Well, sunny days have been here for a few days now…..I think the little Ninjette likes the warmer temps. Heading home yesterday I noticed that I was entering a number of the turns, on my commute, about 5-10mph higher than normal. OMG, this is why I wanted this bike. Nothing could be more nimble. It makes the commute home a strafing run through enemy territory. So far, I have eluded all pursuers. Well, that was just a warm up….

Today, the motor was revving to beat the band. I was zipping along at about 9K and noticed the speedometer was beginning to slap towards the right. Had to back off…before I became part of a tailgate ornament for an F350. Gonna have to order those Pirelli Sport Demons soon…..EVEN TIGHTER CORNERS.

Sorry, didn’t mean to shout, but this is so exciting. And, I am getting 55mpg. Could probably be higher, but it revvs so easy…it just isn’t fair. I had to back down as I past 65 in a 45. I feel like a hyperactive terrier restrained by a thread…..just a bit more and….ZZZZZZOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!

NO NO, bad dog…..down, down. If you are in the market for a beginner bike, a return to motorcycling, or fun/dollar sportbike the 250 Ninja couldn’t be a better buy. Mods are available, so you can customize it to suit you. I couldn’t be having more fun if I had spent twice the money. But, if I had, I couldn’t afford to do the mods I have planned.

And, I have my wife to thank for all of this. Days like this make you forget that other motorcycles exist….they can’t be as much fun….just more expensive. Tomorrow….the stealth run to the safety of the distant parking lot…..then another strafing run home. Then Friday…..

Advertisements

While growing up I must readily admit that the activities of others didn’t distract me very much from the goals that I set for myself…while modest, they were achieved. I watch my students and listen to them talk and I find their take on friendship to be disquieting.

I stated to them that a friend doesn’t ask, or expect, you to do things that are against your morals. A friend doesn’t take you places where you are put in danger just for arriving. In addition, a true friend doesn’t expect you to hold their hand during their bad behavior. For example, if you are trying to quit drinking, they don’t ask you to be the designated driver. Further, they don’t take you to places where you’ll be tempted. In addition, if they are really good friends they will quit too.

I have students whose friends take them to places where they know trouble will erupt. They get taken to places where all are aware fights will occur. A true friend doesn’t endanger you. Matter of fact, they will do what ever is necessary to get you not to go. They would hate to see you hurt. A true friend has your best interest at heart, not just their own selfish desires. And, if a friend does go “bad” they understand when you don’t call or drop by. They don’t expect you to condone their bad behavior.

I understood when I wasn’t invited to parties where drinking and drugging was going on. They also understood why I wasn’t there. I cannot understand what friendship is supposed to be these days.

The kids say “they got my back”. I say they wouldn’t need too if you hadn’t been endangered by their behavior. A true friend takes the “rap” for you, not just shaking their head as you go down. When I was in the military, having your buddy’s back meant you took the bullet. And, you did everything you could to keep you and he out of ANY danger…not charging into it when you didn’t have to. It is not a test of friendship to drag your friend to a fight that you both happen to survive.

A true friend won’t let you drive drunk, drugged, or without a proper license. A true friend keeps the drunking and drugging away from you. How sad for so many that “party” means alcohol, drugs, and fights. Don’t sound like fun to me. Why must we change our personalities just to have fun? Why must we lower our inhibitions to have fun? Inhibitions are there to keep you from…oh, yeah….GETTING HURT!!! Isn’t that what we all want…less pain, emotional and otherwise???? I have known a great many people over the past nearly half-century and none of them regret missing out on that one “drunken escapade” that eluded them. No, more often than not, they regret that one “drunken escapade”. And, of all the escapades how do we know, in advance, which one will be the one to be regretted? Then why risk it? You are the only you you get…..haven’t we lost enough young people??

Most of the kids today think that we are all so old and weird, with so few redeeming qualities. If they feel this way, why do they follow my generation down the path to divorces, abortions, smoking, alcoholism, addiction, and regret??? Can’t they learn from our mistakes? Or, did they, in fact, get stupider from our glorious leadership example?? Why is the child who saw the chain-smoking parents and didn’t smoke so often the exception??? Are we so stupid that we follow blindly in the direction that we are led without regard to the consequences??

