Energy Crisis

Weather: Rain and Fog
Road Conditions: Dangerous

“You are one rugged sumbitch!”, said a coworker who prefers to remain anonymous.

This, after I rode into work this morning, in peasoup fog on the freeways. At least he didn’t call me crazy, as most of them do when I ride in the rain.

I have no photo to illustrate this post with… sorry. But I’m not Steve Williams, and our fog here isn’t a charming atmospheric effect. It is a serious hazard, especially when half the traffic out there insists on travelling at their usual breakneck speed, and the other half decides that they should slow down to a crawl.

The most dangerous condition out on the roads is caused by “speed differential” between the lanes of traffic, and motorists who don’t take heed while changing lanes. We get these idiots who barrel into a herd of cage zombies at 30 miles per hour overtake, and then make a game of swerving between them in the fog.

Frogwing has one, one, not-so-bright tail light to warn them of my presence. I depend more on the big reflective strip on the back of my Aerostich Darien for visibility in this crap.

Then there’s my own visibility to worry about. In some places I find myself wiping my visor with my finger-mounted squeegee about every quarter-mile or so. There’s no telling when a dead car or large lump of debris may appear in the road ahead, and I need to see at least to the edge of my headlight beam.

None of this explains the title of this entry, of course.

Some of you may have noticed that the frequency of postings here has slowed down a bit in the past three weeks. This is primarily due to my new, temporary job assignment to my company’s warehouse and distribution facility (gulag) five miles further from home.

The work I do there is high-pressure and relentless, lifting sometimes heavy boxes and taking fine measurements on intricate parts. I spend most of the day on my feet. All of this, of course, under urgent time pressure.

After several years of the cube life, this comes as a shock to the system. So, after work, I am worn out both physically and mentally, and my enthusiasm for Rambling is considerably dampened. If this were not a temporary assignment, I would be shopping my resume around right now.

Add to this condition the fact that the weather has been grey and wet non-stop for the past two weeks, and you can see where the dearth of postings originates.

But, the Windsock and Crystal Ball Guild has decreed dry weather for this weekend. Let’s hope they are right. Arizona Lucky and his Lady Luck are coming up for a visit. It would be nice if the weather cooperated.

So, bear with me through this difficult moment. It won’t last, but I will.

I am, after all, “One rugged sumbitch”…

13 Responses to “Energy Crisis”

  1. shaun Says:

    The fog was/is bad this morning. I was verry close to riding today. Once I got to the 94 hate pool im glade that i didnt. Your time was well served on the other side. I was talking to the person you were working with over there and they had a good time woking with you. You are ” One rubbed sumbitch” good post. I am the cager that keeps my speed and stays in my lane and go off the handle when some one jumps in my lane at an undisclosed speed of a turtle. WTF! I do the same on the VTX but its a little more nimble than the cage so I can adjust to the situation. F Minnesota drivers suck. (its probly the same in evry state but this is the one I live in so thats my story)

  2. AZ Lucky Says:

    Honestly, Lady Luck and I have our fingers crossed hoping for the nastiest weather Minnesota can throw at us (except for State Fair day. We need good weather for fried things and Grain Belt Premium). For us desert-dwellers, thunderstorms, rain and fog are tourist attractions.

    I’d better start figuring out where to go for a pizza review, too…

  3. MatL Says:

    I actually respect that coworder comment as he (or she) actually understands that there is a difference between “crazy” and “rugged sumbitch!” Hoping that the temparary assignment ends soon and cube life is once again in your future. ( I just can’t see a decent BLUNCH after being on your feet all morning. )

    The ususal ’state fair’ weather pattern Hot — almost too hot to eat food off of sticks. AZLucky & Lady luck may be having a few more Grain Belts than normal to keep cool.

  4. Bill Sommers Says:

    Hey Rugged, I know the battle you wage at work, and how it kicks your energy reserves into the dirt. My posts have the same spread lately too. Work is all on foot, and the old spring in my step has lost its temper. At least I’m in good company with you in the same boat.

