Monday, December 9, 2013

GPS Fault and Fix Confirmed

It happened again. Dianne and I were on our way to a CPR course. GPS had no voice prompts, because it was running off its internal battery, just like in San Francisco recently.

When at our destination, I used a small Allen key to remove the battery completely. This does a reset. And then...

Back in the cradle, the GPS worked normally, off the vehicle battery.

I could have done this in CA, if I had thought of it. I always carry the hex key... .

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Home Theatre Reno Reveal

Now it can be shown. Ta Da!
My friend Rodney did the majority of the work. He is a contractor and very skilled.

 Lots of framing

 Some upstairs stuff too!

 New lower stairs took a long time to build.

 I had done the drywall and the insulation behind it back in 2010 when Ontario had a rebate program for energy conservation. Now, we added the Delta FL on the floor and covered that with 3/4 inch tongue and groove underlay. The result after carpeting is a nice warm floor.

 Another view of staircase and floor construction.

 Wiring for TV, surround, internet where the TV will go.

 Looking towards storage room door. the powder room and laundry room were constructed back in 2010 and not visible. The powder room wall is behind the stepladder.

 After carpeting.

 From the TV position.

Panning to the right, you can see the surround speaker bracket on the wall, and beyond it, the computer alcove, then the rear bay (which matches the front bay where the TV lives).

 Rodney built an indirect lighting box so I can see the keyboard. I find I need the good lighting as I age.

 You can see the pattern the pot lights make on the carpeting. Nice to have a high ISO capable camera to give a good impression of the colours. I use a Nikon D90 currently.

The supporting posts at the side of the stairs had to be boxed in. Not easy because they were both not vertical in this plane. Then when viewed at 90 degrees to this plane, not vertical in that plane either! So the boxes had to be big enough to fix both orientations and not too big to cause a pinch danger on the handrails. In the end, all is well.

 Sears took 2 weeks to deliver the Sauder TV stand. Not such a big deal since Best Buy took a week and a half to deliver the TV. They failed on the first delivery. Still, they gave me compensation. In the end, I picked it up from the store. Had to take the seats out of the Caravan but then the 65 inch Samsung fit great.

 Lots of hardware, but the Sauder TV stand went together quite nicely.

 I used a trolley to move the TV around, but for safety had someone help me lift it onto the stand.

And, with the help of a neighbor and his son, moved the LazyBoy 3-seater and love seat down from the Family Room. Dianne will redecorate that room for her liking. Just visible on the far right is a bookcase which is adjacent to a cabinet and hutch - John B. would recognize his old stereo cabinet.

So, I have been enjoying the TV and surround setup for a week or so now. The new Onkyo receiver has great sound. Rodney was given a movie night last Friday and he declared the picture and sound was just like at a theatre, which is the whole idea.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

GPS Mystery

Went to Radioworld to get a new cord.

The great guys there tested the old cord and cradle and it worked fine.

One even tried it in the van and this time it worked! I had tried it yesterday with no success.

Not in rental car, nor a pickup in Gilroy, nor my Caravan on return, but now it's fine.

I have no idea why. It may be an intermittent problem in the cord or cable, or a software issue in the unit that does not allow it to turn on.

If the latter, what caused the fix?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

San Francisco

Nearing SF, I turned on the GPS and it helped us get to the St. Francis hotel. Parked under Union Square.

After checking in, went off to do the tourist stuff.

We took the cable car to near Ghiardelli Square. A first for both of us. We hung off the side until seats were available. When cable cars pass each other, you must squeeze close to your car! A treat for sure.

Hot Chocolate at the Square, because it was chilly. More than a little windy too.

Off to Fishermen's Wharf. We looked at all the menus there and at Pier 39. Chose the oldest establishment for dinner. Dianne had chowder and fish and chips. Neither was up to her standards. I had blackened Red Snapper, which was only good.

Back to the hotel for a good sleep.

Walked around Sak's and other places today, checked out, and are at the airport as I write this. Flight is still 3 hours away, so I am catching up on the blog.

All in all, a good vacation, new places and new experiences for Dianne, and some new for me too. A lot of changes since my once regular visits around 1975-1980.

