Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ticket to Ride

Well not so much a ticket to ride, but I am now legal to ride in all of the OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) areas in Oregon.

A week or so ago Troubadour and PolarBear headed to Huckleberry Flats (a specially designed off highway vehicle area southeast of us).  I could have gone since PolarBear has a few extra dirt bikes, but I would not have been riding legally.

In order to ride at the many open to the public ATV and dirt bike areas in Oregon, a person must take an online course and pass a multiple choice test through RideATVOregon to acquire an ATV Safety Education Card.

At the beginning you give them your name, date of birth, sex, and specify whether you will be riding an ATV, side-by-side, or motorcycle, or any combination thereof.  I checked only the box for motorcycle.  I waited while it "tailored" the course for me.  

My online course was 11 chapters.  Each chapter had anywhere between 2-9 pages and a short quiz at the end.  This was followed by 50 multiple choice questions for my test.

I was disappointed with how much of the course had to do with ATVs and side-by-sides and how to handle them on the dunes and uphill, etc.  I can understand the parts about not over riding your sight distance and not drinking and riding, those should be common sense.  I was also disappointed that so much of it had to do with supervising children in these areas, something that just does not apply to me.

While reviewing part of the materials on riding dirt bikes uphill and downhill, one of my favorite Carbon Leaf songs kept echoing in my mind - A Girl and Her Horse.  I rode horses way back in the day so leaning forward uphill and shifting your weight back when going downhill is not foreign.  

I passed the test with 90%.  Yes, I got a whopping 5 questions wrong.  No worries, I needed only 80% to pass.

So, now I've printed a temporary card and my official laminated one will be mailed.  

Time to get dirty!

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And on a side note I finally got my hair chopped off and highlighted blonde and red.  A little edgier, but not drastic. It should be better under my helmet too.  No more braids flapping in the wind. Whatever shall I do?

Good timing with Halloween tomorrow.

- Au Revoir

"  Naturally curly hair is a curse and don't let anyone tell you different." - Mary Ann Shaffer in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Pinlock, a Patio Cover, & a Pussy Cat

It has been a while since my last post.  There just doesn't seem to be much going on, and I haven't really felt anything was blog worthy.  Must be time to start Bloggers Anonymous.

"Hi, my name is Trobairitz, and it has been 21 days since my last blog post."

Having said that, it isn't like we've been bored.  October has brought us beautiful weather compared to the soggy September we experienced.  Low temperatures of 35-38˚F (2-3˚C).  The afternoons are sunny when the fog burns off with temperatures around 68-70˚F (20-21˚C) and the leaves are finally changing.  The Forest Pansy Tree is loaded with colorful hearts.


I haven't been out on the bike much but have been riding to coffee Saturday mornings.  Cooler foggy mornings brought with them the need for a pinlock system for the visors, not just to ride to coffee, but Troubadour commutes 23 miles each way daily, and at 5 am it is quite cool, which ups the foggy visor factor.

Last week he came home from Premier Moto Gear in Albany with a pinlock face shield and fog insert for my helmet and one on order for his, which came in a day or two later.  I used mine heading to coffee on Saturday and I can honestly say it is the only time my Shoei face shield has not fogged up on the way to coffee.  I didn't even have to raise it at stop lights.  So far I am impressed.


With the abundance of dry October weather we decided we'd best put the roof on our patio/deck before the rains return.  The deck material has really suffered out in the weather and it would be nice to sit outside when it is raining. It is something we have planned since we installed the deck about 4 years ago.  We've always intended to put some type of pergola top on it and as such sunk posts in the ground and built the deck around them.

We headed to the home improvement store and loaded up 11 - 2"x6"x12' boards and 8 sheets of 26"x12' clear poly carbonate roofing material on the roof racks of the Subaru.  Who needs a truck when you have a Forester.  Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of it loaded down.

