Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
NEWARK -- As the minutes ticked down toward the closing of an eBay bidding war for the motorized barstool that launched Newark into national headlines, the going price remained steady: $1,125.
Monday, December 7, 2009
The text below the picture reads:
"Good news is that I truly outdid myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.
"First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.
"Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard. "
After a little searching I found the posting at http://poorandstupid.com/2009_12_06_chronArchive.asp which is the address for the blog entitled " The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid. (probably not be the origin of the post.)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Jodie from Watermill pointed me to this video trailer from the forthcoming 1 hour long documentary from Watermill, due out in 2010.
If you like vintage motorcycles (who can't imagine themselves on a 50+ year old bike?), you'll want to keep an eye out for this video offering.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
... a Job that helps to provide choices in life for what must be consider luxuries by some,
... Possessions that make living life easier and more enjoyable,
... People in my life with which to share my love and that share their love with me,
... the Understanding that for all that I am grateful, people are the most precious.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
“Life” is what happened to my dear friends, Chris and Vicki Gargus this past Sunday. They were making plans and preparing for the upcoming holidays when they got the news that their son Tyler was killed in a shooting accident.
Tyler, a senior in high school, was killed with what was thought to be an unloaded shotgun inside the home of his 16 year old friend, Zach.
I do not possess the words to express my sorrow for Chris and Vicki. My mind bounces from thoughts about their loss and grief, to the all-to-real void now present in their lives and the lives of everyone who knew and loved Tyler, myself included, to required gun safety education.
Many will say that this is the reason we need to ban all firearms. I refuse to enter that debate. This was a stupid accident by foolish teenagers doing something they knew they had no business doing: playing with a weapon.
The same thing can be said for a lot of activities by children and teenagers. As adults we tell them, “Don’t cross the street without looking both ways.” “Always keep both hands on the wheel.” “Buckle your seat belt.”
Adults said these things to me and I’ve said them to youngsters. But there were still times when I disregarded what I knew was a smart thing. You have, too.
Now, Chris and Vicki have to pick up the pieces of their lives and continue on. They live modestly and did not have a life insurance policy for Tyler. How many parents actually do?
I learned today that an account has been created at a local bank to help the family defer some of the funeral costs. I dropped off my check this morning. If you want to send a gift, the bank information is below.
The bank representative I spoke with said that a list of donor names and addresses will be provided to Chris and Vicki so they can send their thanks.
Also below, are some links to both news stories and tribute websites that have sprung up over the past few days.
Life is, indeed, what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
County mourns tragic loss of Tyler Gargus (NewarkAdvocate.com)
Investigators Probing Teen's Shooting Death
Tyler Gargus Tribute Site
Facebook Tribute Page
The Park National Bank - Main Office
50 North Third Street
Post Office Box 3500
Newark, OH 43058-3500
740.349.8451 or 888.545.4PNB
Monday, November 9, 2009
At any rate, riding has been sporadic at best lately. Those few days where the weather gods have blessed us with sunshine and temps above 50ºs or so, have also been preceded with clear nights and morning lows in the mid twenties. And, while I have ridden many times in 20ish degree temps, my hour long morning commute in those temps leaves me chilled until at least noon. And quite frankly, I'm growing weary of being cold.
The long and short of it is, lately, there hasn't been a whole lot of riding.
So, instead of spending time on the bike, I have focused my attention on several items found on my To Do List.
One item on the list is to troubleshoot a plumbing issue that has plagued our kitchen faucet with poor water pressure. Our home is over 70 years old and while the many would say that being an old home, it has character. Well, it also has old galvanized water pipes.
I've done my share of plumbing before working with CPVC, black pipe and copper and every time I tackle a project, what should be a twenty dollar, 30 minute job escalates to 3 hours and costing much more. This job was no different, sorta. However, this time I found a product that made the task a lot easier.
Galvanized pipe corrodes from the inside out and what looks like good pipe will disappoint faster than comic book X-Ray glasses.
After finding a place where there was still good pipe, I plumbed both supply lines to the sink with copper and used SharkBite compression fittings. No sweating, no glue, and more importantly, no leaks.
