Good Friends and Motorcycles

Motorcycles require much more maintenance than the new cars we have these days. The oil in a motorcycle doesn’t just lubricate and clean the engine like it does in a car engine. It also has to do the same things in the transmission and frequently in the wet clutch. My motorcycle is air cooled and as such has no radiator or coolant. It also doesn’t have an oil cooler. Then there’s the air cleaner that’s more out in the breeze than there is in a car and the fuel filter that’s up under then fuel tank. My V-Star also has a shaft drive with a final drive similar to a differential on a pickup truck and that oil needed to be changed as well. We also replaced the front brake pads, replaced the spark plugs, and adjusted a few things.

My motorcycle is running great these days and I recently pushed the odometer past 25,000 miles. Things are going pretty well on two wheels 😎

From Fishing Pond to My Table

Ember isn’t completely normal. And that’s fantastic!!! She likes black coffee, dark chocolate, good Scandinavian symphonic metal (Nightwish, Floor Jansen, and more), enjoys fishing, and isn’t afraid to get her hands slimy or to give fish a kiss before releasing them 😁 We went fishing at the local community fishery last weekend. The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources maintains a statewide system of ponds and stocks them with hatchery raised trout. There’s a two fish per day limit and the upkeep and stocking are funded by fishing licenses.

We each caught and kept two fish. Three of those four fish were hopelessly gut hooked and I couldn’t release them in good conscience. The fourth and last fish was big and looked tasty! I got these fish cleaned at home that evening (the restrooms and fish cleaning station at the pond are still closed for the winter). It was late and I was tired, so I kept the prepped fillets in the fridge until the next night when I put them through an egg wash, dredged them in panko breadcrumbs, and pan fried them in real butter 😋 These fish might have been hatched and raised in a hatchery and they might have been stocked in a man made pond, but they’re still super tasty good eating 😎

New Glasses Inbound!

No, I didn’t get these frames 😉

My eyesight is less than perfect. Far less. No, farther than you think. I have a positively wicked astigmatism. I could tell my prescription had changed and I finally got up to the optometrist up north last week. I really can’t wait for my new glasses to get in so I can see properly again! That said, I had to pick out some frames for my new lenses. Don’t panic when you look at this pic as I did NOT choose these frames 😜 I went with much more conventional frames for my new bifocals. I just thought these were different and hilarious and had to mess with my friends 😎

Good Times With Ember

Ember wearing my helmet while we goofed around with the motorcycle

Lunch was a bit more than just a time for some food today. Ember had been up north from Saturday through yesterday with her mom and grandma, so I hadn’t seen her in a few days. I got my motorcycle back on the road on Sunday and my two wheeled wind therapy device was too much fun to leave at Cindy’s, so I’d left my car there instead. Cindy helped me get my car back to my apartment during lunch today and I got to spend some quality time with my daughter afterwards. Ember had fun climbing up on the rider’s seat, starting and revving the engine, and trying on my helmet 😁 It’s always great to spend time with her 😎

It’s All About Perception…

Reasons not to ride may actually be reasons to go out and ride 😎

Today I have a confession to make. I don’t always do the most common sense, intelligent things. For example, I’ve ridden my motorcycle in pretty much every weather condition. I’ve ridden it decidedly too far off road, in snow, over sheets of ice… I just enjoy riding and doing things out of the ordinary. ROKKIT44 has some great thoughts in this three minute video. There are more than a couple ways to look at reasons people give for not riding and there are ways to see those reasons as reasons to ride. I’ve thought this video was awesome since the first time I saw it 😁

V-Star 650 Classic Rehab!!!

A lot of my hobbies and interests were shelved for quite a while during my time in trucking. I was out on the road 3-5 weeks and home 3-5 days. Time with Ember and quality time were priorities. One of those hobbies/interests that I put on hold was motorcycling. I got my V-Star 650 Classic back in 2012 and I’ve ridden through just about every weather condition, over widely varied terrain, and I’ve enjoyed several road trips on this machine.

I’m happy to report that after a couple of years of inactivity, my V-Star is back on the road and I have plans to take my daughter Ember for some short rides to start with. Eventually I hope to drop her off and pick her up at school and maybe go for some slightly longer rides. I’ll be doing an oil/filter change, fuel filter change, air filter change, new front brake pads, and a few other things over the next weekend and it’s getting brand new tires in a couple of weeks.

