A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Category Archives: Education

Educational articles

Warning Do Not Buy Anything from Home Depot, You may lose your Money.

Home Depot

*** June 4, 2012 Update –

I received a cryptic email from “The Retail Equation” telling me that if I wanted a copy of my return activity report to call a phone number. This was in response to an email that I sent them threatening legal action.

I called their number and talked to a rep. She wanted the last 4 digits of my drivers license number.

I asked her how she would have my drivers license information since I have not filled out any credit applications with their firm, nor did I authorize any company to give it to them. She told me that when I gave a merchant my drivers license number that the merchant gave it to them. Very interesting.

I played along. It turns out they have me down for 3 return items in 6 months, including 2 defective items. So they blacklisted me from being able to make returns at stores that use their service.

I requested to speak to a manager and was told that there was no one to talk to.

I am now contemplating a class action lawsuit, or an individual lawsuit. I will write a follow-up article very soon.

If you have been a victim of Home Depot or “The Retain Equation” I would like to hear from you, I need plaintiffs for a class-action lawsuit.

*** June 3, 2012 Update –

I reported Home Depot to the Better Business Bureau.

I also called Home Depot’s Corporate Office and spoke to a lady named Evon who opened ticket # 513849.

She told me that There is absolutely nothing Home Depot can do to resolve the problem. I asked to speak to her manager, she told me that there was nothing he could do either. She stated that “The Retail Equation” was entirely responsible for the situation. Moral to the story, DO NOT SHOP AT HOME DEPOT. IF THEY WILL DO THIS TO AN ATTORNEY WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY WILL DO TO YOU?

I sent an email to “The Retail Equation” requesting to get their side of the story before I take any further action.

Read about what happened to me below.

I am an Attorney at Law. I have been shopping in stores for over 35 years. God only knows how much money I have spent shopping.

I have spent probably tens of thousands of dollars in Home Depot over the years.

I had a little project I wanted to do over the weekend, so on Friday evening I went in to Home Depot and spent a few hundred dollars on parts.

I started my project yesterday and discovered that one of the parts was the wrong part.

I brought the part, placed in its packing, one day after purchase, back to Home Depot along with the receipt. They asked me for my ID which I thought was kind of odd.

To make a long story short, they told me that my return was rejected and they gave me a receipt type printout that has an 866 number on it to call.

Further, the printout says that I will not be able to return any items at Home Depot for the next 90 days, and that after 90 days it will be re-evaluated.

Of course, I called the number and they are only open Monday – Friday, etc.

It appears to be a 3rd party company that Home Depot is using called “The Retail Equation,” that was responsible for Home Depot not allowing me to do a valid return. I found their website at http://www.theretailequation.com/ .

Apparently retailers are now hiring this company to determine whether they will allow returns to be made at the retailer.

I have never heard of such a service or thing.

I suspect they have me on some kind of list. I know they have made a mistake, or there might be identity theft going on.

Whatever it is, can you imagine if I made a several thousand dollar purchase and this happened?

Who wants to shop at a store that may not allow you to return anything for any reason?

I asked to speak to the manager, he refused to do anything. Basically Home Depot ruined my weekend project and I may be out a hundred dollars because they are refusing to allow me to return an unopened, undamaged product which I have the receipt for, the next day.

The blatant refusal of Home Depot to return something a day later with a receipt at least to me is unheard of.

I am warning all of you here and now, not to shop at Home Depot because based upon my experience, you may get stuck not being able to return something that may be defective, or something that may be the wrong size, the wrong type, etc.

You too could get stuck holding the bag for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Unless this is made right, I will take my money to Lowes and to other stores. I will never set foot in Home Depot again.

Home Depot and the Retail Equation just pissed off the wrong attorney. I am going to first start off by warning all consumers not to shop and Home Depot because they may not be able to do a return.

I will then take any and all appropriate legal action against anyone involved in this fiasco so that ordinary consumers do not have to go through what I went through.

You have been warned about Home Depot.

By California Consumer and Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., June 3, 2011

BEWARE; You take your life in your hands at most California Indian Casinos

indian casino personal injury problems
Taking your life in your hands at California Indian Casinos

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer I feel I have a duty to inform all about California consumers lack of any real legal remedy if you suffer a Personal Injury at anyone of California’s numerous Indian Casinos.

If you have been the victim of a Personal Injury, or if you suffer a Slip and fall at an Indian Casino, you may have a potential court case, you may have a claim that will be headed to the tribal council, you may have a case that will go to private arbitration, you may have a case that will be determined by a private insurance company claims adjuster, or maybe you have a case that will literally give you no legal remedy.

Just 14 years after Gov. Pete Wilson signed the first compact with a tribe allowing Las Vegas-style slot machines in California, personal injury and property damage consumer protections in Indian casinos are all over the place respect to consumer rights and remedies in personal injury cases.

Every one of the 56 Class III gaming tribes within the State of California features its own specific tort liability ordinance spelling out how it will process personal injury cases.

The California State Bureau of Gambling Control states that many tribes authorize risk managers or their insurance companies to decide a claim’s validity. Some allow patrons to appeal case denials to tribal courts or to councils of tribal elders. Some others will take disputes to arbitration. Almost all do not recognize a role for California’s trial courts.

Each Indian Tribe is basic its own sovereign government. They do not have to follow California law on personal injury and most if not all don’t.

Due to this problem there are very few of us California Personal Injury Lawyers that will take on Personal Injury cases that occur on Indian Casinos.

I myself reject the vast majority of cases that come to me involving Indian Casinos, because without a standardized arbitration ordinance or something to that affect, they are too much of a hassle to deal with.

I have heard stories of Indian Casino cases taking many months or even years to get resolved, much longer than cases in the normal California court system. Many of the elderly victims who are claimants in these cases either give up or die before having their cases resolved.

Another issue with Indian Casino cases is that the people being sued are also the ones who are deciding the merits of the case. It is analogous to suing a Judge and then having that same Judge determine the outcome of the case in which he is being sued. How you do think that is going to turn out?

Appeals Courts have rejected Indian Casinos being sued in State Court stating that sovereign immunity precluded it from being sued in State Court.

What is bizarre to me is that the State of California negotiated compacts with the Indian Casinos allowing them to place Las Vegas style slot machines in the casinos, yet they did not provide a standard legal path for patrons of these casinos to take if they are injured within the Indian Casino.

I myself think it is time to either re-negotiate these compacts, or boycott the Casinos until the Indian Tribes themselves agree to standardized legal remedies for persons injured at their casinos.

I am calling on all California Indian Casinos to come sit at a table and discuss this situation so that a resolution can be reached to ensure California consumers that they are safe at your establishments.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 18, 2012

An Epidemic of Stupidity

dont be stupidI have noticed a marked increase of persons contacting me to get advice on how they can represent themselves in their own personal injury case.

Some of these winners get on websites that allow consumers to ask questions of attorneys, then they go and try to handle cases on their own without an attorney.

Do these people realize why we personal injury attorneys exist? We exist because for profit insurance companies will simply not give you what you are entitled to 99.9% of the time without an attorney.

The first thing they teach us lawyers in law school is never to represent yourself in a legal matter because you are emotionally biased, and the emotions will adversely affect your ability to handle the case. It is always best to have an independent person represent you in a case.

Aside from the emotional aspects of representing yourself, do these people who want to play attorney and that try to represent themselves realize how complicated a real personal injury case is? Of course not they don’t. It would be close to impossible for an untrained person on their own, to prosecute a personal injury case through the court system without an attorney.

I have been practicing 15 years and I can assure you that I have seen some lawyers who need to go back to school, let alone an untrained person actually doing it.

Personal Injury cases are complicated and no self-help book is going to give you the knowledge you need to handle one of these cases.

I see non-lawyers in Court all of the time getting hammered by Judges and getting sent packing because they did not do their cases right. In some instances non-lawyers get dinged with monetary sanctions against them because they do not know the law.

Then there is the matter of the cheapskates. These are winners who figure in their mind, hell; I am not going to give an attorney a third of my case, so I will take all of the $2,000 the insurance company is going to give me.

They don’t realize that their case might in fact be worth $25,000 to $50,000, and even on the low end, they would have got two thirds of $25,000 or $16,675 with an attorney, as opposed to the $2,000 they got sucked into accepting by the insurance company.

One of my sayings is that it is better to get two thirds of something instead of all of nothing.

To me this is plain stupidity, and there is a lot of it out there lately.

It does not make sense to me why a person would try to handle their own personal injury case without an attorney, when an attorney like me can be retained with no money out of your pocket whatsoever until a recovery is obtained.

The insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for idiots who will accept the half payment of medical bills, or a token 1k to 2k to settle a case that might be worth tens of thousands of dollars, without an attorney.

Any insurance adjuster worth their weight in gold, loves talking to the stupid amongst us who for whatever reason, does not mind screwing themselves out of what they are entitled to by not retaining a personal injury attorney like me.

Don’t be stupid, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another call an attorney, heck, call me.

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at http://www.therpersonalinjury.com

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

Make Sure you Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if You Sell or Give Away your Car, Motorcycle, or other Motor Vehicle or You could Los Big Time

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample
California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario;

A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the person who sold the car notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the sale or giveaway, or before the new owner registers the car in their name, and they are now getting sued, or having law or parking enforcement coming after them as though they were the responsible party.

I literally get at least 5 calls a week with this exact same scenario.

In the State of California you MUST notify the DMV within 5 days when you sale or transfer ownership of your vehicle.

I am not going to discuss what you need to do if you screwed up and are in this nightmare scenario because it is situation specific.

What I will tell you is this; in the State of California, and I assume other States as well, there is an attachment sheet that is connected to your Certificate of Vehicle Title (Pink Slip) that is to be torn off only upon selling or giving away the car, filled out, and sent to the DMV to notify them that you have sold or given away your car.

The simple act of filling out this form and sending it to the DMV can and will save you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.

This is not rocket science folks. You have to assume the person that you are selling or giving the vehicle to may not change the title in their name, thus leaving you on the hook.

Another thing I recommend is creating a bill of sale, or a giveaway agreement that the new owner signs upon receiving the car and the pink slip, which will give you further proof that you sold or gave away your vehicle.

If for some reason you lost the sheet that is attached to the Pink Slip, the DMV has an online system that is available here, to notify them of the change in ownership.

Don’t be a fool, when you sale or change ownership of your vehicle, notify the DMV or it could cost you big time.

If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 25, 2012

Common Factors Behind Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle accident sceneMotorcycle accidents can be tragic as well as upsetting events.

The stats speak for themselves. Serious bodily harm as well as death is often the result of a motorcycle accident. Of the actual motorcycle accidents that do occur, roughly one out of every five motorcycle riders is actually fortunate enough to come away from the experience with just minimal bumps, bruises and abrasions. The lack of a protective buffer around the biker and the road inevitably leaves bikers in a very vulnerable situation. Generally there tend to be many common causes of motorcycle accidents, of which the most frequent, and clearly the predominant cause, is definitely a consequence of other motor vehicle drivers to some extent not seeing and recognizing motorcycles within dense traffic.

A number of reports offer support to this particular claim because they advise that virtually 66 % of almost all accidents involving a motorcycle and another car or truck are a direct end result of the motorist in a vehicle turning into the lane of the motorcycle and violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. It has likewise been advised that motorcyclists are 27 times more prone to die in a collision than are people in the other car or truck and they are also five times more prone to sustain an injury. Anyone can see then, the disastrous effects of car-motorcycle accidents.

Additional causative factors

Generally there tend to be a wealth of additional factors behind motorcycle accidents that occur quite frequently. One in particular can be motorcyclists who are inexperienced and simply do not know the constraints of their machine These brand-new riders push their motorcycles to the limit, which, in many cases, far exceeds the speed limit. This brings about another major reason for motorcycle accidents. Needless to say, speeding is not only restricted to new and young motorcycle riders, as often older and more experienced motorcycle riders have been also guilty of operating their motorcycles past the speed limit. Many motorcyclists really like the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, the freedom associated with the open road and the thrill associated with riding fast just inches from the road however,, traveling over the speed limit can result in dire consequences. A quick slip of the handlebars or an unforeseen obstacle ahead of the motorcycle can easily send the motorcycle reeling out of control. Therefore, speeding can be extremely dangerous and it’s also frequently the reason for many motorcycle accidents.

