Tag Archives: time travel

An American Wereboy in Sudamerica: Year end recap.

One year on the road. Un ano. An excellent adventure and bogus journey. The throttle was turned and old New York was spied in the mirror in June of 2011. Since then we’ve spent most of our time in Latin America, through Mexico, down Central America way, over the Darien and into Colombia, then Ecuador, and now Peru. Patagonia was always the goal, and it still is, but I never really actually thought I would make it this far en serio. And indeed it is far and a long way to come on an old moto and in stinky boots.

Sure, few great truths are revealing themselves, few insights.

But look, it was never that kind of trip.

A great DJ once asked me, “Subcommandante, after all this is over, how will you adjust back to civilian life?”

The truth is that I never really adjusted to it anyway. So it’ll be more or less the same.

I’m just living my life, one peso at a time.

…but never mind that.

We’re in Peru now where the death roads bring new life when you’re staring into the eyes of the beast and crazy, muddy, rocky dirt roads with vertiginous drops blow us away like we’re listening to an old-school Maxwell tape.


On speaking Spanish:
After 8 months in Latin America I can faithfully say that I am a beginner level Spanish speaker. You hear a lot of people throw out the platitude that they can speak Spanish well enough to order food. The truth is that ordering food is one of the harder things to do while speaking Spanish in Latin America. It’s a process that is entirely different than ordering up a cheeseburger in the states. Every country and every different region of each country has different names for everything and, like an imaginary linguistic wall is set up between them, no one knows the words that other places use for different foodstuffs. Menus only exist in upscale joints and sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to get. It’s cool though and I don’t mind. The set lunch is a common thing down here and it’s something that I think we used to have in the states but disappeared a long time ago. It’s like the menu of the day but it’s super cheap, between $1.50 and $4 for the most part wherever you go and it comes with a soup, main dish with meat, starch and vegetable, a glass of juice, and sometimes a little something for desert. It’s really a great deal and it’s enough food for two people. En serio, my spanish is not that bad. It should be better, but I’m lazy. I never study my notes from Xela and I’m a loner man, a rebel, and care little for small talk anyways. And yet, I get by. Here I am.

But hey c’mon man, you got your whole life riding around in that rubbermaid top-box. What if somebody looks in there!?

Relax Billy, they won’t even know what it is man, they won’t even know what it is.

Che Guevara. Who was Che Guevara?

I dunno, some dude I guess. Latins and hipsters and gente the world over love their romantic losers, killed on mountaintops and emblazoned on t-shirts the world over. Best to die, but better to die for a cause.

I’m not going to tell you to go out and buy Che Guevara’s biography. I didn’t. I was going to, in a bookstore in Phoenix, but it was like 900 pages and weighed a metric ton. Couldn’t they have condensed it into a 200 page paperback? Louis L’Amour could’ve done it. I just wanted to know why those dreamy eyes are staring at me from a million t-shirts and car bumpers.

I read the wikipedia article and washed my hands of the whole thing. Fidel won his revolution, but there are no Fidel t-shirts and the reason is obvious. What if Guevara had won?

Che Guevara’s first name is Ernesto, but everyone called him Che because he used the word Che a lot. Che is like saying dude, or man, in American English. If Che Guevara grew up in Mexico instead of Argentina, everyone would have called him Guey Guevara. Because that’s what they say a lot in old Mexico.

I don’t care about dead revolutionaries and It’s not my fight anyway and so the mind drifts to other, more important things.


To go on forever, would be ideal.

The Salton and Camp Zero. One of the last great American wastelands which can never be forgotten.

Lusting for the sun on top of old Tajumulco down old Guatemala way, guey.

I was in Xela, Guatemala for nearly two months and everything revolved around the Miguel de Cervantes School of Spanish. They surprisingly had these neatly constructed ramps to get motorcycles up the two feet of steps and into the narrow hallway. I never fell but the thought of being pinned in the doorway with a hot exhaust pipe burning my leg to the bone was always there.

The Mexican experience summed up in this neat little sign, spied in San Cristobal.

Temascal, or Native American sweat lodge, had down in old Mazunte town.

