But I ran out of bravery before I ran out of acceleration; on a flat road it seems to get up quite a bit of speed. No speedometer (at least not yet) so I don't know how fast, but definitely faster than I can pedal. It does not accelerate fast (49cc) but it can move my fat ass with some alacrity as long as I'm not in a hurry to get to top speed (though I do need to pedal up the driveway).
The rear wheel is not far back enough, and I'm trying to figure out how to fix that. I only took three links out of the chain to make it fit, but I've got the tensioner up rather high, so there is some slack in the chain I can use to get the wheel further back.
I zip-tied the wires out of direct contact with the muffler. I do need to shorten the control cables and make them neater, and fix the wiring harness (loom it and make it neat) and a host of other things. I can't seem to get the clutch cable tight; that's because the cable runs through the lever and is secured with a little brass fitting that clamps the cable in place with a screw. Bad design--you need three or four hands to get it really tight. But I might have an idea as to how to remedy that: remove the clutch cover, cinch up that cable, tighten the mofo out of the screw, and then put the clutch cover back on.
I need to put the muffler clamp on, and to finish half a dozen other little things. But my first ride wasn't a fluke; it works.
* * *
As for my back, I think the only real cure for this shit is going to be seeing the doc, then spending time in physical therapy, strengthening the muscles and getting everything in some kind of shape so I'm no longer straining something every time I try to do anything. FFS, when I think about all the physical labor I did around here in 2017 (cleaning out the frigging attic!) it makes me want to curl up in a corner with a bottle of Ibuprofen. Right now I can't even clean the cat box without it hurting.
To that end, then--I'm considering buying that motorcycle lift again, the table-type one at Harbor Freight. It's more expensive now (and, worse luck, fine print on the raincheck said "valid for 30 days", and many bad words were said) so I'm just going to have to gut it up, go to the location that has the damned things, and write the f-ing check. And then write another check for a storage locker nearby where I can store the stuff I don't need to have 24/7 instant access to. And then maybe write a third check for a small utility trailer so I can move things back and forth between the house and the storage locker as needed. Maybe one of those neat folding ones they have at Harbor Freight.
As Dad always used to say, "All it takes is money!" He also said, "It only costs a little more to go first class!"
* * *
Did you hear that smoking actually helps fight a Wuhan Flu infection?
There's all kinds of stuff that fixes this bug. Trust China to make a shoddy bioweapon.
Because we can't get Ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine (because actually eliminating the problem is the very last thing that the Gangster Party wants) I figure it might be well to stock up on tonic water. Tonic water has actual quinine in it, and hydroxychloroquine is a version of quinine that could be patented (because unlike quinine it was invented in the 20th century) and tonic water was used for what? AS AN ANTI-MALARIAL. Just like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. It tastes terrible, which is why the brits always mixed it with something that tasted even worse (gin). Honestly, I think the English consider gustatorial suffering a virtue, or something.
Anyway: Vitamin D helps, zinc helps, antimalarial drugs help. There are all kinds of cheap mitigating therapies which our medical system refuses to give people, because the party line is that everyone must get the vaccine, and if there are non-vaccine therapies which fix the thing, everyone won't get the vaccine and the executives at the drug companies won't get their huge bonuses and give lots of money to the gangsters in the Gangster Party (whatever their nominal affiliation may be).
Down in Australia they're doing the same thing. "I'm pro-vaccine. But we cannot keep telling people the fantasy that we can solve all these problems," said the Aussie waste of oxygen.
Let the people take Ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine when they get sick with the thing. It works. If you're willing to give the (experimental!) vaccine an emergency approval for this thing, why not give IV and HCQ emergency approval for it? Because they solve the problem, that's why.
An interesting point was made: the government is saying that if you do not use the product manufactured by a large corporation--if you refuse to take the vaccine--then you will not be allowed to earn a living or participate in society. The meme asked, "Please explain to me how this is not fascism?"
That's easy, though: it's not facsicm because democrats are doing it. It would only be fascism if the republicans were in charge. But since it's democrats, it's perfectly fine. And you're a racist white supremecist insurrectionist rebel for even having to ask.
* * *
In Red Dawn there is a scene in which the commander of the paratroopers--a Cuban--is telling his subordinates what to do, right after they've secured the town. He tells them to go to the sporting goods stores and look through all the files until they find the 4473 forms, and he explains that those forms will tell them who has a gun.
And it occurred to me, the federal requirement that the 4473 be kept is a perfect way to get around the legal requirement that there be no record of firearm serial numbers kept. If you have the 4473, you know that the guy listed on it bought some kind of gun, so it's a trivial matter to go to his house and get them.
And then I thought about the "national instant background check" thing. I'd bet money that the law requires that a database of queries not be kept...but who's to say that's the case? The FBI spent the last five years trying to help the democrat party manufacture evidence against a sitting President, for fuck's sake. So I'm pretty confident that when the democrats decide they're going to go around and confiscate firearms, their thugs won't have to walk down the street knocking on every door and searching every house.
4473s will lead them right to the houses that have bought guns. Background checks will give them a list of names. All they need to do is to go get them.
* * *
Why nothing appears to be happening right now.
Those "waning pretenses of peace" hold solely because Real Americans, some unknown percentage of them at any rate, still want it to. It will last not one minute past the moment when the last thread of their patience has snapped, the last tatterdemalion remnant of their natural optimism and restraint has been ripped to pieces. And then, it's Katy bar the door: open season on shitlibs, no bag limit, no ammo restrictions. Weapons free, and happy hunting!So, Severian explains it all to us. It's ideology. The collectivists are all thinking to themselves that of course what they're doing will lead to the socialist utopia they've always wanted.
The really remarkable thing to me is how the Collectivists, whether from arrogance or blind stupidity, insist so mulishly on keeping the pedal firmly to the metal in spite of absolutely everything. It's as if they're completely unaware of Dead Man's Curve looming closer and closer just down the road, and that they're already going much too fast to negotiate it safely and avoid a horrific crash. Human civilization has traveled this same road many times before; its hazards are known, the roadmap accurate, specific, and crystal clear. They KNOW what comes next, what has always come next. Yet still, they persist. It's mind-blowing, is what it is.
Speaking of Stalin's purge of the Red Army, he says this:
It wasn't that Stalin was ignorant of his decision's likely effect on the Red Army--he knew. And it wasn't that he didn't care--he cared intensely about the effectiveness of his legions, because he planned to use them ASAP, whether Suvorov is right or not (see the aforementioned Winter War). It's just that Stalin, being an ideologue, really thought his purges would improve the Red Army. Yes, he really believed that, the same way that Mao Zedong really believed his peasants could make industrial-grade steel in their backyards if they just tried hard enough.Emphasis mine.
That's what ideologues DO, friends. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is off the table, because they're not using earth-logic at all. There's no plan, no grand design
You see, though you and I can see how effectively the collectivists are bringing about their own doom, they believe this is how they get their socialist utopia. Their plans will work because they're on the right side of history! Marx says so! And they're the smartest people around, and they won't make the mistakes that all those not-socialist guys tried like Hitler and Stalin and Mao and Castro and Pol Pot and-and-and. The right wing will fail to stop them because that's what it's for. It's just there to be a foil for the leftists, a convenient target they can rally their troops against. The right wing is composed of a bunch of inbred hillbillies and neckbeards who are too stupid to understand how the real world works, and they think they can fight off fighters and nukes with handguns and AR-49s.
To be a bit less insulting, here: the democrats really think that using the same playbook as Hitler is going to get them permanently in power and that the people of the United States will just accept it, and that all they need to do is to choose just the perfect moment to hunt down anyone whose name appears on a 4473 and take his guns away, and no one will resist much. Except for those stupid rednecks, and it's perfectly fine to shoot them because after all the 60s radicals said that about twenty-five million people will just have to be executed. Right?
* * *
I'm having a brain block regarding the document or meeting or group where that was bandied about, that people would have to be re-educated and the twenty-five-odd-million who refused to be would just have to be executed. That was communist radicals operating in America in the 1960s, planning a body count four times higher than that of the Nazi machine.
These people think that we're just going to sit here and wait for them to take over. I don't think that will go the way they're hoping.
* * *
This is going to be an entertaining failure. Disney has a "Star Wars"-themed hotel. You pay a minimum of $750 per person per night (that's for a group of four, and the stay ends up costing six thousand dollars) and you get to live the life of a character in the SW universe of eps 7-9 ("Reyloverse" as some call it).
This is a concept which could work. The problem is, Disney has taken a maggoty, runny shit all over the Star Wars ouerve, pissing off the very people who (once) would have eaten ramen for six months in order to save up for such an experience.
* * *
So, Booster 4 has been lifted onto the launch pad. Ship 20 is reportedly on its way to that pad to be stacked atop the booster. FAA says that "environmental impact studies" aren't complete and that SpaceX won't get permission to fly until after it's been handled.
--that's the bullshit eco-crap being spewed by some Texas eco-nazi group. Like all eco-nazis they hate the idea of human technological advancement. But they get a lot of money from the left wing, so they're punching way above their weight class, and of course with the Biden regime in power all the three-letter agencies are letting their dictator flags fly.
* * *
I have to admit, riding that motorized bicycle makes me a bit nervous, because it makes some weird noises that I can't figure out. The last thing I want is to be tooling along at 20 MPH on the thing and then have the rear wheel pop out or jam up or something.
It occurred to me that when I was 17, having something like that happen would have hurt but not too badly. Mainly I'd get some scrapes and bruises. But at my current age, it would probably result in broken bones.
Today I was wearing jeans and shoes (instead of shorts and flip-flops) but I felt pretty naked without helmet and gloves and jacket. But I'm not going to put on all that freaking gear for this, because I'd look like a complete tool.
* * *
Anyway, it's Thursday evening. Friday, and then a weekend.