Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, 2009 is a bit over an hour away. I'm not really one to get excited about the change from one year to the next. Watching a bunch of drunk people while they in turn watch a giant ball of glass lowered from a tower in Time's Square just doesn't thrill me. In my opinion, one year is much like another and every day should be a day for new opportunity and growth. Much ado is made of the celebration of every new year, but It seems a hollow facade to me.

I rode my scooter today in the snow flurries that visited this area. It was cold, but pleasant, until the wind picked up later on. As I rounded a corner, someone tooted their horn in greeting. It turned out to be my fellow blogger, Lee, who's blog is featured in my links.

As a side note, I've recently discovered a new word through some of my co-workers. Three of my co-workers are from Ethiopia. They have asked me several times about my "dok dokeh." I'm not sure if that's the proper spelling, but it is an onomatopoeia in Amharic, the primary tongue of Ethiopia for the sound of a single cylinder engine on a motorbike. So, whenever I see them, I joke about riding my dok dokeh around in the cold.

Well, despite my feelings on the celebration of the New Year, I wish you all a pleasant one.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shakin' it up!

Last night, after I returned home on my scooter from work, my wife and I were sitting peaceably on the couch, talking about the events of the day, when suddenly, there was an enormous booming sound that seemed to come from all around, but seemed to especially echo up from our basement. The house shook, and then within a short time there was a smaller booming sound and another shake. We were unsure what had happened, but no one in our neighborhood seemed alarmed, so we checked our furnace and water heater, assured ourself that all was well, and went to bed.

This morning, we had forgotten all about the event, until we were at Oregon Dairy and noticed one of the headlines on the local Saturday paper. Apparently the sound we heard was due to an earthquake of magnitude 3.3. It's a bit surprizing, but at least now we know that we were not imagining things.

Just prior to the quake, my wife had noted that our cats were acting crazy. During the quake, our cats were truly spooked and seemed to be gripping the floor with their claws. once the quake had passed, they were fine and stopped running around like mad.

Apparently the epicenter of the quake was only a few miles from our house, which is why we heard the booming sound and why the earth seemed to shake so drastically. We are just thankful to be unhurt and to have our house undamaged.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I know I'm a day early, but Merry Christmas to all who may read this blog. May the season bring joy to all, and may the message of the Christ Child lend us hope.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Too cold to ride?

I'd originally thought that I'd never find a day when it would be too cold to ride. Tonight, I found that day. It wasn't too cold for me, but it was too cold for my scooter. I've decided that when I ride to work, I'm going to start putting the scooter in the garage at work so that when I come out of work at 10:00 pm, the throttle isn't frozen.

I got on the scoot tonight to ride home, and tried the throttle. It moved, but then it stuck open. I was able to adjust it manually, but it was sticky. To make the ride even more interesting, the wind was gusting so strongly that I almost got blown over a few times, then, another vehicle came up behind me along Landis Valley road, and I thought, oh great, someone's going to tailgate me in this awful wind, with my sticky throttle. Then his lights went on, you know, the red and blue ones, so suddenly, my thought changed to "oh crap!"

I pulled over, he went around me, and I breathed a sigh of relief. There must have been something going on up toward the airport because there was another officer buzzing through the intersection at 501 and Valley road.

When I finally arrived at home, my entire body hurt from fighting the wind. Rain, light snow, even a little ice, I can deal with, but I hate wind. Wind is unpredictable and can really catch you off guard. So, from now on, when I know it will be very windy, I'll leave my scooter at home and take the car. I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid.

Ride safe.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nice surprize: Take 2

I went to Lancaster Honda today to pick up my prize. As stated in my previous blog entry, I was the chosen winner of a Honda CRF-50F dirt bike. It was wonderful to receive such a fantastic gift that I can put under the tree for Christmas morning.

During a time when my family is struggling to make ends meet, this little blessing has opened my eyes and heart to realize that God is in control and is watching out for my family and me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nice surprize

God is good. Of that I am convinced. This has been a very rough couple of months. My wife has been in and out of the hospital since Mid October and at this point will be unable to return to work until possibly next school year. So, our financial situation is somewhat...difficult.

Thankfully, we've had our church family and friends to back us up and my employer has been more than fair and flexible, which has been a wonderful encouragement.

Christmas was going to be very minimal for us this year...until I recieved a phone call earlier today. Lancaster Honda had a drawing for a Honda CRF-50 dirt bike. I put my name in, figuring that I never win anything. Well, I've apparently won. My son won't forget this Christmas soon, I am sure.

It was a great encouragement to me and my wife in our current financial situation to not have to worry about finding that special something for our son. So, I repeat;

God is good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Visibility

It's cold, wet, and cold. It gets dark earlier, and it's cold. There's a lot of cloud cover which cuts down on winter visibility, not to mention that it's cold. I think you get the general idea.

It seems that the winter months bring out the stupid in people, so we intrepid few who still ride in the frigid weather must take extra care to be visible and watch for those who think we aren't. Lights are good if you can afford to mod your bike, but if not, reflective strips and tape help some. Bright colors are a big plus.

I had a strip of tape across the back of my brown jacket, but it began to crumble and came off in pieces. I do have some on my helmet still and it has held up better since my helmet is a solid object. I've taken to wearing an orange hunting vest which serves a dual purpose. Not only is it "blaze orange" but it's also an extra layer of warmth over my torso. I've found that if my chest is warm, the rest of my body is warm as well. This is simple biology since the most important systems of the body are found in the chest and head and will draw heat to themselves from the extremities if they begin to feel cold. If they are warm, the rest of the body does not have to give up as much of its heat, though some capilaries in the fingers and toes may constrict still, causing them to become a little cold.

In any event, stay safe if you're out there in these colder dreary months. There's still a bunch of nimrods out there who seem to think the road belongs to them, so ride safe.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back to the woods

I love the outdoors, especially during the fall and winter. Deer season opened on Monday here in Pennsylvania, and I had my first opportunity to get out into the woods this season. I took my Daniel Wession .357 Magnum revolver with me, hopped on the scooter and went up toward SGL 46. My best friend was planning to meet me on the edge of another friend's hunting land and we planned to walk through to the game lands. When I got to the turn-off, I was reminded of how interesting it can be to drive a scooter on mud. It rained last night, so the dirt road was slick. I went under the Turnpike, through a tunnel that a small creek runs through in company with the dirt road, and worked my way up the muddy road on the other side with my back tire spinning most of the way. I was able to get up the hill and parked the scoot on it's center stand on a fairly level spot.

My buddy arrived a little after I did and we geared up and walked into the woods. It was a very pleasant morning for a hike. There was a little light rain now and again, but only for a few minutes at a time. We walked and talked for about 2.5 miles, but didn't see any deer, not that we were seriously expecting to see any since we were making plenty of noise. All in all, it was relaxing, though my thighs are feeling the strain of the exercise.

I left the woods around 9:30 and went back down mountain road toward Rt. 72, and stopped to take a photo of "Hope Church" which is a pretty little stone church building at the corner of Mt. Hope Drive and Mountain Road, just north of Elstonville. Unfortunately, the building's front door was recently boarded up. Just the same, I got a picture of the building with my scooter out in front.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Riding at sunset

I haven't had much time to ride over the past few days other than to and from work. My son and I went for a two hour ride on Saturday. It was a little chilly, but enjoyable just the same.

I did get the above picture on my way home from work this evening. The sunset was breathtaking.