Take me home, El Capitan!

"Gather 'round, lads.... gather 'round"...
Burt Lancaster / The Crimson Pirate (1952)

Around every other month, when I deem you are worthy, we post a new cheesy newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW world and of course... Pirates Lair. How else are you going to find out?

Warning: While I do try to add a little humor in every newsletter, some of my language may offend the mild mannered, politically correct, liberal, or meek amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you stop reading here and look elsewhere for your written info-tainment. Basically.. "enter at ye own peril.."

FYI.. If you'd like to be notified when each new newsletter is posted, just email me with your request and I'll make that happen. Our email database is 100% secure. Stored in a lock box formerly owned by Al Gore. Never shared or sold to third parties. Never perused by the NSA or Russian hackers.

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: January / February 2017 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed motorcyclists.... ..A famous (and slightly edited ) movie moment to start the month.....

General Tagge: What of the Rebellion? If the Rebels have obtained a copy of the latest Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletter, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find information in it they can use against us.
Darth Vader: This cheese-filled newsletter you refer to will soon be back in our hands.
Admiral Motti: Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it!
Darth Vader: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Admiral Motti: Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up this newsletter, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fort-...
[Vader makes a pinching motion and Motti starts choking]
Darth Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Darth Vader .. David Prowse / Star Wars 1977

News and Feltercarb From The Two-Wheeled No-Spin Zone...!!

Picture Of The Month! Scenic Switzerland! (Click Image for a Larger View)

Every month customers send us killer photos and I see no reason to keep them to myself so what better way to say thanks for sharing than to post them in this Picture of the Month spot..

Our Jan / Feb POTM was contributed by Sir Bob Pettit of Sonoma, California. He says of the photo..."This was taken early June 2016 with with a GoPro (set on taking pics every 20 seconds) about 5 miles to the border of Switzerland. We (5) bikes were riding to St Bernard. In the shot the snow was around 12 feet high, but the temperature was 55 and around 70 when we stopped. They had just opened this road two days before we rode it! My wife is on the back of the BMW S1000XR I rented ( great bike by the way)That’s her in the pic! We all became experts at switch backs after a week of riding in the Alps and loved how more often than not drivers yield to Moto riders. Gezz, what a great system!! Beg, borrow or steal to make this trip it was better than I could have imagined! "

If you would like to contribute your own"worthy" shot for our newsletter, here's what I'll need. First.. just email me 1 or 2 of your best digital shots. It'll need to be at least 1024x768 in size or larger and preferably A. Of any late model BMW .. B. In focus... C. No GS's for Gods sake.

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Understanding Your Bike's Rear Tire Grip to Avoid Crashing
By Nick Ienatsch

I've ridden with a lot of people through the 45+ years I've been a motorcyclist and more than a few times I've had other riders tell me.. "You are so smooth." Honestly, I'd rather hear that than.. "dang you're fast" .. or "have you lost weight".. or "that's so large you should work in porn."

In our last cheese filled newsletter I posted a link to a well written article on braking by one of my long time moto-journalist heroes and former racer, Nick Ienatsch who is currently writing for Cycle World and also the chief instructor at Yamaha Champions Riding School,. This month I'm posting an equally informative article on tire traction, the causes of losing traction, and smoothness. Ever see Valentino Rossi ride in the rain? If the track is wet you can always assume Rossi will be at the head of the pack due to his smoothness, on and off throttle, and his body positioning.. It's a thing of beauty to watch. This month's Nick Ienatsch article is (as usual) informative to both newbies and seasoned road veterans. No way I wasn't gonna share... That being said.. the following is from Cycle World's on-line Ienatsch Tuesday feature....

"What are the two components of rear-tire grip on corner exits? 1. Throttle and 2. Lean Angle. We learn to not “grab a handful of throttle” on corner exits. Some riders learn it on a dirt bike, some riders learn it while lying in the dirt with their street bike." Read more..

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The Pirates Lair Expanding Universe.. BMW R1200GS and Kawasaki Versys 1000 & 650!

