Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Any Sunday...

Well, it’s Sunday. Big Doin’s for NFL fans today and for masochists from all over the US, if not the world, who will tune into the NFC game just to watch people suffer. In a good way, of course. Hell, I might even watch. I watch the playoffs in nearly every other sport, but rarely pro-football. That might change today. There’s sure to be lotsa crowd shots of people in Green Bay whose sensibilities and/or sanity I question. Am I being redundant by sayin’ that? I mean…you have to be jes a lil bit “off” to live in that part of the world, dontcha?

Before I move on to (arguably) “bigger and better” things…there’s this… Best comment on a blog I read yesterday:
· Comment by happyfeet on 1/19 @ 7:06 pm #
Is that different from muesli? I like muesli. Kashi is kind of like muesli plus you get interracial lesbians. Yay!

Yes, it really is a comment. There’s a link hiding up there.
So, it’s Sunday. And once upon a time, in another world, another time, another season, and another life, I would be doing this:

The pic is of YrHmblScrb and several dedicated competitors on the starting line somewhere in the wilds of Hokkaido, sometime in the summer of 1969 or perhaps 1970. The time period is before motocross caught on as a Big Time Sport in the US, and is exactly the point in time when the Nipponese fielded their very first purpose-built MX bikes. Up until about 1971 (or so) if you wanted a competitive MXer you didn’t buy a Yamaha, a Honda, or a Suzuki…you bought a CZ, a Maico, a Husky, or maybe a Bultaco. European, in other words. Or…you could do as most of us did (at least those of us who raced in Japan), you bought a stock dual-purpose bike, tore it down, and rebuilt it with factory “race kits” and after-market items. Like my friends and I did with Yamaha’s immortal DT-1, an example of which I’m sitting astride in this starting line shot.

Motocross in Japan was interesting, to say the very least. Especially in Hokkaido, where the races were generally held on ski slopes, which made for fine MX tracks… what with the changes in elevation, off-camber corners, and relatively wide open straights. That was just the physical aspect of the racing… there were also cultural differences which made for some “interesting” times, not to mention great good learning experiences. And lots of drunken evenings with the local club(s) after practice on Saturday. First and foremost, though: the Nipponese were fierce competitors, and they were competitors with a great sense of honor. There was very little, if any, “dirty” racing; we were all in it for the fun of it. The “fun of it” is pretty much the way amateur racing is anyway, no matter where you go. 
Lotsa fun. And lots of memories, too many of which have faded away, unfortunately. One memory that sticks in my mind, though, is of the evening my friends and I were at the public bath in some small Japanese town after either a hard day of racing or a hard day of practice before the race. Japanese public baths are segregated by gender, with the larger baths having separate facilities for men and women. The smaller baths, however, usually only had a partition (think: movable wall) that separated the men’s and women’s areas in the large soaking bath. And that partition was less than effective. If one really wanted to look into “the other side” from your side… well, it wasn’t hard to do. 

So… there we were… several of us Yankee GI bike racers, soaking in the bath, and there she was… on the other side of the partition, doing the same thing, yet coyly coming into our view every so often. And she was pretty well-built for a Japanese woman, who are generally not known for being… um… well endowed. One could NOT help but notice, and we were certain she was noticing us, as well. But nothing was revealed, really… until one of us, and I really, truly, do not remember who… stood up and gave the lady a lil show of sorts. And she reciprocated, knocking us back on our collective asses, figuratively speaking. It wasn’t blatantly erotic or meant as a come-on, or anything else in that space…just an unobstructed 360-degree view of the “goods,” so to speak, and such very fine goods they were, too. And just as quickly as it began, it was over. She exited the bath with her towel wrapped around her and a big smile on her face. Made our day, she did.  (I’ve told this story elsewhere on the blog, but damned if I can find it…and I looked, too.)

So, anyway. I continued my racing career for a brief time after returning to the US (to Boron Air Force Station, a great assignment for a dirt biker!) and here’s a shot of YrHmblScrb after a Hare and Hounds somewhere in the great Mojave desert. The pic was snapped immediately after I pulled into the pits, and I’m exhausted…which is fairly plain to see. 
My racing days came to an end when I (a) got assigned to Turkey for a year and (b) got old and slow. MX is essentially a young man’s game, although there are classes for “Over 40” and “Seniors” and the like. But that ain’t me. It was a LOT of fun at the time…but times change.
By the way…that woman with the captivating smile behind me in the mud picture? That’s The First Mrs. Pennington. Lovely, isn’t she?


  1. You look pretty self-satisfied in that "mud picture" Buck. And you aren't getting old and slow...just wiser and smarter.

  2. IIRC, Kris, I'd just taken second place in this particular highest finish, ever. I wasn't very good at MX, what with most of my finishes being mid-pack, but I had a LOT of fun...and that was the point.

