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This is a very competitive little niche. Some might say too much so, and perhaps the reader will agree after reading this.

 

 

There are precious few competent specialists who are operating on what you could call a commercial level and we're more narrowly focused than any other micro-enterprise that comes to mind.

 

My default response to inquiries regarding other practitioners, on the exceedingly rare occasion that I get one, is to say that (insert name) is a consummate pro and that an individual shopper should speak personally to anyone in whom they're considering investing their money and trust. 

 

For my part I've got an intimate relationship with every nut and bolt on the 70's and 80's Honda inline fours, V4's, and CBX. I've rebuilt and/or restored them all.

 

We gravitated to specializing in carbs more by happenstance than anything else. I finished a resto and had an extra carb set so I put it on ebay. It fetched a record price; in fact the ratio of profit-per-investment was better than whole-bike service so I started buying used sets and fixing them up. Pretty soon folks started asking if I'd work on theirs and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

 

We got into CBX carbs, which have become by far the mainstay of our humble little enterprise, equally by accident. A friend brought a couple of sets by for work prior to a judging competition—and his bike took 'best of show.' I was on hand with the second set and got a lot of admiring looks, which led to the inevitable ebay ad. We were off to the races.

 

Since then we've grown our customer base enough to be maintaining a 14-week backlog, which is merely to suggest that if I wasn't doing something right the jobs wouldn't keep coming. These days it's no longer a question of where we've shipped but one of where haven't we got our carbs. Really, the only major geographical areas where we haven't shipped are Africa and Siberia. Or the polar regions. Not many motorcycles in Antarctica...

 

This being the case, some people made it their business to interfere with me in ways that I normally wouldn't bother to comment upon, but they did some extraordinarily nasty things that demand a reply. Failing to intimidate me into shutting down, they came after my wife and kids.

 

The story is on the long side but I think it's important to know the context to fully appreciate just how ugly some people can become when they feel threatened. Or maybe they just want to have some good old fashioned fun.

 

So.

 

Vintage and classic bikes demand more from their owners than simply turning the key to the on position. Hobbyist forums came into existence not only as places for enthusiasts and (self-described) experts to share experiences but as an information resource.

 

A google search for any particular bike will return a list of web-based venues that are dedicated to its glorification.

 

Associating with like-minded souls is the natural thing to do, and I'd like nothing better than to have a place where a customer has made an honest appraisal, or where I can provide what I believe is sound advice. It's not all about immediate profit, you know. The guy you help today might have a friend with a stable of bikes in need of carb work. Or not. It's all good.

 

However, where I'm concerned the forums have turned out to be uniformly dismaying—in particular The International CBX Owners Association, aka "ICOA," CBXWorld, and The Naked Goldwing (NGW) forums. Add CB1100f.net and CB750c.com lately to the list of places where I get nothing but grief.

 

When I started concentrating on carburetors I didn't know these places even existed—that is until a new customer sent me a link to a discussion of my work on the ICOA forum.

 

Some random member had started a thread asking about "this new guy" who was advertising on ebay. Meaning me of course. One responder came out swinging. He said I couldn't possibly know what I was doing because the parts alone cost more than I was asking for the whole job.

 

It's true that my labor price was cutting right at the bone but the plan was to offer bargain deals until I established a reputation. And I wouldn't have been able to do even that much if a friend hadn't come into a large stash of OEM carb repair kits in a shop inventory he bought. He practically gave them to me.

 

The thread had been there for some weeks by the time I saw it and was periodically being added to by various folks, in particular my newly self-appointed adversary.

 

Soon I learned that my main critic, Mike Nixon had long since declared himself the world's premiere carburetor builder and he specialized in CBX. Not only that, he was getting a thousand dollars a pop! If our places were reversed I wouldn't like me either. Not that it excused the lies but at least now I knew what was driving it.

 

I joined ICOA and CBXWorld but lurked in the shadows and hoped that over time the positive comments would accumulate.

 

Indeed, while all this was going on I was getting rave feedback on ebay, which got noticed to the extent that Nixon, who refers to himself as "the carburetor god," upped the stakes and swore that he knew “for a fact” that I reused old cracked gaskets, diaphragms, and orings, and that I didn't properly service critical circuits. 100% untrue but there it was in black and white.

 

Shortly, Mike C., who'd sent me the original link, posted to the thread in question that he was pleased with the work I'd done for him—and was quickly set upon by the Nixonites. “The Carburetor God” himself chimed in with a few more transparent lies, which were made all the more bizarre because he'd actually seen my work in person by now.

 

Mike C. held his ground and weathered the abuse.

 

At the time, ICOA was a bustling community. Being a bitter quarrel among forum heavyweights, the thread was getting a lot of traffic. The thing that worried me was how many customers I was losing. It feels like very job is make or break when you're the new kid and it was easy to imagine prospects shying away in droves so naturally I took it very much to heart. Little did I know.

 

Early in January of 2011 a guy named Barry Peterson contacted me about his CBX carbs. He lived nearby so he dropped them off. The job went off without a hitch. Or so I thought.

 

Six months later he called and said the bike was acting up. I assured him that if the problem was in the carbs I'd set them right and refund all or part of his money for the trouble. I just needed to see them, that's all.

 

This was where things really took off.

 

He abruptly switched to sending text messages and the first one said, "No need to bring them back, just send a check."

 

I repeated that seeing them was a precondition, just like in every other business. This way they'd be fixed and he'd have his money back if it was my fault. And it wasn't as though he had to ship them across the country—he was in the vicinity practically every day.

 

He'd have none of it. All he wanted was money, and he wanted it now.

 

That Friday night, late, my phone began chiming with text messages that were coming faster than I could read them. It was him saying things such as, "I'm going to get my money or my money's worth,"..."You're my bitch now,"... "You better not piss me off,"..."I'll never relent," etc. By midnight he'd he sent around thirty. The last one of the night read, "I know where you are. Sleep well." For the record, I didn't sleep very well that night and nor did my wife.

 

The next morning he was back at it but now there were "multimedia" messages intermixed with the texts.

 

We have a family phone plan and I'd shut off certain functions for the kids' sake so I replied that if he had something to show me, use email.

 

He wrote, "I'm in San Jose all the time, (expletive deleted), and I just love to show up unannounced." So now I had to warn my kids to stay away from the shop.

 

Then he sent me an email containing a blurry photo of a carburetor bowl where the gasket was obviously slashed with a sharp tool of some kind. I was already on high alert and this latest was so heavy handed it was hard to believe that he expected me to fall for it.

 

The most nerve rattling part was that he'd fall silent just long enough to make me think that perhaps he'd given up and gone away but then he'd start up again with renewed vigor. Always late at night, and always with psycho-sexual references that I was his property to do with as he pleased.

 

A couple of weeks into his campaign I asked him if he'd stop if I gave him the money. He said it was too late. Oh I still had to pay mind you, but the punishment would continue on account of he was having so much fun.

 

Out of the blue he demanded 3500 dollars. He'd paid 450.00 but by now I'd given him so much grief he felt it was more than justified.

 

I texted him at one point that it might look bad if, say, the police saw what he was doing. He replied, "Own up bitch...you f**ked up my carbs on purpose girly-boy...give me my money right now (expletive)...you'll be sorry, (expletive). ..I'm getting mad and you don't want that..." “I'll get my money or my money's worth...”

 

For the record there was nothing wrong with them at all. One day it was "bad gaskets," and then there was "carburetor fungus" growing in them. Fungus? Then he declared that the floats were upside down. He claimed to have photos but wouldn't produce one. He also said he'd sent the carbs to “someone who actually knows what they're doing,” and I owed him for that as well.

 

I'd been to to the police station shortly after the first round of texts. They said he was clearly disturbed but since he hadn't acted on his threats they couldn't do anything.

 

Just before Thanksgiving a few things happened at more or less the same time.

 

The first was that I tried to appeal to his decency by telling him that my wife and kids were thoroughly terrified.

 

He replied, "Does your wife give head for money?" And ten minutes later, "You haven't seen shit yet..." The following afternoon he sent three separate one-word texts, spaced a few moments apart for dramatic effect: "SHIT..." "Storm..." "Cometh." (“Shit storm" was a favorite phrase and he'd warned me a dozen times that something horrible was in store.)

 

Then another multimedia message arrived. My wife asked in bewilderment why he kept sending stuff we couldn't see, upon which our teenage daughter volunteered to show her how to open it. It turns out I'd only shut off the function on the kids' phones. On ours it was as easy as pushing the correct buttons. Kids know these things, somehow.

 

She took the phone and after a few moments of fiddling with it shrieked, dropped it, and started wailing. After a few moments of chaos we learned why. He'd sent us a video of a young girl performing oral sex on a horse. VERY graphic if you get my meaning.

 

Understand, he hadn't merely found a random internet clip. He'd actually manufactured this filth just for us, complete with a scrolling animated text overlay that read “SHIIIIIT STOOOOORM.” With blood dripping off the letters no less. Say what you want but the guy knows how to make the nastiest porn imaginable. How he found someone willing to undergo such brutal humiliation is utterly beyond me but clearly he's worked it out. Perhaps he does it on the side to supplement his income as a Snap-On Tool salesman.

 

The next morning I was back at the police station.

 

This time the desk sergeant said she wanted to throw up and immediately put me with a detective from the sex crimes unit, who took my phone to copy the files onto an evidence CD-ROM. Another video arrived while the lab had it, this one of a grotesquely obese woman with her arm up her own vagina clear to the elbow. This one had animated text too, just so we wouldn't mistake its origin or purpose. Like we get videos like this all the time.

 

One troubling detail that emerged from the investigation was that Peterson had small children living at home. It also bothered the detective that Peterson was ignoring repeated phone messages to call him right away. Peterson appeared unfazed, which itself was all the more reason to be wary.

 

He'd also been promising all along to use the internet to destroy me. True to his word, on the day that he sent the "horsey video" he posted to the infamous “pro-Nixon” thread on the ICOA forum under the nickname bikinbear (which I immediately recognized because it was also his email and ebay name). He wrote that after I'd exhausted his near-saintly patience by not standing up like a man, etc., he was being forced to sue me for 3500 dollars. He closed his rant by adding, "...oldschool is being shown what a shit storm looks like."

 

The chorus of usuals jostled with each other to be the first so say that it was game over—nobody in their right mind would trust me now. One of them declared that this was the archetypical “last word” and appealed to the forum administrator to lock the thread.

 

That person, Nils Menten, agreed and did just that, adding in the process that it was good to finally know the real truth. Remember the name, it figures prominently from here on.

 

This, I thought, was over the top. A certain amount of back and forth is to be expected but for Peterson to publicly declare that he was in a courtroom dispute with me suggested much, all of it bad. Menten's locking the thread served, at least to my way of looking at it, to cement libel in stone.

 

So let's get this out of the way right now: I have never been sued for any reason, ever.

 

The thread being locked I couldn't respond there, nor could a happy customer, so I sent a group email to everyone who'd contributed since its inception: Nixon, Menten, Jan Ringnalda, Rick Pope, Mike Simon, Dave McMunn, Randall Washington (owner of Randakks Cycle Shak http://www.randakks.com,) and several others. I didn't know it at the time but most of these individuals were either the board members of ICOA or had a stake in the for-profit aspects of the CBX. Or both.

 

I gave them a brief rundown of the criminal case that was developing against Peterson, together with the detective's phone number and the criminal case number in case they didn't believe me. Actually I pleaded with them NOT to believe me and to make the call.

 

After two weeks of deafening silence I pressed my case with Menten. I figured that since he had the authority to lock the thread, upon learning that it was libelous perhaps he go a step further and delete it altogether. I thought to myself, “Who on earth would want their organization even remotely associated with this kind of depravity?”

 

He replied:

 

"You are pushing your luck with me. You are ascribing super powers to me that I personally do not have. So what if there's a plot against you? Deleting negative comments will never happen just because you don't like them.

If however we did find that someone was using the forum to harass, or intimidate,
 we would remove them. We'd just have to know about it.

 

If you have a complaint about Mike Nixon, don't expect it to go over well here.

Nils Menten."

 

Well. As far as "knowing" about someone using the forum to harass me, all he had to do was, well, open his eyes. And to what "super powers" was he alluding? I merely asked that he remove content which I could prove was libelous. The problem, which I'd only just begun to discover, was that I blindly assumed that he'd react far differently.

 

The reason I say this is because I'd just learned of an incident where someone started a new thread on the ICOA website in praise of my work. Evidently it wasn't well received. Menten, exercising his (non-existent?) authority, had nuked the entire thread on the argument that it was escalating to a "flame war." This suggested two things. First, one or more folks said nice things about me and second, they were punished for it.

 

So I took my appeal to Jan Ringnalda, who I'd just learned was president of the ICOA. He took an equally bizarre tangent by ignoring my complaint altogether in and instead summarily warned me about saying anything bad about Mike Nixon.

 

I couldn't understand why everyone assumed I was after the guy. I was pissed about being the victim of libel, which is to say that Peterson was the problem, not Nixon. In fact Nixon had been silent since Peterson's rant (conspicuously so, in looking back at it.) But then again he didn't need to speak up. His followers held him up as having never received a bad review. Ever. My point being that there was no indication that he had anything to do with it. It seemed a little odd to be sure but it was still early in the process and I was struggling against the stonewalling. Home life was in a turmoil because Peterson for all we knew was out there stalking us.

 

After some testy email exchanges Ringnalda told Menten to unock the thread and there it sat. It bears noting that this single thread had not only been visited more times than any other on the entire web portal, but had accomplished it in one tenth of the time it took for other topics to accumulate even a fraction of the traffic. As of this moment, 4:00 PM Aug. 8, 2012, there are 8745 unique page views. This is up by 40 in the last seven days alone. The next busiest topic has received only 3 hits in the same period and its overall total is well under 5000 over a four year stretch. It's anybody's guess how many of this one's readers are (or were) potential customers who either found it on their own or were directed there. More on this in a bit.

 

One of my friends was especially steamed. He has a daughter, you see. We have coffee most mornings so he'd seen everything on my phone, plus which he was up to speed on forum goings-on. He offered to join the ICOA and CBXWorld forums as a new CBX owner and do some snooping around under the guise of someone who's naïvely receptive to all the bad things everyone's saying about oldschoolcarbs.

 

So “CliffyCBX” was born. He paid his membership fees (reimbursed by me) and we put together a post regarding quirky carburetors that was guaranteed to get a response. However, and this is significant, we posted to the CBXWorld website, NOT to the ICOA—where the thread we're talking about is located. Sure enough, within a day a person nicknamed “falldownphil” aka Phil Taber replied with Nixon's phone number. He was emphatic that CliffyCBX shouldn't trust anyone else and said that Nixon was awaiting his call.

 

When Cliff called, Nixon launched without preamble into a pitch about how he was the only man for the job. Cliff allowed that this certainly looked to be the case and while they chatted he casually asked about, "this idiot who calls himself oldschoolcarbs." Nixon took the bait and instructed Cliff to search out a certain thread on a forum called the ICOA. Cliff said he'd never heard of it so Nixon told him how to find it while adding,"The guy's nothing but trouble," he said. "Trust me."

 

The next day Cliff called again and said he'd read the ICOA thread. While they chatted he mused about how oldschool had the balls to put his name out there, what with a lawsuit going on. He wondered if Nixon had any inside dirt.

 

God” replied, "I could tell you a lot more. Believe me, it's bad, really bad, but I don't like to spread rumors. Just read what everyone else says and let that be your guide."

 

A few days later Cliff got an email from Nixon with some "new and updated" paragraphs that he's planning to include in an online article that discusses choosing the right carb specialist. He boasts that he wrote the entire thing with oldschool in mind. Believing that Cliff is firmly in his camp, he values any input his new-found soul mate can offer.

 

Meanwhile, Peterson was taunting me, "How does it feel to have my dick in your ass, motherf**ker?"

 

But here's the thing: There is no cliffycbx. Cliff is a real person, and with a real daughter too, but his sole contribution was, well, zero. It was me all the way. These days it's easy to create a dummy email address and go a-sleuthing.

 

So the whole time Mike Nixon thought he was forming a deep bond with a kindred soul, he was talking to yours truly.

 

The phone calls are priceless. The guy was so eager to make me look like an idiot that he'd grab at anything. Supposedly I crank out 15 carb sets a week. None of them actually work so he's up to his elbows repairing them for my irate customers.

 

But think about this brassy claim for a moment: Even if it was physically possible to do that much work, and given that in the majority of instances I was only ripping people off, why did they keep sending enough work to me that I could sustain that kind of volume? You can get a headache trying to sort out this kind of nonsense and after two equally bizarre conversations I'd heard enough.

 

BTW, I recorded those conversations. Evil me.

 

My CliffyCBX alter-ego had mostly served his purpose by now but I couldn't kill him off without raising suspicion so I decided to continue the ruse, which I played out on both forums. As the fiction went, Cliffy sent his carbs to oldschool after all and afterward put up pictures with comments as to how happy he was. (The real owner was thrilled when many months later I told him why and how I'd used his carbs. Seems he'd once written something nice about me on the ICOA forum and the thread had disappeared over night...)

 

Predictably, the regulars, Menten in particular, scoffed that it was either a fluke or that oldschool had persuaded him to lie. The whole theme was, “They look nice but they're garbage.”

 

Indeed, Nixon's entire thrust in his “How To Choose a Carb Builder” page is that I obsess over making them pretty to compensate for being a gap-toothed moron. “Duuuh...lookit the purdy carboraders I done did...” Seriously, that's a quote.

 

Naturally, CliffyCBX responded with effusive praise about how well they ran.

 

Yes, you call my subterfuge “shameless self-promotion” if you're so disposed. The forum junkies sure did (once they learned the truth that is)—and have done so ever since, and loudly. But I wasn't ready to let the world in on my little secret yet.

