Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Helmet

Finally got around to getting a new helmet - the last one was done.   Was on the way to Jack Stack in Martin City and stopped at Reno's Yamaha on a whim.  I figured they were long closed - it was 6:30 PM and everyone knows bike shops close at 6 at the latest.  Well, I caught the owner as he was leaving and mentioned I needed a helmet.  Turns out they were open till 6:30 and were glad to stay open late for me.  Took a look around and picked out something that shouldn't ever need extra graphics to stand out - the Shoei RF1000 'Sever'.  Wicked.  :-)

Full face this time, not flip front.  Figure it's marginally safer that way.  Very interesting graphics - first 'fancy' helmet I've had.  Before I've had silver, white and black.  Time for something with some 'punch'.  And classic Shoei fit - felt great the second I put it on.  I'll be perturbed when I get the first scratch on this one!

Got the Ducati out for it's first ride today too - OP to Jack Stack and back; about 40 miles.  Fun bike, but definitely going to take some getting used to after the ST1100...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Photos from Colorado Vacation Up!

Lots of photos from our trip are online now - check out the album!

Alec at RMNP Throwing Rocks

We found a beautiful still lake off the road a ways at the Rocky Mountain National Park.  So, what does Alec do?  Throw rocks. 

Photos up from Family Visit

Rich, Shirl and Merrybelle all made it to KC for a week of fun - I took a few photos:

Monday, July 21, 2008

On The Road with Alec: Colby, KS

July 21, 2008 - 9:50 AM.

Colby, Kansas

Heading Home. It's been a nice weekend with lots of new experiences for both Alec and I. We played in the snow in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park; we drove to the top of Mount Evans and checked out the view and the observatory. We camped one night, then decided motels were a better deal.

What happened to camping? I forgot one key thing - camping is only fun when there's not a lot of people around! Arapaho Nat'l Forest is just a couple hours drive from the Denver Metro area and a LOT of people show up. The first night was interesting - we were regaled with tales from the kids across the way of how they "jumped off desks and shit like that" when their teachers weren't in the room. They were 5 and 6 years old. We got to enjoy the gentle sounds of drunkards screaming across the campground to "shut the fuck up!", while others politely informed them that it is two thirty in the morning. We were serenaded by the sweet sounds of boom-car bass all afternoon - tejano competing with country.

So we packed up and headed into Grand Lake, CO for a nice quiet motel on the side of the highway.

Got to play lots of mini-golf, just like Alec wanted. The mini-golf place in Grand Lake has been there since at least 1968 and is basically unchanged. Still a lot of fun. Alec wanted to eat mexican food every night, so we tried out a couple of different places; one was fair, the other, El Pacifico, was outstanding. Fresh home made food.

We saw moose in RMNP, very few deer, a few marmots and lots of hummingbirds. That was the single highlight of the day spent camping - Alec and I were both buzzed by hummingbirds!

Weather was great, 70's in the day, 50's at night. Now we're on the way home.

Pictures to follow...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mount Evans

Mount Evans
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
the castle at the top of Mt Evans in Colorado. Posted while we are still on the peak!

will england, mobile
sent with a palm centro

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the road with Alec: Colorado

We found camping at the Willow Creek Reservoir in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. About 10 miles North of Granby, CO.

Will England, Mobile on the Mogul

On The Road with Alec: Limon Colorado

Limon Colorado. Just over 500 miles from Kansas City. Headed to Granby Colorado and the Rocky Mountain National Park.

We left Overland Park right at noon - got a late start but it doesn't matter, because we are on vacation! No schedules, no deadlines, just do what we're doing.

Drove clear across Kansas, stopped just for fuel, food and a few rest areas. Alec was great - played game boy, ate Mc Donalds, Burger King and Taco Tico. Soda and junk food - diet of great explorers!

At one rest area in Western Kansas, they were repainting the pavement markings. The paint crew was just wrapping up as we got there. As we were getting ready to leave, one of the crew came over and showed us how they make the paint reflective - they spray it with little tiny glass beads! He had a paint can full of glass beads they spray on the wet paint and showed Alec and I. I had heard of this but never seen the material before. Alec was fascinated. I was too...

Earlier in the day Alec saw his first wind farm. All along I-70 they are planting 300 foot wind turbines. We got to drive past a set right next to the highway and Alec got a good look. Some time back I got a chance to sit right under a turbine in South West Kansas somewhere - they are really fascinating. Alec was concerned about the animals living in the fields with the turbines - they had horses corralled in one field. He thought they might get electrocuted.

Leaving Goodland, KS we stopped at another rest area to look for motel coupons and found Sunflowers instead - great huge sunflowers. They were so big I thought they were statues or fakes. No - they were real, seven foot tall sunflowers with flowers bigger than dinner plates. Amazing!

Pulling into Colorado, Alec saw a grain elevator and was fascinated by it - he said he likes grain elevators. Come to think of it, so do I. Pure function no thought to design or 'pretty', just great big tools to get a job done.

Stopped for the night here in Limon at some random motor hotel. I simply cannot stay in a modern motel with interior corridors. I love having the car 8 feet from the door. Plus, as a smoker I can get a non-smoking room and just step out the door to pound another nail in the coffin...

More to come as we travel...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Now is the time to pay attention to the Kansas school board election | 06/26/2008 | Now is the time to pay attention to the Kansas school board election: "
Hard to believe. But this week in Overland Park, nearly a hundred people packed into a church basement to hear three of the four candidates running for a seat on the state school board.
Now what’s up with that?

Didn’t anyone check the calendar? This isn’t one of those years when Kansas voters bother to pay attention to who gets on the state Board of Ed, is it?

No. The only time most Kansans give a flying spaghetti monster about the state board is after the social conservatives have fouled things up."

NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial | Watch the Program | PBS

NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial | Watch the Program | PBS: "
The rural community of Dover, Pennsylvania is torn apart in the latest battle over the teaching of evolution, and parents file a lawsuit against the town's school board in federal court."

By The Way, are you going to vote in the Kansas Primary election on August 5th? Check with your local county election board to see who is running for the State Board of Education.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oil price shock means China is at risk of blowing up - Telegraph

Oil price shock means China is at risk of blowing up - Telegraph:
China's factories 'were not built with current energy levels in mind', said Mr Jen. The outcome will be 'non-linear'.

As Alec says, blah blah blah whatever. I just love the use of 'non-linear' in a mainstream article. non-linear started in the science and engineering community jargon (it even has a FAQ), spread to sci-fi writing (see Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling) and is now mainstream jargon for 'blow the fuck up'.

Sterling and William Gibson have a quaint description of non-linear from their 1990 book, "The Difference Engine":

"They might have known this would happen, if they'd properly studied Catastrophist theory. It is a concatenation of synergistic interactions; the whole system is on the period-doubling route to Chaos!"
"What does that mean, pray?" (…)
"in layman's terms, it means that everything gets twice as bad, twice as fast, until everything falls completely apart!"

Thursday, July 03, 2008