Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kickin' it with Talley

The Talleys aboard their Piaggio X9

He's the man behind the scenes quietly toiling away at Kick's layout; the Tonto to my Lone Ranger. Together, Steve Talley and I make up Team Kickstart. Steve is a pretty unassuming man and I felt it was high time I cast the spotlight on my friend.

So, Mr. Talley, I am going to ask you some questions and you can answer accordingly.

Karen: Do you have any aliases?
Steve: My wife has several for me, but I'm not publishing them.
Karen: Fare enough, Talley Man.

K: What turns you on?
S: Scooters, curling, bocce, history

K: Any turn offs?
S: Vehicles with studded tires; drivers who don't use turn signals

K: What was your first scooter?
S: Piaggio X9

K: Tell me a little known fact about yourself.
S: I rode submarines in the navy.
K: Well, anchors away! I never knew that. Here's another little know Talley tidbit: He's a semi-retired technical writer and was published in the New York Times!

K: OK, finish these sentences (When I'm on my scooter... Kickstart is... Curling and bocce are... Karen G is.... If I had a monkey...)
S: When I'm on my scooter, I'm enjoying the trip.
Kickstart is fun to work on.
Curling and bocce are non-contact sports where men and women of all ages compete equally.
Karen G is the generative force behind Kickstart.
If I had a monkey, I'd trade it for a bullmastiff.

Well, there you have it. Steve is quite the renaissance man and Kickstart wouldn't be half as fun without him!

If you'd like to find out more about curling and bocce in Portland,
click here:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The God Squad

Recently, I spotted a calendar at the store called Nuns Having Fun. Its August month features nuns in habits and helmets posing alongside a scooter and moped. Seeing it reminded me of Sister Mary Vespa. Who's Sister Mary Vespa you ask?
Well....a couple years ago, I was at PDX airport waiting on a delayed Christmas flight home to Dee-tway when a fellow traveler and I struck up a conversation. She had noticed a Kickstart sticking out of my bag and wanted to know all about it. When I mentioned it was about scooters, she preceded to share some wonderful stories of her neighbor, "the Vespa-riding ex-nun and Pussy, her cat! The neighbor chuckled recalling Sister Mary Vespa yelling for her Pussy to come in for the night. “Pussssy.....Pussssy. Where’s my Pusssy?,” the Sister would yell for all the neighbors to hear.

Her neighbor was the freaking Singing Nun! Well, I didn’t know if she could sing, but I knew that she loved her Vespa and rode it every day, rain or shine! I wanted to know all about her and why she was an ex-nun now worshiping at the altar of Vespa. I passed on some Kickstarts for her to give to Sister Mary Vespa and in return I got her address.

I wrote to the good Sister, but never heard from her. When I mentioned this to my own sister Sandy, she said the centerfolds might have turned the nun off and that knowing me, I’d try and get Sister Mary Vespa to pose for one. I reminded Sandy that I had more tact than that. But, hey what a good idea! AND Sister Mary Vespa was an EX-nun, it’s not like she’s married to the church anymore. She didn’t need their blessing. I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

People from all walks of life and religions ride scooters and that’s just a small part of what makes our shared hobby so great! I'm bummed that I never got to speak to her, but knowing that she is out there somewhere happily scootin’ along makes me smile. Godspeed Sister Mary Vespa!

From Life Magazine 1957:

Nuns in an auto-rickshaw!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Smurfy Birthday!

The Smurfs hit the big 5-0!
Smurfette hasn't aged a bit. I wonder how Gargamel and Azreal have fared.

Head over to for the celebration. Maybe Baker Smurf will have a smurferrific smurfberry cake! Hopefully Greedy hasn't smurfed it. Yeah, I know. I'm a smurfin' nerd.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Clickety Clack

Isn't this 1956 Life Magazine Royal typewriter ad too cool? This is from the scooter ad collection of Susan Goodwin. She really has quite an impressive array of vintage ads and was kind enough to let me peruse them. Susan was also responsible for putting out the kick-ass Portland scooter zine, P-town Uncensored from 1999 - 2002.

It may seem like I have been hibernating a lot lately, but I've actually been really, really busy. For the past six weeks, I've been participating in a writing workshop and have been behind the keyboard for most of my free time. So far, the workshop has been a positive experience and filled with lots of great feedback and conversations. This time around the group is a mix of Chuck Palahniuk and Ariel Gore influenced writers, so needless to say, there has been a wide variety of subject matter covered and well written, I might add. I've written more than I thought I would over the holidays and almost hate to see the class end, but it will be nice to get to bed at a decent hour.

Now don't think I've forgotten about Kickstart. In between workshop assignments, I've also been researching and cultivating material for our # 8 issue. It'll be hard to top our last issue, but I'm working on some fun leads and think you'll dig it.