1972 Norton Commando Combat


1972 Norton Commando Combat

The Norton Combat occupies a weird niche in the collectible motorcycle market. It is essentially a 1972 Roadster with a ‘specially tuned’ motor that broke with ugly frequency. They are valued at least as highly as the regular Commando and possibly more if the proper work has been done to the motor.

The Combat engine had higher compression due to a shaved head, a long duration high lift cam that was really good at the high end of the power band and added about 2000 useable revs to the motor. The set up wasn’t particularly good on the low and mid range so Norton changed the primary and actually geared the bike down. Which led to serious over revving and the pistons to separate from their crowns. Bad.

If that weren’t enough for one motor, the cam chains were near impossible to adjust which was often skipped at service. Led to really bad ignition timing (with a bad auto advance system) that led to hard starting, poor running and early exit for the bottom end of the motor which was weak from the factory.

The 1972 Norton Commando Combat used a 745CC air cooled four stroke overhead valve twin cylinder motor that made 65 HP. Overall gearing was lower on the Combat than the regular Commando which kept the top speed at 108 MPH. The legendary frame, Roadholder forks, swingarm/shock rear and isolastic motor mounts made it smooth and gave the bike exceptional handling.

Arizona May Be In The Pink

So. I live in an interesting area.

Yuma, AZ has the best winter weather in the US. We also have roughly 3 months of what most would consider hot and a solid 3 months of brutal heat.

We live at low elevation that is quite dry. The desert is vast and unpopulated, but greater Phoenix is probably the 3rd largest metroplex in the US. Yes, larger than Chicago. The people tend to be hardy and older than the American average.

But we have high country, too. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is right at 7000’ ASL and the North Rim is 9000’. Flagstaff is the 7th snowiest city in the US. My favorite camping spot on earth is in eastern AZ (Hannagan Meadow) at 9000’.

We are an incredibly diverse state. The 2020 census will certainly show that AZ is a ‘majority minority’ state. Hispanics are the largest fraction of the population which also boasts a large indigenous population.

We also tend to be Republican. Part of that is due to the huge percentage of retired people. The famous “I got mine, you are on your own’ mentality. Part of it is ruthless gerrymandering that seems to benefit the party in power.

The largest cause of political ‘redness’ is, without question, due to the Democrats inability to connect with ANY of the non white population. The national party seems to not give any sort of shit about this state. For any reason.

The Hispanic population doesn’t vote with the same intensity that the white population does. I hate to say this, but much of that is by design. Polling places are less and less accessible every voting cycle. The white power base isn’t interested in sharing (or losing) any part of that supremacy. It is very much a closed loop.

When they do vote the Latino population tends to be conservative. Family, church and work are the hallmarks that all lead to conservative ideals. The Dems abandonment of the working class has taken a huge potential advantage away. A generation ago Cesar Chavez was proudly democratic. Mine workers were the embodiment of the democratic party. No mas.

Which leads me to give thanks for the 45th President of the United States. Courtesy of the megalomaniac in the White House we can see pink here in normally red Arizona. Per Trump’s very public feud with Jeff Flake there is a distinct path to electing a democratic senator in Arizona in 2018. Local, county and state offices are looking to be contested in much greater numbers than normal. There are good, solid announced democratic candidates for most every house seat in the state. Our president has given me reason for cautious optimism. To go with the daily heartburn.

I’m just sayin’

It Would Not Smell As Sweet

This post includes a link to Jim Wright’s Stonekettle Station of June 26, 2015.  I strongly suggest you read this post.  In fact, I strongly suggest you read lots of his writing.  Mr. Wright is a first rate writer and thinker.  You can access his entire catalog right here.  Free.

One day, one wondrous day, it occurred to me that I had an elephant in my room.  I guess I’d just never looked where he was standing, but the first thing I noticed is that he had shit.  Not only did it smell incredibly foul, but there was so much of it I didn’t know what to do and despaired of ever getting the room clean again.  So I chose to ignore him for a while and see if maybe that elephant shit might compost out a little and make it easier to handle.

Well, as most of you might have anticipated, that elephant shit again.  And again.  And again.  It seemed to me that he shit with ugly regularity and frequency.  Not only that but every steaming pile seemed larger than the one before it. It was such a discouraging mess that it looked like it would never be cleaned up.  I actually thought I would be knee deep or more in elephant shit for the rest of my days and had accepted that fact.

Of course it’s a metaphor.  I’m talking about guns and the staggering price we as Americans pay every time a ‘mass shooting’ incident takes place in our land.  Not just the victims and the wounded and everybody that knows them, but the population in general.  I cry out in pain every time, as do millions of others.  It is time for action.  Fact of the matter is, it is way past time.  The deeper the elephant shit the more likely we are to get smothered.