Expect to see lots more motorcycle fun around here in the future 😎

First run in a few years and it just keeps getting better


My Roces CDG Paris Skates
My Roces CDG Paris Skates = These are from the 1990s and feature period correct decoration

Nearly a year’s passed since I left my former career in long haul trucking. Life has been turbulent to say the least. I’ve finally had a chance to start going through all sorts of stuff in storage and that was put away while I wasn’t home most of the time and I’ve found some cool stuff. I’ve found my remote weather station, my 35mm and Polaroid cameras, old cellphones, and so much more. To quote Jimmy Buffett, times are tough, I’ve got too much stuff! Can’t explain the likes of me LOL!

These skates aren’t genuine Rollerblade brand, but even if it’s not this way now, Rollerblade was used generically for the type of skate kinda like Xerox is used generically for photocopiers. These are actually pretty special skates from a company called Roces and if you look you’ll see there are five wheels on each skate. These are for speed and endurance and they were my transportation before I got my driver’s license. Yes, they’re from the fabulous 1990s and the decals that decorate them are from that glorious time as well!

I’m probably going to work at losing quite a bit more weight before I get back on these as I don’t want to inadvertently damage them, but I do plan on putting a bunch more miles on them!

I Found My Old Phones!

So, I’d used my old Camelbak backpack for clothing and just about everything else during my years on the road in a semi truck. With that life firmly in my past, I finally got around to going through my old backpack which is when I found these old phones. The iPhone 4 was my first smartphone and the iPhone 6 replaced it a few years later. Both were subsequently succeeded by my iPhone 8+ which is what I’m still using.

The iPhone 4 is a 3G CDMA phone, so it’s never going to get back on a cellular network as 3G is being deactivated across the USA later this year, but it still works on WiFi. The iPhone 6 is still a viable backup device. Both needed new batteries and the iPhone 6 needed a new screen. I purchased all the parts for a total of around $35 on eBay and replaced them with YouTube videos serving as instructions.

Both of these old phones are now back in good working condition and it’s fun to use them and think of how much things have changed in personal tech over the last few years.

My Caribbean Blue Chevy Spark

Growing up in SoCal, cars didn’t just take me from point A to point B. We often spent more time in our cars than we did in our homes. In many ways, our hom had quite a few cars over the years. The first car I ever drove became my first car. That white on blue interior 1983 Buick Regal took me to so many places. After that, I drove a 1993 Regal, a 1988 Chevy IROC Z/28 Camaro (black on black and I dearly miss those T-tops!), a 1988 Ford Ranger, 2001 and 2002 Chevy Cavaliers, a 2008 Chevy HHR, a couple of 1990s vintage Suburbans, and a 2004 Honda Odyssey. Each has their own tale to tell and each has powerful memories from my time with them. Yes, I connect to cars emotionally.

I got sick and tired of dealing with repairs or purchasing a new car when I had a couple of days off the road during my time in trucking and decided to get something with a warranty. This car only has a 1.4L engine, but it also has a clutch pedal and the fuel economy is outstanding! It drives like a little go cart LOL! In keeping with tradition in my automotive adventures, this is another base model with crank windows, manual door locks, etc., but it’s not bereft of tech. No, this little car that was built in Korea has a 7″ touchscreen infotainment system, traction control, Stabilitrak, ABS, OnStar, a backup camera, and TEN AIRBAGS. The only option it has is the Caribbean Blue Metallic paint which I love, but I only paid the extra because it’s all that was available when I needed the car.

So far it’s been a great car and I look forward to teaching Ember to operate a manual transmission and probably passing ownership to her as well.

It’s Time for a Dash Cam

So, during my time in trucking I learned (a bit of the hard way) not only to distrust everyone else on the road, but to run a dash cam to document things. I held onto that dash cam after my exit from trucking, but hadn’t taken the time or expended the effort to install it in my car. It’s a small town, right? Surface streets are slow, right? No need to run a dash cam in my little Chevy Spark, right?

Well, after a couple of close calls from people turning across my path with no signal or body language convinced me otherwise. It’s installed and working. It starts itself up when I start the car. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.