misinterpretations that can sometimes be absolutely hilarious (as long as you catch them before sending off the finished work).

Annie Huddy said...

Oh thank goodness you are back!

BKRNRD said...

Glad the new software is working well for you and look forward to more posts like this one.

BKRNRD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick phillips said...

Welcome Back Jack ! We have all missed you.


Nick

Nick phillips said...

Welcome back Jack ! So glad to see you are back at your MAC. It's been kinda dull around here !
Nick

Shango said...

A.) Had I known it is permissible to fart if one files an environmental impact statement, I would have been filing them for years. The again, I’m not sure the 200 page report is worth it. Leave it to the EPA to take the fun out of farting…
B.) I too have recently been dragged into the 21st century by buying a smart phone. I hate the damn thing. It took me two days to figure out how to answer the phone; swipe, don’t tap the icon. I missed 12 calls before I accidentally swiped and figured it out. This thing does everything, including making coffee in the morning. I’m sure there’s a trombone solo application in there somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet.
C.) Where’s my fucking case of books? I was at the perfect event to sell them last weekend. And I’ve got another one this weekend.

Charlie6 said...

Adding my thanks to "the posse" for coming up with the solution to your blog writing doldrums.

Great posting, and your description of your typing style surprised me, figured you knew how to touch type in order to keep up with the torrent of thought you mentioned.

Looking forward to more and to another book!

dom

Unknown said...

Jack: Loved the book and will send check for sequel in a few days. (yeah right) Don't forget to stop in Virginia on your trip west this summer, I'll have the guest house and the Jameson"s ready. Natalie Merchant also did a great rendition of "because the night" Give me a call BRALEY

George Ferreira said...

Glad you back but be careful with the dragon, auto correction can be mean too. I was writing a message to a friend and said something about "my wife Fatima" and the auto correction changed it into "my wife v.gina" damn it, I had already hit the send key when I saw the mistake.

Jim Lagnese said...

I feel bad that I didn't get to contribute for Dragon. Jack is definitely worth it and I am glad Jack is back.

As far as Apple Computers go, they are the best, I've been working with them as a tech for almost 19 years...Now if I can only find work...Good luck with the new software and welcome back!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Canajun:

Good to be be back. I was initially amazed at the capabilities of the Dragon Program, but the bloom is already off the vine. The Dictate For the Mac program shit the bed last night, and tied itself in a huge knot. The microphone is deader than Kelsey’s nuts and it is not the headset nor the Mac. Both are giving solid audio readings.

So I called the Dragon customer support line this afternoon, and got a lovely gentleman who could barely speak English. He transferred me to another number, where I listened to the most God-awful music I have ever heard. I listened to this for 42 minutes, according to the timer on my phone. A recorded message broke in occasionally to tell me that I could probably solve my own problems by going to a troubleshooting page on Nuance Communication’s website.

So I did that, and learned that my probable solution was to de-install the Dragon Dictate For The Mac program, and then reinstall it. There was a detailed set of instructions on how to do this in the User’s Manual. So I printed that out and decided to give it a try. By line item #3 it became woefully apparent that the reality of the Mac’s OX 8.2 operating system didn’t match up with any of the bullshit printed in the manual.

I am going to try the technical support number again tomorrow morning, but if today is any indication of what I can expect in the future, I am going to up screaming myself silly tomorrow.

Thanks for reading my stuff and leaving a message today.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Annie Huddy:

Oh thank goodness you left a comment today. I thought you were mad at me.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear BKRNRD:

It is always great to hear from the Harley Davidson crowd. I wish I heard from more of them. The new software has already blown up. I'm thinking it might just be teething pains, but I'll find out tomorrow.

Thanks for reading my tripe and leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Nick:

Not everyone would agree with you that my writing was a cure for dullness. There are a bunch of folks in an oil thread at this very moment who think I am a heretic.

Thanks for reading my stuff today, and for leaving a comment,

Fondest regards,
Reep

Anonymous said...

Jack,
After checking this blog two or three times a day for close to three months and swearing like a drunken sailor every time at no new blog post, today those rants were replaced with my jackass braying laughter.
The BMWMOA "Posse" wanted to get you cigars and whisky also but nobody was willing to give up future bribe items in case you were affected with something like death and needed another boost back to writing for our entertainment.
All kidding aside, it is so great to have you back!

