Friday, May 4, 2007

Back to the Job From Hell

I thought everything was fine. It all worked. But some times one particular thing, person, job can cause more grief than it was ever possibly worth.

In this high tech world, one byte, statement, instruction out of order can make one ride 900 miles ( one way ) to spend 4 minutes fixing something.

Oh well. It will be a nice ride in any case.

I am off to Waldorf, MD to fix a PLC program where 1 byte of code is out of order.

Yesterday, knowing I was leaving on this trip I was looking at the tires on the K12GT.

The front was cupped, and the rear, well, it would have been to the cords by the time i got back. I guess getting older makes one take fewer chances, so off to the local Honda shop to see if they had something that would fit.

I now have Dunlop Sportmax tires on a K12GT. I know it is a waste, they will be gone in 6000 miles or less, but I really didn't want to be on the side of the road in East Armpit West Virginia with marginal cell service trying to find tires that fit the K12GT in the middle of a thunder storm. I prolly ( probably ) could have made the trip with the rear cords showing just as i returned, but, like I said, I am getting older.

Oh well, I am sure the West Virginia, and Maryland mountains will be fun with these sticky tires on the K12.

Friday Evening:

I am on the east side of Indy, in a dumpy Days Inn. Light rain most of the way down here, but it wasn't cold.

One of the pleasures of riding is discovering things when you least expect it. My gas light came on while on I-465, so I got off on Pendleton Pike. There is a great little restaurant there, The Heidelberg Haus, but that is another story. I drive for what seems forever before i run into a gas station, but about a mile up , the road is covered in hickory cooking ribs smoke. I get gas, then come back and had just superb rib tips with rice and candied yams.

Saturday May 5

Indy to Columbus OH:

The day could'nt make up it's mind. Hot and sunny, cool and threatening to rain. I would stop, take the rain pants off, then it would get cooler and look like showers, so I stop and put them on. Pants off, pants on, pants off again. I have empathy with strippers doing this all day.

Columbus to Washington PA:

Cold rain, the soaking all day steady cold kind of rain. Oh well, I lived, but it was cold and wet. A high point was stopping at Schlepps Family Restaurant at exit 208 on I-70. This is one of my usual places I hit when traveling this way. Notice that they are bike friendly, bike parking has priority, right in front of the windows where it should be.

Washington to Breezewood PA:

Uneventful but drying out was cold. at 8:00 PM eastern time , I just decided that I was done for the day.

Sunday, May 6

Beautiful clear day, a little windy, but the ride from Breezewood to Hagerstown was as usual very scenic. Going around the Beltway in DC was no fun, but it's Sunday, during the week it is insane.

Well I am herein Waldorf MD, and of course there is no easy fix so I will be up late chained to the computer. At least I have established that the problem isn't 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 .

Monday May 7:

Well I am still in Waldorf, MD. The easy way to explain this Job From Hell is to first show you what it is.

See the gray box? In it is a PLC ( Programmable Logic Controller ) and a touch screen. Why has this been so difficult, well the short answer is that I did not write the software, some one else did. The person that wrote it has a very different style than I do, and it really wasn't finished, or at least not debugged.

So, 3/4 of the battle is to just understand how it all fits together. Like one of those puzzles you try to assemble on a coffee table, except this one has about 4700 pieces and it has to match the touch screen puzzle on the adjoining end table.

And, there are no directions other than the pieces themselves. See why I have been whining?

Oh, and some of the pieces don't work because the table is broken, and the table parts will be here by FedEx tomorrow. After the table is fixed, and I put all the pieces that slid off the table back on, then we will see if I get to go home.

Tuesday, May 8:

It's done, finished, over. I stayed up last night and did major software surgery. Not the little stitches and patches, but gutted the thing and sewed it back up.

Today, I replaced the dead card, loaded it up, and with just one little change, it worked.

I am in Winchester Va tonight, and tomorrow I will start back on old US 50 through the West Va mountains. We will see how I can even off those flat spots on the center of my tires from the trip down, by reducing rubber content on the sidewalls.

I feel so good, that Tomorrow I will start a new chapter. The Job From Hell is over.


  1. Kurt, I have a friend who is considering a K12GT and R12RT. Currently has a HD. How would you compare the 2 bikes, other than the obvious 4 vs. 2 cylinders?


  2. I have had 2 RT's 1 GS and this new K1200GT.

    The RT's are superb long distance 1 up tourers. The RT has more weather protection, and the boxer motor, especially the new counter balanced 1200 ( from what I hear ) are tried and true anvils. They can run hundreds of thousands of miles.

    The K12GT weighs almost the same, is nice as nice at slow speeds, is prolly no where near as reliable ( we don't know ) , but as it winds up, it starts producing horsepower to the scary levels.

    Handling, I think it is about the same, but I haven't pushed the GT as hard as the RT's I have had.

    I would say, ride both.