Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year in Pictures

According to iPhoto we have taken 4,609 photos in the last year. Having noticed that, I decided as a final farewell to 2011 I'd do a year in pictures. A reflection of 2011 through a virtual rear view mirror.

Just a couple of photos that were taken in each month of 2011. Some months will have more pictures than others. Some months were busier than others and as a result we took more pictures.

No narrative, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves as a recap.














- Au Revoir

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go,
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

First Ride of Winter

Saturday dawned 33˚F and dry. Good excuse for a ride.

We decided to get geared up and ride to coffee. Our friends Josh and Meg were there and wanted to go for a ride in the afternoon. As we were sitting and drinking our coffee the sun came out and thoughts of an afternoon ride were welcome. We decided to ride to Salem to see what was going on at the Suzuki/Honda dealer.

We arranged to meet at 1:00 pm in North Albany. We took the back roads and arrived at 12:59 pm. It wasn't long before Josh and Meg arrived, but I still had a chance to take a quick picture or two.

(Troubadour checking the goods in his tail pack)

Soon we were all on our way. We meandered along more back roads. The sun was shining on our backs. I alternated my heated grips between high and low and kept the heated jacket liner on low. Between those items and the disposable heated insoles keeping my feet toasty warm it was a great ride.

The Suzuki/Honda dealer didn't have much in the way of bikes in stock. Meg is looking to upgrade from her 250cc beginner bike. Troubadour and I wandered and looked at their gear. I found a pair of knee high motocross socks that were a great deal at $9.99. It was the only purchase of the day. I have one pair of Under Armor knee high snowboard socks that are my go to riding socks because of their height. It is nice to add another pair. I think the new ones are a little larger though and will come over my knee.

(at least I resisted the black ones with pink lip prints all over them)

(go-to Under Armor socks - brown with pink polka dots)

On our way out of the store I had to take a picture of the Santa mannequin on the quad, also known as a four-wheeler.

Once outside we all stood around basking in the sunshine and eating some snacks. We figured we'd best ride towards home before the sun went down. I managed to take a picture as everyone was putting their earplugs in.

(Troubadour, Josh & Meg)

I knew from previous experience riding into the sun that I needed some electricians tape on the top of my helmet visor. This way when the visor is down the black tape blocks the low lying sun from blinding me through my sunglasses.

(tape coming off already and helmet needs a good scrubbing)

Unfortunately the piece I used wasn't quite long enough. It was great for heading straight into the sun but when the sun was to the side it was peeking around the tape and my shades. There were quite a few corners at the beginning of the ride home that I could not see through and so they were quite squared off. I sure hope Meg was far enough behind me she didn't witness it.

About half way home we split into two groups, Josh and Meg heading East to go home and we headed West to our home. A few more miles and the sun was low enough to dip behind some clouds. I had my eyesight and my riding groove back.

We arrived home at dusk and it was a balmy 41˚F outside. A great afternoon ride with awesome friends. It was nice to take advantage of the dry roads and sunshine for a quick afternoon ride. I think it was only 80 miles round trip but it was nice to get out and brush up on my skills after 3 weeks of not riding except to coffee and back.

- Au Revoir

"A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world." - Lois Wyse

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seattle - Day 2 - Bikes, Bloggers and Noshing....Oh My

For lunch on Saturday we walked to Cyber Dogs. We'd never been there before but the reviews online were great. The cafe was smaller than we'd imagined from their pictures. The food was very creative and what we had was tasty.

I had the El Bandito which was a dog topped with chili, cheese, avocado and salsa. (veganized so a fake cheese sauce rather than cheddar on top)

(Oh yeah, we were eating on a vintage Pac Man video game as a table)

Troubadour had the Lazlo the Dog - hunger up for the "Hungarian Goulash Dog" (dog topped with veggie beef, celery, carrots, and noodles stewed with Hungarian spices and topped with 'bacon' and kraut)

(Outside after eating)

We ate too much so it is a good thing we did more wandering after lunch. Sonja and her hubby went off shopping for the afternoon, Orin headed home and the rest of us returned to the show for an additional two-wheeled fix. Here are a few photos from the afternoon visit to the show.