A Trask
aka Redbeemer

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Shango:

Had you thought it was possible to fart with reckless abandon after filing an environmental impact statement, you'd have killed all the low-flying birds in three states.

I've had a smart phone for three years, and I still can't figure out how to use half the stuff on it. Bit I do have a New Orleans cat house on speed dial. That would be very useful if they had a drive-in window, or better yet, if they delivered.

We are counting down the days to the new book delivery. Did you daughter get her review copy of CAW?

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

You have been one of the most stalwart readers of this blog from day #1. It is always a pleasure to find a message from you.

Every professional writer I know has one or two peculiar habits or superstitions. I have always been under the impression that composed at the speed which I thought.

The Dragon program proved this is not so. I do not use nearly half the superfluous verbiage I type when I just say it first. That's why I want to get this program up and running again.

Yours was the very first review my book ever had, and it got the ball rolling. Thanks for everything.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads today, and for leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear George:

It's great to see you here today. I marveled over the rides you took this past year. I am having a few unanticipated problems with the Dragon Dictate program myself.

I was writing a note to a former mother-in-law and said, "I hope you make a swift recovery and live another 10 years." What the program typed was, "You should have been staked down in your coffin years ago." Hot stuff huh?

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, George.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Jim Lagnese:

Getting the Dragon Dictate program from readers took me completely by surprise. But there is a dark side t all this too.

I have started to get email that said, "Okay Fat Ass, let's see some editorial now that we made it easier for you."

So I started writing again.

Now I'm getting email that reads, "And don't give us any of that crap about being allergic to cats either."

I'm sorry to hear you're looking for work. There's a lot of that going around. Better days are coming. Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Braley:

You and I have something to talk about and I'll call you in the near future. I'm thrilled you liked the book. I hope to present you with a copy of the sequel personally, on my next pass through Virgina.

What I want to do is sit my ass down in front of a bit of campfire, in a ring or pit by your guesthouse, and kill a bottle of Jamesons by degrees.

Maybe we could do a couple of cigars too.

I like the Natalie Merchant version too. It has more of a haunting lilt to it. But there are days when I just love the pounding drive that Patti Smith puts into it.

Fondest regards,
Reep

JZ said...

Glad you're writing again Jack, and thank you for your efforts to do so. Technology can be great when it works.

Conchscooter said...

Shit. There goes the neighborhood after a nice long rest. How soon before I can expect rocks through my windows again?

RGP said...

Glad to see you back Jack.
Missed you.

RGP

Jack Riepe said...

Dear JZ:

Thanks for the warm and encouraging sentiment. I had to start writing again. I was talking to myself and realized that even I wasn't listening.

There will be a new blog in less than 24 hours.

Thanks for reading and chiming in.

Fondest regards,
Reep

BMW-Dick said...

Dear Shapeless Mollusk:
A bunch of your old riding buddies were talking about you yesterday. The gist of the conversation was that we are delighted you have found some new friends. I thought that this blog offering was well written and exciting, until I read the parts about you leaning a motorcycle and realized it was still typical Riepe bullshit. The part about you with a redhead or brunettes in your laps made me curious. Are you planning to get an Irish Setter or a Tabby Cat?
OK, the real truth is I enjoyed this blog, glad you're back, and look forward to riding with you again.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscoter:

I threw a rock through your window "blog-wise" late last night. I was the first person to comment on your 301st blog. That has to count for something.

Always a pleasure, Michael.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear RGP:

Just getting a nod from you today made it all worth it.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,
Reep

DC said...

Jack,

Great to read your words again. I was one of the concerned people who didn't leave a comment. But I checked your blog every 2-3 days since Nov 29, and well, today, with everyone else, was rewarded.

Sorry to hear the arthritis is gaining momentum. I hope you thrive with the Dragon of Dictation. I don't have a top case, so if your severed head wants to ride with me, you'll have to peer out the tank bag. You wanna face front, or what?

DC

MattPie said...

"There is actually an AudioBook in the works, and it will be available before the summer."

Jack, this will only work if you read it.

Good to hear you're back. My betrothed has been using Dragon for her last few semesters and would never have made it thru without it. I'm just a mostly-touch typist, but my job rarely requires using full sentences.