Monterey - Aquarium & Fisherman's Wharf

The Aquarium was a treat. There was quite a focus on gellyfish, which were beautiful. Sea Otters and lots of other sea creatures made for a nice visit. Don't miss it.

Next door, the Cannery area was a bit too touristy and garish.

The commercial Fisherman's Wharf was a nothing, and the tourist wharf was more of the Cannery. Nice views of the bay from either. Pictures to come.


Carmel 2 - 17 Mile Drive & Pebble Beach

17 Mile Drive, the bit I saw of it was very scenic. Must do it on the bike someday. Hilly and pretty.

But, the roads did not suit Dianne, so back to Carmel and US 1 to Monterrey. That meant we did not pass Pebble Beach.

It also meant there was no way we were going down the coast to Big Sur.

Carmel 1 - GPS Woes

I rented a car at SFO, mounted the GPS, and drove off to Carmel. No voice directions. Meant no auto power to GPS. I turned it off, knowing when the battery ran out, there was no way to recharge it. I suspect it is the cable, but it could be the cradle.

At Gilroy, garlic capital of the world, I'm told, we checked the cable's fuse, courtesy of Auto Source, which was ok.

Also verified power to the car's outlet courtesy of Radio Shack nearby.

On to Carmel. Our room was an hour away from being ready, so drove to an REI and a Best Buy, neither of which had a Garmin cable that old, or any but newest units. Sigh.

So, all around Carmel and Monterey, had to use maps only, which was a pain.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Notes On Las Vegas

A paradise for smokers. Not so much for us non-smokers. In Casinos especially. Some eating ares.

Drinking from beer bottles seems to be allowed on the Strip.

Lots of high end shops - Rolex, Dior, Chanel, Brioni, the list is endless.

Coffee for two will run $5. No Tim Horton's visible.

Lots of lineups at discount tickets places. Best to have tickets booked before you go, because all the good stuff is sold out.

We spent $0.00 gambling - is this a world record?

Off to Carmel.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shania - Still The One

We saw the show last night, and she still is a great entertainer.

The sound system at Caesar's Palace must be directly connected to Hoover dam. The bass was felt strongly. The drummer wore those eyeglasses with a light at each temple - were they ever attention grabbers. Two violinist one one bass ladies in addition to the other musicians made for good music.

Shania mingled with the adoring audience and even invited a few on stage for an around the campfire singalong. Very at home. The setting for that was clearly Northern Ontario. She mentioned Canada a few times. Based on the response, Dianne and I were not the only Canadians there, not by a long shot.

Light show and videos were impressive.

All in all, very enjoyable.

Last day here today, early morning flight tomorrow to SF, then driving to Carmel.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Never-ending Reno almost over!

Today the carpet is being laid and the baseboard will go in next week. Already painted and Rodney will install next week.

Why am I not doing the baseboard? I do have the compressor and nail gun. I have done it before, so why not this time?

Because, Dianne and I are off to Vegas and Carmel and SF!

You may know our trip like this was cancelled last March when I came down with pneumonia.

Well, it got rescheduled and we are soon off to enjoy new destinations for both of us. Well, I have been to SF, but not the others.

Note: today I have posted two blog posts, so be sure you see the one I posted earlier as well as this one.

20K Km Milestone on BMW R1200RT

Back in September of 2011, I realized a dream - I became the owner of a BMW motorcycle. And what a bike! In a way, I am glad I waited.

Yesterday, I rode it back from the dealer who had just done the 20K Km service. A bit expensive at about $650, but it's just good as new.

It took about 12 seasons to put 40K Km on the Triumph Legend bought new in '00. So, I am way ahead on the BMW. Must be the confidence I have in it.

Not to mention the cross US and Canada trip in 2012, which accounts for almost half the Kms...

Added the cylinder head guards while at it. Hides some scratches and may be needed in the future. Will try hard to avoid more spills, but they do happen.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Color Trip 3 & Mystery Farkle

Well, the farkle is a GoPro 3 Black Edition. I've had it from just before the pneumonia problem, and have not really done much with it on the bike. But, I did something yesterday on the color ride - about an hour of video was recorded.

Now, an hour of video is just too boring for most of us. Imagine how it must be to edit that amount! And, while learning about editing too.

The little video I have added here (assuming I can figure out how to do so) took an hour or so to upload to YouTube using GoPro Studio 2, just released. Not too bad, but do read the manual - carefully.

Oh, it's ready now....

Since they offered to stabilize it, ok

So, this is just a test really and I need to select some other segments, but it's too late now.

Hope you like this first installment. I just checked it and it seems to show ok. Full screen on a 24 inch monitor is not the greatest, but I am going to have to figure out why.

Oh, the camera was tilted a bit as well, I am fighting to find a way to mount it on the fairing so it is secure and maybe not so jiggly. Bobscoot has a great mount, but I don't have the round bars to do a direct copy. And, my windscreen is much bigger than his too, so it would always be in-shot as well.

I will try to give a few hints on using the free GoPro Studio v2 software. Supposedly, using it is supposed to give superior results, but low resolution upgrades on YouTube are a problem.

Hints are welcome.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Colors Trip 2

We stayed in Bancroft last night. Morning saw brisk temperatures and fog. By 10 am, all was sunny and blue skies, so off we went.

Twenty km north we turned left onto Peterson Road. Twisty, hilly, wonderful fall colors. Will post a movie, if it actually worked... . At some point, south to Harcourt, then on to Gooderham. We were just south of Algonquin Park, the premiere park in Ontario. At a little coffee shop, the owner told us we hit the peak of the fall colors, which is a bit early this year.

South from there, via the 507, we enjoyed super twisties, and more colors. 41 km of great riding road. Saw many bikes heading North, two up quite frequently, so folks were taking Friday off to have a mini-vacation. I figure the word had spread about the color peak.

On the 507, there was a near miss, with a mouse. The mouse was racing across the road from the left as I approached. About a foot from my front tire, the mouse put on the brakes, turned and raced back, staying alive. I saw it close, Rodney from behind. He said it was hilarious and I agree. This was the second incident for me in two days.

Yesterday, a bird was walking on the road crossing from the right as I approached. It was moving slowly and I knew it had plenty of time to avoid my front tire. Except, it chose suicide by BMW. Rodney saw it all, I just felt a little crunch. Apparently, the bird was ejected left at high speed. When fueling this morning, I found a feather between two parts of the fairing. Sorry, Dear birdie, I meant no harm.

From the bottom of the 507, we passed Lindsay, down the 35 to the 57 side road. Another fine road. Took it to Port Perry, where we visited the Tim Horton's there. A favorite spot for motorcyclists. Three BMWs and we must have chased the HDs away.

From there, urbanity took over. Traffic and road work. Broke the trip to visit my daughter, who is doing well after a bit of surgery last week. Then, back home.

All in all three days of riding, a bit over 1100 km. and, just turned over the 20,000 km mark. Ow. This service will hurt a bit... .

Nice trip, and nice to be back.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Colors Trip

Left Toronto yesterday morning. The 401 was really busy, and when I met up with Rodney, we decided to take the 407 Toll road. At the end of it, we chose to continue East on Hwy 7, which is a two lane highway to Ottawa.

Good choice. In the middle of the week, traffic was very light, no passing hassles at all. The bike is ideal for this kind of road. I had been on 7 many times, but the trees were just turning color, and it was as if it was my first time on it.

Then we hit Ottawa rush hour traffic. Civil servants were heading across the bridges to Quebec, driving with viciousness. Rod and I were heading to his brother's in nearby Buckingham. The clutch hand did not cramp, but came close to it. Th GPS would have taken me there, but Rod led. Our hosts provided beer and we were driven to a sister's home for steak dinner and wine. I contributed a South African Nederburg, one of my favorites, which pleased the wine conessieur brother-in-law.

This morning, we went for a great ride through the Quebec hills and twisties to have breakfast with and additional three of his sisters. He has eight siblings, you see.

Then the best trip via Renfrew to Bancroft. Marvellous scenery. Winding roads, hills and valleys, colored leaves.

More of the same tomorrow. Will try to take some photos, but it can be tricky to find a safe spot to stop. We'll see what we can do.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Another Farkle - All Bob's Fault!

Having Bob visit was a real treat, but an expensive one. You see, he showed me his Givi Blade Tech 47 litre hard case top box with lock and instant removal system. Had to have one of those, so my bike now looks like this:


And, there the bike sits, for a while, during the construction of a home theatre in the basement. [Blog entry to come soon.]

