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CJ (FS)
CJ (FS) GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/11/21 12:31 p.m.

I was in college and had been dating the girl I thought I was going to marry for a couple of years.  Her dad knew I worked on cars and called me up one afternoon to come over and look at his motorcycle (think it was a Honda, but this was more than 40 years ago, so don't remember for sure).  So I grab some tools and head over to his house to check out the bike. 

Within about two minutes, I realized it had a fuel problem, specifically it was out of gas.  The next half hour of 'work' was me trying to figure out how to not make him feel stupid.  Finally, told him I was going to clean the petcock out and sent him off for some fresh fuel.  When he got back with a couple of gallons of gas and got it into the tank, the bike fired right off. 

He told me I was a master mechanic (Ha!). 

I felt like I had dodged a bullet.  cheeky

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/11/21 2:16 p.m.

This one is about our old band.

 

We started doing long trips and mini tours over to the west side of Washington and a certain motorcycle gang turned out to love our music. We played a couple of bar gigs and then they had a yearly party in a rural town that we were asked to play at.

 

We get there and it literally is police on one side of the fence and bikers on the other glaring at each other. We get led thru the gate and shown the stage. Now, we are expecting nothing huge but there was literally a big stage and an Ozzfest level PA there, absolutely massive! We were supposed to cover 2 hours but they had several cancellations so they asked us to play for 4 hours. We did 99 percent originals so there were some long jams to fill out the set but halfway thru when we took a break the next door neighbor comes over to meet us. By "next door" I mean 2 miles away. He says he loves us and asked to come in to meet us.

 

Now being looked in an area with several hundred bikers wouldn't sound like a lot of people's fun time but they were very courteous and there was no problems at all. Our drummer was older and his wife was 10 years older than him and kinda grandma like. She wandered around and was treated very well much to her astonishment. They fed her, gave her a shirt and posed for pictures with them. My uncle ended up giving a couple of them harmonica lessons. The leader of unsaid group comes over and talks to us and says a couple of the musicians have been pretty alarmed by the whole thing so he wanted to let us know that it was all safe and he would do anything he could to make it good for us.

 

We went on just as it was getting dark and colder. The stage was hot as hell under all the lights and as it cooled down condensation was an issue, like.....the drum heads started to sweat. Since the drummer used hydraulic heads it made it sound even better and the whole thing went gloriously well.

 

When we left it was roughly midnight and I forgot my suitcase of effects there. We were playing over in Everett the next weekend so I called my promoter and asked if she could retrieve it for me and hand it off to the other promoter that was doing the Everett gig. She couldn't but she already knew about it since someone had found it. She said it would get taken care of. I got a phone call from the guy in charge and he told me he would personally deliver it and he absolutely guaranteed it would be there and nothing would be missing from the suitcase.

 

Well it turns out he strapped it on his bike, rode 3 hours in the rain with about 10 of his friends and delivered it to the new promoter he never met at about 10 at night.

 

I get a call from the promoter and after I say hello he says " I got the case, I don't wanna know what's in it" I tried explaining that it's just guitar gear but he was sure something nefarious was going on. I can't really blame him, when a motorcycle gang shows up at your door at night and pounds on your door until you come out and tells you to deliver it to a guy plus tells you not to berkeley with it....well it sounds like a made for TV movie.

 

We play the gig, I show the promoter that yes.....it's just guitar effects and he nearly has a heart attack when I open it in front of him. We played great, we thanked everyone involved and rode off into the sunset.

 

Many years later I'm on a job with a guy that loves motorcycle gangs and has been trying to glom on to that certain group. He goes on and on about how he's super badass and just about a member and how no one would even understand just how badass he is. I let it go on for a bit and say " Have you met -insert leader name here-?" 

 

He looks a little odd at me and gives a weird oh-yeah-we-are-friends speech. I tell him to let him know Last Chance says hi and I greatly appreciate him getting me my suitcase back.

 

The next day he comes to work and says the guy remembered, still loves the band and to let him know when we wanna play the area again. The guy stopped talking about how badass he was lol

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/11/21 3:42 p.m.

Glad to see this come back to the top.
 

Hungary Bill's story was magnificent in so many ways. 

I'd been thinking of adding another recollection of my grandfather.

My dad was about five years old, making this the early thirties. 

As the family pulled up to their swimming beach on Lake Michigan, the scene was chaotic.

Moments before their arrival, a small boy had disappeared under the water and not surfaced. Women were screaming and crying, and men were frantically swimming in circles and diving down trying to find the child.

