Last week in a post on Richard Machida's blog he mentioned that he would be stopping in Oregon to visit relatives on his way home to Alaska from a meeting he would attend in the East. I commented that it would be nice if we could get together for lunch, so we did yesterday. Richard was gracious enough to stop and meet me for a late lunch at a Subway Sandwich shop about 15 miles south of Portland.
This is only the second time that I've met a fellow blogger. Last year I met with Irondad a couple of times and I came away with the same feeling yesterday. These meetings are unique. That is, the connection is further down the road than it normally is when you meet someone for the first time. And there's plenty to talk about while filling in the blanks that are left with blogging.
I greatly enjoyed meeting Richard and getting to know him. We're both originally Southern California guys who have migrated to the Northwest. And we're both Beemer riders. He hadn't eaten since early in the morning when leaving Washington DC and was willing to interrupt his drive to be with relatives and have a late lunch with me.
Thank you Richard for stopping on your way south. Hope you continue to have safe traveling my friend!
Before I met with Richard I had a sales call at one of the older hotels in downtown Portland. Just to briefly explain our parking meter system, we used to have the standard coin meters at every parking spot. Some years ago the city installed green boxes like the one on the left. This is where you pay to receive a small parking permit which is displayed on the inside of the window of your car facing the sidewalk. Most people don't like this because you have to walk to the box in the middle of the block, pay, wait for the permit to print, then walk back to the car. If it's raining it's a hassle.
For motorcycles the instructions say to display the permit somewhere near the seat, as in sticking it between the two seats. Of course this means it can either blow away or even be stolen. Mix rain into the equation and the permit is in bad shape. Since the permit is also the receipt, if it disappears you also lose your proof of payment. It's a pretty lame system for those on two wheels.
A few weeks ago while parking, a meter person had just finished giving the car in the next spot a ticket. I brought up this point about motorcycles being at a disadvantage and he gave me a coupon to get a free parking permit holder. I didn't know these existed!
I sent in the coupon and within a couple of weeks received this handy little farkle. The parking permit is held captive in the plastic display and kept safe from the elements or someone lifting it. Yesterday was my first time using it and as I walked away from the bike in a downpour I walked with confidence knowing I had city approved protection.
It's funny how little things like this can bring happiness.
When I came out of the hotel the shower had passed and the sun was shinning. Perfect for the ride to meet Richard, although it wouldn't last. In the short 15 minute ride down I-5 there was sun, rain, and hail. Typical Northwest spring fare. If you don't like the weather stick around for ten minutes and it'll change.