First things first.  We need to identify the problem and figure out a solution that a large majority of our fellow Americans can and will support.  It literally takes ‘the will of the people’.  We need to lead the elephant out of the room and stop the shit from becoming any deeper.  It is literally threatening to envelop us and take our humanity away.

Let me be absolutely clear here.  I am a gun owner and I am not proposing gun control in any ordinary sense of the word.  I actually interpret the 2nd amendment to guarantee me the right to keep and bear arms.  As do many of my fellow Americans.  

Automatic weapons need to go.  Completely away.  Gone.  The only thing they are really good for is killing humans in a very big way.  And let’s be clear.  I mean anything that increases the rate of fire to make it emulate an automatic weapon.  Gone.  Forever.  If it’s big and grey, looks like an elephant and shits like an elephant-call it an elephant and get it out of the room.

Next I would propose a permit.  Every single person in the US that wants to own and possess a gun needs a permit.  Now before you get your 2nd amendment underwear in a bunch I am talking about a permit, just like a driver’s license.  Not about registering your guns, or even suggesting that every permit holder has a gun, but that everybody that might want to own a gun needs a permit to do so.

The permit would involve some class time and some range time to complete.  I would suggest a federal law with the ability of the states to handle the endorsement process themselves.  That way the various states could make the permit relatively harder or easier to obtain as the individual state sees fit.  Allow the states to charge a fee for processing and issuing the permit and you end up with revenue neutral or even a revenue stream to hard pressed states.  

I would submit that the gun permit could be handled just like a motorcycle endorsement, and I mean literally just like it.  All 50 states have a very good and approved id/driver’s license that could easily stand an endorsement line.  That way the states would have a ready made licensing facility in their DMV and it should be fairly easy to do.

Back to the room full of elephant shit.  How does this system help that problem?  With a series of laws and consequences that must be conditional with gun ownership.

I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or even the shit scooper here, so I’m going to suggest that Jim Wright’s common sense gun rules as put forward by the NRA will work just fine.  You might want to subscribe to his Stonekettle Station while you are there.  A very talented author with a unique perspective on the world.  

Please take the time to read Mr. Wright’s article, we’ve got the time. That elephant shit isn’t going to evaporate anytime soon, and God save us if there are enough flies in the room to carry it off…

So we combine common sense gun regulations with an easy to implement permit system.  Will that end the problem?  Will it shovel out the shit?  Of course not.  But given some time and distance it will change our culture for the better.  The current DUI laws do nothing to interfere with with choice to drink or the choice to drive.  When the rules aren’t followed there are real life consequences to the rule violator, so it can be with guns.  We can affect change that will work without impinging in any way on our 2nd amendment rights.  

Little by little we can shovel an entire mountain of elephant shit out. Just think how pleasant that might be.

I’m just sayin’

A Gun By Any Other Name…

As of this very minute, 58 are dead and over 400 injured at an open air concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. The SOLO shooter rained automatic weapons fire onto the packed venue from a 32nd floor room in a nearby casino.

It is now just 12 hours after the tragedy and I haven’t been able to find any specifics on weapon(s) used or the number of shots fired but I can tell you one thing for sure. At least one full automatic weapon was used. I watched a phone video and could hear it plain as day. Automatic weapon. No question.

It’s time America. Time to get fully automatic weapons off the street. Period. There is no justification for anyone to own any sort of full auto weapon. None. The machine gun was a military development for stopping massed attacks. The automatic rifle is simply a more portable version of the machine gun.

Understand that I have owned guns since I was 12 years old. The first gun I bought was a 12 gauge shotgun that I used for hunting well into my 30s. I’ve owned rifles, shotguns and pistols and I still do. But the only thing an automatic weapon is good for is slaughtering humans. It is time for that madness to end. It’s time for common sense and good judgement to assert itself on the national stage.

This is NOT a call for permits on every sort of firearm, it is not a call to restrict gun ownership. It is a call to remove fully automatic weapons from the public. Period. Let’s don’t let the debate degenerate into an us vs them, all or nothing referendum. Let’s just focus on automatic weapons and stop this bit of madness.

I realize that a single shooter with 10 weapons in his room could have caused as much carnage as this guy with the automatic did. The shooter in Orlando used a semi-auto to kill 48. But please, America, let us start the much needed discourse with automatic weapons. It’s a position that all but the most frantic can agree with.

We NEED this discussion. We need it as much as we need the discussion on racial prejudice and equality for all. Maybe it’s time to stop tweeting and start real meaningful discourse. Actually it is way past due. Let this be the start.

