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Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of the year milage post - Looking back on 2015

Later on today I'll fire Kimmy up, her "change oil" light will come on (it came on earlier this week), and I'll take her for a bit of a ride.  The last of 2015.

A friend of mine shared an animated GIF to his Facebook page (which for some reason I can not make work on Blogger - I tried) that shows his how his year went.  It started well, and as he progressed down the slide it got rockier, till at the very end (now shown as December) he rockets off the slide and face plants into the dirt.

Funny...but very accurate.

It's been another year of health concerns (not so much mine but Susan's), incidents, accidents and me complaining about the heat.  A gasket that literally had to come on a slow boat from Asia didn't help matter either. Nor did various battery/electrical issues.  All these things it seemed conspired to keep me off the bike.  Or at least made me feel like I didn't ride the way I have in the past.

Even though it's the last day of December the weather outside is gorgeous.  We're predicted to have a high of 84 degrees today (29 C) with only a 20% of rain, weather I know many of my fellow bloggers would die for.  I really don't feel like riding  We have had weather like that since the start of December, yet my Kimmie has sat, lonesome in her spot in my driveway.  This has had more to do with me not wanting to ride or being willing to ride than anything.

Earlier in the year I considered trading her in, thinking that starting a new relationship with a new bike would break me out of my malaise.  Or selling her altogether.  In the end though, I've formed a special little relationship with my Kimmie and letting her go would be like losing a part of who I am.

As I look back over the last year I know that I did a bit more than I thought I did.   I drove up to Brooksville and wanted to explore there a little more (another trip soon I think, this time on Kimmie).  I went exploring in Ybor, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tampa.  I got to ride through the very heart of central Florida.  I even got to see a tiny house.  I even visited a legendary store in the Daytona area too.

Sadly however, not all these adventures were in the saddle.  Still though, they were adventures.

I'm looking forward to the arrival of Bobscoot and plan on showing him the sites, places that I've not made it to on my bike yet have visited in the past.  Places that I want to go but haven't yet.  So yes, I guess I'm looking forward to 2016.

Kimmie and I are not done yet, we still have roads to ride and sights to see, but I need to stop being the "whiny little bitch" that I've become over the last year.  There is great potential in the coming year...and I have to take advantage of that potential.

In a bit I'll ride for an hour, maybe two.   Another fifty miles or so will be added to her speedometer.  I don't see me putting any milage on that to her.  I'll come back in and duly edit to post, so I can have a record for the coming year.

Last year I started with 21736 miles (or 34,981 KM).  For the end of the year ended up being 26900.  Or only 5,164 miles for 2015.  About 1000 less than the year before.   Not good, not good at all.

Happy New Year then to all my friends and family.   Be safe, be well and be happy.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Speaking of the Holiday's

Copyright Sonja Mager
It's come to my attention that Scooterbob may be in my hands soon.   Which means that I have to start thinking about where to take him, and what to show him.  Some things are simple and truly make sense to me, Clearwater beach for example I'm sure he would have loved.  His trademark pink crocs would have fit in there.

When I first learned of Bob Leong's death all those years ago, I hate to admit that it did not really affect me that much.   Sure, Bob encouraged me in my riding and in my first attempts to be a moto-blogger, but I did not know that man personally.   My comments concerning his death were, I hate to say it, more out of kindness than any true sense of grief.

After all, I personally did not know the man or his family.   You never know how someone touches your life however, I've been following the adventures of this little wooden scooter around the world.  He's traveled to some 6 countries now and thousands of miles and I'm sure when the UPS box comes with that big wonderful soul in it, I'll tear up a bit.  Not at his loss but at the artifacts that make up his travels.   It's my understanding that somewhere along the way the tradition of placing a little memento began.  How many people had their lives touched by him, or a little wooden scooter, or both.

These memento's are something that defines the area that he's been to.  I wonder what treasures are from France, Germany, New Zealand and other parts of the world.   I wonder if he journey is complete yet?  Or are parts of mysterious Africa and Asia still on his list?

As some readers know my family has been having health issues.  My beloved Susan, my girlfriend for the last 10 to 12 years has been battling a plethora of illnesses.   Our combined family has lost two beloved uncles and an aunt in the last two months to heart ailments and dementia.  It has been a year of sadness.

Still though, we celebrate life.  We fight against the dying of the light to paraphrase Dylan Thomas.  We gather with family and friends this time of year to eat, drink and be merry.  To love and hope and do all that is perfectly wonderfully human.

It's a little late to being everyone a Happy Holiday Season (I have friends and family that are Jewish, Pagan and Christian so "Happy Holiday's" is more appropriate for me) but here it is.   Happy Holidays and hold on to those that mean something to you.

You never know when they are gone.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The arrogance of some dealers (and some local vandalism)

Before I begin this week's little rant I want to state one thing.  I'm not selling Kimmie.  I'm perfectly happy with my little scoot.

It's been a hard, long and tough week as we had had to deal with some ongoing personal issues.  So with some time to kill and absolutely nothing to do I decided to wander into two different dealerships to check out some models.

The first was the local Triumph dealership.  I like Triumph, to me when you think of what a motorcycle should look like, your looking at a Triumph.  It's all sleek lines and controlled power.  The Bonnie's are considered classics for a reason.

I've already decided that when the time comes to have a new bike I'll most likely buy the Honda 700 CTX but here I am at a Triumph dealer.  I throw my leg over the Bonnie, and....wait.   I don't wait long as a rather brusque older gentleman rushes over and starts to sell me.   Maybe he was an old salesman.  I've done sales too at various times in my life.   Sometimes you know when your dealing with just a "lookie lou."  Anyhow long story short I was dealing with him for less than 10 minutes when he's already shuffling me out the door.