Installation was not the 10 minutes advertised by Bob. He must be a mechanical genius, or perhaps the R1200R has more room under the luggage rack to reach the mounting straps and nuts. I had to fiddle and force my hand and wrench under the rack, but got it done.


Bobscoot & Related

Givi Plate retaining strap

There are 4 of these.

Bobscoot & Related

After some time, I attached two of them at the front of the Givi plate, let them dangle, fed each through the holes in the BMW luggage rack, reached awkwardly under to fasten the nylok nuts, and just snugged them up. Since the nylock nuts resist tightening as much as loosening, this is not the easiest thing to do.

After - Givi plate attached

Bobscoot & Related

Not shown: there is a flat cover plate that conceals the grated area of the Givi mounting plate shown in the picture above.

Functional Storage

The box is suitably large:

Bobscoot & Related

Bobscoot & Related

Looks Great!

Bobscoot & Related

When I picked it up, the parts guy said this was his personal favourite Givi model. I too think some of the other designs are a bit too rounded, and kind of plain as a result.


Guess Bob is not really too much at fault for getting me to part with my money. He did all the leg work in finding such a bargain. I was able to get this box for $289.95, tax included! And, that was about $100 less than Bob paid. Some dealers seem to sell them for much more than the Givi recommended price.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bob's On His Way Again

Bob stayed with us for two nights. He said he enjoyed the stay and we sure enjoyed having him visit. Two days of Dianne's cooking made for a happy Bob.

I wanted to ride a ways with him. We left western Mississauga at 0800 as was his wish. I lead the way to the 401 and off west we went. After we settled down and I was sure he was ok with the heavy truck traffic, I turned the lead over to him. We stayed that way for an hour or so, until I knew the service centre just east of London was coming up. I took the lead and we went into the centre. After a while he took off for a family meeting and I went off to return a pair of rain boots. Those of you who followed my blog last year will recall I had two left foot boots. Crazy Al's cheerfully gave me a new pair - after checking there were a left and right boot.

I see Bob has made good progress towards Chicago. Way to go Bob!

Thanks for dropping by our home - you are welcome to return at any time and we both hope that will be soon.

And, do stay safe and happy on that great adventure.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bob's Here

Bob arrived yesterday around 1pm, saf and sound after battling the 401 traffic and interchange changes that did not match up with his memory. But, he was able to get it all straight. Part of the adventure.

He enjoyed his steak dinner last night and his pancakes this morning.

You could see his progress on his blog, See for it, or find it in the list on the right.

He will continue tomorrow.

In the meantime, he has been entertaining Dianne and I with tales of his journey.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Flickr Photos Are Back!

Above will get you to my Flickr photos. Some time ago, I let my Pro account go, and only the latest 200 shots were available. But, there has been a generous change of policy and my shots are back!

That includes my South Africa ones. I vacationed there in March 2008. Dianne and I loved it. Then, I worked there starting in August 2008 for almost two years. Really great.

There are other sets, including some of a motorcycle vacation to Watkins Glen, NY and a camp site in southern PA.

Feel free to comment on any of them, but don't miss the SA ones.

Hopefully, Bob, David, and Karen will see this post and have some time to see the photos during down time on their Eastern ride. If so, enjoy!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Painted Garage Floor

I figured the concrete floor in the garage had cured enough to take some paint. I understand that you should not paint new concrete. The floor had been poured in 1985, so I figured it was ok by now.

So, I moved the bike out to sit with the cars.


And, eventually, this is what the results were...

Door closed, nice floor showing. I wonder how long it will hold up like this?


I did the floor in two halves, washed on Saturday, pained left side on Sunday morning. It was so hot the paint dried quickly.



Had to move a bunch of stuff to the right side and did not want to put it outside since there was rain coming.


And, eventually, the right side was painted and dry by 4pm Monday, just before those huge thunderstorms hit Toronto, just to the East. I was in the shower for the heavy rain that added 1.5 inches to my swimming pool.


Shortly after the shower (mine, that is), the power went out. Outage was from 6:10 to about 10:50 or so.

