Tag Archives: motorcycles

Googling Bear Naked

It’s been a tough week and my idea bank was running low, so I consulted a ‘writing prompts’ site for some inspiration.  One suggestion caught my interest:  Check your site stats to find your three most popular posts, and write about the connection between them.

I checked my stats… and burst out laughing.

Excluding the pages of my official website, here are the blog posts that draw the most visitors, in order of popularity:

We’re All Free! And Naked!

Confessions of a Vegas Swinger

We’re All Naked

Gee, I wonder… what’s the connection here?  Let me think for a nanosecond…

When I went back and re-read those posts, the best part (as usual) was my readers’ comments.  Who knew that my blog would be the #1 Google result if you search ‘naked machete-wielding motorcyclist with fanny pack’?  Searches for ‘naked beer-drinking martial artists on motorcycles’ and ‘polar bear sex club’ also return my blog at #1.

I’m famous!  Or maybe ‘notorious’ would be a better word, but let’s not split hairs.  All this despite the fact that I’ve never been naked on a motorcycle, and my only knowledge of polar bears comes from viewing them from a safe distance at Churchill, Manitoba.

Black bears, on the other hand, are far more familiar than I’d prefer.

You know the saying, “Art imitates life”?  Well, my art imitated life; and now my life has turned around to imitate my art:

In Book 11, I wrote about a bunch of wackos who protect their secret compound in the woods by feeding bears to keep them near the stockade.  That was based on the true story of some folks here in BC who did the same thing to guard a marijuana plantation.

Yesterday I discovered that I now live in a compound patrolled by my very own bear.

I’m less than thrilled.

We just had an 8’ pagewire fence installed around our yard to keep deer out of the garden.  Our crew put up most of the fence, and then ran dogs through the woods to make sure no deer were inside the area before they closed everything up.  They finished Monday around suppertime.

Only a couple of hours later I was walking around the house when I heard a distinctive “Uuuhhhh.  Uuuhhhhhh…” and the sound of heavy footsteps crashing through the forest not far away.

A bear.

Shit.

I didn’t glimpse it, so I don’t know for certain that it was inside our fence, but it sure as hell sounded close.

Needless to say I’ll be cautious around here until the bear decides to leave and pulls down part of the fence to do it.  After we repair the fence we’ll probably be okay, since there’s nothing inside to tempt a bear to return… except maybe a naked motorcycle-riding machete-wielding martial artist wearing a fanny pack.

But that only seems to appeal to random Google-searchers; and since it’s hard to operate a keyboard with paws and 2” claws, the bear will never even know about the internet star on the other side of that inconvenient fence.

I think we’ll both be happier that way.

Have you searched anything interesting on Google lately?

P.S. Preorders are available for Book 12:  Kiss And Say Good Spy!  Click here for links to online retailers

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Filed under Humour, Life

Fear Factor: Adrenaline Edition

If I stick to the classic ‘Fear Factor’ format, this post should be about fear-defying stunts. I generally try to avoid doing those, but into every life a little adrenaline must drip (or, in my case, surge like a tidal bore). So I asked myself, “What are the scariest things I’ve ever experienced?”

After ruling out politicians and 1980s boy bands I was left with a ragtag collection of memories, but I never remember being abjectly terrified. That’s probably because I’ve lived a charmed life and all the potentially dangerous situations turned out to be lucky near-misses. Still, they were seriously butt-puckering at the time.

The earliest scary situation I remember was when I was a young teenager on the farm. We were always wary of skunks, not only because of their fearsome stink but also because they often carried rabies. When they rambled through minding their own business we gave them a wide berth, but if one seemed unusually aggressive, Dad would shoot it just to be on the safe side.

I was home alone one day when a skunk marched up bold as brass. I’ll never forget staring at that skunk over the trembling gunsights, holding off until the last second to pull the trigger… and then I didn’t have to. The skunk turned and wandered away, leaving me shaking like a leaf.

As a young adult I narrowly avoided a couple of fights when I got cornered in remote places by guys much larger than me. Nothing pumps up the old adrenal glands like facing a fight you know you can’t win. Fortunately they were cowards, and when they realized I was going to fight them anyway they backed off. Whew.

