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Figbuck Chronicles...


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I planned to go to Canby. Wanted to go. Was looking forward to it too.


Could have tried to go, but for the first time in my life I didn't have a running vehicle. Plus nothing seemed to going in the right direction, things were working out poorly, every little thing a struggle. For a few days I was trying to figure out how to sell my truck. No shit.


Back in May I was going to help a friend who has a farm in the Chehalem Mountains, out in Yamhill County Oregon. The dream is to restore the barn built in 1930, and turn it into a concert venue/art studio. Somehow I got a lung infection that laid me to waste. If there was ever anybody that hated me or wished bad things on me... you got me! Months later I'm still really weak.


The short version of this story started out with me picking up a 5/16" bolt in the rear driver side tire about a mile from home.... middle of the night in a driving rain storm. I knew someting was strange, but I parked and went in. Next day, tire flat on the rim, big-ass bolt head sticking out the middle of the tread. It poured rain for three more days, I don't have to be anywhere or do anything, and I sure ain't crawling around on the street to work on it.


First nice day, lucky I have two factory jacks, because it took two jacks to get the wheel off the way it was parked. I got out my cheezy T-handle reamer/patch kit and the 12v Montgomery-Ward compressor that plugs in the cigarette lighter. I found it in a dumpster, works great. Patched the hole, pumped it up, put it back on and finger tightened the lug nuts. I dropped it off the first jack, but was so tired I had to go inside and lie down for a few minutes. It was the first itme I had tried to do anything but walk around the block in weeks.


When I came back out, I dropped it off the second jack. I was thinking about how much I didn't want to be fucking around with this at all, but I needed to get to a doctor appointment. I knew there was something I was missing too, but it was getting late... I didn't know how the patch would hold up... I got in and left. I was only going 20 mph when I hear this huge boom/bang and the whole back of the truck jumps up in the air.







I see the back wheel go flying into a pack of oncoming cars and miss all of them, then the drum goes rolling after it in a little different trajectory. The wheel ended up hitting the guard rail and flipping into the creek. Never found the drum!!








So. I jacked it back up. hacked off the old braked parts that I could with the limited tools I had, and put the wheel back on, thinking I could limp home.  Nah, the bolts were stripped and BOOM the same thing happened two block later! The Portland cop that stopped to see what was up and the great tow truck driver could be stories all unto themselves.





I don't know what to tell you. I fucked this up good huh?




Hey look the fucking tire still holding air!!! Tow guy jacked up the truck put the wheel back on and snatched it onto one of those tilting flatbeds with a winch and cable.  Was prolly real lucky I didn't hit somebody or something.




Fast forward to now... Figbuck 620... with four wheel disc brakes!  Thanks to Jason Pope. I will write more later I hope. Still don't have a computer or a job or any money... living situation is sketchy as hell. But the truck runs great and is a blast to drive.  

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I'm sitting in San Mateo, California. I just drove the Figbuck 620 down from scenic Poortland Orygun. I'm burnt crispy, drinking a Deshutes IPA, and trying to relax. I left with a full tank, drove all night to beat the heatwave. I can almost make it down Interstate Five with two gas stops... Grants Pass and down about Corning. But then I'm empty when I get here.


The first tank I got 21.2 MPG, the next stint was 23.6. The last one down the Sacramento Valley, nice and flat was 24.5. I cruised at about 65 mostly, but sometime faster on smoother pavement.


When you get down to the Bay Area you gotta drive 70 on the freeway our you get your ass run over in the slow lane. Anyway my L16 ran like a champ. It says 261K now. I changed my oil, coolant, bled my disc brakes front and back, bled the clutch. New air and fuel filter. Fuck man, it still winds out and make good power up hills. I tow loads in my utility trailer all the time.


The best thing about driving my truck is listening to music. It is pretty cool that for $99 bucks I got a Sony CD player with a display, so I can listen to 16 Gigs of all my iTunes files. It has a USB port on the faceplate and a mini-thumb drive looks like another black button. Best thing since a new 60amp KA alternator.


So life has been like an emotional roller coaster. I got really sick with black mold again in April '17. It wrote off May and June for me. This same thing got me 11 months before in March 2016. I was just sort of eating, sleeping, gaining weight and strength back. My ass was kicked. At least this time I knew what was happening. It comes on in 20 minutes, Then I was in bed for five days. It was grim.


I rode fast motorcycles and had so many close calls for so long. I never thought that I could die. But this year I was so tired of feeling so bad, that I was thinking... well I might not wake up from one of my naps here. But it would be OK. I was so tired and just couldn't fight anymore.


I don't think of myself as a quitter, but it was like... NEXT. I've never felt this weak and out of shape. It sucks and I'm really trying to take care of myself.


I made it to Canby on Sunday. But couldn't get up enough energy to go out and get in my truck, drive 25 minutes to be there on Saturday. I took an afternoon nap instead.


Cool story Bro! No Pics? Never Happened! But, but the PhotoBucket is FUCKED! Greedy fucks. This shit sucks. I don't know what to tell ya. I got OICS. Can't get them posted up.


The Bay Area has changed and grown so fast it's shocking. The way people drive down here is insane. Close calls are normal. The most insane thing I saw yesterday was a sick looking BMW M Coupe and a Porche going about 100 MPH in the fast lane, passing slower cars on the right. They got hung up traffic with one car in the middle lane and one in the fast lane side by side. A guy on a Kawaskai Hayabusa... shorts and a T-shirt, passed them both at warp speed, splitting the lane between them! He evaporated down the freeway in two seconds. That is normal traffic, until rush hour when everything is stopped in every direction... and motorcycles still split lanes going 60! 


What does it all mean Mr. Natural?

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It don't mean shit!



I drove by a place today where an event happened I haven't thought about in a long time. I found myself laughing out loud. So this is a loosely a Datsun story...


It was about 1982 and my truck had lumber racks and tool boxes on it. I had just received my California Contractor's License and was doing a tenant improvement job, on a commercial space in a nice shopping district. One Friday after work, I drove to the Bank on the corner and pulled into the lot.


