Friday, August 31, 2012

Morning Challenge

Yesterday, Martha over at Living Among Tourists, put out a challenge.

"Show your town or your sky at 7 o'clock in the morning wherever you are.  Doesn't have to be fancy.  Just share what your light looks like at this time of the morning."

Good thing it doesn't have to be fancy.  Here is the view from our back deck at 7:03 this morning.  The sunshine is coming through our Redbud Forest Pansy tree.

(Light at 7:03 am in Corvallis, Oregon)
Thanks Martha for the creative challenge.  If you decide to participate, please click on this -----> LINK  and let Martha know you have done so.

- Au Revoir

"  There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures." - James Thurber

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ace Cafe Summer Shakedown

Some of you may know from reading Sonja's blog that we met in Tacoma on Saturday to visit and attend the "Meet at the Ace - A Summer Shakedown 2012 Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Festival" sponsored by the Ace Cafe London.  In case you haven't seen it, Sonja's trip report can be read by clicking this link ---->  Link

Troubadour and I arrived in Tacoma around 10:00 am and drove straight to the hotel.  We knew we were too early to check in but thought we could leave our car parked there and save the $10 parking fee at the LeMay Car Museum (location of the motorcycle show). The hotel had no problem with that and gave us a pass to park in their underground garage.

As we were walking out we noticed this loaded BMW from British Columbia.  I'd be worried those auxiliary lights would be taken out by a rock.

(Loaded BMW)

(some serious lights on the crash bars)
We wandered over towards the LeMay and realized the bikes were still rolling in.  We thought it best to wait until later to commence the drooling.  And so we walked.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we'd never really been in Tacoma.

(Random bridge in Tacoma)
We found ourselves at the MOG - Museum of Glass.  We'd heard from our friend RickRick that it was an interesting place to tour.  

(Museum of Glass - Tacoma, WA)

(Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA)
The museum wasn't quite what we expected.  More of a gallery of fancy pieces than any history or factoids.  We probably should have looked it up online first. I did take a few pictures that I will share in a future post.

We met Sonja and Roland at Quickie Too and had a nice lunch and were able to talk and visit and eat way too much.  Lunch was good but I did find it was a little salty judging by how much water I would later drink.

Here are some of the highlights from the motorcycle show.

(Summer Shakedown - LeMay Car Museum in silver building on left)


(1937 Triumph Tiger 90) 


(1956 Triumph TR6)

(Suzuki 125 cc)

(Triumph Daytona in imperial purple and silver)

(Yamaha XS-650)

(Yamaha 250 cc)

(Bikes with the Tacoma Dome in background)

(Gorgeous 1973 Triumph Hurricane X 75 - only 1,048 were produced)

(1973 Triumph Hurricane X 75 - designed by Craig Vetter)

(interesting BMW by Puget Sound Autobody)

(vintage scooter)

(Pretty Lambretta scooter)

(Vintage Indian with sidecar)

(Vintage Sears motorcycle)

(Complete with authentic Pacific Northwest rust)

(Harley Davidson)
These are the niceset of the pictures I took of the motorcycles entered in the Summer Shakedown.  In a follow up post I will include pictures of the cars, motorcycles and scooters from the LeMay Car Museum.

This was the view from our hotel room window.  We stayed at the Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel.

(LeMay Car Museum and a lot of motorcycles)
to be continued.........

- Au Revoir

" Fun is about as good a habit as there is." - Jimmy Buffet

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oregon Slugs

When most people hear the term Oregon slug they think of the huge slugs that our state is known for.  Like the ones below we saw on a walking path on a late evening walk in June.

(Slug as long as Troubadour's hand)

(I put the camera down for a street view)

Lately when I have been thinking of slugs I've been thinking more of myself.  I hate to admit it, but I haven't been on Max since I parked it in the garage after coming home from the IMBC four weeks ago.  For all our talk of waiting for summer to get here to get more riding in, it seems I do most of my riding in the cooler months when we have less non-moto activities going on.

Troubadour has been auditing Team Oregon classes the last two weekends in anticipation of taking his training in September to become a classroom instructor to add to to his current range certification.  We've gone to coffee in the morning and then he has gone to class while I've ran errands in the car.  Too much stuff to try and carry on Max with no luggage.

I suppose I could have ridden somewhere in the afternoon but by the time I get home from errands I get lazy/sluggish and have just been hanging out with the cat. Which brings me to a whole other kind of slug.  The Basil Slug.

