30.5 September 2008- Upcoming events (by Mark)

1. I’m considering attending a bike night in Milton tomorrow, Wednesday the 1st of October, at Ollie’s at 1900 hours. It’s sponsored by Turn One Performance and will have door prizes and such. If anyone local is interested give me a call, email or reply here so I know. I’m probably not going to go as the lone ranger and as of right now, I am the lone ranger. Ride safe and keep the rubber side at extreme angles if at all possible.

2. I signed up for the Turn One Performance track day at Jennings GP for Saturday, October 25th. My 999 is very hungry right now. I’ll be there Friday night with a Saturday evening return. Any of you panhandle riders interested in going? Right now I’m solo. If someone else wants to travel from Pensacola with me let me know. No bike and just watch? Just cover your own costs (food/lodging and $5 admission charge) and I’ll get the fuel for my truck. Bike to bring and run? We split the truck fuel and I’ll coordinate a trailer.

3. I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I look forward to LT’s shindig for the official launching of the ark in November. It’ll bring squeals of glee when you walk through the door already. Lookin’ good and waiting on a date!

Reply here for any positives on above events. :) Later. Think I may go for a ride now. Ah…

30 September 2008 – Life at Macdill

I’m staying at a nice BOQ at Macdill AFB. Awesome BOQ actually, within walking distance of the HQ, the gym and the cushioned running track on the gulf. The only thing missing is wireless internet in the room. I have to walk a ways to the lodging central office for that. With internet at the office, I don’t need it much at the room. Now that I’m away, orders have slowed down to a trickle. I’m happy about that. 1/2 of my cell, including my boss is heading to DC tomorrow, so the rest of the week will be quiet. I’ll do some work in the morning. work out mid-afternoon and study for my upcoming Phase II course at night. Life is good. Still hotter than heck in Tampa, but it’s only for a few weeks, so I’ll deal with it.

I see that Rossi won another one, but at least Stoner got on the rostrum. I didn’t have time to watch the race, but I’ll download it when I return home.

Enjoy your Tue

27.5 September – Outta Here

Well, I thought I’d have a relaxing day of final prep in order to leave early Sunday, but I now need to get to Tampa today. Super. My stress level just went up again. Damn. I’ll talk to you guys again from Tampa.

Enjoy your Sat.

27 September 2008 – All Caught up

I pressed hard until 2200 tonight to get out the last order. I got out every order this week except for 1 special brake line order. Not bad considering the multitude of orders that came in this week.

I’m shagged, and actually looking forward to heading to Tampa. I landed a BOQ, at least for the first week so no long commutes. I’ll be in the puzzle palace during the day, hit the gym and go for a run in the afternoon and study for my upcoming Army class at night. That will the story of the 2 weeks. Any orders between now and then will ship on Oct 13th.

If I have a chance tomorrow, I’ll measure the 2nd floor of the Ark to order the flooring. I need that in when I get back. I’ll have 3 weeks to finish the building before my supposed showing. I’d better hold of on exact dates until I get the flooring down.

26 September 2008 – Running out of Time

Today was a total DT day. Dennis came over to pick up his M1000 after lunch. Before that I changed the oil in the Prius. Talk about a painless job. It takes 5 minutes to change the oil and filter in that car. For lunch, met an old Army buddy of mine from the 350th CACOM- Steve Sutton. We laughed our asses off telling old stories. He just got back from a tour of Afghanistan. Hate to say it, but I’m leaning more and more towards wanting the chance to 1 more tactical mission. It’s hard to explain the desire. It sucks so bad at the tactical level compared to the comfy confines of a TOC (tactical operation center), but the rewards are so much better in terms of actually accomplishing something. With my background, I have to fight for tactical missions. Otherwise, they want to stick me in the TOC as a mission planner and Powerpoint Ranger doing briefs. Okay, so what do I do with DT if I deploy next fall? Good question. I’ve got a year to mull it over. Oh yeah, and I want to redo at least one of my 2 books between now and then, and that takes 6 months to do.

Dinner tonight – 2 lean hot pockets and a protein shake. Funny how I’ve resorted back to my bachelor tendencies.

It looks like all orders will be out of here when I leave unless I get some stumpers tomorrow. I’ve struck down the idea of returning next weekend to fill orders that come in during the first week of my absence. That’s insane, and I ain’t gonna do it.

The new inventory setup in the old showroom is working out MUCH better. Plenty of room, I added another step to reduce boxing errors and I’ve got room to grow. Groovy things are happening, and I’m in a better mood… alone, but in a better mood. I was even nice to a customer today.

48 hours left to prep for my trip. Time to load up the camouflage and gear.

25 September 2008 – Rest and Refit

I forgot to take my damn sleep aid last night, and the brain decided to switch on at 0300. Frack!! I’ve been up since then doing DT paperwork and getting ready to fill orders. I also carb-loaded up to do another time trial when the sun comes up. It’s a wonderful 57 degrees outside, and that cool dense air may allow me to shave another minute off my 3.5 mile time. Ah, the small joys in life. – UPDATE: 3.6 miles in 28:06 says my wrist GPS. A new personal best. I seemed to sprint the whole way. It was torture, and the rush when finished was awesome. No more time trials until the PT test next week.

