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Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead.

November 26, 2003

My first music review for 75 or Less is up. 75 or Less is part of the mighty Slatch empire, if you miss “What Rocks Us” on 2sb, check out those two sites everyday, I stole most of my links from them anyway.

Thanks Again!

November 24, 2003

kenmore.jpgThanks to our friends, our baby will have clean underwear. We scoped out washers and dryers and finally got a great deal on a Kenmore front loader set from the Sears outlet store (though the first washer we picked up was broken, which was a drag). Check it out if you need appliances, we got the washer and dryer for the price of the washer alone. Grace helped me build a pedestal (a savings of $120) and Ryan picked it up in his van (a savings of $150, and Ken and Kim let us take the minivan to exchange the washer) so everything worked out great. Thanks again to everyone. I know I’ve been slow lately with the posts, things are kinda nuts, but we’ll be back to full strength soon.

M.O.D. vs Mods

November 22, 2003

Andrea sent this BBC report: The British Ministry of Defence (ironically, MoD) is attempting to copyright the Royal Air Force rondel, a.k.a. the “Mod Target.” The british mod fashion industry, including The Lambretta Clothing Company, who are unable to make a single item of clothing without a target, are challenging the MoDs action, claiming the logo is public domain. Funny stuff. Maybe Germany could copyright the swastika and put all all the white power assholes behind bars. Or Russia could shut down Tom Clancy by charging him to use the sickle and hammer.

Aprilia to India, Bajaj to Brazil

November 20, 2003

Lucash sends us two seemingly unrelated stories: Aprilia is partnering with Hero to build and sell scooters in India for Indian and export markets. Meanwhile, top Indian manufacturer Bajaj will produce bikes in Brazil for the South American market. Weird that they both announced their plans on the same day, it’s like there’s a huge game of RISK going on that we will never understand.

GT PR backfires on Today Show

November 18, 2003

A helpful reader sent us a transcript from this morning’s Today show:
(Matt Lauer and Katie Couric are standing among Vespas with PiaggioUSA CEO Constantino Sambuy)
Couric: Can you find these (points to a GS) on the market today? Because I favor these over the newer models.
Lauer: The marketing people are loving this right now. This is a certain look, KatieOe
Sambuy (looking slightly pale): Aie aie aie. You can find them but they are very expensive.
(they wander over to the GT, with Lauer saying something about “but for macho guys like me…”)

Vespa GT200

November 18, 2003

VESPAGT200.jpgVespa USA is having a launch party for the Granturismo 200
today in New York. The first US models will be available in February. This is probably the most exciting news since Vespa came back to the United States, the GT200 is a pretty cool-looking bike, a missing link between the Cosa and the ET4, and no one’s holding their breath for a DOT/EPA-legal GS-style 200.

NYC Scooterist

November 18, 2003

NYCscooterist.jpgJoe Grant of New York City Scooterist Magazine tells us the site is up and running and the first issue of the magazine will hit the streets (with the Granturismo?) in February.
Joe: “There won’t be any updating until we hit the streets with the mag in mid-february, so it’s more of a static thing right nowOeit will get a little more interesting when we have something more to talk about.” Best of luck, Joe, and let us know how the GT party goes! I never get invited to those things for some reason, heh.

Bombardier Embrio

November 14, 2003

From Forbes via Durso: (though Lucash pointed it out a while ago then we forgot about it) A Bombardier unimotorcycle concept that puts the ultra-cool Segway balance technology into something much less dorky. I’m sure this is what Michael Kamen had in mind all along, but he figured he’d let someone else deal with the regulatory issues.

Lambrettas crack down on bus lane misuse

November 13, 2003

(from Wanstead and Woodford Guardian)“Among the measures adopted are the appointment of four new parking attendants, mounted on brand new Lambretta scooters, to patrol the borough’s routes.” Is someone making brand-new Lambrettas without telling me?

