Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two wheels to eternity

There was a time when the beauty of this scene would have been lost on me... tied up in agony over dirt and mud and the horrible unknown. Thank whatever deity you like that I am past that.... a little closer to the start of my trip to/from WV..... and truly wonderful

Sunday, August 10, 2008

old school

In addition to bikes, I have a thing for cameras and to a lesser extent, old radios. In the days before Ebay, finding old cameras, parts for old radios and other arcane bits often meant some sort of mini adventure. I restored a mid fifties 45rpm record player as a gift and I had so much fun popping into odd little shops finding parts. Most of these places were run by the folks that started them, back when fixing things like stereo equipment could be a viable business. I literally bought all the parts I needed for that little RCA from one guy who had a basement warehouse in the middle of a pretty sizable town. I remember thinking as I decended the stairs from street level, following the owner, that I was either going to find bunch of cool stuff or wind up dead in the corner under a pile of boxes. Fortunately, the former, not the latter turned out to be the case.

So, it's with a little bit of hope that I look forward to a little side trip next week. Going to be in Montreal on vacation and I am hoping to get some parts for my Grundig from Radio Hovsep. I made a point of not trying to email them simply to preserve the adventure. I can't wait to see what this place looks like inside.....I sure hope it's still there.

Edit - 8/20/08

Total score...just as I'd hoped, it turned out to be run by two of the coolest people you could meet. Started the business together in 1960 as a recently married couple. Still, happy, still in business and they had the stuff I was looking for. Including, some new old stock knobs for my model 4570/U Grundig desktop stereo. I bought three.....

I'll post a little more detail when we get home with an interior shot or two.

Baby steps :D

I seem to have trouble with this whole chronological story telling blog thing. But, I figure I will just take it a bit at a time and build momentum.

So, here we have my Daytona along the route home from a trip to ride West Virginia. On the way home? Yeah, I'm gonna tell this story backwards :D

Thursday, July 31, 2008

....good for them, no?

Where are we now?

June 12th 2008...... me and my friends Crudmop and Fuzzygalore..nearly the middle of nowhere.
It's early in the trip but even now, I can feel myself breathing easier. There is no over rating the beauty of a motorcycle and miles of asphalt going somewhere but nowhere in particular

If not now, when?

I say that a lot these days. Thing is, I really seem to mean it. Oh, this has been such a topsy turvy year, all good and bad and confusing but some things are just simple.
I love to ride. Riding well matters to me and the best way to get better is to go and ride your limits. I've wanted to hit the track for so long and...if not now, when?
So, yesterday, I brought this home. A 600 cc bike for track only duty is just what I need. Well, need is a pretty strong statement but LOL, whatever.
I discovered during a recent trip through California that I am a long way from slaying all of my demons. I am way, way too hard on myself...savage really. Of course, that's no way to fix, say, a hang up about down hill left turns.
In the end, it is just about feeling good in my own skin and riding more confidently and consistently is something I truly want.
I've sat on the sidelines long enough, it's time find out what life is like on the other side of the paddock fence

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Can you feel the breeze in your face? I can..

This is shaping up to be a great year for riding and I cannot wait to get started. Everytime I look at this painting, I picture myself standing next to a bike, stopped just long enough to really be there, at that moment. It's hard to explain, but riding makes everything so much more real...even this painting. C'mon riding season 2008

I stashed this picture away some time ago. There is a real story behind it but I'm more inclined to create one in my head. Something about how modern they appear and yet how old I know the scene to be strikes me somehow... And, how could you not want to be those kids, right?

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I've been a very bad blogger... sometime I'll need to sort out a mobile solution, all of my clearest compositions seem to occur in my head while I am on the move.

Still, the thoughts do happen so at least I haven't succumbed fully to modern day anesthesia. I don't spend most of my day discussing American Idol or Brittney Spears, at least not yet. I think a lot of us aren't all that comfortable listening to the other stuff in our heads. I'll be honest, one of the things I really like about riding motorcycles is the amount of brain power it consumes. It's hard to wax philosophic while strafing a stretch of twisty road.

The last few months have been a real roller coaster, lots of ups and downs. Births, deaths, good times with friends and family and a few pretty wicked conflicts with many of those same folks. Recently, someone that meant a lot to me, passed away. I guess, in some ways, I'd long since grieved her loss as we had been apart for years. Life changes us all making people we connect with deeply, total strangers.

Never one to conform or for that matter really live up to obligations, let alone expectations, she lived her life mostly to her own satisfaction. I don't know if I have ever met someone so willing to toss everything and start over. Her life's story reads as tragic; unrealized potential, squandered opportunities, broken relationships... and a far too early departure from this world.
It's funny though, sitting at her funeral, surrounded by the large crowd of friends and family, she managed to speak to me, about me. A picture of her shocked me back to a time when we were as close as two people can be, a time when I really felt things and everything mattered. My life was really in upheaval when we met and she contributed to the chaos... but she also showed me things that I might have otherwise never learned. She did broaden my horizons, add to my life's experiences and ultimately, through our breakup, I learned to be a much stronger, self confident person.

Our time together also produced the most important person in my life. I've had the pleasure of raising our daughter.... me being the responsible one and all. Again, my life's experiences enriched through our relationship.

So, how did a dead person speak to me? Let me preface this by saying I am pretty cynical about this whole communicating with the dead thing. Having said that, sometimes you just know. I experienced that first when my father passed some years ago. He died suddenly and I got a call from a hospital about an hour from my office. Basically, they said "your father collapsed and you need to get here right away." They would not share any more details over the phone. About half way to the hospital... I knew he was dead and I sensed him telling me he was OK. Weird, even now but as real as anything I have ever felt.
This week, at my ex's funeral, I read some favorite quotes of her's they had selected for the program. Many of these were things she started saying years after we spent any time together so they were new to me. The two that I KNOW she put there for me were " sometimes, I ask myself, would I rather be happy or right?" and "the most important thing about deciding what you want is figuring out what you are willing to give up to have it." They hit me like a a brick upside the head.
In my mind, my life has been a series of doors opening and closing... some with good results and others not so much. Lately, the number of doors and the rate at which they seem to open and close is at an all time high. It's been hard to make sense of it all. I've been fighting all these years to do what's right, live up to expectations and be responsible... to earn my way out of chaos. Good stuff but in the end, you still are what you are and need the things that make you satisfied. In many ways, that's been the elusive part. She and I had become polar opposites in this world and I think she's trying to tell me that as far as she went one way, I went in the other; neither result being ideal.
Maybe I'll poke my head into a few doors and see what's on the other side.... I think I'll give myself permission to consider options and take a few risks again. For that, Dyanna, I gotta say thanks.