My grandfather said to stay in the car, and ran out onto the end of the dock. He paused there, and stood still, looking around and down at the water. My dad recalled the contrast between the frantic search and seeing his father standing stock still in the middle of it all.  Then he dove in.


He was under so long that my grandmother started crying, but when he came up, he had the boy in his arms.

I asked my dad what happened to the child, and he said that he thinks it was too late. My grandfather laid the boy on the beach, and as the people  started trying  to revive him, his dad returned to the car, and silently drove away. It was never talked about again. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/11/21 3:45 p.m.

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

That's a great story!!

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/11/21 5:52 p.m.
OHSCrifle said:

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

That's a great story!!

Thank you

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/11/21 10:02 p.m.

In reply to Antihero, dculberson, and FloatingDoc :

Thanks guys!

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
10/11/21 10:08 p.m.

Ontario Hydro no longer exists, but in its day it was a huge, proud enterprise that was an integral part of life in this province. My Dad joined them in 1948 right out of U of T Engineering, and three weeks after that he was part of a team visiting the main GM plant in Oshawa, carefully looking at a schematic and making absolutely sure he knew exactly what he was doing before he pulled a large switch... which then shut down all power to the assembly line. Needless to say, this wasn’t in the plan. A succession of increasingly senior and increasingly annoyed GM people kept coming into the room. Eventually they got it sorted out.

When my Dad and his colleagues got back to Toronto, his boss asked to see him. “So,” said his boss, “what did we learn from this?” My Dad was never one for snappy comebacks even at the best of times – which this definitely was not, as he was contemplating the abrupt & shameful end to his engineering career – but it didn’t matter, because the boss was still talking. “We learned that we NEVER, EVER trust a drawing unless it’s a HYDRO drawing! Not Westinghouse, not GE, not anybody. If it’s not a Hydro drawing, forget it. Now get back to work.”

And he did. He stayed at Hydro until they made him retire at 65.

1SlowVW
1SlowVW HalfDork
10/16/21 8:04 p.m.

In the mid 2000 and 00s I had moved from the outskirts of the small town I was raised in (pop 800~) to the small city about an hour away to do a BBA at a local university. By this point in my life I had the privilege of owning several 1980s Japanese motorcycles . Starting at the venerable Honda 50 I had worked my way up to a cb750f2 with some mild mods. Like any kid looking to soak up info I had found a motorcycle shop in the nearest city where I had eventually moved that catered to that type of bike. 
During my first year of studies I learned a lot, but mostly I learned that I really didn't know how to study. I spent hours studying  just trying to pass intro accounting. So when spring came along I found all the keen students had jobs already lined up, I had nothing for summer work except the option to go work for my father in construction. 
So one day during exams I decide to take a half hour break and pop down to the bike shop, only ten minutes from campus. The owner who knew me on a first name basis took the time to ask me how exams were going I said "fine but I don't have summer work lined up and I'm kinda bummed out about it." He instantly said "your my parts guy for the summer."

The first half of the summer is a steep learning curve. I learned suppliers, parts, how to read microfiche...all the stuff you need when you work at a shop that specializes in 30 year old bikes. I also learned the "regulars".

I would say it must have been august because I was starting to get the hang of things when on a Wednesday  night I had a customer walk in. This guy must have been 6"5 and had a big old braided beard. I guessed he was in his 30s and he had what I could describe as a hard look about him. He explained he had a kz900 chopper, and his stator had failed. He was only "home" for a couple weeks and needed one ASAP. He explained that the big dealers had laughed him out of the store. I priced up the stator and it was actually available from one of our suppliers, but the supplier had a minimum order of 500$ and we were a small shop. I told him that it would be next week and he seemed genuinely disappointed. No one else had told him they could get one so he put his 50$ deposit down and said to call him the minute it was in. I hoped we would need another stator or starter by the start of the week so I could get this guy going . 
Thursday  morning one of the tech brings a gl1200 into the bay, the thing is showroom condition, but as they are prone to do it needed a stator. It's a huge job but this bike was the customers baby and he said get it done and get it done quick! Word came down from the boss we had to get this guys 1980s gold wing back in action stat. So I tagged this stator on the order and Friday morning both stators and a Yamaha starter for stock show up(had to make 500$ min order). 
I call the number given by kz900 biker guy at 9am or so on a Friday and leave a message. "Hey XXXXX I have a kz900 stator for you". At about 10am in comes this gruff biker looking guy literally running up to the door. He swings it open looks at me and says " really?" I said yeah I got it! He yelled "you are a Beautiful Man!

