Fresh eyes on the yarn


SO WHAT’S NEW this Sunday morn? Lemme think…

I met a self-imposed deadline for getting a script rewrite out to a handful of readers. A director had suggested three changes. They made for a fairly heavy lift, especially the one that turned the whole story on its head. But I have to say, I think it’s a better draft. It’s not so Hollywood anymore, requires less of a suspension of disbelief. You can’t place a value on what fresh eyes bring to an idea.


The bride gets home today, I think. I hope. She was in Maine for five days, here for two, then back up in Maine for two more. Her mom’s dealing with health issues. I miss the unpredictable conversation when she’s not here.

I own one pair of shoes that you can wear with a suit, and I wear a suit so infrequently I can never find the shoes. Here’s the most recent hunt:

Me: “Are my dress shoes up there?”

Her: “They weren’t in the closet but they were on my rack.”

On your rack? What? No, I would have noticed that. Even after 44 years I would have noticed that.


Forty-four years, that reminds me, a few days ago the doc sent me for the second up-periscope of my personal march of time. Will spare you that picture.

You’re supposed to submit to this indignity once every ten years, I got away with waiting 11, so I suppose I win… something. No grub for a day and a half, drink the bottles of godawful lemon water from the pharmacy, they wheel me into the chamber of grievous humiliation and the doc says, “Have you had any surgeries?” I say Yeah, three. But it turns out he means gut surgeries, so I say, no, no, my right leg, a motorcycle get-off, blah blah. He says, Oh, I don’t care about that, unless your foot went up your rear end. I said well who knows, maybe it did. When you dismount a moving motorcycle on an unplanned basis you do flop around like a rag doll until you roll to a stop.


Mike Manley is still killing it on the Phantom dailies. Last week he started working on a new script I filed with King Features Syndicate. Meanwhile, our previous story is wrapping up.

This overgrown Richie Rich annoyed the Phantom one too many times, so the Phantom and the Bandar pygmies drag him out for a jungle trek. That oughta soften him up…

They leave him tied up in the Whispering Grove for a while, a place Lee Falk created. The wind through the hollow trees makes that “eerie sound” Lee spoke of.


The little girl continues to delight and amaze. She’s sneaking up on 26 months old.

Here she is crying about something then laughing about something. Busy being a kid.

Lately she’s not so much into Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly and the Big Band era. Her latest thing is The Four Tops. We do the dance they do when we play their video. She says, Four Tops dance, Tone! Four Tops dance! Point with this hand, point with that hand, clap twice, make an X in the air, even I can do it. She especially digs the Tops’ moves during the sax solo at 1 minute 33 seconds.

The great Levi Stubbs, Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton, all gone now. Duke Fakir, the dude in the glasses, he’s the only Top left.

The One Top, that’s a terrible name for a group.


So anyway, with writing chores and the Four Tops dance behind me, I’ve been sneaking outdoors to work on mechanical chores. I put new LED lights on the iron piggy this week.

I had been meaning to put more light on the road for quite a while, but was inspired by the news from New Brunswick, Canada, where biker bud Tony Cody hit a deer at speed. And that was in daylight. Of course the hazard is multiplied many times over after dark. He totaled his motorcycle on impact and rode it to a controlled stop, never dropped it. That’s called keeping one’s cool and not doing anything dumb.

Will spare you that photo, too. It’s a study in gore.


These are the stock lights I decommissioned, factory equipment from 2004.  They don’t light the road much at night, you just pay attention and do your best.


I put new fuel lines on the 650 piglet this week. Next I’ll dump in some gas and see how I did on rebuilding the carburetor. There’s still an outside chance I’ll get to South America on the piglet one of these winters soon.

I installed an in-line paper filter to keep the carb from getting gunked up again so fast. There are more compact filters out there but I imagine they plug up quicker, too.

Note the brass tee that brings fuel over from the right lobe of the tank.


Here’s the petcock that drains the right lobe. The fuel makes a 90-degree turn at the brass elbow and crosses over to the tee on the left side. There’s a slight upward arc on this gravity-fed line where it crosses over between the engine head and the carb; but the top of the arc isn’t any higher than the bottom of the tank, it should flow uphill even when there’s not much gas left.

I’ll have some of the guys on take a look at these pics and see what they think. That’s where I get all my DR650 pointers. I’m a Harley guy, what do I know?


So the fuel from the right side crosses over, joins the fuel from the left side at the tee, then it all goes through the filter and dumps into the carb.

There’s one more gravity-defying loop there on the right, as you can see.


The carb is set up for the stock tank, not this bigger, deeper Acerbis tank I’ve got. The factory fuel inlet, that elbow pointing up, probably should have come out while I had the carb apart for a rebuild. I could have threaded the carb to accept a straight fitting instead of this pressed-in elbow. That would help to keep gravity working for me to the very dregs. Burning the last bit of gas could come in handy way out in the middle of nowhere.

I suspect it’ll work well enough as-is. If not, I’ll take it apart again and do something else.

Tony DePaul, February 26, 2017, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA


About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 63, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
This entry was posted in Wrenching on the bikes. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fresh eyes on the yarn

  1. Tony says:

    D’oh… just noticed that I misspelled Tony’s last name. It’s Coady.

  2. Tom Brown says:

    Hey Tone…..Didn’t realize until now that the Four Tops impersonated the lame way that white boys dressed and danced in the early 60s….Or was this a Safe-for-Ed-Sullivan rendition? If your readers want to see them in classier duds, they can try this YouTube throwback to a duel with the Temps….

  3. Bill says:

    My problem isn’t shoes. It’s finding a suit that fits. They’re all too big. Who knew that pushing paper across a desk for 33 years puts on weight.

  4. John Lassiter says:

    Have you had a chance to see how the LED’s work? Good stuff, take care bud.

    • Tony says:

      Not yet, John. I should probably clamp the GoPro on the handlebars and make a quick night-riding video on a country road.

      The 7-inch light is the Evolution 2 made by JW Speaker in Wisconsin. They manufacture the Harley light, the Daymaker. Evolution 2 is the same light minus the logo, I’m told.

      I remember riding the Turnpike in western Pennsylvania one night, can’t remember where I was coming from, but I was aiming to put Pennsylvania behind me in the dark. Can’t see much with those dim stock lights, just enough to know that the highway’s covered in deer spatter, it looks as if whole herds are being wiped out mile after mile. I wondered, how are there any deer left to hit!?

      And I thought, no, this is just dumb, this is asking for it. I pulled off at a fuel stop, found an open air building where they have a farmer’s market on weekends, slept on the floor there until daylight.

      Hopefully I can get more night miles in on these new lamps. Will let you know how they work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *