Monday, June 16, 2008

ROT Rally

Thursday I rode the Night Train from work to the Expo Center to register for the ROT Rally and check out the vendors. The vendors were pretty typical, nothing I was really looking for. I did talk to a guy with Paul Yaffe who seemed to think that their "springless" kickstand might work with aftermarket forward controls on my bike, but when I looked at it again online later the bolt patterns didn't look the same, so I doubt it. That's the one thing I really want for the Night Train that nobody seems to be making. There were a lot of custom bikes, but at this point it seems like it's all been done before. One thing I saw that was off the charts of absurdity were two V8 powered "bar stools" with the already absurd Boss Hoss motorcycles. I watched the 3 Dog Night concert for a little while, then headed for home. While the real craziness hadn't started, it still took a while to get through all the cars, golf carts and bikes and onto the main road.
After work on Friday I had dinner at Chuy's before heading downtown. Traffic wasn't too bad until I got to Congress, which was partially blocked off above Chavez. I turned, headed up Red River toward Sixth, where traffic was all but stopped. After three cycles of the light at Sixth, I finally turned with the light a dark orange and went straight into an available parking spot, in what is normally a lane of travel. My first stop was the Iron Cactus where a guy I know from the HOG chapter had rented out part of the upstairs patio. It was a pretty good vantage point to people watch Sixth Street, plus it was shaded and there was a breeze, so it wasn't too hot. After hanging out for a while I went to Coyote Ugly. At that point it was crowded, but not really any more than some weekend nights. There were, however, a lot more bartenders, bouncers and they even had cocktail waitresses as well. I hung out there for a little while, but other than the bartenders I didn't see anybody I knew. I wandered Sixth for a while, and went over to Congress to see the parade coming in. I decided to check out the Gingerman, partly out of curiosity to see if there were bikers there, and partly because I had been to the Coyote three times since the last time I was in there. While I was sitting at the bar, I started talking to a guy who, it turns out, is in the same business as me and knows some of the same people. We were talking shop for a little while, then started talking with two women who had walked in. We chatted at the bar for a while, then we all sat down at a booth with one woman's coworker and her boyfriend. Altogether it was very bizarre and random. I headed back to Sixth, and there were even more people crammed in everywhere. I just kind of wandered for a while before heading home about midnight, and went straight to bed.
I woke up at 5 Saturday morning, read for about an hour, went back to sleep for about an hour, then got up and went downstairs and saw a puddle in front of my refrigerator. My first thought was it was the line to the ice maker or something like that, but I opened the freezer to find all the ice was melted and everything inside was thawed. I mopped up the water and threw out anything that had been in the freezer for more than a year and called Sears to get it repaired. They said they'd send a technician on Wednesday, so I looked in the phone book and somewhat arbitrarily picked one to call. The guy came over about 11:30, pulled off the back panel and immediately said the "starter" for the condenser had failed and he had a replacement. The whole thing felt like a total scam. He said the replacement part would cost $309 or something like that, but he would ask his boss if he could do it for $238. He stepped outside and almost certainly didn't actually call anybody, but came back and said he had to charge $258. I felt totally scammed but didn't feel like I had a lot of choice, it would have cost $50 to get rid of the guy and anybody else would almost certainly do the exact same thing. So he replaced some electrical part in about 10 minutes and my refrigerator was working again. The big problem then was what to do with about 10 pounds of thawed meat...
I spent the viciously hot afternoon inside watching TV, surfing the internet and otherwise keeping cool. About 5 I headed back to the Expo Center for people watching and hanging out. I parked on the main drag and started wandering. I found the camp a friend of mine was staying at and hung out there for a while in the shade. I walked over to the concert with them, and ran into some more friends. We chatted while Johnny Winter played. The music was fine, but nothing special to me, I didn't recognize his music. After he played Charlie Daniels came on, which was enjoyable but I only really know one song of his, which he of course held until the end. We didn't stay long enough to hear it, but it wasn't a big loss, I saw him at a previous ROT. We went through the throngs to hang out along the drag with some other friends, who were parked next to a trailer with a sound system and a stripper pole. The "parade" was pretty crazy and the setup inspired extra craziness. I wandered along the route back to my bike and hung out there for a little while before heading home. Overall, I'd say there were similar numbers of women whose breasts I really didn't want to see as breasts that were pleasant to see, with a lot of mediocrity and only two women that really stood out to me as being especially good looking.
I didn't do too much Sunday, a few things around the house. About 5 I took my thawed meat over to Jimmy's to have a little barbecue. His kids came over with a couple people, but we barely ate half the burgers and steaks. I took home as much as I thought I could eat before it spoiled. It was a pleasant late afternoon/evening, not too hot out and at least all that meat didn't just get thrown out.

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