Brain food baby. I miss Mexico…so long ago.

Free waffle breakfasts at the Roadrunner Hostel in Tucson taste alright to the desert drifter. Plans to dip south of the border materialized here. Who opens a hostel in Tucson?

Worlds tallest flag pole (it isn’t) in Calipatria, California. It was well over a hundred degrees that day and I was alright with that.

Saguaro cactus at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Just south of Why, Arizona and bordering old Mexico, thousands of Saguaro reach and twist towards the sky in all sorts anthropomorphic shapes. I was camped out here, under a million stars, awakened by a Black Hawk border patrol helicopter hovering over my tent.

The Cabazon dinos and the end of the road for the great American adventure.

The Alvord desert. We had finally done it, reached the true West after the Alaskan adventure. A memory never fleeting, the Alvord will always reign supreme.

Dude, the Arctic Circle. Way up North. An incredible day really. I would do the Dempster in the rain and in the mud all the way up to Circle and back without pause. Over 500 miles and skies that stretch forever.

Hyder, Alaska. No small feat indeed. Hyder is this little thumb of America reachable by road that juts into British Colombia off the Cassiar Highway on the way to real Alaska. It felt good to be back on American soil, if only for an hour or so, and out of stinky ol’ Canada.

Ah, the melodious mambo beats of Captain Louis Prima. Who can forget lil’ Kevin and his homestead up in Northern Maine? I can’t, what with all his pianos and what not. This guy was a real surprise. An original.

It’s hard to beat Abi’s Adirondack cabin for a first night’s lodging’s. First day out was cold and wet and awful and my rain pants ripped to shreds, a harbinger of things to come.

This weird tomato from Morelia still makes me giggle and the memory of seeing a little girl that looked like French actor Jean Reno just minutes after purchase will forever be intertwined.

Ceiling of the LA Metro. Thousands of real reels line the ceiling for as far as the eye can see. I thought this was a nice touch. Each station has something different adorning the ceilings or walls.

Canyon of the Gods. No great American road trip can ever be complete without visiting the Grand Canyon. Check it off the list dog.

Teacup terrier shots are the thing to do on one’s 29th birthday in Los Angeles.

Why, Arizona. A great campsite under a great tree. The CB looks so cleeeeeean, a handsome ride.

Where’s the beef? The food in Mexico was amazing, inspirational even, the best in Latin America and the best I’ve seen yet in the world. I haven’t seen anything like it since, not even in Ecuador where they gobble down guinea pigs for breakfast. Sure, that’s different, but I don’t really want to eat guinea pigs. I just ate one because it’s the thing to do. But I could eat head tacos everyday. American food is boring, bland even, but the things we do we do well. New York pretzels and pizzas, a cheeseburger at any diner in America, a cheap fat steak, and a good beer are the things I miss most here in Latin America. They sell pizza in Latin America, but it’s universally terrible, and usually expensive because of the price of cheese. Most of it is sort of like Elios type stuff. The pizza place I used to work at on Long Island would cut the good cheese with the cheap to save money, the good sauce with the bad. I don’t want to know what they do here. Beef is expensive here too, and the hamburgers and cheeseburgers are always thin joints, all slathered in sauces and messy, salty, and disappointingly small. They use “super” a lot to describe the ones that come with cheese but they’re never super, and I always feel just a little bit sorry for my latino brethren because their super cheeseburgers aren’t super at all, but sad. Pitiful even. Maybe  as we inch closer to the pampas the beef situation will get better. No se che, vamos a ver.

But yea, I just miss the regular stuff about being an American in America. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, taking a shit in a clean bathroom, being comfortable and warm and snug, and even the law and order of it all I miss at times. Les extrano mis amigos and amigettes.

But I wouldn’t be here in Latin America if I didn’t want to be.

I’m going to miss Latin America wherever I go next. A lot. The people here might be xenophobic dicks sometimes(who isn’t?) but they are unpretentious and you can ride a motorcycle nearly anywhere. On the sidewalk, through buildings, or down one-way streets and no one cares. Motos are looked at here kind of like the way bicycles are in the states. And go ahead and climb a live volcano if you want to because no one will turn you away.