Spent the time well, though. I put out the garbage before it got too dark to see what I was doing. Ron and Adele were sitting in their small porch, so I got a glass of wine and joined them. We had a nice conversation while listening to their battery-powered radio. Lots of flooding, 200,000+ people with no power. major highways shut down. GO Train system shut down because the tracks were flooded. I was delighted to be safe at home, with good neighbours, and gosh, conversation!

So, there is still work to be done cleaning up the garage and organizing it better, but maybe not today, given it is still overcast, hot, and humid.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Saw Surgeon Today

Was that a pun?

He liked the chest x-ray, said it looked like I did not have any surgery, no more followups necessary.

He told me the horizontal band of numbness was normal and should eventually go away, ... Maybe. Seems it varies. Some folks report pins and needles. I am glad that is not happening.

So, I'm cleared for motorcycle tripping, but weather next week does not look promising. Hope it improves so I can meet up with Bob on his cross-country ride on at least one direction.

More to come.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pool Maintenace - UGH #2!

Well, will it never end?

Father's Day today, and Suzanne and Emma are on their way. The pool is warm, finally, and I just skimmed off some leaves, so it is clean as well.

Yesterday, after trying to keep the pool heater going, just had to admit major renovation was necessary. At 4 pm, Dianne requested a new pump be bought and installed tonight. Else, no swimming for Emma...

Pool place closes at 5. They knew I was on the way and I arrived at 4:45. Out by 5.

Removing the old pump was a bear. Cutting two old flex hoses was easy enough, then had to tackle the wiring. A metal cup covered the connections and it was held on by two bolts. 1/4 inch nut driver loosened the first, but slipped on the second. Flat blade would not budge it. A neighbour brought some tools, no go. Finally, the Dremel cut off disc solution was employed and the old pump was disconnected.

Connecting the wiring to the new pump was tough. The neighbour gave up. I persevered and finally had success. Not enough service loop and too tight a working space were the issues.

Got the hoses ready for installation. Each hose had to have a quick disconnect union - my new policy. The pump ($400) came with two, and I had bought extra fittings just in case. Did not need them. I've done so much gluing of hoses this year...

Turned the switch and all was well. Quiet pump. Turned on heater and it ran most of the night. But, the push on wire connections are notorious for making poor connections. That causes the heater to turn off.

So, today I had more electrical to do. Bought a replacement for the halogen pump area light and installed it. Almost lost a small screw in the process, but saw where it dropped in the grass and found it. Pulled off the connections one at a time, used contact cleaner, pushed on a couple of times each. Repeat nine times. Perfect. Red LED nice and bright now, so I am confident the connection(s) causing the problem are improved. For a week at least...

Cover off, leaf skimmer employed, and they just arrived.

Got to go...

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Farkle: Luxurylite Camp Cot

I discovered this high tech cot on the web a couple of years ago. It promises no discomfort from side to side supports. See it here:

So far, I have set it up once on my family room floor. I like a firm mattress and it delivers! It also allows me to turn on my side easily. Nice and long, nice and wide-and it sets up as easily as advertised.

I was worried about strength. I am now down to 200 lb, but that is too much and I am going down slowly. The cot spec is for 350, and it feels like it could do that easily.

I like it and look forward to a real trial. Yes, it is expensive, but after about 4 motel room avoidances it will be free, and then earn money! Except for the lack of TV.

This weekend would have been a natural, as it is the Ride For Sight event here in Ontario. I wimped out. It has been very wet, and I expected the site to be a mud field. Rodney is there and said the field is dry and the beer is cold. But, I was not packed and just don't feel up to it yet. Sunday morning is predicted to be wet. That seems to be a rule when I go camping, how about you?

I did ride yesterday, down to MEC in Burlington to buy the cot. Did much the back road way, to avoid the slab. Nice but short ride. Today, I cleaned the driveway, front walk, and a bit in the garage. Very tired. I had hoped that by now I would have fully recovered from my Pneumonia and lung decortication operation, but I must admit it is not yet a full recovery. I want to do things, but get tired easily. Upper arm strength is still elusive.

The weather has been terrible, so I have not really lost a lot, perhaps. Oh well, just must keep on with exercise and maybe short trips.

Stay tuned.

Mystery Farkle report still to come.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pool Maintenance - Ugh!