Like the universe around us and to a lessor extent, Kelly Clarkson's waistline.. Pirates Lair is expanding in 2017. Like most small businesses in the US today, we're very optimistic about the new president's plans to turn the economy around, get money flowing again, and most importantly.. get our customers back to work. Personally, I haven't been this excited in years. Woohoo! As the K1200S/K1300S (our main focus for the last few years) has been discontinued and few new products for them is expected in the future, I see this as a great opportunity to spend more time on product lines for other bikes.

First up on my "to-do" list is an expanded, reinvigorated section on the BMW R1200GS. I admit I haven't put much effort into our previous GS product line. While it's a well known fact that I'm not a fan of BMW twins, there's no escaping the obvious reality that they are BMW's biggest seller and probably the bike Jesus would ride. Just this week I've added a number of new products for the GS series.. ZTechnik Headlight Protectors.. ZTechnik Engine Guards.. ZTechnik GS Fairing Winglets.. and the waaaaay cool Synto Evo Levers.. Expect more to come soon.

Also.. with the advent of our just released Versys 1000 stealth backrest, I've just added an all new product line for the 2015+ Kawasaki Versys 1000 & 650. While I'm no expert on Kawasaki these days, IMHO the Versys is the future of their sport touring line-up and could possibly replace the aging Concours some time in the near future.. May as well have a product line in place when that happens. Nothing ventured.. Nothing gained.

Shoe Me More, El Capitan!

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The EPA vs Motorcyclists: I Should Have Taken the Blue Pill....

Thought I'd drop in with some bad news for those thinking about buying an aftermarket exhaust system or performance equipment in 2017... Due to new harsher EPA regulations, all exhaust systems that eliminate the cat (motorcycle or car) or even affect the cat in a "non-green" way are about to be taken off the market in the US. How soon? I don't know. This is part of another job-killing "green" executive order signed by the outgoing president. Bottom line... we are told that soon.. very soon all US vendors will have to comply or they'll start getting fined. Availability of these products inside the US in the weeks to come is gonna be dicey at best or so I'm being told. Not sure if individuals will be able to buy foreign produced systems directly from the manufacturer or not.. I suspect not as US customs will be watching, doncha know.

At the end of November, Remus USA and Remus Austria told us to pull all  full systems and any slip-on kits that eliminate the cats (like on the K1300S and K1300R) off our menu. BMW, Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, KTM, etc.. No more would be shipping. We were told EPA agents had actually made some visits to vendors over the last few weeks who've been selling these "non-green" kits. Ahh.. our tax dollars at work saving us from ourselves..

Did you know that Akrapovic just handed over the motorcycle exhaust end of their US operation to RevZilla? Did you know that the Booster Plug (sold out of Denmark) just stopped selling to US vendors because they can't afford to get EPA approval? The US market was a major part of their business.

Oh.. it gets worse, my farkling friends, I expect Power Commanders and other similar devices made by Bren Tuning will be off the market within the next few months unless they pay the six figure fee and get EPA approval. Can these companies afford that? I have no idea. If you've been wanting one of these evil, non-government sanctioned devices and you've been procrastinating, I suggest you get off your leather-clad ass and pull the trigger on one while they are still available.

If you aren't already bleeding from every orifice after all these body shots, there may be some good news on the horizon. The new president says (with a stroke of his pen) he's going to reverse these small biz killing regulations within the first 100 days in office. Could he be our own personal "Neo?" Fighting off the agents? We shall see. Here's a lot of the story from MotorTrend.com. It goes into greater detail.

