After an early-afternoon handball game Sunday, I climbed on the motorbike for a quick trip to Portland to visit my two sisters and my mom among other family; my oldest sister Sandy and her husband Denny had traveled to Oregon from their home in Mission Viejo to watch Denny’s niece get married a couple days earlier, and my other sister Deb arranged a get-together and dinner for our side of the family at her home Sunday.
All of the food was great — thanks again, Deb (and thanks also to her husband Mike, who grilled steak) — and it was nice to see everyone. Deb even sent home with me a couple of books that she had come across while cleaning out one of the rooms in her house: “Baseball Brain Teasers” and “Big League Baseball Puzzlers.” Both are by Dom Forker, which is definitely one of the more brain-teasing names I’ve run across.
Anyway, after leaving her home in southwest Portland, I stopped for fuel at a station less than a mile later.
“What can I get started for you?” the young male attendant asked.
“Let’s fill it with premium,” I said, trading him my credit card for the nozzle, the sight of which made my heart sink.
“Oh, it’s got one of those vapor lock things,” I said disappointedly.
“Yep,” he said, obviously not realizing how hard it is to fill a motorcycle tank with one of those rubbery, spring-loaded nightmares, which are designed to prevent gasoline vapors from escaping into the environment during fueling.
But while they might work fine on a four-wheeled vehicle, they’re unwieldy as all get-out for us motoryclists (who pump our own gas, in case you didn’t know that). Long story short, if you want to put more than like a gallon in your tank, you have to use one hand to compress the spring seal while using the other to squeeze the trigger; take my word for it, it’s carpal tunnel waiting to happen — and it does nothing to capture the vapors in that situation, either.
Those pumps are the norm in green-crazy California, I think by law. I guess maybe some stations in Portland, another enviro-hotbed, are keen on following suit. But unless I am about to run out of gas, I will not visit that station by my sister’s house again.
Unrelated consumer note: On the way home, I stopped by the Waremart in Independence for a few supplies, including the liquid variety, which is how I happened to notice a handful of packages of ping-pong balls hanging up in the beer cooler. Can anyone explain why?
Lastly, today’s Catch of the Day, No. 38, a mid-1960s Haywood Sullivan catcher’s glove made by Rawlings: