>>>> SPOILER ALERT!!! <<<< 
If you haven't seen Back to the Future, do not read this post.

The other day I was thinking about the first time I saw "Back to the Future" (around 900 years ago). If you recall, the climax of the movie takes place in the parking lot at the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance. Biff is molesting Leah Thompson in the back of his car, and George MacFly steps up, and changes the course of his family's history.  Around the same time in the movie, Biff's henchmen, or cronies, or whatever they are are chasing Michael J. Fox.  They catch MJ, and they lock him in the trunk of Marvin Berry's (cousin of Chuck) car.  Marvin was the leader of the band that was playing the dance, and they happened to be taking a break behind the school while all of this was going on.  I don't remember the dialog exactly, but upon seeing Biff's cronies messing with his car, Marvin (Marvin and the band happen to be black guys) calls one of the white cronies "peckerwood."  I believe that peckerwood is a fantastic insult.  In fact, I want to start calling people peckerwood regardless of what color they are, and regardless of whether they deserve it or not just because it makes me so happy to say it. Getting back on track,  after being called peckerwood, the cronies feel threatened, and one of them says, "We don't want to mess with no reefer addicts."  I didn't understand what he was saying the first couple times I saw the movie, mostly because I didn't know what reefer meant. I thought he said "referratic."  I guess referratic would be a cross between refer and erratic, so the definition would be "an unpredictable reference to something???"  All fictional words aside, that line confused me until I learned that reefer was one of many names for marijuana.  Then I thought, "Ohhhhhh...  The Band guys were smoking weed."  It all came together, and the movie got funnier.  I love that movie.

Yours truly 
Jim Turbert


Because I know that you are interested in even the smallest details of my life, i thought I'd share my most recent purchase with you.  

CYCLON! is a degreaser used for cleaning up the greasy bits on your bike or anything else that gets greasy.  In the US, I used to buy citrus degreaser.  This is pretty much the same thing.  It cleans just as well as the stuff I'm accustomed to, but it doesn't smell like oranges.  The superior label is what does it for me.  If CYCLON! smelled like oranges, I don't know if I could handle it.  I think it would blow my mind, and I'd just sit in a corner rocking back and forth repeating nonsensical phrases to anyone who would listen.    
Okay, I admit that it's not that exciting.
Have a good day.

Your pal,
Jim Turbert  


this post is a retraction of sorts.  i've recently learned that my recent experience at the RDW (or the dutch DMV) was so long and drawn out not because the dutch love to make people suffer, but because my motorcycle is an immigrant.  evidently, every vehicle in the netherlands has a license plate that stays with that vehicle forever.  in the US, the license plate is attached to the person, not the vehicle.  i had the same license plate for the last three vehicles that i owned, but that is not how they do it here.  if you sell or otherwise dispose of your vehicle, the license plate (or more accurately, the registration number) goes with it.  it turns out that what i was doing on thursday was getting my motorcycle a green card of sorts.  it needs a license plate number to keep with it for always and forever.  if i had purchased a dutch motorcylcle, then i wouldn't have needed to jump through so many hoops, and it would have taken far less time.    
i apologize to the dutch people for my disparaging comments about their motor vehicle registration system.  i am dumb, and i will now shut up.  

jim turbert


the next time you are at the registry of motor vehicles (in the US), and you are thinking about how much it sucks, remember what i'm about to tell you.  compared to the registry in the netherlands, the massachusetts RMV is a holiday.  i spent 4 hours at the RDW (the dutch equivalent of the RMV) in schiedam today.  i know it's a little early to register a motorcycle, but i want to get it out of the way.  also, there are some really nice days, and it would be sweet to take the bike out occasionally. so yeah, i was there for 4 hours this morning.  i waited to get inspected, and once i passed inspection i had to wait for paperwork, then i had to wait to talk to a tax guy, and then i had to wait for him to tell me how much i had to pay him in taxes.  the upside to all this waiting is that the bike is so old that i didn't have to pay any taxes.  the downside is that they don't give you plates when all this waiting is over.  they send you a piece of paper in 5 days or so with a plate number on it, and then you have to go to an autoparts store to order a license plate.  then you have to wait for the license plate for another week or so.  that is far worse than any session i've ever had at any RMV/DMV in the US.  i don't know how people with jobs deal with it.  what takes a few hours in the US takes weeks here, at least as far as registering vehicles is concerned.

until next time,