Monday, December 29, 2008

As I write this, there are about 3 more days left in 2008. The new year starts Thursday and this is the first time in many years that I am considering a resolution. There are things about myself that I would like to change and the beginning of the new year is a good starting place.

Most new year resolutions fail because people are unrealistic in their goals. However, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so I'll share my start list. I'm not sure I'll be successful in any of these endevours, but I sure can try.

Here's my list of things to start:

Health improvement.
Better foods
More excercise
Lose 50 pounds

Home improvement.
Actually spend time working on the house, not just thinking about

Rider improvement.
Schedule an Advanced Rider class

Inter-personal improvement.
Spend quality time with my wife, family, and friends

What are your New Year Resolutions? What things do you want to change?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dear Santa,

I hope this message finds you in continued good health and spirits and I send my sincerest wishes to you for a well deserved rest.

I wanted to take a moment to say "Thank you" for such a wonderful Christmas 2008. It was so good to see and hear from everyone, especially those separated from us by great distances. Many were able to rekindle old friendships and all were able to catch up with the happenings in our busy lives.

One would think that with all of the technological thingamajigs at our disposal that one would never be out of touch with each other. But no matter how easily technology makes it to communicate, it is far easier to let the busyness of our lives overwhelm us.

Shame on us for forgetting that the important things in life are not things at all. Please let this note serve as permission for you to remind me of that truth.

I must go for now, more travelling must be accomplished and I want to do some research on something I'm considering for my 2009 list. Perhaps you recognize it...

Best Wishes and Merry Christmas!

Doug C

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


From central Ohio, this family sends the very warmest of holiday wishes to everyone.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

From Russia with Love

Last week I heard on the car radio that a dome of -80ºF artic air was sitting over Siberia and had to go somewhere. While the west coast experienced its bite several days ago, it finally made it to Ohio.

This is what we awoke to this morning...

The good news is that we haven't had the precipitation that Toledo, Detroit, and Chicago received. It seems the east coast and new england area are socked in as well. Just the cold, so far. And Christmas eve promises temperatures in near 48ºF with rain.

Temperature shifts of +-40ºF make for a tough adjustments.

Ride Warm

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My wife is a cat person which makes me a cat person, sorta. We have several. Their numbers need to remain secret for fear of commitment procedures.

Anyway, this ended up in my email box with a comment about some cats loving motorcycles, too.

I dunno. You decide.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Consider this Bill

The weather guessers, both local TV types and the ones who get their paycheck from Uncle Sam, are saying some nasty winter weather is headed to central Ohio. I am so frustrated with my time constraints and the local climate, I am seriously considering winterizing Lady.

So while I consider the value of Sta-Bil keeping Lady's gasoline fresh, here's something else to consider:

On this date in 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States constitution, came into effect.

There have been several amendments added since but these were the first ten. How many of these have you thought about lately?

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Well, the holiday tasks and appointments have almost been completed. All the parties and pageants have been attended and there is only one show attendance left on the list.

The holiday events are really cramping my ride time. This weekend the weather was perfect for winter riding: Temps ranging from 30ºF to 50ºF and mostly dry with brilliant sunshine on Saturday. Alas, I was not able to take advantage of it because of commitments.

With Ohio weather sprinkled with frozen precipitation and mornings starting out in the teens or twenties, riding regularly has been a challenge and my withdrawal from my daily commute to work on two wheels leaves me crankier than usual.

However, I have promised my wife that I shall exhibit my best holiday attitude, my best Christmas spirit in the days and weeks to come.

I can almost coast, now.

Ride safe... (When you can ride)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things I've been chasing around in my head:

3 holiday parties down, 2 more parties, 2 pageants and 1 show to go.

Gasoline prices in central Ohio are the lowest in 5 years. around $1.50 a gallon. That's nice but it won't last.

First significant snow fall of the season this past weekend - about 2 inches. Roads are clear now but were messy over the weekend.

Temps have been acting like January, not December. About 20º F below normal. I haven't been able to ride since Thanksgiving Day and I'm cranky.

A problem PC (or a PEBKAC error) in Virginia Beach, VA I must fix remotely.

Another problem PC in Phoenix I need to diagnose remotely.

Got to create user accounts for new hires - I wish the managers would give me a day or two lead time before telling me "the employee starts today. What are the network credentials?"

Christmas shopping. I'll start in January.

Looking at this list before I click the Publish Post button, I realize that anything remotely associated with bikes and riding is definitely in the minority. That's too bad.

If I can't ride because of the cold or frozen precipitation, I guess I'll start planning rides for when the weather turns more favorable. Maybe West Virginia, or upstate New York. Or maybe Nazareth, Pennsylvania. I always wanted to tour the C. F. Martin Guitar Company. I still have 3 more corners of the state to visit: Cinci, Ashtabula, Toledo/Defiance.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

All stereotypes aside, I like this video. And, no, I don't play the lotto...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"If this isn't a recession, it sure feels like one."

Those words spoken by Dennis Haysbert on television commercials for a large insurance company telling us to be cautious about buying discount insurance. Wise words regardless of the product.

I try to be cautious all the time. Frugal might be a good description of my lifestyle and purchasing habits. I used to think that the word "frugal" was disparaging. It is not. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines it as:
characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of

So now we find out that an independent group in Washington has officially declared the US has been in a recession since last December. Now that we know we're in a recession does that make life more difficult than it has been?
Its strange knowing what you've already suspected. Its almost like being afflicted with some unknown and undiagnosed ailment. When the doctor finally says, "You've got such and such, " you're relieved to know that "it" has a name. But what of the cure?
So, we've got a recession. Tell me about the treatment. Do I hear crickets?
If there is any optimism to be found, I heard this today: Economists are always looking backwards and when they make announcements like that above, its usually is near the end of whatever they're proclaiming. I don't know if I put any stock into that statement because I think we have found ourselves in uncharted roads. But we can always hope.
In the mean time, be frugal.
Ride Safe!