One of my priorities upon returning from Army duty is to re-reorganize the workshop and clear out more parts that I’ll never use — such as old top triple clamps and other weird bits. I’ve got a few other goodies that will go up on the closeout page – Aluminum wire wheels off my Sport Classic, a side fairing panel for an MTS, a fuel tank for an ST, and various and sundry other bits clogging up shelves. Because I’m also displaying the bikes in the Ark without rear stands, I have about 10 different rear stands in excellent condition that I’ll be blowing out when I have my Ark-warming shindig in early Nov.

Finally, a heart-felt thanks to friends/customers that sent me personal emails of encouragement. I’m not worthy, but I do appreciate the sentiments. I do hope many of you out-of-towners will make the trek here for the Ark-warming. I can honestly say it will probably be the only such event I ever hold, at least in this locale.  Plan B upon arrival of any hard times would be to sell the house and move into the Ark. I can’t imagine what would cause such a disaster in finances, but weirder things have happened recently to me. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be sampling the guest-quarters I’ll be outfitting on the 2nd floor of the Ark now that I’ve decided to keep it free of inventory and an office. Would I sleep better with 14 Ducatis beneath me? I probably wouldn’t sleep any worse than I do now.

Enjoy your TH.

If I have time today, I may purchase the flooring for the 2nd floor of the Ark. That’s the last big ticket purchase for the building. Other than that and some window blinds the wallet can shut for awhile.

24 September 2008 – Slammed

Well, once again, my timely announcement on my website that I’ll be taking off for another 2 weeks of Army duty has opened up the flood gates of orders. Damn. Between that and losing Tuesday and Wednesday to teaching, I haven’t had time to think. I was packing boxes at midnight last night after returning from delivering my lecture at our branch campus. Whew. On the upside, I had time to get my military haircut today, and am planning my schedule between now and when I leave town. I wish I had another week to prep. I still haven’t looked at my military studies for the return weekend in Montgomery.

On the product front, I’ll be adding radiator guards back to the mix. The vendor is sending me a batch today. I should have red ano baskets within 2 weeks as well. Cool.

Enjoy your TH.

23 September 2008 – Finishing a M1000

This morning I get to tear the front end off a M1000 to install the seal savers. Man I hate performing that chore. On a Monster it isn’t as bad, but it’s still a pain… hoist the front end, remove the calipers and front fender, loosen the triple tree pinch bolts, slide out the forks/front wheel and then slide on the seal savers. Takes about an hour. After that I’ll take her for a test spin and get ready to make the trek to the branch campus to teach tonight.

No other news to report. I’m staying away from the national news. I figure if we go back to the Great Depression, there’s nothing I can do about it, so why worry. I’m just glad I don’t work on Wall Street or in the financial services sector. The panic has hit the motorcycle sales market though. My sales are off 50% from normal. Weird.

I’ll be out of pocket from Saturday 28 Sept to 11 Oct due to military duties again. If you need something in a hurry, order it by this Friday. This will be my last stint of Army duty until 2009. Yippee.

22 September 2008 – My big mouth

Every time I mention that Bayliss is on pole I seem to jinx him. He was a few corners away from clinching title when he pitched it in the 2nd race. Classic Bayliss. I was yelling 4-letter words in my house today upon seeing what happened. Damn. Not a mum out of me again until AFTER the next WSB race. Only 2 more left.

Today started off with a 6.5 mile run and was supposed to be followed by a trip to the gym. That didn’t happen because the UWF complex isn’t open on Sunday until noon. Instead, I started work on the M1000 up on the lift, and installed the belts, frame sliders and did a oil/brake/clutch fluid change. Went to start it up and battery was dead. Classic. She’s sitting on a tender to see if the battery has any life in it. I got to try out a prototype handheld harmonic tensioner on the bike. The tensioner worked like a charm and was repeatable. I’m making a few recommendations for some instruction and design changes. Maybe they’ll be ready for sale by the holidays. I won’t quote a price range until I get the first batch in. The developer has spent a lot of time developing these.

I turn a big 47 to start the week. Suzi took me out to dinner, and gave me a great birthday card and a new pair of running shoes. The card plays the theme song to “The good, bad and the ugly” when you open it up, and the shoes are the only ones I can wear that don’t lead to leg problems for me – the Brooks Beast. I pronate bad, but those shoes eliminate any leg problems. It took a good running specialist in town to diagnose my running style years ago. Only Suzi would know those two gifts meant a lot to me.  She agrees that the time apart is good for both of us. I wish my wallet thought the same thing.

Enjoy your Mon.

21 September 2008 – Bayliss on Pole

Ducati Corse nabs 1st and 3rd for the race tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Bayliss.

Today I made a lot of progress on straightening out stuff. I cleaned out Suzi’s garage of a lot of crap, purchased big ass shelving units for the old showroom for all the tools/gear and another table for prepping DT shipments.

I have this coming week to prep to leave again for Army duty. I have another 2 weeks of it, but I may come home between weekends to ship out each week’s worth of stuff. It’s probably not a stressor I need right now, but I get antsy when I see things backing up in the shopping cart, and the fall maintenance season will be here soon.

1 new product planned. I’m finally going to track down the female steel quick disconnects for the older superbikes. I think I’ve got a part # and will hit my supplier up this week. It takes me a month to get the stuff.

Tomorrow I’ll get to work on the M1000 service for Dennis Malloy, after a run and trip to the gym. Can’t keep a bad man down… for long that is. Enjoy your Sun.