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Editorially Speaking

Blue Dog Diaries: The Algorithm Almighty

They’re coming, we’re told daily, and the arrival horizon keeps shrinking from decades to years to months. And I need to talk about it; I need to talk about autonomous vehicles—or “self-driving” vehicles, if you prefer—and the reason for that is, at my urging, my father recently bought the closest thing currently available on the market: a Buick Envision. The ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Fun with Mom and Pop

They’re called the “mom and pop motels” and they’re modest owner-operated vestiges of that bygone and sorely-missed era of American motoring before the Interstate and the proliferation of national chain establishments made highway travel the soulless McTrip it’s become for most. Most, that is, except the adventurous types, touring bikers in particular, who continue to patronize these places out of ...

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One for the Road: Where am I?

Much as I love tech toys for my motorcycles, there a few I’ve resisted. One of those is a Global Positioning System, more commonly known as GPS. In my early years of riding, I would just mark up a map, stow it in my saddlebag and refer to it when needed, or maybe write out the directions on a piece ...

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One for the Road: Spreading the gospel

“You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” That simple phrase, which was Honda’s then-risky, yet wildly successful, advertising campaign in the early 60’s, won over a multitude of Americans who were either indifferent to motorcycling or thought of bike riders as the dregs of society. Since then, there have been many ambassadors of our sport, from champion racers to ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Short-timers

They arrive with a bang and a lot of buzz, take their turn on the catwalk, loiter in the wings for a while, and then just as abruptly as they materialized they disappear, slipping silently into that dark night of obsolescence without a send-off; without so much as an “adios, been good to know you.” They are the spanking new ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Stalking the wild truckadillo

(Fade in: On a long straightaway of Interstate 80 east of Battle Mountain, Nevada, a heavily laden tractor-trailer lumbers along. A lone motorcyclist buzzes about the diesel behemoth like a meat-bee buzzing a burger. As the semi rolls down the road, its right rear outside tire begins delaminating and is suddenly slapping the pavement with a long wide whip of ...

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One for the Road: As the mileometer turns

Our Western culture seems to be big on numerical milestones—for instance, it’s quite an accomplishment for a married couple to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, or for a business to reach the century mark. I’m certainly not immune to this social phenomenon, even if it’s just a marketing ploy (“The 10th caller wins two tickets to see Bon Jovi!”). But ...

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Blue Dog Diaries: Birthrights

In July of this year the town of Hollister once again staged their Hollister Independence Rally, a commemoration of sorts of the shenanigans that occurred there over the 4th of July in 1947. We all know the story. A gathering of motorcyclists in town for the Gypsy Tour races got rowdy at the time, of that there’s no doubt. But ...

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Southern Rail: Changing chairs

Did you know that during the last few years the Associated Press has been toying with the idea of employing robots to write the news? Using an artificial intelligence program called Wordsmith, the AP has utilized the platform to prepare college sports recaps and company’s earnings reports and is currently working on using Wordsmith to cover minor league baseball games. ...

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One for the Road: Old bikes and new friends

I’d been looking forward to the 4th of July weekend for some time. Generally, I choose not to travel during holiday weekends, preferring to enjoy a nice, quiet weekend at home rather than battling traffic, crowds, and jacked-up prices. But this year, the Antique Motorcycle Club of America Rhinebeck Grand National Meet moved from its usual June dates to July ...

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