 

Fact was, the relentless attacks on CliffyCBX bore out the foresight behind creating a straw man rather than ask a real customer to make a stationary target of himself. This way I was 100% in control of the dialog, which was precisely where I needed to be if I wanted to, say, gather it all into one place.

 

By the end of December 2011 the detective had interviewed Peterson. He owned up to everything but tried to shift blame to a "friend" who he said was only trying to help him get his money. So, there was an accomplice!

 

I'd been wondering about that angle long before Peterson spilled this particular can of beans. When he first showed up he'd said that he knew all about Mike Nixon's reputation but was coming to me owing to my price. And of course before I stumbled into Nixon's private heaven he was, well, god. Questions abounded. There was no smoking gun, yet, but the signs were all there.

 

I wanted to see how Nixon would react to a direct accusation so the CliffyCBX avatar fired off an email saying that he'd recently learned certain things about what was going on at ICOA and that Peterson's mention of an accomplice suggested that he, Nixon, was up to his eyeballs. Cliffycbx vowed that if he ever got his hands on proof that this was true, he'd move mountains to expose Nixon's role. Strong stuff, but it was what the moment called for.

 

Almost immediately, I—as in me myself, not cliffycbx—got an email from Nixon where he sheepishly admitted that perhaps he'd done “some things,” all in the spirit of fair competition you see, but he promised he wouldn't do it any more and wanted us to be friends now.

 

Weeks passed as the case dragged on, during which time cliffycbx offered up an occasional pro-oldschoolcarbs comment just to keep things in the forefront. I did this because an attorney friend said I needed to show a pattern in case it went that far. A civil suit wasn't off the table and in fact courts were increasingly finding for plaintiffs in cases strikingly similar to mine.

 

The strange thing was, Menten would take a cheap shot at me, oldschoolcarbs, whenever opportunity arose. I was still posting as my genuine self, being always careful not to respond in any thread where CliffyCBX posted. To his credit, I believe that Menten began to suspect something about the cliffyCBX/oldschoolcarbs connection. Good for him. But then again not so much.

 

It's easy to lose track of what multiple identities are doing. Honestly, I don't know how pathological liars do it. I knew where the inconsistencies were and assumed that it was only a matter of time before someone caught on. The funny thing was that they were too focused on venting their bladders to notice.

 

I finally despaired of hoping that they'd take the libel down so a few days after Christmas I started a new thread on the ICOA website saying that bikinbear was in trouble with the law. Short and to the point, no mention of cohorts or the sex-crimes case. I just wanted to put it out there that there was more to the story than anyone knew. Traffic to the libelous thread was still robust so I needed to push back somehow.

 

The next morning it was gone and my password didn't work. Same for CliffyCBX. I had a curt email from Menten where he says he deleted it and cancelled both memberships for “abusing forum rules.”

 

Evidently he'd emerged from his stupor just long enough to examine traffic logs. It didn't take an idiot to notice that cliffycbx and oldschoolcarbs posts originated from the same . The jig was up. Oh well. It took him a damn long time if you ask me.

 

Before the day was out the news had spread like wildfire.

 

Save for Nixon, who might have felt a sneaking suspicion that he hadn't heard the last of it, the rabble immediately leaped to the collective conclusion that the whole thing was a pathetic attempt on my part at self-aggrandizement, which only emboldened them. They went from rude to smug and rude.

 

It's coming up on nearly a year since Peterson showed up on ICOA and so far my attempts to set the record straight have been thwarted. In Ringnalda's own words, Peterson's post comprises, "valuable and pertinent information," whereas everything I say is, "unsubstantiated hearsay."

 

If anything, it's me who's doing the harassing around here.

 

Indeed, I pointed out to Ringnalda that proof that I wasn't being sued resided in the absence of a public record. If an action is underway, there's a record. Period. But instead of search court filings, which are online (um, I sent him the link?), he insisted that Peterson was suing me and said that ICOA will sue me if I don't go away.

 

In a recent email I merely informed Ringnalda that the criminal case against Peterson is at last moving forward and that an investigator used special software to take screenshots of the entire ICOA web portal for evidence. That was all I said, nothing more, nothing less

 

This showed up in my email the next morning:

 

"I have no idea what chasm you jumped across to infer that I had anything to do with anyone harassing you, and I also have no idea how you think anyone else is complicit. If you say so again you are flirting with libel.

 

Please do not email me again for any reason Jack. I do not want to hear from you again.

 

Nils Menten."

 

Note that my email was to Ringnalda, and yet it was Menten who took up the cause.

 

Ringnalda himself replied, "There is a lot of negativity coming from you, and this just isn't helping your case."

 

And it only gets worse. On 8/7/2012, Ringnalda escalated hostilities by swearing that every single person he's ever talked to regarding my work, “and you can be sure that there have been many,” has had to send my carbs to Mike Nixon for rehabilitation. He concedes that they're pretty on the outside but inside they're a wreck.

 

There's a new online wrinkle too. I sent an early edit of what you're reading to Ringnalda on Aug 4.

 

At long last the cat was well and truly out of the bag.

 

The copyright meant that he wasn't supposed to distribute it but suddenly there are references to the damning ICOA thread popping up on other forums. Maybe it's a huge coincidence but the two I've seen are on websites that are sponsored by Randakk's Cycle Shack whose owner, Randall Washington, is one of my more vituperative detractors owing no doubt to the fact that he and Nixon are by mutually proud admissions "the closest of personal friends."

 

Notably, the owner of the Naked Goldwing Forum, (underwritten by Randakk's), summarily canceled my membership there as a token gesture of solidarity. A private email explaining this says, “I won't tolerate people who only want to stir up shit.”

 

As for Washington himself, he edited Randakk's Cycle Shak to sing Mike Nixon's praise even more effusively than before.

 

I don't believe that Ringnalda or Menten had prior knowledge of the texts or videos. I'm fairly certain that Nixon did and I'll get to that shortly. But I do believe, well I'm certain of it, that they seized upon the situation when it presented itself because it furthers their evident objection in principle to my mere existence, and of course Nixon stands to benefit financially from anything that damages me.

 

Allow me a purely personal gripe.

 

I'm pissed beyond words that not one of these guys had the basic decency to denounce what Peterson did. My wife and daughter deserve better, at least that's how I see it. Even something to the effect of, "well, you're still a loser but this is just plain wrong," would give me some sense of relief. But instead they've circled the wagons.

 

8/20/2012

 

Things have disintegrated of late. It's both tragic and funny, but mostly I think it's sad.

 

Let's start where I left off, with the ICOA declaring war.

 

To recap, I sent Ringnalda et.al. an "appeasement" email saying, "Peterson is lying and proof thereof rests in the absence of a record that he's suing me, which you could easily verify for yourself. Don't you feel the slightest moral or ethical obligation to note this fact in the thread where the libel is published?"

 

They do not, it would appear.

 

As of Aug 17th 2012 I'd sent a PDF (non-editable) of this to a small handful of people, one of whom was Jan Ringnalda—who, as previously noted, immediately violated the copyright and forwarded it to his inner group.

 

I also sent it to Mike C., who wrote to Ringnalda directly. We'll get back to the gang-fight that ensued there in a moment.

 

The third recipient, my lawyer friend Jeff Brandt, took a page from CliffyCBX's book and contacted Nixon under the guise of a prospective customer. He did this without my knowledge and only yesterday forwarded to me the email thread that accumulated over a two-weeks' long interval.

 

Once they were a few emails into the relationship, and having won Nixon's trust, Jeff asked about Peterson's lawsuit. Nixon responded thus: (This is a distilled version of a two page spittle-flying rant but the quotes are entirely respective of context.)

 

"Jeff , There's a lot more and I wish I could tell you...believe me....Just ask on the forum...He's a hack...a cubicle monkey who one day decided out of the blue to start doing carbs...he reuses old gaskets and orings...I am being charitable, believe me...I know this sounds arrogant, but hear me out.... If you haven't read my article, you need to. (My article What You Need to Know About Carb Rebuilders was written with him in mind)...The simple truth is I taught him every good thing he knows and that's no joke."

 

Curious, I've never met Mike Nixon and the two times we talked on the phone he believed that I was someone who hated me as much as he does. (I'm sure Freud would have a wry comment about how good I am at pretending to despise myself but whatever.) So naturally I wonder how it came to be that he taught me anything at all, all the more so when I think of the time I've devoted to debunking his silly myths.

 

Having been caught out in some really ugly shenanigans thus far, and in light of assurances that he'd knock it off—which are in themselves tacit admissions of guilt—you'd think that it would dawn on him that there are pitfalls to talking about people behind their backs. Evidently not. For myself, I believe that the deficiency is telling.

 

Here's why: it looks as though Nixon did in fact instruct Peterson to post on the ICOA forum and has since been driving traffic there. This comes not from Peterson but from Nixon himself. When Jeff told Nixon that he knew the whole story and directly accused him of masterminding the whole thing, “god” went silent. Again.

 

Remember, this all transpired before Jeff sent me the thread. He was open to the possibility that Nixon had changed his stripes but wasn't altogether surprised to learn otherwise. After I pulled my fist out of the wall I emailed Nixon and invited him to try and put a better spin on himself, if only to give the appearance that he actually possesses the stratospherically high ethical standards he claims to embody.

