Monday, January 30, 2012

Captcha Conundrum


For the last week or two I have been having troubles posting comments on peoples blogs. At first I thought it was just the blogs that had switched over to the new Blogger style, but I'm not so sure anymore.

After drafting a comment I type in the captcha and click preview. The preview will come up and when I click publish it reverts back and tells me my captcha does not match to please try again.

Sometimes I have to do this two or three times before my comment posts. It is really starting to perturb me.

At some point I thought it may have been my iPad correcting the captcha word. That in itself is a pain, but it is doing it on my iMac both at home and at the office.

Is anyone else having troubles posting comments or it just "the nut at the end of the wrench" so to speak?

- Au Revoir

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." - Franklin D. Roosevel

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You Want Fries With That?

It is amazing the pictures you find online when poking around. Some days I find some and save them for later. I don't know the story behind this particular contraption or even where I found the picture since it was several months ago.

It did made me shake my head and chuckle too. It was just too fugly not to share.

I am hoping this is just a novelty for parades and such. I really don't know how you could steer it.

Although...... if one were to ride/drive it, I think they'd need to do it dressed as the Hamburglar.

Now that would complete the picture, ridiculous as it may be. If you're going to go for that look, take it all the way baby.

- Au Revoir

"Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked." - Ralph Ellison (Battle Royal)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Did It......


Well after months of humming and hawing and Troubadour's urging, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered some new riding boots.

I had been drooling over the Sidi Jasmine Rain Boots for a multitude of reasons. One being they have excellent reviews for a seemingly excellent product. Another reason would be that they are vegan and made of Lorica instead of leather.

In searching for them a month or so ago I noticed that they were being discontinued but of course were out of my size. I was a disappointed sad panda. That is until Troubadour noticed that Sidi was coming out with an updated version called the Sidi Livia Rain Boot. <---{click link for details & video}

Still vegan but now with "internal shifting pad with traction points." The main difference for me between the Livia and Jasmine is that shifting pad. I think this will help with the longevity of the boot and worth it for the extra $20.

On closer comparison of the pics another big difference that you can see is the "multi panel Achilles area for maximum comfort." This looks as though it will help them break in and for flexing when new, as not to look like I am wearing ski boots and stomping about. They also have more reflective piping and larger velcro areas over the zippers. So far, I am happy I stalled so long, I mean waited so patiently.

I ordered tonight from Revzilla. I find them to be quite reputable and that is where I also ordered my Rev'it Siren Jacket. They are shipping via UPS standard ground and should ship within 1-2 business days.

I am hoping to see them before month end, but we'll see.

Stay tuned for an update on fit, finish and first impressions.

- Au Revoir

"You may delay, but time will not." - Benjamin Franklin


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Renovation Innovation........

Recently Nikos, from 'Nikos Out of this World' blog, posted up about his bathroom remodeling project. This got me to thinking about all we have remodeled in our home.

When we closed on our house in June 2006 we knew it needed some renovations. It had been vacant for 9 months and prior to that a rental and the renters had two indoor dogs. Just how much we would renovate I don't think we imagined when we purchased it. No contractors have been engaged, 100% of the work has been done ourselves. Family did assist in replacing a kitchen and living room window though.

(2006: 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 912 sq ft, built in 1970)

One of the first things we did was paint the exterior and do some landscaping. Then came replacing all of the windows.

(I think Spring 2007)

(Fall of 2011 - plants have grown up)

By November 2006 we were ripping out the nasty carpeting in all but the two bedrooms and painting the sub flooring. Over the winter holidays we used our time off to renovate the bathroom right down to the studs. In order to make it larger we took out a hall closet that was invading the bathroom and a half wall in the kitchen. This also opened up the kitchen so that the fridge could be moved away from the patio door.

(kitchen prior to moving in - half wall on left has to go)

(kitchen after moving wall - which prompted bathroom remodel)

(bathroom when we moved in)

(bathroom after remodel)

(half of living room when we moved in)

(the same corner after remodel and installing pellet stove)

(the kitchen prior to remodel and fixing ceiling issue)

(And kitchen after remodel - one day I'll buy a black fridge to match)

For those of you that are interested or are bored have too much time on your hands, take a peek at the following two videos Troubadour painstakingly put together two or so years ago to document the process.

Part 1:

Part 2:

After these videos were made we built a walk in closet in our spare room so that we could wall off it's second closet, which was back to back to the closet in our room. We have just started remodeling our closet. We've torn it all apart and are pushing it back into the old closet to make our bedroom larger and the closet a little larger too. We've scraped the ceiling and ripped out the last of the carpeting. Soon we'll rebuilt the closet and paint the floor, walls and ceiling.

After that is complete all that is left is installing the cork flooring throughout the house, installing and painting all of the baseboards and trim, and ordering and installing a few more doors that need to be updated. It's a good thing we work well as a team.

One day we will be finished and we can't wait. We are really getting tired of renovations.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our world and what we do during the cold wet winter days that aren't always great for riding.

- Au Revoir

"Teamwork is the ability to work as a group towards a common vision, even if that vision becomes extremely blurry." - Author Unknown


Monday, January 9, 2012

Comfort Food

Every once in a while I find a recipe that becomes a favorite. A few months ago I saw a recipe for something called Tater Tot Casserole and I was intrigued. Homemade chili topped with 'cheddar' and tater tots and baked. It sounded good so I tried it. As with any recipe that I try, the first time I make it according to the exact recipe and directions just to see what it is like, from there I tweak it a little each time I make it.

