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The Calvin Bedell Story

October 20, 2009

2sbcal1

The other day, I made a bunch of excuses why 2strokebuzz has been pretty bereft of life lately, but this one tops them all:
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2sb not dead

October 12, 2009

No, we haven’t posted in a couple weeks, sorry. There’s been some big news, too, and we’ll catch up soon.

In the past month or so:
Slaughterhouse
House guests every weekend since before Slaughterhouse
Old friends/tenants bought a house and moved out
We painted and recarpeted our apartment
New friends/tenants moved in
Milena started kindergarten
Work (the job that pays me) has been nuts
Hockey season started
Playstation Fifa10 demo was released

So with all that, and a baby due in a couple weeks, it’s not been good news for 2strokebuzz, but it’s been a fun/busy/productive couple weeks in other ways. I’ve been helping with homework, getting involved in the PTA, sanding, painting, lifting boxes, and I still squeezed in a little time to ride the SYM 150cc “Classic” (Wolf) at Slaughterhouse and my virtual Fire lost to Chelsea, Barça, Bayern Munich, and Juventus a few times. So it’s all good, we’re glad you’re still paying attention, and any day now, Brooke will post something to shame me back into business, both here and at Scootmoto, where we’ve got several new products we haven’t even listed yet. And I’ve done a little groundwork on a new mostly-non-scooter related but hopefully-great web project. Thanks for your patience and support! We’ll be back.

Slaughterhouse XV

September 1, 2009

sh15poster
Slaughterhouse XV is this weekend in Chicago, a fact so obvious to me that I didn’t bother posting it until now, which is sort of irresponsible of me, sorry. Who’d have known back when we joked about never making it to “Slaughterhouse 5″ that the rally would endure and grow for 15 years. It’s changed hands a few times, but it’s always fantastic, and there’s always something for everyone. This year shuffles up the usual schedule a bit with Roller Derby on Saturday night and a bigger-than-ever party on Thursday, and still features a few great rides, one of the best gymkhanas around, and more. If you’re into the whole social networking thing, there’s a ning site.
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Spree to the beach

August 12, 2009

Artist Jay Nelson rigged up a custom Honda Spree with a surfboard-bearing roof, a retractable awning, and a wooden storage bin. (An early sketch shows he originally intended it to be a Vespa.)

Funny how stuff like this spreads around… The scooter was exhibited last Fall at Nelson’s “The Autonomous Zone” exhibit at TripleBase gallery in San Francisco. Apparently a current exhibition of Nelson’s work at Gottino, a restaurant in NYC, brought the scooter to the attention of a Portugese-language green design blog, and the image ended up on Notcot, where it was spotted at random by John Park at Makezine. In this case, 2SB reader Sharon spotted it there and sent it our way (Thanks, Sharon! This rant has nothing to do with you), but I’ll probably see the Makezine story later tonight when I’m scanning Google News Alerts, and it’ll be on every scooter blog and newsgroup in America by tomorrow, credited to Makezine. I just point this out because it’s interesting how blogs come across stories then other blogs link to the blog they saw it on rather than the original blog, and what could have been a big bonanza in hits for the person that originated the story ends up bogging down their server with anonymous hot-linked image hits. It’s the internet, whattaya gonna do, but I thought it’d be fun to track down the reason that a year-old art exhibition was suddenly getting a spike in attention. It’d be fun to do a website that pulls stories off Boing Boing and Metafilter and Slashdot and Digg and tracks them back to their original genesis, which is usually by someone that put a lot of effort into the story, and was forgotten in the process of re-writing, simplifying, linking, and forwarding.

Not that I don’t do the same thing, all day every day (though I generally don’t help myself to photos when I don’t know where they came from). I’ve been sort of reluctant to post this sort of sixth-hand story lately, but I guess that’s what what bloggers are supposed to do. Hopefully my occasional hard work on original content makes up for it. Sorry about the weird tangent there, but these things interest me.

Back from Sturgis…

August 5, 2009

sturgis
Yep, we were gone for a week or so, checking out the scooter scene in Sturgis, Michigan. (I posted a similar photo on my Facebook page and apparently my friends actually think I’d waste valuable vacation time at a Harley rally.)

In any case, we’re back and there’s some some good stuff on deck, including a Vespa Vednesday Video and some good news from Genuine.

State of the Buzz

June 23, 2009

Hi all, As you might have figured out, I was out of town for two weeks and it’s been slow around here. We’ve got a lot coming up soon though:

  • NEXX X30 helmet review
  • I’ve actually been riding the Andretti! I might even write a review eventually!
  • Prima Pullman jacket giveaway!
  • Signed Chuck Mead CD giveaways!
  • New products at Scootmoto!
  • Scooter news! Lance vs. SYM, Schwinn’s new distributor, MRP and CPI, SYM accessories, a “Venti” update, and more!
  • Vacation pictures!

Melody Maker’s Mod revival revival revival.

