The chilly-cold morning gave way to a sun-drenched afternoon up above the inversion layer that blankets The Valley, and despite smashing my finger in the truck door-edge and bending-back a nail while loading some junk at Costco (Gas: $2.29 regular), I felt like going for a ride.
But first, lunch at Papa Gianni’s – the Ravioli for me, and a Salad (dressing on the side) for Her.
I needed 150 rounds of bird-shot (#7-#9) for the SHOTGUN 1, HOME DEFENSE class, and I only had/have a few old boxes of Remington 7-1/2 “Sport Loads” – which I think fits in there between those numbers. Remember folks, I’m not a numbers-guy, to me they’re just weird squiggly neo-letter shapes than can’t be used in Poetry except by ee cummings.
I had acquired a “case” (?) somewhere along the way (at Wal-Mart), at a time when I had really no inkling whatsoever of Shotgunnery. I bought them because I yearned to try-out Grandpa’s old Belgian A5 “Light Twelve” humpback, but being surrounded by rifle-loonies I had no recourse to easy instruction in The Art of The Guage.
Now I do, and I had to pay for it – but I also needed 50-more bird-shot shells. And some slugs. So time to gear-up for a ride up to Hangtown Wal-Mart where I bought what they had, some Winchester Super-Target xtra-lite target loads 1 oz. 9-shot, blah-blah whatever.
So…The Math for Shotgunnery is totally weird to me, worse than rifle calibers and land-vs.-bore dimensions – which I do “get” – and waaay-worse than anything having to do with electricity… Now I have some old 1200fps “3-Dram Eq. 1-1/8 oz. shot 7-1/2-shot” shotgun shells, and also some “1180fps velocity 1 oz. 9-shot” shotgun shells.
Wait a second as I Googl-Fu my way to a smart-math answer: 1oz. = 16 drams. WTF? So how in the HELL does that work again? Shotgun drams are a sneaky volumetric measurement based on shot-size? Ok, whatever. My shoulder will answer to it.
The afternoon Wal-Mart parking-lot was hot and I was perspiring in the black non-breathing Gore-tex multi-weather gear with shoulder and elbow armor, so I unzipped the collar a bit for the ride home. Still chilly in the corner shadows, dark patches made me alert for moisture and the smell of a burn pile in the front-yard mixed with the acidic aroma of horse manure reminded me this is Life in the Country! Whoa, swerve around the dead skunk!
I took El Dorado Road out off Pleasant Valley Road and hopped onto the freeway. The big R1100R easily accelerated into the light stream of traffic coming down The Hill (from Tahoe) and does 80mph just fine. It’s not too buzzy but the flat-twin is just a weird beast that needs a few more cylinders to be smoother I guess, but a triple is a whole ‘nother motorcycle – why I remember listening to the symphony of Bozo’s Laverda Jota heading up to the Sierras to Monitor Pass one summer, and the amazing, booming howl it made when it came on the pipe up in the canyons… Good times.
UPDATE: The luxurious warmth lasted until the sun got behind a few trees and the damn COLD popped-up like a troll from under a bridge or an angry Progtard on Twitter.