Lastly.... a pertinent quote that still pretty much sums up my feelings on all this government intrusion.. "We want to be free! We want to be free to do what we want to do! We want to be free to ride. And we want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the Man." – Heavenly Blues, from the eulogy of the Loser... The Wild Angels / 1966

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Looking Into the German Crystal Ball: The Motorrad Vision 100 Concept

BMW claims that motorcycles in the future will be so smart that you won't need protective gear or even a helmet. Hmmm.. I'll go out on a limb here and surmise that none of the BMW designers have ever been hit in the head by a bird at 70mph or had a deer leap off an embankment right into your lap or have a strip of retread fly off a semi's tire and crack their face shield. Perhaps one of the engineers making these bold claims could tell me how this "motorcycle of the future" will avoid being rear-ended while sitting at a stop light by the soccer mom in her pre-2017 Accord who hasn't noticed the traffic in front of her has stopped. Unrealistic claims aside, it's obvious the German wunderkind are looking into an interesting future and thinking in bold colors.

One of the Star Trekien features I do like on the Vision 100 Concept bike is the self-balancing system that keeps the motorcycle upright both in motion and at a standstill. Kinda like a Segway. No more side stand. That's an idea I can get behind.. Just think. No more seeing your bike laying on it's side because it was parked on a slight downhill slope and you stupidly forgot to leave it in gear. No more pulling up to a drive-thru, putting your foot down into a puddle of oil, then dropping it at zero mph in front of all your cell phone wielding friends who will post the pics later on Facebook. Sweet.

Another traditional feature that is missing.. your instrument cluster. Gone. Instead, helmetless riders will wear a visor that acts as a smart display, although (according to the Germans) such information would not be needed all the time because the bike is equipped with "self-driving technology" and can sense the road ahead and react so that it theoretically can't get into accidents. O really? I'm sure there would be plenty of riders willing to put that bold claim to the test.

For many, the future of motorcycling looks brighter and safer, but I'll predict here and now that many purists (like myself) will reject this version of the future. IMHO motorcycles should NOT be this civilized although I have no issues with them being an option. High powered, quasi-legal combustion engined bikes will be on the roads as long as fuel is being produced for them and for many of us.. they are what makes life worth living. What motorcyclist doesn't love the sound of screaming in-line 4? or a Termi-equipped Ducati? or even a powerful Harley pulling at full throttle? No electric bike will ever be able to duplicate that or the emotional response we get from it. I suspect that most of us don't need (nor want) no stinkin' uber-safe, sanitized, soundless alternative. Lets just hope we'll still have a choice in the future. Lets just hope our gas-burners aren't legislated off the roads.

Call me irresponsible, but I think there's a fine line between making motorcycles safer and taking away all aspects of danger. Motorcycles should not be tamed by technology for the greater good of the masses. They should be enhanced by it. Other than politicians and/or societal do-gooders who think they know what's best for us.. Who wants that? Are we not men? We are descendents of Vikings, for chrissakes! It's been my experience that a lot of the invaluable lessons we learn from piloting a motorcycle on the edge are learned specifically because motorcycles are dangerous. Take that danger away and what incentive do we have for learning? Take that danger away and we're no more than two-wheeled spectators on an expensive carnival ride. Part of the joy of motorcycling is the reality that we are choosing to defy death with fun. Our friends and family think we're insane... and maybe that's partly true. I genetic anomaly that makes us who we are. So be it. I'll wager that almost everyone reading this will agree that there's more to riding a motorcycle than just getting safely from point A to point B. Like a famous American poet once said.."Like a true nature's child... we were born, born to be wild."

What's New In the BMW No-Spin Zone

1. Want to light up your world? Here's a good way to do it.. Check out this Clearwater Sevina Dimmable LED Light Kit Review - by our good friend Moto Mouth Moshe Episode #17

2. In our last cheese-filled newsletter I mentioned that K1600GT owners wanting some slimmer "City-Bag-type" lids could get them from BCD Megastore. Since then I've heard some discouraging words about that company.. The main one being that they refuse to ship to the USA... No explanation given as to why. I also heard about slow service, back-orders, customers complaints, etc etc. Be afraid.. For an alternate source for the slim bag lids in a matte black finish you might want to check out this French offering from BCD on EBay.

3. Looking for a distinctive looking exhaust for your K1300R? Here's something a little different and it sounds pretty damn good.. Cobra Hypershots Dual Sports Exhaust.

