Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coffee & Cacti

We didn't do much for our four days off over Thanksgiving. We aren't big on holidays or celebrating but we do appreciate the days off.

Saturday dawned clear so we decided to ride to coffee. The ladies at the Coffee Culture Annex are always ready with a smile and on Saturday I even got a leaf pattern in my latte foam.

(double tall decaf vanilla soy latte)

(latte with lemon poppy seed scone)

We didn't get out of coffee until after noon and we decided we didn't really feel like riding anywhere. The sun was shining, it was fairly warm and we didn't feel like being wrapped up in so many layers.

We rode home. I made us some lunch, we watched a little local college football and then headed outside at half-time. We figured we'd rake a few leaves, but ended up cutting down our persimmon tree. We've been wanting to do it for the entire 5 years since we bought our house, but were waiting for the laurels we planted under it to grow up. They will help block the view of and from our neighbors 2-story house.

* * * * *

Later in the afternoon Troubadour noticed our Zygocactus (aka Christmas cactus) was blooming. My mom gave us the little shoot about 18 months ago. The little pot is only 3 inches tall and about 2 inches wide at the top. It didn't bloom last year, just added more leaves. We were surprised to see the color this year.

(Zygo cactus)

(Zygo cactus sitting on a tea tin)

Will be interesting to see if the rest of the buds open.

- Au Revoir

"I bought a decaffeinated coffee table, you can't even see the difference." - Author Unknown

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What do you get.....

When you cross a motorhome with a motorcycle?

(picture from interweb)

....and what would you call it?

When you cross motor-home with motor-cycle, you get motorhome or motorcycle.

Hmmmm, maybe a motorhomecycle,or would that be a motorcyclehome.

Okay, technically it is a fifth wheel, but it sounded so much better as a motorhome.

- Au Revoir

"Sometimes imagination pounces; mostly it sleeps soundly in the corner, purring." - Terri Guillemets

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stop Touching Me

It is 35 degrees outside and I feel too lazy to go for a ride. Troubadour is out auditing another Team Oregon class with none other than 'the man' so I decided to look through our iPhoto album just for fun. It contains thousands of photos we have taken over the years

I found some pictures of Sir Baxter (RIP) and Squire Basil from a few years ago and thought I'd share.

Baxter was one year old when we brought him home from the shelter in the fall of 2003.

At some point we thought maybe he needed a little companion. In August 2005 one of Troubadour's coworkers had a stray kitten show up. She couldn't keep him so we went to take a look. It was love at first sight and we took him home with us that afternoon. Since Sir Baxter was a knight and all knights should have a squire we named him Squire Basil.

We were surprised at how close they were in markings. If you couldn't see Basil's white feet and chest you'd think he was a mini Baxter.

Baxter was not too thrilled about the little creature we'd brought into his domain. He preferred not to be bothered with Basil so Basil resorted to waiting until Baxter was asleep or had his eyes closed and he'd sneak up to him and lay beside him as close as he could get.

As Basil got a little older he also got a little bolder and would approach Baxter when he was awake.

(I sneak)

Baxter was always quite patient with him, but he always had a look on his face that said, "why did you bring him here?"

It was like little kids in the back seat of a car - "he's looking at me", followed by "he's touching me".

Every once in a while Basil would get close and couldn't resist trying to play with Baxter. What follows is a series of photos from one of those encounters.

It drove Baxter nuts, but wherever he went Basil had to follow:

(Even as an adult he had to be near Baxter)

Sometimes we would catch them actually snuggled up and sleeping together. These times were very rare so we always managed to grab a camera.

(Basil giving me the stink eye for disturbing them)

Baxter passed away about 3 years ago now. We have debated about getting another kitten. Something for Basil to play with and keep him company, but I don't think he is nearly as patient as Baxter was. Basil has gotten a little bitchy with his old age and he is 3-4 years older than Baxter was when Basil came home.

So for now Basil will be an only cat, so long as we stay away from the shelter that is. A cute kitteh we can't resist.

(Baxter playing cute)

- Au Revoir

"No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch." ~ Leo Dworken

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday Ride to Triangle Lake

Sunday started out a little on the chilly and cloudy side. The temperatures were in the low 40's but it wasn't raining. Perfect weather to try out the new Tour Master Synergy Heated Jacket Liner that Troubadour bought for me on Saturday. The jacket liner has heating coils in the sleeves, front, back and even the collar.

A little back story.....

On Saturday we were at Discount Motorcycle Parts in Eugene looking at all the farkles and goodies they'd received since we last visited the shop. They had a display of this years heated jacket liners as well as leftovers from last year. Troubadour has been trying to talk me into purchasing a heated jacket liner since he bought his two years ago. I'd resisted until we noticed on Saturday that this year they changed the heat controller to a dual controller like the ones that Gerbings uses, and I've not heard good things about the reliability of Gerbings controllers. The new ones also have two knobs rather than push buttons. Hard to use with winter gloves on.

This prompted me to agree to purchase one now, as to avoid a newer one with the new controller later. I don't know if they make them in ladies sizes, but they only had men's in stock. I finally decided on the men's extra small. Not too snug of a fit and the arms were long enough - hooray.

Fast forward to Sunday.......

Troubadour hooked up the radios, made sure the plug for the jacket was out from under my seat and readied the bikes. Next came suiting up for a chilly ride, which requires a bit more thought to the layers. What I wore included the following: Under Armor knee-high snowboard socks, peel and stick disposable heated insoles, riding boots, yoga pants, Rev'it Sand pants with rain liner and quilted liner, long sleeved t-shirt, heated jacket liner, Rev'it Siren Jacket with rain liner, Columbia polar buff for my neck and Fieldsheer Aqua sport gloves. I felt a little like a kid wearing a snow suit all bundled up and hard to move. However, when I was on the bike it was easy to maneuver and not restricting.

I did notice after 30 or so miles that the controller for the jacket liner had come loose off the velcro strap on my leg and was hanging. I had trouble cinching the velcro up tight enough. The section of hook and loops were not spaced back far enough that they could be done up any smaller. Therefore it was loose on my leg and the controller clip didn't want to stay put. As I was re-clipping it one handed while riding (not recommended) I inadvertently turned it on. Up to this point I didn't feel cold so I hadn't bothered to try it out. It wasn't until my back started to warm up that I glanced down and realized that I had turned it on to medium while re-hooking the controller. I clicked it down to low and left it on.

Wow. It was a like a hug from a warm snuggly blanket while riding. As much as I resisted purchasing a heated jacket liner I can't say that I regret it. I left it on the rest of the day. It was like the heated seats in our Subaru. Nice on a chilly day.

We headed South and stopped in Veneta for a photo op. We have a QWERTY game on our local forum - a city for each letter of the alphabet in order, and the next city needed was a V.

We stopped for petrol at a Shell station in Veneta. (Paid $3.83/gallon for regular) While Troubadour was in using the facilities I saw that Mr. Happy matched the colors of Shell and snapped a photo.

From Veneta we headed west on Highway 126 towards the coast. After V comes W so we stopped in Walton for the next picture. The same forum member cannot get two letters in a row so Max was the subject for W.

From Walton we decided to head towards the coast as far as Mapleton and turn onto Highway 36 and make a loop.

Turned right at Mapleton and headed down the back country twisties. At Triangle Lake we pulled over to use the facilities and make a spot of tea with the Jetboil. I used the time while the water was heating to take a few pictures.

I thought about taking a picture of all the leaves on the ground and opted for a boot shot. I was thinking of Bobskoot and how he likes to have pictures of feet. Sorry Bobskoot, my feet are hidden in my boots.

And one without the zoom. Any wonder it is hard to find riding pants long enough - my pants are a men's tall and they are just barely long enough. This shot is only from the knees down.

(Troubadour heating water for tea)

After warming my hands up on the cup of tea I decided to wander and take a few more pictures of the scenery.

In that last shot you will notice that while I was out on the dock taking pictures, Troubadour was sitting at the picnic table, also taking pictures. He decided not to blog about the day, but gave me permission to share his photographs. I started as the photographer, then I became the subject.

And I'll end with one of my favorite shots of the day. This is the last picture I took on Sunday before we packed up and rode straight for home. It just sums up an awesome afternoon out riding in the crisp autumn air.

- Au Revoir

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face." ~ John Donne