A fine young lady, dressed in beautiful business attire was walking across the street. She stopped and stared at me. Long long brown hair, long legs... and frankly 38DDs. She Jay-walks across the street, walking right up to me sitting the the Datsun. She is laughing... and Holy Shit... it's one or my best friend's sister Raylene... three years younger that us. Good Gracious she is all dressed up and grown up. Yikes Raylene!


Ok, so I had a crush on her when when she was 15, She was a Tom Boy and took me out to ride her horses a bunch, and she was always around us guys, because we were jamming and getting stoned in their garage. Her parents were totally cool. They trusted me. I was on my best behavior too. I didn't want her brother to KILL ME either. I never seriously considered fooling around with her.


A few yeas later, I ran into her after I got out of the Army when she graduated from College. She was staying at her parent's big old house with a stable and pastures. I used to go over and ride with her, hang out with her parent's, have dinner and stuff.


One night she said, let me play the new Robben Ford record for you. Her Dad said, I want to watch TeeVee, can you kids go in your room, then you can play it loud..haha.


Are you shittin' me Dad? Ray grabs my hand and zoom into her bedroom. Way down the end of the hall. She put on the record, turned it up, then pushed me on her bed. The door is still open two inches. I was trying to resist... honest... but she said, they don't come back here. She took our cloths off and...


...later we went in the kitchen and had Ice cream and pie with her Mom and Dad. Fuck man, Mom was MILFY as muther-fucker and she Godamn knew.


Mom had a shit-eating grin on her face! She was in on it. They set me up. Ray set me up!! The Old Man didn't have a clue.


But then, my Dad and her Dad, both died a few weeks apart. It was a rough time and we were just starting to fall for each other. But all kinds of stuff happened and we went different ways. I lived with another lady for five years. She got married to a musician I knew a bit.


So time had passed and here Raylene has recognized my blue Datsun in the bank parking lot. I ask, What are you doing here? She says, I just got divorced from Punk Rock Boy. He is a hopeless junkie now. He hit me once and I bailed out. So fast!


Raylene had a great job, so she just left everything including her car . She rented a really nice apartment two blocks from where I was working. She had been taking a commute train to work all week, and had just walked three blocks from the train station.


I said, Let's go get something to eat, I just got paid, let's go over here to this nice restaurant. She looks at me in dirty work cloths and work boots...."Nah, how about let's get some Chinese Take-Out, a six-pack, and go back to my place."


We go back to her place. The rooms are beautifully furnished. She turns down the lights, flips on music and we crack beers. We drink and eat and catch up. We both have been chewed up and spit out emotionally. We both missed each other, and wished that the circumstances would have worked out earlier, but we were just a little too young.


Raylene and I talked and talked. She told me about about this guy who rode the same train as she did. He kept looking at her, finally getting up enough nerve to talk to her. He was kind of strait and shy. Ray was nice to him. She took a different train and missed him Wednesday. Thursday he sat with her and talked to her the whole time, then got off on her stop. She felt a little weird, but she said... “I have to go shopping”... then ducked into a store.


We said, let's start over. We went into he bedroom. It was a typical girly bedroom, with a big canopy bed, lots of pink, lots of lace, everything smells good. We got naked and took our time... then fell fast asleep.


I'm out cold. In my dream, some guy is yelling waay off in the distance. What the fuck is he saying? Raylene? Some guy is calling Raylene's name? It's so far away. The guy is really stressing out, too.


The voice gets a little louder and more insistent. RAYLENE! Raylene! Please, I just want to talk to you! Please talk to me.


Wait a minute here. Where am I? Who the fuck is yelling this shit? The voice is louder and wakes me up. The bedroom window is open and there is a guy in the parking lot below yelling... Ray, can I just talk to you for a minute. Raylene is still out asleep, so I slip out of off the bed and look out the window. There is some guy standing in the bed of the Datsun holding in to my lumber racks. Oh, man... What is going on here?


I get back in bed and cuddle up to Ray's warm soft body. One of the neighbor's opens a window and yells.. Shut the fuck up or I'm gonna call the cops. This kinda wakes her up, and she starts kissing me. I ask her if she heard the yelling. She didn't. I have this thought that maybe it was Ray's Ex, Punk Rock Junkie Boy. Did he find out where she lived ...and I don't know, I'm tripping.


Ray climbs on top of me. We were really getting each other figured out. I will leave it to your imagination. Just as we were about to melt into extacy ... that voice again. Next I hear the sound of a sliding window in the front of the apartment... then a bump, bump, boom. Somebody is walking heavily down the hall and calling... Raylene, Raylene are you in here? Please don't freak out, I just want to talk to you... I need to talk to you!


My dick shrank so fast! I go, Ray who the fuck is that! Is it Punk Boy? I'm naked fucking this totally sexy hot woman! Then her deranged ex-husband, who is a junkie and asshole, is going to find us then empty a ciip in our asses!


I go Ray, somebody is in the house! She hears the voice and says, “It's the guy from the train!” He must have followed me the other day! She leaps off the bed her big titties flapping!  Just as the guy opens the door to the bedroom, Raylene catches the guy with a right hook and decks him. The guy shrinks back and starts crawling back down the hall. She goes off on him. What the fuck are you thinking, you lame pathetic little creep!!!


She is stomping his head with the heal of her foot... naked as shit. I get right up after her. As he gets up, I go to grab him, but he dives out the open sliding window. He got hung up on the curtain and falls onto the porch outside...


Just then two cops walk up with guns drawn after the neighbor called them. Raylene opens the front door and says, “Bust this creep right now!! He has been stalking me, and just in came through the kitchen window, down the hall, into my bedroom! I have a pillow over my dick ...but Ray is standing there in all her glory. Jesus, she had nice nipples and big areola. The cops tried to be casual. They must tell that story for ever.


The guy was still sobbing Raylene, Raylene, I just want to talk. The cops heard this shit, gave her a business card, said call tomorrow and file a report. They closed the door, cuffed the guy and read him his rights. He was crying, Raylene, Raylene … all the way in to the squad car.


You know how this ends. Ray dragged me back into her room...

