Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spousal permit test - First attempt

The wife went to try for her permit this afternoon. She didn't pass, but only by one question. If I remember correctly, I only got to question 16 before I had used up all my wrong answers. She's going to brush up on the book some more and we'll go back again on Friday.

I went for a ride with my pastor again today. His scooter is back in working order again, and he's been riding around all day to visit various parishioners.

I was impressed at the lean he's able to achieve when cornering. He scrapes the center stand almost every time. Of course, he's about 250 pounds and riding on 10" wheels, so he's riding a bit lower than I.

All in all, it's been a pretty nice day. I'm sitting next to my kid on the couch, playing computer and video games with him. I'd go out and mow the lawn, but it's brown and not even the weeds are growing.

Friday, June 25, 2010


This is getting entirely too irritating.

It seems like every day now, when I check blogger to see if there are any comments, there are one or two, and they are always represented by little boxes filled with Chinese language characters, with a link to some site that has nothing to do with the content of this one.

Need I say it? I hate spam and spammers! I especially detest those nefarious individuals involved in phishing and such.

The "bot" filter obviously does no good, and the disclaimer I've enabled has done no good either.

I will continue to reject comments that contain links, are not in English, or have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Some of my readers do post links to legitimate websites with helpful information, and those will still be posted.

It's not bad enough that my Internet service is horrible. It seems now I have to wade through a bunch of muck just to blog a little.

Ok, enough griping, I have to go to work now. The scoot's low on gas, so I'm going to take the Sabre instead.

I was able to obtain the official replacement Honda radiator hose I needed. Had I known it was just the hose, and not the clamps that were to go with it, I would have shopped around and found the correct diameter hose. It cost $26.99 + tax.

With that, I really need to head out the door. I hope my readers have a better day than I have had so far.

Ride safe.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No riding today...and other odd ramblings

Yesterday started as it normally does, save for a slight tickle in my throat, and a mild mucousy cough. I went to work, came home played some PS2 games with the kid, then took a nap, a very long nap for me, which should have been a sign of certain doom.

Anyway, after my nap, my wife wanted to go ride the scooter, so I said sure, and off we went. I was feeling a little weak, but decided I'd be ok if I got some more rest. Shelly did very well, and even went on the short road between the parking lots. She is tightening up her turns a little, and is talking seriously about getting her motorcycle permit.

After we returned from the park, I rested some more, and actually felt worse when it was time to leave for church. By the time we got to church, I felt like my lungs were being stretched out and I was very lightheaded. We ended up at the doctor's office not long after that.

The PA who saw me said I didn't have bronchitis or anything like that yet, but that I was suffering from a bad sinus infection. Oh the joy! She gave me a prescription for a Z-Pack, and sent me on my way.

So, I've been laying on the couch, alternately sleeping and messing about with my various video game contraptions.

I really wish I were riding instead.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lights on the horizon

It's the middle of June, and already, a phenomenon I've observed every year I've lived in Lancaster County is occurring. I noticed it last night while I was riding my scooter home from work around dusk.

The cornfields on either side of the road were flashing and flickering with millions of little yellow lights. Fireflies seem to abound in the cornfields of Lancaster county. I'm not certain why, but it is beautiful to behold.

I pulled my scooter to a safe place on the side of the road and watched a while, wishing I had a camera capable of capturing the scene. The gentle putt-putt of the engine accenting the sounds of the night.

Rural Lancaster County is so peaceful and idyllic and is, in may ways, out of place. Not ten miles from where I sat, Lancaster City crouched like some noisy urban beast, ready to devour the peace and serenity of its surroundings. Even so, compared to most cities, Lancaster is small and relatively tame. The urban sprawl turns into Suburban sprawl, which suddenly mixes with patchy corn fields and farms, tapering off into farmland for as far as the eye can see.

And at night, in the late spring and summer, that farmland comes alive with lights far more beautiful than any city can produce, flickering and flashing by the millions.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Learning curve

When I first learned to ride a scooter, it was an old Honda Aero 50. This was in the fall of 1993. I was in my first year of college at a little known Bible institute in Pottersville New York. One of the guys in my dorm, remembered now only by his nickname, Shleppi, owned the scooter and let me use it on occasion to pop around here and there.

It cruised at about 25, only hitting 30 to 35 on downhill slopes, but putzed along well enough with it's 4 stroke engine. I didn't know much about scooters then, but it got me into wanting one for myself eventually.

So, the time finally came when I would have my first scooter delivered to my home. The little red bugger arrived on the back of a truck, and I decided to ride it to work, only to nearly run into a curb while pulling out of my development.

Now, over two years later, I'm teaching my wife how to ride. I've learned from my experiences and she has come a long way in the four practice rides she has taken. Yesterday, we went back to the parking lot near the East Petersburg pool, and she rode with confidence. She is actually considering going to get her permit this week so we can ride some back roads together.

I wish I could get her a scooter of her own, perhaps a cute little 125 with a coat of pink paint, but money is tight at the moment, so she will just have to use mine.

It's been exciting for me to see how quickly she has taken to riding. She's still a little wobbly, but she is getting the idea of leaning and cornering. We'll still take it slow for a while, but I am thrilled to finally have my wife as a riding companion.

Breaking News: New Exfoliant Discovered!

It's the tail end of spring, and motorcyclists across Pennsylvania are riding around the countryside without their helmets. I rarely ride without mine since I really like keeping my brains inside my head; however, the other day, I forgot to grab mine, was locked out of the house since my wife had our son at an appointment and I'd forgotten my house key inside, so I decided to take the risk and ride the motorcycle without it.

This is how I discovered a new exfoliant! Riding without a face-shield in the late spring is a great way to rid yourself of all that dry facial skin that built up over the winter. After riding several miles through swarms of bugs, you're likely to have little skin left on your face at all.

This led me to think about the other great exfoliants we motorcyclists and scootsters encounter.

  • Sand - Found in many places around the world, this natural exfoliant will not only take your bike out from under you, but it will also take a fair amount of skin off your arms, legs, face, torso, etc., should you leave them unprotected.
  • Gravel - Like sand, but courser. This exfoliant will leave you with brand new baby skin, after it grows back in a few weeks.
  • Birds - I have yet to actually hit one of these while riding, but I can imagine one of these would at least do a good job of changing skin coloring to a nice hue of blueish-purple if it hit unprotected skin. Perhaps not an exfoliant, but it would save the cost of a tattoo artist.
  • Pavement in general - I've been down once, thankfully only once, and I was wearing a protective jacket at the time, so I was unable to enjoy the exfoliating properties of pavement, but from what I have seen of other bikers and scootsters who have gone down, I can attest to the fact that it is, indeed, able to clean the skin right off of unprotected flesh.
After my discovery, I decided that I do not need to exfoliate that much, so I will make a concentrated effort to never forget my helmet again.

I've also had a reminder not to wear shorts while riding the Saber. I burned my calf on the left tailpipe while trying to put it on the center stand, and I almost went down when an idiot in an Escalade decided to pull out in front of me. So, I don't want to exfoliate that way either.

Disclaimer: Please take the above as tongue in cheek. I know many bikers have been seriously hurt in accidents, and my heart goes out to them; however, I think it is a good thing for us all to remember that the dangers we face are real. I was glad of the reminders I had this week, and thought it might be fun to write about it in a jovial manner.