Friday, March 30, 2012

Handlebars and Water Vapor

What goes up must come down.....

After posting last week about the Rox bar risers we decided to install them Sunday afternoon.  The garage is unheated and the floor is really cold so the first thing we had to do was put on some boots.

(My Bog Boots on the left - Troubadour's Muck Shoes on the right)
I figured I'd best take a before picture of the handlebars in the stock position.

We picked the little chrome colored  hex nut covers off and I unscrewed the stock clamps. Troubadour graciously held the handlebars up for me.

 I installed the base of the 2" Rox risers and Troubadour slid the handlebar on top.

I thought it was a good sign that the cables and lines were long enough for the bars to be placed on top the risers, but we still needed more room to rotate the handlebar into position.  As it was, the brake and clutch levers and hand guards were facing the floor.  To try and gain a little more wiggle room we had to lift the tank which also entailed first removing the seat and the white side covers.  It is nice that the Gladius comes with a pivoting tank and a prop stick.

You can't really tell in that photo but the headlight has been flipped forward too.  It is nice that you can undo a few screws and it just leans forward.

This photo is taken from the front looking under the tank.  Oh look an air box.

Out comes the air box.......

We loosened as many zip ties (aka cable ties or zap straps) as we could but still the clutch cable was not long enough and the throttle cables were too short so when we tried to rotate the handlebar they would pull on the throttle body.  Not a good sign.

We decided it was just too much hassle to special order new longer lines so we were just going to put it all back together the way it was.  Cue a Sad Panda face.

It did give us (and by us I mean Troubadour) a chance to check the air filter.  It was nice and clean.  Unfortunately the oil has a little condensation in it but Max is due for an oil change anyway.

Rather than standing around watching Troubadour reassemble everything I decided to make myself useful and went back inside.  By the time he had everything together I had a late lunch ready for him. A nice batch of homemade broccoli soup made from scratch.  Yumm.  Sorry, no pics, we were too hungry.

The handlebars went up........the handlebars came back down.

The water vapor has been going up and subsequently has been coming back down as rain.  Copious amounts of rain.  This time around it has been raining for two days straight.

(It was raining while I was out getting groceries this morning)

I am sure everyone has heard those of us in the Pacific Northwest complaining of the rain this year (in between snow storms of course).  To put it into perspective I thought I'd give you some statistics published in our local newspaper this morning.  The title of the article was "Heavy rain expected; flood advisory in effect."

From last night until tomorrow morning we are to expect between 1.5" to 2" (3 to 5 cm) of rain here on the valley floor with up to 4" (10 cm) falling on the coastal mountain range.  That doesn't sound so bad until you hear some other figures.

(The puddles are starting to invade our driveway)

The Hyslop weather station between Albany and Corvallis has recorded 8.78" (22.30 cm) of rain between March 1st and March 28th.  Our average rainfall for March is only 4.24" (10.76 cm) so we have more than doubled our average and still have one more day to go.

Our average rainfall from January 1st through March is 16.10" (40.89 cm).  Last year we received only 14.73" (37.41 cm) through March.  This year Mother Nature raised her middle finger at averages and sent us a whopping 23.82" (60.50 cm) of rain in the first three months of the year. We've slogged through over 7" (17.78 cm) of extra rain and our seven day forecast shows nothing but more rain.  Is it any wonder our official State animal is the beaver. 

FYI - Be careful when on Google Images looking for a cute beaver picture - you never know what you'll see) 

But on the upside - the grass is really green.  Too wet to mow and almost a foot tall in some sections, but nice and green.

In the photo, just to the right of center in the back of the yard, you can just see our Star Magnolia trying it's best to bloom.  Unfortunately the blossoms are taking a beating from the rain as soon as they start to emerge.

Water vapor goes up......rain comes down.

ADDENDUM (03/31 at 7:29 am):
The headlines in the paper this morning are  "Midvalley withstands a deluge." Apparently the storm system has stalled above us and dropped another inch or so totaling 10.40" (26.41 cm) of rain this month and it is still raining.  If it doesn't stop raining today they predict we will beat the all time record of rainfall for March set in 1904 - 11.70" (29.71 cm). That is a lot of rain for 31 days.

- Au Revoir

"He was so benevolent, so merciful a man that, in his mistaken passion, he would have held an umbrella over a duck in a shower of rain." - Douglas William Jerrold

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Rox

Yesterday while in Eugene returning some extra boxes of cork flooring we stopped by Discount Motorcycle Parts to pick up my new bar risers.