And when all this is said and done, I don’t know where I’ll end up. Probably America. There are no jobs down here in Latin America anyway. You can teach English and make $5 an hour and scrape by, or rent out your abs to washerwomen for less, but neither is a real option; maybe for a little while.

Just remember that wherever you go, people are going to be the same, no matter the tongue.

Predictable.

There are scant originals out there, though it’s been told that but a few hooligans still roam the roads, searching for something that they will never find.

strangers in a strange land

…with thoughts of the West continuously swirling inside their heads.

That’s it yo.

No regrets…well, maybe a few, but the trip isn’t over yet and they will be made up for.

The heat is on and it’s never been hotter.

See you in Patagonia putas.

Meet me across the sky.

Present State

The CB500T presently sits, in all its glory , right outside my apartment window. I can just see the brown of its tank from where I sit typing this blog. Look, it just plain looks great sitting there reflecting the light from inside and I’m falling in love with this little beast all over again. I’ve been breaking her in again gently and my confidence in the vibrous monster grows with each passing day. She’s smoothing out and we’re gonna treat her to some more new parts. But first, lets do a bit of a rundown of what’s been done thus far:

  • new fuel filter
  • fork gaitors
  • starter clutch relegated to the dustbin of history
  • new sparky plugs
  • front break system flushed and gone through
  • wheels trued
  • new fork seals (well, 2009 new enough)
  • new (to me), more functional rear rack
  • LED voltmeter installed
  • new sprockets all around and chain
  • complete tune-up: valves, timing, points
  • carbs taken apart, cleaned, and gone through
  • new gel battery/bettery
  • all electric connections gone through and greased
  • modern rectifier
  • headlight kill switch
Yea, I think thats it. God will forgive me if I forgot anything. Moving on, we’ll need a few more things to shore the bitch up and take care of everything that needs to be taken care of before our rideabout. 
First and foremost, we’ll need to take care of that little muffler crack and get it all welded up. We don’t want that falling off between Yellowknife and Fort Simpson or wherever the hell I’m going. Ditch that crossover box, toss on a pair of CB450 headers and you’re golden.
Figure out that luggage boyo and figure it out soon. Keep that dorky rubbermaid plastic box that saw James Bay, or ditch it for something else? Stay with the army surplus green softbags, or figure something else out? And where to store the soccer ball and surplus gas tank? Decisions decisions.
Will time allow for the drilling of the front rotor? Only time will tell, and the clock ticks on. It waits for no man, nor manboy. There is only so much time left.
Regardless, time must allow for the ordering of some new parts, if only to please the machine Gods and give the CB its due diligence and every chance to make it to ends of the earth. We’ll need to secure:
  • carb rebuild kit(s)
  • new wheel bearings 
  • new tires and HD tubes
  • front break pads
Eh, I think that’s it really. I can figure the rest out on the road right?
I’ll do a little camping/personal gear rundown in due time, but as for tools/spares my basic kit will look a little something like this:
  • vice grips
  • tire irons, tube patches, etc.
  •  needle nose pliers
  • stock tool kit (will handle 99% of fix-its)
  • chain breaker/press
  • volt/ammeter 
  • extra bulbs
  • extra clutch ball bearings (real easy to lose)
  • assorted screws/nuts
  • fuses
  • spare cables
  • extra points/condenser
  • wire
  • duct/electrical tape
  • JB Weld/Epoxy
That’s pretty much it, I’m sure I’m forgetting something. But we will check and double check and rack our brains for anything that might be forgotten so that it will not be forgot before departure, such as extra valve caps.

Kachunk…Kachunk…Kachunk

Ah, I knew it would not be long friends before the CB took its first illegal cruise around Levittown under the guise of night.

Audio in the clip is shitty but our little friend is fucking loud and sounding good! It will need new plugs of course, and the forks will need to be aligned. Chain and sprockets are on after some slight consternation, but the immutable roar of a once dormant engine trumps all!

CB500T Update

The CB500T still languishes in my parent’s garage. Know that it has been difficult getting over there to fix it and therefore, it remains in it’s garage cocoon.

