Sometimes I wonder if Iím a manic depressive. I go through extremes; from one pole to the opposite. Right now, itís whether I should go to Australia, or whether I should stick to my original plan. Iíve come up with convincing arguments for both extremes.
I have a plan in place for paying off my debt. If I stick to it, I wonít owe any money to Capital One on my credit card (at loan shark interest rates) by Spring and Iíll have the loan for the furnace paid off by early Summer. Then Iíll be able to save up a sizeable down payment for a new Roadster before Fall. Itís a very achievable plan.
But then again, air fare to Brisbane is not that bad, right now. I could go and enjoy Summer for another couple of months and spend time visiting with Melia and the kids, and who knows, maybe Ron will even show his face. I could be in a T shirt for Christmas and sweat heavily on New Yearís Day. Iíd have a dark sun tan when everybody here is looking pretty bleached. I could swim in the bath water warm South Pacific, and see the Southern Cross at night. And I might even get the í79 Sportster running well enough to be able to ride it.
The idea of going hit me yesterday and it hit me hard. For the last 24 hours, Iíve been debating the pros and cons of which I should do. Rational logic dictates that I should stay put and follow the plan. But the Tramp side of my nature has some convincing arguments as well. Every time Iíve listened to that side of my (probably schizophrenic) nature, Iíve had memorable adventures.
I have a friend who stuck to a job he absolutely hated for years, so that he would have a pension and could enjoy retirement. While it worked, and he has a larger income than me, itís taken him years to get over the mental anguish that job caused. I donít want to end up like that. I once read an article about Barry Sheene, where he stated that heíd rather be saying he shouldnít have done something than be wishing he had done it. I have enough regrets in my life. The real issue is whether Iíll regret not going more than if I do go. If I stay, I get my new Roadster sooner; if I go, I will hopefully have some memorable adventures.
There was a song back in the Ď70s that I donít know the title of or who sang it, but it started with the singer talking about driving along when he sees some little chickie hitch hiking. He pulls over, and when she gets in his car, he asks, where sheís going. She responds, ďSeattle; where are you going?Ē And he replies, ďWell, I was just going to the store for a pack of cigarettes, but Iíll drive you to Seattle, if you want.Ē
Thatís the kind of lifestyle I used to live, and so did my friends. Sometimes, I really miss it and all the adventures that come with it.
Then again, it really would be nice to be riding my Gentlemanís Express to distant places before the end of this coming Summer, and having adventures on it.
Iím not sure which way would be better, so I guess Iíll fall back on the old adage, ďWhen you donít know what to do, do nothing until it becomes clearĒ
In the meantime, the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other are both yelling in my ears.
Cherubs don't care. They are content to be bored or watch a train wreck. What silly creatures they are when it comes to the affairs of man. They do their attending on God. Man mean while has made them into winged chubby babies. It's his attempt to remove the ancient middle eastern ferociousness from them. Imagine an eagle winged lion or bull with a human face. I prefer to concentrate on the wheel in the middle of the wheel. Now I'm off on another mono wheel kick.....
Here we are folks. All tied up in the bottom of the ninth. Everybody is on the edge of their seat. There's the wind up and the pitch. The batter swings and WOW, he really got a piece of that one! It's going way, way deep. It may clear the center field fence. Wait, what was that? Ourdee exploded out of left field to snag it. We're headed for extra innings folks.....
Today, I made up my mind to go to Australia. It wasnít an easy decision to make. On the one hand, if I go, it will delay the amount of time it will take to pay off the plastic and therefore, get my new bike. I figure it will take me about three months longer. That means that I wonít have a new Roadster until a year from now.
On the other hand, Iím feeling my age lately. When I went to see the moonbow, I wouldnít get out of my warm sleeping bag at 10:00 at night to go see it. I was too tired and it was too cold out. That bothers me a lot more than I care to admit. So when I started thinking about returning to Australia, I was hit with the feeling that if I donít go now, I may never get the chance again. I discussed it with a few friends who know me pretty well. I tried to present both sides of the argument equally in discussion. As I expected, neither side had concrete advantages over the other. Nobody had any magical advice to show me any new aspect. Most of the people Iíve talked to have been pretty positive about my going, though, and a few are jealous.
This morning, I looked and finally found the Hawaiian Airlines site, but I couldnít find the deal that set me off on this tangent. All I could find was flights that were much more expensive, and none of them had me spending much time in Hawaii. So I bit the bullet and started calling the ďCheap Air FareĒ sites for their Unpublished Special Deals.
What a joke. Most of the ďDealsĒ were almost $100.00 more than the published prices. I finally found the best deal that was cheaper than all the rest, Published or Unpublished. It beat their lowest published price (which was cheaper than anybody elseís price) by a whopping $4.00! The good news is that I only have to make one stop each way in Los Angeles for a little over 5 hours. And there are only two planes each way. One from Cincinnati to LAX and one from LAX to Brisbane. The reverse for the return. The last time I flew to Brisbane, I flew from Boston to Washington, DC to San Francisco to LAX to Auckland, New Zealand to Brisbane. That was one of the most miserable flights Iíve ever been on in my life. I even got to pick my seats for the flights Iíll be on, and it only cost me 16 bucks extra! Only *Snuk*. I have an aisle seat for three of the flights and a window seat for the fourth.