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On the Oregon Coast. Epic day of listening to music and watching the scenery go by. Nearly 1500 mile trip from Portland to San Francisco on Interstate 5, then back North via Highway 101, through the Redwoods. Then up the Orygun Coast.  


36657064536_e61c8900f7_z.jpgDSCN0636 by Clary Philipp, on Flickr33 by Clary Philipp, on Flickr


...The Old Figbuck 620 was running great... until a few minutes after I took this sunset shot... the Alternator light started flickering just as I rolled into Port Orford. I shut the headlights off, and thought it was either a loose wire/ground, or the Diode was failing. I pulled over into a bar parking lot with a big light pole, so I could see. 


Put a Volt meter on it and it was toast. A couple of locals stumble out of the bar with drinks in hand. One old guy yells, "Loook it's a Fuckin' Datsun!! When was the last time you saw one of these? What's wrong with it Man??"


The Idiot light came on. I'm and idiot... or the alternator is smoked.


In a minute, the whole bar is emptied out watching me fuck with stuff. One guy says, that little sucker is so clean, how could anything be wrong with it. These guys know engines. Dood, it's the fuckin' Battery!!


Nah, brand new Interstate, look it lights the head lamps and fires the starter.


Uh, Oh yeah, Your alternator is fucked. Prolly just a diode. Usta be able to 'git them for Four Bucks, pull the plastic cover off the back and change 'em out. 


The next drunk argues, "Ah, then the bearings go out ten thousand miles later. You wished you woulda had a couple bucks to change it with a new one so you ain't crawlin' in the dirt some night when it finally dies!


Sheeit! You guys are killin' me here...


I don't know... after driving it for 44 years, I thought I fixed everything! Everybody is blown away that it's a one owner truck. Within ten minutes kids on bikes, every street person and drunk in town was standing in a circle around the light pole watching me. The only entertainment around. They told me the only place was Auto Kare just up the street, and they were expensive as hell!!! A total rip off. Yep, that is what they all said. Or there is a junk yard in Bandon. But Florence is closer and has a Napa store.


How can all you guys be drinking out here in the open? Oh, we are on private property! Can I park here over tonight? Sure park in back where it's quiet off the road. 





35868092784_8037f80f27_z.jpgDSCN0641 by Clary Philipp, on Flickr


They didn't have a KA 60 amp common to the 80's 720, but they had one for me first thing the next day delivered from Vancouver Washington. The two parts guys and lady who helped me were fantastic. They were like comic book characters! I'm going to send them posts cards! $112 with a core return. 


What a hustle, what a burn job, what a rip off!!! $112 to get me out of Port Orford? Priceless!


The parts girl timed me... 22 minutes to get it out.


36657064686_ab3b958592_z.jpgDSCN0642 by Clary Philipp, on Flickr


On the Road Again... off to see the Eclipse.

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The late great harmonica giant Paul Delay used to say, "Life is like a harmonica... sometimes you suck and sometimes you blow."


Figbuck says; "I blow the horn as much as i can... so I don't suck!"




Here we are once again, the planet wobbling slightly in it's spinning orbit to give us the shortest, darkest, coldest days. It's a trade off living on the 45th parallel. We experienced another fantastic summer. We earned it however living through a record rainy winter,


After Thanksgiving the short days until the Winter Solstice have fast setting golden sunsets that impart a sense of impending finality. My New Year's resolution for the last few years has been the same, to play my tenor saxophone every day. Except for a few weeks in the spring when I was very ill after inhaling Black Mold, I have played every day.


A couple years ago I met a lady named Juli, through a mutual friend who is a bass player, She is a grape farmer and winemaker living on the property her grandfather owned in the Chehalem Mountains of Yamhill County, Western Oregon. Her grandfather built a big wooden barn in 1932. It's mostly empty and unused now. It needs a little work but the basic building is in great condition. I have been doing some repairs and clean up around the farm in exchange for room in a tractor  shed to keep my utility trailer and job boxes boxes of basic carpenter tools.


Juli's Father and Uncle were professional jazz musicians on the west coast. Uncle Bill was very active in the golden age in the L.A. Studio scene of the '60s, playing woodwinds. He was an original member of Supersax, That is serious claim to fame as a sax player right there. Never mind that he was never mentioned in the documentary movie as a member of the Wrecking Crew, studio session players who made so many famous recordings.


So, I have been taking advantage of the big space, ability to make noise and not bother anybody. It's a lot of fun to play in the barn, and I know that I'm not the first one to play in here. I've heard recordings of the brothers playing in the barn with the unmistakable roar of the crickets in the background.


So it's about a 17 mile drive from where I have been staying in SW Portland on the Beaverton border. We are actually in Washington County with a Portland address not Multnomah County. This spring they began paving Scholls Ferry Road, Highway 210 all the way out into Hillsboro and then out Highway 219 the twisty road that goes over the Chehalem Pass into Yamhill County. Most of the time I was sick, the paving work went on, so I missed weeks of construction and road closures.


One of the first days I felt healthy enough to drive out to Juli's farm, I went out there to look at a huge branch that broke off the giant oak tree next to the house. I want to saw the logs up for lumber to make furniture.


It was a spectacular summer day. Not too hot, and there had been some rain so that everything looked healthy and green. On my way out through Beaverton, I was shocked to see large tracts of land being turned into suburbs, complete with high density townhouses, million dollar single family homes crammed into small lots, new high school, new traffic lights, intersections... and basically a lot of shit that wasn't there last year.A lotta shit that wasn't there last month!!!


This is all pretty depressing because I have seen this movie before, it's called the Politics of Economics. While stopped at a huge new intersection looking at all the new construction started in every direction, two guys riding Sport Motorcycles pulled up next to me.


My heart kind of sank. I'm not sure how many years it has been since I rode a motorcycle. How many summers have been wasted because I can't seem to get a bike again. Six or seven summers now. I can't think about how much time I have wasted not being able to ride, but then playing the horn every day has sort of filled that void. But nothing really satisfies like burning gas, rubber and stretching chains out in the hills.


