Piña Coladas in hand, poolside at the gloriously luxurious Boulder/Louisville Hampton Inn, the Psycle Psychics have carefully answered each and every one of your questions that we felt like answering. Thanks to all those who participated. Here we go:
Tom Grove of Elkhart, Indiana offers up these conundrums:
Whizmo: Tom, my crystal ball is telling me that we wouldn't use chairs at all. We'd be too busy standing around pointing at each other's knees and laughing hysterically.
I think it is more interesting to think of what a motorcycle might look like. Harley cruisers (the ones with the footpegs WAY out front) would have footpegs at about eye level. In fact, they'd probably be set up so you steered with your feet and reached down with your hands to operate the rear brake and shifter. You'd be so far reclined, you'd risk losing forward vision over your gut after two beers. So that wouldn't work.
Gizmo: Well Tom, based on publicly available information, I am confident that Anna Nicole Smith would go out with you if you meet a set of minimum criteria: a) You are very old; b) You are very wealthy; or c) You are a cosmetic dentist. As to Kelly, she tells me that she's not really interested in going out with anyone other than Justin Guarini at this time. And while Anna would not go out with Kelly, the Psycle Psychics are confident that Kelly would dump Justin in an instant to go out with Anna.
John Helms of Atlanta, Georgia ruminates:
Gizmo: Well John, it seems that you have uncovered one of the best-kept technological secrets of our modern times. The fact of the matter is that computers do actually come on right away, but have been clandestinely designed by Bill Gates and Boutros Boutros-Ghali (and his cohorts at the United Nations) to spend their first waking moments, aka the "booting up" period, reporting all of your illicit internet activity to your mother. Some people's computers take longer than others to "boot up", and now you know why. Shame on you.
Whizmo: I don't think there is any doubt that the term "boot up" is a short version of "boutros up". But Bill probably objected (rumor is that he has a little bit of an ego) so they shortened it.
Whizmo: I think the deeper question is why gasoline costs about $1.50/gallon, but bottled water, typically from a municipal water supply tap, costs $5/gallon. Are you really, really sure you want an engine that runs on water?
But to get back to your question John, it is a well-known fact that the car manufacturers have a simple $19.95 device in their labs—buy one right now in the next ten minutes, and you'll get two for the price of one—which does just that. It's called the Whizmo Water-Fuel-Energizer Gizmo, although I freely admit that neither I nor Gizmo had anything to do with its invention. In a vast conspiracy with the petroleum industry, the device is being withheld from you, the motoring public, so you'll continue to spend vast sums buying gasoline and sending executives on expensive junkets to Rock Springs Wyoming.
I wonder if perhaps they are planning on releasing this device soon, as I just got a wonderful piece of email wanting to buy the whizmoandgizmo.com domain for what I assume is a large sum of money. May I share our good fortune with you?
Hello Internet Professional,
If you have an interest in selling your domain WHIZMOANDGIZMO.COM, please visit our web site at http://www.dompro.com/acquisitions.php?domain=WHIZMOANDGIZMO.COM and enter your asking price.
We at DomPro, represent one of the top domain trading services, and are pleased to inform you of an interest to purchase your domain. The interest in your domain is comprised of two potential channels. First, we may have already received a bid for your domain from one of our clients. Next, one of our sales associates may have determined that for the right price, it's likely we can purchase your domain and make a profit selling it. We have seen domain sales over the last few years continue to range high, anywhere from several hundred dollars, up to $50,000. We would appreciate the time of your reply, if you have any interest in marketing your domain name.
Also, don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have additional questions.
Steven R. Davies
Domain Acquisitions Dept.
Wow, we're really excited about this! Could all of you please send mail to this guy and let him know we're worth at least $50k?
Matt Lutz of Chicago Illinois wonders:
Gizmo: "Costumes"? Whaddya think this is, some sort of rolling Halloween party? The explanation is obvious. In our advanced state of aging, it's much easier to remember whose bike is whose when the "costumes" match the bikes. Of course, the next challenge is to remember whose "costume" is whose. That's why we had Lori Ross of RossDesigns in Seattle Washington sew nametags on our "costumes". Then all we have to do is compare the tattoos on our forearms to the riding suits, and we're set for the day.