An additional common cause of motorcycle accidents can be a consequence of the motorcyclist’s carelessness. In cases where the motorcycle accident does not include another car, truck, or vehicle, the failure of the motorcycle rider to reduce speed when making a turn or simply under-turning as well as over braking in the turn are causes of motorcycle accidentrs in some instances. There can to be many various other things that may cause physical harm to the motorcycle rider after the initial motorcycle accident. Fuel leakage and spills in the post-crash phase can introduce a fire hazard and are common within approximately 60 % of all accidents sites.

Be careful out there when riding your motorcycle.

Riding within 5 miles per hour of the speed limit and wearing proper protection as well as a good helmet can make your ride more enjoyable, and increase your odds of survival in the event you are in an accident.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

A Life Changed in an Instant, the anatomy of a Motorcycle Accident

northridge-motorcycle-accident ** December 19, 2011 Update: I regret to inform you that David Landowski the rider of  the motorcyle, age 53, died of his injuries Sunday night. May he rest in peace.

The following news was reported today as a short blurb in the press.

Northridge – California A motorcyclist suffered severe injuries during a two-vehicle crash in Northridge, California police said today.

The traffic accident occurred about 6 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Lindley Avenue and Rayen Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division.

According to police, Charles Giarratana, 62, driving a red Ford Explorer northbound on Lindley Avenue made a left turn onto Rayen Street where he struck David Landowski, 53, who was going southbound on Lindley Avenue on a white and purple-colored KTM 620SX motorcycle.

Landowski, a resident of Canyon Country, was transported to an area hospital with severe injuries. It was not immediately known if Giarratana, a resident of Reseda, was cited or arrested. Anyone who saw the traffic crash was asked to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8036.

The only people who would probably read and care about news such as this are people that ride motorcycles, their friends and family, and the people in the article.

It is doubtful that average people would even read let alone care about a man on a motorcycle being hit by a negligent idiot in an SUV.

For me, a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and an actual motorcycle rider, this article brings forth many thoughts.

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents on city streets are caused by some idiot making left turns in front of or into a motorcycle rider because they do not look for motorcyclist, they do not see the motorcyclist, or they think they can beat the motorcyclist before they turn.

The innocent motorcyclist may not even see the negligent driver making the left turn until they are right in front of them, or not at all.

Their life is changed in an instant.

I wonder if David Landowski riding his KTM 620SX motorcycle saw Charles Giarratna turning before he hit him? I wonder if Charles Giarratna has any clue what damage he has caused to the life of David Landowski simply because he did not look before he made the turn, or tried to turn before David rode past him?

Either way one thing is certain, David Landowski’s life will never be the same again.

The newspaper article stated that David Landowski was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. I pray for him and his family that he will survive. If he does survive he will probably suffer months or even years of excruciating pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress, not to mention loss of income, a career, or a job, tremendous medical bills, and maybe not ever being able to return to a normal life.

Some riders such as David will never be able to ride a motorcycle again, some lose limbs, some suffer permanent debilitating injuries, and some never recover.

So the next time you read a little news blurb about some idiot making a left hand turn in front of a motorcycle rider and hitting him or causing the motorcycle rider to hit the car or truck because the car turned in front of the motorcycle, think about the fact that the motorcycle rider’s life was changed in an instant.

There is tremendous human pain and suffering, support to family lost, and life’s irreparably harmed in such little news blurbs.

The next time you are out riding in your car, SUV, truck, etc., look for us motorcycle riders. You do not want to have the thought of destroying someone’s life on your conscious.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © December 17, 2011

Weekend Warriors

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

It has been estimated that approximately 90% of all motorcycle riders are weekend riders only. That is, they only ride their motorcycles on Saturday or Sunday only.

I am not sure how true this statistic is, because I sure see a lot of guys and gals riding their motorcycles to and from work during the week.

Hell, in some cities like San Francisco, there are hundreds of motorcycles and small scooters parked in downtown during working hours.

If the statistics are true that most people who ride motorcycles are weekend warriors, then that is a troubling statistic for me; here is why. The art of riding a motorcycle is in fact an art. The more you ride your motorcycle, the better you get at being a motorcycle rider.

Experienced riders, who take time away from riding their motorcycles, necessarily take time to become proficient riders again, and the only way to become proficient is to spend time back in the saddle.

Right now it is winter time and many motorcycle riders cannot ride their motorcycles because of the weather. They too will need to take it easy when they get back on their motorcycles when the weather breaks.

Therefore weekend warriors or people that have taken some time away from riding need to take it real easy when they get back on their motorcycles so that they can get used to riding again, even if they have taken 5 days off from riding their motorcycles in between weekends.

Another issue weekend warrior’s face is Sunday drivers; even Saturday drivers are Sunday drivers. What is a Sunday Driver? A Sunday driver is a driver of some kind of cage such as a car, truck, SUV, etc., that rides around on the weekends with their family in the vehicle, distracted by a family outing, and not paying attention for people riding motorcycles.

Therefore weekend warriors more than most motorcycle riders, need to take it real easy on their motorcycles. Do not speed, pay attention for cagers about to turn in front of you, and realize that your riding skills take time to come back after a 5 day absence from riding.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © December 11, 2011

Riding your Motorcycle around Curves and Turns without Killing Yourself

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway
California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

Many motorcycle riders are seriously injured and die each year when they fail to negotiate turns or curves, and either end of in the opposing lane of traffic, or they lose control and crash.

It is unbelievable to me just how many experienced riders sometimes fail to properly negotiate turns or curves on the road, especially when riding canyon roads, or twisties.

What is the main reason for motorcycle riders failing to negotiate curves or turns? Excessive speed is the main reason.

If you ride too fast through a curve or turn, chances are you are going to either end up in the opposing lane, or you are going to crash.

What is the main way to avoid crashing on a curve or turn? Slow the hell down!

Many motorcycle safety courses teach that you should slow down before you enter a turn or curve, and never to brake or downshift while in a curve or turn. I say bullshit.

Look I have been legally riding motorcycles on the road for 32 years, since the age of 16. In my own personal experience, sometimes it is hard to judge if you are entering a curve or turn too fast.

If you have entered into a turn or curve too fast on your motorcycle, you need to do anything you can not to panic, not to cross over the yellow line into opposing traffic, and not to crash.

My rule is that if you are in a curve or turn too fast, do what you have to do to safely get through the turn or curve. If that means hitting the brake, do it. If that means downshifting, do it.

I have ridden with guys who absolutely refuse do brake or downshift in a turn or curve. I have also seen these guys both in front of me, and in my rear view mirror cross the yellow line into oncoming traffic. Thank goodness none of them have ever crossed the yellow line when a car was right there or they would have been a windshield bug splat.

They teach you in motorcycle safety courses that before you enter a curve you should direct your motorcycle to the farthest part of the lane away from the turn so that you can theoretically see around the turn more.

For instance if you are going into a left curve they say you should direct your motorcade more to the right so that you can see around the left curve, and if you are going into a right curve you should direct your motorcycle more to the left so you can see around the right curve.

They teach that you should not look at the road, but that you should look around the curve to where you are going and that your motorcycle will tend to go where you are looking.

Some say that you should put your knees close into the tank to help you get around the curve, and some say that you should concentrate on counter-steering to properly get around a curve.

I say they are all right to a certain extent.

However, when you are actually riding your motorcycle, you will find that you will at times have to look at the road and not just where you want to go when going around a curve, you will find that sometimes it is not safe to go to the farthest part of the lane away from a curve because of oncoming cars or debris on the shoulder, and you will find that concentrating just on counter-steering is sometime dangerous.

In the end the safest thing to remember when going around curves is to keep a safe speed period.

The one thing that will make you panic or feel uncomfortable more than anything when going around a curve whether it be on a mountain pass or on a highway curve is excessive speed.

If you first let off of the throttle, you motorcycle will naturally start to slow down because of the action of friction and the engine.

If you are still going to fast don’t be afraid to apply a little front brake, but not too much because you may lose control. I like to apply both front and rear brakes.

If the turn is wet applying too much rear brake may make you slide out.

If you are still going too fast, downshift into a lower gear if you can safely.

If there are cars or other motorcycles behind me, and I am downshifting into a lower gear to slow down, I also try to tap my brake a bit just so the persons behind me can see my break light so they don’t rear end me.

Even with plenty of practice and riding experience, riding through turns and curves requires current practice and experience.

The worst riders are sometimes the people with the most experience because they think they are the great riders so they sometimes do not exercise the caution that they should.

Riding a motorcycle is not like riding a bike. Each time you are out, you need to exercise caution and ride at a safe speed.

Keep both wheels on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

Is the Sons of Anarchy TV Show a Biker Soap Opera?

Sons of Anarchy TV show is a biker soap operaI saw a comment from one of my Facebook friends wherein he stated that he just got through watching “Days of our Sons of Anarchy” which was a jab at the popular TV show Sons of Anarchy, comparing it to the “Days of our Lives” women’s soap opera on TV.

Unfortunately, I will admit to watching the TV show since the beginning.

I have been in motorcycle clubs, plus some of my friends are extras on the show playing both Sons and Mayans.

At least for me the bottom line is that the TV show has become, and probably has been nothing more than a biker soap opera the entire time.

One of my good friends, who has ridden in a club with me and who some would consider to be a hardcore biker called me last week after one of the shows to discuss a specific thing that happened in the show. He was dead serious about the issue.

It reminded me of my mom many years ago, discussing General Hospital with one of her friends.

In the back of my mind I was laughing. Here is this hardcore biker dude calling me about something that was shown on the Sons of Anarchy TV show.

The TV show only shows a trivial amount of actual riding on motorcycles. It does show a bunch of guys running around with cuts on, but all in all, the TV show is designed to keep you wanting to come back and watch some more.

The Sons of Anarchy TV show has no basis in biker reality other than the fact that there are dudes on the show wearing motorcyle club patches and who ride motorcycles from time to time.

Hell the only reason I have watched it this long is because my Digital Video Recorder (DVR), is set to record the show each week.

One interesting thing that I have seen as an outcrop from the Sons of Anarchy TV show is a bunch of guys riding around with Sons of Anarchy t-shirts that look like soft cuts, (a soft cut is a shirt that has a motorcycle club patch printed on the back and that can only be worn by members), and even guys wearing Sons of Anarchy cuts. (a cut is a leather or denim vest with a members motorcycle club patch on it only for members)

I have even seen purported Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club chapters popping up all over the nation.

These guys do not realize that there are real motorcycle club members worldwide who worked very hard to earn their motorcycle club patches, and they may not be too kind to a guy that sticks on a Sons of Anarchy patch that was purchased off of eBay, to make him look like a real motorcycle club member.

If you watch the TV show, fine, however, don’t be stupid enough to show up at motorcycle events with Sons of Anarchy soft cuts or real cuts, you may get yourself into trouble with real deal club members.

I have seen another new trend on the internet, and in real life, there are a bunch of new riding clubs and motorcycle clubs popping up because of the TV show.

I have seen one group in particular that I will not name, wearing cuts with front name badges, side rockers, the works. They only have one a one piece patch in the back, but the color of their patches is the same as the guys on the TV show.

I think it is a big mistake for these guys to be wearing cuts the way they are. I would not want to be anywhere near them when they get confronted by a real motorcycle club.

If you are not in a real and recognized motorcycle club, you should not be putting on club patches and pretending you are in a real club. It can only lead to trouble.

On one last note, in all my experience riding with and dealing with motorcycle clubs throughout the years, I have never seen anything go on like what goes on in the TV show.

So there it is, the next time you watch the TV show Sons of Anarchy, remember, you are watching a soap opera.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 17, 2011

Long Distance Motorcycle Riding; how do you Carry What You Need?

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado
One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

I have been a serious long distance motorcycle rider for many years now. You may ask what is a long distance motorcycle rider. To me a long distance motorcycle rider is someone who rides 800 or more miles on a motorcycle trip multiple times a year.

So according to my definition, even a first time rider who does a few 800 mile or more motorcycle trips per year would qualify as a long distance motorcycle rider.

I regularly do trips of 1000 miles or more like they are no big deal.

