Not Really About Motorcycles

I only knew “T” because of motorcycles. When we moved in, the guy across the street introduced himself and asked what we had under our bike covers. Tony turned out to be one of the good guys, loaning tools without being asked and even putting us up in his RV for a couple of nights when … [more]

A 9/11 Forget Me Not

In a word, “no.” This day – one that will live in a lesser infamy than Pearl Harbor, as a time when our self-declared enemies intentionally selected non-military primary targets to show us our vulnerabilities and terrify those willing to be cowed – will not define me. It will not rule me by fear. It … [more]

Something About Sidecars

“There’s just something about sidecars,” I thought, rattling eastward across Snoqualmie Valley. It was time to give back the hack, and I wasn’t sure I was ready. Through the simple human kindness and superior gullibility of Jim at Motoduvall, I’d taken loan of “Brunhilde,” a brilliant three- wheeled rig based on a BMW R1200C, and … [more]

Blood Brothers

Symbols. We were surrounded by ’em. The American Lake VA campus used to house a hospital. It doesn’t anymore. There are specialty clinics there — urology, dental, blind rehabilitation, psychiatry, others — but these days emergency care is handled “across the street” at Madigan Army Medical Center. Symbols abide, though. Large, mission-style institutional buildings symbolize … [more]

Onward & Upward

I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing. —Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Learning to Fly   “Are you scared, Jack?” “No way, Dad!” I stood there, looking up the hill at what’s now named Straddleline ORV Park. It’s been closed off and on over the years. Back … [more]

On not giving a fuck

“Your husband fights dirty,” the email announced to Pretty Wife, and she was right. I do. I’m not my dad, casually and frequently ruthless but so cheerful on a daily basis that he personifies his own smarmy, self-assumed nickname, “Smilin’ Jack.” I only smile when I mean it, and I may not be able to … [more]

Scuffs and Patches

Smalldaughter’s tone was polite but imperative. It was the second sentence that moved me into a sprint that made my back quit hurting. I heard her voice echo down the hall. “Jack, I need you. “Ruby got hit by a car.” The girls’ trust is touching. I wasn’t as  calm as they are when I … [more]

Neighborhoody

Damn, but I hate it when people sneak up on me. NSTIW with my head under the van hood, poking at the battery terminals and trying not to short-spark my ratchet again, when I <heard a scrape / felt a shadow / turned around for no good reason> and there he was, scuffing his way … [more]