I continued out to where the zoning is clearly agricultural, then pulled up behind a long line of traffic, stopped for construction flaggers. I killed the engine in the old Datsun, rolling down the window, and to a stop. What a beautiful day! A warm breeze smells so good that I'm trying not to get depressed. It's hard. I have been very sick and lost a lot of weight. I'm not sleeping right and not eating right. I'm living on twelve hundred bucks a month. Well not really living buy getting by.


I click on the Chris Potter bootleg recording I have been listening to over and over. The view from rows of apples and berries on the valley floor in every direction to the Christmas tree farms and vineyards on the Chehalem Ridge, there is beauty and vitality. The traffic is not moving anytime soon. I'm telling myself how lucky I am to be alive and not be sick anymore. It's summer. We been waiting for this the whole nasty winter.


But somehow I always come back to how poor and broke I am, and how much stuff I worked so hard for is lost. And for what every reason, I don't seem to be very lucky in terms of being able to manifest money. A friend I have known since high school with, just tripped on her cat in the living room, hit her head and died. Our other friend is descending into schizophrenia and paranoia. Another friend is fighting heroine addiction. I don't have those kinds of problems.


I saw those guys on superbikes all suited up to go have serious fun. The kind of fun that most people will never experience. I'm bumming out, because I feel like I should be out riding too. Finally a pilot vehicle escorts a long line of cars trucks and more motorcycles from the oncoming lane. There is a guy on a very trick Honda SuperMoto 450. Wow, perfect bike to carve the twisty section of highway 219 over Chehalem Pass. Then two high-milers, guys on BMW 1100cc touring machines wearing Aerostich armored suits and hard luggage with Canadian plates. Probably riding back from the World Superbike Races at Luguna Seca in Monterey.


Which is where I would have been if I wasn't so poor. But I'm trying to be grateful for the stuff I managed to save, and for waking up every morning. Then another guy on a black Honda CBR1000RR with all black leathers and helmet. That should be me. I was always a lone rider in black helmets and leather. I'm wondering if they got to blast those nice twisty sections over the pass without hitting all this traffic. Probably blew by it so fast the cars never saw them! Haha


Shit I miss riding motorcycles. As we get up to the junction, everybody in front goes straight to Hillsboro, except the two guys on sport bikes. These guys seem to know the area, slowing for the school and speed zones. As we get out to two long straights connected by long sweeping esses, at the base of the mountain, they roll the throttles on and evaporate towards the summit.


Well, my old Datsun has been running really strong. I just changed the oil, all filters and coolant for the summer too. The road is so freshly paved that it has not had the stripes and markers painted yet. The new black asphalt is nearly perfectly clean and smooth. The guys on bikes must be getting their tires warmed up and are sticking to the hot pavement like a wad of gum.


I found a whole set of used tires last year for $200 mounted and balanced. They are 235mms, about the fattest tire I could get on stock Nissan wheels. They came off  a Pathfinder SUV, so the old Datsun rolls really nice on the freeway, and grips well when you brake hard. I had to use 1/4” spacers on the back wheels to keep the sidewalls from rubbing the lear springs. The result is nearly neutral steering and the feeling that the back wheels are following the direction of the turn without having to tug on the steering wheel to keep the front from pushing towards the outside of the corner.


It really handles like a slot car now and ...if I had horsepower...  I would be dangerous,! Once I get the old truck rolling, it goes pretty quick. Especially downhill. But now I'm winding the old 1600cc engine out to extract all of it's claimed 97hp to climb the hill in 4th gear. Eventually the steep grade makes me shift into 3rd gear, trying to keep all the momentum possible. Then a series of sweeping corners and esses are perfect flat out in 3rd. Whee, hustle the old truck through back to back to back perfectly cambered corners!


While it's not quiet the same as hanging off the saddle and feeling for pavement at the apex of the corner with your knee puck... it's still the same game of cornering. With my Chris Potter bootleg blasting on the stereo, incredible scenery, perfect brand new grippy as hell road surface... I come flying out of a long carousel of a corner onto a long steep strait... then shift into high gear.


Out of habit when trying to hustle slow roads quickly, I keep looking ahead to the farthest point ahead of me every moment. It's bright out and I'm not sure what I see. I'm wringing every ounce of power I can from the old Datsun engine, thinking, for sure this ain't as much fun as superbikes on a racetrack. But it's still fun to see how fast I can make it go.


I had some brief thoughts about where the limits of grip are on these used tires. I have not had them break traction in any situation yet. In the back of my mind I remember a set of tires that stuck like glue, until they just gave up, and you were sideways with out warning. Other sets of tires were softer and you could feel them start to slide predictably, no big surprises.


Speaking of surprises... something is coming at me down the hill. I don't recognize it immediately. I've got my foot on the floorboard and pulling up on the steering wheel... as if that might help it go faster. In a flash I'm watching the back of a guy on a skateboard getting really small in the side view mirror. Swoosh... he was gone... so was I.


For a split second, streaking down the center of the oncoming lane, was a tall slender guy on a longboard. He was in the classic long-board surfers stance. Hanging ten off the nose of the board, knees gracefully bending him forward with his hands and arms behind his back like a ski jumper. Short sleeve shirt, board shorts and bike helmet with a camera. mounted.


Whoosh, this guy was probably going 60mph. OK, let's say he was only going 50mph. I have crashed motorcycles going that fast... it hurts... and I was wearing race leathers, helmet, studded kevlar gloves and armored boots. At any rate he was flying!


I remember the first real skateboard I got with composite wheels was a Hobie with a laminated wood deck. I think they were $16, a lot of money in 1962! The first time I went to ride it was on these long concrete ramps from the parking lot to the high school, directly across from our house. I was flying down the ramp in exhilaration when I spied fallen Eucalyptus acorns strewn across the flat spot on the bottom of the ramp. Before I could process the unique triangular shape of the acorns and potential outcome of hitting one at speed... the board stopped and I didn't.


One second, I was living in the past and feeing depressed, the next moment I was having fun just being alive, cranking music and blasting the old truck though the hills. But now this guy on the longboard is having FUN!!


I sure hope the guy made it down the hill. It's about four miles. I always kill the ignition at the top of the pass, stick it in neutral, then coast the whole thing without using the brakes. Really hard to do. Really scary, but Im not worried about hitting a little piece of gravel.


Right then as my Chris Potter bootleg tape finished, I remembered some other times that I felt this alive and in the moment...

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Thanks Mike. It's been ten years of Ratsun. I have been driving Datsuns since 1967 and next month will be 44 years owing my 620.


Yeah, so I was driving over the Chehalem Pass last nigh in a torrential rain storm. I was coming back over to Portland from the farm where Iv'e been a few days. There is no TeeVee so I hadn't heard weather or news. It dumped an inch in six hours, the worst of it on me, water blowing the truck sideways. In some of the switch backs were in solid fog banks where I was virtually blind going 5 mph. I'm thinking; How many times have I been caught out in surprise monster storms like this. Dang... I could die out here!


That is when I remembered "Longboard Man"! I hadn't thought about him since the event happened last summer. In hindsight, Longboard Man is a Player in the Cosmic Game. Pretty sure he knows. I mean we are all Players in the Game but it is rare to encounter "Pieces" who are aware of how it works. Not like knows the rules, because the rule seems to be that there are no rules. But that is how it works.


This is so hard to explain. I've never tried to tell anybody about this. Either you have already have the understanding... or you're going to think I'm just making this story up. But maybe you already know about the “Cosmic Games”.


When I was about 45 years old, I had a motorcycle riding buddy named Jack Skip. He was 35, single also and traveled a lot. He made a lot of money selling catalog printing for big commercial accounts like, LL Bean, North Face and Nike.


Skip and I met spectating the 1997 World Superbike Races at Laguna Seca Raceway. We were big fans of both formula cars and any kind of motorcycle racing. He was into sport riding, so I introduced him to Dennis Pegelow Safety School and Starz race school with Reggie and Jason Pridmore. We began to do a lot of open track days together. Skip was a naturally fast rider, but untrained. I had been riding for a lot longer, with experience at California Superbike Schools and Riding Camps. I was pretty fast too, because of my better understanding of tires and suspension set-up. For a few years we were doing race schools and track days every month.


Over time, we both got to be very confident, quick riders. We bought five insurance totaled Honda CBR600F2 motorcycles cheap, turning them into two dialed-in track bikes. We learned racecraft on mind blowing closed course natural terrain, road racing circuits, like Thunder Hill Raceway Park , Laguna Seca and the old Sears Point International Raceway. We met riders and racers from all over the world, and were coached by National and World Superbike Championship winners.


Life was good. I had finally arranged my contracting business to run 5 days a week. We never worked on the weekends anymore. I could schedule some weekdays off. My guys were glad to see me go motorcycle touring. Haha.


Skip and I used to do 300 and 400 miles days ripping Highway One on the California Coast, then rip all the deserted back roads and canyons through the Coast Ranges. On a typical Saturday, we might to ride from Skip's apartment garage in the Fillmore District of SF, out east, up Highway 4, over Sonora Pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


We would find a cheap motel or Casino Hotel in Carson City Nevada, then blast back Sunday, over Highway 108. We rode all the Sierra alpine passes both ways, and up Highway 395 or Highway 89. We used to burn rubber, gas and stretch chains, running big loops all around the Lake Tahoe region.


After a while we kept two bikes on my utility trailer with all our gear in locked boxes. If we were lazy or it was hot out, we would hook up the trailer to Skip's SUV, then cruise a couple hours to a great place with tunes, AC, cold drinks and no stress in traffic. Then burn a tankful strafing apexes on deserted twisty mountain roads, driving home in comfort. Pretty spoiled, but why waste fuel and racing oil sitting in traffic?


We got these voice activated two-way “Communicator” devices that attached to our helmets like fighter pilots. They worked for separations of a mile or so, mostly line of sight. Great for navigating in traffic or coming up on junctions we didn't know. We would have conversations about houses on remote mountain tops that were really hard rides to get to. We thought, wouldn't it be cool to have a place to stay out here? Yeah, dream on.


One day Skip called me. He had received a huge bonus from a printing job, so he was at the Auto-Auction chasing down insurance totaled, exotic late model sport motorcycles. He bumped into a guy we pitted with at the track a few times who was selling a vacation house for cash to go pro racing. Skip bought his house, just off of Highway 267 in Kings Beach. A few miles north of Lake Tahoe. It was the plainest house in the nicest home development. It backed up to the Tahoe National Forest, with a spectacular elevated view of the Lake. We hatched plans to renovate it into an indestructible, ski-boarding, snowmobiling winter cabin... and a dirt biking, mountain biking, summer party road house. That is what we called it, the “Roadhouse”.


Year round we kept our Yamaha YZ125 dirt bikes under the house in a heated shop space. We would roll'em out the back door and ride forever. Never got Snowmobiles, but eventually we bought second sport bikes to leave up under the house all year. In the summer we had fast road bikes to blast through the Sierras on. We were so spoiled.


Skip did a lot of his sales work at the Roadhouse, flying for business meetings out of Reno. He paid me to renovate different house projects. I took two of my carpenters up there for a week to make dramatic changes. Then Skip and I worked for a couple weeks on a grand front stairs and deck. It was great, we went riding every afternoon. I spent a lot of time up there for a few summers. We would take our girlfriends up there to party, Winter and Summer.


Skip spied two very exotic Ducati 916s for sale at the dealership in Reno. They were the previous years sponsored customer's, AMA team bikes, restored to street legal. Only 2500 miles, with Factory Race Kits and many aftermarket race goodies. You couldn't do what they did for less than $25k each. They wanted $12K for each. Skip gave them $19K cash for both and they were glad to get it. They needed it for a $48K Ducati Corsa 998 race bike from the Factory.


Wow! Now we had two very red, very fast, very sexy Superbikes with Nevada license plates! Nevada... as in no speed limits... in Nevada.


As we were getting the deck and stairs finished, Skip received an emergency call during a large, expensive, press run. He abruptly flew back east. I worked all day to get the deck railings finished. Early the next morning my new Ducati was calling me to go for a ride... in Italian... haha. Suited and booted, I saddled up heading east along the Lake. Down and out Highway 50, into the huge expanse of Nevada desert. No traffic and perfect air temperature scented with Ponderosa Pines.


You should have heard these bikes run! Italian music. I was used to riding inline 750cc road bikes, and our track bikes had a similar inline 600cc 4 cylinder engines. The 916cc Duc was a 90° V-twin, fuel injected 4-valve-per-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, making 110HP. Extremely quick and fast. As I got out into the Desert on remote Highway 50, two lanes and a broken stripe, vanished to a point on the horizon.


I rolled on the throttle evenly to see how hard it pulled in the top gears. Crazy torque throughout the rev range. It made power much differently than Japanese bikes. Let's wring this baby out before it sucks the fuel tank dry! There ain't nuthin' out here, it's a road to nowhere. The enormous sky and flat desert bisected with an endless horizon, So huge your depth of field becomes two dimensional like a kids water color art.


I snapped my helmet visor shut, leaning forward onto the balls of my feet, planting the pegs into the soles of my race boots. Rolling on the gas in fifth gear, made the big bore Duc's Desmodromic valve train scream like an Italian Opera singer!



I held the throttle wide open. When I bumped the shift lever into sixth gear, a solid mechanical “Snick” was all I felt through the little re-inforced patch on my race boot. My knees were hugging the indents in the tank through my leathers. My leather clad butt barely touching the saddle. Two fingers of my Kangaroo hide, studded Carbon/Kevlar layered, road race gloves, pinned the twist[grip to the stop. Only a very light push needed to guide the wildly vibrating bars. Just behind the windshield, I tucked the chin of my helmet into the indent in the fuel tank, finding the only calm spot out of a building hurricane. Breathing and relaxing, I looked as far ahead as was possible. Because at 150MPH plus, I'm covering a lot of ground rapidly. I'm there... NOW!


The whine of the Desmo cams and the big booming exhaust note turned into a roar, then a howl, as the tach crossed 9000RPM. Rocketing forward, I had to focus and relax. I pulled my left glove off the bar laying it flat on the tank, tucking my arm out of the wind stream. My heart was pumping at probably 140 beats per minute. I had to remember to keep breathing... and blinking... to keep my eyeballs wet.


My world started to go wrong fairly fast about 150mph. My first thoughts were... Oh, it's just the throttle bumping up against the Rev Limiter, the ignition/fuel mapping is cutting out. The ECU is just keeping me from blowing it up!


Before I could back off the throttle or anything else, a sensation like when a digital TV signal pixilates or deteriorates, overcame me. It was across the whole bandwidth of my awareness, like all my sensory input was shorting out. Suddenly, I experienced a catastrophic perception of reality shunt... like shaking an old school, five-cent Pin Ball game... TILT!


POP! There was an electrical snapping sound like an old tube TV being shut off. That sensation, coupled with a sudden bright white flash in the center of my mind. My consciousness dissolved. Oh no! GAME OVER?



All is relatively quiet... except there is a sound... or a vibration. Involuntarily I take a deep breath, that opens my eyes. Before me, is an ancient Zenith analog TV, hanging on the wall. It displayed a black and white network test pattern from the last century. The only sound was a 60 cycle hum, as if it had never stopped.


I know where I am. The Town House Motel in Crescent City, California. I'm sitting in a familiar chair in the room where I always stay. It's a corner room managers put motorcyclist in, because there is an over-hang to park bikes out of the marine fog.


Wait... am I dead? I'm kind of buzzing all over , Exhausted like I worked flat out all day. I'm whooped but not hurting. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Just checking.


It was June of 1986. I has just ridden 330 hard fast miles from Portland down hrough the Redwoods. I was exhausted and dehydrated as hell. I had made this trip before riding to the Portland rounds of IndyCar Racing. I was ravenous. Lunch had worn off a long time ago. Out of habit, I looked out the bathroom window checking the commercial fishing harbor for a reassuring sight. There overlooking the boats and docks, a lone weatherbeaten two story building, lit with a familiar red neon “Restaurant “ sign.


The hair stood up on the back of my neck! The world had stopped!! There were no sounds, except the hum of the test pattern. There was no wind, waves or movement of the boats. No seagulls, no sounds!. I whipped around to look out the front window for my Red White and Blue, '84 Honda FV750F Interceptor. Oh good, it's parked next to the most gorgeous metallic purple 1938 Oldsmobile Coupe. This all seems right.


After I registered for the room, I pushed my Honda under the overhang. A 65 year-old Father and his 40 year old Son, were deep in discussion about a minor cooling issue with their 550HP, small block Chevy. They found this completely original car in a Montana field, then spent $150K and three years, building a super street rod. This was their first shake-down road trip. They had driven through the Coast Range over from Hopland, and said it handled like a Corvette.


The Son waved at me, “Nice bike there buddy! What an awesome day to give it some gas!” Dad chuckled, gesturing with his hands, like he was screwing on the throttle and sawing the bars. I liked these guys instantly. My kind of people.


Their upholstery, dashboard, stereo, trunk, engine compartment were each detailed exquisitely. The deep purple metallic paint, and pin striping was of show quality. Stunning. Red-Blooded American car guys!


But where were they? Where was anybody? What the hell just happened to me!!


Am I sure I'm not dead? How did I get here? Why was I in Crescent City of all places... and the '80s! This is where we cue the spooky music sounds. I was all about ripping through the desert on a 916 Duc. Did I die? Shit I missed it? Wow, it didn't hurt.


Just as those thoughts cascaded out, a small voice from the old motel room television set! It had been quietly talking to me, explaining everything. Well not talking, strictly. Not a human voice, but sort of telepathic vibrations revealing concepts, schemes, organizational ideas and relationships. Out of the hum and snow of the analog screen, new paradigms and concepts were understood instantly.


I didn't feel threatened or afraid of this “voice” or Persona communicating with me. They or It, was amusing and good natured. Reassuring. I had to laugh, this omniscient voice was doing Schtick.


It “announced”, “Dude you broke it! Rarely do “Pieces” find the bug! But you did! BONUS POINTS!! Now you have been RESET!”