I know many guys who are bikers, and what some would consider to be hardcore bikers, that literally do nothing but bar hop on their motorcycles. To them doing 300 miles in a day is unheard of. Further, many of these guys have motorcycles that are in no way set up to do any serious mileage.

Most of these guys do not have saddle bags, and brag about how they do not need wind screens.

I am not going to knock these guys that are basically local bikers, but they really have no clue what it is like to be a long distance biker.

There are also what I call your ubiquitous trailer queens. These are guys that trailer their motorcycle to events, and then unhook them and ride at the actual event, making it appear that they rode to the event. This article not about packing up your car, it is about packing up your motorcycle.

Unless you are doing an Iron Butt Ride which is 1000 miles in a 24 hour period, (basically nonstop riding except to stop for gas and quick meals) a 1000 mile or more motorcycle trip will be a trip that is at least a 2 days or more.

I have done runs that last a week or more.

The big issue for me on long distance motorcycle trips is; what should I carry on the trip, and how should I carry what I need on the trip.

For me what to carry with on long distance motorcycle runs is almost automatic. I carry:

Water
Sunscreen
Flashlight
Small Tool Kit
Knife
1 Quart of Oil
Flare
Lighter
Sunglasses, and clear night glasses
Warm weather and cold weather gloves.
Leather Jacket
Leather Chaps
Spare clothes
Tennis Shoes
Emergency Contact Form
Cell Phone
GPS
Fine cotton cloths
Spray Wax
Plexus windshield cleaner
And whatever else I may need.

When I go on long distance motorcycle runs at least for the past 11 years or so, Elizabeth has been with me. Therefore inevitably, I also have to carry her purse, gloves, jacket, chaps, and whatever else she might want to bring as well which always includes her makeup and cloths.

In the past when I just had a softail or regular large cruiser motorcycle and no bagger, (see the picture above, the motorcycle is packed up to the brim, with tents, chairs, and everything for a full motorcycle rally.) my solution to accommodate all of the stuff that I like to carry, was to first to buy soft saddlebags, or a locking rigid saddlebag system, install a luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and buy a T-Bag soft luggage system that sat on the luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and then secured around the sissy bar.

The locking saddlebag system, called Leatherlykes Bags, was better than soft saddle bags, because they were bigger, and  I could lock the bags and walk away without worrying about being ripped off.

I used the soft T-Bag motorcycle luggage system on a couple of my motorcycles. After a few years, I switched from the T-Bags, to something called the Kuryakyn Full Dresser Bag, when they first came out. This bag had a rigid plastic shelving system in it, held more stuff then the T-Bags, and actually looked better as well. Not only that, but it had a wheel system on it like conventional luggage so when I got to a destination, I could lift it off, and wheel it in.

I used this system a few times on my FLHT Electra Glide Standard when I got her, but once I put the removable Tour Pak on; there was no room for the Full Dresser Bag.

For 6 years with the Electra Glide we would use plastic bags to fill up the side hard Harley Davidson Saddle bags, and the Tour Pak. We would also utilize the luggage rack on top of the tour pak to bungee tie our leathers as necessary.

I eventually went back to T-Bags and got a Dakota bag which is specifically designed to fit the premium luggage rack on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Tour Pak.

The Dakota Bag is so big, that it pretty much holds everything we need. Obviously there are some items that will not fit in the Dakota, so we continue to keep small plastic bags in the hard side saddle bags.

The Future

Liz and I are talking about riding cross country this summer. I figure on a cross country run we are not going to want to have to constantly lift the Dakota Bag off everytime we stop, and we are not going to want to have to park in a place where we can see the bike everytime we stop so someone does not rip off our Dakota bag.

So after doing some research, I have found a motorcycle tow behind cargo trailer solution that I may purchase and use for our cross country trip on the Electra Glide.

I can get a cargo trailer that holds anywhere from 18 cubic feet of stuff, up to 25-26 cubic feet depending upon how much I want to spend, or how big I want the trailer to be.

I would need to install a motorcycle ball hitch onto my motorcycle for the trailer to hook onto, and rig up a wiring harness for brake and signal lights on the trailer.

It looks like there are many off the shelf trailer solutions for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

A cargo trailer at least to me would be the optimum way to travel cross country on a motorcycle, because we can just throw everything we want to take in the trailer, plus there will be room to store souvenirs if we decide to buy any along the way.

The trailer will take away the fun of trying to cram everything into a few small spaces on the motorcycle.

Even with a full Harley Davidson Electra Glide Custom Ultra, things can get tight real quick.

On a cross country trip I want to be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, without worrying about having to wash clothes every couple of days on the road.

There are many out there that say towing a cargo trailer behind a motorcycle is dangerous. Based upon my research, it can be done safely so long as you get used to it and take it easy just like anything else.

In closing, I have found that rigid saddlebags, a nice luggage rack mounted soft or rigid motorcycle luggage system, tour paks, and cargo trailers, all will allow you to carry the things you need on a long distance motorcycle run. What you do is really up to you.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 13, 2011

Have a Happy Veterans Day, 11/11/11.

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez sitting in a Helicopter on the Flight Line at Sheppard Air Force Base, June 1981
California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez sitting in a Helicopter on the Flight Line at Sheppard Air Force Base, June 1981

Each year I wish all of my fellow veterans, both past and present a Happy Veterans Day.

You can read my many articles by typing in Veterans Day on the search box on the upper right.

This year is a special veterans day. President Obama has announced that we will officially be out of Iraq by year’s end which is great news. We lost a lot of men there, and many tens of thousands more were severely injured and/or have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result.

Our men are still fighting Taliban and insurgents from Pakistan in Afghanistan as I write this article.

Further, this year we finally got the asshole Osama Bin Laden and dumped his ass into the ocean where he belongs. We also got the asshole Anwar al-Awlaki and a whole bunch more of those Al Qaeda assholes.

With our help and the help of NATO, Libya’s Kaddafi is no more.

However, our nation is facing some major challenges in the upcoming years. The U.N. has finally acknowledged that Iran has been lying about its nuclear program, and in fact is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, which may mean we might have to take out Iran, and Communist China is building its military and space capabilities with our money.

In the end there may be more wars in store for our nation.

At least for now there are many veterans who are coming home to find that they cannot get jobs, and their benefits are being cut and/or are non-existent. This to me is a travesty.

There are many other veterans who are homeless on our streets, and who have become addicted to drugs and alcohol as a result of having to deal with the nightmares they went through on our countries behalf.

There are many others that have suffered horrible injuries that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

It’s time for us as a people to step up and do more for our veterans than wish them a happy veterans day, it is time to actually help them out and show them that we love them and honor their service.

I am asking all of you to donate money to a reputable veteran organization this day.

Happy Veterans Day!

By U.S. Air Force Veteran, and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 11/11/11

My Two Prong Solution to End the Political Stalemate in Washington

idea go put millions of americans back to workLying in bed recovering from surgery has given me time to contemplate solutions to our nation’s woes.

You will find that I have previously wrote a short article on how to get millions of America back to work, while reducing our dependence of foreign oil. You can read it below or by clicking here.

I am now going to lay out my solution to end the political stalemate in Washington, and make congress more accountable to the people.

Before I begin let me start off by stating for the record that I think that there are some congressmen who have betrayed our nation by doing what is in their political parties best interest rather than our nation’s best interest.

Our nation’s credit rating was recently downgraded because of the actions of some of these congressmen; they should be ashamed and they should be ousted out of our government. They have done enough damage.

As an Air Force veteran, these congressmen make me sick to my stomach and are aberrant to everything I believe in.

With that being said, some may think my solutions are too simple, and that is because I have designed them that way, to be simple.

To end the political stalemate in Washington, we must first get special interests and corporations out of our government.

I firmly believe that our government is firmly in the control of special interest, corporations, and oligarchies right now. (An oligarchy is a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few. These would be the super-rich 1% who control most of the wealth in this nation.)

The Declaration of Independence says: “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” nowhere does the Declaration of Independence say by special interest, corporations, or oligarchy.

In order to flush the special interest and corporations out of our government toilet bowl, we need to enact campaign finance reform.

In other words, the way things work right now, someone who wants to run for congress or political office has to raise mega millions of dollars in order to do so. In order to win, a candidate either has to pay for the campaign out of their own money, or they have to go to special interest, corporations, or wealthy contributors for the money to do so.

Either way, these candidates end up being for the most part non representative of the people because they have to answer to those that gave them money to be elected.

Ultimately, these candidates end up owing favors to the special interest, corporations, and wealthy benefactors who contributed to their campaign.

How does this help our nation, it doesn’t, it is a system ripe for corruption.

In the end rather than doing what is in the best interest of the American people, you end up with candidates doing whatever they can to be re-elected, and to please whoever gave them money for their campaigns.

I say the Federal Government should give each candidate a set amount of money for their campaign, and that is it. No more money allowed!

No candidate should be allowed to use private money or special interest money again for their campaigns.

Each TV channel in return for being given a broadcast license in this nation should be mandated to give each candidate a set amount of time on the airwaves to campaign, and that is it. No more crappy political ads every commercial break.

This solution should get rid of the special interest control over our elections, corporate control of our elections, and the oligarchy control over our elections.

The Supreme Court made a horrible decision in Citizens United by allowing corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money towards political campaigns, because it took the voice of the people away and gave it to the corporations.

I know some may balk at the government financing campaigns, and putting limits on how much money each candidate may spend, but this is the only solution if we want to take our nation back from the special interest, corporations, and oligarchies.

Do we have the guts to take our nation back?

My second solution is term limits for all congressmen, just like we have for our president. 2 terms and then you are out of there.

There are congressmen who have been in office their entire careers. I do not think our founding fathers had this in mind when they set up our nation.

These career congressmen have learned how to game the system, and exert an undue influence on what they call junior congressmen.

Some of these career congressmen are so cavalier; they think they have an automatic entitlement to be re-elected. Therefore they do what they want instead of what is best for the people and their constituents.

Most if not all of these congressman are loyal to their political parties more than they are loyal to the American people.

It is time to flush these congressmen down the drain, and get people in there who care more about our nation than their political party.

Therefore let’s enact term limits for each congressman, 2 terms and that is it!

My solution to fixing our government is simple; (1) Campaign Finance Reform, and (2) Two Terms for each Congressman only.

We need to take our nation back before it is too late.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 7, 2011

What is up with all these So-Called “Biker Lawyers” all of a Sudden showing up with Booths at All of the Motorcycle Events?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association Journal, and photographer David Newhardt

Well with Palm Springs American Heat I have finally had enough with what I think is a disgusting advertising practice by what in my opinion are bottom feeder personal injury lawyers.

In Palm Springs a certain so-called Biker Lawyer group had some scantily clad young girls aggressively coming up to people who were walking by saying that they worked for a lawyer who actually rides, as they tried to force feed passerby’s their business cards, and cheap novelties and trinkets.

I told the girls who came up to me, “Sorry, I am a Biker Lawyer who actually rides.” They kind of had a shocked look on their faces.

You see, I actually ride to many motorcycle events all over the nation. This year was no different.

All of a sudden there are a certain group of the same personal injury lawyers showing up at events calling themselves “Biker Lawyer” and  “Lawyers that ride” at motorcycle events.

To me a Biker Lawyer and a Lawyer that rides, is someone like me who is a lawyer and who also is a biker that rides motorcyles. It is a real simple concept, not some bullshit marketing slogan!

I think that I may have been the first Biker Lawyer to coin that term back in 1997 or so, because I am a lawyer who really rides. Once I started putting it out there on my website and on my blog, all of a sudden I saw other lawyers claiming the same thing.

Well now all of a sudden there are groups of lawyers showing up at motorcycle events all claiming to be “lawyers that really ride.”

It is not that I do not mind competition, hell I think it would be great to find a group of lawyers that actually ride motorcycles, hell I would like to go ride with them and make some new friends.

But what I really think is going on is a marketing gimmick aimed at bikers, and the way I see it, showing up at a motorcycle rally with a booth telling people if they crash their motorcycles, to call them, is disgusting and despicable to me.

In two words it is “Bad Karma.”

At the Las Vegas biker rally a few weeks ago, as we were walking by one of these booths, some guy sitting on his ass in the booth looked at my wife’s hat and said in a smart ass way, “who is the biker lawyer?” (The hat said Biker Lawyer, www.bikerlawyer.net on it) I told him I was. I also told him that I don’t sit at booths at motorcycle rallies; I actually ride to the rallies.