Teenage me was as taken aback, a 140lbs kid from the middle of nowhere was not accustomed to being called a beautiful  anything. Much less by what I had unjustly tagged in my head as just "some biker". Regardless of my shock I collected the balance of his payment and he went on his way. 
He returned a few more times that summer. Turned out he was a professional sound engineer between tours. He really was only in town for a few weeks and was able to go out ridding with his friends because he got his bike running again. 

It was a hugely eye opening experience for me in realizing people are people and I need to watch out about the whole book covering situation. 
 


 

iansane
iansane HalfDork
10/22/21 10:57 a.m.

I have a '91 trans am convertible that I bought right out of high school. I had been into thirdgen firebirds since before I could learn to drive because my mother had bought an '87 formula new and it was the car I learned to drive in. This was my first convertible and as soon as I got behind the wheel I knew I had to have the car, and that I would keep it forever. Almost 20 years later and I've still got it.

After a year or so of ownership I was hauling ass home one night, say around midnight. The roads around my house were like most in rural PNW. Tiny strips of chipseal carved through massive, thick evergreen forests. Significant elevation changes and meandering corners were aplenty. I'm happy. The top is down, the sky is clear and there are a million stars in the sky lighting up my drive so much so that I almost didn't even need my headlights as crappy as they were. I'm speeding. At least double, and in some places triple, the speed limit. But the trans am just begging to be abused.

When I was less than 2 miles from my house I hit one of the most fun corners. It was a quick down, then up, huge down into a long sweeping blind right hander. At night, it was easy to see headlights coming to judge how far you could drift into the other lane. In my youthful exuberance and invincibility that was a lot. I was swinging the apex at 70+, grinning from ear to ear. And then I saw it. Bambi. A large one. Maybe 300lbs. Poised in the middle of the right lane. I let off the throttle. In my feeble brain I breathed relief that since I, a genius, was careening around the corner in the opposite lane I would miss him. He aimed to fix that. Faster than I could change my mind he leapt chaotically forward running across the road. Had I been sane, and in the correct lane, he probably would've gotten away with it. But as it were, he flailed directly in front of me. I grenaded the brakes. The big 6 piston binders and 14" rotors were no match for my brazen speed. I think I might have been doing 40 when I finally contacted him.

One of the most beautiful things about my trans am, I think, is how low it is. To me it looks like a missile. A wide flat front end inches from the pavement. Well, that came in handy now. As my bumper remained almost completely intact. I cut the stag off at the ankles, flopping him inertly onto the hood. Amazingly not caving it in. Probably because there was still so much forward momentum.

The next few seconds rolled out in aching slowmo. I watched as he slid up the hood and hit the windshield. Again, the saving grace was my floppy chassis convertible. The windshield frame flexed enough that the glass did not break. Didn't even crack. But he kept sliding. Now however, he was pivoting. His legs were reaching for the sky as he went form horizontal to vertical. Upside down. As he crested the windshield frame he blotted out the ski. All the stars were gone. The only thing I saw was fur. I was wincing. Hoping he didn't take my head off. Being a bit over 6 foot I thought this might be the case. No. I was saved this day. Slightly.

While time sped up he kept rotating and flew backwards over my head. His legs were facing the back of the car as he passed me in flight. He didn't let that stop his retribution though. While he was torpedo'ing rearward he reached out with some extremity. A knee, an elbow, heck maybe it was his noggin. Whatever it was, it bashed my crown with ferocity. Left a knot the size of tangerine. It was at this time that time resumed its normal flow. In an instant he was back over my car completely missing the decklid and bouncing off the road.

I skidded to a stop and started breathing again. Tire smoke rolling by me. I listened. For many things. The shrieking cries of a trans am dying. The retching of future venison. Anything. All I heard was the smooth idle of an LS engine. I gathered myself, noticed the now missing headlight and turned the car around in the street to shine my one remaining light upon the bloody beast. It was motionless in the gravel on the side of the road. I never took my eyes off it. Pulled forward until I was only 20 or so feet from it. Pulled the ebrake and got out. With my eyes still locked on it's motionless corpse I reached into the backseat to grab my flashlight and felt a squish. If you've never seen deer E36 M3, it's like cocoa pebbles. Tiny little rocks of dung. This was not that. It was a final berkeley you shotgun blast of dookie that squarely hit the handle of my flashlight. I was pissed. I ran up and kicked the lifeless creature. In flip flops. I hurt my toe.

berkeley Bambi.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/17/22 7:31 p.m.

