Thursday, August 7, 2008

Take a Picture

I came home early to get ready for the Joe's ride tonight. You know when Worm ain't riding due to weather, it's bad. He is a weather guru. So I decided to scan some photos. I noticed there was a streak on the inside of the glass. I took the scanner apart and cleaned it.

*Elapsed time one hour*

Then I went looking for some other photos of this ramp, which led to cleaning out more files and shredding documents. My wife came home and needed to get on the computer. I decided to clean up the wiring in the closet, that houses the scanner, printer, and fax.

*Elapsed time, three and a half hours*

She went to get dinner going, and I started scanning. I had to reboot the software because the computer wouldn't recognise the scanner, kind of like when I used to go to bars, to meet women. I got it working. I arranged the photos and scanned them.

*Elapsed time, four hours, forty seven minutes*

All this, just to prove to Juancho, that I was the guy in the pics.

And this is what my life would be like if I didn't ride.



Bounce said...

I retired four years ago at age 47.

Once you get all the shitty little jobs done around the house, life gets a lot easier.

All I do is raise my kids, ride my bikes and fly my airplane - and anything else I happen to "feel" like doing.

What I can't remember, is what I "felt like" the day I signed up to ride LOTOJA.


I had no clue what I was getting myself in to.

This brings something else to mind.

When I was finally released from the USAF, I swore that I was going to stop "joining" shit. No book clubs, no magazine subscriptions and no more military services! No more "joining ANYTHING!"


When I finally got back to the USA from my overseas tour (Spain and Turkey), I swore I'd never leave the lower 48 again.

After being married for 22 years, I decided there was no need to do it ever again. I'm happily married, I'm happy I did it once and everything is fine, but once is plenty. I will NEVER get married again.

When I finish LOTOJA, I swear I'll never "sign-up" for another 200+ mile bike ride.

Life is a journey for learning important lessons. One of my biggest lessons is to minimize official commitments.

When you agree to "join" some group or you sign-up to do something, they own your ass.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Where were you in Turkey and Spain? I did d.o.d. gigs in the early nineties at Incirlik, Ankara, Erzurum, I never got used to the Turks pointing the anti aircraft guns at out vehicles.
I played in Zaragoza an some little loran station on the med in Spain. Memory fails.

Bounce said...

Oh shit man, we've eaten some of the same dirt!

I was a Torrejon AB near Madrid from '87 to '90.

I spent one year of those three at Incirlik.

I've been to "The Alley" a million times.

Holy shit, man, I can't believe you were there, too. That's awesome.

I dropped a lot of bombs on Bardenas range just outside Zaragoza.

I got out of the USAF in April of '90 and Saddam invaded Kuwait in August, so I BARELY missed Gulf-1.

Bounce said...

About Turkey...

I have been to many of the air bases there (Ankara is one).

We used to go out and fly with the Turks all the time.

It's interesting, but the Turks are surrounded by a shit load of bad guys, yet they have 90% of their guns pointed at Greece.


Bounce said...

I am out the door for my second century in as many days.

But as I leave I want to tell you that you have really rousted some old memories.

I remember when I made the decision to get out of the USAF.

It was a WAR exercise at Incirlik. We did those things all the fucking time. It was at least 90 degrees outside and they had us under a simulated airfield attack.

We were all running around with our chemical warfare gear on and we were supposed to show a "sense of urgency" about the attack.

I jumped into a ditch.

As it turns out I landed near or on an ant hill. As I saw the ants on me I began to crawl away (they weren't going to bite me through all the chem-gear, but I just wanted to get away from them.

Anyway, as I crawled away (maybe 10 feet or so) I came upon a scorpion and a millipede in a death-match. They had each other in a death-grip.

As I laid there sweating my balls off in the chem gear watching this scene play out it occurred to me that my life was worth MORE than this.

I started doing some math on how much they were paying me to go through all that BS. It wasn't enough.

I had done my part to defeat the Soviets. The Berlin Wall was (at the time) on the verge of coming down. I had done my part for the country. I had earned my Honorable Discharge. I had fulfilled the commitment I signed up for in exchange for the million+ dollars of training they gave me. The airlines were hiring like crazy and were paying several times what the USAF was.

In that moment, I decided to move on. Once the simulated airfield attack was over, I had begun a new chapter in my life.

Bounce said...

As I was riding my 102 miles today I was thinking about Incirlik.

Gawd man, that place sucked so bad. It was one of those instances that match your, "I have never enjoyed anything when I was doing it" deals.

You have to have been down to the alley.... bought shit a Copper Ali's and had dinner down at the gas station (BP's).

Sadat's was the place all the guy's bought cartouches.

There was a guy in my squadron that spoke Russian. He said that he heard Sadat speaking Russian to some rusky bastard in there.

We were very careful what we said in the alley after that. We were careful anyway, but the bad guys definitely had eyes and ears there watching us.