(Basil in his bed on the back deck - think he is comfy?)

(Basil enjoying the cool air from the A/C in the kitchen window)
I think I will have to start commuting on the bike just to get back in the saddle again.  All three miles each way.  One of these days I need to get saddle bags or a tank slapper inducing top case so I have no excuse not to commute on it.

- Au Revoir

"The time will come when Winter will ask you what you were doing all Summer." - Henry Clay

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Technicolor Gladius

I've had my 2009 Suzuki Gladius for approximately 18 months now.  Only the 2009 model year was imported into the USA.  I bought it new from the dealer in the Spring of 2011.  It was overstock and they were clearing them out $1,500 under MSRP.  The only two color combinations available in this country were the standard black on black and the blue and white that I purchased.

(Max posing for a photo)
According to an article on by Liam Marsden, Suzuki is launching a new Gladius with a Barry Sheene - 1970's RG500 inspired paint scheme.  The article can be read at this ------> link. It will only be available for a limited time and I am sure it won't be available in this country, but I thought it was a quite a striking paint scheme.

The following photos were taken from that article and full credits are given to Liam and the photographer, although my guess is they are stock photos originally released by Suzuki.  I like the way it looks with a belly pan too.

(photo from

(photo from
For those of you that don't know, Barry Sheene was a British World Champion Grand Prix motorcycle road racer.  Well according to this Wikipedia article he was.  I am sure there are a few people out there that can give some insight into his career such as Mr. James himself.

While I am not usually a fan of red and yellow color combinations I find this bike very striking.  I am a child of the 70's, that must be it.

(photo from

(photo from

So what do you think?  Are the Sheene inspired graphics a hit or a miss?  

If it was available when I purchased mine, I'm thinking I would have had to go with the Sheene bike.

- Au Revoir

" But what is of great importance to me is observation of the movement of colors." - Robert Delaunay

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday in Seattle

We woke Sunday, got ready for the day, went down to the continental breakfast and toasted a bagel and brought it back to the room.  In anticipation of the bagel being the only vegan option we brought some fresh ground peanut butter from home to accompany it.

While waiting for our friends to get ready we got in the car to find a Starbucks.  The hotel coffee was weak at best.

By the time we got back everyone was ready for the day.  We decided on heading back into Seattle to the waterfront as Jared was really interested in touring the USS Halsey. Tours were free.

Off we went. Parking was found after minimal fuss and we headed towards the ship.

(First stop - wrong pier)
Andrew asked some heavily armed men where we needed to be for the tour and they directed us to Pier 66 - the one with the line.

As we were walking to Pier 66 we noticed the HMCS Oriole was also docked and they displayed a sign stating free tours.  In case they wondered why no one actually took them up on the offer, there was absolutely no way we could find to get down to the ship.  No signs on the pier, no directions, nothing.

(HMCS Oriole - nice to see the Canadian Flag)
The HMCS Oriole according to Wikipedia, is a 31 meter (101 feet) sailing ketch based out of CFB Esquimalt in Victoria, BC and is currently the oldest commissioned vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy.  Read the entire article by clicking this link ----> link.

We lined up and began to wait.  It was nice and sunny.  Everyone waiting in line seemed to be in a good mood.  Someone from the ship's crew volunteered to dress up in a bull mascot outfit and work the crowd.  

(She volunteered for it)
We asked one of the Officers that were walking with her why the bull mascot.  We were informed that the bull represents Fleet Admiral William "Bull" Halsey Jr.  His motto was "Hit hard, hit fast, hit often."  The bull and the motto are depicted on the Halsey Crest.

Our view from the line:

(Looking left towards the USS Halsey)

(Looking right towards the very large Norwegian Pearl cruise ship)

I must say that cruise ship was huge. Having never been that close to one before I was surprised.  It was interesting watching them load it with provisions.  We laughed when we saw the boxes of instant ramen noodles being delivered.  Not what I'd expect on a cruise. Maybe it was for the crew.

(Norwegian Pearl cruise ship)

While standing in line I noticed the pattern of the railings and windows of a restaurant.  I had to take a picture.

(Anthony's restaurant - one of my favorite pics from the trip)
While looking into the water we noticed a few starfish - one that was missing a leg, and also a mama (or daddy) raccoon and it's baby that came out from under the pier to wash their paws then disappear again.

