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Posts Tagged ‘Celebs’

William B. (Billy) Lane

William D. (Billy) Lane

According to the Florida Inmate Release Information web site, William D. (Billy) Lane was released today from the Orlando Transition Center and is re-opening his shop in Daytona Beach, Florida.

You might recall that Billy Lane (Choppers Inc.) was involved in a drunk-driving crash that killed Sebastian Inlet Park Ranger and fellow biker Gerald Morelock on A-1-A in Melbourne Beach on September 4, 2006. Billy repeatedly took responsibility, didn’t offer any excuses for the crash and told the court he wasn’t seeking pity.

He was sentenced to six years in prison and three years’ probation.  Judge Robert Burger also ordered Lane’s driver license be suspended for life.

Good people make mistakes.  You can’t take the past back and he will have to live everyday with the thought that another person is no longer alive because of his actions.  There were no winners.  He paid a price, served his time and enough said.

My hope is that all goes well in his new shop and that he can be an inspiration to others in not only the creativity of his work.

Photo courtesy of Florida Corrections.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Schuberth Helmets

With more than 70 years of experience, Schuberth GmbH has developed a wide range of superb products and is a trailblazer in head protection technology. I’ve previously posted about their laser scan process, price and number of carbon fiber layers the helmets contain HERE for Formula 1 racers.

Schuberth has just opened its North American headquarters and selected the “OC” – specifically, Aliso Viejo as opposed to the east coast because as we all know “Cali,” is the hub of the motorcycle industry, especially motorcycle media in Southern California.  In this down economy the company hired six full-time employees and more than 12 consultants. The consultants will be on the road to help business associates, and will mostly be located in Southern California too.

But, this is not today’s big news.  The big story today is John Mayer (music recording artist) deleted his Twitter account!  Mayer frequently used the social networking website to apologize for offensive statements he’s made and fight with Perez Hilton, among other things.  Mayer had more than 3.7 million followers, but don’t be depressed as going forward he plans to communicate even more with fans through his blog.  So, several celeb’s (Miley Cyrus, Ricky Gervais, Amanda Bynes, Demi Lovato, and LeAnn Rimes) have left Twitter? You must be kidding! Hello, Ripley’s? No, you cannot put me on hold. This is a worldwide exclusive. I’m sitting on a powder keg here.

Do we care?  I don’t, and promise not to revert to junior high school with gossip-girl digs, but that isn’t my point.  The point is that today we get our information from one another.  Our news is personalized.  We are experiencing a revolution.  Caused by the computer, aided by the Internet, old media monoliths are crumbling and seedlings are popping up all over.  The old guard is protesting, wannabes are struggling for a toehold in the decaying old game and newbies are reinventing the media business unchallenged and unknown.

The only way to be successful today is to create a phenomenal product that members of the public embrace and spread to their friends.  Hype a crappy product and you might get some old wave press, but you won’t make any money.

As a “newbie” to this old media monolith, I wanted to pass along that Schuberth’s helmet’s are innovative, modern and pumped full of high-technology.  I hope to try out the DOT version of the popular C3 (with integrated bluetooth Schuberth Rider Communication (SRC) System) which will be available in N.A. dealers any day now.

If anyone has experience with Schuberth helmets let me know what you liked or didn’t.

Photo courtesy of Schuberth blog.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Twitter Follower - a.k.a. "Jasmine"

Twitter Follower - a.k.a. "Jasmine"

There needs to be a neon sign on Twitter pronouncing the online equivalent of “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.”

And speaking of neon maybe we should blame it on John Mayer (@johncmayer)?   He was one of the early celeb adopters of Twitter to lure fans.  And as we all know in social media, where celebs go, D-listers, sex peddlers and the rash of come-ons follow.

What am I ranting about? In a word, is hookers!  Twitter over the last month has ramped up and displayed similarities to the old porn days of MySpace—and that should be a red flag for Biz Stone, founder of the company.  Over a ten-day span in August I received 33 new “followers” whose profile pages depicted naked or scantily clad women.   In fact, my recent tweet telling blog followers about how to stay cool in the Wenatchee heat during a Canada trip instantly got me an “@-message” saying: “Here’s how I cool down in my Kelowna home.” When I clicked on the link, let’s just say I nearly missed the glass of ice tea!

Okay some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking…  “Hey @macrant, I’m bored at work and so what if the profile is littered with pictures of semi-clothed bodies?”

Here’s what’s objectionable.  They waste my time processing “Twitter Trash” (a.k.a. SPAM) vs. researching and writing blog posts.  Twitter has no Askimet filter like WordPress and it is so time consuming and clunky to eliminate SPAM that it’s as if they want to encourage porn?!   Reporting spam on Twitter is like calling the DMV… 2 languages, 7 level deep phone menu for just the hours of operation… waaaaay too cumbersome a process.  There’s no reason why Twitter can’t catch most spam, or at least make it super simple to report.  Hell, most all “new followers” don’t even have a real name. We’re not at the mercy of viral-marketing geniuses here…. are you hearing any of this Mr. Stone?