(Troubadour on a 2012 Can Am Spyder)

They had an interesting display of furniture made from Harley parts:

(I don't think this will fit behind my desk)

There was an area called 'Dream Garage'. These are some of the bikes from that display:

(Norton Commando)

(Moto Guzzi)

(Ducati Diavel - Carbon Fiber)


And another from the custom bike build off:

The following bike was in the same display as the zebra bike. I had to get pictures from a few different angles.

I took a more pictures of the vintage motorcycles but will save those for a future post.

When we were done wandering I let everyone know I was hankering for an iced latte. Luckily there was a Tully's coffee in the convention center so we were able to sit a bit, have a drink, and discuss dinner plans. In texting/emailing between Bobskoot, Chuck, Sonja and Troubadour it was determined we'd all meet at Bahn Thai a little later. We laughed when we realized that Bahn Thai was right across the street from Bamboo Gardens where we'd eaten on Friday night. Having decided upon a dinner location we headed back to the hotel for a bit of respite prior to going to the restaurant.

We arrived at the restaurant with no problems and were seated promptly. Luckily Chuck made reservations for the lot of us. They had quite a large menu so it was difficult to decide. I chose the Garlic Tofu.

I can't remember what Troubadour chose and for some reason didn't get a picture of it. I think because the dishes came out one by one and his was last so we were all eating by the time his arrived.

We talked late into the evening until everyone parted ways.

Sunday morning we met Bobskoot and Mrs. Skoot in the breakfast room for a snack and a visit before checking out and heading to the Jade Garden for dim sum. We knew from previous experience to arrive about 10 am to avoid long lines. Parking was limited, but we managed to find spots for both vehicles.

Once inside we were immediately served with some tasty dishes.

(crab dumplings - hot and steaming up the camera lens)

(shrimp/scallop dumplings)

(Chinese broccoli)


No, they aren't vegan, but we made an exception for this day as it is tradition to do dim sum on Sunday before heading home. In being vegan we strive for good intentions, not perfection.

We sat and ate and visited and ate some more. When our bellies were sufficiently full we made our way outside to allow others to be seated.

We stopped for a picture or two on the way back to the cars. I saw this really neat balcony at the top of a building and it was very out of place with the rest of the exterior. It made me wonder who lives there.

(Bobskoot taking a picture of me taking a picture of him)

(Bobskoot and Mrs. Skoot)

We walked around a bit, said our goodbyes, hugged, and parted ways. When we arrived at our car we noticed someone had parked right behind us. Mind you we were in the last parking spot on the block so they really squeezed in between us and the corner. It doesn't look like they bumped the car so they must have had someone guiding them.

(Our car is on the right - inconsiderate f%^$*er is on the left)

* Handy traveling tip from Bobskoot - put your trailer hitch on when in the big city to keep people back a bit.

We decided to go down to Pike's Place Market before heading home. There were a lot of people so we didn't stay long. We did make a point to go by to say hello to Chuck and admire all his beautiful glass work.

Downstairs I noticed this book in a shop display window. I wonder why they chose an elephant for the cover.

And on the way back to the car I took a picture of one of the garage bays of The Pike Brewing Company.

(Pike Kilt Lifter Ruby Ale)

And this got me to thinking..... how many kilts would a kilt lifter lift, if a kilt lifter could lift kilts?


We made it home with no troubles. A great weekend was had and we already look forward to seeing everyone again. A big thank you to those that were able to make it and to those that couldn't, we hope to meet you/see you/ride with you in the new year.

Happy Holidays everyone,
and the very best in 2012 to you all.

- Au Revoir

"Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories." - From the movie An Affair to Remember