Friday, March 26, 2010

Concrete & Rubber

I have an ongoing interest in the way light enters and filters in and around parking structures.  These images were taken this afternoon across the street from the county jail.  It was about 4:45 pm and cars were starting to exit. There I stood taking various photos of the motorcycle.  People must have thought that I'm in love with that machine.  It's not love but I do enjoy it.

A distinguished looking older lady pulled near me in her car and offered to take some photos of me and the bike. I politely declined and told her what a nice gesture it was.  She said she has a Harley and fully understands what I was doing.  Wow, it was hard to imagine her riding a Harley.  Motorcycle folks are sure friendly and interesting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away...

It rained most of the day today. Yesterday was in the low 70's sunny and beautiful. Spring is in the air but today the rain was back.

Tomorrow shouldn't have too much rain and Saturday should be dry again.

Sunday the rain returns for several days.  Oh well, such is spring in the Northwest.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Rekindled Friendship

I'll get to the heart of this post and the meaning of the title in a moment, but first, Amber and I are on vacation this week. After our weekend at the coast our immediate goal now is to act like we're retired, sort of, but also get some much needed work done around the homestead. I spent the morning yesterday doing work, as in business work, then in the afternoon tackled the messy garage. Reorganizing and cleaning the garage is something I do about every 6 months then it gets back to its cluttered state again.  I think it might have something to do with Murphy.  Why is it that flat surfaces attract stuff?

I'm not proud of the photo above, that's why it's smaller and not the top image to the post but it's typical of how the workbench looks most of the time. When we were first married it seems like I could keep things organized and in their place.  I guess I've lost control.  Does this mean I should join a cluttered workbench help group?

Now to the real reason for this post. A little over a month ago I posted on a Honda 90 that I came across in my travels. It was called Honda Nostalgia. In that post I mentioned that as a teenager I rode around on a borrowed Honda 50.  I also mentioned a good friend being a part of those rides.  After writing that post and having some wonderful memories come to the surface I called him to see how he's doing.  We hadn't seen each other since the mid 80's and only talked on the phone a couple of times since then. He lives in the Seattle area and has owned and ridden various motorcycles all these years. We had a great visit on the phone and decided to get together in March when he would come to Portland on business.  Last night we met at a restaurant near the airport and and had a great time catching up on each others lives. 

It's really special to re-connect with someone you've known almost all of your life but haven't seen for many years. When my family moved into that neighborhood in Southern California I was one month shy of 9 years old. There were four of us including his older brother who became best friends that summer. Later there would be two more who would move into the neighborhood.  I'm certain that the six of us would agree that we grew up during the best era and had the best friendships.  I'm very grateful for that.

As we parted last night we agreed to stay in touch and even get together for some riding. It was really great to see him and realize that we'll see each other more often and even ride together again. If someone had told us years ago that we'd both be living in the Northwest and get together at a restaurant near the Portland airport one night to re-connect and discuss riding again we'd have said, no way. It's interesting how events in life come together.

I hope you're surrounded by a lot of family and friends.  Life is short.  Treasure each moment and relationship. 

Oh... I got the garage and workbench clean.  We'll see how long it lasts.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Pause on the Road Today

Along Hwy 214 between Silverton & Mt. Angel, OR

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PDX at Night

My wife has been out of town on business.  Last night I drove to the airport to to pick her up.  Her flight was suppose to arrive late in the evening so I had plenty of time to take photos along the way.  As I crossed over the top deck of the Marquam Bridge and looked to the left, the night view of downtown Portland was a treat as usual.  I've been meaning to get some night shots for a while so it was a last minute decision to exit on the east side of the river and find a good viewing spot.

I drove down the street that parallels the river which during the day is busy with traffic from businesses and also the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).  At night the area is to be traveled more cautiously than the day. I found a good spot under I-5 in a business parking lot.

I just had the G10 with me and forget the tripod so a couple of these shots are not as sharp as they should be. I also had the ISO up which caused some noise. This has sparked me to want to come back and do it right.

During the day this area for picking up passengers is normally chaos like most airports.  This photo shows it must be late.

On a recent post on my other blog I talked about getting "busted" the other day by security for taking pictures in the parking lot of a hospital I sell to. So before I came to the airport I called to find out the policy on cameras.  They said I was okay as long as I didn't take photos of sensitive areas.  That's why I only took the G10 to be a little more discrete.

With the camera sound effects on mute I was able to take some candid shots. This is the waiting area where the passengers exit.  I wonder if security knows about that guy's camera on the left?

Amber's plane was a little late so I ended up people-watching for quite some time.  I had forgotten how interesting it is to people-watch at the airport, especially as passengers are arriving.  Sorry I don't have too many photos. I just might bring the camera back some evening for a photo assignment.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Early Sunday

My watch said 7:15 but my body said 6:15. The temp gauge said 33 (F) and my body was in full agreement. There were no clouds but fog was in the valley.

