In the House of My Enemy

Hey Kids,

Back when I wore the colors of Bountiful High School, there was not a time, save an athletic contest, that I allowed myself to enter the wretched hive of Viewmont High School.

I did not consort with students of Viewmont High School. I did not believe anything good could come from Viewmont High School. And never did I believe I would ever have anything to do with Viewmont High School.VHS_LOGO_002

And now, over thirty years after the end of my high school career, I find myself attending my third and last graduating ceremony of Viewmont High school, surrounded by the Maroon and Gold, and inundated with repeated speakers praising the values and greatness of Viewmont High School.

I guess, in the light of the family that my wife has made me part of, maybe Viewmont High School isn’t as bad as I once thought.

 

Post 3-153

Positive Negative Cash Flow

Hey Kids,

Last weekend, at a thrift store, I found an item that was marked for $5. I was familiar with what the item was, and that it was worth well above the asking price. I bought it as a matter of investment.

A quick search showed this item selling for anywhere from $40 and more.

My plan was to list this item and make a small profit.

I realized that the young couple who live above us might have use of it,

I showed it and seeing their excitement in the possibility of it being theirs, I gave it to them.

It was some of the best negative profit I have earned in a long time.

 

Post 3-152

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

Bus Stop

Hey Kids,

At a bus stop bench sat an old man, all alone and quiet, clear down on the end.

Leaned on his cane, he kept watching the road as the cars came round the bend.

The first bus he waved off, the second as well, then the third, and also the fourth.

It wasn’t a ride that the old man sought, just someone to acknowledge his worth.

 

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A Stately Lake

Hey Kids,

Never ask a local about the Great Salt Lake, because most have never been there. It’s bigger than the state of Delaware, and yet hidden in plain sight.IMG_1175

Unlike the places described by Yogi Berra as “so crowded, nobody goes there any more”, the huge lake occupying a large part of the northwest corner of the state of Utah is an unpopular and unknown destination among Utahans. Most will tell you that it stinks and that there are too many flies. And if you press for directions anyway, even more will have no idea where to access the lake. Surprising to again even more, the lake hosts two of the top 5 visited state parks; the Marina and Antelope Island- visited, just not by locals. We went to the marina today.

The small marina is home to a small community of sailboats who set out onto this Inland Sea and find open waters and little traffic. The occasional motor boat is alone in its class, and kayakers, like we were today, have the lake’s shores and shallows to ourselves.IMG_1163

The slight breeze seemed to sufficiently fill the sails of the three sailboats we watched disappear into the horizon and yet it gave us little to no resistance in our paddling efforts. We stopped only when we found a sandbar emerged from the waters where we could beach our kayaks and get out to let out toes sink into the cool sand and warm water. It was as if we had found our own tidal atoll in the Florida Keys.

Part of me hopes that people learn of and enjoy this little big lake, in view and within 30 minutes from literally millions of people. The other part loves having this little salt water heaven to myself.

And in the lake’s defense, most can’t point out Delaware on a map either.

 

Post 3-148

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

TwoFer

Hey Kids,

This evening I sit here with no kids left in high school. This is not what I thought this day would bring.

Graduation today was supposed to be the celebration of my fourth child’s last day in High school. Happen stance would lead us to sit next to a teacher whose daughter happen to know that my fifth child had also completed enough online classes to qualify to graduate today as well. Luckily with the head’s up, I was able to watch both my boys “walk”.

I didn’t see that situation coming.

And what was going to be another year of a child in school has evaporated.

I didn’t think this would feel like how it feels. I didn’t think this would happen so soon.

I’m still in shock.

 

Post 3-146

Good Bye to the First

Hey Kids,

Roger Moore passed away the other day.rogermoore

I’m not one to make a big deal out of celebrities’ passing but it was Roger Moore who introduced me to the world of 007 and his licence to kill in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.

Having seen the movie a hundred billion times as it repeated itself on HBO so many years ago, it’ll always be first movie I think of when I’m feeling shaken but not stirred.

Maybe not everyone’s favorite Bond, maybe not the absolute best of the series, but Roger Moore was my first Bond, James Bond. And he always will be.

 

Post 3-145

A Personal Shame

Hey Kids,

At the age of 8, I knew sheet rock. I was paid as a scrapper, hauling out all the discarded parts and pieces. I didn’t pound the nails into the studs to secure the paper-lined “chalk” boards to form the walls of the homes and buildings that my father was building but I watched. By the time I reached 12, I had enough lead in my butt to be able to carry and stock the sheetrock and studs. I continued to learn and by then, I understood how buildings came together.

At age 14, I found myself atop bulldozers and front end loaders. I worked at an Alaskan gold mine. I learned about mining and gold; about machinery and maintenance. I learned about fuel, oils, and hydraulics. I serviced motors of all kinds and sizes. I understood how pistons, valves, and diesel injectors worked together.

After school, I spent a couple of years in France and learned French. I learned of international travel and of borders and of customs. I saw my own country and culture against the light of another. France does not represent every other culture in the world, but from being there, I learned a perspective that has helped me make friends from all over this globe.

In my early twenties, I trained on wind turbines. I learned electrical systems. I learn high voltage systems, I rebuilt gear boxes, and discovered rigging.

Later on in life, I learned steam systems, HVAC controls, and industry specific knowledge that landed me a column in a national magazine.

My head has been filled with understanding of all kinds.

But at age 51, I’m ashamed to admit, I cannot figure out how to fold a fitted sheet.

 

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