Sri Lanka “three wheeler mafia”

November 13, 2003

Scooter taxi drivers in Colombo, Sri Lanka are throwing nails on the roads to disrupt bus service and force commuters to hire their services. Eleven cents for a bus ride? I’m moving to Colombo!

Chicago

November 13, 2003

Why is it that everything named after Chicago is dissapointing? First the band, then the musical, and now the motorcycle. I guess it’s kinda neat, but they obviously don’t know Chicago very well. A motorcycle named “Chicago” should look like a 70s Suzuki scrambler, spraypainted matte black, with rusty chrome and a seat made out of duct tape. Italians are probably equally upset that their Flying Tiger’s sister company TN’G calls their retro scooters “Milano” and “Venice.” Oh, well.

Thank You.

November 11, 2003

Tracie:
Several months ago, when we learned that the dryer set on low could melt the waistband in Bryan’s boxers, we knew we had a problem. Bryan took the dryer apart, cleaned everything, and announced to everyone in the Shakespeare Compound that the washer and dryer were on their last legs. He advised that we do not run the dryer when no one was home. He moved the fire extinguisher to a more prominent place in the basement.

We had begun to consider how we were going to come up with the cash to get something safer. I cried, picturing our baby sitting around in a crusty 2SB onesie. I was convinced something would work out, like perhaps, a year-end bonus. If not, I told Bryan I was fully prepared to sell Breaky, my 1973 Honda CB350F.

In October, I learned I was getting laid-off. Alas, there went the bonus. I knew Breaky was gone for sure.

On Saturday, when I opened the box from our “scooter trash” friends, I didn’t realize what was going on. Those in attendance can attest to my “Holy Shit!” reaction – I think there’s even photographic evidence. As Bryan said, we both started to cry. We certainly weren’t expecting something so awesome. Bryan stated more than once, “Our friends fucking rule.”

I wish we could have invited everyone to the shower. Just know that you “scooter trash” have a place to crash and wash your soiled underpants whenever you’re having construction done at your place, attending a rally, or just passing through Chicago.

We can’t thank you enough.

Bryan:
We are the luckiest scooter dorks in the world to have friends like you.

I still CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE you all chipped in to buy us a washer and dryer
for the baby shower. When we opened the treasure chest full of cash, we both
cried, then we cried even more, later, in the car on the way to dinner. I’m
about to cry now.

That was WAY above the call of duty, I’m still just totally dazed.

Over the past seven months or so, I’ve read the news every day and sometimes doubted that bringing a child into this world was a good idea, but your act of kindness proves that whatever happens, good people will rise above, and
our baby will always be safe.

I love you all. Real, big love. I don’t even have any idea how to thank you.
OK, now I’m crying again.

PS: Here’s the card Grace made and gave to us with the treasure chest. Special thanks to Grace for organizing it and keeping everyone quiet, and thanks of course to all of you that gave us other gifts, but this one deserves a big public thank you.

Chicago Toys for Tots

November 11, 2003

Don’t forget that the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade is Sunday, December 7th. Groups leave in waves from 83rd and Western starting at 9:30 am, and the ride ends at the Marine Center at Foster and Troy. Scooterists usually meet somewhere before riding to the start, we’ll post a meeting place soon.

Cold Weather Challenge II

November 10, 2003

Ryetronics is once again sponsoring the Cold Weather Challenge, a winterlong contest with rules only Ryan understands. He’s organizing the kick-off ride on Sunday, November 30, leaving at noon from Cozy Corners at California and Milwaukee Ave. The ride will end at “the asian soup place.” Ryan is much more detail-oriented in his electronics work than he is when planning a ride. Keep an eye on ryetronics.com for contest info and updates.

Monarch proprietor convicted of fraud

November 4, 2003

Gabriel Sanchez, proprietor of Monarch Scooters in San Francisco, was convicted in Los Angeles yesterday for 33 counts of mail fraud and 10 counts of money laundering related to phony charities and churches. Note: trying to sell a Vespa SS90 with a $14,000 reserve on Ebay is perfectly legal.

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