We figured that a 2 inch pivoting bar riser might be just the thing for making Max a bit more comfortable for me on long rides.  A little more upright and a little less pressure on my wrists.  At $81, they were cheaper than purchasing a new Bonneville T-100.

Now we just need to find the time to install them and we'll cross our fingers the cables and lines are long enough.

Oh, what's that I smell?  Breakfast is ready.  Blueberry oatmeal breakfast cake, warm out of the oven with fresh hot coffee.  

(Homemade blueberry oatmeal breakfast cake and my favorite mug filled with coffee)

Mmmm must be a nice lazy Sunday morning, the best kind.

- Au Revoir
"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired." - Jules Renard

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hail Yes, We Rode......

Saturday dawned overcast and with a chill in the air.  We needed to take Lucy down to the Triumph shop in Eugene so our plan was to ride to coffee for a while and then head out from there.

A check of the outdoor thermometer revealed it was a balmy 36˚F outside.  With that kind of temperature I decided on the following for cool weather riding:  thick knee-high motocross socks, new Sidi Livia Rain boots, yoga pants,  Rev'it Sand pants with rain and quilted thermal liners, long sleeved turtleneck, t-shirt, Rev'it Siren jacket with Tour Master heated jacket liner and rain liner, Columbia polar buff around the neck, and Fildsheer Aqua Sport winter gloves.

I felt a little bulky with all of the gear on so I stepped on the scale.  Without helmet and gloves, I was wearing over 16 lbs of gear.  Yep, it was still winter.

We rode to coffee with no problems.  It wasn't raining and only a little road spray was coming off the tires of the other vehicles.

I had the usual at Coffee Culture:

(The usual - a double tall vanilla soy latte and a lemon poppyseed scone)
We visited for a few hours and geared up to leave.  It was sunny on and off with periods of sprinkles coming down.  Nothing too serious.  We'd talked outside the coffee shop before heading out so my fingers were a little chilly before putting my gloves on. The heated jacket liner was on low and I alternated my grips between low and high depending on the hot spots.

We stopped in Cheshire for a quick use of the facilities (darn that coffee) and I warmed my hands a bit on Lucy's muffler guard.

Back on the bikes we headed south again looking at a big black cloud in the sky.  It wasn't just rain on the way, it was hail.  A lot of hail.  Not for very long, just a few quick bursts.  I remember laughing in my helmet though since I'd never ridden in hail before. Before long it was sunny again.

We stopped at the shop to drop Lucy off.  Poor Max was surrounded by Triumphs. Not that that is a bad thing.

(Which one of these is not like the others......)
Like Troubadour mentioned, we took off on Max two-up.  It was the first time we'd been two-up on Max and it wasn't so bad.  The pillion seat is angled a little to the rear though so I had to be careful not to slide off.  Well, that and the passenger pegs were quite high so I had a hard time finding them at first.

The first stop was the Cornbread Cafe.  Nothing like a little vegan comfort food on a weird weather day. We had the specials - Reubens.  Vegan of course as everything in the restaurant is. They were good, but they were no Eugenewich.

(Yummy vegan Reuben from the Cornbread Cafe in Eugene, OR)
From the Cornbread we headed to Discount Motorcycle Parts to see what kind of treasures we could find.  I picked up some earplugs for Meg as she has been having trouble finding small ones and I think the ones like I use would be a good fit.  When you have small ears it is hard to find earplugs that fit.  We also found a cooling vest for Troubadour on clearance and I picked up a pair of Bobber sunglasses.  They are 100% UV protective. I already had a pair with yellow lenses for cloudy days and like the fit.

We managed to stuff our jacket pockets like squirrels squiring away nuts for winter. Troubadour even managed to stuff the vest down his jacket to transport it back to Lucy.  Sadly Max is lacking in luggage.  That will be remedied before our first overnight trip this year.
As we were getting back on the bike I spotted these trees in bloom behind us.

We arrived back at the shop. Lucy was still down in the mechanics workshop so Max as parked by himself on the street.


We visited for a bit and then decided the big black rain clouds coming in from the coast were heading our way and we should probably head home.  It was sprinkling when we left.  On the way home we experienced light rain, hail, heavy rain and sunshine.

Poor Max was pretty dirty by the time we got home but he came by it honestly.  