However, know that some work HAS been done and it should not take much more than one extended session of blood, sweat and muscle to winch the beastlet from its state of dormancy. This is such a little whore of a machine and has required more attention that we once figured necessary. Just a little more though, not too much. I’ll give it in spades if the bitch can get me to Alaska.

Recent work has seen its engine tuned up to obsessive perfection. Points, valves, and timing are absolutely perfect. Front brakes have been completely gone through, flushed, and cleaned. Fork gaitors have been installed and look so adorable I want to scream. The electrical system has been gone through and all important connections have been greased with dielectric grease. A tuning session at Machina Cycles taught this guy right here how to true a wheel and my wheels will never lie again (Special thanks to Allan Albert, professional wheel truer and proprietor of Westwood Cycles. Giotta di Bondone could not true a more perfect wheel). A new gel battery has been sourced and had, and placed gingerly within the frame. A new fuel filter has been installed to replace the useless original. A new front sprocket has been installed. Know that a new rear sprocket and chain are patiently waiting their turn. Seems like a certain rear sprocket decided to arrive with it’s bolt holes a tad too small. It’s as if I tried to drill them out to their correct size but the drill was only sharp enough to do one hole and the hardware store was closed. So thats where the CB sits, wheel off and chain dangling, the tramp. We are on our way, eh?

There is, of course, more work still to be done, say replace the wheel bearings, toss on some new brake pads, etc. etc.

But first things first. Lets get this trashy little slut on the road and shaker’ down some, shall we?

Transmissions from A. Mora Prinzgauer and the Nick Miller Penis Cult

Note: The recent discovery of a smoke shop near Marlo’s house that sells B-movie DVDs for $1 each has yielded some interesting finds. Selections are farmed out to all hooligans, drunk in with the senses and the nuances of each discussed ad nauseam. Up on the docket today is a review of Time Chasers (aka Tangents (wtf?)) by despondent manboy correspondent A. Mora Prinzgauer.

“Fighting evil mega-corporations by skipping through the fabric of
space time is a worthy and noble cause. Any film plot with these
elements is a treat to the senses and is fundamental training for the
inevitable events on the horizon.  Even though the acting was like
nails on a chalkboard, I found the 1990 film “Time Chasers” horribly
wonderful and hard to resist.

Scientists naïve to the evils of human intention should just not
dabble in lofty pursuits. It’s a situation bound to go awry. May this
be a warning to all you would be physicists at the Large Hadron
Collider in Switzerland. Know in the marrow of your souls that every
single one of your experiments and discoveries will be molested and
raped for the money.
That’s just the way it is. Trust no 1.
I have been trying to shut that thing down for a while now. Remember
the “Bird and the Baguette?” That was my future self’s last attempt to
change the past.
For more on this see here.


Make love with a defiant blond reporter…. not war. Cause time waits for no man.

The 20 year old director David Giancola is a visionary.
I approve of his low budget approach and crafty nature. His graphics
and lighting made me yearn for the good’ol  Atari days -
Giancola’s poetic insertion of the Edward Hopper book into the ‘J.K.
Robert’s television commercial’ scene was truly brilliant. It was a
symbol that effectively foreshadowed the struggle to come between one
man and society. Now that’s the beauty and subtlety of pretentious
filmmaking at its best.

Lead actor Matthew Bruch, played Nick Miller, the unlikely physicist hero. He
had to continuously fight with some really bad dialogue and was acting with his
eyebrows for the first 1/2 of the film. This was annoying and his
smugness gave me a headache. Nevertheless, once the action bit of the
film picked up, he came around and became endearing. As his own stunt
coordinator he kicked ass and effectively adjusted into his roll of physicists
turned jock protector. Bravo!!  And he can ride a horse! Double bravo!!