I felt like I knew this cat! Cat? NO SHIT! It's my big Tabby Cat Figbuck! No! No way this is happening!! Am I dreaming that I'm dreaming? I don't know. Am I aware in my dream? Yeah, it's like a vivid Alice in Wonderland dream.


It's not just Figbuck my cat free-styling telepathic comedy, but every other cat identity that I have ever owned or met too! That's why cat's look at us like they are reading our minds. We are so slow and stupid... they are trying not to laugh in our faces.


Through my whole existence, it's the same kitty. The whole spectrum of feline consciousness is the same Cat Persona. In the same way many individual human personas operate out of single consciousness. A consciousness that is basically a “Gaming Program”, with bad lines of code.


My cats have always let me stare into their eyes. I've felt like there was an intelligent connection there. Here now was a resonance explaining the theory of everything. Wait a minute... RESET?


Figbuck my cat vibrates; The good news is that now you know your USER(S). Both singular and plural! “USERS(S) wish to apologize that they are lazy fucks. But it's just a minor code thing. It's a bug USERS(S) never got around to fixing. Because in a perverse way... a way... you as a Game Piece won't be able to fully grasp. USER(S) enjoy it when “Pieces” in the “Game”, crash the Fractal Algorithm that runs your universal dreams.


Here is where my attempt at a rational explanation fails. This episode only took a few moments. Now I understood. Next, I got up to answer a knock at the door. It's the Father and Son, ready to go eat a 5 course Salmon dinner at Harbor Restaurant.


We had a wonderful meal, watching a spectacular Pacific sunset from the second floor picture windows. We talked about our lives, and dreams for the next big projects and drank a toast to “Buildin' Shit”. The next day I ripped 400 miles of roller-coaster Highway 1, down the scenic California Coast to San Francisco. Honda Interceptor... more fun than was allowed by law.


I lived my life. Ten years later I met Jack Skip at the races. We were great motorcycle touring buddies and race-track rats. He did buy the Roadhouse, and we spent a week up there building stairs and deck railings. But different things happened to us. I bought a trick Honda CBR600RR from the mechanic at the Reno Ducati dealership. It was my track bike, I never rode it on the street. Skip ordered a Harley Davidson Road King from the Factory. And rode it back from Millwaukie.


I know about riding the 916 and the good times at the Roadhouse, but I also know this other outcome. The USER(S)... or just USER(S)... explained how it's a game or pastime, with high levels of, skill, performance and competition. The goal or reason to play is not to beat USER(S), but to show off USER(S) skill and expertise at creating Universes and Worlds, populated by civilizations.


It's an art and a prestige thing, USER(S) or my cat Figbuck vibed to me.


Oh Man, how do I explain this? USERS(S) said, think of a two dimensional stick man in a flat world. How can he understand the third dimension? He can't. There is no there, there. So we can't understand infinitely more complex higher vibrational fields. USER(S) exist in the 7th, 8th and 9th dimensions. Game Play doesn't exist in the 10th and 11th dimensions, because they are too thin, not a lot of separation between them. Maybe too much alike. Play does exists in the 5th through 7th dimensions, but it is sparse, because those dimensions are quite elegant and complete.


The “Games” are played in the 3rd and 4th dimensions. USERS(S) dig the funky basic nature of our worlds. It is simple and kind of inelegant. Not especially beautiful or desirable, but wildly open ended in the infinite combinations of experience that are possible.


But here is the thing; USER(S) said space is an illusion, brought on by time? Or the other way around. All I can remember or know, is that I began to bump into the very edges of the gaming field. The algorithm created by USER(S) had a bug of sorts. causing breakdown in my perception field. It's all a Fractal Hologram created virtually as needed. It's not at all weird that my cats are communicating with me telepathically.


It has something to do with We... as Pieces in the Game... like Pawns, Knights and Queens. Each of us manifests an extraordinary conscious life force, resulting in Auras and outward fields of energy radiation. These function as vibrational binders, gluing all individual realities into a single universe.


Imagine USER(S) wearing a universe with worlds of civilizations, like fancy clothes worn to a party. USERS(S) create many parallel universes with all possible outcomes. They all curate shows of their creations in time. Elaborate fractal patterns of resonant vibrations cycling through wave form episodes, dancing through consonance and dissonance.


But it's not like They create the reality. We “Pieces” create the reality in time. It's kind of flakey the whole universe system. It amounts to about as far as you can see, hear, feel and smell. It's not gigantic or galactic at all, except virtually. Infinity is more fake than real.


Past that , it doesn't need to exist in reality... so there is nothing real past your immediate life force. Other people are simply little individual cracked pieces of a single cosmic mirror. It's not others you see, but small reflections of your own radiating human construct. As you get away from other people, your perceptions of reality have to work harder to create the universe, Less glue, thinner vibrations. Less reflection too.


So when I was by myself in the middle of nowhere, I inadvertently poked a little hole in the algorithm by going fast on a motorcycle. That and a minor bug in the code running USER(S) “Games”. The result was pixilation as the “Game” crashed.


Not crashing the bike, the “Game”. A lot of the perception of reality is created on demand. As far as we experience living life, a physical universe is not necessary, when a virtual one is the same thing.


USER(S)' whiskers seemed to twitch as It laughed at me. Because now I know about It's/Their manifestation. I am off the hook. I get that there is no death now. There is Life only because we, the Pieces in the game. believe Our/Their manifestation. We buy into the Personas we each create completely. That is all it takes. It won't stop, it can't stop. Life as the vibration we experience, doesn't exist really, only virtually. Haha, it's USERS(S) joke!! Laughing at you and me now!!


What does it all mean Mr. Natural?


It don't mean Sheeit!


One reality is: God is some Old Guy.... and his Son who build badd-azzed street rods... off in the 7th dimension. They like to polish 'em up, then show their creations off. God is some fool in the Desert trying to red-line a Ducati 916 in top gear...


Ride Fast and Take Chances

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

So damn glad the universe brought me here via ol,320's bump. He and I had a great conversation recently where he expressed how engaging this thread was for him. Having just spent the better part of last night and this morning reading through it, I understand what he was getting at.


I think we all have interesting experiences passing through this multi dimensional game, though precious few of us USER(S) have the awareness to recognize their significance. Fewer still have the ability to communicate them in a way that relates to other people's reflection of reality. A great story teller has the ability to tap into our collective unconscious, the core (instinctual) reality we all share as humans. Using Figbuck's terminology, it's the ability to stitch the broken shard of the mirror together to open a clear view into their own reality. Shedding this light onto ourselves requires vulnerability and honesty. The same qualities we are taught at a young age to hide away as weakness, or something to be ashamed of. 


I used to say, in the words of Dylan Thomas; Rage Against The Dying of The Light. I think I'll switch that up with a more direct route to the same place; Ride Fast and Take Chances.


Thank's for the short cut Senior Fugbuck.



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  • 1 year later...


Saturday December 21, 2019


In few minutes we will officially be into Winter. The days will start to get longer again. This year will be a good memory finally. Even though I got chewed up and spit out a couple times… I'm still alive… and had a fantastic amount of fun. 


Coming up on 47 years now... the old 620 is still in service as my daily driver. After neglecting it, just driving it into the ground again, I couldn't put maintenance off anymore. I was racing a girl in a BMW on the freeway in the middle of the night, when I floated a couple valves and spit out #3 rocker-arm-pivot- guide. I rebuilt this engine a hundred thousand miles ago... and have been winding the fuck out of it since 1990! Aluminum Head Rebuilders in SE Portland did a flawless job on my head. I tried to block the timing chain and remove the cam gear, but the cam chain tensioner popped out. I had to pull the front cover off and change out the both timing gears, timing chain, chain guides and tensioner. 

Working in a dirty dark carport sucks! I should have pulled all the timing kit even though it was all in good shape. I should have pulled the oil pan too, but I was trying to put it back together quickly a possible. In the end, I had a tiny oil pan leak right at the joint between the timing cover and the front of the block. Even though I cleaned it and gooped the hell out of that spot on both sides. I'm re-torque the head and cam towers after another tank of gas. Then I pulled the oil pan to hopefully find the lost rocker arm guide and a couple chunks of cam lobe that broke off. Mostly just ground up metal.  I changed the oil pan gasket then. hahah It runs great making good power and idles perfectly. 


The short version is; I had my L16 head worked on by Aluminum Head Rebuilders in SE Portland. New cam, bearings, timing set. I put on a new oil pan gasket too, so no leaks. New ABS/aluminum radiator, new AutoMeter tach. New hoses, clamps, cleaned everything, pulled my heater apart again, new hoses, cleaned and fixed everything. 



I forgot to torque the plugs tight, plus I smeared a ton assembly lube all over the cylinder walls, so it didn't want to fire right off. I pulled both the carb and distributer running... so I should be able to bolt them up and have it run. The head was milled a very small amount, plus new timing gears and chain seemed to be making it run retarded. I moved the distributer more retarded and it began to stall... I turned to advance it, so it ran in time. I threw a timing light on it and set it to 9 degrees. It runs and idles good. I'll burn another tank and then re-torque the cam towers and head bolts, adjust the valves. Then set the dist. dwell and time it with a tachometer.  RIDE FAST & TAKE CHANCES...




Last Summer, I had a tree branch break my windshield while I was parked on the street. Insurance got a new one. I took apart my windshield wiper mechanism, made new parts and neoprene booties to keep rain from washing the lube out of the wiper arm shaft. Fixed the washer system too. It's great to be able to see at night and in the rain… in the rain at night!!


Since I converted to 4 wheel Hitachi brakes, I never service them, so new pads and new master. Bled brakes and clutch. Changed my transmission and rear-end fluids. Then I took a 1,600 mile trip to California. Ran strong, no problems, burns some oil and gas milage is down to 20/21 mpg. I needed to go back to make sure my dist dwell and timing are set right. 


Right as I came back, I had two really close calls a week apart where I burned #13 & #14 of my nine cat lives. Scary shit. Almost got hit head on… then I almost hit a homeless guy on the freeway at 2 AM. Also my stock Hitachi Carb stopped idling right. I put on an identical spare that ran, but had the same problem with the accelerator pumps. I had a rebuild,kit but no desire to spend a day on rebuilding one,  or both of them. I bought a new Webber 32/26 kit from California Datsun, then spent a couple days making it work. I had to get towed home one night because the little bolts that hold the carb to the manifold adaptor came loose causing a huge vacuum leak. It was dark and raining hard, I couldn't see and called AAA.


The Weber is not getting good milage. but I haven't rechecked dwell and timing. I might need to re-jet the carb too. But it runs strong, the choke works, good cold starts, but I'm not real happy with how it starts warm. If there is a trick, I haven't found it. I had to install a breather hose filter canister vent thingy, too that I'm not really happy about. 


The other project I did took six months for me just to get parts. The short version; I spent about a grand for all new front suspension and steering components from Greece, Cyprus, Mexico, Singapore... and other stuff from the parts counter at the local Nissan dealer. It was about a thousand bucks to have a Suspension and Brake shop install the King-Pins, the rest of the bushings and steering components, then align the steering.


Finally, I found a fifth chrome Pathfinder wheel for a spare tire, that matches my wheels… so I could get five new 225-50-15 SUV tires… and have the wheels aligned. It runs down the road really well now, and handles like a sports car. Feels great going through twisty back roads and stops great from high speeds on the freeway. It's like it handles better than it ever has! Four wheel discs and 225 x 15s...  


I still have a bunch of projects like seat, dash, some more rewiring, but for now it's running. I found and fixed four spots where the cab was leaking and leak proofed the camper too. I cleaned it out and have good sleeping bags, insulated sleeping pad and a plastic bin of camping gear. I put together a really good tool kit to handle almost anything out on the road, and some critical Datsun spares too.  


One thing I have not been able to get sorted out is a new laptop. I'm still on this ancient hand-me -down MacBook Pro that doesn't work on lots of web stuff. I wish I could link photos and videos, but I just can't make it happen. Here is some Ratsun YouTube stuff… I hope it works…






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