While I will admit that many of today’s kids are wonderful, and have learned a great deal from our stupidity…too many have not. Why is it acceptable in many people’s eyes that some “have to learn the hard way”, when too often learning that way leads to heartache and pain??? Didn’t we want save them from this??? Boy we did a very poor job of it didn’t we?? The pain, regret, and disappointment of poor choices is being revisited on our future generations…could this be the payment due for our transgressions while we are here??? I hope not.

Today, as often happens my students and I got in a discussion that covered a variety of subjects, from superheros to drug use. And, during these discussions it amazes me to find that they cannot readily accept someone like me. They find my behavior quite bizzare. The cannot imagine someone who has lived the life that I have led.

When discussing smoking they often find it paradoxical that while I had chain-smoking parents I have never done so. I never even tried it. I was afraid, as I tell them, that I would like it and become addicted too. I never wanted to smell like them. I never wanted a burning pacifier to rule my life. I remember them not being able to go certain places because smoking wasn’t allowed. They, my parents, thought that I was some kind of “fresh air nut”. Well, a fresh air nut I am. I like breathing. I do not like suffering, as so many have with smoking. I cannot imagine having the difficulties that so many do, due to their desire for a pacifier. I never did like one, even as a child.

Of course, my students don’t see it as a pacifier. No, it is a measure of adulthood. So, I ask which shows our adulthood more, giving into desires that we know will hurt us or standing firm against the pressures that society can bring?? They, of course, don’t like it put that way. They cannot fathom someone who just didn’t see the need. They cannot fathom someone who chooses not to and follows through. What does that say about our society? What does that say about my generation?

My generation often marvels at the youth of today and their indulgence in wanton behavior. Where do we think they learned that self-restraint was not an option? Where do we think they learn that going along, because everyone does is OK? Well, sadly, they learned it from us. How many people do we know that got into trouble because they simply went along??? How many people do we know who have been in trouble and can’t figure out how they got there? Far too many.

My students cannot fathom someone thinking prior to acting. They cannot fathom someone who sees others having fun and choosing not to join in because the “fun” includes consequences. They are under the same impression we were under, hey you are only young once….so have fun now….’cause it ends soon. How sad must their parents’ lives be?

I ask the students, if the fun ends at adulthood, why do so many continue to exist? Why not end it all when you graduate high school? They respond that most of the adults they know are angry, frustrated, sad, and depressed. These people don’t have fun. They have drudgery. My response to them includes the tale of a number of gentlemen much older than myself who, while in their 70s, still look forward to tomorrow with great anticipation. These old guys expect to continue to challenge themselves and have fun…..regardless of age.

The best days of our lives should always be before us…..regardless of our age. We should not give up, give in, or relent in our pursuit to challenge ourselves. Without challenging ourselves we begin to wither and die. It doesn’t have to be so. We can lead our children into an adulthood not crippled at the start by smoking, drinking, and drugs. Not because we are so righteous, but because we want to be strong and proud for a long lifetime…not just while we are young.

Further, how pathetic are we to show our children how weak we really are so easily. Sure, they will know we are weak…in so many ways…but, do we really need a pacifier to reinforce the notion. Yes, I know quiting is hard….my father quit….the day he died….he couldn’t manage it before hand. How do we expect our children to be of a strong will and mind if a tiny tobacco plant rules over us…or a bottle….or a pill….or a…well, you get the picture. We fail so often, in so many ways…business, academics, sports, relationships, etc. must we include addiction as part of that. While I realize that addiction can be treated as a disease…it is a disease that we do not have to suffer. If we do not indulge, we never become addicted. Is it easy to go against the flow…no? Is it easy to face reality sober….no. But, don’t our children deserve our sobriety?

I am accused, quite often as you might guess, of being antisocial, but what most people mean is that I am not like everyone else….I don’t just go along. True, I am not a sheep. I don’t follow just because….of course, this particular trait didn’t always serve me well in the military. Being a goat isn’t easy. But, it seems to me the sheepiness of others is much harder….. At least around here, there do be goats about.