Saturday, January 26, 2008

Toys From China

Tanker Helmet and Goggles

I'm not quite for sure if I look like some sort of superhero or a deranged mental patient. Regardless, playing with new toys is always fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sleepy.... but suspicious

Sleepy.... but suspicious
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

I never grow tired of watching Molly sleep. She always manages to lodge herself in the most gymnastic of positions, yet seems very content and quite peaceful.

As of recent, she's taken to sleeping on an Israeli military surplus blanket that I bought online at Sportsman's Guide. It seems that she has a nose for good quality items on the cheap just like dear old dad.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Little Detail Goes a Long Way

Tim Molidor's Chang Jiang 750 (CJ750) Deutsches Afrika Korps
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Greg and I have spent the better part of a week now doing detail work to Tim Molidor's CJ750. Besides a thorough cleaning to remove months worth of box dust and shipping grime, we've refinished several pieces on the bike to make sure Tim is happy with his purchase.

We've also delved into the realm of video to further educate our customers and provide another outlet for us to market these great bikes.

Check out the video here:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Playing German is Never Boring

Tim Molidor's DAK (Deutsches Afrika Korps) CJ750
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

This bike belongs to Tim Molidor of Texas. It was just un-crated several days ago, so we haven't had time to do a thorough detailing on it yet.

Our builder in Beijing does a terrific job on these bikes, but several months in a shipping container can put a foul coat of yuk on just about anything. So, upon un-crating, a thorough detailing is done to insure both rideability and pleasing cosmetic appearance.

However, after a light bath and a little gentle scrubbing, it cleaned up pretty well. And boy, does this one sound good... super quiet and very perky. I'm sure Tim will be proud.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On a More Positive Note

Shelf Fungi on Tree Stump
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

The tone of several of my past few blogs have been a bit dull. Appalachian life can really get you down from time to time. But, this image goes to show you that there is beauty in the mountains of West Virginia - sometimes you just have to look really hard to find it.

Honesty is a Virtue

White Trash Truck
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Every once in a blue moon, you see something unique or bizarre while driving down the road. Rick Lee posts several pics on his blog called DWP (driving while photographing). I've always been stunned and amazed at the variety and quality of the images he's able to capture while just driving down the road.

After a day of snapping pics on my Sunday walk in the woods, I left my camera handy in the passenger's seat for a stab at it as well.

As I was at the Jefferson Road intersection today I spied this trendy Appalachian ride with unique vinyl decals - one on the front window labeled "White Trash" and another on the back glass stating "Insane Redneck" on board. The only thing that would have been truly more Appalachian would've been to use a three inch paint roller for the letters instead of something high-tech like vinyl.

One thing that stumped me though was that the truck had Ohio plates. I thought West Virginia had the market cornered on hillbillies. Not so! Seems that we have good competition on the other side of the river.

But, the one thing I do value most is honesty, and my hat goes off to these two "Insane Rednecks" who are firm in their beliefs that if you're "White Trash" you should let everyone else know.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Now That's What I Call Camouflage

Ruffed Grouse
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

A late evening stroll in the woods after work on Saturday turned out to be a pretty good safari. I've been aching to get a decent shot of a ruffed grouse for some time now, and today my ship came in.

Usually these rascals bolt off the ground like a missile and all you typically hear is the sound of their wings beating the wind. By the time you hear them flush, they're already a mile away. However, this particular grouse decided to strut his stuff for a few minutes, which gave me a small window of time to change my lens and snap off a few shots before he darted over the hill.

I think the ruffed grouse is absolutely one of the most well camouflaged Appalachian creatures. Their feathers blend in so perfectly. Needless to say, today was a good day.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Almost Filthy, West Virginia

Roadside Trash
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Just about every Sunday I go out to see my folks, and to take a brisk stroll in the woods to clear my head before another week of chaos begins. Usually, my eye focuses on the beauty of light and form, but during this bleak and dismal time of the year that's pretty hard to do.

As I walked down the country road leading past my folk's property, I just couldn't help but notice all the trash that stands out like a sore thumb. It seems that West Virginia hillbillies know no bounds when it comes to pitching shit out their windows. This pile of cigarette butts is an all-but-to-common sight on virtually every mile of road in and around the Mountain State.

I try to judge the local populous with an open mind, figuring that most local-yocals just haven't had the positive upbringing that I received. They were never taught that littering is wrong, and that's a crying shame, but to do it in such blatant fashion isn't just wrong - it's criminal.

As a small child, I littered once - and only once. As we were driving down this same stretch of country road, I pitched a bubble gum wrapper from the window without even a thought. I'd seen trash laying about and just figured this was common practice. However, unannounced to me, my father was watching with keen eye. He abruptly stopped the truck and almost had an out-of-body experience right in front of me. Never before had I seen my old man so angry. He was a man full of rage, and on that moment of that day, it was all focused on me.

After what seemed to be an eternity of screaming and profanity, a verbal tapestry that has not been weaved since, he reversed the truck and made me get out and pick up the wrapper that I dearly wish I would have just held on to.

From this experience as a young boy I learned that littering wasn't just wrong, but highly dangerous. I think that many other Appalachian families must have missed out on this type of "tough love". Although it was a scary experience at the time, I'm so happy my dad had the courage and strength (and profanity) to be a good parent and to teach a valuable lesson.

Decaying Appalachia

Clinton Hudson House Foundation
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Just around the road from my father's house sits the remains of several homes, all rotting into the West Virginia landscape. This particular house belonged to Clinton Hudson. Dad tells me that sixty plus years ago, the area where our family has been for generations was home to several other families as well.

Sometime during the early 1950's just about everyone took a buyout from a large land developer to build Berry Hills Country Club, one of the most upscale country clubs in WV. Yes, I realize that terms like 'upscale' and 'West Virginia' don't necessarily go together, but rich fuckers have to go somewhere. So, humor me for a minute and follow along.

Seems that my grandfather was one of the only people in the area that decided not sell. From what my Dad has told me of him, he was a pretty stubborn fella, which proves that my stubbornness is definitely genetic. If he had sold out like the remainder of the local yocals for the promise of quick cash, I'm sure the Means family home would look very similar to this one, or it would be a nice fairway frequented by rich BMW driving bastards in plaid pants.

Special Note: If my above mentioned 'rich fucker' or "BMW bastard" comments has offended you in any way... my apologies. However, please understand that I've endured years of systematic abuse and improper treatment by those who are financially more well to do than yours truly, and it's has made me a bit of a prick.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Scrubba-Dub-Dub... a Norton Head in the Tub

Norton Commando 850 Head
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

At ScooterBobs, parts are not only functional, but they're clean as well. This Norton 850 Commando head had just finished a long days worth of machine work to return it to its original glory. A good bath such as this floats lots of loose particles out of all the nooks and crannies, and further de-greases it as well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First Nipply Ride of 2008

Ural on the 1st Snowy Morning of 2008
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

The ride in this morning was a little nippy, but a good ride none the less. Three drops of frozen water hits the road and mass chaos follows, with drivers in H3's and the like spinning their wheels and slamming into one another.

It gives me no greater pleasure than to pass some ass-clown in an SUV when it snows, all the while getting 50 miles per gallon.

These are the days of the year that I live for riding a sidecar bike.