He had a stunned look on his face because I was actually in my biker garb because; yes I was riding, unlike him.

Curious about what it actually takes to be a Biker Lawyer with one of these organizations that has started up in the last couple of years I believe; I contacted one who I think was based in Arizona if I am not mistaken. They sent me a bunch of literature. At the time I contacted them, they had some firm based in San Diego as their only California firm.

In researching them, I saw no indication whatsoever that anyone from the firm listed for California at the time rode motorcycles. Matter of fact, I never even heard of them! Now it could be that someone from that firm actually rode motorcycles, it all seemed fishy to me.

Basically, I was told that if you pay at the time I contacted them, approximately 10k or so yearly fee to the organization I am referring to, you can be a Biker Lawyer with their group.

They would advertise for cases for you, and send you the cases in your territory. Very interesting!

Now the casual person looking at this group would think that it is all the same organization. Well it is not. It is a marketing vehicle that attorneys pay to be a part of.

Nowhere on the application did it ask if you actually ride motorcycles. Further, they hold themselves out to be Lawyers that really ride.

I think this practice is very misleading. I think consumers and bikers should be notified that lawyers pay a fee to be a part of this organization, and I think each of their lawyers should actually ride if they are going to advertise that they are lawyers who ride!

My next question is that most States require you to be licensed in that particular State to practice law in that State. You can apply to represent an individual in Court on a one or two time basis if you are an out of state lawyer, however, you cannot do it all the time.

So I wondered, how do the now 3-5 groups of lawyers that show up at all of the biker rallies, and that advertise in all of the biker rags, actually practice law in all 50 states legally.

The answer is that they cannot. It appears to me that these groups of lawyers that are advertising nationwide either have some kind of fee splitting deal going on with lawyers in the different States so the main lawyer will advertise and get cases for them, and then they will share the attorneys fee with the guy in the State actually doing the case, or they have some kind of marketing scam going on, where the attorney pays a fee like the organization I contacted, and the main attorney will advertise, and then send cases to the lawyers who are paying their franchise fee.

I think this entire practice is misleading, and despicable.

I saw American Chopper last night where even another group that I have never heard of before has popped up. It appears to me to be another marketing setup where they have created a website to target nationwide the “niche” market of motorcycle riders.

After digging deep into their website, it looks like the main law firm sponsoring their “Biker law” marketing campaign is based in Pennsylvania, and they too are claiming that they are lawyers that ride. I have no clue how this site or law firm work, but again, unless they have attorneys licensed in each state, they too must have some kind of fee splitting or franchise type of deal going on.

They do not limit themselves to just one State on their website.

On the TV show, they had a guy who they represented to be an attorney come in and order a custom bike to honor the firefighters or something to that affect. Somewhere it stated that he was the “lead counsel” or “managing counsel” of the biker law end of the firm. What the hell does that mean?

Anyway, at the end of the show there were a bunch of people in t-shirts with the biker law website address on it.

I almost threw up. You got to admit these people are marketing geniuses. They get an hour of TV advertising for what looks to be new operation, and all they had to do is pay (probably overpay) for a custom chopper from Orange County Choppers.

In the end there sits us real bikers. What are we supposed to believe is true?

First, I think that no lawyer should be going to motorcycle events and advertising for motorcycle accident cases. People are at the events to have fun, not to have the fact that they could crash shoved down their throats by a bunch of marketing hacks.

Second, I think that all of these firms should be forced to disclose the truth about their organizations, i.e., whether they are a fee splitting shop, whether lawyers pay them to have cases sent to them, and who in fact is the real biker lawyer in their organization.

I personally know at least two major attorneys in the so-called biker lawyer nationwide marketing scam, and neither of them rides motorcycles. One of them even stated in the Los Angeles Times in an article that he does not ride; because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. The article featured one of their new associates who had just got a Sportser, who had ridden for less than 6 months. (This guy has since left and opened his own bike lawyer shop)

So here I sit a humble real California Biker Lawyer who actually rides motorcycles. I am the friggen real deal. I am not playing some marketing scam on my clients. They know what they are getting when they retain me.

If you are in California and want the real deal call me; 800-816-1529 x.1.

For the rest of you there is a saying; Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for let the buyer beware.

Finally, you can have a say so if you also don’t like these bottom feeders showing up at our motorcycle rallies, simply don’t call them if you have an accident.

With a little research you can find someone like me who actually ride’s and is not part of some marketing operation geared towards bikers!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2011

Riding Your Motorcycle in Cold Weather Can Be Deadly.

cold-weather-ridingI knew that the title of this article would get your attention.

With winter and cold weather either here for some of us, or almost here for the rest of us, there are things about riding your motorcycle in the cold that you need to know.

Riding your motorcycle in cold weather can be deadly because of something called hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.

Normal body temperature is around 98.6 Fahrenheit. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature passes below 95 Fahrenheit.

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system, and other organs can’t work property. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system, and to death.

As the temperature falls, the body shunts blood away from the skin and exposure to the elements. Blood flow is increased to the vital organs of the body including the heart, lungs, kidney, and brain.

Hypothermia most often occurs because of prolonged exposure to cold weather. Inadequate clothing for conditions may not provide enough insulation for the body to prevent heat loss.

Many of you may know that riding your motorcycle in cold weather can cause hypothermia.

I must admit, when I was younger, and did not know so much, I rode around in cold weather all of the time. Many times I was so cold; that my hands were numb, my feet were numb, and my crotch felt like it was frozen. No one ever told me about hypothermia, I just thought I was butt cold.

Luckily I live in an area that has yearlong riding, however, because of this I sometimes take it for granted, and ride in cold weather that I should not ride in, or I get stuck on the road, and am forced to ride home in very cold weather.

Coming from Southern California, I sometimes ride to other areas or States where it is much colder than it is here.

The trouble is that when you ride in cold weather and you’re not dressed properly, your body senses as well as core temperature start to drop, your decision making abilities start to slow down, and just like an intoxicated person, you start to have problems with simple tasks such as clutching and braking because your hands and feet start to go numb.
Many of you may be saying to yourself “why is he writing this, I already know about hypothermia.” Well I had heard about hypothermia as well.

However, in the past when I was freezing my ass off while riding my motorcycle, I never even had any idea that I could be suffering from hypothermia and that my life was at risk.

There is another risk when riding in cold weather as well, frostbite, however, let’s just stick to hypothermia.

wind-chill chartJust to show you how fast temperatures can drop at certain speeds while riding, I am attaching a wind-chill chart here which you can click to read.

Take a look, if you are riding at 60 miles per hour in 40 degree temperatures, the wind-chill factor is 25 degrees. You could get hypothermia in a matter of minutes without the proper riding attire on.

The point of this article is to make you aware of the danger.

There are many solutions out there for cold weather riding, from electric vests, gloves, pants, and insulated riding attire, to standard riding gear.

What is best for you or what is out there for cold weather riding, I will let you research on your own. There are many websites out there dedicated to this one subject.

The next time you are freezing your ass off on a motorcycle ride and you feel your hands and feet becoming numb, you will now think about this article and hypothermia, and maybe stop in a warm restaurant of motel somewhere to get your body heat back and to recover.

Yes it may be a hassle, but it is better to live to ride another day.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 10, 2011

Then I met Steve Jobs……..

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs looking the way I met him in 1984

Yesterday’s news that Steve Jobs passed away brought back memories to me that I have not thought about for many years.

You see, almost 30 years ago, I met Steve Jobs at Apple Computer in Cupertino, California.

In what seems like another life ago, in my first career as an Engineer, I was at the age of 21, a Senior Field Engineer working for a company called Micom Systems, whose corporate headquarters was in Chatsworth, California.

As part of my promotion to a Senior Field Engineer in 1983/84, I was relocated up to Menlo Park, California to start up, and head up the customer service operations for Micom Systems in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Although I was primarily relocated to exclusively handle NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, I was also responsible for all service operations in the Bay Area, including Silicon Valley.

My job included installation engineering, training, and maintaining complex data communications networks for what was a who’s who of corporations, governmental entities, and the military.

My company came out with a new device called the 470, T1 multiplexor.

This device was basically a time division multiplexor that integrated up to 128 asynchronous channels running up to 19.2kbps, into a proprietary 819.6kbbps composite link, and then DE multiplexed them out on the other end of the composite link. (See the picture below)

Although this multiplexor was not really a true T1 multiplexor, (true T1’s run at 1.544mbps) it was a major innovation in its day.

apple 470 network
A hand drawn schematic of the network I installed at Apple about 27 years ago.

Many Micom customers purchased the 470, and it was my job to figure out how to get it operating.

One day in 1984, I was notified that Apple Computer had purchased the 470, to connect its Dec Vax computers in its Cupertino data center, to asynchronous dumb terminals in another Apple building in Cupertino.

When I got there in the day to do a walk through, I noticed the reserved parking spaces of Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak, the co-founders of Apple Computer.

I went in and met my contact whose name I cannot recall after all of this time.

After looking at the job, I informed my contact that since we would have to disconnect existing multiplexed connections to connect them to the new 470, that the best time to do the job would be at 2am in the morning, when everyone had gone home. He agreed.

After our meeting, my contact asked me if I wanted some Pizza; I said sure. He walked me into a conference room where a bunch of cool looking people were eating pizza. He introduced me to everyone. Mind you, I was 21 years old, and basically a geek like everyone in the room.

A guy with long hair, who did not seem much older than me came up and introduced himself to me. He said, “Nice to meet you Norm, my name is Steve.”

Mind you there was a bunch of people in the room gobbling up pizza. I was the only guy in the room with a tie on. I met a bunch of people in the room and did not think much of Steve when he introduced himself to me.

Like everyone else I gobbled up Pizza. I did notice that Steve kind of controlled the room, meaning everyone was paying attention to him. I myself was looking at this really cute looking blond gal who turned out to be a receptionist.

When we left the room, my contact said to me “Do you know who you just met?” I said “who?” He said “Steve Jobs one of the founders of Apple Computer.”

I was blown away. I could not believe I met Steve Jobs, I could not believe that I did not recognize him, but I was glad that I did not know who he was. It meant that I interacted with him as a normal guy instead of a celebrity type of thing.

The installation at Apple turned out to be a nightmare from hell.

To make a long story short, we spent no less than a week straight, every night at 2am working until 6 or 7 in the morning to get the new network working.

Each night, I made it a point to park in Steve Job’s parking space. Hell, he was not there anyway at that time of night. I thought it was a gas.

One night I brought my girlfriend in (she later turned out to be the mother of my daughters) to watch us work.

My contact took my girlfriend and me over to a bench and told her that she could play with the new computer on the bench. It turned out to be one of the first new color Macintosh computers that was ever produced. Hell I wanted to play too, but I could not.

No matter what I did, I could not get the multiplexors to sync up. The composite link required 2 twisted pairs with no loading. I took an oscillator and set it to transmit a 1Kilocycle frequency at 0DB, and then went to the other side and measured the DB loss. I was getting something like a 30 DB loss through the wire. I knew something was wrong.

My contact called up Pacific Bell and was finally told that there was a parallel circuit running off our circuit to another building at Apple. We were told where it was. I took a 900 ohm resister and punched it across tip and ring to terminate the circuit. I did this on both pairs.

Wholla, the multiplexors synced up, we were able to get the new network working, and I got an award from Apple Computer for my efforts.

Apple was supposed to provide me with two unloaded twisted pairs. It turned out that Pacific Bell Telehone gave them what we call two bridge tap circuits!

It was only because of my training in the Air Force in applied science and telephony that I was able to know what to do in this situation. This is why Micom gave NASA and the bay area to me at such a young age.

Frankly I was too young to appreciate where I was at the time, or what I was doing.

The reason why I have gotten a bit technical in the article is because I know Steve Jobs would have liked it like that, and because I know geeks like me who were pioneers of OSI networking back in the 80’s and 90’s will appreciate the detail. I still remember the RS232 interface as though it were the back of my hand.

Rest in peace Steve Jobs. You are one of those human beings that have changed the way many other human beings do things!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 5, 2011

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates, are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.