Sunday, September 19, 2021

Google and Glamping...

Okay, I'm about done with this blogging platform, I can sign in with Safari and compose blog posts, but I can't comment on other's blogs. But then I can comment on other's blogs with Firefox, yet I can't sign in without changing my password. And if I change my password then I'm on the phone with tech support to reconfigure my Nest account. I don't ask for much, all I want is for shit to work. I can handle change, I can update, evolve, but whatever Goggle has done with Blogger has aggravated my Tourette's and they can go pound sand!

Needless to say, I'm done with blogger and Goggle. I still read your blogs, but please know that I can't comment. Many of you have moved to Instagram, whom I follow there and on Facebook, so I guess that's where I'll be too.

Instagram for Nonprofits: Tips and Tricks to Get You Started - MissionBox

As for an update of this year, we haven't been doing much but have been trying to get out camping at least once a month. Oddly enough it's been mostly on the coast, during the winter months it doesn't usually freeze over there so we can fill the water tank to use the grey and black tanks, and we can plug in so we have the microwave and a space heater (I did say glamping). 

Sutton Campground - January

Nehalem Bay - February

Nehalem Bay

Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park north of Nehalem Bay

Coquille River Lighthouse at Bullard's Beach Campground - March

Cape Blanco - April

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco

We tried camping in the valley during the summer, but it's just too hot and dry which means no campfires. We've learned that summer is becoming our least favorite season as the campgrounds are full, the forest fires and smoke limit the number of campgrounds available which creates more crowding. Someone very special hooked us up with a spot at Timothy Lake in early July.

Timothy Lake - July

Timothy Lake

And we found a spot at Hosmer Lake mid July to take our new kayaks out for their maiden voyage.

Hosmer Lake - July

Hosmer Lake

Hosmer Lake

Then in August we turned to Hipcamp for our anniversary and Brandy's birthday. 

Cranberry Overlook - August

Cranberry Overlook 

Now come September we wait for the kids go back to school, and everyone settles back into a routine so we can get back into campgrounds. Chris and Lori are encouraging us to consider boon docking, which is surprisingly much easier with their overland rig than our truck and trailer because they can turn around if need be. Not that I couldn't, but I'm somewhat reluctant to backing a truck and trailer down a forest service road for miles after coming to a dead end. It takes plenty of planning, Goggle paper maps, and online apps, but fun and adventure awaits! 

We haven't been riding much this year either, I finally decided to sell Lucy, and has it been a long, dry, hot spring and summer making suiting up unpleasant. Also I had a minor, low speed crash at work and broke my right thumb. "Do not try this at home, I am a professional motorcyclist on a closed course". I had installed a fresh new front tire on a TW200 and while loading it into a trailer I promptly forgot doing so. Funny how my memory suddenly came back to me when my helmet hit the pavement and I was laying on the ground looking up at the sky. I was out of work for 10 days after surgery and now I'm on modified work status until I get the pins removed and finish up 6 more weeks of physical therapy. 

It's not the big bikes at speed we need to worry about, it's the small ones at slow speed that'll get you!

Speaking of work, a position at my office came available in June, and Brandy just happened to be looking for a change after being in law for twenty years. So guess whom my new coworker and carpooling buddy is. I think management wanted someone in the office to call an ambulance if I ever when I need it, smart thinking! 

Renovations and yard work have come to a screeching halt as I'm in a splint, an honorary lefty and can't pick anything up, let alone swing a hammer. Although, I now have a new appreciation for scissors. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Some Day

Joining the ranks of fellow motobloggers Richard and Bridget, Lori and ChrisDom, Lynn and Gerry, and most recent Toad Mama and Mike; I should include Sonja and Roland as well as they too qualify.

We added another two wheeler to the fleet, although not the traditional two wheels that we're used to, we officially became RV'ers on Sunday.