    Have fun,
    Bill

  5. Terry Says:

    Gary, don’t give up, look forward for your ride home from the torcher chamber (work), cagers never have that oppertunity to enjoy their ride. The weather here (up north) was kind of crappy, so I did the 32,000 mile check up on my silverwing scoot, new belt, spark plugs, check valves, etc., then went for a ride on the T dub. I went through the tunnel of fun on the T dub, forest roads and trails, they should make I 94 and I 35W like our logging roads, dirt trails, ruts logs through swamppy areas, then the tunnel of hate would turn into the tunnel of fun. cagers would be almost non existant.

  6. Khris Says:

    Hello there,

    This will seem a rather random message, but I was hoping you could contact me with regards to a photograph you have taken. Our new band is looking to use the photo of the lone house on the prairie for our album cover.
    Although we are not wealthy, we would be more than happy to give you a few copies of the finished product, and I could also e-mail you a few tunes for you to listen to before you decide, so that you know where your photo is going.
    Would you please contact me at the e-mail address provided to discuss this further?

    Thank you for your time, I really hope to hear from you.

  7. Sidewalk Dan Says:

    I too rode to work in the soup. And I got the look of looks (everyone knows that look…) from my wife when I was gearing up yesterday in the driveway. You think I’d come home to changed locks on my house…

    But Gary knows how I roll – so I hope more than a few cagers could see me.

    Ahh state fair time. If you see a KLR splitting lanes anywhere around Como/Snelling – well, I guess I can neither confirm or deny those allegations at this time…

    Sidewalk Dan out.

  8. Steve Williams Says:

    I read this yesterday morning just before leaving to go and ride in the fog and you could not be more correct in your assessment of the differences between us in terms of fog. I kept thinking about what you have to manage and endure during your commute versus what I was doing.

    Even with the relative simplicity of my commute in rain, fog, or snow I get the same sort of looks and comments. Those kind of thoughts in the general consciousness is what keeps people snug and safe behind the wheels of their cars.

    In regard to changes in work life and what it can do I hear you on that. Hang in there!

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  9. Gary Charpentier Says:

    shaun: That job over there needs one rugged sumbitch. I hate it. I pity the fool who takes it on for a career…

    AZLucky: Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY! (echo effect…) I’m thinking Savoy, if you’ve never been there. I haven’t, but everyone I talk to tells me that it’s the Best Pizza Ever. Now that they have the concrete barrier in place, cars have stopped crashing through the wall…

    MattL: You seem to have it all covered. I have nothing to add… Cheers!

    Bill: Getting old really sucks.

    Terry: It’s very interesting to read your perspective, from the saddle of a T-dub. That is one unique ride, and something I think every rider should experience at least once in their riding career.

    Khris: I’m honored. Watch your email…

    Sidewalk Dan: We need to get together. I’ve just been so busy/exhausted by work this month that I haven’t been able to get out much. Let’s meet at Nye’s sometime this week, OK?

    Steve: Your post was awesome… seriously. The time and effort you put into your photography puts my humble efforts to shame. I never seem to have the patience to stop and walk around, stalking the image as you do. That needs to change. Thanks for inspiring me, once again…

    Ride well,
    =gc=

  10. khris Says:

    Hello again Gary,

    Sorry to be a bother, but my other e-mail is down! Could you kindly send me your response with the new address provided?

    Thank you for responding in your blog, otherwise I may have given up.!

    I look forward to hearing from you…..

  11. Buster Brown Says:

    Well, gary, you may be a rugged sumbitch, but I have undergone a religious conversion. You can just call me “Brother Neutron Bomb of Moderation”.

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/04/08/DDG27BCFLG1.DTL

    http://www.whump.com/dropbox/other/ujname.html

  12. Gary Charpentier Says:

    Khris: Patience please. Life is very hectic right now. I see you sent samples, and I will listen to them tonight.

    Buster: Wait a minute… You described yourself recently as a “lapsed Unitarian”. So, this isn’t a conversion so much as an un-lapsing, right? Or maybe a Reactivation? Impressive title though, I must say.

    After reading the article, and going through The Process, I was annointed: “Brother Howitzer of Desirable Mindfulness”.

    With words like “jihad” and “Neutron Bomb” showing up here, I’m sure we have made it to the FBI or NSA’s watch list. Hope they enjoy reading RHR. If I don’t write for awhile, then that means the black helicopters are real…

    Ride well,
    =gc=

  13. Bro Shagg Says:

    I was beginning to wonder- Hadn’t seen anything new in a few days… Was about to call the local constabulary to check on ya!