Friday, December 30, 2016

Worst riding year ever

This was the worst year for mileage in my 38-year motorcycling career. I only rode a pathetic 2,361 miles in 2016 and only made it to one rally. God willing, 2017 will be better.

Here is my accumulation of pins from rallies, events, organizations and other things. My first rally was the 1986 BMW MOA rally at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blink, blink, blink

Coming home from dinner last evening, I noticed the red and green navigation lights of our neighbor boy's Christmas drone, blinking merrily from the upper branches of a 40-foot-tall tree on the east side of their property and I wondered how many people who got drones for Christmas had a similar experience.

This is the week when newspapers and wire services pretend that people give a shit about their lists of the Top News Stories of 2016. It always struck me a silly self-indulgence to compile and publish those lists.

At the same time, I am mindful that the world that will greet us on Jan. 1, 2017 is very different from the world we inherited at the first of 2016.

A lot of celebrities and other people didn't live to see the new year, but there were some really wonderfully hopeful events in 2016, like the Brexit vote in Britain that may signal the collapse of the ill-conceived European Union and a resurgence of national pride in the UK. Also, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in more than a century.

But the most profoundly hopeful event in my adult life - the landslide victory of Donald Trump - came on Nov. 8. It, likewise, signals a resurgence of national pride in the U.S.

And like a demon being exorcised, Barack Obama is doing as much damage to this country as he possibly can between now and Jan. 20. I'm hopeful that whatever Obama can do, Trump can just as easily undo.

The last time I felt this positive and optimistic about a new president was 56 years ago when John Kennedy won the White House. That was back when you could be a patriotic American and a Democrat. My parents were both and they would be horrified to see what has become of the party they followed in those days.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Granddaughter Lisa loves the Alexander Hamilton biography we sent her for Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Out of retirement

Maria and I came out of retirement as wedding photographers today to shoot the wedding of our neighbor's son.

We just finished reviewing the images and are pleased with the results.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Driving Miss Sadie

I picked up Sadie Jo on the road this morning and returned her to her family who were worried sick because she didn't come home last night.

The neighbor boy, who was jogging past when I got her into my car, said they have continued to feed her and that she slept at their house last night, contrary to the expressed wishes of her owner.

This has all the earmarks of a neighborhood feud and I have no desire to be involved.

In the meantime, I took Sadie Jo to the post office before I got a Facebook Messenger response telling me where she lives.

Friday, December 16, 2016

It can never be easy

Maria asked me to repair the faucet in the kitchen sink today because it had been dripping.

I found the screw that holds the handle in place was so tight that it snapped the head off of the tool, leaving the head in the screw, probably permanently.

I think the only fix is to drill out the screw and replace the handle assembly, which will require a trip to the hardware store over the weekend.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Testing, testing...

Testing a 14-year-old Nikon D100 that hasn't been used in more than a decade. The batteries were beyond recovering, so I bought replacements.

This is the view out of our front door at a yard full of leaves that I'm trying to ignore.

The temperature is 55ยบ which is probably the warmest it will be for the next week or two, since Arctic weather is bearing down on us from the northwest.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Boscos comes up with a really lame mug

Yesterday was "New Mug Day" for Mug Club members at Boscos Squared restaurant in Memphis.

Jonesboro BMW riding friends Charlie and Deb introduced us to Boscos several years ago and I joined their mug club in 2012. For $60, you get a numbered mug of your own to use through the coming year. It holds more than a regular glass of beer and lives in a rack above the bar. And you get to take it home at the end of the year.

The 2012 was the coolest I've seen - a clever design mocking the Mayan calendar prediction of the end of the world. It was downhill from there. The next year's mug looked like something out of your grandmother's kitchen and the following years brought similarly unimaginative designs.

This year, the price jumped to $80 for a special 25th anniversary commemorative mug. I had high expectations that were cruelly dashed yesterday when I saw the cheesy 2017 mug made by Libbey Glassware with a metal emblem attached. It holds maybe 20% more beer than the previous mugs, but I think it looks cheap. I was hoping for something more British or German-looking.

In fact, if I'd known what it looked like in advance, I wouldn't have renewed my membership.

Friday, December 02, 2016


I just sold this WWII German soldier's shaving kit on Ebay for $100. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Semper Fi!

I'm reading a biography of the legendary Marine Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, which makes me even happier that Donald Trump is apparently going to name retired Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

Somewhere, Chesty Puller is smiling.