We had been thinking about buying a camp trailer for years, but we didn't have a capable vehicle to tow it with and you can't put the cart before the horse. However, back in 2018 Brandy's boss retired early, and as his only employee she was let go and had to find a new job. This put all of our plans on hold. She quickly found gainful employment, we sold our house, moved, I switched jobs and we held fast, all the while visiting RV shows thinking some day.

Just as we were set to go shopping... 2020 happened, and again we held fast. We did manage to find a truck once we knew both our jobs were secure through the projected pandemic. 

Covid shut down RV shows, yet sales soared as people realized that camping was one of the few recreational activities they could participate while social distancing. My plan was to take advantage of the glutton of RVs last fall when everyone realized they had to store them. However that never happened, evidently this pandemic isn't going to end anytime soon and everyone decided to keep their RVs. 

Friends of ours just happened to have this exact model that we've been looking for and were upgrading to a new one, so they offered it to us before posting it up on Craigslist. After a couple of texts and discussions we were headed over to look at it. The RV market is tight right now and even more so for smaller units, the chances of us finding this particular model used is none, let alone one this prestine, believe me I've been looking.

So it followed us home late Sunday afternoon.

We backed it into the driveway (much to the dismay of our neighbors), and it sits while we worked all week. Since it's still dark when I go to work and dark when I get home, and with all the wind and rain we've had we haven't had a chance to check it out. So Saturday morning it's mimosas in the driveway, just to simply hang out and nest.

Looking forward to more fun in 2021, and social distancing in the woods.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Long Winter's Nap

Autumn is upon us, and the rainy season has arrived here in Western Oregon. The time change that was supposed to be abolished years ago still happened cutting our daylight hours even shorter, and the temperatures are beginning to drop along with all the leaves on the trees. All of this a good thing this year, because maybe, just maybe... people will stay home and we can get this global pandemic under control.

We live in hope.


Brandy is keeping me busy with home renovations, and as I get one job checked off the honey-do list another is waiting. However, I think I can finally see the end of the list... at least the bottom of page one. Now that the guest bath is done, we've moved onto the master en-suite. 


Narrow, shallow contractor grade tub surround has to go.

This one is kicking my ass though, the last time I removed and reinstalled a tub I was 12 years younger. Also the last one was in a 1970s house when contractor's took pride in their work, this house was slapped together in 2007 and I've had to fix, repair, and replace so many shortcuts because of shoddy workmanship. Although I'm not a professional contractor, I take my time and try my best to do it right, not just for my own peace of mind but for the next poor sap (me) who might have to remodel this house again in 20 years. 


Deep soaking tub installed

Just in time for warming winter soaks

These projects are supposed to keep me home during the pandemic and practicing the stay home, stay safe mantra. But several trips to the hardware store for bits and bobs is proving otherwise. Just as I think I have everything I need to complete the current project, the kid at the store cheerfully says "see you tomorrow". 

Now that the tub is installed and I'm done crawling under the house to plumb fittings, I "get to" move on to framing in the shower niche, plumb the mixing valve and get it set in place, then install backer board, mortar and tile. 


Found a longtime leak in the plastic supply fitting while hooking up the drain

I'm used to working with copper pipe and haven't worked much with PEX pipe before, so I'm upgrading several cheap contractor plastic crimp fittings to very expensive brass SharkBite fittings. I love SharkBite as they don't require soldering, just a simple push to fit and they swivel so if you need to adjust as you work you can. 

We have a four day weekend coming up, so I hope to finish up the tub and shower project by then and get started on the flooring. My goal is to get to the bottom (page one) of my honey-do list for New Years.


I've been asked to write short motorcycle maintenance tips and tool recommendations for our work Facebook page and Instagram posts, so I thought I'd compose and share them here. They're designed for new riders and beginner DIY'ers so I'm hoping for some feedback as social media comments are rarely constructive.

Kidding, just kidding.



Me and Lucy working on E-Rider footage back in the day. (Photo Credit: Team Oregon)

Be healthy, stay safe.

