Archive for June, 2008

The Dangers of Smoking

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 26, 2008 by Budd Black

Yesterday, I took the day off work to take care of a few things.  The local theatre does free movies for kids during the days all summer long.  This week they were showing Firehouse Dog.  Since I was off, we took the girls and met a couple of others there for the movie.  The movie is about a dog that is a movie star (notably the star of "The Fast and the Furriest")  and he gets lost and is trapped in a building when an arsonist catches it on fire. 

The show the arsonist later making more of his timed fire bombs.  He sets one of them down on a table and the camera pans to show about ten more just like it on the table.  Also on the table are the remains of cigarettes and cigars.  When these were shown, Ashli states loudly, "uh oh, he smokes."  I almost couldn't stop laughing. 

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personality test

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2008 by Budd Black
personality test

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Motorcycle Safety Foundation Beginner’s Course

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by Budd Black


This past weekend, I took the beginner motorcycle course.  Here in TN it costs about $200.  I had a dirt bike for a while when I was a kid, but it had been about 15 years since I had ridden.  Gas prices along with a longstanding interest in motorcycles urged me to take the course. 

Friday 06/13-  Classroom work.  We learn basic laws and instruction.  It takes about 4 hours and we see lots of videos.

Saturday 06/14 7am-  We all meet up at a middle school for actual riding in the parking lot.  Our Class starts with 24 people.  We are split into two groups due to there being only 12 motorcycles.  I was amazed at how quickly most of the stuff came back to me.  The whole morning emphasised clutch control and this really started an aching feeling in my left thumb.  I am not the only one feeling it in the thumb. One girl quits because she can't force herself to hold in the clutch anymore.  Her mom and her husband were with her and they quit too because they wanted to do the course together. 

Right before lunch we lose someone else.  I was taking the class with my friend Ken and we were sharing a bike.  While I was riding he was watching and vice versa.  I was watching Ken weave through some cones when out of nowhere from behind him comes another bike with a 16 y/o kid on it.  The bike is obviously driving the kid and not the other way around.  Ken never sees him.  CRACK!  The little 16 y/o is asked to leave and Ken is not hurt but a little shaken.  The kid was taking the class with his dad.  His dad decided he would go on without his son there.  Just so you don't think they kicked this kid out for one thing, he had been trouble all morning.  He was either not listening or incapable of learning.  I think everyone was glad that he was gone, although, Ken was talking to his dad and his dad said that he was going to buy him a bike anyway to learn on.  IDIOT!

At about 2pm we head out for the classroom for the last bit of instruction and the written test.  100%, but it was pretty easy. 

Sunday 06/15 7am-  Wow, Saturday really took a toll on me, and I am a little tired.  It is hot and muggy.  Going 10-20

mph part of the time isn't really building up a breeze.  We do some challanging exercises.  The U-turn is not fun and had a lot of people stressing out.  The S-Curve had been dreaded since Saturday because everyone could see it painted on the ground and new that it was coming.  The S-Curve turned out to not be supervised and wasn't that difficult.  We later found out that it was the same turning radius as the U-turn. 

They taught us about countersteering and that is an interesting thing.  It goes like this:  To make a turn at speed you push down on the handgrip in the direction you want to go.  If you think about this, pushing down on the handgrip turns your wheel to the opposite side of where you want to go, but only for a split second.  It actually helps facilitate a lean in the direction of choice.  You do this naturally by instinct from learning to ride a bicycle, but not knowing about it can cause you to crash in an emergency situation.  When you try and turn the wheel or pull back in the direction you want to go causing you to go the opposite direction into what you were avoiding. 

After lunch we did our driving test that consisted of the u-turn, swerving, emergency stop, and high angle curve.  Everyone that was left did well on their test (even if a few of us brainfarted on an event), and we all passed.


It was a lot of fun and I would suggest it to people even if you have no interest in getting a bike.  It could just be a fun weekend activity. 

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