Time for 'nother story from the same shop as Clown-man and the diesel.

 

 

 

Know the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story?  A fairy tale starts with "once upon a time" and a sea story starts with "so no E36 M3, there I was..."
 - Chuck, Dad, and several other old Marines I have known

 

So, no E36 M3, there I was...

This was a heavy equipment shop tucked away well back in the corner of a USAF base somewhere here stateside, stuffed far enough away in the back that it was pretty much us back there.  Due to the mission of the base there was a LOT of vehicles in the fleet, both regular ones and heavy equipment stuff.  Hell, there was a tank repair shop on base, which is weird for a USAF base.  Also due to the mission, we had many cranes for maintenance required on the airframes and other such.

One day a BIG damned crane came in.  Gods knows how it got into the yard.  Normally you'd say "well, they drove it in, didn't they?" and I assume they did, but this took some effort as the boom was stuck in the up position, thankfully the telescoping part of it worked and it was completely collapsed, just the main boom was up.  Crane was big enough and center of gravity so berkeleyed up that they must have been absolutely creeping, likely had a cop escort, and some of the CE guys with them in order to lift power lines.  

I liked cranes, I liked hydraulics, I (surprisingly) liked the electrical system for the hydraulic controls.  I volunteered for it and was given the crane.  Went out, in processed it and found some other minor problems with it but nothing that really pointed to anything that would prevent the boom from dropping.  I started troubleshooting.

And I kept troubleshooting
and I kept troubleshooting.
and... I kept troubleshooting.
and.
I.
kept.
troubleshooting.

It was a beast.  A week and a half or so in, I went and got my direct supervisor and asked for his help.  We went over everything that I'd done, we went over a couple things that he thought of.  We checked with the other guys that normally worked on this crane before I got there, checked what he suggested, got nowhere.  My direct supervisor knew a friend that had retired from the USAF and went to work at a local USN base as one of their crane inspectors, nothing.  He even came out on a day he had off and poked at it with us and we messed with it and got nothing.  We called the manufacturer, went over our process, everything we had done, and when they got back to us with other stuff to work on we checked what they suggested with no results, they offered to send us a technician in order to help troubleshoot (at an exhorbitant rate) which we declined.

This is maybe a month and a half in.  It sucked.
I'm pissing and moaning about this with my supervisor during our morning break (15 minute mandatory inside break twice a day because of the heat, entire shop went in the breakroom and hung out.)  Civilian HMFIC and the MSgt in charge of the shop are listening to what we're saying and I notice them sorta giving each other the eye and sorta mumbling to each other.

After break, I head back out and they follow me with my supervisor in tow.  Ask me what I've done, what I haven't done, etc etc.  Supervisor and I go over it all.  We covered everything, every aspect of it.  They take a couple steps away, turn their backs on us and talk to each other under their breaths.  Eventually they come back and tell me I've done some good work, to jump on a D7H dozer that I regularly worked on for some routine maintenance stuff and the two of them would look at some other options such as calling for the technician.
"Oh, and BTW Airman Asa, before you work on the 'dozer there's some drips down there; grab the spill kit and one of the big drip trays.  I'll use that as an excuse to show Airbaby Samuels how to clean a spill outside.  To be clear, I meant the real big one over there." MSgt Johns says and points at a pan that was about 8" X 48" x 36"

I give him the hairy eyeball and go and get it and the other stuff he asked for, then start doing a L.O.F. on the 'dozer.  While I'm doing this I see the HMFIC and MSgt having a quiet talk with Hank the civilian with the most seniority in the shop (was happy being the shop fabricator, didn't want to run anything.) The three come to a conclusion and go about their separate ways and I get back to work.  I'm nowhere near done with it when the lunch bell rings.  Like break time, we all head into the breakroom and sit down for food.  HMFIC and MSgt haven't joined us.

About 5 minutes before lunch break ends Hank scoots his chair in front of the door, says no one is supposed to leave till he says so, then he takes a nap in his chair.

Everyone kinda looks at each other like "what the hell?" and we sorta shrug and get back to doing nothing.

Lunch goes from 45 minutes to an hour. Hour to an hour-15, hour-30 and so on.  Finally just shy of 2 hours, we get a knock on the door.  Hank wakes up and opens it.  HMFIC and MSgt are outside looking wiped out.  We all stare and they tell us to go and get to work.  I head outside with everyone else and go back to the 'dozer.  I look outside and see the boom is down.  I'm amazed.  Straight up gobsmacked.  I point it out to my supervisor and we both look at the MSgt as he trudges into his office, he looks over and says "Airman Asa, we found that leak.  Please clean that up and make sure that all the fittings on that POS are tight before you send it." 