    Thanks for the optimistic take on aging, LOL!

  3. There was that movie "On any Sunday" a couple, three decades back. Inspiring it was.

    Wife is an insane Cheesehead. But she and her parents moved to New Mexico, so there's that.

    In a sick twist, I worry that the Packers might have stood a better chance in Dallas today, in light of Green Bay's performance at Chicago a few weeks back in subzero windy weather.

    Well, we'll know in about 3.5 hours.

    In hockey news, my oldest friend is an insane Avalanche fan (to the point of tattoos). He is schooling me in the ways of ice-- ice on purpose that is.

    Oh. Pregame on Fox just started. Another log on the fire is in order.

    Kris in New England-- look for a rematch of SuperBowl XXXI. Half the equation is in place.

  4. Well, duh. You headlined this "On any Sunday."

  5. I was wondering if anyone would pick up on the post title's reference! Good on ya, Bob. I don't own any movies, but if I were to own a movie, any movie, On Any Sunday would be the one.

    I wish Dallas would have won last week, as well. That would have meant dinner with you and your better half...or drinks at the very least. But, some other time, eh?

    I'm on we speak, and DANG! does it EVER look cold! What's his face (the guy in the glasses... names in the pro game escape me, as do the names of the commentators) has on MY HAT! (without the Rooshian insignia, tho)

    Are you in the initial stages of hockey fever? I'm a rabid fan, as you know, but not SO rabid as to be tattooed, LOL!

  6. When my friend visits (most recently New Years Eve), and there's an Avs game on Altitude, we'll watch it and he'll fill me in on funky rules and stuff. For instance, you as an insane Redwings fan know that there are three halves or three quarters in a game, depending on how you look at it. And, like, that makes as much sense as the metric system makes to James Taranto.

    Yes, I wish on one hand to have made the trip to DFW, via P-ville to meet a fellow RVer/biker and many other things we have in common, but on the other hand, Packers are at home and we're not dropping mucho bucks in gas and 'refreshments', though they would have been worth it.

    Well, here we go. Picture the game that will decide who gets to play in the Stanley Cup series or whatever it's called.

  7. Buck, Great stories! My best day last fall was probably the squadron ride on Columbus day. Sold my '76 KZ-900 years ago, so I rented a Harley. I've pretty much decided that on retirement, I'm going to decide my next career by signing with the first company that offers me a Harley as a signing bonus. ;-) Hope you enjoyed the games. Doc.

  8. Motorcycle pictures are so macho - they do look fun! TFMP is lovely, but then we knew she had to be, because we have seen her sons and grand-daughters.

  9. Reese sez: Well, here we go.

    Well, that sucked, eh? Speaking strictly about the outcome, of course. Otherwise...a pretty good game. I've definitely seen worse, and probably will see worse two weeks from yesterday. I'm thinking B-L-O-W-O-U-T. But maybe not.

    Doc sez: ...I'm going to decide my next career by signing with the first company that offers me a Harley as a signing bonus.

    That might could be enough to lure me back into the working world! Assuming a Buell still qualifies as a Harley...

    Lou: Thanks for the kind words. I'm decidedly short of TFMP pics, but I'll post one today that's much better than this one.

  10. So, did you see the three young ladies in bikinis in Green Bay? There ain't no way this Southern Girl would do something like that!

  11. Becky sez: So, did you see the three young ladies in bikinis in Green Bay?

    I did. It was but a flash, time-wise, but long enough for me to think "Now that's pretty danged DUMB!" One assumes they had some sort of heat source nearby. I'm sure there were more than a few guys around who'd... ummm... volunteer to help keep 'em warm.

  12. Yes, other than the three girls in cheese bikinis (cheesinis?) the outcome sucked as far as our household is concerned.

    Yes, I'd say blowout in two weeks. But as we learned yesterday, they have to play the game. Packers were quite favored, but the Giants are on a hot streak, too, just like the Patsies. Well maybe not JUST like the Patsies.

  13. Pat's fan here, so I was pleased by the outcomes. Not that I love New York, by any stretch of the imagination, but if Green Bay had won, then I would have been somewhat torn about my Patsie's ruining Brett Favre's chances. With him gone, I'm free to root for a complete blowout.

    Also, I was going to inquitre about whether or not you had seen the three young ladies, but I was beaten to it. I must say, I was somewhat surprised not to see visible high-beams in such weather, but perhaps they were wearing padded tops...

  14. 250 Kaw was my off road bike....did a few races with it, never finished high, but I remember one grand November...the gears froze up, I ran over one guy, fell in the mud, and landed on his damn exhaust...nice little 3rd degree burn on the hip...still have the darker color skin to prove it.


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