Sure Twitter features a “block” or “message” on a person’s profile, but it doesn’t offer a “report spam” button. You have to follow an account called “SPAM,” and then copy the URL and send a direct message to that account with the complaint.  I did this for “Holly” and “Jasmine” and a couple others who I think got suspended. Fine. But I don’t take the time anymore and I suspect MANY users don’t either or won’t figure out how to report the names—or go to the trouble. I think it takes double the number of steps to flag a spamming account than it takes to create a new one… there’s a no-win to the battle.

It seems Twitter management has taken a hands-off “live and let live” approach.  I have one word.  Craigslist!  They had similar ethos about content traded over its platform, but after a lot of staff expenses tied up in legal/law enforcement activity, even they now crack down on spam and solicitation.

Hey, I’m all for tolerance, but Twitter should stop wasting our time or they will suffer the consequences of declining use by real people.

Photo courtesy of Japan Dolls Convention.

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Billy Lane Handcuffed After Sentencing

Billy Lane Handcuffed After Sentencing

There are no winners here.

Celebrity motorcycle builder, Billy Lane was sentenced today to six years in prison and three year’s probation in connection with the Labor Day 2006 crash that left Sebastian Inlet park ranger Gerald Morelock dead.  Lane was immediately handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom.  Judge Robert Burger also ordered Lane’s drivers license suspended for life and that he undergo random drug and alcohol testing upon his release from prison.

I blogged about this previously HERE.  I have little tolerance.  Not only did Billy kill a biker drunk driving in a free Dodge Truck etc.,… it wasn’t an isolated incident as he was driving on a suspended license pending another trial for drunk driving.

I don’t know Mr. Lane nor do I have a beef with him.  I do however have a beef with drunk driving.  The request of a non-incarcerating sentence and the judge’s discretion to ignore it were appropriate in my view.

UPDATE: September 18, 2014Billy Lane is released from the Orlando Transition Center today.

Photo courtesy of Rik Jesse, Florida Today.

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bmw_meetupI’m not talking about exploring your driving passions on a meandering S-curve road with a new BMW motorcycle, rather I’m talking about a come-clean Eliot Spitzer “moment” from Germany’s wealthiest woman. 

It’s a script right out of a movie — a tale of how lovers filmed their hotel trysts and one of the parties demanded millions of $$ to not reveal them.  Sort of a “One-Night in Paris” do-over, but ultimately it’s called blackmail?  Hey, you can’t make up drama this good! 

The woman is Susanne Klatten, a member of the Quandt family, who owns a 12.5% stake in BMW and is on the supervisory board.  She also owns just over half of the chemical company Altana AG.  The press reported that Klatten, a 46-year-old married mother-of-three, first met Helg Sgarbi a 43-year-old Swiss man at a hotel bar. In a weak moment Mr. Sgarbi embellished his bio by describing himself as a multilingual special envoy for war zones, although in reality he sold chicken at a fast food stand.  Not what you’d call on a career “fast-track”, but at least he wasn’t on drugs, broke and homeless like Ashley Dupre the call girl who brought down the Governor of NY (Spitzer).

klattenThe meetings, including hotel-room rendezvous, were secretly filmed by an accomplice and used in an attempt to extort millions from the family.  Ms Klatten paid the blackmailers $15 million to prevent the release of the tape and photos before additional requests for greater amounts ($51M) followed.   She then decided to file a legal complaint with the state prosecutors in Munich.

And if this news wasn’t sleazy enough, it turns out the Quandt family had ties to the Nazi party and built its fortune supplying German army and railway worker uniforms. Klatten’s grandfather’s first wife went on to marry Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.  After a television program revealed that forced labor had been used in their factories as part of the Nazi war effort the family pledged a full investigation into the matter. 

I’m sure she will have the best attorney’s money can buy.  And she can buy a lot because her wealth is estimated by Forbes magazine at almost $10 billion, making her the 68th richest person in the world.  Oh the petty sex troubles of the rich and famous…

Postscript: not letting any of this slow down her business savvy, Klatten announced over the weekend she will pay $1.2B to buy the other half of the chemical company Altana AG that she did not already own.  BMW reported a year-over-year decline of 10.5% in retail sales.

UPDATE: March 9, 2009 – Swiss playboy gets 6 years prison sentence HERE for blackmail and more info HERE.

Klatten photo courtesy Uwe Lein (AP) and BMW Motorcycle web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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