Anybody who’s ever ridden a motorcycle knows there’s nothing quite like the horrifying weightlessness when gravity turns against you in a high-side. Aydan’s wild ride in Book 2 is based on the time I almost high-sided on a street bike, complete with the dragging footpeg throwing up sparks. But my guardian angel was working overtime that day (and every day, I suspect) so I pulled out of the turn unscathed and went home to change my underwear.

Then there was the time I was riding a dirt bike up a steep trail of loose shale with a cliff on one side and a hillside on the other. Getting up was a challenge, but coming down was truly scary. Especially when my brakes failed. Fortunately I was near the bottom and I hadn’t been going very fast, so I turned into the side of the hill and jolted anticlimactically to a stop.

Experiences like accidentally skiing onto a double-black-diamond downhill run or watching a tornado bear down on me were good for a few extra heartbeats, but either I’m not wired for panic or else I’m too stupid to react with appropriate fear. I got down the mountain, the tornado skipped harmlessly overhead, my guardian angel developed a drinking problem, and I puttered off happily to my next adventure.

But everything except the skiing and the tornado happened when I was young and foolish. These days I get all the adrenaline I need from crawling out the window onto our second-floor roof to wash the third-floor windows. (Okay, so now I’m old and foolish. Never mind.)

But that’s about all the fear factor I want!

* * *

P.S. I’m on the road today, so I’ll reply to comments tomorrow – ‘talk’ to you then!

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Beautiful, Sunshiny, Versatile… And Lazy

Update:  Many thanks to all those who have nominated me for various blog awards.  I’ve done a couple of posts of obscure facts about myself (here’s another one).  To do more posts like this would require me to go beyond “obscure” and into “too much information”, so I think I’ll quit while we’re all ahead.  Here you go…

Versatile Blogger Award Beautiful Blogger Award Sunshine Award

Several of my readers have been kind enough to nominate me for the Versatile Blogger award in the past few months.  Many thanks to my blogging buddies, Chris9911, How The Cookie Crumbles, and RVingGirl (who unfortunately seems to have stopped blogging).

And just a couple of days ago, Fear No Weebles kindly offered me the Sunshine Award and/or the Beautiful Blogger Award.  I modestly chose both.  ‘Cause I like getting awards – I tuck them into my file of nice things people have said about me and take them out to enjoy them later.  It’s a small file, granted, but it’s great for when I need a warm fuzzy or two.

At the time I was offered the Versatile Blogger awards, I was busy travelling back and forth to Manitoba while my step-mom underwent cancer treatments (many thanks to everyone for their good wishes – she’s finished treatment now and doing fine).  But I didn’t have time to fulfill the obligations of the award.  Instead, I linked to this post, with a promise to uphold my end of the bargain when I did have time… which is now.   The awards all have similar requirements:

  1. Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post.
  2. List 7 – 10 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award to 7- 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

For the sake of efficiency (which I prefer to the probably-more-accurate descriptor: “laziness”), I’m rolling all my obligations into this post – hope the blogging police don’t catch me.

Seven Things About Me (that weren’t included in the last post):

    1. The photo in my blog header is a 2010 Harley-Davidson Crossbones.  Sadly, I don’t actually own a Harley – they’re a little too rich for my budget.  The only ride I have available right now is an ’85 Honda VF1100 Magna.  But hey, if my books hit the bestseller list, maybe I’ll buy a Harley.  (I can hope, can’t I?)
    2. In my last post I showed you one of my oil paintings, so this time, I’m going to inflict my piano-playing on you.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Here it is.
    3. I’ve worked as a church organist, gas jockey, camp counsellor, teacher, receptionist, bookkeeper, interior designer, draftsperson, construction project manager, computer geek, tech writer, Microsoft Office instructor, and author, in that order.  I’ve been an entrepreneur for so long (23 years), I’m pretty much unemployable.
    4. In various adventures, I’ve been kicked, punched, cut, burned, and run over by a motorcycle.  A strong man has crushed my skin with pliers, and I have scars on my hand from the time I tangled with a 250-lb steroid-fuelled bodybuilder.  This might make you think I’ve led a dangerous, violent life.  I haven’t.  All those things were done unintentionally, most of them by my friends during sporting events or back-yard car tinkering.  But it makes me sound like a badass if I don’t mention that part, right?
    5. I’m just under 5’-10” barefoot.  Sometimes for giggles, I go into the shoe store and walk around in six-inch platform stilettos just to see the expressions on people’s faces.  Voila.  Yes, that shelf beside my elbow is about four and a half feet tall.

  1. Which leads me to:  I am not photogenic (obviously).  I have a gift for twisting my face into an utterly asinine expression at the precise instant the camera clicks.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  I prefer to think I don’t look like that all the time.
  2. I always swore I’d never write fiction.  Oops.  My bad.  My excuse is under “Are you writing about yourself, you pathetic narcissist?” on the FAQ page.

And now for the fun part.  I follow tons of blogs.  My all-time favourites are in the Blogroll to the right, and I’m always adding more.

I don’t take orders very well, so I’m going play fast and loose with requirement #3.  I’d like to name a few bloggers I’ve discovered recently and offer them any or all of the above awards (I’ll let them choose).  Recipients, if you’ve already received these or if you don’t feel like playing, please accept this as a compliment and feel free to ignore the conditions of the award(s).

Nigel Blackwell usually blogs about anything that drives, flies and/or crashes, in witty posts full of fascinating behind-the-scenes detail.  And every now and then he goes off the reservation with hilarious essays about such disparate topics as socks or “write-only” memory.  You just can’t lose with Nigel.

If you love blues (and music in general) as much as I do, Longshot’s Blog has wonderful retro classics.

Harper Faulkner is always funny and/or thought-provoking.  Don’t miss him – it’s worth the visit.

Carrie Rubin’s off-the-wall blog, The Write Transition, makes me laugh.  She’s an author with a book being released this fall, so I hope you’ll go and give her some blog love.

Pat Bean is a wandering blogger who’s been on the road in an RV for the last 5 years with a pooch for a companion.  It’s a fascinating chronicle if you’re into travelling the back roads.

Lisa Clark writes The Big Sheep Blog, “Where Imagination, Business and Life Collide”, and an online magazine for 50+ women called The Ripe Report.  Lisa’s always got something interesting to say, so check her out.

And of course, don’t forget to visit my generous award-givers:  Chris9911, How The Cookie Crumbles, and Fear No Weebles (love that name!).

Note to all my blogging buddies:  If it looks like I unsubscribed from your blog this week, I didn’t – at least not intentionally.  WordPress changed their defaults to automatically subscribe to comments every time I comment on a blog, and I got buried under email.  When I unsubscribed from comments, I did it wrong, and unsubscribed from the blogs, too.  Grrr.  Have no fear, I’m still following you – I aggregate everything via RSS feed.  But you might see me doing some weird stuff with follows/subscriptions for a while.  Sorry about that.

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Filed under Humour, Life

The Great Motorcycle Debate

*F-BOMB ALERT* – CONTAINS (more) COARSE LANGUAGE (than usual)

Spring is finally around the corner, and a middle-aged woman’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of… motorcycles.  In honour of the season, I pose you the following question:  cruiser or crotch-rocket?

I’m a cruiser fan.  I’ve got some old wrist and knee injuries that get aggravated by the weight-forward position on a crotch-rocket, and anyway, I’m a traditionalist.  I like the kicked-back coolness of a cruiser.

Here’s the considered opinion of a couple of the characters in my second book, The Spy Is Cast:

*****

Germain and Hellhound put on their riding leathers, and we all trooped out of the hot RV into the cooler outside air.  Germain swung astride his Yamaha, and Hellhound grimaced.

“Shit.  Can’t believe I’m gonna hafta ride on the back of this piece a’ Jap crap.  Lucky it’s gettin’ dark so nobody’ll see me.  Why don’t ya get a real bike?”

“It’s better than that bone-rattling piece of shit you call a Harley,” Germain retorted good-naturedly.  “They’ve been making bikes for how long, and they still can’t make one with a decent muffler?”

Hellhound perched precariously on the back, struggling to hoist his boots up onto the passenger pegs.  “Why the hell would ya wanna ride one a’ these goddam crotch rockets anyhow?” he groused as he groped behind him for handholds.  “Ya like bustin’ your fuckin’ nuts on the tank?  Maybe you ain’t usin’ your junk anymore, but I still wanna keep mine in workin’ order.”

“Don’t they make a cute couple?” I observed loudly to Kane.

“Hey, Germain,” Kane called.  “That’s got to be the ugliest girlfriend I’ve ever seen!”

Hellhound flipped him a stiff middle finger as they pulled away, and we laughed while they rode out of sight.

* * *

So which do you like better – cruisers or crotch rockets?

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Filed under Commentary, Life