Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
... a Home that is warmed with love and passion, for one another and for life,
... providing 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 the 'things' in my life, people are the most precious.
Let's Ride, er, I mean eat.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.
When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.
Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.
The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.
And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.
"Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason."
— Mark Twain
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
My friend and neighbor, John, picked up a new 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle yesterday. It’s an Electra Glide Ultra Limited Edition and it is beautiful with more amenities and features than anything I've ever owned either two wheels or four. I’m happy for him and a little envious. Of course, if money were not object, I’d own a stable of bikes. A cruiser, a dresser, a sport-tourer, whatever I felt like riding at the time.
But since resources are limited and the state lottery did not pick my numbers recently, I will be content with what I have and celebrate with John his new acquisition.
Looking back, I realize that it’s because of John that I am riding now.
I had always wanted to ride and dreamed of owning a motorcycle from a young age. However, my parents in their wisdom deemed a motorcycle too dangerous a device for me – they were probably right – and so the dream faded and reality took its place.
Somewhere around my half century birthday, the desire resurfaced when the bass player in our band bought a Harley-Davidson Sportster with some inheritance money. Andy would regale me with stories of his rides, telling me that riding for a short while after a tough day at work was like ‘therapy’ allowing him to decompress.
I mentioned my dream to my wife and we spoke about it for quite some time. I explained what Andy had told me about it be so enjoyable that he considered it therapy. She was dead set against owning a motorcycle and as I remember, quite emphatic. “They’re too dangerous!”
“But what about it ‘being like therapy’?” I said.
Discretion being the better part of valor, I held any further rebuttal for a later date. I wasn’t sure when the right time to bring it up again would present itself, but I would know it when it came. It turned out that the right time was a few months later when John moved in next door.
John owned a Heritage edition Softtail – he has owned four of them over the years – and he would park it on the sidewalk that separates our houses. The exhaust on his Softtail was stereotypical of a Harley-Davidson, a low frequency rumble with a lope that reminds one of a galloping horse. We always got about a 1 minute warning when he was ready to leave on a ride.
I would hear his bike start and imagine myself taking a “therapy ride”.
Once, when he fired his bike up, I looked at my wife and said, “Therapy.” She just shook her head. Nothing more was said. But in the silence a plan started to take shape.
For the next couple of weeks, every time we heard John’s bike startup, I would say, “Therapy.”
At first, she would protest and remind me how dangerous motorcycles were, and how we couldn’t afford one, and how it just wasn’t practical. I let her protests dissipate in the air and went about my business.
Eventually I didn’t need to say anything. We’d hear the bike start up, I’d look at her and she would say, “I know. Therapy.” I would smile.
This went on all spring. Then one summer weekend John caught me staring at all the chrome as he wiped the bike down. We talked a bit. He told stories from the road, and I told of my desire to ride. Teresa saw us talking and I saw something in her I had not seen before. I think, although she won’t admit it, that she began seeing herself riding behind me. Envisioning a result is a powerful force.
Several weeks later, John fired up his bike, and without me saying anything or even looking her direction, Teresa said, “If you want a motorcycle, you can get one.”
It was as if Heaven opened up and angels were singing!
“Will you ride with me?” I asked.
“Nobody else better ride with you! Of course I will.”
So the journey began. And I give John the credit or blame... That and the need for “therapy.”
Therapy is a good thing.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today's weather forecast promised great motorcycle riding weather and so I did what every rider does given the opportunity; I fired up my motorcycle and rode to work.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at work and entered the light of our offices (I don't like riding to work in the dark, but oh well), I discovered that I was the victim of a wardrobe failure with my jeans. It probably happened as I got on the bike this morning. I never heard anything tear since I had my iPod playing and earphones in. It does, however, explain why my commute this morning, while quite enjoyable, did seem a little more "breezy" than usual.
My modesty (and fear of arrest) will keep me from participating in today's lunch gathering. To my disappointment, "the breech" is large enough that even my riding chaps won't hide the failure! The ride home this afternoon - in the daylight!!! - should prove... well, interesting.
Please accept my sincere apologies for not being able to attend and let everyone know of my regrets and at the same time my hope that my misfortune has provided the group with a "brief" moment of levity. I know I'll miss seeing all of the old work gang. I won't miss their reaction at seeing too much of me.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
MotorcycleInsurance.org is one such site. They offer original content and provide informative links to other sites on the web. I've noticed several blogs listed that I have frequented before.