A new friend of mine is pushing me to buy a Harley but I've no desire for that.  She's dangerous in a lot of ways since she rides without gear and I am Mr. ATGATT.  But lets put that aside for a moment.

Compare that experience to the one I had with my local dealership, Barney's.  I walk in and start chatting, I throw my leg over a nice Honda.  Again over a nice Aprilia.  We chat about local rides, about Maine.  30 minutes pass...then 50, and I realize that they have not tried to sell me yet.  We are bike people talking about bikes.

Guess where I'm going when the time comes.

Sadly where I live suffered a rash of vandalism.  I live in a quiet and safe community (okay, older community) and bikes are pretty common.  Mostly Harley's which are used maybe 3 or 4 times a year to go to special events or rallies.  You may hear the occasional low rumble of a bike being worked on but by no means is my neighborhood Hell's Angels central.  It's more Geriatric Angels central.

Which makes the recent vandalism all that more disturbing to me.  Someone poured paint over one of my neighbor's Harley's.

There is, of course, no excuse for this.  From what I understand they have an idea of who the culprit was and are taking the appropriate legal measures.

From what I understand the paint was water based so it actually did come off the bikes with proper cleaning.   Still though you hate to see anyone damage someone else's property.  The good news is that this damage was not permanent or hard to fix.

As I look at the photo though I can't help but wonder if any paint was poured into the gas tank itself.  That would be an issue.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Getting small - I visit a Tiny House

I've had most of this week off from work, and lately the weather has been perfect for me to get out and do some exploring.  I like the odd, I like the unusual and earlier in the week I heard about a tiny house "open house" event.  Jessica is the owner of the cute 8 by 18 foot home (325 square feet of living space). I've seen some of the programs on TV but have never seen a "tiny home" up close and personal.  So you know damn well I was going to the open house.   You can view her Facebook page here.

I'll admit there is a bit of me that likes the idea.  Paring down to almost nothing, taking things to a simpler level (I have seven different pairs of dress shoes alone) and frankly finding a way to live with less.  As one of the woman I was talking to at the open house stated; "One of the things you need to do is determine what you can't live without, and build up from that."

One guy had a 55 inch HD TV in his slightly larger home.  I could live without the TV.  I would need my PC.  I suppose that would free up some wall space.  The home actually does look spacious and once you're inside three or four people could sit comfortably.   A light paint color and lots of windows helped with the illusion of space.

Thanks to Jessica's FB page.  
The kitchen sink doubled as the bathroom sink and the shower was tight, but something my 6 foot 220 pound frame could fit into.  Although the toilet looked....complex.  I really wanted to ask about that but didn't, maybe next time.

The home was fully equipped with at small but functional kitchen and a semi-full sized fridge.  "I can't give up my ice cream." Jessica told me.

Sadly I was not able to stay longer than a hour or so, and I did have questions about life in a tiny home.  While it's probably not for me, I can still admire anyone that lives life on their own terms.  I was speaking to a guy named Will about how I lived in a 500 square foot apartment years ago and felt the walls were closing in on me.  We laughed about how the walls sometimes closed in on him in 600 square feet (his "large" home).

There were people there that already owned a tiny home, others that were curious, family and friends.  I felt welcomed there.  I'm sure that if I would have stayed I would have asked more questions, found out some information that haunted me - "How much does this home weigh?" for example.  Or, "Why does the door swing in instead of out?  Would that not give you more space?"

No matter.  It was a good day out and about.  That's all that matters.

The loft
View from the loft.

That "complex toilet", notice the levers and such on the side

Friday, December 11, 2015

A very public apology.

Due to my own stupidity...I've deleted the last two comments that Conchscooter has left on my blog.
So a very public apology to Michael.  It's nothing personal...really it's not.  :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December already (a life update)

I find myself in the perfect position over the next few days.   I'm temporarily off work this week due to one project ending and another beginning, and my company has furloughed me in the meantime.   It's warm, dry and sunny for the most part, perfect weather for a ride.

Sadly due to some odds and ends in the real world I've not been able to get out as much as I had hoped.  That's been the story of my life this year.  When I was growing up I used to tease my father in a loving way about the worry lines on his forehead, I used to tell him I was going to play checkers there, now I am his age then and I find myself having those same lines.

I find myself worrying less and less about Susan as the doctors generally feel that they are moving in the right direction and the cancer she has seems to waning.  Although having suffered from a chronic issue myself for years, which could have been diagnosed with a simple blood test, I don't always take doctors at their word.

As I look back on the previous eleven months, I know health factors for both of us have kept me off the bike more than I wanted to.

I've considered selling Kimmy because I've not been riding her, then all of a sudden I get a burst of energy and I'm on her again...going off somewhere, anywhere really and for a few brief moments that spark reignites.  My adventures are simple ones, going to the store for milk...or running an errand.  Later on today or tomorrow I hope to go Christmas shopping for Susan on my bike.  Or take a friend on back up to Tarpon Springs.

There are, as of the time of this writing, only three more weeks in the month of December.  In that time I hope to get in as much riding and mileage as I can.  I know that I won't ride today, as I've got to get new brakes on one of our cars, go pick up some papers and get other legal docs notarized.  I also found out that my small business partner in crime, Mike, picked up another contract for us starting next year and I've a brief meeting to attend on that.

Tomorrow....there is always time tomorrow (he types knowing that comment is dripping with sarcasm).