The job was actually done sooner than I had planned and for just a little more than I estimated. The water ran so fast from the kitchen faucet, the missus decided we needed a new one. $250
I'm about half scared to start the front door lock project; by the time I'm done replacing it, we'll prob'ly end up with a new door!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Last year, the last ride of the season ended with a deer crashed for two of our riders. This year's last ride of the season also held calamity for one rider.
13 riders left Newark about 1:30 and we rode south, following a meandering route with a destination of Nelsonville in mind. A 14th rider, Randy, would meet us in about 20 miles at an intersection in Thornville.
The autumn colors were just about at their peak this weekend and we've had only a little wind and rain to knock the leaves off the trees. With the sun shining and blue skies overhead, and the cool air rushing past us, it was the perfect weather for an autumn ride.
After about an hour of meandering through the country side between Thornville, Somerset and Crooksville, the group stopped for fuel just outside of New Lexington.
About a mile south of town after getting on OH-595, the road has a blind, up hill curve to the right. Gravel or cinders littered the inside of the curve so I moved toward the center line and kicked my right leg out to let Randy know about the hazard. However, a quick look in the mirrors told me my efforts were wasted. Randy was following a good 100 feet back, and with the blind curve, he couldn't see my warning.
I negotiated the curve and kept an eye on my mirrors. Just as I saw Randy round the curve, the road in front of me turned to the left and my view was obstructed. Near the top of the hill I slowed and at a driveway. I stopped. No Randy.
Fearing the worst, I made a U-turn and headed back down the hill. Randy came into view within seconds. It looked like he was upright, but then I realized that he was on the wrong side of the road and his front wheel was parked against the outside guard rail.
He'd gotten whopper jawed on the gravel, and when the rear wheel found traction again, the bike promptly laid down on its left side and slid across the opposing lane. He was OK. His leathers, gloves, and helmet protected his hide and noggin. But the bike was a mess.
The guard rail that kept him and his bike from falling into a 50 foot ravine had crumpled the front fender up against the wheel. Somehow the slide across the road broke his handlebar clean off between the mirror and the triple tree. His grip, clutch lever and switches hung from the cables.
The two of us and a passerby that stopped got the Harley off to the side of the road and pointing down the hill. Randy's cell phone went dead as soon as he tried to use it, so I got on my cell and called his roadside assistance service while he took stock of his bike. He pried the fender away from the wheel with a little effort and then looked at the handlebar.
After a few minutes, Randy had a solution in mind. He jammed a stick into the open end of the handlebar and left about 5 or 6 inches sticking out, onto which he jammed his grip, clutch lever and switches. A bungee cord and black tape held everything together. A lot of black tape.
Roadside service called back about an hour later to tell us that it would be another 2 or 3 hours before they could get any help to us. By that time, another rider from the group, Randy's neighbor, Charlie, rejoined us and we decided that together, the three of us would try to make the trek back home.
Charlie would take the lead with Randy, riding one-handed, in the middle and me protecting his rear. If we stayed away from the curvy roads, and Randy used his left grip just for the clutch lever, it might turn out better than expected.
And it did turn out well. Randy and Charlie made it home without additional incident. We parted company when we each were about 15 minutes from our homes. Randy's Softtail will soon be on the repair schedule at the dealership and we'll try to figure out how to break this last-ride-mishap habit the group seems to have gotten itself into.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Niki and I were near the sanctuary doors just out of sight of the participants and congregation waiting for the proper time, when I leaned over to her, gave her a peck on the cheek, and said, "If you want to change your mind, it's not too late, yet."
She beamed up at me and with a sparkle in her eyes, shook her head. "I'm not changing my mind, Daddy."
"Then let's make an entrance!"
Friday, September 25, 2009
My company's business tends to increase during economic down turns and this current business climate has shown evidence of that. Not that I'm complaining. Right now, busy is good.
We've increased our modest work force by about 20% and that means additional PCs and work areas setup along with all the behind the scenes "stuff" to make it all work. Plus, a couple of the positions we filled are in an office in Pekin, Illinois. That work requires one day travel and a day of setup.
Unfortunately, I'll be caging it to Pekin unless I can figure out a way to load Lady up with computers, monitors, and a laserjet printer. That trip comes this Sunday and Monday.
And then comes the week long sprint to my daughter's wedding Saturday, October 3rd.
I learned pretty quickly in the wedding preparation process that my sole responsibility during this time was to simply write the checks and provide plastic, in the form of a credit card. I am, of course, a man, and a man simply cannot grasp the intricacies and nuances of wedding planning. At least that's what I was told early on. (I think my creative use of duct tape over the years sealed my fate on this count!)
I scheduled vacation time the week leading up to the wedding and since my participation so far was limited to signing my signature, I just knew that the last several days of prep would allow me some quality riding time. But no.
It will be my duty to run errands picking up this and paying for that because I'm off work and no one else scheduled vacation time... and, of course, I'd do anything my daughter.
So be forewarned... After this is over, it's time for some time on 2 wheels. Just as long as my throttle hand hasn't cramped up from writing all those checks!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Across the country, communities have installed photo enforcement cameras for both speed and red lights, all the while chanting the mantra, "It's all about safety, it's all about safety." This may be true. But the financial windfall realized by virtually all communities that install cameras can't be easily ignored.
The small community of Heath, Ohio installed cameras in June of this year and started mailing out citations in July. Over 10,000 citations! And at $100 a pop, those fines would generate in one month nearly 1/8 of the city's general fund.
The people cried foul (especially those with multiple citations in one day!) and the city started it's chant. And then something unexpected happened.
The city of Heath issued a statement saying that the cameras were installed for safety and that they just wanted drivers to slow down, And then they said that all drivers in the month of July that received multiple citations would have all but one dismissed with just a phone call.
Maybe the officials in Heath really did have the cameras installed for safety reasons. It's not really about the money.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Chances are I'll not return before it expires so I had decided to cut it off and save it with the rest of my memorabilia from the trip. But just as I was about to get the scissors, something caught my eye. Now I think I'll keep it on there just for the heck of it...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Yet, the idiom is true both ways, for high quality products as well as no quality products. I am testing it again myself in regards to motorcycle tires.
In about 22 months of riding I have watch Lady's odometer turn past 28,000 miles. Not too bad for an Ohio rider where there is only about 6 or 7 months of riding weather. But like many riders in less temperate climes, I ride all year, as long as the temps are above 25ºF and there's no ice or snow on the roads.
In the course of those miles, I replaced the original rear tire, an IRC brand 170/80 15", at about 18,000 miles. I put on a Dunlop K-555 of the same size and had to replace it this week after about 10,000 miles.
The K-555 cost around $120 and the tire I replaced it with is a Metzeler ME880 at a cost of about $175. I'm hoping I can get at least 45% more miles from a tire that cost about 45% more.
Of course, the trade off with a longer lasting tire, is a less sticky rubber and less traction. But since Lady is a cruiser that spends more time on interstate highways (my daily commute) than on a grand prix road course, I should be OK.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
John knew this area pretty well, and was coaxed into leading the group. It was a task that he later admitted was extremely nerve racking, making sure everyone was still together and that his speed (usually 4 or 5 mph over the limit) wasn't too fast for the group.
We made a loop around the formation and then meandered to Spearfish, SD where we checked into our hotel. This would be home base for the next couple of days.
We visited several historic towns, places I call "show towns", including Deadwood, Lead, and Keystone. I label them "show towns" because several times a day actors in 1890 period costumes stage gun fights or will fire their six shooters to get tourist attentions.
Saloon No.10 in Deadwood is an establishment of some notoriety. Wild Bill Hickok, the town's lawman, was murdered there while playing poker. In his hand he held a pair of aces and a pair of eights, what became known as the dead man's hand.
Even though our visit was nearly 2 weeks before the Sturgis Bike Rally, motorcycles were everywhere. One that caught my eye was this custom paint job honoring the US Air Force.
Mounted on the front of the forks is a chrome plaque dedicating to bike to his brother.
John, myself and Kenny, from the California group took the time to visit Mt. Rushmore...
And the Crazy Horse Memorial...
Then, just like that, it was time to head for home.
The weather for the return trip was dominated by a Canadian high pressure area that kept temperatures cool, barely reaching 70º F. The first day of the return trip was sunny but cool. The subsequent days of our return we rode at the edge of the cold front that brought the cooler temps and didn't see the sun again.
Here are some stats for the trip:
Totals miles: 3,396 miles
Longest day: 622 miles
Average per day: 450 miles
Hotels: $258.00 per person
Spending a week with friends on 2 wheels: Priceless
I had only one small issue with Lady. During the return trip, one of the riders to my rear moved up beside me and asked if I had lost my cell phone. Knowing that my cell phone was packed away, I answered, "No."
Forty miles later I stretched out my left leg and started to place my foot on the highway peg when I realized the peg was missing. That was no cell phone! That was my peg!! Should have used blue Locktite!
I'll replace the peg this week, but if anyone finds a large Kuryakyn ISO peg near the 25 mile marker of I-80 in Iowa, drop me an email.
Finally, a couple of thoughts about a trip like this...
1) Like Irondad said to me before I left, "enjoy yourself."
2) Like Peter Fonda said to the Wild Hogs at the end of the movie, "Lose the watches."
You can see the entire album by clicking the slide show above.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
To get there, it was a mad dash on interstate highways, mostly, over the course of three days. There's a whole lot of country side between Columbus, Ohio and Cactus Flats, South Dakota and most of it looks the same. The wind farms west of Des Moines, Iowa were interesting, having never seen one in person before. But the scenery was painfully similar for nearly 1,000 miles, no offense to Indiana, Illinois, or Iowa.
The most exhilarating part of the trip was riding through the worst thunderstorm ever in Sioux City, Iowa. You know the weather is bad when cars start pulling over to the shoulder!
Afterwards, the skies turned blue, the sun came out, and we motored on to I-90 west. We traveled I-90 until we arrived at Cactus Flats where John and I toured the Badlands National Park.
The route through the park took us about an hour and a half including several stops for photos of vistas and desolation. When we exited we were just minutes away from Wall, South Dakota, our destination for the night. We had the entire next day to travel 100 miles to Gillette, WY and meet up with the rest of the group. Some sight seeing was in order.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I'll have stories and pictures as soon as I find my card reader - arrrrgh! - but for now just one word of advice: make this trip with good friends. You'll want someone to share the "ooos" and "aaahs."
Friday, July 10, 2009
Somewhere near Mount Rainier.
I bet they'll welcome the warmth of the Midwest after experiencing the cool beauty of the Pac Northwest.
I leave today sometime around 3:00pm and hope to get most of the way across Indiana before calling it a day. The distance we need to travel sorta dictates when we leave. If I could be on the road right now, I'd would. But, I need to complete some last minute work at the office.
So, my neighbor John and I will leave this afternoon. The bad thing about leaving at that time is the rush hour traffic in Indianapolis and driving into the sun from about 7:00pm on. I never thought I'd say this, but it's good that there is a high probability of precipitation in Indiana this afternoon and hopefully the clouds will keep the sun out of our eyes.
My Facebook friends should look for blurbs each day. Everyone else, I'll be back in 8 days.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Someone said they had big trees in northen California...
The Oregon coast
Kelli says this picture is of the Oregon coast but I kinda doubt it; the sun is shining! Her posts to Facebook say the weather is improving for them which means warmer and dryer. My outlook always improves when the sun decides to shine.
Four days until I leave for Gillette, Wyoming where I'll meet up with them. Can't wait.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The streets of San Francisco
Friday, July 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The preparations for my portion of the trip are progressing. I added highway bars and foot pegs so I can stretch out my legs on the highway. I added a couple of sockets to my tool kit and need to buy one turn signal bulb and a spare head lamp bulb for the "just in case" bag. I also purchased a tire repair kit with CO2 canisters also for the "just-in-case" bag
I should probably replace my front brake pads before I leave. Having a set for when I might need it is not the same as having new brake pads installed.
The do/need to buy list is down to just a few items:
Cup or bottle holder
Map pouch for the tank
Cramp Buster wrist rest
I'm trying to temper my excitement and anticipation of the trip with careful planning. There was a time when I would say, "Let's just go; if we need anything, we'll buy it when we get there." But things are different in this economy and when travelling on a bike.
And that feeling persists... Have I forgotten anything?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Now how is it they get rid of the zombies in the movies???