4. Suffering erectile dysfunction? This should cure that.. Check out the 2017 BMW HP4 Race With Carbon Fiber Chassis.. Shhhhwing! Sex on wheels....If erection lasts for more than 4 hours...

5. 2017 Model Update: Liquid-Cooled Boxer Line ...Ch Ch Ch Changes...

6. We have lots of 2017 I-BMW Rally information coming in and posted below in our Rally Section. .. Dates have already been set for the Australian Rally in March, Texas Hill Country Rally in April, Blue Ridge Parkway Rally in May, and the Deals Gap Rally in September.. Check these out and attend if you can.. I-BMW rallies are like no other. If you have info on another I-BMW event that I've not listed yet.. please let me know. These times and dates don't just magically appear.. Somebody has to make the effort to let us know..

7. 2017 BMW G310R First Ride - BMW gets serious about the entry-level market and their international profits.. Check out this first review from Motorcycle.com

8. Here's some nut-wrenching news for BMW K1200RS & K1200GT owners from MaxMoto... the lone Remus importer.."We will no longer be able to sell any exhaust systems that eliminate the catalytic converter, period! That decision was made by REMUS AT and REMUS USA on 11/8/16. In order to comply with EPA regulations we are taking all of these applications off of our website immediately and will no longer be able to sell them. The EPA has already paid visits to some of our partners." Yikes! (Expanded story above)

Read it and weep, my friends. The Remus was the last manufacturer still producing exhausts for the venerable 1998-2004 K1200RS & GT. That being said, if you or a friend has a used Remus or Staintune exhaust system for the K1200RS/ GT, we'll be glad to help you sell it. We'll be keeping an on-going list of those who are wanting one. Just email me with details of what you have and how much you want for it and I'll see if I can find a buyer for you.. Pictures will be required at some point.

No Remus??!!Are you shitting me?!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. New Product Alert 2017: Just before Christmas we completed our latest backrest project for the Kawasaki Versys 1000 Stealth Backrest. They are now in stock.. Yes.. it's the worst time of the year to introduce a new product, but that's just the way the cards were dealt. Feedback (as expected) is all good.. Basically, our Versys kit is a slightly modified version of our Concours Stealth backrest. Install, like virtually all our other backrests, is a one beer job taking under 10 minutes with basic tools and intellect. The backrest section slides on and off the bike in seconds. Price is a little higher than our other kits due to some extra CNC parts. We ordered a small quantity on this first production run as A. It's winter and B. We're not sure what the demand will be on this kit. Spread the word.

2. Speaking of backrest projects... six months ago I would have told you that our BMW R1200RS Stealth Backrest project was dead as disco. I'd looked at it for almost a year and just simply wasn't happy with what my aging brain was coming up with. I shelved the project in utter defeat and moved on.. Now it's not only back on the docket, but I think we'll probably have production pieces by summer 2017.. Chalk it up to an unexpected epiphany... Very excited about this one..

In Stock!

3. Good news to start 2017.... We just got the 2017 Price List from ZTechnik and they have lowered the price on a few of their VStream Windshields.. K1200RS, K1200GT, K1600, etc etc.. Prices have already been adjusted on our website for the various BMWs.. Why a drop? I have no freakin' idea and I didn't ask.. Taste the rainbow.

4. New Product Alert 2017: ZTechnik's Stainless Steel Engine Guards will never rust like powder coated steel guards. They are designed to allow clearance for oil changes and valve cover access, so they never need to be removed. Guards attach to the motor mounts – not the engine cases – to protect the cylinder heads and not destroy them. Integrated top brackets on each guard allow the rider to mount accessory lights, video cameras, GoPro, or whatever they can imagine! Garage porn has never been easier. Sold as a pair. These fit the standard 2013+ water-cooled R1200GS .. They do NOT fit the Adventure which comes with standard guards..

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare!