This site caught my eye and held my attention for more than a few minutes. Check them out at www.motorcycleinsurance.org.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
While I was in Michigan, my first grandson Noah was born 9 weeks early. (I've seen him a couple of times and he's doing so well, he may come home in a week or so.)
Then when I arrived home from Michigan I got a call from my support engineer relating some issues with my company's computer network. I decided to look into it the day of my return and worked on solving the problem for the next 10 days - 7 work days.
Turns out a memory leak in a program nearly brought the system down to its knees. Instead of having +50 users accessing their data, I could only sustain 10 users. For a static system that hadn't changed in a year, this was confusing.
It turns out an automatic update to a software package caused the needle-in-a-haystack problem and disabling the software was a quick and easy fix.
The solution came just in time for me to take off for the Labor Day weekend to eastern West Virginia. Seneca Rocks, WV.
I always thought that Southeastern Ohio had some great riding roads, and they do. For Ohio. But the roads in and around Seneca Rocks are the most incredible riding paths I've ridden to date.
The mountains are gorgeous, the highways are well maintained, and the curves and switchbacks are engineered perfectly.
Ride US-250 between Elkins, WV and Monterey, VA
And ride route 72 between Hendricks and Harmon, WV
In fact, ride every paved road in the Monongahela National Forest.
Then turn around and ride it again. Slower this time, and let the bike navigate itself almost. It will be an almost spiritual experience.
Here's a slide show of some of the places we visited.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This sad story from Iowa:
4 motorcyclists killed when truck hits them head-on in interstate construction zone in Iowa
Published August 09, 2010
LITTLE SIOUX, Iowa
Authorities say four motorcyclists have been killed in a head-on collision on Interstate-29 in western Iowa.
Iowa Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Courtney Greene says the accident happened Monday evening when a pickup truck crossed the center line in a construction zone and hit four motorcycles.
Greene says the accident happened along a section of I-29 near Little Sioux where lanes were separated by orange cones. Little Sioux sits along the Nebraska, about 40 miles north of Omaha.
The motorcyclists' names have not been released.
Greene says they were traveling together. All four were men in their late 50s and early 60s. Three were from Iowa and one was from Nebraska.
Greene says one was wearing a helmet.
Friday, July 16, 2010
This year, the weekends over the past 4 months have be filled with anguish because they were spent indoors with a remodeling project in our home. More than once I would catch myself looking outside at the beautiful weather and listening to more fortunate riders and their steel steeds in route to somewhere.
But, the end of the project is in sight and only a day or two more of labor remain. Here are some photos of the progress...
There was no subfloor and the existing hardwood had more hills and valleys than eastern Tennessee.
A new level subfloor that doesn't creak.
The new solid hardwood flooring for the living room.
...and the dining room.
After the plumbing and logs installed.
Still a work in progress - tile, paint, and stain.
Cost for the project was about $3,000 and by doing the work myself, I figure we saved about the same amount.
The time that it took to complete seemed endless. Working several hours each free night and weekend has taken its toll. Next time I'll take a week or two vacation time and knock it out all at once.
Next weekend... I'm riding.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
It seems the driver of a riding lawn mower decided to cross a state highway and was struck by a motorcycle with sidecar. On the bike was dad and his 7 year old daughter. In the sidecar was mom and their 4 year old son.
Dad was killed. Mom and kids were injured but are expected to recover.
The complete story is below.
Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2010 11:49 PM
By Jim Woods
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
ZANESVILLE, Ohio— A man died, and his wife and children were injured, in a bizarre crash this afternoon in northern Muskingum County.
A motorcycle with a sidecar struck a riding lawn mower that was being driven on busy Rt. 16 in the small village of Adams Mills, less than a mile southwest of the Coshocton County line, according to the Zanesville post of the State Highway Patrol.
The lawn tractor was traveling north, crossing Rt. 16 from Rt. 481 to Rt. 296, when it was struck by the westbound motorcycle at 2 p.m., Trooper Stephen Williams said.
Russell Hammond, 48, of Coshocton, the motorcycle's driver, was killed.
Audra Hammond, 34, and their 4-year-old son, who were both in the sidecar, were treated at Genesis HealthCare System's Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville and released. Their 7-year-old daughter, who was on the motorcycle behind her father, also was treated at the hospital. The patrol would not release the children's names.
George Holland, 73, of Conesville in Coschocton County, was driving the mower. He was taken by helicopter to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where he was in fair condition tonight.
No charges have been filed in the case.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Below is the text that accompanied the video. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the story, but I can tell you the girls can sing!
This was at a Texas Tech Basketball game, February 9th. The NationalAnthem is sung by five young ladies (ages 6-8).You have never heard it performed better than this! An entire arena remains completely silent throughout the song. You could hear a pin drop. The two young ladies on the right are six years old. The two in the middle are seven and the one on the left is eight. It doesn't get any better than this.
Go ride. Ride Safe!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
And then, encroaching slowly, orange barrels popped up on the highway, traffic slowed to 45 MPH, and work zone signs warned drivers of penalties.
Photo: Newark Advocate
It remained in that state of active construction for nearly 30 months while the replacement for our 2 lane state highway, a 4 lane superslab, slowly took shape.
The road construction project for SR 161 completes this week. Soon, all the orange barrels will move on and all the road signs will be green and white. Except the 65 MPH signs, of course.
I'll make my daily commute 15 minutes faster with no traffic lights or dangerous intersections.
The route is beautiful. Our community has wanted this highway improvement for 15 years or more. And my commute is faster, if not shorter.
So why is it, on my homeward bound trip, I find myself exiting the superslab early and riding the old 2 lane road (mostly) home?
The joy is in the journey.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story.
If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man.
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down—[up] man's old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.
And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
At the parking lot I pulled into the only open parking space, right beside a Hilliard Police cruiser - cops gotta eat too - and walked across the parking lot to the entrance. As I passed between cars in line for the drive through window, I heard a female voice say, "Where's your helmet!"
I looked around and at first only saw the police officer passing between the line of cars, too. And then I saw the face of an office co-worker who was in line for the drive through shaking her finger at me.
"You should be wearing your helmet!" she said. Sheepishly, I nodded and said, "Yes, mom. But it's only a half mile here." She frowned and pulled forward. "See ya back at the office."
I turned to enter the building and saw the cop smiling at me and holding the door open.
"I get the same thing from my wife." he said. "Of course, I promised her when I got my bike, I'd always wear my helmet."
I nodded my head understanding completely. "I think I may have made that same promise to my wife." I said.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Keith is in his 70's and has been riding all of his life. Two weeks ago he installed a car tire on his rear wheel. It's a General Tire 195/60/15 radial. He says he has about 500 miles on the new rubber and so far, is very pleased with the ride he has experienced.
It looks very strange to stand behind the bike and see a motorcycle tire with a straight-line contact patch of nearly 7 inches. Of course, the trade off is the contact patch is greatly reduced when cornering. Especially aggressive cornering.
Keith says that with the type of riding he does, the tire is working really well. He says, there is little or no wobble when on gravel and sand. And he expects to get between 40,000 and 50,000 miles out it. The tire cost him about $75 and will last 4 or 5 times longer.
Part of the increased mileage is due to the hardness of the rubber. The rubber of motorcycle tires is softer and stickier, something every rider appreciates when the road turns wet. But Keith maintains that his wet road riding felt just like the Metzler ME880 he took off.
Knowing Keith's cautious attitude to riding, I am sure his decision was made with careful thought and research. And I know if he feels unsafe the Metzler will go back on faster than it came off.
Has anyone else ever swapped out their standard MC tire with a car tire?
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Spring must have decided to stay awhile in central Ohio. Finally. I can tell because I have made my daily commute via 2 wheels 3 days in a row this week. And my outlook on life has improved because of it.
There is one thing about these early season days that I have a hard time dealing with... and that's the 30º to 40º (F) temperature swings. In the mornings when I leave the house, our rural area has temps in the 30s and 40s. Then the sun comes up and by afternoon the mercury has the upper 70s in it sights. I need all the storage space in the saddle bags for the clothing I've shed.
A small price to pay, I think.
The flooring project continues. Like so many projects, the scope has increased a bit. I knew because of my desire to do the work myself and pay cash for all materials, that it would take longer than if I had contracted the work out. The prep work is almost complete and the hardwood should arrive next week.
I suspect that I will have to take a few days off work to complete the installation. Spending a couple of hours on the project 2 or 3 nights a week and all day on Saturday is really stretching this out longer than I can tolerate.
For the past 6 weeks, we have been "living" in our dining room while the demo and contruction takes place in the living room. After the living room floor is down, we will move all of the furniture from the dining room back into the living room and then complete the removal and installation for the adjacent dining room.
Time keeps on moving
The calendar tells me that I passed middle age a few years ago. My head shakes and reminds me, "Whoa. Not so fast!" My heart whispers, "Never grow up." Regardless of what voice I listen to, the fact remains that I have more years behind me than before me. That truth seems to be reinforced more frequently of late as I note the passing of older friends and aquaintences.