The pump was running fine, the suction-type pool cleaner was working fine, the heater pilot light lit up easily (after I remembered to turn on the main gas valve). Then,

The pump overheated (I am guessing, don't know this for sure)

Flow stopped

Since the heater had been on for a couple of hours (that's why the sun dimmed a bit?), I figure there was some boiling followed by a partial vacuum

A hose collapsed.


Well, I hate doing plumbing, but Suzanne and Emma and Jeff were due Sunday, so off I went Thursday evening to get parts. Replaced the collapsed hose. Tested it. Leaks everywhere, namely,

The heater end of the replaced hose, the heater manifold to hose clamps (minor drip that was not there before, both inlet and outlet connections

The solid plastic pipe to the salt / chlorine generator had a bend (vacuum + heat)


So, after a search, I found a store stocking the heater gaskets $70, and installed them, got more parts, had a beer.

Today, I attached a quick-disconnect union to a cut-back pipe to the salt machine, replaced the plastic screw-in adapters to the heater, replaced some of the solid pipe with flex, and tested.

Yep, a tiny leak at the flex to plastic hose. Cut it off right at the fitting. Used the spare fitting (credit to Dianne who said, "buy double, take back anything you don't use, assuming there will be anything to return...), reinstall all, and test.

No drips whatsoever.

One two dollar fitting to return..

May turn on the heater later today, but somewhat scared, don't you know?


Friday, May 17, 2013

First Ride of Season!

Late first ride this year. I have been doing a lot of walking and yard work exercise and am feeling very good these days. Weather improved today (17 C) and half the deck is stained, so ...

I took the bike out of the garage. Noticed how easy it was to raise the sidestand and deploy it again. That's due to the Touratech foot extender. Damn fine item.

Put on the Roadcrafter. I've lost twenty ponds and it still fits. In fact, fits great.

Motored off. As usual, very careful out the cul-de-sac and over the main road to the traffic light. Foot down securely, then off for a ride.

Not an exciting ride and only 40 km long, but it felt fine. At first, I thought the hip cramps would attack, as they always do on the first ride, but I was able to hold them off. Never had a problem on the rest of the ride. That is likely due to the Touratech 20mm bar risers. Modest rise and no additional rearward movement but felt quite good. Not really noticeable - that's probably an indication of correct rise. Sure felt good.

On the way back, I stopped at the local Go train station ( commuter train). On Sundays, it's empty and great for practicing low speed tight turns. I was surprised how empty it was today, a Friday before a long weekend. It had lots of empty space at the north end, so...

The idea is to keep your head up and crank your head right around to look where you want to end up - not to look dead ahead and down at the road. I always had trouble with this before. No trouble today. The bar risers let me sit straight up, or almost, and I found it much easier to turn my head. Much tighter turns, felt really in control. Boy, it felt great! The bike feels a bit smaller and more nimble. Don't know if 20mm can make that much of a difference, but if it does, I am grateful. I'll be back there on Sunday, for more practice. If I can learn to really manoever the bike better in low speed tight turns, I'll be very happy. It's got to be the improved riding position.

The GPS was positioned a bit differently. A barbell connector-type of RAM arm lets me use a small arm and a large arm to be able to move it around. I am still experimenting. May get a second large arm. Not really long and it may cause too much vibration. We'll see. The GPS is likely always going to block a portion of the speedometer, but that is acceptable. May use a different handlebar bolt hole for the RAM ball mount to move it a bit left, providing no interference with the clutch hydraulic reservoir results. Or not.

So, the farkles are a great success!

And, yes, for the observant, the secret farkle is still secret, for a few more days.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Exercise is Good for Me!

After my bout with Pneumonia, reported in an earlier blog, I was in severe need for some exercise. So, I went about getting some, when it was not raining, which was not often enough in the last while.

So, I made a video and will try to embed it here:

And, hope it works. I'll try it and come back to finish the post...

Well, I first put in a link and that worked, but I wanted to embed the video. Was not too difficult and you can see it above.

Hope you like it!

Made some tea, and while there, I thought of another related piece of news.

I was at the shoe store with Dianne looking for shoes for her when I spotted some MBT shoes on sale. These have high rocker, turn up at the heel and toe. Yes, that makes them unstable, compared to normal shoes. This causes one to work harder to balance. Lots of muscles are involved, so they all work harder than normal. This is called exercise.

