Saturday, August 6, 2011

I saw this posted by a friend about my town and had to share it. Rule #17 - Never take yourself too seriously.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Portsmouth Murals

Our first group ride of the season was cancelled due to cold crappy weather. That was a month ago and the weather had not improved much since then with only four days of partial sunshine. By any Ohio standards, that’s a crappy spring. So when the call came saying the ride was on, I was glad.

Our destination was Portsmouth, Ohio, home of Shawnee State University and the famed Portsmouth flood wall murals. It’s a 3 hour journey from Newark by the most direct route, but we’re riding motorcycles – we never take the most direct route! We meandered th

rough Lancaster, Tarlton, Kingston, and Chillicothe. We passed through Summithill, Rarden, and Otway, skimming the edge of the Shawnee State Forest and approaching Portsmouth from the west.

This guy in Lancaster had something to say. The human said nothing.

A bicycle ralley with over 10,000 riders had the same destination - Portsmouth.

The flood wall murals, also referred to as The Mural Project are painted on the street side of a 20 foot high flood wall that runs along Front Street for over 2,000 feet and is designed to protect the city from the Ohio River. The wall was built after the famous 1937 flood that crested at over 70 feet and left many river front buildings with first floors full of water and mud and second floor watermarks half way up the walls.

The murals depict the 200 plus year history of Portsmouth and are the work of one artist, Robert Dafford of Lafayette, Louisiana. While the wall has been around for decades, the painting started in 1993. Painting continues even today with at least two blank walls being prepared for a scene while we were there. The work is impressive.

My friend, John.

The guys of the group. The girls were taking the pictures.

See all the ride photos here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If there is one thing I have learned during my time on this Earth it is this: Life is full of surprises. We’ve all heard this old adage, but sometimes it takes many seasons to fully realize it. In an odd twist of Providence, the company that was instrumental in causing my unemployment 10 weeks ago offered me a job that I began on May 2nd.

The work consists of much of the same duties as with my former employer. However, I am working with new technology and am part of a team of administrators for a large company. The team part means there is less responsibility upon my shoulders. The large company part means when things break the costs are greater. It seems like an even trade.

The work is challenging because, while it is the same type of work (administrating a computer network and assisting users) the technology is many years newer than I have worked with in the past. Compounding this learning curve is the fact that all but one of my co-workers is much younger than I am; at least a couple of decades younger.

But, I am up for the challenge. Although my body may have a few more aches and pains than these young, fresh-out-of-college, whipper-snappers, I am young at heart and rubbing elbows with them helps to feel younger.

Now, if it would only warm up and stop raining long enough for a decent motorcycle ride…

Enjoy the Journey!

p.s. We were able to ride to Portsmouth, Ohio last weekend. More about that journey soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Man Cave Afternoon

Veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, and Chex party mix; that is the spread set before me by the missus. I think she is afraid I will perish without sustenance as I sit at my keyboard. The kitchen, the source of my sustenance is not considered "off limits" but the spaces between it and my man cave are filled wall-to-wall with chatting and laughing women, all oohing and aahing at handbags, gifts and bobbles; all products for sale or order. My trespass into their gathering would not go unnoticed by the missus.

It is what I call a "girl's party.' The products sold at girl's parties range from storage containers to jewelry. Wedding and baby showers don't really fall into this category because no product is sold.

Ordinarily, I would make a stealthy exit prior to the arrival of the guests, spending the time riding on 2 wheels or perhaps parked at a table at a local sports eatery. But the temps today have just now reached the freezing mark and my favorite sports team was defeated last night.

The parties that my wife usually hosts are normally small affairs, limited to a few family members. But this event was shared at work between friends and co-workers and the chatter I hear below reminds me of a weekend sale at Fillene's Basement.

I'm glad they're having a good time. I'd rather have them hanging out at my house and know what they are doing, than have them somewhere else and not know what they're doing.... Wait. That phrase goes for teenagers. Whatever.

So I sit in my man cave, listening to sports radio, looking at my sustenance, and wondering how ranch dressing might enhance the taste of a chocolate chip.

I'm glad they are having a good time. I get the leftovers.

Enjoy the Journey!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

I just returned from a short ride (about an hour) through the central Ohio country side and it was just what the doctor ordered.

In past years, I have ridden many times through the course of the winter. But this year's winter has been brutal for us and the bike never left the garage.

The county and townships use cinders and sand on icy roads around here and that was an obstacle to watch out for; plenty of places to loose traction. Aside from that, the weather cooperated with some clouds and sun and temps hovering around 63º.

It had been nearly four months since I had been on 2 wheels and I almost forgot what it was like to lean a bike into a curve, to have the centrifugal forces press my butt into the saddle as I roll on the throttle and clicked through the gears. Lady felt really nimble and responded easily to my touch.

At first I realized that I had the tendency to over-steer and that I was tense and stiff from my shoulders down to my fingertips. But after several minutes, my grip loosened, my shoulders relaxed and my course became true and smooth.

I am sure that I'll need several more rides before the skills I had last November return. But the enjoyment is here now.

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring is on the way!

My friend John returned from Daytona Bike Week yesterday and though he may not have brought back a T-shirt for me (I never asked him), he may have brought some warmer weather back with him. Even though it has rained for two days the end of the week looks dry with temps possibly reaching 70ºF.

It's time - past time, actually - to fire up Lady and put some miles on the odometer.

Woo hoo!!

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The past 2 months have been a blur for me. There have been many changes in my life and my days have been both hectic and filled with uncertainty.

At the end of 2010, an announcement was made to all of the employees at my workplace: The owner had sold the business. Most people would have a position with the purchasing firm. But not all.

Over the next several days I learned that there might be a position available for me. (I was the one person in a one man IT department.) So I put on my best attitude and committed to assist the buyer in the IT transition process, moving our technology and data to their systems; a process that took about 2 months.

Near the end of the process, the buyer re-evaluated their staffing and business needs and decided that there would not be position for me in their organization.

So now I find myself with a little more time to spend on Spending more time with composition may even help to restore some sanity. But that's a long shot.

The Good Lord above has always opened doorways for me and He will will continue to provide what my wife and I need.

The future, while unknown to me, promises to be filled with challenges and uncertainty. Let's hope I handle both well.

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Enjoy the journey!