Dressed To Roll

Hey Kids,

The resurrection of the Yamaha has begun.

I removed the front wheel and took it, with the replacement tire, to the shop for pick-up tomorrow. I hate it when I wait until everybody else is also trying to get their bikes ready, I feel like such a fair-weather motorcyclist.

Hopefully I’ll get the new shoes, pass inspection, and be able to pay the registration fee so I can marshall the bicycle event this Saturday.

Most of the other marshals will be from the local BMW riding club. I think I saw a couple of Ducati’s last year, but the Japanese cruisers were sorely misrepresented. In fact only one bike out of the 20-30 marshals was a Harley Davidson. Not that I don’t appreciate it when they are under-represented.

I notice the BMW group dresses differently. They wear real motorcycle gear. It’s very Euro-style and it has become their thing.

The sport bikers wear their tight leather outfits, usually in some bright or highly contrasted color scheme.people-brando

But the cruiser group tends to dress trashy. The have their leathers, bandanas, leather, and then put the leather on top of that. It’s like they dress-up each weekend for the SOA convention. Although I’m not opposed to the thug look, I don’t participate very well. I have no chaps, no leaver jacket or vest, and no chains (attached to my wallet or otherwise). I just done my helmet, wear my work boots, and then whatever jacket the weather calls for. Fromm 100 to 10- it’s all the same but the number of layers I wear around my body.

I’m not a biker, per se. I don’t run guns or drugs. I don’t watch for rival colors. And I don’t swear no allegiance to a group, color, or patch. So I don’t try to dress up like I do. I just like to ride my motorcycle. That’s it.

But one of the things that I like about the motorcycling group, is the idea that you can just do your own thing. Dress how you like, ride what fits you, and don’t care at all about your fashion.

I ride a bike. And tomorrow I should be back on my big bike. 1900cc’s to push me down the road as fast and as far as I dare to go.

Want to join me, just pull up and let’s ride. Just don’t call me ahead of time and ask what I’m wearing.

 

Post 3-151

Work Space

Hey Kids,

Moving forward with this Phase III idea, I decided that it’s time to kick this new career thing in the butt.

When I made the most progress in the past, it was by establishing a routine; one that I would follow every day. Same time and same place. Occasionally exceptions would arise, but they had to be exceptions and not the rule. The only way to achieve the same place every day, is to make sure I have a place to go to everyday. My desk.

desk cleaning

Clearing the writing space.

Over the past months, my desk has become overgrown with mail, books, and parts and pieces of every project, gadget, and idea that I’ve worked on lately. But after a couple of trash bags and the generation of a large pile of items for the thrift store; my desk is cleared. My power cords are ran, the speakers are situated, and the surface awaits the laptop for docking.

Let the work begin!

Oh wait; look at that, it’s already done.

 

Post 3-147

This Was The Day

Hey Kids,

Another beautiful day.

We took the kayaks a mile upriver and checked out Iceberg Canyon. The girls traveled much faster than I did, so I fish and picked up some smallmouth bass in and around the rocks in the mouth of the canyon while they continued up further.

We returned, ate some lunch and as the day began to stretch towards it conclusion, I paddled back out into the bay on water so calm it seemed like looking into a mirror. I found the school once again and caught stripers until it got so dark I couldn’t see anymore.

This was the day at Powell for which I had been waiting.

 

Post 3-139

Posted Retroactively

A Windy Beginning

Hey Kids,

(May 16, 2017 Posted Retroactively)

Tonight we are beached in the Rincon area of Lake Powell and sadly (and happily) there is no Wi-Fi so these updates the next couple of days will have to wait until Saturday night to post.

captme

CAPTAIN Mike, as it were.

We motored down river about 19 miles out of Bullfrog. We had had many discussions on where but we settled on this destination. I’m not sure how long we’ll stay here, but if we don’t we’ll turn back towards Bullfrog.

The trip was smooth and without incident. We located our spot, positioned the boat, and beached it perfectly. Annette jumped off with the anchors. And then the incidents began.

A sudden wind burst kicked up and blew across the boat, spinning the back end parallel to the shore. Not having a lot of experience, I was stuck momentarily. I got my brain on the situation and we eventually got the boat tuned back right and beached and anchored. The wind clamed.

We relaxed. I fished and found lots of new Smallmouth bass friends. They were everywhere on the rocks. Nothing big, but they were fun.

The wind kicked up and we tried to finish dinner. But the anchors began to give way and we had a hard time getting it all back right, and an extra anchor placed on the windward side.

It’s dark now and I’m not sure what the wind is planning on doing. Every time I think it’s beginning to calm, a gust rips through. As I wrote in our boat logs earlier, this might be a long, long night.

 

Post 3-136

My Own Day

Hey Kids,

There’s something to waiting for the sun to rise.

I’ve been up for a little while, getting some writing done, sitting on the bench on the flying bridge under the covered slip, watching the glow of today grow along the western horizon.

Starting at pitch black after the setting of the moon this morning, all details now can be seen but no sun yet.

I feel the day is mine. I own it. I was here when it began to arrive and I’ve yet to see another human.

The winds that blew all night, rocking the boats in the slips and anchorage has now calmed and only the sound of the electrical buzz from the dock transformers and a single raven’s occasional call can be heard.

Every time I look up from my screen the sky is a little brighter. What part of the mountain skyline will host today’s sunrise today I wonder.

I wait. And watch. The boat sways, possibly someone awake on the lower deck but they’ve made no sound.