And when I got down off the mountain it was nice in the fog with the sun breaking through.

I've written much about my feelings and thoughts on these Sunday rides so I won't bore you with that again. I just wanted to post a few photos to share the moment.

Bluekat commented somewhere the other day about being happy if it stayed daylight savings time all year.  I feel the same way.  I think we did that briefly during the Nixon administration.  And as I remember moms were upset because kids were waiting at bus stops in the dark.

I like the light that daylight savings time has.  More light is good... for riding and photography.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm Not a Cook...Honest

Early yesterday morning I took my wife Amber to the airport so she could head out on her annual business trip. Her destination this year was Orlando, Florida.  We left the house about 4:15 am so we could get to the airport by 4:45. It was dark, cold, and with a slight amount of rain. The airport is on the other side of Portland but we made the trip in no time. I wish traffic was like that every day.

At roughly 5 am as I was making the transition from I-84 to the southbound lanes of I-5 near downtown I spotted a lone motorcycle heading north on I-5. I remembered Irondad mentioning in a recent post that he would be going to Kirkland, WA for a meeting. Since I wouldn't expect to see too many motorcycles out at that time of morning in that kind of weather it really caught my attention. I noticed it had the twin slanted headlights that are a tell-tale sign it could be an FJR.  Then I saw a Givi top case similar to mine. I thought to myself, I'll bet that's Dan. Sure enough it was. Anyway, I thought I would start off with sort of an interesting tidbit.

With my wife back east and our kids entrenched in their own lives, it leaves the dogs and cats and me to fend for ourselves. And as the title of this post states, I'm not a cook. But like a trooper I press on every year at this time and we manage to pull through. Have I gotten any sympathy points yet?

There's one meal that Amber has taught me to make that we have often. It's chicken and vegetables with fajita mix added for seasoning.  I like it over rice and she likes it wrapped in a tortilla. Pretty simple right? That's the way I like it. The only ingredients I didn't have for tonight's meal were a green and a red bell pepper.

Here's where the motorcycle comes in. It's been raining and windy all day.  I worked from home after we had a conference call meeting this morning. Just like last Thursday I had the strong urge to just get out and ride so why not ride and pick up some vegetables.

We've had cold weather and even hail the last couple of days. Because of the weather I've been driving the car so it was nice to ride. I decided to go to a grocery store that I don't often go to. 

Let's see, which one of these is a good one? 

Oh yeah, this one looks good. By the way, when you go to the store, you do wear all your gear, right? Because taking it off and stowing it for just 10 minutes is a pain. Okay, I'm just kidding, I don't wear my helmet but I do carry it so people don't wonder why I'm dressed like a storm trooper.

While doing this stunt I learn a new phenomenon. If you ask the produce guy to take your photo while shopping with your helmet on, it draws a crowd.

On the ride back home I stopped a couple of times to enjoy how green the trees and shrubs are. 

In the Northwest we get tired sometimes of all the moisture falling from the sky but the benefits outweigh any negatives there might be, in my humble opinion. Even though we have about 4 more months of wet weather here, starting Sunday we all get the gift of more light each day. That might translate into more riding time.

I hope you were able to ride today!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Future Rider?

Yesterday afternoon our 6 month old granddaughter got to sit on a motorcycle for the first time. She seemed to be a natural and at one point even reached for the controls. 

It's kind of funny but also kind of scary. I like her riding pants and check out the riding bib.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Relax and Ride

I worked all day today at home in the office. I know that sounds pretty good but work is work no matter where you are. Don't get me wrong, I really like my job and I'm fully grateful to God for being employed and for the job that I have.

Late this afternoon I had to get on the motorcycle and relax and ride. One way to do that is to go for a spin in the hill country. This area has the right amount of peaks, valleys, and curves. That style of course gives the right amount of concentration as well as relaxation. It's like a soothing mental salve that makes one forget worries and issues. When I use to play tennis I found that in order to play well you have to fully concentrate on the ball and forget everything that's on your mind. I've found it to be similar when riding through many twists and turns.

Not too far from where we live are vineyards where grapes are grown that produce Pinot Noir that rivals what is produced in France. It's been recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir producing areas of the world.

The warm summers with cool evenings give us a long growing season. Of course, this gives you another reason to visit Oregon. We like... no, make that love tourists.

Well, the ride was short and sweet, only 37 miles but the results were good. 

I had what could have been a bad incident while coming down the back side of a small mountain through some switch-backs. I saw a construction type truck cutting his corner short and over the center line as I approached the curve. He saw me so he corrected and got back over the line.

Although it wasn't a close call, it could have been. Close calls can bring to the surface areas that need attention and refining. Making myself visible was probably the key to not getting hit. Sort of like a tennis ball in that you want to be visible, you just don't want to get hit.