Troubadour pointed out the back of my jacket was even a little mud splattered.  I didn't mind.  I was completely dry and warm.  It was a great day.  
- Au Revoir
"I am sure it is a great mistake to always know enough to go in when it rains.  One may keep snug and dry with such knowledge, but one misses a world of loveliness." - Adeline Knapp

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring


Last night just before 11:00 Spring officially arrived in our humble corner of the globe.

(My favorite picture that I took on campus weekend before last)

So Happy Spring.... or as they say in Oregon - "let the rains begin."

Ah, well, at least it is a warm rain.

- Au Revoir
"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." - Proverb

Saturday, March 17, 2012

1977 Bonneville Silver Jubilee

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the Spring Challenge.  
It was great to see all of the pictures.

*          *          *          *          *          *

When bored, I sometimes look at Craigslist to see what kinds of motorcycles people are selling.  It is not that I am in the market for anything, but more of a curious fascination for what is out there and what people are charging for their treasures on two wheels. Every once in a while I run across something that I would buy in a heartbeat provided I had a money tree.  This would be one of them. 

The following pictures and write up were taken directly from the Craigslist Ad found in the Seattle area.  I started this post back in February, but needed to wait until after the #29in29 to post it.  The ad has since been deleted by the author.

1977 Triumph Bonneville Silver Jubilee $6,800 - (Kent, WA)

"Here is an excellent example of the limited edition Triumph Bonneville that was produced in 1977 to commemorate and celebrate the Queen of England's 25 years on the throne. It's not like the Queen ever rode a motorcycle or anything, but that didn't slow anyone down trying to use that connection to sell products... This particular model was based on the twin carb Bonneville, the top of the line at the time, with the 750cc engine coupled to a 5 speed transmission with a front & rear disc brake. It has special paint and badges on the side covers and fuel tank, and red line tires with no cracks or checks that were proprietary to the model, and no longer available. The steering lock and key are there also. The bike was bought from the original owner, and the clear California title is still in his name. The odometer shows 1672 original miles, and the matching engine and frame numbers combine with the correctness of all the fittings and accessories to show that this is an unmolested original."

One of the gentlemen that comes to coffee is a bit of a collector and when I mentioned this bike to him he stated that if sold at auction, it would probably go for at least double what this seller is asking.  I don't know if that is accurate but you never know with limited edition items.

If I had it, I don't think I'd sell it, I think it would be a keeper.

- Au Revoir

" In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty." - Christopher Morley

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Patiently Waiting For Spring Challenge

The coast is shut down due to snow and we had big flakes falling on us during our morning commute, although the snow didn't stick here in Corvallis.
As the rain falls I am waiting not so patiently for Spring.
I am bored at work this morning so I turned on Photo Booth on the iMac and took a few photos.  
I know most computers and/or monitors now have built in web cams, so for those that do, I challenge you to take a few self portraits on the web cam and put them on your blog.  Something to help us on the wet West Coast wait for the rains to pass.  
If you do not have a web cam feel free to take a picture of yourself sitting at your computer or laptop using the self-timer on your digital camera or have a friend or family member take a picture.  No one gets left out.
What follows are my two contributions to get the challenge started.
(C'est Moi - using color pencil sketch in Photo Booth)

(C'est Moi - another colored pencil sketch on Photo Booth)

" Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living." - Nicholas Negroponte

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fairbanks Hall

As promised in the comments section of my last post, I got a few pictures of Oregon State University's Fairbanks Hall for Martha, aka Tiny Puppetmaster over at Living Among Tourists.  FYI - She has a gem of a site and I suggest you check it out if you haven't seen it.  Her photos are beautiful and she has a great wit.

Yesterday I had some time prior to meeting everyone for Saturday Morning Coffee so I grabbed the camera and jumped in the car.  It was sprinkling and I didn't really want to navigate campus on the bike.

I headed out and turned east on Western Blvd with the intent of turning north on 26th to where it intersects with Jefferson.  Fairbanks Hall is located on the corner of 26th and Jefferson.  Sounds easy right?  Not when campus is involved.

At some point I couldn't go any further north as 26th turned into a one-way heading south.  Doh!  

No problem I thought, I'll just do a little jog over to the West and up a street and loop around and......... dead end.   Doh! 

Frick, frick, frickity,  frick frick.  Bad words were said.  

Alrighty.  Backtrack west again, then north a few more blocks to make a bigger loop as I tried make my way to 26th.  I finally turned into a large parking lot hoping it would cut through to another street.  No such luck.  I parked the car in one of the spots hoping no one needed the Engineering or Student Health Services early on a Saturday morning.  I managed to get less that one block to the east and about a block and a half to the north of the Hall.

I locked the car and headed off at a good pace hoping not to get any kind of parking ticket.

As I got closer I recognized the Women's Building from my walk last weekend and saw how many trees were in front of Fairbanks Hall.  I was focusing on brick buildings last weekend and I think that is why I totally missed this one.

I present to you Fairbanks Hall, built in 1892 as a dormitory for men:

Do I get extra credit if someone I knew rode by on their bike while I was taking the picture?

As I walked closer I got distracted by a squirrel looking to bury a nut.

Back to the Hall.

I am sure it has changed a little since Martha attend school here. I am thinking the trees and shrubbery have grown.

As I headed back to the car I cut through the Memorial Union Quad.  I'd spotted a tree blooming pink and wanted a picture.

There was another squirrel running around it's trunk, but he was moving too fast to get him in the picture. The wind was gusting, but I managed to get at least one picture of the blossoms in focus.

(Spring is nigh upon us)

- Au Revoir
" A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn." - Author Unknown

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sunday Walkabout

Last Sunday while Troubadour was doing his instructor training I was looking for something to do.  Sunday was supposed to be the nicer of the two days of the weekend. Key phrase - supposed to.  Sunday dawned grey and foggy a little chilly with a wind blowing from the East.

By noon I was bored and decided to walk the three miles to downtown. I figured it was a good excuse to check the mail and work for an hour or so then walk the three miles home.  Good exercise if nothing else.

I put on a warm sweater, stuffed the camera in my pocket, grabbed my keys and gloves and headed off.

The multi-use path that I take leads me to campus and is aptly named Campus Way.  It heads through fields and pastures belonging to Oregon State University.  You pass behind their dairy, as well as the alpaca and llama pens.

A little further and you pass some storage sheds and if you look in the right spot can see old signs like this hanging in the sheds.

This was hanging on the inside of a shed just down from the 'beef barns'.  I wonder if the quality products they were selling were the great students.

I walked through campus and then by Central Park and took a picture of one of the other resident statues.  I bet Richard has a photo of this one too.

(Varmints playing games)

A little further down Madison and I was at City Hall.

(Corvallis City Hall)
My office is in the next block so I stopped by to use the facilities then headed to the post office.  On my way back, I stopped at Starbucks for an iced Doubleshot and then worked for an hour or so.  I headed back out thinking it would take me about 45 minutes to walk home depending on how long I dawdled to take pictures on campus.  I managed to take a few.

The sun was really trying to shine but couldn't break through the clouds.  I always find it fascinating when I can see the outline of the sun through the clouds.

It didn't look like it was going to rain so I wasn't in a hurry.  I stopped to take a few pictures of one of my favorite walkways on lower campus.  It is even better when the trees are leafed out.  Or turning colors in the fall.

(Bench along the path - Education Hall in the background)

From here I made my way West through campus taking pictures of random buildings.  A map of the University campus can be found with this ------> link.

(Benton Hall, built in 1887 & 1888)

(Kearney Hall, fka Apperson Hall, was built in 1899 & 1900)
(Shepard Hall, built in 1908)

(Milam Hall, built in 1914 originally for Home Economics)

(The words 'Home Economics' can still be found on Milam Hall)

(Women's Building, built in 1926)
(Close up of Women's Building)

(Weatherford Hall, built in 1928)

(Close up of Weatherford Hall)

A brief history of these building and more can be seen by clicking this link <-----. The link also shows some historical photos of when they were built.

I finally made it to the West side of campus and onto the multi use path again.  At the corner where the path starts there is new construction.  This is right beside the sheep barns so I believe it is an arena or something to do with the animals.  Most campus buildings are brick and this one is far from that.

I saw some flowers blooming so I stopped for a picture.  Sorry Bobskoot, no bare feet, just dirty sneakers.

Down by the covered bridge I noticed that someone had stenciled writing on the asphalt  The writing wasn't there the week before. 

This is a popular jogging path for the college kids so I think maybe one of them got creative.

I stopped for a few artsy photos of some seed heads further down.

As I was almost at the end of the path I noticed a flock of birds landing in a tree.  Just a solo tree in the field all by itself.  I had to take one last picture.

I apologize for the length of this post.  I didn't realize I had so many photos I wanted to share.  Although it is heavy with photos, I tried to keep the narrative to a minimum.  Maybe I should have divided it into a few posts.

Have a great weekend everyone.

- Au Revoir

"No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning." - Cyril Connolly