March 3, 2009

melodymakermodAh, 1994. Back then I was going out to see bands three nights a week and spending $50 at the record store every night. I didn’t have a scooter yet, but I noticed the mod revival revival revival going on in Engerland and that (among other things) probably had some effect on my scanning the classifieds for old Vespas a year later. As a musicophile and anglophile since high school, I’ve certainly read my fair share of NMEs and Melody Makers, so when I came across Archived Music Press, it was heaven. Read more

Dealer Expo 2009, Part 2.5: Sorry, Chuck D.

March 2, 2009

Lots more to cover, but here’s a little ditty while you’re waiting:

I got so much scooter on my mind
Newcastle Sign
“Michelle Rodriguez” on my ticket
Hear Phil Waters get wicked
My crew is few, we hype the Black Jack
Attack then we drank
and yacked, Then slapped the iMac
Now Im ready to post it
(you know I made up most of it)
Hear my favoritism roll, oh
OMG, is that Mattheu Solo?
TGB Lasers, scooters like Razors
Hallways to blaze, with brain and foot pain
The way Im livin, forgiven
What Im givin up
Ron on the Nikon, shoot this now
Where’s the party at later?
As for now I’m grillin at the Chinese pavillion
Man Ive had it up to here
CF Moto logos appear
Kymco’s a no-show,
saw P-town just a bit ago
never-ending show,
Adjust the white balance.
Work to keep from gettin jerked
Changin’ some ways
To way back in the 2-stroke days
Chinese hockey mask molds,
never mind the highway codes
Still thousands sold.
Never question what I am, Who knows?
Cause I’m comin from the bar
What I got better get some
(soft pretzels) master of scooter culture
hard-ridden
Been splashed in the face
But the helmet keeps fittin’
Eating nothing healthy, ranting with Chelsea
Seth and Dave and everyone elsee
Check the spec sheets
ripped a hole in my jeans knees
rolling on the ground, looking for a VIN please
Walked the halls, took the falls
Broke the laws
my Sambas are fallin
more or less square
Getting up there in years
Still. I growl at the plastic cowls
Thanking Christ Indiana’s not my home
So welcome to the Hooiserdome.

Become A Fan of 2SB, If You’re In To That Kind of Thing.

December 31, 2008

This 2strokebuzz.com contributing author was highly resistant to social networking sites. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine how Facebook could degenerate into the next myspace with horrible backgrounds and unavoidable embedded music. But a networking site that allowed 2SB to have it’s own fan site can’t be all that bad. If you are a fan of the ‘blog’ and are on Facebook, show your affection and Bryan will probably be touched, or possibly disgusted (Your guess is as good as mine.). If you’re not ‘on Facebook’, you’re not missing all that much except the possibility of finding that one girl from high school that you always wished you had asked out on a date.

2sb Christmas Address

December 25, 2008

Hi Gang. Long time, no post, and I’m sorry. I’ve got many, many posts and links bookmarked and they’re coming soon, but it’s been a crazy month (good and bad) and it got crazier (bad) the other night. A restaurant delivery van spun into our lane and destroyed our car and sent Vina and I to the hospital ’til the early hours of Christmas Eve. We’re both in a lot of pain, but we’re alive and not too seriously injured and we’re glad our daughter was already at her grandparents and wasn’t in the car with us. Thanks to our great friends Ken and Kim and Vina’s sister Jen, we made it to Indiana for Christmas, and it maybe wasn’t the Best Christmas Ever, but it was still a very special day and we got to spend it with our daughter and our family.

It’s seemed like a tough year for Vina and I, but an awful lot of people have it an awful lot worse. Scooter crashes and thefts, flooded basements, knee surgeries, and all the other dumb things that went wrong this year are hard to take, but we’re very happy to be loved, insured, and employed, and we’re going to be just fine. The future is looking bright, a lot of unbelievably great things happened this year, too, I co-directed a video for one of my favorite bands, against incredible odds we elected a president we really believe in, we watched our daughter grow bigger/smarter/more beautiful, we both lost some weight, and we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Even the bad news had silver linings, our basement is really clean now, my stolen Blur was replaced, PSF gave us the Andretti to test, Tracie’s knee is stronger and better than ever before, and we figure insurance will come through for us on the auto accident. As long as we’ve got each other and our great families and friends, we’re going to be just fine.

We’re going to take another week or so to recover, celebrate Milena’s fifth birthday, finish American Scooterist, find a car, spend some more time with friends and family, and get our act together, and we promise we’ll come back stronger than ever on January 5. Happy Christmas, everybody, and thanks, thanks, thanks, again.

Andretti test 1: 2sb crashes the Andretti

November 30, 2008

I’ve mentioned a few times that PowerSportsFactory has given us a Benelli/Andretti 150XT for a long-term test. I also bought a used Blur around the same time to replace the one stolen at the MotoGP race in Indianapolis, and thanks to a few minor snafus in both transactions, a busy schedule, and a little bad luck, I finally obtained plates and titles for both bikes yesterday. Yesterday it was 46°F and sunny, probably the last decent riding day we’ll see until Spring in Chicago, so it would have made sense to pick up the Andretti that’s been blocking a hallway inside my office for weeks now. But what fun is that? I decided to ride it home in the 34° sleet today instead.
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2sb news

November 2, 2008

We finally added a contact email address in the top right box, I’ve been meaning to do that for ages. If you’re getting email subscriptions, you might want to add that address to your whitelist, I just realized I’d been using my work address for email updates all this time, so I switched it. If you’re not getting email updates, sign up over there —>

Sorry about the lack of posts last week, I had an impromptu business trip, family in town, Halloween, and an overnight camping trip. Lots of stuff is coming soon, including a long-term in-depth field test of the Benelli/Andretti 150XT, reviews of my new Scorpion EXO-700 Neon helmet, ICON Pursuit gloves, and the long-promised Corazzo shop jacket review, plus a few books I’ve been meaning to review for a while.

5 stages of grief: Blur edition

October 1, 2008

As anyone who has lost a scooter can tell you, it’s not easy on your mental health. Luckily, I had comprehensive insurance (if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, get it, right now), and at least it was a replaceable modern bike that was stolen and not one of my treasured and irreplaceable vintage scooters. So, after 30 days pass (in case it turns up) I’ll be shopping for a new scooter. In the meantime, I’m following the five stages of grief, trying to decide what will fill the sad emptiness in my garage left by my beloved Genuine Blur 150.

  • Denial: The answer is obvious, I want another Blur. Another orange 2006 Blur. They’re long-gone from dealers, but I can find one somewhere. I loved that bike at first sight, it was just right for me, it had amazing brakes and handling, I like Genuine Scooter Company, and nothing but another Blur can replace it, at least nothing within my budget.
  • Anger: But that won’t be MY Blur. It’ll never be the same. And if I’m resigned to a used bike without a warranty, maybe I can find something better. Something even weirder and faster. Good morning Craigslist. What’s that? A 2-stroke Gilera Runner for 3 grand? With a title!? Dangit, that’ll sell WAY before I get my check. Let’s check eBay. A Peugeot Speedfight 100cc 2-stroke? With WRC graphics? for $1800? Damnit, mykrrr bought it.
  • Bargaining: I know Phil hates the Vespa S. And it’s got plastic chrome and I know PiaggioUSA is hopeless. But man, that’s a great-looking bike, I’ve been coveting one since the moment I saw it. And maybe I could even find an orange one! Sure, it’ll be at least $1500 more than I’ll get from the insurance company, and that doesn’t even include racing stripes. but Vespas have good resale value, right?
  • Depression: There’s no way I can spend an extra $1500. Especially since I need a new helmet, too. Everyone loves that Sym HD200. It’s ugly, but the price is right. I don’t deserve to be happy. I shouldn’t even buy another scooter, I have two other ones I neglect as it is. I should just spend the money paying off our equity loan or something.
  • Acceptance: I’m not there yet. We’ll see.

Top Five of the 90s

August 28, 2008

Thinking about my sad role as the only idiot to have attended all fourteen Slaughterhouse rallies, and having a little free time since I barely lifted a finger to help this year (Thanks Kathy!), i started thinking about how rallies have changed. I don’t want to get all misty-eyed or retro or elitist, and I definitely enjoy the current scene, scooters, and people just the way they are. I just thought it’d be fun to come up with a list of five things I miss from the early 90s, and five things I don’t.
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Slaughterhouse Thursday

August 27, 2008

Slaughterhouse is once again, almost upon us, and for the first time since Slaughterhouse 1, I had nothing to do with planning it. If you’re in the rally mood early (very early), come to Motoworks at 7am Thursday for a live gymkhana telecast on FOX News Chicago, who will be the first television news outlet to cover Slaughterhouse before it happens, which makes a lot more sense than running a story afterwards, when you think about it. Here’s some video of last year’s gymkhana for reference. Thursday night, the official Slaughterhouse party is Delilah’s 15th anniversary party* with DJ Chuck Wren of Jump Up! Records, or check out The Organization’s “Hard Mod” night at Holiday Club**.

* Oh, Crash Palace, how I still miss you, but Delilah’s has certainly grown on me, especially after Mike let me DJ once, back when he was desperate for customers, an unforgettable night when some wag asked me “Do you have anything good?” Sure, I brought a dude nearly to tears by playing the long version of Throwing Muses’ “Soul Soldier,” so you win some and you lose some. Anyway, congrats on 15 years Mike and Delilahs, and good luck with the new Bottom Lounge, which I haven’t checked out yet but it sounds like a great venue.

** Once at Holiday (well, at the old location, ten years ago, ha) a waitress snidely refused to take my friend’s ten dimes as a tip on a $1.50 glass of soda. Sure, he may have been short on paper currency at the moment, but a 66% tip is is a 66% tip. I liked the DJs (Kristine DJed my wedding!) and some of my friends were bartenders there, but that was lame and I kinda stopped going there after that.

UPDATE! Ryan will be shuttling people (on his BV200) between the two bars for the low price of one british pound sterling. Phil has offered a rival service priced at 15oz of any liquid. That name again is Mr. Plow.

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