Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Snooze You Lose and More

OK call me crazy but i thought cartoon cars were based on real cars and not the other way around. It's kindda scary when an auto maker let their designers take a cartoon car and put it out there for all to own. Now be honest and tell me you don't see the resemblance.

This is the one and only Lightning McQueen. From the movie "Cars".

And this is Mazda's Speed3

What is this world coming to. Anyway, it is a cute little car. I do like Mazda cars but still wouldn't buy one. For me Mustangs are still the way to go. And here's a couple samples as to why. Too bad we had to miss this year's Fabulous Fords Forever at Knott's Berry Farm this last Sunday. I am sure I would have seen plenty of awesome cars there. But as I said before, due to the influx of grand kids just born and on the way we had to skip it.

Eat your heart out Chevy owners.

Well, my Mustang will soon receive some TLC. I already bought the back window which had been missing for the past three years. I will get that transmission oil leak fixed and I'm planning on changing the color and adding chrome wheels among other enhancements. Since I don't owe money on it and it's been such a loyal car, it deserves to be refurbished. It will still be a lot cheaper than if I was to go and buy me a new car.

But for now it patiently waits its turn.

So, I got permission from my sister to ditch choir practice tonight so I could go to Bike Night over at Westgate. It had been windy all day long and I was dead tired when I got home. I laid my head on my pillow and before I knew it I was totally asleep. The saying goes "If you snooze you lose" well I did. All of a sudden I opened my eyes and it was like oh crap what time is it. Luckily it was just barely past seven so I took out the Harley and braved the cold wind and headed towards Westgate. The attendance was way down, I knew this as many riders chicken out if it's a little cold, still there must have been over 300 bikes, which in my book is nothing to sneeze about.

I got there, found me a good spot, secured my bike, and started walking around checking out the other rides. Here are some of my favorites tonight.

This is one crazy ride. But I really, really like it.

This one sits so low it's awesome. Lots of chrome to be found in it too.

This one reminded me so much of my Kawazaki from back in the day when I was a teenager.

But this one is still my favorite. Oh yeah, I do like this one.


Grand Kids, Oh What a Feeling!

Not really much to tell so what I will do is show you some images of the past weeks. Of course you all know about Atalie, well this little bundle of joy just warms my heart, she is so tiny and cute it is unbelievable. How is it that someone so tiny can give so much joy and happiness. Evey time I see her, she reminds me of her mama when she was little but apparently people see Sylvia in her as well. My father in law and my mom did.

I love this image. Isn't she lovely? Notice how my "duck" got himself into the picture.

Grandpa and Atali bonding. I normally carry her for a couple of minutes and she seems to like me.

Of course the older grand kids wanted some of the action too.

Yesterday as I came in she was being changed and she was crying her little heart out. I started talking to her and then I put my hand on her chest and she instantly quiet down. I asked Michelle to catch this image because I thought it was funny how my hand (and I have small hands)covered her entire upper body. She just looked at me like saying, "Hi grandpa".

And so, in celebration of all my grand kids and specially my newest one Atali Belle please have a slice of the wonderful cake that Crista baked for me.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Kika's Maiden Harley Ride

So I get a text from my favorite sister in law and she is inviting me on a "Taco Run". Now, call me silly but I can't say no to that. Everybody and their nanas know by now the bond between Joe Cool and tacos, it's like we were made for each other. That in itself is a great thing already but then she is feeling daring and asked me to take the Harley. I see a photo shoot in the making now.

No amigos, this time around I did not wear a tank top only but a white long sleeve shirt. What's the point in messing up if you won't learn from your mistakes, right? I will start working on some sort of a tan, that is if my white/pale skin cooperates but from here on I will protect my skin.

See, I told you. Long sleeves.

So my morning trip begins at home in Avondale. First order of business was to gas it up and get those tanks full. I didn't want Kika having to push me down the highway, although it sounds like it could have been great exercise. lol It was 50 miles from my house to the taco place which is in the small town of Buckeye, Arizona. Again, those tacos are really good and totally worth the trip. For those of you that asked the last time, the taco place is located just north of Monroe on 4th street.

The sign says it all. If you want tacos while in Buckeye, now you know where to get them.

The weather couldn't have been better. Sunny but not hot, and the wind had a certain crisp to it but was not uncomfortable at all. I got to my sister in law's and she was ready for the adventure. I do remember giving her a ride around the block some seven years ago but today would definitely be her maiden ride. All I told her was "You are going to love it, don't fight the lean, and just plain enjoy the ride". And that's exactly what she did. I couldn't tell this was her first real ride, she handled herself like a pro and even went shutter crazy taking pictures while on the road. I have a feeling "mi chica" had her hand in this.

I don't think she was too preocupied as she kept taking self portraits. lol

My sister in law told me, "You couldn't see my face but I had a huge smile". I know exactly what she meant, cause when I ride I too have a huge smile. Well Kika and I go way back, back in the day when I was a mini trucker and went cruising with the club Kika was always with me as "mi chica" would have none of that. So it's like going full circle and as we reminisce she recalls how she was the our little flower girl in our wedding.

Ah, there's the smile.

Coming back she pointed a big statue of a man in the distance. I deviated and went to where it was. Wow, it was huge and cool looking and so we snapped away catching one image after the other. All of a sudden I notice that it was named "Hobo Joe". Ummm, how cool was that? Joe Cool meets Hobo Joe.

Posing with Hobo Joe.

So, a small 50 mile ride with great weather, good scenery, delicious tacos, and awesome company. What else can I ask for.

*Note to Kika*
It was an honor and it was a blast. I thank you for trusting me and not being afraid, because if you were you sure as heck fooled me. If you ever want to ride again just holla. Oh and just so you know, Alex is ready for her maiden ride too. I told her I would take her all the way to Wickenburg for breakfast.

Me on my Fatboy.

Most of the images on this post provided by Kika.

It's my son's birthday so I am on my way to his house for hamburgers and hot dogs. Please come back later as I will post a bunch of pics from the ride.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cave Creek

Here are our bikes just waiting to keep riding.

Well, I left you with an image of me and my awesome sunburn. The ouch only lasted until Tuesday after that it wasn't that bad anymore, of course I took care of it with plenty of aloe vera gel and now like a snake I'm all pealing, but hey guess what? No more two tone arms. lol

So after we walked for about two hours or so over at CycleFest my friend decided we needed to go eat a good hamburger, not just a hamburger but it had to be a good hamburger and him and his other friend started debating where to find such a hamburger. Me being just an innocent bystander and being totally foreign to the Scottsdale and Cave Creek areas I left them decide.

Minutes later we are riding towards Cave Creek, yes I was now wearing a shirt but too late, the damaged was done already. We went to this small hamburger joint, the name escaped me almost right after we left, but yes the hamburger and onion rings were mighty tasty, add to that the fact that I was hungry, probably that help enhanced the flavor.

As soon as we finished we headed for The Hideaway, a popular biker bar in Cave Creek. The place was packed, it was full of vendors and people. Arizona Bike Week brings in a lot of money for certain businesses that are biker friendly. These guys were probably raking in the money.

My friends wanted to continue bar hopping but me and my painful back had had enough. So I told them that I was parting ways and thanked them for everything, as they didn't let me pay for anything not even once. We had a blast and I still had an hour ride back home so I happily hit the road and stretched my riding time by getting lost. I quickly recovered and before long I was riding the freeway heading home.

by the time I got home it was already a little bit past six o'clock. The fatigue from the ride and the sun didn't hit me until the following Tuesday. While at my mom's, one of the most relaxing places I know I laid in bed and didn't wake up until some 13 hours later.

This Saturday my sister in law and I may have a Taco Run Ride. Riding and food, what a great concept.

Sweet Ride!

Another awesome ride, too bad I'm too old for this style.

Hey this is after all Arizona. It's the wild, wild West.

Nice set of... headers?

Fun at the bar.

what a great crowd. Fun times!

I so want one of this.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Torch Ride

Just as I predicted by 6:30 a.m. I was wide awake. It never fails, if I'm riding my subconscious knows and the anticipation makes me wake up very early. One look out the window told me it was going to be a perfect day for riding. I got ready and by 7:00 a.m. I was hitting the road. First order of business was to make sure those tanks had enough gas to last me the whole day, then stop at the bank to get some money for those cool souvenirs that I may find at BikeFest. It wasn't cold at all, all I needed was a tank top and a long sleeve shirt, which if was a smart man would have kept on all day.

I got to Chester's Harley Davidson and already there was a sea of bikes staged and they just didn't seem to stop coming. I staged mine and went to the registration booth to get my packet, which included a magazine, a commemorative event pin, and the very important ticket to go into BikeFest. It also included that night's concert but after a whole day of riding and drinking (I didn't say getting drunk, don't panic) who wanted to go see George "Bad to the Bone" Thorogood play. Obviously thousands did but not me. lol

A sea of bikes is what this fairly big parking lot was. Last year 1900 bikes participated this, this year that mark was clearly passed.