 

I mean, having your pal send bestiality porn to a teenage girl? If someone even remotely hinted that I was within a mile of such a morally bankrupt enterprise I'd carve my response into his forehead.

 

Nixon? Too craven to make a peep. Of course this isn't definitive proof but if I wasn't thoroughly satisfied before, I am now.

 

Back to Ringnalda and Mike C.

 

The exchanges in which those two and others engaged is long, contorted, and 100% venom on the respondee's parts so I'll use cut/paste judiciously.

 

Mike complained (he's known these characters for years and was driven out of ICOA for opposing group-think) that the ICOA board, collectively and individually, was out to harm my reputation to their financial benefit.

 

Jan immediately copied his inner circle so they could chime is as needed, which is how it devolved into a many-against-one brawl.

 

Here, encapsulated, is what Ringnalda et. al. have to say on behalf of the ICOA, oft paraphrased but again entirely respectful of context.

 

Ringnalda: "I'm not here to wipe anyone's ass."

 

As for Peterson's posts, Ringnalda again deems them fit to stand on their own merit. He also wants the world to know how deeply he resents the very idea that he'd speak out against Peterson or worse yet, remove him and his posts. His words, dripping with sarcasm, read, "What would you have me do, censor him??"

 

But to Mike's suggestion that he reopen the thread he replies, "If someone tries to join ICOA to post something good about oldschool we'll delete it and cancel that person's membership."

 

It looks like Ringnalda has my best interests at heart after all because he justifies ICOA's heels-dug-in stance by by adding,"We don't want to subject oldschool or his followers to being dragged through the mud."

 

Really? I have “followers”? Look ma, I'm a cult leader.

 

Board member Rick Pope piped up and said that I was using the forum to engage in false advertising. Pope continues, "To say that oldschool is in the same league as Mike Nixon is quite a stretch. There's no doubt his ethics fall short." I take this as broad praise. I guess it depends on how you read his subject-verb conflict.

 

The only thing missing is a reference to the presumptive homosexual relationship that logically must exist between myself and anyone who likes me or my work. Well think again—Ringnalda covered that too.

 

And the zany antics continue.

 

When I argued many months ago that ICOA is unique in that a person doesn't have to log in to read posts like on all other forums ie, CBXWorld, NGW, CB1100f.net, Ringnalda replied, "Anyone in the world with an internet connection can access our site absolutely for free. I repeat, it's ABSOLUTELY FREE."

 

But when Mike C. accuses him of purposefully abusing the forum to damage me for their and Nixon's financial benefit he says, "The ICOA is a private club supported by, and for the exclusive use of, paid members only."

 

Talk about a pattern.

 

But where some advise me to ignore them, I find myself acutely aware that a madman with a flame thrower can do an immense amount of damage. Besides, I'm engaged in the telling of the story by now and so it goes forward on it's own momentum.

 

Indeed, everyone who's read this tells me that had they seen Peterson's post prior they'd have run in the opposite direction. Being sued is just too big of a liability to overcome, the occasional good review notwithstanding. Especially with the big guns reminding everyone how they predicted long ago that my fortunes would end up this way.

 

So naturally I wonder about all the inquiries I've received in the last 11 months from people I never heard from again.

 

8/25/2012

 

Ringnalda just posted this, on the ICOA masthead no less to ensure that all visitors, even those without posting privileges, will see it before anything else.

 

"Due to unverifyable [sic] and unnecessary negative communications regarding ICOA, its board and senior members from this vendor, combined with threats of possible legal actions, all threads referencing either OldSchoolCarbs or Jack Wagner have been removed. Please note all future mentions of JD Wagner or OldSchoolCarbs will be dealt with by the moderators and removed. At this time we are no longer interested in positive, negative or indifferent feedback about Jack Wagner or the services provided by OldSchoolCarbs. His userID has been blocked. Any suspected aliases (CliffyCBX was one) have also been blocked. Any future aliases will also be blocked.

For recommendations regarding services for CBX carburettor restoration or repair, please talk to people who have had work done and draw your own conclusions. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors, ICOA.
 "

 

And all I did to merit this was to forward a brief message to the collective board members: "Libel laws exist for a reason and courts have found for plaintiffs such as myself in similar cases."

 

The investigation was bearing sufficient fruit to act not just against Nixon and Peterson but ICOA as well. Yes, it would be punishingly expensive to prosecute but a “preponderance” (lawyer-speak) of irrefutable evidence is in my hands nevertheless.

 

I'm finally comfortable enough with my understanding of the situation to repeat the following as reasonably acceptable fact:

 

Peterson, disgruntled at being unable to sell his CBX for the absurdly high price he wanted on Craigslist, called on Nixon to support his claim that I'd ripped him off. Peterson was strapped financially—having recently lost a job as a lineman and his newly minted Snap-On Tool distributorship wasn't going anywhere. The craigslist ad (which BTW went up only a few weeks after he got his carbs back from me) said that the bike ran flawlessly. (The phone number on the ad was his.)

 

Nixon, seeing an opportunity to do me dirt, instructed Peterson to sign up on the ICOA forum for the specific purpose of reporting what they both knew were lies. The horse video was merely icing on the cake, and was likely attributable to the fact that this is simply a reflection of the twisted world in which they live.

 

Nixon, Menten, and Ringnalda then put their heads together and for the next many months they directed traffic there to whatever extend they could manage, all the while stiff-arming me. Ringnalda in particular, owing to his being president of the ICOA, possesses far-reaching connections throughout all of motorcycle-dom.

 

There was no other imaginable way for the thread to accumulate so much traffic than by active intervention. I know I've touched on this already but the day that Peterson wrote his very first post there were 1400 or so visits, which had taken the better part of a year to accumulate. In the eight months following, it jumped to just over nine thousand. That was no coincidence.

 

As far fetched as it felt even to me, once I had the pieces in place I sent Ringnalda an email detailing what I believed was happening. His reply was surreal. He sidestepped it as though never written and instead demanded that I rewrite my ebay advertisement and website text. He says that the only reason I've become even "semi-competent" is because I masqueraded as other people to trick Nixon into revealing trade secrets, and that I must therefore give him and Nixon 100% of the credit for any successes I might enjoy.

 

It absolutely boggles the mind. But the thread is gone and that's all I wanted anyway. We move forward all the happier for that and let the rest be.

 

9/21/2012

 

I think I was a little naive.

 

For a spell things settled down, or so I thought. I'm pleased that the thread is gone, but on a whim I logged onto CBXWorld, the west-coast hangout for CBX'ers, just to see what was in the air. This was maybe three weeks after Ringnalda's public meltdown.

 

The ICOA folks moved the the war and forgot to invite me. I might have expected it but still, you can never really prepare for the visceral shock of seeing pure vitriol written about you. Ringnalda had posted a hysterical rant that was merely a repeat of everything he'd already said, and Menten followed suit. From there it spread and before long all of the regulars were piling on about what a crook I am.

 

The story behind part of their venom, however, is that there are loads of misinformation in Nixon's online technical write ups, and this is entirely by design. He'll make the subject at hand look torturously complex, and in the process will bend the truth past the breaking point; but rather than tell you the answer he leads up to saying that now you have to buy his 39 dollar pamphlet to unravel the deep mystery.

 

This kind of device rubs me the wrong way. Fact is, there is no clearer or more reliable source of tech data than the Honda shop manual, which is a free download.

 

With this in mind I'd occasionally post tidbits of general info—we're talking me here, oldschoolcarbs, not CliffyCBX— that just happened to point out the more glaring inconsistencies in Nixon's oh so down-home musings. Okay, so I was selectively targeting his myths for busting but it's not like I had to look very hard. I kept it strictly on task, taunting remarks notwithstanding.

 

In order to dispel the notion that he's ever taught me anything I only wrote on subjects to which I could find no reference in his “white papers.”

 

But my website was naturally where I put my best effort. I covered what I believe are the important things to be aware of, striving always to be informative on subjects that you wouldn't find on his pages. Believe me, there was a time when I searched out everything he ever wrote. I was fastidious to the point of being obsessive about differentiating between us.

 

Say what you want about Mike Nixon but he's really intelligent. I mean, like, genius-level. What does he do? About six months after oldshcoolcarbs.com went live he registered a bunch of domain names—CBXcarbs.com, CB750carbs.com, Goldwingcarbs.com, and V4carbs.com. He populated them with (putatively) newly-written articles on similar subjects as those I penned. However, the copyrights are predated to look like he wrote them long ago. So now he gets to tell himself and anyone who's listening, once again, that I am in fact plagiarizing his intellectual property.

 

Perhaps I should be flattered that he monitors me so closely but it's also creepy.

 

Or maybe it's just a huge coincidence and I'm seeing ghosts because I'm paranoid.

 

Along in the process of separating my real self from my straw man identity I offended them and I'm just now receiving threats. Again. Not veiled ones mind you but direct and to the point: If I don't go away they're going to do bad things.