I have made the casserole several times and it has become my go to cold weather comfort food. I make it in my large 4 quart glass casserole dish and it feeds both of us dinner for two nights and both lunches for at least one day, sometimes two days. I made this for dinner tonight and took pictures so that I could share.

(Tater Tot Casserole)

I can't remember where I found the recipe online. I find some that don't have print options and I need to cut and paste them into a word document to print so I don't end up with pages of unnecessary ads and such. I feel bad though, as I am doing that very thing now, I don't know how to add in a print option just for a recipe.

The following is a vegan recipe, which can be made carnivorous fairly easy.


1 Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (Mexican style with juice)
1 Cup Frozen Corn Kernels
2 Fresh Jalapenos (diced - less if you want milder chili)
1 Green Pepper (diced)
1 Cup Chopped Celery
4-5 Brown Mushrooms (chopped)
1/4 Cup Cilantro (coarsely chopped)
1 Onion (diced)
2 Cloves Garlic (sliced) (I use 5 cloves)
1 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (you can use soy sauce)
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 pinches Paprika
2 Cups Daiya Vegan Shredded Cheddar Cheese
32 oz Bag of frozen Tater Tots (I use a generic brand)
8 oz Vegan Ground Beef Substitute (I used Yves Taco Stuffers)
* use cooked ground beef and dairy cheese for non-vegans

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 375˚.

In large frying pan saute onion, green pepper, jalapenos, celery, and mushrooms until soft. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, and corn. Mix together and add Braggs (or soy sauce) cumin, oregano, chili powder, hot sauce and paprika. Mix again. I also sprinkle in some red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and if using, add vegan ground beef substitute (or cooked ground beef).

I find that the sauce is a little runny and I like my chili thicker so I mix up a little cornstarch and cold water and thicken this mixture a bit. As the veggies cook in the oven it tends to thin a bit. When the chili is to desired thickness add chopped cilantro. Stir and pour into greased casserole dish. It should resemble the following:

(vegan chili)

Sprinkle with Daiya. If using real cheese, cheddar or pepper jack would work well. If using vegan shredded cheese Daiya is by far the best tasting and it melts.

(topped with Daiya shredded cheddar)

Gently pat down the cheese to make a flat surface and place the tater tots on top for equal coverage. Yes, I always place them in this pattern. I'm crazy that way.

(with tater tots - placed just right)

Place in a 375˚ oven for 30-40 minutes. Time will vary depending on oven calibration and how crispy you want your tater tots.
Finished product:

(30 minutes in the oven)

Let rest for a few minutes until it stops bubbling. Scoop onto plates or bowls and enjoy.

(On salad plates for portion control)

I have calculated the calorie content for the casserole I made tonight using the Yves Taco Stuffers and Daiya cheese. Total calories were 3325; divided into 6 servings is 554 calories per serving; divided into 8 servings is 416 calories per serving. Fat content varies depending on cheese, tater tot, and meat options.

For variation you can change up the spices and if carbohydrates are of no concern it would be tasty with cornbread or french bread for dipping.

I hope you venture to try the recipe and enjoy it. Let me know if you do.

- Au Revoir

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." - Luciano Pavarotti

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chuckles & Grins.....

While perusing iPhoto looking for a few specific pics for an upcoming renovations post, I came across the following picture and had to share.

And if you can't tell by the really short hair it is yours truly upon Troubadour's old 2001 Triumph Sprint ST.

I cannot even begin to count the thousands of miles I spent hanging on to the back of that thing. Good times and fond memories.

But wait, I can't forget a picture of Troubadour taken the same day.....

Hmmmm such choices, look at the pretty bike, or look at the pretty view? I had quite the dilemma that day .....

This blast from the past was brought to you by the letter 'C' - as in crazy for not wearing ATGATT. At least we've since changed our evil ways and now we always ride ATGATT.

- Au Revoir

"We do not remember days, we remember moments." - Cesare Pavese (The Burning Brand)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Custom Bike Build Off

In a previous post regarding the International Motorcycle Show in Seattle, I included a picture of a custom bike designed by Chris Flechtner of Speed Shop Designs, LLC.

We took many photos of the bike that day and I wanted to share the rest of them.

Although there were well over a dozen bikes in the custom bike build off, I thought that his bike was by far was the most creative and aesthetically pleasing. And yes, I made sure I put my vote in for it to win. ( it looks like he won People's Choice)

(Mr. Flechtner with his custom bike)

According to the informational sign he displayed with the bike, the details are as follows:

Owner: Christopher Flechtner
Builder: Speed Shop Design, LLC
Bike Name: Beezerker
Make/Model/Year: 2010 Speed Shop Design Beezerker
Paint By: Speed Shop Design
Engine Type: 1965 BSA 650 cc
Engine Mods: Twist clutch, SU Carburetor
Chassis Type: Salt Flat Racer
Chassis Mods: One off design w/internal exhaust
Special Features: Too many to list on the sign

(front view shown with info sign)

(rear view - very sleek machine)

Pictures do not do the bike justice. It really is a thing of beauty in person. It's very creative, but me thinks it wouldn't be too comfortable to ride though. Ahhh to have that kind of imagination.

- Au Revoir

"Trust that little voice in your head that says: Wouldn't it be interesting if ....... and then do it." - Duane Michals "More Joy of Photography"