I was amazed and surprised at how well the pre-registration went.

Went back to my bike to put my stuff away and right away I found a friend and coworker of mine. It turned out we were parked almost in the same lane and since I was riding solo I gladly joined him and his friend. It would be almost another hour till the kick stands went up so we caught up on current events while we sipped on some H2O.

Of course I had to check out his awesome ride and capture some images of it, I will share this one with you.

This ride is indeed Bad to the Bone.

When the ride started, the escorts tried taking the riders in groups of 500. Well we all know that wouldn't work so they turned us loose, I am sure there were lots of irate drivers on the road as all our lights were turned to green for us, that only means red for crossing traffic. I am sure the whole group from beginning to end took a long time to pass.

Bellow are some of the bikes I liked. Although truth be told I like them all.

"I'll bury those dirty cockroaches. What did they ever do for us?"

A John Deere trike.

No matter how you cut this. This is a sweet ride. The baby blue and white combo is awesome.

I guess metric bikes have some potential.

I would so like to own a bagger like this one. This one looks like made for Kermit the frog.

This Paul Yaffe original has been around for a while. I still say it looks hot. The style is timeless.

This bike when turned on will attract every body's attention and immediately will be surrounded by people taking pictures of it. Yep, guilty as charged, as I am one of those curious people. What is so special about this bike you may ask? Well you might as well think there's a plane landing as the engine on this bike is a jet turbine. It sounds like a plane and it's loud and you will cite insanity for any soul that dares ride it.

Jet turbine powered bike.

Just look at the size of that exhaust pipe.

Well, I will post a second part to this so I can publish a few more pics. I hope you all enjoyed this ride... I know I did but with reservations, as this is what happens when you think the wind will not burn you.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Torch Ride's Eve

So this Saturday I will take my first organized ride since I stopped riding some five years ago. Every time I am going to take a ride like that the anticipation starts mounting way before. Getting the bike ready is a ritual. It has to be washed and shined, then I have to decide what to wear depending on the weather. The ride for me starts very early as I have to ride from Avondale to Mesa, and I usually like to get there at least an hour before kick stands go up. That means jackets and sweaters are required, the problem is that the ride ends at Bike Fest and by the time we get there it will probably be hot.

The problem is BikeFest requires lots of walking, and who wants to be carrying leathers and sweaters for the next two or three hours. I have to figure something out before Saturday.

This is going to be the only escorted ride for Arizona Bike Week. The beauty of this is that we have police escorts that block all traffic so that the long line of bikes (around 2000 are expected) go through the streets. We never stop. Now the ride begins in Mesa and ends in Scottsdale, that is quite a few miles of pleasurable riding.

This particular ride will benefit Special Olympics Arizona! and I will be more than happy to participate. So, hopefully I will be able to capture some images of the event on Saturday. If I do I will be more than happy to share them with you.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some of the Joys in My Life

What can I say, they love grandpa so much they just fall asleep on him. This image was captured during this years Super Bowl party at my Juan and Jen's. One day she'll see this picture and will just laugh.

And of course my son has to follow into my footsteps and do something similar with his new little baby a.k.a. in my world as "Little Joe". But I know for a fact my son can be a very comfortable pillow. The baby's job is to just relax and sleep. I should digress.

And once again, here she is, the newest princess of them all. For some they say she totally looks like Sylvia, both my mom and my father in law said it when they saw her. To me she looks like the mama but prettier. lol Let me explain, some 25 years ago I was in a waiting room at a hospital in El Monte California when a nurse came in. It must have been around 2:00 a.m. and I was the only person in that particular waiting room.

Nurse: Mr Melo?
Me: Yes!
Nurse: Would you like to meet your daughter?
Me: *thinking* ummm so I have a little girl. -- Sure I would love to meet her.
Nurse: Pushes the little see through tingy and...

All I see is this tiny little baby with lots and lots of hair, she was purple, pealing, and wrinkled.

Me: Nurse, are you sure this is my baby.
Nurse: Of course she is.
Me: She's ugly. lol

Very next day, she had changed so much and I knew then that there was potential. As you can see in the next image, I was not wrong... about the potential that is, because my Michelle is very pretty. I think Atalie will be prettier, but that's just the grandpa in me talking.

Now here is the baby of the family, as you all know her baby is due in early June and with hers I will have 10 grand kids. What a joy for a grandpa, but what a pain in the butt for them, they have many years of crying kids to deal with. Me, I'll just spoil the heck out of them and then I'll send them back. That is my job as described in the family rule handbook.

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