Joe Ozinski of Kirkland Washington threatens us with:
Whizmo: Brownian motion. Hmmm. Did that have something to do with the behavior of former California governor Jerry Brown? While with Linda Ronstadt perhaps? Memory fails me. Anyway, I'm glad you mentioned the Vanna White inspiration idea. Actually, we are planning a "Wheel of Fortune"- inspired contest in a few days, with video coverage no less. Stay tuned.
Tim Grove of New Albany Indiana offers up:
Whizmo: You know Tim, there was a nice sign which explained exactly this at Old Faithful, but Gizmo was whining that we were not moving down the road in a timely manner, so I didn't read it. It had something to do with underground pools that slowly fill with water until they overflow and cause a steam explosion. Perhaps a reader has the full story. By the way, please don't start calling Gizmo and I "Old Faithful" just because we aren't getting any younger and we're faithfully gushing out hot air once per day. No, definitely don't do this.
Whizmo: An atmosphere is something you work very hard to create in your apartment when you are dating. Candles and Frank Sinatra (or Barry White in a pinch) CDs are necessary components. The ozone level is imperiled because there was an overuse of Breck hairspray during the beehive hairdo era. Tim, these questions aren't very challenging. Try harder.
Gizmo: Thanks Tim, we look forward to reading about our adventures too! I don't think anyone could have explained the phenomenon of natural beauty more simply or succinctly than Charles Baudelaire, who said, and I quote, "All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory—of the absolute and of the particular. Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction creamed from the general surface of different beauties. The particular element in each manifestation comes from the emotions: and just as we have our own particular emotions, so we have our own beauty."
That pretty much sums it up, wouldn't you agree?
Whizmo: You know, when I hear this, I think of Anna Nicole Smith. Now there is one beautiful gal.
Lloyd Gardner of Everett Washington challenges us with:
Whizmo: 'Brisk pace' is a relative term. My riding buddy Peter Wylie (aka the "World's Fastest Dentist" as per Cycle World magazine) would find our pace sloth-like while a larger group riding full-laden cruisers would think that Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi are touring the Rockies on BMWs. As Giz pontificated in his last treatise about Maslow and motorcycling, everything is relative and what's important is that you find the pace that works for you. I ride with a lot of people, sometimes strangers, and the mantra is always "ride your own ride" - never try to keep up if you're not comfortable with the pace. The real key to making time is not to drive fast - it is to keep the breaks short, avoid useless overhead, and keep the wheels rolling. We don't hurry, but we don't dawdle either. And it really helps to only have two riders - as a group grows larger, it goes slower and slower. A simple fuel stop with a group of ten riders can easily take 45-minutes because you have to take turns at the pump, and the last guy that fills invariably needs to spend 20-minutes in the restroom, lube his chain, and call his broker.
Do you use a wireless intercom to communicate between bikes on the road? If so, tell us about it.
Gizmo: Great question, Lloyd. In 1997 we tried using two-way radios to communicate while driving. We even went so far as to come up with catchy "handles", our noms de radio. (I think they were Rex and Scarlet Leader but you're welcome to go back and check.) The range was not as good as we had hoped, maybe 1/4 mile. But the primary reason we gave up on it was that it didn't add anything to the riding - in fact it was detrimental. There are many bikers that ride with intercoms, two-way radios, cell phones, MP3 players and the like. My preference is ride with just the sounds of the road. We have a protocol to make sure we don't get split up - the first one to a waypoint where we change roads waits for the other to catch up before going on down the road. It's worked well so far.
Whizmo: I think the primary reason we gave up back then was because they didn't work. But I'm sure Giz could engineer a better solution today. Final comment: When you spend three weeks on the road living with one other person, it probably makes a lot of sense to be by yourself when you're riding. The only time I miss communicating is to draw attention to something unusual I've just seen that I'm worried I'll forget by the next stop.
Betsy Boyle of Saint Paul Minnesota baits us with:
Gizmo: Psychics? Fraudulent? Look here, I'm bending this plastic spoon right now, using only my mind muscles. In pondering your question, this Psycle Psychic is sensing that your question is not really a question, but in fact you are merely using another's pulpit as a medium to broadcast your heretical views. Incarcerated, indeed! I just spoke with Miss Cleo in the pokey, and she swears it's all a misunderstanding. Harrumph.
Stephen Marra, Indianapolis Indiana writes:
Gizmo: Wow, finally an easy question! It's well known within the Psychic Community that Mr. Edward, after being consumed by the Ebola virus, will return as Michael Jackson's third son, Prince Michael Whizmo&Gizmo Jackson III.
Tom Boyle (Saint Paul MinneSOHta) and Rob Shurtleff (Seattle Washington) pose similar questions:
Whizmo: Ok, now you've done it. Because of your question, at two passes yesterday, I suddenly was thinking "where the hell are my hands?" I was terribly self-conscious. But I think Rob has the real reason. Both Gizmo and I try and drink as much water as we possibly can at every stop so we're in knee-shaking gotta-go-bad mode when most of these pass shots are taken. Gizmo grimaces while I apply firm manual pressure to stem the fluids. I'm smiling more, so my way is definitely better.
Gizmo: Whiz should try my technique - pee before the picture.
Whizmo: Wow, what a concept! I thought we had to get the picture before marking territory.
Perry Knight of Miami Oklahoma poses this linguistic looper:
Gizmo: Great question, Perry. (Sound of fingers drumming on keyboard) Hmm ... Let me answer with a parable:
A young man bought the fastest motorcycle that money could buy: a Yamaondason 2000 SP 8.2. It was the most expensive bike in the world, costing $32,150.99.
The first day he bought the new bike he took it for a spin. While doing so he stopped at a red light at the city limits. An elderly gentleman pulled up next to him on a moped. The man looked over at the bright, red, shiny, sleek new motorcycle and asked, "What kind of scooter ya got there, sonny?"
The young man replied, "It's a Yamaondason 2000 SP 8.2. It costs $32,150.99 out the door."
"That's a lot of money," said the old man, shocked. "Why does it cost so much?"
"Because this bike can go 200 mph!" exclaimed the young man.
The old fella asked, "Can I take a closer look at it?"
"Sure," replied the new owner.
From his moped, the old man leaned over and took a good look at the very fast-looking machine. Just then the light changed, so the young man decided to show the old guy what his new motorcycle could really do. He gave it full throttle and within 30 seconds the speedometer read 199 mph.
Suddenly, he noticed a dot in his rear-view mirror. It seemed to be getting closer! He slowed a little to see what it could be, and, suddenly, WHHHOOOSSSHHH, something whipped passed him going much faster. "What could be faster than my 2000 SP 8.2?" the young man thought to himself. Then, just ahead of him, he saw the dot coming back at him. WHHHOOOSSSHHH! It went flying by him again, going in the opposite direction! It almost looked like the elderly man on the moped! How could that be, thought the young man. Again he saw the dot in his mirror!
WHHHOOOSSSHHH! KABBBLAMMM! The moped slammed into the rear of the shiny new 2000 SP 8.2, demolishing the rear end of the young rider's pride and joy.
The young man jumped off and saw it was the old timer. Of course the moped was crushed, and the old man was lying on the ground, pretty beat up. The young man ran over to him and asked, "Are you hurt? Is there anything I can do for you?
The old man groaned and replied, "Yes, would you please unhook my suspenders from your side-view mirror?"
So Perry, that pretty much sums it up. The young man was acting illegally, speeding and all, while the old man was acting unlawfully, since he didn't have a moped endorsement with his driver's license. All clear?
Thomas Brady of Wading River, New York writes:
Whizmo: Double indeed.
Bob Seidensticker of Sammamish Washington weighs in with:
Whizmo: Interesting question Bob, but I don't hike anymore - I have a dirt bike! Why walk when you can make your presence known with 108 decibels of exhaust noise and a cloud of blue two-stroke smoke!
Gizmo: (Manly grunt)
Whizmo: It all depends on the woodchuck. Your everyday, run-of-the-mill journeyman woodchuck is good for two cords per day, three tops. But you get a real championship woodchuck, I mean a chuck who really knows his wood, wow, it is a sight to behold! He might be able to top five, or even six cords a day. And it depends on the circumstances, of course. You know, things like coffee breaks, state labor laws, wood moisture content, etc. Of course, this all assumes that a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Speaking of wood chucking, does anybody else watch those lumberjack championships on Canadian TV, morbidly glued to the set to see if anyone chops off a toe or finger? Man, the way they swing those sharp instruments around is scary. And how about that chainsaw competition!
Gizmo: Wow, you'll be a great resource the next time we're stupid enough to try this.