(Note: captcha for this post is '127 swinger', I think it's cross-referencing your browser history somehow)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear DC:

Thank you for the encouraging sentiment and warm reception to my latest blog.Naturally, your suggestion as to dealing with my severed head when the time comes made me laugh my ass off.

Best laugh I had all day.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Matt:

I was actually planning to be the voice reading the book. I am in speech therapy to sound like Cyndi Lauper.

The Dragon software has tied itself up in knots. I am unable to get through on their support line.

Thanks for reading my trip and for leaving a comment.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Michelle said...

Jack,

Thank God you are BACK!!!

Was beginning to think you actually had been committed somewhere?!? Or possibly an alcohol induced stupor from being exiled??

If I had known you were in need of such a device to continue your blogging, I would have bought it myself and sent it to you!!!

Great article, though cannot believe that Jack Riepe would give up on chasing women....even for a little while. Jack just wouldn't be Jack if he wasn't trying to "charm the pants" off some female somewhere.

If you do make your pilgrimage from Maine to Key West, let me know the dates. I can join up for the Florida portion by then. Should be good enough not to slow the famous Jack down.

BTW, have not received your new book as of yet. Anxious to read it, but did not want to bother you during your absence in case you needed to get away from all of this and just wanted to be left alone.

DougBob said...

Jack,

Wait . . . you were gone??

Don't do that again, OK??

DougBob

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick Bregstein:

I just poured an Irish coffee — my 23rd today, in fact. So I can't fall asleep, and I can't stand up either.

I read your comment with great interest, Dick. Yes, I have new friends. Not one of them has tried to glue my ass to the seat, tied my bootlace to the brake pedal, nor passed my business cards out at a convention of transsexuals. So you're still special.

On the other hand, don't get so fucking cocky. There are two other guys at the Msc-Pac who want to replace you as my riding partner. They are DucDude, who has promised to let me ride the Vincent. And Shirley Johnson (not his real name), who has threatened to beat the shit out of me if I ever used his actual name in this blog. (He actually threatened to bury me in my own asshole.)

So there you have it.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michelle:

Thank you for your kind letter. It's no fun being in an asylum. While the walls are definitely rubber, all the casual wear has the belt in the back.

Michelle, to order a book, you have to send me your name, address and phone number to my regular g-mail account. A big mailing is going to occur in less than 14 days. I expect that printing to sell out too.

I expect to do a full-court brass pole run when I get to Florida, with stops along Alligator Alley. I'll send you my itinerary.

Thanks for reading my tripe, and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

Dear DougBob:

Yeah, I was gone. But it wasn't my idea. And just when I thought I had escaped. They pulled me back.

Thanks for reading my stuff, and for commenting.

Fondest regaerds,
Reep

Jack Riepe said...

This message is for Peter Frechi, who just left me a note in my personal e-mail which read:

Hey Fatass:

I see you wrote another blog and got 69 comments... 59 of which you wrote yourself.

Peter F.

My response: You and Bregstein are looking to get it.

Fondest regards,
Reep

Joe Dille said...

Jack,
Glad to hear you are back writing. We missed you at breakfast.

Write Safe,

Joe

Dave said...

YOUR BACK!!! Thought you got taken prisoner by some leather clad bitch on a Harley (and did not want to be rescued!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack,
If I was angry at you, you would know. :D
Annie

Eduacated Ihor said...

On this planet the first truck at the end of the line is known as the last truck! And telegrams related punctuation at the end of sentences as STOP. In case you didn't know.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dave:

I suspect this is "Dutch Dave." It has been a while since I was carried off by a leather clad Harley riding bitch. I can hardly wait. For what it's worth, I am back in the editorial saddle.

Fondest regards

Jack

Ken said...

The worst thing about a funk is the being alone part. Glad you're back!

Dan O said...

Welcome back Jack! Figured you had been swept out to sea or abducted by aliens. Glad the rumors of your demise were somewhat exaggerated. And now we can all start laughing our asses off again. Cheers!
Dan O

Paddy Pollard said...

Good morning jack. And I thought my phone was fancy...? Was good to get your message this morning and good to know all is well. I had read onbthe BMW forum that there was concern about you and that there was a mention of this program, these guys clearly are bored or think very highly of you. Take care

Tom Hardy said...

Hey I'm new for to this blog but I'm a fan of motorcycles with a good story. Question how is your oil mist collectors doing after all your travels? Let me know please.