Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trouble at Casa de Hawg!

Yes, there's trouble at my house -- my blasted modem broke.

Last year, I signed up with AT&T and got a Motorola modem that has always caused problems. Yesterday morning, the thing failed for the last time and will be replaced soon.

The friendly technical service guy at AT&T told me it would take four to five business days for the new modem to arrive, meaning I'll be without Internet service at my house until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Yes, that means I won't be very active on Entrecard and won't post much until things get fixed. That's rotten, of course, but at least I'll be rid of that Motorola modem that never worked that well even when it was new.

If I seem like I've vanished for a bit, that's why. I'll be posting the same mind-numbing nonsense before long, however.


Look! I finally started a blog list on my sidebar! I've only been meaning to do that since July or so. I'll be adding links here and there as I think about it. If you want your blog listed, let me know by leaving a comment here or hitting the handy "E-mail" graphic on the sidebar and maybe we can exchange links.

If you think you should be in that list and aren't, don't worry as I'll probably get around to it (well, when my Internet connection is back up at home, at least).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crusing down memory lane on a Schwinn Mag Scrambler

Go ahead and take a look at that bicycle in the photo.

I love that thing and spent most of my childhood on it. That, folks, is a genuine Schwinn Mag Scrambler that my parents bought me way on back in 1977 for my eighth birthday.

Yes, the old Schwinn was made in Chicago and I took that photo in my garage tonight. The bike is all original, except for the new tires, inner tubes and ball bearings that were put on it a couple of years ago (I'm still a bit irate that the fellow who redid it put a kickstand on the thing). It's been sitting in my parents' garage for years and I'm glad to have the old girl back with me.

When that bike was new, it was the top of the line BMX bike and cost my folks about $200 (a lot of cash back in 1977). Yes, I beat the hell out of that Schwinn and it wasn't an uncommon site to see my bike sliding down the road with me behind it when I was but a little The Hawg. Yes, I got beat up, banged up and cut up on that bike and I loved every minute of it. I've still got scars on my knees and legs from those days, in fact.

The bike was little more than a heavy, steel frame and forks that you could stand elephants on, one speed (the Mag Scrambler was made to sprint), an ultra reliable coaster brake, nylon-fiberglass composite rims, handlebars that were almost unbreakable and a bunch of solid welds and great components.

But the bike held up to all of that abuse and the nicks, scrapes and gouges on the frame tell the story. I brought that home for my son to ride for a couple of weeks until we get him a new bike to replace the cheap, Chinese Mongoose that couldn't stand up to his rough treatment. The Schwinn will hold up fine to his abuse until he figures out what kind of bike he wants next.

I am almost sick over the fact that Schwinn is now just a name -- Schwinns these days are just cheap, Chinese bikes that are absolute garbage compared to those old workhorses like my Mag Scrambler that were built in Chicago and made to last.

Watching my son tool around on that Schwinn reminds me of all the fun I had on that thing. Yes, that one is a hell of a bike. The thing came with no kickstand (I'm still a bit irate the fellow who did the work on it a couple of years ago stuck one of those on there) and one of the first things I did was pull the chain guard off and throw it in a shelf somewhere.

I've learned recently there are companies out there that make BMX bikes for adults (take a look at the photo of the Eastern Traildigger, for example). I ought to pick one of those up one of these days.

Here's the question, though -- would I be hospitalized within a week or two weeks after I got a BMX bike? I used to tear down trails on my Schwinn while flying over dirt ramps that my friends and I built and pulling off all kinds of stuff that would kill me if I tried them. Yeah, I may be pushing 40-years-old, but I know I'd try some of the stuff I did as a kid with an adult-sized BMX bike.

Oh well. I did, of course, take the Schwinn out for a very short ride today. I looked like an idiot. Adults should never, never, never get on bikes made for kids. We just look (and feel) stupid.


Here's a fun fact -- famed cyclist Lance Armstrong started out on a Schwinn Mag Scrambler. Cool, huh?

The Hawg is a blooming idiot

Folks, I'm here to announce to the world that I -- The Hawg -- am a damned fool.

Why? A few months ago, I had a little blog about real estate. I kind of let that languish for awhile and decided to revive it. So, I moved it all over to from Blogger a few days ago and applied for an Entrecard account.

If you'd like to see my little real estate-related blog, just point your browser over to Straight Shooting Real Estate. Henceforth, I shall refer to that blog as The Hawg's Folly for reasons that will become evident in a moment.

So, I registered my revived blog with a few sites, traded a link or two and applied for that aforementioned Entrecard account in hopes of getting a little traffic. So everything was great, right?

No! Hell no! Absolutely not, in fact. just announced that the traffic magnet known as the Entrecard widget would no longer be allowed on their blogs as of April 7 (or thereabouts). So, I've got a little time to build some traffic from Entrecard over at The Hawg's Folly, but not much.

So now what the hell do I do? Every traffic-getting site I've used stinks compared to Entrecard and I've got a new blog that has gotten 12 whole hits without it. I'd rather not transfer everything back to Blogger because I've put in some work on The Hawg's Folly, so I'd like to find some other ways to get traffic.

Do you fine folks have any suggestions? I'm sick to death of trying schemes and reading hyperbole-laced rants full of promises that are obviously too good to be true.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Geez. That'll teach me to try something new, huh?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Music Monday -- Weird Al!

Something everyone who grew up in the 1980s ought to enjoy.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The next Hawgmobile?

My wife and I snapped a photo of this dandy vehicle the other night.

We were driving by an apartment complex near our hometown of scenic Benton, Ark., and saw this fine van. Of course, we had to get a photo. It was mandatory. We had no choice.

Who wouldn't want to tool around in Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine? That would be truly, well, groovy.

Now, I know this van isn't in the best shape (it didn't look like it had been driven in some time), but the particular Scooby Doo fan that went and did this to his own vehicle certainly has the right idea.

This isn't the only Mystery Machine I've seen around Benton. A few years ago, my wife and I saw one that was in much better shape and was more accurate in every way. Yes, the paint scheme was dead on, the van looked like the model used in the cartoon and even the hub caps were facsimiles of the genuine article.

There's nothing wrong with having a vehicle that's just fun, is there?