5. New Product Alert 2017: New to our GS menu is the ZTechnik LED Headlight Protector Do you need a headlight protector on your bike? Maybe.. Maybe not..but have you priced a factory GS headlight lately? Are you sitting down? Are you bent over with a bottle of AstroGlide handy? Call any dealer and you'll be quoted a sphincter busting $1646 for the 2013+ oem LED R1200GS headlight and that doesn't include labor, a reach-around, or cuddling afterwards. Protect your insanely expensive headlight and your wallet.. or not.. Don't say I didn't warn you.

6. New Product Alert 2017: Another item new to our R1200GS menu is the ZTechnik Fairing Winglets. ZTechnik claims they raise the comfort level of the 2013+ Liquid-Cooled BMW R1200GS for both touring and off-road riders. The Z GS Fairing Winglets extend the performance of the bike’s windshield by diverting buffeting underdrafts and turbulent air from the rider’s cockpit. The GS Fairing Winglets are fuller and higher than the small OEM Cockpit Fairing parts and mount easily to existing points on the motorcycle in less than 15 minutes. Be the best you can be. They do NOT fit the Adventure.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare!

7. While the R1200RS headlights are a thing of beauty, can you imagine what it would cost to replace one? Be afraid! As of this week we now have Cee Bailey Headlight Protectors for the 2014+ BMW R1200RS. Hedge your bets against the randomness of nature with these aircraft quality grade acrylic covers. Each order includes (2) pieces. They install easily and securely with the 3M Dual-Lok fasteners. Easy on/off for cleaning. Protect yourself.. or not.. The question is.. "Do you feel lucky? Well.. do ya punk?" Here is what they look like.

8. Need a lift? We've just added Pit Bull Stands to our BMW R1200RS product page. I couldn't live without mine. If you change your own tires, stands are invaluable. Also... Pit Bull stands make cleaning the bike so much easier..

9. NEW PRODUCT - Been looking for some soft saddlebags for your S1000RR or S1000R that don't fuck up the looks of your bike with butt-ugly bracketry? I don't blame you. Look no further than the SW-MOTECH Bags-Connection Blaze Sport Saddlebag System. The system features mounting arms that quickly attach to the motorcycle and then slip into channels located on the backside of each bag. These arms ease installation and support the bags to prevent side-to-side movement and potential contact with the exhaust or rear tire. The mounting arms detach quickly to retain the beauty of the motorcycle when the bags are removed. Sweet!! Check out our on-line video showing the chimp-easy install. It's truly impressive. We offer one kit for the BMW S1000RR '12-'14 & S1000R '14-'16 and one for the 2015-'16 BMW S1000RR. Waterproof inner bags included.

10. As per the blurb in the top section.. Pirates Lair is no longer selling Remus Exhausts for the venerable 1998-2004 BMW K1200RS & 2002-2004 K1200GT.. You can thank another executive order forcing the EPA to crack down on exhausts that eliminate the catalytic converter. From now on.. if you want an aftermarket exhaust for these bikes, you'll have to find a used one. Ain't dat a pisser?

Click Here To See More... If You Dare!

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2017
NOTE: I-bmw.com is not an "official" sponsor of any of the following posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death or lots of velocity awards.. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability. It's called.. "personal responsibility."

Australian I-BMW Rally: March 3-7th, 2017 New!

Currently all details including detailed maps showing the daily routes, lodging, etc... can be found at I-BMW.com

Basically.. starting in the town of Tumut, NSW, Australia on the Thursday 2nd March afternoon/night.. Why those dates? Victoria Labor Day Weekend is the following weekend and is a bike and hotrod show in Bright, and the World Superbikes is scheduled for the previous weekend (24-26th Feb). This should give us the same riding as last year which was clear roads with the minimum of “fuzz/Leos” about. Starting and finishing the rally in Tumut may present an opportunity to unload some gear for a few days for some long distance riders, and will also work for anyone that wants to “trailer” their bike to the rally. The weather…… could be cold mornings and warm afternoons like the 2015 Rally, could be 36 Degrees every day like the 2016 Rally. More importantly we hope it doesn't rain..

