Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lois Is On Her Own For Awhile

We've had decent weather lately. I usually wait until we've had two days in a row without rain before I take the bikes out. (That way there's no water falling from the sky and no water flying up from the road.) Surprisingly we've had a few days recently that fit the bill.

Unfortunately the Ducati was still dressed up for the track and not the street. It's kind of a daunting task to swap out all of the bodywork and the lights and brackets and .... So I just didn't. It was sunny last week and I wanted to ride the bike not futz with it. So I took out the Daytona instead.

Saturday afternoon I broke down and did the conversion. It took about 4 hours to get it converted. Not exactly a Clark-Kent-Into-The-Phone-Booth quick change operation but it wasn't as time consuming as I feared. A little more practice and a few changes and I might cut that time in half.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mondays Aren't Too Bad

I did get the Daytona out on Monday. It was a little chilly but overall not too bad. Here's the route I took. It's kind of a typical eastside motorcycle tour. The surface was good, the only downside is the area is mostly residential so there's always a chance that the unseen car will pop up. Unfortunately there aren't any really empty roads around here. Too many people.

I need to get more seat time in. After about 150 miles between Sunday and Monday I'm pretty sore.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunny Days, Sweeping the Clouds Away

Forecast for Monday in Seattle:

- 54 degrees
- Sunny
- Chance of precipitation: 0%
- Chance of TJ going to work: low

I spent part of the weekend checking on the bikes. (Three days of nice weather in the forecast.)

The Suzuki was stubborn. It wouldn't start Saturday at all. The decompression solenoid might not be operating correctly. I was able to get it started this morning but only by manually holding open the decomp valve. Once it warmed up it did okay, I'll take another look tomorrow and see how grumpy it is.

Other than adding a quick connect for a Battery Tender I didn't mess with the Ducati at all. It would take too much vehicle juggling to get it out of the garage.

The Daytona fired right up after its time on the Battery Tender. I was surprised since it hasn't moved since July. I took it out for about 60 miles today and it's doing pretty well. It definitely feels different. It has less power than the Ducati but at street speeds that's hardly an issue. The extra 100lbs however, is pretty noticeable.

Speaking of the Daytona I'm having trouble deciding what to do with it:

1. Sell it. This seems reasonable considering I have another sportbike in the Ducati. The Daytona would probably only sell for $3500-$4500. It costs me less than $200/year to hold onto (insurance ~$120, registration ~$50). The money would be handy considering the Ducati loan but it wouldn't be life-changing.

2. Keep it. When I go to a new track (or if I get to a track and it's wet or the people look particularly foolish) it would be nice to have a bike I'm less concerned about. Plus, if I go on a long trip (for instance April 26, 28, 29 at Miller) having a spare bike might keep my trip from ending early. Plus, a spare bike might come in handy when trying to lure someone to a track day for the first time. (Dave? Joe? Are you paying attention?)

Opinions? Suggestions?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mmmmmm.... meat

The big game is almost here. You're excited aren't you? But are you ready? Do you have what it takes? Do you have a big TV? Have you stocked the beer fridge?

Do you have meat?

Meat. You need meat. Why? Because it's football, dumb-dumb. Manly. Violence on national TV for your entertainment. Strategy, preparation, scouting. Millions of dollars will be spent by beer marketers and idiots at GoDaddy.com just to keep you out of the bathroom during the timeouts. The least you can do is come prepared.

Everyone accepts that meat is awesome. (Well, the *real* men do.) But we're not complete savages so we should cook it. Right, cooked meat. That's what we need. It adds a thin veneer of civility while also requiring fire.

Cooked meat. ... The problem with cooked meat is, well, it's messy. And while a real man couldn't care less if his hands were covered in meat juice it does turn out to be bad for the TV remote. And since the violence extravaganza might have a play we want to rewind and replay on our Tivo it's imperative that the remote work. (Don't anyone get the crazy notion that we'd actually get up and walk over to the TV instead of using the remote. If you're thinking that, get out. ... Seriously. Out. ... But leave the meat.)

So we need bread. We'll put the cooked meat on the bread. Why bread instead of a plate? Because we're men dammit! Men! Do men like to do dishes? No! Think of bread as a plate you can eat and never have to wash. So bread is in, plates are out.

We need cheese. Professional football was perfected in the Midwest. The Bears, Lions and of course the Packers. Have you seen packers fans? 78 below zero, their fingers are frozen to black and what are they wearing? A t-shirt and a cheese head. Now that's manly. In honor of our hearty comrades we will eat cheese.

So far we have meat, cheese, bread, and fire to go with our football. ... Sounds pretty good doesn't it? But sometimes just meat, cheese and bread is bland. And bland is not for manly men like us! We need spice! Something hot and tangy that will go well with our cheese and meat and fire and bread and football.

BBQ. BBQ is the answer. (To oh so many questions like "Why did God rest of the 7th day?" - BBQ.) Hot spicy BBQ sauce on the bread with the meat and cheese. That will work. The problem with BBQ sauce is it is slippery. You're thinking "Slippery? Why is this idiot talking about 'slippery' when describing his food?" Because I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. So sit down and pay attention. Maybe you'll learn something.

I'm sure you've figured out by now that we're making a sandwich. A tasty sandwich. But our needs are greater than just taste. The sandwich has to function in the real world. We have to gain sustenance from it but not allow it to distract us from our football. We can't bite into the sandwich only to have the meat slide out the back and onto the floor. That would mean getting out of the chair and eating off the floor. And the TV is not setup to be watched from the floor.

Let's avoid that scenario by using skewers. Not toothpicks. Skewers. This is a meal, not a snack. Which brings me to quantities.

Bread: a half a loaf of French bread.
Meat: there should be at least as much meat as there is bread so an 8-12 oz package of lunch meat should do it. The whole package.
Cheese: Velveeta. Why? Dunno, it just seems to work best.
BBQ: Bullseye. It's tasty and it's called Bullseye which sounds sufficiently manly for the task at hand.

Put your sandwich together, put it on a paper towel, and wrap it up in some tin foil. Stick the whole thing in the oven at 375-degrees for about 30 minutes. Don't worry if it's 25 or 35 or even 45 minutes, it'll be fine. ... Hell, just take it out during the first commercial break after you're hungry.

Put it on a cutting board, unwrap it, and run it through with a couple bamboo skewers. Take the whole thing over to the TV and dig in. When you're done brush the crumbs off your shirt, wad up the tin foil and throw it away. Then put the cutting board back where you found it (it's still clean).

Meat, cheese, bread, and BBQ. No muss, no fuss, no dishes. Doesn't get better than that.

Some assembly required. I'm out of bamboo skewers. Metal will have to do.

Be sure to properly slather the BBQ on the bread.

Mmmmm.... meat.

Tick ... tock ... tick. Waiting sucks. I'm hungry.

Life is good.


Doing the dishes.