(Poor starfish - it will grow back I'm sure)

(Rare to see raccoons out during the day)

(Baby following behind)
There was a small wading pool on the pier and animals two-legged and four gathered to cool off.

(Cool water feels so good)

(Was fun to watch him bite at the waves)
Standing in line we could see the security check point.  Full fatigues, machine guns and bullet proof vests.  Those must have been so hot.

(That had to be hot - and I don't mean sexy)
After an hour or so of waiting in line it was time for us to enter.  They were taking us through in groups of 25-28.  Show your picture ID to get through the gate, then sit down for a quick orientation.  From there it was through the metal detectors and purse x-ray screening area, sign your name and rejoin the group.

View while standing on the dock waiting to board.  

(A large ship with large guns)
Pictures from on board:

(The black and white flag means the Captain is not on board)

( one MK45 MOD 4 5"/62 caliber gun mount)

(Using Windows 2000 Professional, really, they were)

(They wouldn't let us play this video game)

(Oh my, that is a large 'gun' you have there)

(Navy personnel with machine gun on Coast Guard vessel deterring bad guys)

(Pretty lady with a big gun chatting with Troubadour)

(Quick self portrait as we were waiting to leave the dock)
(While on the dock we were escorted to and from the ship by Navy Officers)
I am not a fan of war so it was good to hear that the destroyer, based out of San Diego, had recently returned from a tour in the gulf protecting people from pirates.  24 people were rescued.  Good for them.

We were all very hungry when leaving the ship so we decided on lunch at Anthony's Restaurant.  It is right on the pier we'd seen the food being served as we were standing in line before the tour.

There wasn't a lot on the menu that was vegan but what we found was delicious and it turns out was the best food we'd eat all weekend.  Troubadour and I each had a house salad with wasabi vinaigrette and a side dish of asian coleslaw and then shared the edamame.  It is great when you can eat off the appetizer menu.  Our bill, including Troubadour's $5 pint of Kiltlifter Ale, was only $18 (plus tax and tip).  

On the way out of the restaurant I noticed Mojo the Coho.  A coho salmon statue who's body was made from baseballs.  According to the sign, 51 of them were signed by the coaches and staff of the record setting 2001 Seattle Mariners.

(Mojo the Coho)

After lunch we wandered towards Pike Place once again for a quick look see. On the way I decided that if I ever go back to apartment or condo living I'd want to live in a place like this:

(Beautiful views of the waterfront)
......or the one beside it.  This one would do nicely too.

(Love all the patios with plants and pergolas)
I am continually amazed at the quality of the flowers on sale at Pike's Place.  There were very vivid bouquets at the stalls inside but too many people to stop and take a picture.  I did manage to stop at one of the stalls outside though.

(Gorgeous Oriental lilies)

(Colorful bouquets - these were only $5 a bunch)
Our friends were getting a little tired and the sun was getting to them so we decided to go back to the hotel and relax a bit.  They had a nap and we weren't tired so we headed off driving.  Yes, we found a Starbucks for a cold yummy coffee - since it was over 90˚F, then wandered a few shops.  Nothing too exciting.

We had a late dinner at Red Robin (nothing to write home about) and after some visiting in the hotel lobby until late called it a night.  The next morning after breakfast we all said our goodbyes and promised not to wait another 9 years before we see each other again.  I think camping would be great fun for the next meet up.

On the way home we stopped at Native Foods Cafe in Bridgeport Village, just south of Portland.  Whenever we are through that area at mealtime we try to stop by.  It is an entirely vegan restaurant and so nice to be able to pick whatever we want off the menu. We each had the special.  The only food porn of the trip.  Check out their menu by clicking this link ----> link.

(Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with a side of lemon-dill potato salad)
(Had to eat the battered pickle chips before putting the two halves of the burger together)

(Everything is made in house from the grain based meats to the sauces)
We washed it all down with some Native Iced Tea (organic hibiscus and wild berry tea sweetened with agave and made fresh daily) It was so good and we were so stuffed by the time we left.  Good thing we went and wandered around REI for a bit.  From REI we drove home.  Basil was glad to see us and immediately wanted outside.  Well actually I think he wanted to eat then go outside.

We had a great trip but were very happy to be home and sleep in our own bed.

- Au Revoir

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." - Emily Dickinson