 

It has nothing to do with the facts, either with regard to forum drama or technical issues.

 

No, once the word was out that this article was on my website they're beside themselves with indignation that I infiltrated their twisted little cabal.

 

Of the many nasty emails I got once I blew my own cover, there are two that stand out.

 

The first is from Tony Herd who writes:

 

"Due to your totally dishonest attempts to confuse, obfuscate and shamelessly self promote by using fictitious testimonials from non-existent customers I hereby formally withdraw my previous approval for you to use my tip on your web site. Your conduct has been simply unacceptable. 

With the utmost seriousness and concern for your well being may I most humbly and respectfully suggest it may be time to step back from all this, talk about your state of mind openly with your family, and perhaps get some assistance from your local mental health practitioner. Having been there myself some time back and I do recognise [sic] the signs and behaviours." 

 

This reveals a couple of things. For one, the next time someone says to you, “I used to be crazy,” start walking. Any psychiatrist will tell you that they can only mitigate psychological disorders with chemicals.

 

More to the point, he can't be bothered to read this. If he has read it and is able nevertheless to arrive at his singularly myopic conclusion, it's only further evidence that he's still, well, you get the idea.

 

The other is from Phil Taber (falldownphil) who wrote a rather long tirade in which he informs me that the person with the sick and twisted mind is in reality me. Here's an example:“The side of the fence I'm on is the one you pushed me to. You know what's really pathetic is that Nixon's said nothing but good things about you, Jack. If you don't leave the forum forever I'll have no choice but to publish all the emails I have from people who will testify that you do substandard work.”

 

This presented a minor complication in that I was about to make an inconspicuous exit anyway but now I had to hang around just to call his bluff. So I wrote a few posts here and there to make sure he got the message. He never followed through.

 

1/10/2013

 

Here we go again.

 

In late November of last year I got a call from Jay Leno. We conducted our business and I asked if he would don an oldschoolcarbs cap and send me a photo for my website, to which he enthusiastically agreed.

 

**I just have to throw this in: His guy had a set of cbx carbs apart and back together while a film crew stood by, looking at their watches and tapping their feet. Now THAT'S what I call a guru. **

 

I put the photo on my website and enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

 

Now, a brief history of Mike C.: Friends like him are rare but I say this in full knowledge of the fact that he'd turn on me in a heartbeat if I were to, for example, send barnyard porn to a teenage girl. Having stood up to the forum junkies he's taken more than his share of abuse. So it goes without saying that he answers to no man where it comes to speaking his mind.

 

Practically the instant the photo was up, he posted a link to my site on the CBX List, (which isn't a forum but an email distribution list—and is a place where I'm able to give advice without worry that someone will use it as a jumping off point for a full scale meltdown.) Well, that's what I thought anyway...

 

In any case, he wrote that Oldschool was getting some favorable attention.

 

And of course my website is where a person would find what you're reading just now. Eyeballs were landing there at a dramatically accelerated clip.

 

Almost immediately Ringnalda posted to the List (I didn't know he was even a member) that he's open to comments as to improving the ICOA. He wryly says "I'm wearing my nomex suit, so bring it on." It would seem that membership and traffic are both falling off drastically at ICOA over the last several months. Some would say it's in free fall, but whatever the reason he's right to be concerned so one in his position would naturally want things to recover. He's in this for the money, you know.

 

On Dec. 31, Leno's CBX video went live.

 

I put it on my website and again gave Cecchini the go-ahead to post the link to CBX List.

 

Before the day was out Ringnalda came off the spool. He replies,

 

Mike

Yes you are the wisest.  You early adopter, you dragonslayer.  It is great you supported Jack while he was contacting Mike Nixon with false names to trick him into revealing trade secrets.

 

If only he could have offered good work without trying to drag respected CBX community members through the mud and posting with multiple personalities, we would now be having much more positive and pleasant communications.

We will see how this develops. Good resources are needed [but] trashing other resources is STILL unwanted.

Hopefully the drama and false accusations are a thing of the past, and maybe the new year resolution for Jack is to continue to build his enterprise in the normal manner; i.e. with honest hard work and good references (not just yours) without needing to generate hype.

Jan

 

I hadn't given more than a passing thought to the forums for it seemed like forever. Upon this latest hissy fit I wondered what was going on over there. Actually it was my wife who said, “You gotta see this!”

 

Within hours of the video's debut someone had started a thread on CBXWorld which quickly descended into the usual trashtalk, and not just about me. They excoriated Leno in absentia for his poor choice. Having someone of his stature turn to Mike Nixon was if anything a birthright whereas coming to me was a slap in the face to the CBX universe.

 

I took it in stride, noting with mild satisfaction that at least they weren't being as gratuitously vile as in previous times. After a few days of lively traffic things quieted down with no real daggers being slung.

 

I was beginning to fantasize that if things were to progress from quasi-civil to, dare I say, cordial...

 

Then the head guy of CBXWorld went all Ringnalda and posted this--out of the peaceful clear blue, with nothing having been said to warrant it:

 

To address issues brought up in this thread, it appears to have at least partially resolved itself after I read all 4 pages myself to review what has been said. I just stand back as an admin here and let all post whatever's needed to be said in dissent or otherwise, and I'll dump water on any flame wars in here if need be. You guys handled things just fine......no moderation needed by me!...”

 

This was self-evident so why bother ringing that bell? But he's the forum owner so if he wants to show his ass, whatever. If only he'd left it at that.

 

But he continues,

The oldschoolcarbs issue arose because Jack himself did in fact take out a secondary account in here(CliffyCBX) and did use it to try to influence his postings in the past. Mike Nixon also does carb work in here and took offense to some comments made by Jack awhile back, and made known his feelings...no wrong in voicing an opinion if it's kept civil, which it was.

 

After it was brought up that substandard work had allegedly been done by OSC, the shit hit the proverbial oscillating device and this in turn lit off most of the whole thing. OSC was warned (about) forum rules...He left the site shortly thereafter under dubious terms.”

 

You'd think I'd be used to it by now but I just can't get over these guys' steely determination to keep the negative stuff under the microscope. I just wish they'd get their facts even close to straight.

 

So ultimately there's been no forward movement whatsoever.

 

Boo hoo. LOL.

 

11/5/2013

 

I swear, some people...

 

I stayed away from the forums for the longest time, but a customer whose opinion I value asked that I have a look at one called CB1100f.net, because one or two of the “experts” there were loading inquisitive, wide-eyed innocent newbies down with misinformation--all leading up to exhorting them to send their carbs to Nixon.

 

So I joined.

 

And immediately discovered that these guys really get around. They don't call them forum junkies for nothing.

 

My introductory post was met with caustic jibes from Taber, yes him again, and a guy who calls himself jebbysan—who I immediately recognized from CBXWorld and ICOA.

 

Jebbysan, whose real name is Jeffery Gadient, is a guy who by all appearances monitors a half-dozen forums 24/7 so he can be part of any discussion on any subject whether he has a clue or not. He boasts a lot about his home-made whiskey and his muscle cars, but beyond that I have no idea how he holds a job while spending his days at the keyboard instead of at work.

 

Whenever I ventured to post, he was right there literally within moments with a taunting rejoinder. I wrote something or other having to do with carbs and he immediately jumped in with,“Watch it with me, I'll out you in a heartbeat.” I infer from this that he feels an obligation to let people in on the real truth as promulgated by Ringnalda, Menten et.al.

 

But here's the thing. I have this personality disorder where I feel a compulsion to win over a skeptic. Perhaps I should grow a thicker hide but this kind of thing really gets to me. So anyway, in another thread, this jebbysan person had put up pictures of his CB750. I couldn't help but notice that the bike looks great but the carbs are dingy. It's a case of opposites that dovetail: my carbs look good but they don't run, his are ugly but they (supposedly) run perfectly. (Forgive the sarcasm; I couldn't resist.)

 

With me being new to the forum and him being such a dick right out of the gate I offered to make them look as good as the rest of the bike. The works. For free. In public.

His reply? Let me put it this way: if I made the offer in person I think he'd have spit on me.

 

So here we go, yet again. But rather than drop it I find myself with yet another reason to pursue it just a little further.

 

I have a rule for forums nowadays: I'll only post if 1) I'm the first responder, or 2) If the subject is in my wheelhouse and I see that one of the “gurus” is giving what I know is egregiously poor advice.

 

But just now there's a third criterion: Let's suppose that a forum member agitates to lock someone out or barring that, wants to form a hand-picked group to splinter off—to forge their own way in the wilderness as it were, and not let the undesirables tag along.

 

I'm not theorizing. This has just now happened on CB1100f.net. The author isn't referring to me but nevertheless, it never ceases to surprise me how receptive people are to the idea of shunning and exclusivity. One of the responders actually advocates physical violence against the supposed offender, who merely expresses an opinion to which they don't cotton. (I know, what place do opinions have in purely technical discussions, but never mind.)

 

I wrote an extremely brief recap of my experience with the CBX goobers as an example of how not to run a forum, my expressed point being that tossing people out just because you don't agree with them is what you'd find in a police- or religious- state. Or a middle-school cafeteria.