We started weekend before last and finished up on Friday.  We dug an old indoor/outdoor carpet out of the rafters of the garage and voila.  Covered outdoor seating for us and for kitty.  The pictures didn't turn out great as it was midday and the sun was behind the house.

If it appears that the front of the cover is higher than by the house, you are correct.  This allows for the rain to drain into the existing gutters of the house and doesn't detract from the view of the yard and tree farm behind us.


Basil has been enjoying the sunshine.  So much that it seems hard for him to get up from his nap when he is snuggled amid his favorite grass.  He'll wake up, look at you, and go right back to napping.



And while looking for the pictures of Basil I remembered a few pictures we took of a grove of changing maple trees and also a few Troubadour took of the valley on our way home from Salem. 

The lighting wasn't right to take the tree pictures so I did a little changing of the settings on the camera and these were the result.  They were taken on Buena Vista Road looking south just outside of Buena Vista.

Troubadour got some great shots of the valley looking west.  These were taken at the corner of Independence Highway and Ryals Road.

Our dry sunny weather is supposed to last all week and into the weekend so we are thinking of taking off on the bikes.  We'll see where we go when we get there.

- Au Revoir

" Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Soggy September & Amusing Spam


Photo from interweb
Well, we know that Mother Nature has a sense of humor.  We experienced the driest three month stretch of June, July, and August on record and wished for a few days of rain all those months.  As the old adage says - "be careful what you wish for". Those dry months were followed by the wettest September in Corvallis on record.  The old record was from 1911 and we beat it by over and inch.  

According to the local Gazette Times Corvallis received 3.6 inches (9.14 cm) of rain from 10 am Friday through 8 am yesterday for a September total of 7.06 inches (17.93 cm) of rain.  Thank you Typhoon Pabuk - the remnants of which brought that liquid sunshine to the Pacific Northwest this last weekend.

We were one of the lucky ones and didn't lose power, but our old side fence blow over.  Typhoon-1, Fence-0.

So.... we haven't been doing much riding.  The last time we rode to Saturday coffee was the last time I was on the bike.  Troubadour has still been commuting on Lucy, but after a soggy ride in the storm last week he's been prudent and taken the car to work so far this week.  As I type this it is raining once again, or is that still raining. Makes me wish I'd brought my umbrella home from work for when I wait for the bus this morning.

What a difference from the 70-80 degrees temperatures and covered bridge rides of last September.

On a side note it is supposed to be dry this coming weekend and we are hoping to get out on the bikes.  Fingers crossed.

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Photo from interweb

Like most bloggers I get a bit of spam.  Luckily, I think because I don't moderate each comment, I rarely see them.  Occasionally I check the spam filter and I am amused by some of what has been caught.  

Here are a few excerpts from the funny ones and the post on which they were commented.

Sambucus Black Lace:  "Independent bookstore owners often live and work in the communities where their stores are located. In the meantime, we'll just put up a big sign: 'Coming soon, a Fox Books superstore and the end of civilization as you know it. And that was when an elegant blonde from Germany crossed my path'. Feel free to visit my web site"

Evergreen Aviation Museum - Part Deux: "You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really something that I think I'd by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking ahead for your next put up, I'll try to get the dangle of it! Here is my webpage"

Bonneville T-100, 110th Anniversary Edition:  "Lovely jubbly fantastic thanks so much, stop by my website"  

A Sunny Sunday Ride:  "In these times of great propriety, public kissing was frowned upon. For an even better return on your initial investment, consider offering special deals on related merchandise to those who took part in the fun. Each color is individually fired at high temperatures to ensure no color bleeding and the longest durability.  Feel free to visit my website."

I think one of the things I find amusing is how a spam comment several sentences long contains many topics that just don't mesh together or have anything to do with the subject of the post.  It makes me wonder how the spammers stumble upon those particular posts.

So.....what is in your spam folder?  Anything amusing?

- Au Revoir

"  Into each life some rain must fall." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow