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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dog Daze of Summer

It seems I had been going at full throttle from 13 April, when we flew to Stuttgart, until just last Tuesday, when I got home from the ACBSP Annual Conference in Chicago.  Now I am home in New Hampshire, sitting in sweat at my computer table.  It is hot and humid this week.  Just now I am feeling the characteristic cool evening breeze brush my lower legs.  Perhaps the night will offer me comfortable sleep.  In the two centuries prior to the advent of air conditioning, that climatic feature explained why New Hampshire, and the White Mountain Region in particular, held many of America's most popular summer resorts.

I shall try to keep cool.

But I am still possessed of memories of our trip across Western Europe, from Normandy to Merseburg, and our adventures in the East, in Krakow, in Prague, and my wonderful weeks in Cluj-Napoca.

Last Saturday I rode an escort mission for New Hampshire Marine Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, only 19 years old, who had been killed in Afghanistan late in June.  It was a somber but gratifying day, as literally hundreds of my fellow bikers provided a motorcycle motorcade from the funeral at his high school in Peterborough, near the Massachusetts border, up to the New Hampshire Veteran's Cemetery in Boscawen, north of Concord.  I rode the mission as a member of the New Hampshire Patriot Guard Riders on my old BMW R60US.

My 1982 Honda Silver Wing Interstate is my usual mount for PGR missions, but the noble Rocinante was suffering from an intermittent electrical system fault. Her turn signals, brake light, and horn wouldn't work, though she started and ran just fine, and the headlight and tail light were functioning.  Weird.  So, as she has not had a valve adjustment since taking me to Alaska in 2012, I loaded her on the trailer yesterday, and ran her up to see Matt Gordon, my wonderful mechanic at Littleton's shop "Quint Boisvert Racing," or QBR for short. I handed Matt the problem. After we'd unloaded her from my trailer, as he wheeled Rocinante into the shop I heard her horn blow. Immediately, we determined that all the lights were again functioning normally.  Was it Matt's magic touch?  Or, had the problem been related to the recent rain and humidity, and had the windy ride on the trailer dried out the affected circuit?  Beats me, but now you know why I called it an intermittent fault.

Matt, 40-something, has been my mechanic since he was 19, in 1991.  He is a professional who knows how to keep such fine old Japanese iron rolling.  I consider him a great and valued friend.

I hope that this rambling post has not bored you.  I know that my readers like to see pictures.  But most of my recent photos are in my new (and my first) smart phone, and I have yet to learn how to upload them to this machine.  Soon, I'll solve that problem.

For tonight, I have enough of a challenge, just keeping cool.

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