Giancola displayed dam good directing skills through use of creative
crash scenes and jammed packed action sequences. The use of bikes
throughout the film was also a genius decision. Nick, the hero, rides
a 10 speed. It suits his character well. The chase scene with
corporate and government security forces on crappy mountain bikes was
unbeatable. This was quite possibly my favorite part of the movie. I wish all
secret security forces, and mercenaries organizations like BlackWater, rode bikes into battle.
It would level the playing field, and make war fun again.
Unrelated clip of another of my favorite movie bicycle battle moments:
I also liked the time travel hijackers. The concept that there is one
dimension where people just wait around to transport-jack others, in an effort
to escape the current time damnation / dimension, is creepy and interesting.

The biggest disappointment of the film falls squarely on the shoulders
of the the costume design department. I mean the “in the future look “
actually just looked like the 80’s. Which is strange cause the movie
was made in 1990, so why would the costume designer look to the
immediate past for inspiration about the future? It totally took me
out of the moment and it just doesn’t make sense at all.

Regardless, it seems like Giancola got a new costume designer by the
2nd half of the film. But he could have just as easily used one of those Revolutionary War
reenactment troops for the climatic finale. Either way, evoking the
patriotic ideals of individualism and the war fought over it, was a
good way to remind viewers that the real nature of “The American Way”
is that of dissent and revolution, not of greed and capitalism.

My favorite character was Mike the taxi driver. He completely stole
the show. Having once myself been a taxi driver who would get overly
excited about strange conspiracy theories told to me by my passengers,
I can completely relate.  I got his motivation and really feel he
nailed his performance.  It was just so real, and it brought back fond
memories of my “A. Mora da Cabbie” days.

Form watching this movie I learned that if the physicist Nick and the
mechanic Marty had a baby it would look like Pipe Adams, complete with
bandana and all.”

-A. Mora Prinzgauer

 

 

 

Note: Nick Miller Be Praised.

NMBP

…indeed

Camp Zero Hour

The Hooligan obsession with forlorn and forgotten places continues with a recent visit to Long Island’s very own cold war relic and rumored site of ultra top secret government experiments, the infamous Camp Hero.

For those not in the know, Camp Hero is located at the easternmost tip of New York’s Long Island. Take route 27 Sunrise Highway all the way east past the Hamptons and the town of Montauk and keep going all the way to the point. The turnoff for Camp Hero is reached just before the lighthouse.

Now, excluding its supposedly sordid past, Camp Hero once played an important role in our nation’s defense. Huge concrete bunkers that once housed massive 16 inch cannons remain as monuments of protection from an old-timey forgotten age. Things were simpler, back then, when our enemies consisted of easily identifiable nations and mal-intentioned dark-skinned gents with boxcutters. The huge concrete hulk and rusting dish of a SAGE radar tower dominate the park and give testament to another era represented by our icy psychological battle with Mother Russia.

It is speculated that weird things went on at Camp Hero. These happenings are collectively referred to as the Montauk Project. As with any government related abandoned military base that is sealed up tighter than a drum and turned into a state park, there is bound to be controversy. There is too much written about the Montauk Project than to go into detail here.

However, take these morsels of truth from someone who has been there and someone you can trust.

  • The Montauk underground is sealed up tighter than a drum, as stated above. There are likely ways into the underground, however you must be a truly ambitious sort. Be prepared to get covered in asbestos, grime, and cave crickets. That is, of course, if there is a way.
  • All abandoned buildings above ground are defunct, including the radar tower, which is falling apart and is extremely dangerous (as noted in the video). However (again, as noted in the video), the “church” has a new lock on it. All other buildings are nailed and/or welded shut. We did not gain access to the church.
  • The Camp Hero underground is extensive. This was verified through conversations with locals who explored the underground system after the base was decommissioned and before it was designated as a state park. Many of the buildings are linked via a system of tunnels. The tunnels go quite deep underground and are host to an odd assortment of bizarre reliquary such as rooms plastered with psychedelic wallpaper and what appear to be interrogation rooms.
  • An October 2010 exploratory venture (as noted in the video) to Camp Hero revealed that this site has not been forgotten by the U.S. military.
  • Long Island East is or has been home to many governmental, quasi-governmental, and all-around bizarre institutions and happenings. See Nicola Telsa’s Wardenclyffe, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Plum Island, TWA flight 800, etc. among others.