I am sad today for the victims and their friends and families and those that were there or in the vicinity who will be forever affected by this horrible event. I am sad for the city of Las Vegas and the stigma which has been hung on them. I am just sad.

I’m just sayin’

the photo used here was attributed to at least three different sources:  timesofindia.com, nbcnews.com and slate.com.  Used here as ‘open source’ material.  

Current Musings

Item: The world as we know it did not end on Saturday. Next scheduled ending is sometime in October. I’ll keep you posted.

Item: Puerto Rico will be without power for months. The national press is treating this as the big story of Hurricane Maria. It’s not. There are tens of thousands of people that don’t have a safe place to sleep and very limited food and water. That’s the story. Don’t even have a safe spot to sleep.

A woman I know casually left her home in Humacao early Tuesday to go to a shelter and safety for her and her family. Humacao received 8 hours of sustained 175 MPH winds, a storm surge in excess of 6 feet and 2 feet of rain. Nobody I know has heard a peep, and I am officially concerned. And the story is the same for hundreds of thousands more.

Item: The President of the United States of America says that NFL players that don’t stand for the National Anthem should be fired.

This from the man who ran his campaign on outrage and constitutionally guaranteed free speech? Really?

It’s a funny thing about our constitution. NOBODY gets to pick and choose who gets what protections. It is at least theoretically the same for every single individual in our society.

Item: The Department of Homeland Security officially notified 21 States that they were indeed the target of Russian hackers concerning the general election in 2016. Is there any more fundamental to our democracy that they could have screwed with? Anything?

Item: The world as we know it will come to an end as I type this. Saturday, September 23. A rogue, unknown planet will somehow be responsible. Supposedly based on Biblical prophecy and numerology.

I have a couple of problems with this. I’ve read through the Bible more than once and never seen any mention of a rogue planet. In fact, the concept of planets much post dates the last real revision of the Bible. How does that work? Reality tells us the Jewish people that wrote the Bible didn’t have 0 as an integer. It’s really hard to express angular movement (think orbit) without a zero. Command and control is the real point of this exercise.

Item: If the world does end on Saturday the WSU Cougar Football team will be forever undefeated in their final season. Who woulda thought?

I’m just sayin’

Reflections Of An Orphan

“Motherless children have a hard time when the mother is dead…”

All quoted material is from the song ‘Motherless Children’ by Blind Willie Johnson c. 1927

I was orphaned at the tender age of 65. Among the things I miss desperately is my mother’s approval. I never got it from my father but my mom more than made up for that lack with her unconditional interest in what I was up to.

She was a huge support in my motorcycle riding. She well knew the risks I take every day but at some level understood the reward. Over 50 years ago she laid down her one and only rule for riding: Always wear a helmet.

She rode on the back of several of my motorcycles, but decided she’d had enough when she turned 80. Her one and only effort at riding came on my first Yamaha which didn’t last long or end well.

“They’ll not have anywhere to go,
Wanderin’ around from door to door”

I always had a place to go. Even when I lived more than 1000 miles away I kicked my feet under my mom’s table at least once per year. It’s never been the only place I’d go, but it was the only place I knew I’d go any given year…

“A wife or a husband may be good to you,
But, better than nothing has proved untrue.
Nobody treats you like Mother will when, when Mother is dead, Lord.”

I miss my mommy. In so many ways.

I’m just sayin’

The song has had meaning for me for most of my adult life. I first heard the Steve Miller Band version in 1969. It produced my search for the blues which goes on today. The Blind Willie Johnson version is available here. 


I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

My friend Nick Grimshawe has embarrassed me into action one more time. I got an epic email from Nick this morning and here I am. The focus of his missive was how to get things done online when you don’t have the skills and not much budget to carry on with.

But he mentioned some friends that helped him start his first website, and they are certainly friends of mine, also. I was really struck by the mere mention of two peeps that have been really important in my development (or regression in all honesty) of the past several years.

Sunny Suggs is just pretty damn near legendary around my place. She has bailed my ass out of the barnacles more times than I can mention and is also a great friend. When times go tough and when times go hard Sunny is always, and I do mean always there. Always. Maybe even more important is that when times go great she is also there.

One of my most pleasing experiences in business was the building of trackeryme. I gave Rhonda Pizor really explicit instructions such as “I want boy colors, not girl colors” and she spun that into a really great site. She was implicit in the early success of the Lucky 13 team and just an all around great person. Not having Rhonda around is a huge loss for me and the larger community.

I’ve got to mention Janelle Pineau. We came to TE land about the same time and Janelle was the first person that I wanted to be like. Since then we have worked on and co owned a whole raft of projects and my initial assessment has just gotten nothing but stronger. The embodiment of hustle and grit I am incredibly lucky to be a part of her circle.