 

The first answer is from a guy called DOHCRob, who says that he knows everything about my “sordid affair,” and further that I am, in predictable fashion, muddying the waters.

 

Immediately following that, jebbysan elbowed in for his moment in the sun. He prefaces himself by saying that he read this on my website the first time around. He goes on to sagely caution that folks must draw their own conclusions before adding that his own thoughtful analysis yields only one imaginable conclusion: oldschoolcarbs is delusional and made it all up.

 

For all I know or care he just wants to get a rise out of me. There's even a comic aspect to it, but only in a limited sense.

 

If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times that if they want to come after me, whatever. But finding amusement in attacking women and children?

 

Nope. I'll shine a light on you every time.

 

We roll over the bumps and move ahead.

 

12/2014

 

Bizarre.

 

I've had an unspoken agreement with Mike Nixon that he or his followers not use my name in any context, good or bad. Well, if someone wants to say something good about me that's fine--but my point is that we'll coexist provided that they defer comments about me regardless the situation.

 

Some got the memo--even Ringnalda backed off and things seemed to be in a state of equilibrium.

 

Well, I've just now learned that they're back to not playing by the ground rules. "Never stopped" is more like it, but I don't swim in their piss puddle any more so who knew. But then they take the initiative in a way so as to ensure that I'll see it.

 

Turns out that while I was in the hospital after the great crash, one of the Nixon loyalists took it upon himself to libel me. Again. The commenter didn't know that I was fighting for my life when he wrote it, but that's kind of my point: I doubt that it would have made any difference had he known.

 

It started like it always does: someone makes a favorable reference and immediately they commence flicking boogers every which way.

 

This time around the author is Ray Fitzpatrick who goes alternately by 'fasterspider' and 'fitz.' In response to someone posting a link to my website (on Jan 3rd of THIS year) with an accompanying comment that I appear to come highly recommended, "Fitz" writes,

 

"And we of CBX World think that Jack of oldschoolcarbs is a supreme dumbass who can't get it right without resorting to bribery like he did with me actually paying me $250.00 not to give the carbs to Mike Nixon to get them right."

 

In typical fashion it hasn't a grain of truth to it. In fact, the owner of said carbs, Jesse Johnson, not only severed ties with Fitzpatrick due to his childish tantrums but continued not only to send work to me but to refer customers my way.

 

And again for the record there was nothing wrong with them. Except, that is, for the fact that 1) someone had removed the bowls (with the wrong driver no less--brand new screw-heads were all chewed up) and 2) there was a bit of carbonized debris lodged in a jet. I don't have hard-baked rubber anywhere in or near my shop. Just saying...

 

Ray insisted that Jesse send my carbs to "Mike Nixon, the only man on earth who knows how to do them right and who isn't an incompetent idiot moron loser." Really, that's what he said. And much more. So, yes, I offered a partial refund on the condition that he return them to me.

 

Do keep in mind that this all took place long before Nixon and Peterson blasted their way into our lives. Ray might have been a harbinger of things to come, but sometimes who's to know until they're at the gate.

 

Did Peterson take a cue from Ray regarding my overly-conciliatory refund policy? They all know each other but what if he did?

 

It's more about the fact that the cesspool which comprises forums in general is a clear suggestion as to the quality of the people who infest them.

 

You see, there's another wrinkle to the whole thing in that we've developed compelling evidence that as recently as a couple of months ago another Nixonite availed himself of an opportunity to do me a bad turn.

 

Seriously, even I think I'm being paranoid sometimes. But then something pops up that really makes you wonder.

 

Case in point: I sent a set of restored carbs to a shop owner, let's call him "Customer A," for a client's bike. Customer A has in his operation a person who aggressively militates sending out to Nixon instead of to me. What else is new? Those guys are everywhere, and besides which there's nothing inherently wrong with loyalty.

 

Shortly, customer A's client reports that his newly restored bike doesn't run and all signs point to carb trouble.

 

Customer A puts client in touch with me directly to sort it out.

 

On my advice (and assurance that costs would be covered if the fault was mine), client trailers the bike to a close-by shop to pull the carbs and send them to me unmolested--a point upon which I am adamant in order to keep client's warranty in force.

 

Once I had them on my workbench there were some immediately apparent issues. Bowl screws, which were brand new when I put them on, were horribly chewed up. (Uh-oh, this again?)

 

The insides were far worse. In every bowl there was debris that resembled what you'd sweep off the kitchen floor.

 

Equally alarming, the float heights were so far off that the bike wasn't going to run even if the debris didn't do the trick. Oh, and the pilot needles were set willy-nilly. The sheer ham fisted-ness of it was jaw-dropping, to us anyway. Why? Because although my son does a lot of the assembly, I, and only I, do the final button-up, period. But of course the saboteur couldn't know this so he had no idea what a jackass he was making of not only himself but of his employer.

 

Rather than make a federal case out of it I fixed them. Then I got some nail polish of a distinctive color and ever since then I've put a tiny dab on select screws. You can't see it when they're on the bike, but upended on a workbench you can't miss it. I probably should have been doing this all along, but then again how are you supposed to anticipate such dogged determination?

 

Before I started doing this, there were four (that I know of) identically sabotaged sets, one of them that made its way to Australia.

 

Since then? Zero.

 

 

1/26/18

 

Time passes. Man, I gotta tell you these guys just don't give up.

 

I realize that his must seem to be dragging on so I'll be brief.

 

Not so long ago there was a to-do on the CBXWorld forum.

 

A member in Estonia posted that his cbx had burned up so Menten floated a proposal for guys to donate what they could to the noble cause of resurrecting his beloved bike from the ashes. I figured that there was no way on earth they'd sully the love-fest just to get at me so I offered a carb kit. Gawd, but I can be naive.

 

Within moments Taber wrote...oh hell see it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

A day later Menten added this (he needed some time to "gather his thoughts") :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kind of speaks for itself. Devoid of context indeed! Note the date: Mid-2015

 

***

 

7/2017

 

Then there was the time when I logged onto ebay to check what were at the time 12 or more ads. They were all gone and my account was suspended so I called customer support and was informed that a couple of days earlier someone called them and said that I was on life support and not expected to survive. In cases like this their policy is to cancel all ads and freeze the account.

 

I was livid and demanded to know if the caller had given a name. The rep said, "Someone named Phil. Do you know anyone by that name who'd pull a prank like this?"

 

 

2/11/18

 

Okay so maybe this won't be as brief.

 

Hang on to your seat, this is going to be a wild ride. These guys' deviousness simply cannot be anticipated. I haven't said this outright before so let me first say...

 

 

If you send barnyard porn to my wife and daughter:

I am required to make you look like the feces you are.

I can lie to you.

I can trick you.

I can scheme against you.

I can swear a solemn oath and break it with a smile.

I can do any damn thing I want,

(except physically threaten or financially defraud.)

 

About a year and a half ago Menten retired, bought a "vapor blasting" cabinet, and hung out his shingle. Thus was born "Restocycle LLC."

 

This is a tool which in the hands of an amateur can do untold damage. Put a pin in this.

 

Concurrently, Louis Mintrone, Phil Taber, and a couple of other people had convinced a new CBX buyer, Kirk Dobson, that the reason his carbs (a 2 year old resto I'd done for the seller) were leaking was because my parts were trash and that Kirk needed to buy Louis' kits. Which promptly failed. The bike had sat for a year and the floats were munged up. I simply cleaned and reinstalled the original float valves--which Kirk had saved--and the bike sprang to life. Kirk, who during this debacle came to realize how shamelessly they'd abused him, has become a vocal supporter and a friend. Just saying...

 

This really pissed me off so I emailed my then-current PDF to Louis. Before the day was out he had forwarded it to a number of people, among which were Randall Washington (Randakk's Cycle Shak) and Bill Brint (Tim's International CBX Supply www.timscbx.com).

 

Menten got it too. He writes,

 

"Your most recent "forum drama" spew accuses me and Jan and a half dozen other people of conspiracy and collusion and intentionally sending you pornography and all sorts of outlandish accusations, and you know none of that is true...The truth is what I wrote on CBXWorld - and you know it. You asked me to remove forum posts and made wild accusations about Peterson that I would have no way of knowing were true."

 

On the other hand, Bill said that if even half of it was true, well that was bad enough.

 

Then it blew up. Bill called the next day, furious, and said that he was flooded with emails and phone calls from people saying that they'd never buy anything from him again so long as I was saying bad things about their friends. He said that maybe it was time to start sending carbs to Mike Nixon after all.

 

Menten waited a day and wrote,

 

If you have it in you to apologize and take responsibility for your actions, the ruses, the stalking, and the sending of libelous and defamatory documents, and say you will not do those things again, then I have it in me to forgive you.


That has to happen first Jack, or there can be no peace.

Take responsibility and make amends Jack, and good things can happen.

Nils Menten

 

Now, back to Restocycle. Using another of my dummy identities, I had a couple of weeks prior to this blow up arranged to send him a set of CBX carbs for him to "do his magic" on. He destroyed them. Seriously. As in "not usable." Those are some expensive carbs to replace, going for roughly 5-700 per set. (See the accompanying PDF "RestoCycle.)

