Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Co-Pilot...

Mr. Bones made his annual appearance tonight.

My Co-pilot -- Mr. Bones -- We share many interests. He was my best man in two weddings. (Photo by Jack Riepe -- Click to enlarge)

Cigarette and cosmopolitan in hand, he told me I’d be in his thoughts tomorrow as I rode up toward New York City. And when that tiny opening in traffic occurs about Exit 8a on the New Jersey Turnpike, he promised to be the one whispering, “Fuck it, twist on the gas. Spit in the Sausage Creature’s eye.”

You’d be amazed at how often I rely on his judgement.

Some of you would be concerned about a spectre drinking a "Cosmo." I am inured to it. A few years ago I went into a neighborhood gin mill with my old pal Roy. (Roy and I have been friends for over 35 years. Yet what he pulled in the bar that day left me in shock.) The barmaid was live steam poured into a blouse. I was sweating testosterone and wanted nothing more than to share with her a twist of my DNA. Roy looked into her eyes... And asked for a fucking appletini. I moved over two stools and ordered a polo mallet and a body bag. It was too late. Not only did Roy kill his chances, but he took out mine in the crossfire too.

Mr. Bones once said to me, "What's the worst that can happen? Your girlfriend already had 'DNR' tattooed on your chest. And you can always run for Congress if you end up a vegetable." (Photo by Jack Riepe -- Click to enlarge)

Happy Halloween!


I have no patience with anything electrical. Being third generation Irish, I fear anything I can’t see, smell, or drink that can still knock me on my ass. While attending the BMW Motorcycle Owner’s of America rally in Tennessee this summer, my Garmin GPS crapped out in such a manner that indicated a loss of power from the bike to the unit. A careful examination of the power cord indicated the plug end going into the GPS was cracked.

I got around to ordering a $38 replacement cord two months later. The GPS still refused to “wake up” when plugged into the dash power outlet on the K75. My next thought was I had blown a fuse connected to the outlet. A circuit tester showed 12.5 volts in the socket (with the bike off), and the wire (as well as the old one) both worked fine when plugged into the cigarette lighter in the truck.

Suspicion switched to the “Powerlet” converter that allows me to connect the SAE cigarette lighter plug into the “BMW” style outlet on the dash. Three screws are visible on the outside of this unit, and the larger one exposes the internal connectors. Sure enough, the wires were disconnected. The black ground wire attaches to the “square” connector inside.

The Powerlet converter unit... (Photo by Jack Riepe -- Click to enlarge)

It took five minutes to fix this thing. It should be noted that the fixture is black, exposed to the sun on dash, and probably is subject to a modicum of vibration. All of these factors could contribute to a loosening of the connections. It was mildly satisfying to fix it. Those using these converters should be advised that when properly tightened, there isn’t a lot of flexibility between the male “Powerlet” plug and the female socket.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2009
AKA The Lindberg Baby (Mac Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views
AKA The Chamberlain -- PS (With A Shrug)


Conchscooter said...

There is some cruel irony at play considering I was born on a day every else likes to celebrate.

mq01 said...

oooooh, hey, that co-pilot of yours, mmmmmmm, he's pretty cute ;) have a great ride!!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conch:

Every child who came to the door last night, hopeful of getting some candy, was instead made to stand in rthe drizzle, whi;e I read them your blog. There is a whole new generation of goblins, witches, and ghouls who now feel somewhat ambivalent about your birthday. It was the least I could do.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ms. mq01:

I am today looking at the co-pilot's curse. It was still raining heavily at 5:30am. The ground is soaked. Wet leaves and gravel are piled at every intersection. The ride must go on today, but I am less than thrilled about it.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

mq01 said...

:( oh no...well i hope that the skies clear, the clouds part, the roads dry, and that you have a fabulous ride. i know im needing a nice long ride myself (but gave myself a cold or flu), and was hoping to enjoy one vicariously through you :) be safe jack.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear mq01:

The roads have dried out somewhat and I do have a family agenda today. I am riding to Huidson County, New Jersey via two interstates. One is know as the "Cancer Strip."

There shopuld be no leave on the road, nor gravel, after a five-mile radius, and I will ride like hell.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

redlegsrides said...

Nice bit of electrical troubleshooting Jack! Is the sporadic electrical problems that drive me crazy.....

Unknown said...

Jack "r":

you are so modest, and your co-pilot is probably an Xray image of yourself. Makes you look so trim and slim.

and Conch, you are so lucky. everyone is setting off fireworks and firecrackers in your honour. Even up here.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Lance said...