Thank you Veterans. Lest we Forget.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Oregon Fires

News of the wildfires in Oregon and California have reached international broadcasts, and our blogger friends around the world, some we've never met are reaching out to ask if we're okay. 

Wow! Thank you so much for thinking about us, we love you all.

Brandy and I are doing well. We are several miles away from the fires, the strong winds have calmed, and even though there was little threat the fires would have crossed the Interstate highway and Willamette River, the resulting smoke is causing hazardous, unhealthy air quality sometimes off the scale at well over 500. We've been staying inside trying our best to avoid the smoke, both of us suffering headaches and minor coughs. I am home from work since last Wednesday until further notice when the Oregon State University closed the campus (hence a blog post). Funny enough, the air quality is worse at home, than it is at work... I'd be safer at work. 

We haven't seen the sun in a week.

This is out our front door at 9:00 am Tuesday, September 8th when it is normally bright and sunny.

 Here is my commute into work Tuesday morning at 7:30 am... Dark, dark.

From my work at 3:00 pm Tuesday afternoon.

Check out the slideshow from OPB:

And photos from Oregon Department of Transportation and KVAL News:


We have it easy compared to those that were evacuated from their homes, many of them now burned to the ground, some small towns lost. The people of Oregon have really come together to donate food, clothes, and supplies despite radio silence from #45. Although he has repeatedly blamed "poor forest management" for the cause of these fires, repeatedly to convince his congregation.

~ As an update, and what we've been doing lately ~

Brandy has been working from home since the end of March due to Covid, and appreciates the quiet that is lost in an open workspace office environment of 40 plus co-workers. 

I've been going into work everyday to an empty office, and hanging out in the shop cranking the tunes, turning wrenches, and maintaining bikes. Our facility is off campus so I'm alone most days, all day, I have the eerily empty office building all to myself. 

We feel fortunate to both have our health, and full-time employment during these crazy times. We haven't been riding much, Brandy sold her Kawasaki Versys 300X just before Covid, and with staying home there hasn't been much reason to buy another bike yet. She has been checking out Craigslist, and Cycletrader trying to decide what to buy next. We'll see what happens next Spring, but I don't think this virus is going anywhere anytime soon. I've been commuting to work on my Tiger 800 (Brandy has named her Lily, as in white tiger lily), and I've only been out for a weekend ride once or twice this summer.

Andy and I up Mt. Hebo on Sunday before the fires broke loose. 
Lily out of commission. New fork seals on order.

We lost 14 year old Squire Basil Kitteh last September to kidney failure (a year ago yesterday 9/13)...



And since my love for motorcycles is now my job, we've been turning to our other hobbies such as hiking, canoeing, and camping. Unfortunately, so has everyone else and the trails are crowded, campsites are full, and it's been too peopley out there. I bought a truck in June, and we finally went tent camping the last week of August.

Much steeper than it looks, part of the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route #6 we rode back in July 2016

Dispersed tent camping 
Is that Bullwinkle?

With the fire regulations we weren't able to have a camp fire, and what's camping without a campfire? Brandy will tell you, it involves a lot of mosquitoes and going to bed early. Needless to say, conversation during breakfast the next morning was about travel trailers, because there's camping... then there's camping with your wife, so like other motobloggers we may be transitioning into RV'ers. Everyone has been buying RVs and camp trailers so much so that sales have exploded this summer with Covid. But winter is coming, and we're just biding our time, hoping people don't want to pay for storage, and the market will soon be flush with lightly used trailers going cheap. Brandy predicts that families are not only tired of their kids being stuck at home since March, but camping all summer with said kids, they've learned their lesson and never want to go camping again. 

We met with Beemer Girl's hubby Chris, and Richard and Bridget Machida for dinner Friday night... of course we talked more about RVs and camping than we did motorcycles.

So I'll peruse Craigslist and RVTrader this winter whilst doing the seemingly never ending honey-do list home renovation projects... 

(Listing Photo) Before... UGLY, but we could see the potential.