I love them. Not everyone does, but I love the deep cushioning. When I stand still, my posture does improve, just like advertised. Recently, I have noticed that I can't stand in lineups without my back announcing it is not happy. Not with MBT shoes, because you use the correct part of the foot and the body just lines up above it.

And, I bought a pair of 4 lb hand weights. Trying to get arm and chest and shoulder muscles stengthened.

Motorcycle news: Handlebars now properly bolted. Sidestand foot extenders (wider, longer) installed. So, a bit safer on soft surfaces - hot asphalt, grass, mud(?), etc.

OK, that's all for tonight. Well, on second thought, here is another video:

And, as you can see, I get some exercise here too!

1am - off to bed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Kingdom for a Bolt

Went to Home Depot, Rona, Cdn Tire, 2 Marine stores, 3 bike shops (including my BMW dealer), Brafasco, and Fastenal. Talked to two friends in BC and one in Florida - for a stainless steel socket head cap screw, M8-1.25 x 70 or 75 mm. No luck!

Then, I went to the Fastenal web site. I had visited the store and saw nothing in the bins. Did not talk to the clerk. EBay had some for $6 + $17 shipping - and wait 10 days too! But, by phoning the local store and giving them a SKU from the web site, I got a special order. Will get them next Monday. One 70mm and one 75mm.


This bolt will go through a RAM B-367U ball, the left bar casting, the 20mm Touratech bar riser, and into the triple tree. The ball allows mounting of my Zumo 550 GPS.

Yea! Success!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Latest Farckles for Bike

Enough about sickness, let's talk Farkles!

Touratech Bar Risers

Last year I added peg lowering, but still wanted to get bar risers. The Touratech ones go straight up 20mm and no backwards offset. Seemed to be a reasonable kit. So, I ordered them.

Easy to install, except - my dealer provided me with a RAM ball on a special bolt for the the GPS. Needed a longer one, which he did not have available. The RAM folks do, for $10. Works. Just not sure the aluminum 70mm bolt is strong enough or long enough. Going to try to find a 75mm stainless bolt.

Touratech Sidstand Foot Enlarger

Got the $45 one, not the $80 size. Should be fine. Sitting out there, awaiting installation. Right side incisions are saying, not today, Ed...

This will be about the easiest install ever, 3 bolts. But, the bending down...

Secret Farkle

Have lusted for one of these for a while. Will tell you what it is later.

Garmin Map Updates

Maps now up to date. Was an exercise. Secret seems to be update the computer only, then the GPS unit.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Death Came for a Chat

For those of you who had to struggle to read the black-on-black original version, my appologies. The entry was composed on the iPad and posted via the desktop where some invisible hand did a fine job making it tough to read. Hope this is a bit better. 

It seems I'm not fit for him yet. Which is fine, but still un-nerving, and, well, way too soon. The earlier time, the prostrate cancer, just seemed so much more real than pneumonia. More technical.

Pneumonia makes it hard to breathe, so, without normal oxygen levels, you are very weak. Last Wednesday, or ???, Dr Price showed me my X-rays. Dianne, Suzanne, several nurses too. A teaching moment for me and likely others. On admission, the right lung was not functional, but recovered and was not in play. The right was crazy pushed flat by water at the back and between the three lobes. An initial small chest tube was followed by a fire hose, installed in the OR. Dr Segretti did the first, bedside, and he was very good at it. Dr Berzadi did the big one and got the thickened water trapped under each lobe to flow. He was the one calling the shots from then on. But, Dr Price was instructional and supportive. A great team should you need one, and I did. So, my thanks to them all. Lifesavers,they are.

Unless I deteriorated in blood oxygen saturation overnight, I will be discharged this morning. It will be great to be home, but decidedly not normal. Too weak. Must exercise and rest. Build strength. More on that later.

And indeed, I was discharged, am at home, recovering. Naturally, the main floor toilet float thingy failed, so will need to go shopping. 4 deg C, and getting warmer. So, great time to start walking and re-join all of the living.

Dianne did the shopping, and my good neighbor Joe did the installation. Many thanks Joe.

For those of you who were sending me best wishes, they were most appreciated.

More later.