 

I played the role of the irate customer for a few emails. I wasn't paying attention and accidentally answered one of his replies using the wrong CC so now he knew it was me. But who cared? I took photos, made a nice PDF, and emailed it to him. Sheer incompetence, all in hi-res.

 

In a twinkling he was absolutely devastated, devastated I tell you, about the bestiality video.

 

"I'm sorry, I didn't see this before.

Sincerely - close your eyes for a moment and imagine that I was sincere when I said I was horrified about the Peterson stuff."

 

What, was I in a coma when he said that?? He continues, all contrite,

"I had a moment "in your shoes", I know that was by design. A customer that wouldn't be reasoned with, no matter how I tried."
 

Not fun. I still don't appreciate it, but I do understand what it is like sometimes for you.

I hope we can move on."

 

I replied,

 

"How about we agree to get along peaceably?

I can count on one hand the number of folks I've sent it to recently and you all know each other anyway so it's not what you'd call "in the public domain."

Hence there is no cause for anxiety where I am concerned, for anyone.

Jack"

 

Now back to the stir among Bill and Randall, but first some context. I didn't know this at the time but Randall was in the process of selling the cycle shak.

 

My PDF, being in an unknowable scope of distribution, had the real possibility of affecting negotiations. Decent people cringe at this sort of association. Bill said that it would definitely be a problem were he one of the buyers.

 

Plus, not only are Bill and Randall close friends but Randall has for years been underwriting Bill's AHRMA CBX Race bike.

 

Bill called and again and said that I needed to do whatever it took to, "make this s**t go away!!"

 

Randall also chimed in,

 

"GET MY NAME THE EFF OUT OF THIS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'M NOT KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!"

 

(When years ago I told Randall what his friends were doing to the value of my business he upped the stakes by writing on his website that he and Nixon were like brothers...sheesh.)

 

Bill by then had sent me, oh, I don't know maybe 50 CBX carb sets (at $900 each.) Randall had also recently held out an olive branch...

 

Ultimately, this just wasn't the time to make a stand. So I backed off.

 

What I had on my hands, essentially, was akin to your two-year old pitching a tantrum at a banquet where you're the one who's getting the award.

 

I had a dreadful premonition that by saying that I was sorry in principle that any of it had happened and that I had no extant plans resume/continue distribution, he'd take it as the death blow to my credibility. I wasn't wrong, but it would be a while yet...

 

He wrote,

 

"Peace then. And thank you for your grace.

Wishing us both a future of prosperity, peace and personal growth.

Nils Menten"

 

Things quieted down, all the while with me assuming that he'd reciprocated as promised and taken his bit off of the forum. We're very busy and quite frankly it passed out of mind.

 

* * *

 

Then there's Facebook. If you think it's been weird so far, get ready. This is in red because that's what we're seeing.

 

A little less than a year ago Mike C. called--interrupted a lovely ride in the mountains in fact--and asked if I was on facebook. When I said no he replied that I had better join, and soon. He explained that there was a CBX specific group (which, like the forums, I'd never heard of prior to him telling me) and that Ringnalda, Taber, Menten, and others were up to their usual. In a repeat of what took place on the forums (which I'd blissfully ignored for ever so long), someone posted how happy they were with my carbs and the thread quickly descended into a splatter fest. The group in question is called "Honda CBX 1000 Owners Club." https://www.facebook.com/groups/23015667175/ (to which I'll hereafter refer as "CBX group".

 

I joined and offered up a comment. It went from ugly to heinous so I appealed to the club founder/admin, Klaus Hansen, to delete the whole thread--good comments about me notwithstanding. Five minutes later, it was gone.

 

Klaus, in a very welcome change, actively encouraged me to drop a link into my posts.

 

I very shortly joined another group "HONDA CB750F/900F/1100F/R, CB-Custom and CBX 78-83," (aka "DOHC" from here on. https://www.facebook.com/groups/128375520537248/ ) and got the same favorable reception. After a time I was invited on board DOHC as one of the admins.

 

Herein lies the stark contrast between forums and facebook. One factor, obviously, is that the FB groups to which I belong are moderated by rational human beings but, more importantly, I get carb work and parts sales therefrom. Plus, more past customers than you can shake a stick at have popped up with hellos, thank-yous, and friend requests once they saw me. I've never been one for social networking but this was, and is, both gratifying and profitable.

 

On the other hand, people tell me that ICOA and CBXWorld are for all intents and purposes dead. They go for days and days without a single post while the facebook group pages are flourishing. In the course of familiarizing myself with this entirely new venue, I came to discover they're all here, having fled the forums for new ground to infest. Indeed.

 

A short while back, Menten and McMunn started writing posts on CBX and DOHC to the effect of, "Let's face it folks, Facebook a joke. Join CBXWorld and ICOA and meet actual experts instead of pretenders spreading misinformation." Really? They're all on FB so what "pretenders" were they referring to?

 

A few weeks ago, Klaus PM'd me out of the blue saying that he'd sold his CBX wanted to step away from the group. I said I'd be honored to take over. Thirty seconds later I was the group's sole admin, which he posted. The news spread like wildfire.

 

I spent the rest of the morning staving off folks who demanded that I make them co-admin. This is an interesting proposition seeing as how if I were to elevate, say, Nils Menten to admin, he could turn right around and remove me. An admin's power is absolute, and is absolutely equal to other admins. I thought to myself, "Nice try."

 

With them increasingly using facebook to recruit people to their forums I asked a friend who is a member on CBXWorld to have a look there just to see if there's any mention of me. Imagine my (our) shock to discover that not only is Menten's post still there, it has over time accumulated FOUR THOUSAND unique visitors.

 

I wrote a PM to Dave McMunn that I was uneasy with having just learned that they, despite assurances to the contrary, were still up to the same old same old. Urging people to leave FB for their forums to read the "real truth" was essentially the same as inviting people to read Menten's "expose". Nine thousand people saw the anti-oldschool campaign when it was on the ICOA forum, and now another four thousand. It's incomprehensible.

 

Rather than belabor the obvious I merely asked that he remove all references to me from the forums, good or bad, and then we can all start with a clean slate. Fame and fortune awaits us all.

 

He replied, "Well, that didn't take long." Seems they just knew that I'd impose my evil will on their perfect selves. He smugly suggested that he is powerless there and that I should take my complaint to the forum owner. But I'm not a member and can't reach anyone there, and he knows this.

 

Disgusted with them using PM to spread their agenda out of view, I exercised one of my new found powers and muted the lot of them--Ringnalda, Menten, Taber, McMunn, and Gadient. When a person is muted they can read what's going on but they can't participate.

 

That night I got a call from none other than Phil Taber. Furious at being silenced, he needed to add his voice to the chorus that everything in Menten's post is absolutely true so there it will stay.

 

Rather than hang up on him, I soft pedaled for a few minutes before venturing,

 

"So Phil, while I have you on the phone, let me ask: Did you read my doc when it was up on my website last time around?"

 

"Of course I did. You tried to drag me into your bulls**t."

 

"Tell me then, what do you think about sending bestiality porn to teenage girls?"

 

"I did not personally send it to you."

 

"That's not what I asked. What do you think, in general, about the whole idea of sending filth like that to a young girl?"

 

"I just told you, I did NOT personally send it! You're just not helping your case here, Jack. It was a long time ago and you need to forget about it and move on like we all have."

 

Am I seeing things or is this the mother of non-denial denials? Despite moments ago--not to mention for all these years--saying that I made it all up, now he blithely concedes that it did in fact happen but pivots to the argument that because he didn't personally click the send button he's pure as the driven.

 

He knew. When it was happening, he knew. Everything. From the menacing texts, to the videos, and beyond.

 

And if he knew, they all knew: Menten, Ringnalda, McMunn, Gadient, Herd, Pope, Fitzpatrick--even McMunn's wife!--and an unknowable number of others as well. We've felt this in our bones since forever but it was just too absurd of a notion to say out loud. If you'll recall I actually drew a line separating them from Nixon and Peterson. That's how careful I've been to not give wrong impressions. This, however, changes the landscape. And it explains so much.

 

My mind reeling, I again raised the subject of everyone starting over from zero with a clean slate. He sad, "It is not going to happen. Period. Never," and then added, "Do you really want to go down this road?"

 

I said it sounded like he was threatening me. He replied, "I don't threaten. I act."

 

I said to go ahead and do whatever. He shouted, "F**k you are you listening I said F**K YOU!!!"

 

I'm a real stickler for due process so while I'm the first to admit that this is by no means a direct confession, when you listen to the recording (seriously, do they never learn?) it's good enough for us.

 

I woke up the next morning to lengthy PM from Ringnalda where he repeated the tired old litany about me cheating, lying, stealing trade secrets, dragging people through the mud...the usual. (So much for "moving on," eh?)

 

In closing he said, "Are you sure you want to go down this road?" (I swear, it's like these guys think with one mind.)