Roy sounds like a great guy - I once ordered a pixie stick cocktail that came with a real tube of pixie stix candy to garnish your drink. Talk about manly.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I am gettimg cheap in my old age. My first thought was to call the folks at Whitehorse Gear and demand a new one. I have no doubt they would have complied. But that would have meant sending the old one back and waiting for a new one (at twice the cost of the original in postage).

Since it was already broken and non-essential to the bike, I had nothing lose by taking it apart. However, the stupidity light is still flashing. I threw out the old, cracked cable to the Garmin. I should have cut the male cigarette-lighter plud from it to see if it ended in two straight black and red wires.

If it had, I could have cut the same part off the new one, and hard-wired it into the powerlet male end, thereby eliminating the converter plug at all. This is a discontinued model of Garmin. I am asking everyone in my family to simply throw loose change in a sock for my Christmas present this year, so I can buy a water-proof, shock-resistant Garmin made for the bike.

Thank you for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

I had the idea to permanently attach Mr. Bones, whom I purchased for $18 to the dash on my bike. But we live in the mind of world where things disappear off parked bikes and I don't like the idea of contributing to some kid's collection of acquired bike bling.

However, there are two areas above my instrument cluster that have velcro on them, obviously to hold an "Easy Pass," which I don't have. I think I will just fix it so I can ride with Mr. Bones and hide him in the top case when I am through.

I like the idea of a skeleton, who smokes and drinks, also riding a bike.

Always nice to hear from you, Bob.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Lance:

Roy and I have gotten into more trouble over the years than you can possibly imagine. The root of these issues was generally a bottle of straight whisky and innumerable beers.

We once went into a piano bar in now fashionalble Hoboken, NJ, and offered to sing cowboy songs from the bar. When the manager seemed unimpressed, we sang anyway. Our debut ended with the sudden drone of police sirens on the rise.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Gary said...

I have a similar converter, but mine has a 6" cord between them. It probably isn't affected as much by vibration. Yours is really long (the converter) and probably is affected more.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Gary:

I should have saved the old Garmin cord and experimented with it. Too soon poor, too late smart.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

cpa3485 said...

That is so very cruel to read Conch's blog to truck or treaters. Maybe I'll do that next year.
Better yet, or at least more horror filled would be to force them to hear my own blog.

irondad said...

You heard about the skeleton that walked into the bar and ordered a beer and a mop, didn't you?

Nikos said...


As much as I would wish to leave some witty/sarcastic/cynical comment I am lost for words other than to ask who was the "best" man at the other three weddings?

Yours as ever, N

PS Better to wire the power lead upto a convertible plug that can be used both on the BMW and in a conventional socket (if you need to).

Jack Riepe said...

Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):

We have a Halloween tradition here that makes the neighbors hate (as if I gave a shit). I tape a sig t the door that advises trick or treaters not to ring the doorbell, but to scream.

You have got to hear these kids screaming their hearts out. It is hysterical. Then the fun starts. No candy without a trick. Sometimes the screaming is enough. Sometimes I make them sing. When they can't think of a song, I ask them to sing "Happy Birthday," to George, who was my dad.

I was away on Halloween one year, and Leslie gave out the candy. One group of kids asked her, "Isn't your husband home? He's fun."

She was tempted to respond, "I divorced that dope and let the fat one in here."

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad:

That was one of the one's that got out of my second wife's closet. Once they get it in their minds to run, no door will hold them.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Nikos:

I had to pay strangers off the street to serve as my best men after a bit. None of my friends would do it anymore as they did not want to be associated with future tragedies.

Here's what I should have done with that connector.

1) I should not have thrown out the first damaged connecting wire (that terminated in the computerized unit plug and thre SAE cigar lighter plug.

2) I should have cut the SAE male end off and examined the wires. If I had a straight red and black one, or a straight red and white one, I could have hard-wired that piece directly into the BMW Powerlet male end.

But I didn't do that. Does the word "stupidity" ring a bell?

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

sgsidekick said...

Just popping in to let you know I read every word you write. Unfortunately I have nothing funny nor intelligent to say; just that I read what you write. Oh, and I'm not bored...

Jack Riepe said...

Dear SgSidekick:

If you look at my crap, you will discover at least one sentence that struck you as pure bullshit. You should tell me what it is, so I can write more like that.

It is always a pleasure to hear fron you.

Fondest regarrds,
Jack • reep • Toad

sgsidekick said...

Jack, I find a LOT of what you say to be pure bullshit. But I'm married to a bullshitter, so I let it go. It usually adds spice to life, so why bitch about it?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, positively, that is the FUNNIEST thing I have ever read. I literally could not breathe while reading it, I was laughing so hard. The epitaph on the tombstone was priceless. WTF goes through that mind of yours to produce this stuff? I want some.

Big Jim