Motorcycle rentals are available out of Sydney and Melbourne with quite a few BMW's on the menu. Costs are about $200-300+ a day plus insurance, deposit etc. Be a part of (hopefully) a new tradition.. and watch out for the 'roos.

Texas Hill Country I-BMW Rally : April 24-28th, 2017 NEW!

Where: River Inn Resort approx 7 miles west of Hunt, TX. - 1-800-841-0501 or 1-830-238-4226.
When: April 24-28th, 2017 - (check in Monday, check out Fri. AM)

Room prices - same as last year (pre-tax): 2 bedroom - $110 / 1 bedroom - $75. / Studio - $75. A reservation deadline has not been issued, but a stricter cancellation policy is in effect.. All cancelled reservations will be charged $25.00 per unit processing fee. If cancelled LESS than 30 days prior to arrival date, full deposit will be retained. No last minute cancellations due to bad weather. There is now a coined operated guest laundry. No pets allowed.

The River Inn Resort in Hunt, Texas is on the banks of the Guadeloupe river. Lodging is limited, so book early to guarantee a room. You can secure your reservation with AMEX, MasterCard or Visa....

For further details check @ the official tread at I-BMW.com ...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at the rally itself..

Show me more!!

Blue Ridge Parkway I-BMW Rally: May 18th-21st, 2017 New Date!

Where: Wattstull Inn, just north of Buchanan, Virginia
When: May 18th thru 21st, 2017 - Arrive Thursday depart Sunday May 21st.

Call Wattstull Inn for reservations.
540-254-1551 / Mention: i-bmw group
SPECIFY ROOM TYPE - single, double, king.. / Rooms are $70 per night plus tax

Blue Ridge Parkway info and maps can be found here and here

Alternate Lodging (info only) : Super 8 – Bedford or Days Inn – Bedford or Peaks of Otter Lodge

The 18th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: Sept 28-30th, 2017 New Date!

Where: Tapoco Lodge
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: Sept 28-30th, 2017 [Thur-Sat] Check out Sunday
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

The Tapoco Lodge (near Robbinsville) site of our first 9 or so DGR's will again host the 2017 event. Hopefully without any hurricanes spoiling the fun. The newly renovated, upscale Tapoco has reserved all their cabins for our motley group. Woohoo!! All cabins for 2017 range from $129-229 a night. Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Amber and I will be there. Neither of us will be wearing panties. They are taking reservations now!

Alternate Lodging in Robbinsville, NC. Microtel Motel or Fontana Village Resort
Closest BMW dealer: Eurosport of Asheville, NC

Cancellation Policy: In the event of cancellation 30 days prior to the event, guest will be charged for one night. If the cancellation is outside of the 30 days, there will be no charge. This policy will be strictly enforced in 2017 and is nonnegotiable. Savvy?

We're baaaaaack!


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

Our last two contributions were for our HowTo Survive The Tail of the Dragon page. Check out #21 & 22 sent in by old geezer, Bart Lee. Could any of our tips save your life? Dare you not look?.

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle, How to Survive Deals Gap, or any How-To link.. First... check out the tips we already have and if you have something new... just send to me and if it's worthy... I'll add it.

Pirates Lair Sacred Archives

We get a lot of requests for specific articles and/or reviews I've written in the past. Rather than fry my aging brain trying to remember where they are on our multi-hundred page website, I have decided to list the "worthy" ones here. Most of the links are to past newsletters.. Some are to full web articles. Remember, I'm no expert on anything except perhaps cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Saavy?

BMW How-To Section

We have 2 new contributions this month. Check out
K1200GT Clutch Removal - BMW Procedure contributed by Bernardo of Las Varillas, Argentina. He's a regular poster and bon vivant over at I-BMW.com. The second How-To is contributed via YouTube by James Wright-Roberts.. Check out his BMW K1300S Coolant Change (Vacuum Method.) Thanks guys..

Click For Larger Image.. If You Want a Chub..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues