Saturday, March 12, 2011

Random Shots and Random Thoughts

While riding to my first account yesterday morning I had thoughts about some current events. Watching the events unfold after the tragic earthquake in Japan is a reminder of just how fragile our world is.  In the days after hurricane Katrina some of the New Orleans police force walked away from their jobs due to the enormity of the challenge to maintain law and order.  It's sobering to be reminded that a major disaster can change life quickly.

Another thought to consider with disasters is how small our planet is. People and nations pull together to help and support those who are suffering.  It brings humanity closer.  It puts our focus on others.

The earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand was only a few weeks ago.  Earthquakes are happening more often than any other time in history and this was foretold in the Bible over 2000 years ago.  Add this together with the events going on in the Middle East and one has to admit that these are amazing days in which we live.


My first stop yesterday morning was one of the high schools in Silverton. I was going there to look at some plumbing parts.  Silverton is about 40 miles southeast of Portland.  Checking out plumbing parts sounds like fun, right?  I know, plumbing parts and fixtures are not real stimulating but they put bread on the table and I enjoy selling all the product lines that we have.  The fun part is helping others with the parts they need to do their jobs.

The ride took about an hour with roughly half the trip on I-5 and the second half in the farmland of the Willamette Valley.  The above image is in Mount Angel, a town originally settled by German pioneers. It's about 5 miles north of Silverton.  It's also the home of a famous and well attended Oktoberfest held each September.  Just thinking about it makes me hungry for bratwurst with sauerkraut along with an Um-papa band playing in the background.

Wow, this is the second post in a row with a McDonald's in it.  I don't eat at McDonald's very often - only breakfast about once a month.  I'm finding, though, that many of them have free WiFi and since I like their coffee they make a great place to stop and setup a temporary office.  The other benefit is the ability to keep most of the riding gear on and not worry about what people think.  Chances are I was just seen rolling up on the bike so I must not be a real storm trooper.

So you're cruising along enjoying the ride and being aware of impending dangers, all the while looking for photo opportunities.  You see what could be an interesting shot down a side road along an orchard but you're going 60 mph.  By the time you ponder whether it's a viable photo opportunity you're almost 1/4 mile down the road.  Do you turn around or shrug it off and keep going?  Lately I've been turning around. It's part of my, "Enjoy the little things" program.

I eventually wound up at the mall for lunch.  

These people were waiting in line near the Apple store for the new iPad 2 that was released yesterday at 5:00 pm. The line seems like a good marketing tool by Apple.  It advertises the popularity of the new device.  I wonder how many people got in line so they wouldn't miss out on something.

Later in the afternoon when I was riding home from the jail I noticed an unusual plane flying slowly overhead. When I got close to home I saw the pilot sitting in the plane and idling right next to the road.  I did a U-turn and watched him take off from his personal airstrip.  This place has had small planes fly in and out for a long time but I've never actually seen it happen.  I parked the bike near his takeoff spot to take some photos of the setting sun.  I was about to leave when he taxied nearby again.  Through sign language I asked if I could take his photo and he agreed.

Again through sign language I asked if he was going to take off again and he gave the thumbs up.  So I got some shots of his short takeoff.

He doesn't have much runway.  You can see it turns to gravel pretty quickly.  His road has a little bump just before the gravel and he hits it just right to hop him into the air.

He was airborne in less than about 15 seconds.  Pretty cool to have your own plane and airstrip.  And some think riding a motorcycle is dangerous.

At the end of the day the bike had 115 more miles on it.  I hope you're putting miles on this weekend.

God's speed.


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. looks like you had a great day Mike, enjoying the little things ah!

    Good stuff. And yes Japan is a worry very sad to see, what interresting times we live in.

  3. Steve,
    Thank you for stopping by.

    Very interesting times, Roger. Thanks for your comment!

  4. That is a great sunrise shot. Beautiful sky and colors. Nice that you are able to ride as part of your job and that the weather is nice enough to get out. I've also been thinking of all the natural disasters occurring these days. I hear that the lack of food is a growing problem in the cities in northern Japan.

    Back when I flew, I didn't think of it as a dangerous activity. Lots of planning and checking before you take off. Much more before taking off on the bike. I should have check lists before riding...


  5. Richard,
    Thank you. That sunset was taken a few years ago from my hotel room at a Disney resort in Orlando (there on business).

    That's great that you flew! I'll bet that's a fun hobby but I think I prefer staying close to the ground. I think you're right, we should have a check list before riding.

  6. Mike,
    Its interesting, I was just commenting to my brother on the phone last week that natural disasters were happening more frequently than ever before as foretold in the Bible.

    Glad you have gotten to get out and do some riding. The weather is suddenly gorgeous here, so I will be sidestand up most of the week - something I for which I am very grateful.


  7. I just love Oregon...I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

  8. Mike:

    according to the Mayan Calendar, the world ends on December 21, 2011 and looking at the world events we are heading towards a meltdown . . .

    We had better do a lot of riding this year

    Riding the Wet Coast

  9. Mike:

    OH OH, it's next year. December 21, 2012. Whew . . . I was worried for a moment, we get another year

    Riding the Wet Coast

  10. Allen,
    Glad to hear your weather is better and you'll be riding. Looking forward to your posts. Thank you for your comment!

    Thank you - I'll check out your blog. God bless!

    I've heard about the Mayan prediction along with other views that are going around. Does it make you want to get a Tenere?

  11. Your reaction to the small plane reminds me of riding down the freeway on the bike. I saw one of those tiny smart cars tooling along in traffic. I thought they were pretty brave mixing it up on the interstate.

    Then I said, "What am I talking about? I'm on a motorcycle!"

  12. That's funny. Those smart cars are interesting. I wonder what changes we'll see in the future to cars if gas prices stay high this time. Maybe more smart-car-types and two wheelers and less SUV's and mini-vans.