Saturday, June 30, 2007

Watching your kids grow up

Watching your kids grow up is a bit sad, but exciting as well.

Jaime was home last night when I got home. We'd been away at the rally since last Sunday, and when we got home on Friday she was heading out of town to go to church camp. She is one of the youth leaders. When I got home last night she was there.

It was really good to see her and she talked about all kinds of camp things. The worship, the kids, the food, etc. Brings back lots of memories.

All the kids calling her "Miss Jaime". Kind of weirds her out - she is trying on this whole new "adult" thing. And people that she grew up with as leaders/adults (like Miss Janie) who know include her as one of the adults and talk to her that way. And a teen girl guessing her age... "30 maybe?" WHAT! "Ok... so I'm terrible with guessing ages." Jaime kept ribbing her all weekend. And the kids leaving her cards, "You are such a great leader", "We had so much fun in your cabin, you are awesome", etc.

Its with pride I watch my little girl grow up... its also with a bit of sadness. She's going to be gone before I know it - but I'm going to enjoy all the time left while she is here.

And then there is PeaBaby to spoil too. Life rolls on.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ride Hard or Stay Home

Its 5:05 and I've been up catching up on work for the last 15 minutes. We are staying at the Great Divide Lodge in Breckenridge - and our window looks out over the valley. Its still dark out, but I've been hearing bikes leave since I got up.

Some folks have a long way to go - so are leaving before the crack of dawn to make it in one day. For others - it just hasn't been enough of a trip yet. JR, his friend and their wives, are from St. Joe MO. They rode out in 1 1/2 days - did the rally and are heading to Durango today. Then down to Four Corners and Mesa Verde. Then its on to Albuquerque and then heading east home.

Also met two women who are heading back to Dallas - then is off to the Posse Ride (ride to Delaware to start the ride, then 18 days to Portland OR, then home), home for a few days then on to Tenn/NC for another rally.

Live to Ride, Ride to Live...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Its a brotherhood

Tonight was a dinner and the "Rider's Meeting".

Cool stuff. Basically HD does a really good job of combining with HOG and making you feel like "part of the family". The company is into "riding with the customers". So lots of reps on the ride. People from HD put the event on, etc. A National "Road Rally" like this is very cool. Its not the "stay in one place and party" type of rally as much as a "lets go ride" type of rally. Not guide, but "Here is where we are stopping and here is a general direction - but do what you want." For instance, being a ride leader for a small group and from here - we've decided to go off map a bit and take some better roads (to suite our needs) and take a few side trips (to see some cool stuff). And that is all encourage. So cool.

But the whole "family" thing was very cool too. They went through the crowd (1045 people) and found
  • youngest - 10 (and there was an 11 and 12 year old too)
  • oldest - 79 and there were quite a few over 65 as well.
  • representation - Australia, Mexico, Canada, 45 states and DC.

There was someone who had been on the very first HOG road rally - 15 years ago - which was in CO. Yup, CO was one of the stops on the first road rally ever.

Really makes me want to do some of the other rides.

Other interesting things:
  • How many people 35 or under... probably 20 or so. Yeah - most are our age or older
  • How many first time road rally - over 1/2.

Big plans for next year... HD 105 year anniversary and HOG 25. Big party in Milwaukee... Ted and Christie - our new friends, really want to go. If Tina can get the time off, it would be a blast. And its *so* close to MI. We could take the ferry across the lake and go see Pat and Ward. Big Trip, Big Celebration, Part of the family. Its cool.

New nickname

Ok... so we met some cool folks and have gone out to eat with them, done some riding around, and now I'm going to be the lead rider for our group, since I know most of the areas and they are all from out of state and basically flat-landers.

And Ted is quite like Tina in many ways, and now I have a new nickname "Skunk".

Yes... I ran over a skunk with the bike. I'm fairly certain it was already dead, cuz it didn't move, but it wasn't dead for too long, judging by the smell and the sound of crunching bones.

To go back... Today was a great day. Got up at 5:30 - did a bit of work, took a shower, and then was on the road by 7:00 heading for Wyoming to get a 'W' for ABCs. Then coming back I took a few small roads to pick up a 'N'unn. Oh, also got 'W'eld County. So 3 letters (1 state, 1 county, 1 city). Driving across the plains, cool temps, bright sun, great ride. Hit a small stretch where the road has shaded by trees on both sides and pretty dark. As my eyes got accustomed to the light, I spotted something in the road and tried to swerve a little (not too much, no use dumping the bike) and "crunch, crackle, pop,".... stink.

Got back to the room... maybe its not the bike, maybe I can just still smell it. Tina, "What is that smell!" Hmm... "You need to go wash the bike." I go out and take another look... yeah, blood, tuffs of hair - off to the car wash.