Todd Roberts of Friday Harbor, Washington challenges us with:
Gizmo: Why do we want a television show, instead of a radio show? Good question. After exhaustive research, W&G have concluded that television personalities are paid excessively, have their lives covered in minute detail in the nation's loftiest print media, and can extend their careers well into their twilight years by playing the Henderson NV Comfort Inn. Radio personalities, while indeed smarter, only get tote bags and coffee mugs with their names and maybe their likenesses on them. Such is life. Go for the gold.
Whizmo: My goal is modest: Celebrity Jeopardy. Or maybe a motorcycling version of Survivor.
Gizmo: W&G run a clean family-oriented business here, but we're always open to luring new eyeballs. So here you go:
A man is stranded on a desert island, all alone for ten years. One day, he sees a speck in the horizon. He thinks to himself, "It's not a ship." The speck gets a little closer and he thinks, "It's not a boat." The speck gets even closer and he thinks, "It's not a raft." Then, out of the surf comes this gorgeous blonde woman, wearing a wet suit and scuba gear.
She comes up to the guy and she says, "How long has it been since you've had a cigarette?"
"Ten years!" he says.
She reaches over, unzips a waterproof pocket on her left sleeve and pulls out a pack of fresh cigarettes.
He takes one, lights it, takes a long drag and says, "Man, oh man! Is that good!"
Then she asks, "How long has it been since you've had a drink of whiskey?"
He replies, "Ten years!"
She reaches over, unzips her waterproof pocket on the right, pulls out a flask and gives it to him.
He takes a long swig and says, "Wow, that's fantastic!"
Then she starts unzipping this long zipper that runs down the front of her wet suit and she says to him, "And how long has it been since you've had some REAL fun?"
And the man replies, "My God! Don't tell me you've got a motorcycle in there!"
And here's one more to get you by for the next week or so:
A Microsoft intern was walking across campus when a fully-vested software engineer rides up on a shiny new motorcycle.
"Where did you get such a rockin' bike?" asked the intern.
The engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday to Building 7, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said 'Take what you want.'"
The intern nodded approvingly. "Good choice, the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
caveat emptor: your computer will now take longer to boot up.
Rob Shurtleff, Seattle Washington challenges us with:
Whizmo: This is an interesting subject that I've actually thought about a little (in other words, I'm not just making this up), so I'll rattle on.
Think about it a minute. The two most critical controls on a motorcycle are the throttle and front brake, and although there were motorcycles produced with foot controls for these, it quickly became apparent that with the finer motor control of hands, it was preferable to put these controls in one's hands. For hand controls, you can either squeeze a lever or twist a grip, and the twistgrip was found to be the best control for a throttle. Perhaps because most folks are right-handed, they put it on the right twistgrip. And it also made sense to put the front brake on the right lever since braking is preceded by rolling off the throttle, the same motion you make when you reach for the brake lever.
With the throttle and front brake controlled by the right hand, everything else just fell into place. The clutch is another fine-motor-control device, so it went on the other/left hand, the shift lever made sense to be on the same side so it went to the left foot, which left the rear brake on the right foot.
The current rage right now is integrated brakes and there have been a few motorcycles produced with no rear brake pedal or no front brake lever. But generally, the layout of major motorcycle controls has been standardized for 30+ years when the Japanese began to dominate the industry in the late-60s. However, there are variations in the positions of secondary controls like lights, turn signals, ignition switches, etc. For example, our BMW's use turn-signal controls that are radically different than Japanese motorcycles. I've warmed up to them, but switching back and forth between different bikes requires a shift of thought. Gizmo doesn't have this issue, because he somehow manages to exist with only a single motorcycle, an inconceivable notion to me.
Gizmo: Hey not true, not true! I have a Honda Reflex scooter with two hand brakes and no clutch.
Whizmo: Get real. Gizmo's scooter is a scooter.
Bing Gordon of Atherton California overwhelms us with:
Gizmo: We should have an exact answer after Day 17.
Whizmo: Sinclair. I don't know why, they just run better on it. I'm not kidding.
Whizmo: Dino from the Flintstones.
Gizmo: Lieutenant Montgomery "Sticks" Finefrock. Go ahead, look it up. We'll wait here.
Gizmo: If you look closely at our photos, you'll notice that the Giz has no problems with dreaded "Helmet Hair", while the Whiz is rarely seen without a helmet or a hat. What is he hiding? I think he's got dreadlocks going on under there. Anyway, to get back to your question, Gizmo's stylist, the lovely and talented Miss Janis, uses a FloBee 2000 with a #0 blade to create Gizmo's sleek and aerodynamic look.
Gizmo: It's just next door to the Dave Barry High School of Humor, and across the street from the P.J. O'Rourke Pundits' Pub, on Campus Drive in San Mateo CA.
Whizmo: No, it's four furlongs SE of Whizmo Pass. I saw it there.
Gizmo: Ah, Mr. Gordon, you are the psychic! You have correctly intuited that we've been planning next year's adventure, "Roads to Nowhere" which will require off-road motorcycles, a fold-up satellite uplink, and a small refrigerator. We've done the calculations and figured that we can use the motorcycle engines as generators while in camp. Apart from the noise and fumes, it will be just like the Hampton Inn, minus the shower, bed, and television!
Whizmo: Don't forget the chainsaw-engine powered espresso maker. Yep, they have 'em ... and so will we!
Gizmo: Ah Mr. Gordon, perhaps you are not the psychic I made you out to be, or you would know that Gizmo's riding suit is composed of Cordura and Kevlar, not leather. So the stain would be a rich mixture of black and grey melted synthetic fabrics, blending nicely with the fresh asphalt with a little bodily fluids for spice. As if I needed further proof that you are not psychic, Gizmo takes his hands off the handlebars all the time to take snapshots. So there.
Steve Gross of Seattle Washington asks:
Whizmo: No, not if you buy HER earplugs. But make sure she doesn't exercise any of the side-benefits enumerated in Contest #2.
Zach Jennings, of Bellevue Washington wants to know:
Whizmo: Either Frodo or Bilbo has them. Look behind your bookcases.
Peter Ellis of Snohomish Washington wonders:
Gizmo: Speaking from personal experience, clambering up a steep wooded hillside along the Continental Divide, with the intent of testing whether in fact water-based liquids do in fact flow one way or the other, then slipping and falling in the tangled underbrush while en route to this noble experiment, I made a sound like this: "%@*&$%#!" So yes, he definitely makes a sound, although the specific sound is somewhat variable depending upon the rider, the angle of descent, and the level of urgency associated with his little trip in the woods.
Bill Lee from somewhere in cyberspace asks:
Gizmo: No, definitely not.
Gizmo: To get there.
Jan Betts of Tetonia Idaho questions the Whizmo & Gizmo space-time continuum with:
Whizmo: Jan, as I mentioned to you in email, we have a Wayback Machine we carry on these trips. Gizmo stores it in left saddlebag with the chainsaw-engine-powered cappuccino maker. We ride for a day, then fire up the Wayback Machine, dial back a week or two, and have all the time in the world to answer mail, do research, write reports, and lounge around the pool. When things are absolutely perfect, then we jump to current time and publish everything.
Your noted time discrepancy is probably, and excuse me for using a highly technical term here, a glitch. We'll reboot and see if the problem corrects itself. (We've been nothing that the standard cure for any and all technical problems is to reboot. We couldn't get our two computers to talk to one another or share an internet connection for several days, but we changed absolutely nothing, and over multiple reboot cycles, everything is now working perfectly. Or should I say "multiple reboutros cycles"?)
Whizmo: You're the boss, right? Anyone who has ever run their own business knows that the main benefit of doing so is copious time off since you and can come and go as you please. Read all you want ... we'll write more!
Mike Leskin of Houston Texas is ready to join the W&G travelin' road show:
Whizmo: If your employer is Jan Betts, sure.
Susan Dolan from Park Ridge Illinois writes:
W&G: That's why we're here, to inform, educate and settle bets. Here you go:
- A motorcycle can go for more than one ride in an hour.
- Motorcycles never develop spare tires
- Your motorcycle will let you know if something is wrong.
- Your motorcycle won't judge your friends.
- Your motorcycle won't care if you have a poster of your fantasy motorcycle.
- If your motorcycle has high mileage, you can just get a new one.
- Your parents won't keep in touch with your old motorcycle after you dump it.
- Your motorcycle can't ride around behind your back.
- Your motorcycle would rather go for a ride than watch sports.
- If baldness occurs, you can replace the tires.
Well, it looks like the laundry is almost done. Time to go clean the bikes.
See you tomorrow!