I can see that the clouds from yesterday’s storm are gone. The sky will be blue this morning, although still a pale grey at the moment.

A carp jumps a few boats down.

Steps can be heard on the dock.

A jet passes in the distance. The day is gaining steam.

A second and third raven join in the morning revelry.

A boat powers and leads a second out of the wind break. The fishermen are beginning their hunts.

The bangs and clanks of life begin to echo across the waters. The day is beginning throughout the marina. Others have come aware of the new day but how many are aware that this day started hours ago for me?

They may share it but this day is mine to savor from its beginning.

The sun breaks, noticeably a little further north than last time I watched it.

Good morning day. I’m so happy to have you join me.

morning sunrisea

 

Post 3-127

A Slow 110

Hey Kids,

In the previously blog-mentioned movie of “Smokey and the Bandit” there’s a scene where Frog (Sally Fields) looks at the dashboard of the 1977 Trans Am and in a surprised voice asks, “Are we really going 110? We’re going 110!”doing_110

The camera shows the speedometer and the needle is on 110, but it’s 110km/h.

Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s just shy of 70 mph. Not really that fast but maybe when compared to the then national speed limit of 55 MPH and on a two-lane back road somewhere between Texarkana, Texas and Atlanta, GA.; it seems fast.

Still, if you weren’t paying as close attention or able to watch the movie over and over (a feat not normally possible in 1977), you would assume she meant 110 MPH. Despite efforts to the contrary, the metric system didn’t exist to anyone stateside back then. Or even now.

Sometime around 1976, or in my fourth grade, I remember doing conversion worksheets in school. We were taught that the US had to get in line with the rest of the world if we were to stay relevant and competitive. Not too far in the future, pounds, gallons, and miles would be but a faint memory. I recall the worry and perceived immediacy of this new-fangled measuring system. We needed to learn it now!

That was the last instruction and work sheets I would ever receive.

Road signs for a short time listed both kilometers and miles, and the speedometers in the cars were required to list both as well. I don’t recall anyone resisting but it never took. There didn’t exist a real daily reason to change. People had bigger worries and eventually all effort to get people to switch went away.

I know that it might sound sick, misguided, or even ridiculous; but I’m kind of proud that we rejected it as a country. It’s OK to be different, to do it our own way. We Americans are funny that way.

The metric system is superior and easier to use. I admit it. But for whatever reason the 16 ounces to the pound, the 128 ounces to the gallon, and the 5280 feet per mile systems work for us.

Just like declaring that trucking Coors beer east of Texas is bootlegging.

 

Post 3-116

Half Empty, or A Little Farther

Hey Kids,

My Suzuki Boulevard motorcycle is equipped with a trip meter which, if you remember to reset at each fill-up, which allows you to more easily calculate fuel mileage.

Why is it important to know fuel mileage? Thanks for asking.

The fuel gauge is a series of little black bars on the back lit background of the electronic display that line up across the top. As the tank of 4.1 gallons empties the bars go out.

The first bar goes out after 1 gallon.c50

The next bar goes out at 2 miles.

The third bar goes out at 2 ½ and the fourth goes out at 3.

The fifth light starts blinking at 3.6 gallons.

Approximately.

If you happened to know when the bar started blinking and you took note of how many miles you had traveled at each bar disappearance, you would know how many miles you can continue before the last bar stops blinking and you start walking.

The whole process can be obsessive. It’s not always the same mileage. Depending on the air temperature, the roads and speed you were traveling, the wind direction, and how hard you twist the throttle at the traffic lights; the MPG changes. And how many miles have you traveled before you noticed the warning light?

Some people think that once the gauge reads ½ full, just fill the tank and all of this calculating is irrelevant.

I’m more of the “establish where the limits are, with a certain degree of uncertainty, and see how close you’ve calculated it” kind of guy.

And maybe push it a little.

But that’s just me.

 

Post 3-114

Alone in Heaven

Hey Kids,

I paddled away from the marina in the black of 4 a.m. morning.

There was no moon. A part from the lights of the buoys, the air and water fromed a wall of black into which I traveled.

I blindly ventured out past the wave breakers into the small but deep bay that I had explored the day before. Without the visible markers from the shore, I had to guess where exactly I was. I paddled, floated, and jigged for fish that decided not to cooperate.

As the day eventually began to light up, I paddle into a flooded canyon and worked the rock walls. With vision now, I experienced better results, with one story I’ll share maybe tomorrow.FHD1780

I spent all these hours alone. No music, no voices, and no other humans.

I’m not against human interaction, but I recharge when left to myself. Instead of talking, I think. Of work, of family, of writing, of money, of this blog, or really of anything that makes its way through my head. Bigfoot, geology, or sports; they can all fill in moments of my thoughts.

I also take note of where I am, what I am doing.

Today, I witnessed another miracle of a sunrise, in a place, where if heaven resembles in the slightest way, would be almost worth going to church on Sundays.

 

Post 3-113

Too Soon

Hey Kids,

It’s funny how every year the same thing happens.

About the end of January, maybe early February, we have a little warm up period. The ground snow melts, the piles of plowed snow in the parking lots melt down, and a few foolish trees sprout buds. The sun get s a hint of heat to it on the clear days and a few people even start to sport shorts and t-shirts.

And then it snows again.

snowbike

Back on the bus today

Everyone complains how they are done with winter.

And it snows again. And gets cold.

Salt Lake City at an elevation of about 4500’ is not tropical.

Wait for it people. Summer will get here, just not in February or March.

 

Post 3-059