 

This constitutes a threat so I banned him.

 

Next morning there was another group PM (he's member of several groups so he can always get to me through back channels.) In a rambling and disjointed rant he demands to be reinstated and closes by saying, "You want a clean slate? EARN IT!"

 

Later that morning Bill Brint called, which I was half-dreading considering what happened the last time he got involved. This time, however, he laughingly remarked that I had them all in a tizzy so I filled him in. Seemed that Ringnalda had hours earlier shattered the peace on a FB group admin'ed by Bill's son Will (TurboCBX). Bill doesn't like drama so we don't talk of it unless there's a reason. This was such a time. The upshot there is that Ringnalda got banned from there too, and his nasty ravings removed.

 

Things seemed quiet for a time but trouble was brewing. I stumbled on this when Menten wrote a snarky post on the CBX group challenging my co-admin, Anders Westman to explain how it came to be that he joined the page one day and the next day he's been elevated to admin. Seriously. Ordering people around, as always. (For the record, I asked Anders, one of the admins on DOHC and a man who I trust a great deal, to join so that I could make him admin.)

 

I'm such a newb. On FB you can be blocked by another member. You can see his posts but you can't reply via PM because he is in effect invisible to you. Thus, if you have a problem with something he says you have to do it in public. This is fine between club members or whatnot but he had me, the group admin, blocked. Think what you want but he was poking me in the eye, not Anders, because he wanted to set off a public dispute. I polled the admins on DOHC and they were unanimous that blocking an admin is grounds for removal.

 

I updated my "Here are the rules," post on the CBX group (which is pinned to the top of the page) and gave him more than enough to read it. I even sent McMunn a PM to make sure he read it.

 

Still blocked after three days, I tossed Menten from both groups. And in doing so started World War III.

 

Over the next two days he used PM to embark on a truly ghastly campaign directed at the admins of DOHC that goes something like this:

 

(Nils in Magenta. Katsumi/ other admins' collective responses in Green.)

(I've paraphrased to shorten a many-pages long meltdown but I assure you, the context is fully intact.)

 

"Jack threw me off wrongly and he won't tell me why. You must reinstate me, now."

 

"Blocking an admin gets you banned. Universal rule. Period. No appeal."

 

"But he's a cheater, a liar, a trickster, a fraud. Look what I wrote about him on the forum. I never lie!" (Here he inserted the whole bit.)

 

"Nils, we know more than you think. (They've read this.) You need to stop. Take it up with Jack."

 

"No! We're going to do this MY way. Jack is sooo evil. He admitted to stalking, lying, and sending libelous documents and apologized and promised that he would stop!!" (I told you that this would come back and bite me someday...)

 

"Please. This is not the place to air your grievances."

 

"He sent CBX carbs to me under a fake name and lied about how I ruined them. Believe me. I'm the gentlest, kindest, most honest person you've ever met. Reinstate me now."

 

"Nils, this has to stop. Please."

 

"I'm being bullied! Reinstate me now. Anders is taking me out of context on purpose."

 

"No, he's not. Why will you not stop this?"

 

"But...but...but..."

 

This hideous display played out over three nights, none of which I knew was happening because, well, he had me blocked. Anders caught this and included me right near the end. Let's just say that I was, am still, aghast and I let my feelings be known right away.

 

"Okay, okay, I get it. I've unblocked Jack. There. Are you happy now? Reinstate me! Katsumi, my dear, dear friend, please, please, pretty please do this for me!!! Now!!! Don't believe anything Jack says!!"

 

This is where you need to know what a sweet and gentle soul Katsumi san is. He doesn't trouble himself with the day to day except to approve everyone who asks to join and to gush over photos. He exudes a generosity of spirit that you've likely not encountered; it certainly is thus for me. Kats was growing deeply distressed and begged him to stop but Menten just kept plowing. The upshot was that Kats gave in and reinstated the bully.

 

Who was instantaneously banned again. Not by me. Not by Anders. One of the other admins (presumably) told Kats enough so that when Menten started bawling again he was told to go away.

 

It only gets weirder.

 

Maybe a week after this debacle a person named Simon CBX asked to join the CBX and DOHC pages so I let him on without giving it a second though.

 

The next day he posted on both groups a lengthy promotion for RestoCycle, which I deleted.

 

I PM'd him that I removed his post not only because he was promoting someone who's been banned but, as important, it comprised the worst kind of misinformation imaginable. He wasn't happy, to say the least--so I had a look at his profile page (as did Anders.)

 

Simon CBX joined FB on March 2nd 2018. His pro-Restocycle post appeared on the 3rd and it was his one and only post.

 

We began to suspect that he was likely not who he claimed to be. My first thought was that he was in reality a "forum regular" from CBXWorld named Mike Simon.

 

I updated the pinned post with a caution that posts which promote banned members and/or what I know to be egregiously bad information will be removed and to please take up any and all issues with the admins via PM.

 

Simon CBX did the exact opposite and raised a very public stink on both groups, which were--owing to the admins being on red alert--removed before very many folks were subjected to them.

 

Immediately Simon CBX attacked Anders via PM so I stepped in and in a flash of insight I wrote, "This is Nils, correct?"

 

He responded by angrily pointing out that he'd just now submitted his birth cert to FB to prove his identity (which isn't remotely possible to do), and that he's a prison guard in the UK whose real initials are "S.W." He went on to say that he knows everything about me being a crook, stalker, and fraud and that I need to seek professional help. He added that he was president of a gigantic vintage bike club in the UK and that everyone would hear about my shabby treatment of their dear leader in a twinkling. (One of the admins on DOHC lives in the UK and says that neither the club to which he refers to nor the person himself exists.)

 

I banned him and thought he went away but he's just returned but with a new name altogether. Now he's Simon Kingston! Seriously. I've had to ban Nils Menten, Simon CBX, and Simon Kingston from my groups. This is all Nils Menten, fyi. The charade came apart in an email exchange that would only be a waste of time to go into.

 

 

3/13/2018 1:25PM

 

Things are happening fast.

 

Jan Ringnalda just now called me on the phone, as I was writing. I said to wait a moment while I connect the recorder. He shouted "NO!" and something unintelligible and the line went dead.

 

Immediately he sent me a text threatening me with a brand spanking new PDF that he and Menten have crafted. He says it'll be all over the internet by day's end and will also appear in print in the ICOA's annual CBXPress magazine.

 

"It doesn't make you look very good. The ball is in your court."

 

He provides no details as to how I might stay their hands but I imagine it has something to do with total capitulation, handing my CBX group over to them, and slinking away in utter defeat never to be heard from again.

 

He also has just this afternoon crashed onto my personal Oldschoolcarbs FB page with the same broken record of my crimes against humanity. Seriously, I wish I'd left it there just for people to see what an absolute jackass he makes of himself but in my haste and shock I deleted it and banned him from being able to comment again.

 

And now I come to learn that he's engaging the same group of admins as Menten did only a week ago, Katsumi san included, in a group chat where he's sending them his PDF and badgering them mercilessly that he simply MUST be reinstated to the DOHC group. Everyone is pissed beyond reckoning that someone has again dragged Katsumi san through the mud (wink) despite them pleading with him, practically on bended knee, to knock it off. (The screenshots, which I have indeed saved, are simply appalling.)

 

After two non-stop days it reached a fever pitch so I volunteered to sacrifice myself and step aside as co-admin so they can let him back into the group and maybe he'll let up on Kats. I did, they did, and he didn't.

 

This is how they operate. Menten, Taber, Ringnalda, Nixon, McMunn etc., have all retired now so they have all day and night to sit at their keyboards and concoct their intrigues whereas those of us who put in 10 hour days simply don't have the wherewithal to push back with anything even approaching their vigor.

 

Let's not forget that this latest flare-up is happening because I sent an email to Menten last week where I repeated for the umpteenth time that if they simply erase me from their forums, I'd welcome them back. In their usual tag-team way, Ringnalda answered and said that I need to grow up.

 

Think about this for a moment: Every time I remind them that the door is open, they escalate this now-ancient feud while shrilly screeching that as long as I continue to play the victim and cling to my childish obsession with the past, they're not going to relent.

 

And with thousands and thousands of people having come into contact with their increasingly distorted perception of reality, well you're damn right that I need to stop everything I'm doing to have a say.

 

But of course on top of reiterating that there's a path to peaceful coexistence, they're also aware of my most enlightening chat with Phil Taber. How? Because I told Dave McMunn all about it in a private message, just to see what would happen.

 

So I guess now we know.

 

One of my morning coffee buddies' wife is a criminal defense lawyer who has just now seen this. She says that one of the first things you learn is how to differentiate between the guilty and the innocent. She continues, "Wrongly accused people simply do not behave this way."

 

She goes onto say that even the freaking bailiffs can tell how guilty someone is by the amount of noise he makes about irrelevant nonsense, all the while being convinced that the judge will toss the case any minute now and then, "you'll all be sorry because I'll sue for zillions and it'll be you going to jail."

 

"Jack," she says, "For whatever it's worth they were all in on it."

 

Jeepers.

 

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