I sat down this morning to read the newspaper and glanced outside to get a quick look at the thermometer: 75o...little wind...bright and sunny. After the 115o I saw on that thing a couple days ago...well, let's just say I got a weird little thrill, read the comics like a excited 8 year old, and just about squealed with joy when I headed out into the garage with scooter key in hand.

Not too hot to ride. Not too windy. Just perfect.

I zoomed around town. I zipped up and down streets. I bumbled along at 20 mph and then sped up to 60. I enjoyed the wind rushing through the mesh of my jacket until I realized I had not eaten breakfast, and it was past when I usually ate lunch.

So I stopped at McDonald's. Nutrition.

But...but...when I left the Golden Arches (having gobbled down a small burger and small fries way too quickly, I'm not even sure I took the time to taste anything) there was a cop standing there looking at my scooter.

WTF did I do? Was he waiting to nab me because he'd clocked me doing 50 down that 45 mph road? I mena, I did, but my speedometer reads kmph and I get confused, dangit!) Did I not stop long enough before turning right on red? What did I do???

Ya know, once a cop spots you, you just can't turn around and run back inside and go hide in the ladies room...

So I sucked it up and approached. I was ready to sprout forth with all kinds of intelligent things to say, like "ummm," and "uhhhh..."

He looked at me and said, "Nice wheels. I've only seen a couple of these around."


But then he asked, "What happened to your sport bike?"

Oh holy...I have been pegged. At least one cop around here knows me by my bright bright bright neon yellow jacket. I can't tell them apart when they're at the side of the road with their radar detectors, or when they're putting along on their shiny Harley Road Kings...but one of them made the leap of logic that there isn't more than one rider with a blinding jacket*, white helmet, and a bright red "Support a Writer, Buy A Book" license frame.

I can never speed in this town again...

* Spouse Thingy has the same jacket but different helmet. And he doesn't tend to take meandering rides around town. But there's a possibility that if I annoy said cop, at some point he'll get blamed for it. That's comforting...


Double Down Or Split What?

Does it look like me?

It's as close as I could get...

Oh, and don't be impressed by the amount my blackjack avatar has...I started with $5000 and that bonus $27.50 took a couple hours to get to.

Tuesday we had some Family Fun and went to a casino. Nothing says Togetherness and Family Values like plunking down cash that you might as well flush down the toilet. We each took a hundred bucks, and while we know better, I'm sure each of us had high hopes for a big score.

I like the slots. Horrible odds, but all the spinning and flashing lights and intermittent reinforcement appeals to my inner toddler. I don't even mind losing so much, as long as I get to play for a long time. Usually I drop $20 in and get enough back in tiny bits to make it enjoyable...and frustrating.

The slots were not kind to me, nor to the Spouse Thingy. We didn't even get much in the way of the thrill of intermittent reinforcement. The damn machines ate our oney like candy.

After losing more than half my cash in too short a time, I wandered over and watched the Boy play Blackjack. I know the basics of the game but not the strategy, but I still stood there thinking I wanted to play. It looked easy enough, and the odds are better than playing the slots, but still...I did not join in because I just wasn't sure about betting and the players at the table were splitting and doubling down and I didn't know what the heck any of that meant.

So on the way home, we stopped and I got myself a gambling program for the computer. One with tutorials. I'm going to learn to play even if it makes my brain explode.

So far... It makes me feel stupid. It's very polite in correcting me, but I'm pretty sure my laptop is thinking to itself, "You're a dumbass. A third grader wouldn't make that move. DON'T DO IT! Why the heck don't you just go in the kitchen and bake cookies and leave the gambling to the Real Fake Men on your screen?"

I have every intention of getting not sucky enough to go back and lose a few bucks at the table instead on in a machine. And when I do lose, I now know they sell donuts there.

Nothing comforts a monetary loss like a stale donut.


I really didn't mean to sound like I was taking potshots at Twitter...I just don't get it and was hoping for some enlightenment. If I ever get it, I might try it. Better yet, sign my cat up for it and let him tweet at people...

In other news...

  • I think I sprained my wrist. All I did was lift one corner of my laptop and something went =ow= and now if I move it in certain ways, it hurts. Getting old sucks. An ACE wrap helps.
  • I think I was the cause of an almost-accident this afternoon. Dude in a giant gas-sucker was watching me in his side view mirror an driving a little erratically, I think trying to get a better view of the scooter. He didn't notice the light had changed and squealed halfway into the intersection when it occurred to him that, duh, everyone else stopped.
  • I think Buddah thinks I have a butt fetish. If I'm lying in bed and he crawls on top of me, he shows me his backside before he plops down. If I talk to him, he gets up, turns around, and shows me his ass. Try to pet his head...he shows me his empty nads. I'm not sure why he seems to think I want to see it, but he sure keeps showing it to me a lot.
  • I think I'm ready for Fall. I want cooler temps to zoom around in. All this sweating just makes my boobs itchy.

:::wanders off to scratch:::


So...apparently I'm way behind the curve because I cannot figure out what the worth of "tweeting" on Twitter. What is the point of Twitter? Seriously. I don't get it.

But then I still haven't figured out why I have a MySpace page and am on Facebook...


It's Max's territory, but what he doesn't know won't hurt him...

Buddah Gets The Window

Buddah finally gets to look out the front window, all by himself...


Like LOLcats?
Fail pix?

You gotta check out their latest...

Engrish photo that says unbelievable this is not butter
more the engrish!

On some level this is so wrong, but I admit, I was laughing my a$$ off. It's new, too, so there's not a ton of archives to go you probably won't wet your pants laughing...yet.


Yes, I let the Spouse Thingy ride it. I think he went all of 8 miles to buy a battery at Walmart. A good wife, I am.

I set up an MP3'll probably be boring unless you're really interested in the scooter. I'm not sure how long I'll keep it up, but long enough to get out my initial impressions of the MP3 compared to riding a motorcycle, how well I think it would work for a beginner, etc. That way this won't become a ride blog...granted that's about all I'll be doing for a few days, but I don't want to put everyone to sleep by going on and on about my new toy any more than I already have.

Nope, I'll do that by talking about my cats.

See how considerate I am?


Comment of the Day
(as given in the grocery store parking lot):

So...when do the training wheels come off?



'09 Piaggio MP3 400

I can finally quit whining

'09 Piaggio MP3 400

...which should make the Spouse Thingy happy...

This weekend while the Spouse Thingy sleeps I'll toot around the neighborhood, getting acquainted with my spiffy new toy--it's not exactly like riding a motorcycle, there are a few things I need to get used to--and maybe next week we can finally take a long ride.

He's now 99.9% off the hook for my birthday. ;)


Check it out:

We spotted this in town today...a Corbin Sparrow. It'll go 75 mph, has a 35-40 mile range, single seat, all electric...and they only made it from 1999-2002.

That kinda sucks, because aside from the Hey That's Cool factor, it would be a major seller today.

Not sure I'd want one, since it's a single seat vehicle, but it's still cool.


My left nostril whistles.

Normally, this isn't even worth mentioning; it whistles, it's been whistling, it's probably gonna whistle until winter comes and my allergies abate. I don't notice it during the day, but at night ...eeee...eeee...eeee...

It annoys me, but I've learned to fall asleep in spite of it.

Apparently, it also annoys Max. The last couple of mornings he's woken me with a paw placed strategically over the offending nostril, which is probably better than the times he's woken me by shoving his entire nose up whichever nostril is most conveniently located for him.

A couple of days ago I thought it was mostly a coincidence; he has a keen internal alarm clock and knows when it's time for me to get my lazy ass out of bed, and realized a long time ago that messing with my face was the fastest way to wake me up. He put a paw over my nose because he knew it would wake me up. Simple as that.

But this morning...this morning I refused to open my eyes. His paw squished my left nostril closed, then he let up. I breathed and he put his face close to mine, whiskers tickling my cheek, and he listened. Then he plugged it up again, let go...and listened.

After the 4th time he must have decided he couldn't stop the noise, so he placed his mouth so very close to my ear and let out a mighty meow, which I'm pretty sure translated into "WAKE UP! YOUR HEAD IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE!"

My head remained intact.

My ear drum, I'm not so sure.

And I'm still whistling...



"You got a cigarette?" the woman asked me just before we passed each other in the parking lot.

"No, sorry. I don't smoke."

"You look like a smoker."


"Well damn, you all bad and shit. I thought you smoked."


I have a t-shirt that says Careful,or you'll wind up in my novel. Most people read it and snicker. Sometimes they tell me they like it. It's funny, or at least I think it is.

Once in a while someone will ask if I really am writing a novel. If my brain is engaged (because I don't usually think fast, as badly as I want to) my answer is, "Isn't everyone?" Because really, it sounds pretentious to say yes.

(And really...isn't everyone? I think it's true pretty much everyone has a book in them. If they're not actively writing it, they're at least doing it mentally.)

But yesterday... I was sitting in Border's sipping my iced tea, trying to cough up further ideas for Max's book. As I was contemplating what Max might come up with that was true to his snarky self but not too terribly offensive (face it, if Max could talk, it would be laced with profanities), this scruffy looking guy walked into the coffee shop, snorted, and before the girl at the counter could ask what she could get for him, he grunted, "She ain't writing no fucking novel."

I turned towards them; I don't think I was actually going to say anything because too many things were spinning through my head at once ("Well, if I was, it wouldn't be about that." "I'm blogging about you, Rude Dude." "Double negative much?") Before a coherent thought could make it from the spinning mass in my brain out my mouth, the girl told him happily, "No. She finished it a couple months ago."

Scruffy guy just grunted again, paid for his coffee, and left.

I am totally giving her a free copy...


If you don't want to hear about riding safety, skip to the end for a link to a spiffy online comic...

A year ago I could go more than a month without seeing a little scooters on the road.'s like all the Vespas got together for a scooter orgy and have just released all their offspring into the wild. They're apparently being scooped up by gangs of newbies bent on saving gobs of bucks on fuel (won't necessarily work, but I've already mentioned that before...)

The lone scooter newby, while a bit scary, is not nearly as frightening as the gangs of newbies putt-putting around town. Those masses of 5-6 scooters can fill me with more terror than a gang of hard core, bad ass bikers.

It's not myself I'm scared for. At least not in a direct way when I'm in the car; I do kinda worry one of them might plow into me, but my car is bigger. I'll probably win.

Most of the scooter riders are so obviously new to 2 wheels that it's almost painful to watch. The tentative turning, jerky stops, wobbles, false's evident that most of them probably have no formal riding instruction. Or if they did, they need to demand their money back.

Protective gear on them: none. Every single scooter rider I saw today--and I saw many--were clad in shorts, t-shirts, sneakers or flip-flops, and little half helmets. Normally I side on the thought that if a rider is willing to assume the increased risk that comes with gear-less riding, then it's their business. Riding is about risk assessment, after all. Just getting on 2 wheels is riskier than driving a car; you accept that if you want to ride.

Thing is, I'm not sure most of these newbies have enough information to accept the increased risk they're assuming. And I doubt most of them realize those little scooters, with their smaller wheels and shorter wheelbases, are less stable than a motorcycle or maxi-scooter. It's not like riding a bicycle, something I doubt all these salivating sales guys with dollar signs in their eyes are telling their prospective customers.