I got most of it off, and by the end of the day it was fine - but everyone had a big laugh and now call me Skunk and "You should put a skunk tail on the back of the bike", etc.

Its all part of the adventure.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


You can now renew your license plates online, at least in about 5 of the counties in CO. Painless and only takes a few minutes. Did cost $5.03 for a processing fee. Is it worth it or that much easier than just writing a check?

Well... probably not for some folks - but I hate writing checks and mailing them, for some reason; so I procrastinate. If its payable on the web, I'm all over it. So yeah, for me, its worth it. :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

yeah, yeah, I know - license and registration

While at the Red River Rally, and buying patches, one that cracked me up was

Yeah, yeah, I know
License and Registration

But then I thought... Hey, I've *never* gotten a speeding ticket on the bike, so it wouldn't really fit... Must have been a prophetic moment and I guess I should have gotten it.

Coming home from Questa, NM towards San Luis, CO - its just a pretty straight flat, 65MPH road. Most everyone on it was doing 70 to 75, and I was staying with the flow... but then I got behind a car and trailer (and I hate being behind stuff on the bike, makes it harder to see, etc.), so I figured "I'll just go around him then slow back down" - of course going around him required me to hit, apparently, 83MPH, because the white SUV that came toward me right as I pulled back in happened to be a Sheriff and she hit her lights. Busted.

I just pulled over right away, no use making her follow me for a while. Tina said, "Do you think the lights were for us?" - "Yeah."

So I pull over and get off the bike and she pulls up behind and starts walking towards me and is talking. A number of Harleys go by right then and I can't hear a word she is saying, so I start walking towards her, pointing to me ear. Behind me Tina says "JAMES!" and I stop, turn around and then look back at the officer to notice she is putting her hand up in front of her in a "Don't come any closer" motion.

Hmm... a couple of bikers. Me over 6 ft, 220+, dressed in leathers, bandana on my head and a scowling wolf snarl dust cover across my face. Yeah... maybe not a good idea to get in her personal space...

I pull off the cover, pull my glasses up and "Yeah yeah, license and registration". I get in the back of the bike, thinking all the time, "Man, I hope I have all the current stuff in here." and I do. Phew. She takes it all and says "Stay off the bike and don't get into any of the compartments." Yeah, I guess you never know and pulling over someone who apparently looks a little intimidating out in the middle of no where - I stayed away from the bike just to put her mind at ease.

She was all business about the whole thing until I signed everything and she was headed back to her vehicle:

Tina: Wow, that was *really exciting*. I haven't had a speeding ticket since I was 18.
Cop: Turns and grins Well maybe you should speed more often!
Tina: Throwing her thumb over her shoulder and pointing at me, Nah, *he* takes care of that for me.

And it ended with a "Ride safe, slow down and have a good day out there." and us saying "You have a good day too."

BTW: For those keeping track, last ticket was Oct 2005. I just can't make it the 3 years without one... New date for getting points off my license and insurance, Memorial Day - 2010. :(

Anyway - guess maybe I should have gotten the sticker... or yeah... or slowed down! :)

diver bomber

We always have birds that create nests in the bushes in the front yard. Usually it is one out by the sidewalk and mailbox, but as the bushes in front of the house get bigger, the birds are starting to nest there too.

Saturday I was mowing, and the mother actually started dive bombing me! This usually doesn't bother me too much, as they just kind of swoop once or twice and sit in the tree and yell. I get it. Just trying to protect the nest.

But Saturday this female really took it to extremes. She was dive bombing me over and over. One time she brushed my arm as she went by, and then another time I heard her coming (kind of a buzzing noise) and flew close enough I could feel the wind as she went by.

Sunday as I was washing the bike, she was on the garage roof yelling at me again, and dive bombed me a few times. Apparently she has decided that I am "the dreaded enemy" and must be constantly harassed, no matter where I am in the front yard, even if it isn't close to her nest. Tina just laughs and me and says "She doesn't understand: 'That's enough now!' or 'KNOCK IT OFF'". I thought about splashing her with the hose, but I get she is just being protective.

Although after Tina moved Jaime's car this morning, which requires walking up the driveway, she did say "That bird has GOT to go" and "If you go outside make sure and wear your helmet."

Should be interesting to see how things progress.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


My Uncle Danny (Cosmo) just sent out mail that he has a myspace site set up. He didn't include the direct link, but I found it here. Its got four songs he has done on it, which is very cool. Ticket to Ride is a cover by Chocolate Hare - which is very cool that was my uncle's group at the same time we were touring so we got to know all the guys pretty well. Gilbert who is playing organ on the song was in our band for about a year after Chocolate Hare broke up, which was a blast.

Anyway - check Cosmo out!