The drummer for our band lost his dad this week. Bill was a young 69 years old and his passing caused me to pause and reflect upon life, family and friends.
Did I tell you I'm gonna be a grandpa? "Impossible!" I first thought. "I'm too young to be a grandpa!" But then, of course, I'm not too old. The baby is due around November and I'm really looking forward to excercising my rights to spoiling my first granchild.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
- Remove the old strips - no sub-floor underneath
- Level floor joists
- Glue and screw new sub-floor
- Route new electrical outlets
- Route new warm and cold air ducts
- Raise fireplace hearth and firebox
- Plumb for new gas logs
- Wrap mantel and fireplace surround in wood and tile
The above list is a thumbnail sketch of the expanded project. Needless to say, with the exception of the trip to Daytona Bike Week, this is where most of my free time and money for the past 2 months has been spent. It's been a challenging task and one that I thought would have been on the "Done List" by now. Especially now, since prime riding weather has visited us in central Ohio.
I promise to have more motorcycle related posts as soon as I sweep out the saw dust.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
A little whopper-jawed but nothing that can't be straightened.
He was partly right. I did have to take ownership for some of this. As a defensive rider, I need to be preparred for careless actions like his. While many states and some cities have laws and ordinances restricting exiting a vehicle into the street, we all do it and its something all riders need watch.
At least I got an apology.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
But, enough reminiscing about warmer (and dryer) times. My snow covered sidewalks are calling my name. That may have been what jerked me off my bike and out of 80º F temps and back to reality. Besides, I'm sure my letter carrier will appreciate less slippery footing, at least on my share of walkway. (12 inches or so ain't so bad compared to 30 inches in Washington DC!!)
Spring really can't come soon enough.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The plans are incomplete right now, but here are some of the highlights:
Ship the bikes down via semi
An all guy trip - 12 to 15 so far
Renting a house near Orlando
Day trips to Daytona
Take a couple of days to travel to Key West
Enjoy +70ºF weather for a few days
The only cold ride (crossing fingers) will be the 20 miles from my house to the truck terminal.
Monday, February 1, 2010
We drove to Cleveland the night before (we wanted to ride but none of the bikes had snow tires mounted! and the temperature was 8º F) and got to the I-X Center as soon as they opened Saturday.
Here are some of the pics...
Before we left for the day, we saw this 1949 restored Indian. And it looks like...
Or, maybe there's peace in the family.
You can see the entire photo album here.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
(This week, however, Ohio will see temps above the freezing mark for the first time since New Years Day. Yeah!)
Since riding on the ice and snow is too exciting for me, this pilgrim takes to shopping. I don't necessarily buy anything, but I can look. And educate myself.
I have long had a list of online resources in the side bar of this blog but it has remained fairly static. Static as in stagnant. So while I review the online links for resources, here's a list of some of my more often visited websites. If you have some sites that work for you, share your nuggets with others here.
Biker Hiway An interesting online store that pique my interest (thanks Joshua) recently.
Iron Pony Motor Sports The local K-Mart of motorcycle stuff. Lots of apparel and gear for any type of riding. Plus a local Yamaha dealership and service center (that services almost all makes) is attached.
J & P Cycles The Sears and Roebuck of motorcycle accessories. I love their catalogs! Of course Sears and Roebuck doesn't send out catalogs anymore.
Metric Thunder A west coast accessories store for metric cruisers.
Motorcycle Ohio The Ohio government information site for motorcycle training and endorsement.
Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine The online version of the print edition. Reviews, tips, features and ride reports.
Motorcycle Safety Foundation The organization that provides curricula and certification programs for many state governments.
Motorcyles Safety News by Jeff Cobb A site devoted to promoting motorcycle safety serving up original articles and opinions from Jeff Cobb. He's passionate, talented, and a professional journalist that loves to ride.
Powersports Network Evaluations and reviews from consumers like you and me about everything on 2 wheels. I spent weeks pouring over this site comparing bikes before my purchase.
Riders Discount Another interesting online store for any motorcycle accessories you might want. Dozens of brands and thousands of products. (Thanks for the heads up, Marjorie.)
Team Oregon Oregon's answer to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's training program and also rated the number 1 program in the US by the insurance industry. Online friend Dan Bateman, aka irondad, is an instructor for this organization.
WebBikeWorld The Consumer Reports of the motorcycle world. This site has testers and editors all over Europe and North America. I am sometimes frustrated though, when I read about a great product and find out its only available in the UK. Buggers!
There are, without question, hundreds of other great sites and resources. These are just a few that I use. Do you have any you want to share?