Once I got it inside and apart, I found that one of the control valves was broken in such a way that when you pulled the lever it felt like it would engage to drop the boom but it was really kind of skipping?  I've got pictures somewhere, but its hard to explain.  We ordered a new one and got it out and working again.

 

 

I never got a straight answer from anyone, but I am 95% sure that those two magnificent bastards went out there and loosened the boom's hydraulic line in order to get it to drop.  In order to do that they had to have been inside the cradle where the boom would rest once it was down, risking becoming a pancake.  I can't imagine the scramble that would have been necessary in order to loosen it, then get out from under it.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/20/22 2:56 p.m.

My friend's dad was having trouble with vandalism, which was directed at him in particular, as well as throughout the neighborhood. The culprit lived next door, a boy of about seven. Parents had been spoken to, police had been involved, and things were still getting worse. 
 

My friend was preparing for his wedding, and the reception was going to be at his dad's house. One of his friends was a Greek immigrant who was roasting a goat over an open pit in the back yard.

Neighbor kid comes over to investigate, and sees this whole goat, skinned and minus head and feet, staked out over the fire. 
That prompted the rather alarmed question, "What's that?"

The heavily accented reply, "Eet is keed."  That's true, it was a kid, just not human. 
 

The vandalism continued, but that house was no longer a target. 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/21/22 8:10 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Oh man, I love it!   That was hillarious!

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/23/22 5:20 p.m.

A short story but a funny one nonetheless.

 

I've lived in the woods for most my life near a small logging town and frankly.....it's different up here. 

 

One day I go to the even smaller adjacent town because they have a bowling alley and I do like bowling sometimes. I get out of my car, open the back door of my explorer to get my bowling bag and get that feeling.

 

If you've lived in the woods as long as I have you know exactly what that feeling means. You usually get it in the middle of nowhere when it's quiet and you should be alone but you are not. It's the feeling that some predator is staring at you and it's not usually a feeling you feel in the parking lot of a bowling alley.

So I'm looking around and I find the source of it. It's across the street coming from a simple dog kennel/run. It's a Tiger and it's staring at me.

 

Now you are probably thinking that....wtf is a tiger doing in a dog run in small North Idaho town across the street from a bowling alley. Believe me my brain was trying to figure out why a freaking Tiger is freaking staring at me from across the street from the freaking bowling alley.  My brain no comprehend, for a few seconds it just kinda threw up it's imaginary hands and waited for a T-Rex to start strolling down the street being ridden by their cannibalistic alien broccoli overlords, why the berkeley not, right?

 

Turns out the pet store next door had a tiger in it in-between the dog food and bird cages, because that's totally normal right? The dog run was to help it get some more room to stretch her legs.

 

I don't know about you, but I don't want tigers stretching their legs while in a flimsy dog run, on a street by the highway.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/25/22 9:41 p.m.

Some context: My brother groomed Trotter named Arndon, the set the trotting world record at The Red Mile, a historic track in Lexington, KY. This is from a post of mine on the harness racing history page on Faceberk. The trotter Greyhound was one of the greatest ever.

One more, with some actual harness racing history.

Arndon had just broken the trotting world record at The Red Mile. The crowd had dissipated, and my dad and I were waiting for my brother to finish cooling out Arndon. I needed to pick up some papers from the Racing office, so I walked up the ramp and cut by the old driver’s stand to take a short cut through the grandstand.

 Although the world record for trotters had been broken in Indianapolis in 1969, Greyhound still held the track record at the Red Mile, from 1938 to that day in 1982.
The place was deserted, but there sat Greyhound’s groom, Jimmy Wingfield, all alone, staring out at the racetrack. I felt embarrassed to have interrupted a very private moment, as it seemed like he was sitting there “watching ghosts.” I imagined what it was like for him to be sitting there reliving the day that Greyhound set one of the greatest records ever. Without pausing, I told him, “Mr. Wingfield! I’ve been looking all over for you. My brother would be really honored if you would come have your picture taken with Arndon.” His face lit up with a big smile, and we got some great pictures with he and my brother together holding Arndon.
Later, my dad told me that he painted the image that he got that day and gave it to Jimmy Wingfield.

Best lie I ever ttold

 

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