Now I’m sitting here trying to decide what the point of all this might be. Certainly the fact that I am putting black marks on an otherwise white page is a good sign. I really haven’t written anything in the last 6 months and I have words inside me that want and need to escape. For better or worse I am hoping that this is the re start, not just a blip.

<Giggle> I’m not even sure where I will publish this. My tomwacker.com site is a currently a monument to the need for a good backup plan. Perhaps Nick will have shamed me into doing a whole host of things that I need to do. At the very least, I am writing again. At the very best I have a plan to conquer the internet. With the help of a few good friends.

I’m just sayin’

Mariners and Blue Jays Start Season 0-5

The Mariners and Blue Jays have started the new Major League Baseball season a combined 0 and 5.

Fortunately, Janelle and I (and Boris) have had a much better week so far. The launch of Major League Advertising went much better than 0-5. We started raggedy with a problem that didn’t credit references correctly, but that was corrected fairly quickly. We are still working to make sure that people get credited for their sign ups.

Otherwise, it has just mostly been fun. If you can call intense stress fun. Thanks to a whole lot of help and good vibes given to us by a whole bunch of people, the experience has been great. Way more fun that Janelle (Blue Jays) and I (Mariners) have been having trash talking our teams.

Which brings me to our third teammate. Boris says he only knows one thing about baseball “There is no crying in Baseball” but he darn sure knows coding and design. Our resident genius has bailed us out several times already.

The M’s and Jays might be shuffling so far, but the MLA team is alive and well and planning a long term future. Thanks for being part of the ride!

I’m just sayin’

This post was originally posted at http://tebaseball.com/

Life is Good

I’ve got to admit. Life is pretty darn good for me right now.

I am right this minute smoking the best cigar I’ve ever owned (A Cohiba Cuban, smuggled in by a friend).

I spent the weekend riding and in company with good friends.

Gonzaga University is playing for the NCAA Championship tonight. Who would have thought that a teeny Jesuit University from Spokane, WA would say that?

THE Chicago Blackhawks have clinched the best record in the Western Conference and home ice at least until the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Seattle Mariners start their run to the World Series (you read it here first) today.

And we are launching Major League Advertising today. We being Janelle Pineau, Boris Petricevic and myself. It is essentially a Traffic Exchange with a baseball game integrated inside. We like to think that we have a slightly different take on the genre, geared toward our advertisers and associates.

It’s been a long, slow journey. We started in September and are rushing to get it ready as I write this. We know it will never be finished, and we have BIG plans for the future. To finally spring it on you all is a huge deal. That which does not kill us can only make us stronger.

Everybody should have people to work with like Boris and Janelle. Friends, of course, but each with a skill set and dedication that are absolutely terrific. It has been sometimes frustrating, sometimes crazy but having a team like this is simply a reward all by itself.

The proof is in the pudding, and we are pretty proud of ours. Why not mosey over to Major League Advertising and take a look. It’s free to join and participate,

Go Zags.

Fear the Blackhawks.

Mariners Uber Alles.

I’m just sayin’

Paid To Click – Panda Profits Way

Paid To Click

Paid to Click, the new way to Play.

The Panda Profits team has a firm belief in an untested model in the paid to click world. Community.

From the very early days of discussion (besides the obvious ‘should we DO this’) has come the core belief of the Panda Pack that there IS a paid to click community and that it is a very viable and serviceable commodity.

Paid to Click Users

We’ve all been led to believe in the uncaring, ad clicking, no notice typical user at a paid to click site.  While there certainly are that type there is also a higher percentage of users that want a comfortable place to play that pays them fairly and quickly.  This is the audience that we are seriously trying to tap into.

We spend a serious amount of time trying to make Panda Profits fun and easy to use. Part of the beauty of our Panda Pack mentality is that we are seriously interested in the overall experience of our members.  Happy Pandas return to the same place to eat and relax day after day.  That is what we are looking for, happy users.

Paid to Click Advertisers

The Panda Pack also believes that this is a community, the life blood of our site. These are the people that fund us and make what we do possible.  We know our advertisers are getting a very good ‘bang for their buck’ return at Panda Profits and we very much aim to keep it that way.

We foster the advertiser community in several ways.  Running an absolutely honest site and delivering usable hits is a great start, but we think there is more.  Namely making utterly sure that there are no bots or multiple accounts on Panda Profits and by taking personal responsibility for each and every support issue that comes up.  People like that and respond to good treatment favorably.

It’s a completely different way to run a paid to click website.  We understand that and are convinced that we are onto something.  You will all know when we get our first copy site.  All we can say is ‘bring it’.

I’m just sayin’