Last night, I started looking up the parts necessary to get the 79 Sportster up and running. I found all the clutch plates (new) and a set of fork legs on fleaBay for $75.00 (plus 35.00 shipping). Ronnieís H-D listed a complete new carburetor for $116.00 (which I think is a ridiculously low price) and I was going to buy all of the above and bring them over in my luggage.
However, when I talked to Melia this afternoon, she told me that the í79 was sold. She had called the guy who was interested and told him I was going to come over with the parts to get it running, and then the price would go way up. So he jumped. Heís been stringing Melia along for the past couple of years hoping sheíd drop the price, but once she told him I was coming, that convinced him to buy it now.
So I guess I wonít be riding a Sportster around Queensland on this trip. Thatís OK; I rode it in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania back in í97. The next time I ride a Sportster in Australia, Iíll chalk off Queensland. For what itís worth, I rode my Yamaha 900 up to Cairns, QLD from Byron Bay, NSW back in í94. Thatís where the Australian Cow Snippet came from. Itís hard to believe itís been over 25 years since my first trip over.
Iím wondering what adventures await me. Or will it be just a quiet couple of months in an extended summer? Or maybe Iíll meet an Australian lady whoíll sweep me off my feet? I doubt that latter, but you never know!
I'm glad you got it fingered out. I didn't want to tell you how to run your finances or live your life. When you can't make decisions, I'll have to consider getting a side hack to haul your butt around in. I am happy for you!
It started raining yesterday and it kept up until almost noon today. It varied in intensity; sometimes, it was a very light drizzle, but sometimes it freakiní poured. I was happy to be inside, warm and dry.
Once the rain quit, however, the wind picked up and the temperature plummeted. When I went out just before noon, it was fairly warm; Iíd say upper 50s. Right now, at 3:30 PM, itís 39 F (3.88 C) and dropping to 28 (-2.2 C) tonight. Between the rain and wind, there is a sh*tload of wet leaves on the ground and backstreets. I was very cautious on the bike. I had one accident this year; I donít want or need another.
The cold is piercing. Next spring, when the temp climbs up into the 40s, it will feel almost balmy. However, when the temps fall that low in the fall, it feels positively frigid.
I did a good bit of prep work for the trip this morning. I got Cincinnati Bell to cut my Internet service while Iím gone. All I have to do is call them when I get back and theyíll turn it back on. That means theyíll only charge me $5.00/ month while Iím gone. I got my gas & electric & water changed to electronic (Paperless) billing. Now, Iíll be able to see and pay my bill from Australia. And I called my health insurance (Medicare Supplement) and made sure I have health insurance while Iím over there. Then I called my new PCP and got them to change my appointment for my physical. The old appointment was for two days after Iíll be heading out.
I went by Davidís shop and he told me that he has a carry-on bag I can use. The one I had went thataway after I came back from my last trip. My printer has taken a dump, so Iíll go over to his place and print out my ticket one of these days when heís off from work. Heís feeling a bit jealous; he would love to go to Australia and hit all the amusement parks and ride the coasters there. I remember seeing one park that was huge on the way to Kristynís, when I was there in í15.
Iím a little bit bummed that the í79 Ironhead got sold. I was getting psyched up about getting it running again. Now; itís goneÖ sigh. Well, I can still pull some maintenance on the car (a Suzuki Swift), but itís not like working on a motorcycle. The Swift gets almost as good gas mileage as a bike, though, so it will afford relatively cheap transportation.
Aw hell! Iím going to have to get used to driving on the left again! It was tough to get used to that in Ď15. Even though Iíd driven and ridden motorcycles in Australia the previous two times Iíd been there and in Kenya, when I was there for five months, I had trouble getting back in the groove in 2015. I hope I get into it a lot quicker this time. I think I will, but I wonít know until I get there.
Well; Iíve got 20 days to get everything together for this trip I think Iím up for the task. And if I forget something, then itíll probably add to the story of an adventure.
I know from your snippets that you do your research but its going to be stinking hot in Queensland this time of year 35C (95F)especially in Gatton/Fernvale. We have been in drought this spring and have had several bush fires in the district due to the hot weather and no rain. On the upside if you make it to one of our beaches the water temperature will be around 24C (75F)just swim in a patrolled area (life guards)as the surf and sharks can be potentially dangerous. On the down side fuel is frigging expensive $1.50AU litre or about $5.67AU for US gallon. I can highly recommend an awesome ride/drive from Gatton to Mt Glorious,Mt Mee, Kilcoy, Somerset Dam, Esk and back to Gatton. Takes about 5 hours round trip. I recently had a stop over in Hawaii in 2017 flying from Brisbane to Alaska. Hired a Harley and road around Oahu in about 6 hours. Awesome scenery and roads. Did my head in riding on opposite side of the road (Right)until I tagged behind a couple of bikers and just followed them. Hope you enjoy your travels in Queensland.
Crusty, those Suzuki's are pretty tough vehicles. My friend and I rebuilt his engine while it was in the car. Getting the pan off was the hardest part. It went from using first gear to get to his house to third! It was a Geo Tracker but it's the same thing. I'm looking forward to your adventures! Enjoy yourself!