No doubt about it: getting around on 2 wheels is fun, and the affordability of scooters makes it all the more attractive. If you're thinking about getting one, keep a few things in mind:

  • The Motorcycle Safety Foundations's Basic Rider Course is for scooter riders, too. You'll learn more in the 2 days on the range than you will in a year on the road. Take it and you'll be a far better rider, you'll seriously decrease your risk levels, and you'll decrease your learning curve. You'll learn to lean your scooter, not steer it into a curve.
  • It'll vary state to state, but chances are you'll need some sort of motorcycle license to operate that cute little scooter. You might as well take the class, learn a lot, and then be able to avoid the DMV road test.
  • Getting hit by a car on a scooter will hurt every bit as much as getting hit by a car on motorcycle.
  • You are much less visible on a small scooter.
  • Hitting the ground (through your own error or someone else's) is going to chew up your skin just as much on a scooter. Protective gear will lessen the chances of road rash. And yes, that jacket can be hot, but a major truism of riding is sweat washes off a lot easier than road rash. And hey, I have honestly found that a good mesh jacket is actually cooler than a t-shirt when the bike is moving. Make it a neon colored one, and you'll be very visible.
  • A half helmet is better than no helmet, but think about it. If you go down, there's a very real chance that your face is going to surf the pavement, and that would suck.

I really do like seeing more people on 2 wheels; it's tons of fun, a lot more fun than driving. I just wish more people would approach it with increased safety in mind.

And yes, you over there with the brand new ride...people really can tell by watching that you're brand new. Take a class. It's worth every penny.
* * * * * * *

Ya like online comics? Go check out Medium Large. It's done by Francesco Marciuliano, the guy who writes Sally Forth. Not for those offended by the occasional F-bomb. And go back for older won't take long, and it's funny as hell.


Seen riding around the San Francisco area multiple times lately (though not by me):

Gotta wonder what his story is...


WooHoo. The Spouse Thingy called the dealership this morning, and my spiffy new scooter is off the boat from Italy and should be here in 5-7 days. This is very good, because I am becoming a grumpy Wabbit without wheels to toot around on. Hopefully I'll have it before the twitching and drooling sets in.

I've owned the domain for somewhere around 152 years, but mostly it's just a placeholder. I've wanted to move my blog there, but a little technofear has kept me from it. Now, supposedly if you switch from hosting at Blogger to hosting via FTP to your own domain, Blogger redirects visits from their server to yours, but I've had this "what if it doesn't" worry. So. If you've made the switch, does it work?

Because I am getting old, Max's next book (could be out by autumn) is going to have type set THIS BIG. Max thought he was done with it, but it was discovered in editing it needs a few more illustrations, and getting him to sit down and draw is a PITA.

Did I mention my scooter should be here next week?



Made me laugh:

The license plate read 74 INCHS
The frame around it read Oh come on. That's 6'2"


There was a little boy right outside the Border's door (parental unit nearby.) As I approached he ran for the door and said "I'm the man! I have to open it!"

I thanked him for his courtesy and he beamed, adding, "My daddy says a gentleman always opens the door for old people."



What goes through my brain when I'm hovering in that zone between not-awake yet not-asleep:

Dunkin Donuts is going to be offering "healthier fare." Why? Seriously, why? Does anyone have the conscious thought of "Well, gosh, I'm hungry. I think I'll go to the donut shop for HEALTH FOOD!"? Is anyone really going to be driving down the road and see a Dunkin Donuts sign and make the effort to pull over and walk 15 feet to the door because they're looking for a light lunch?

If I'm going to go to Dunkin Donuts, I want a deep fried, chocolate glazed, airy, sugar laden piece of artery clogging wonder. Going into a donut shop and being served something healthy...that's, like, punishment.

Of all the places on the bed to curl up, why does Buddah have to plop down on my face? And particularly, why does he feel like he has to shove his nads right up near my nose? I think I liked it better when Max was bouncing his head off my boobs.

I need to stop watching "Lockup" before going to bed. Prison dreams are not the fun porn fluff one might suppose. And why am I being locked up with the Gayboy Gangsters? What did I do?

At 2:30 in the morning, the wind blowing outside sounds a lot like footsteps downstairs. We get a lot of wind here; thusly, I freak out a lot at night.

I still need a better background image.


Mmmm...yep...I'm playing with the layout again. It won't do what I want it to do, and that makes me a sad wabbit...

a little later...

Yay! One stray div tag later, and it works.

Now...a better background and I might be happy...