Sunday, January 28, 2007

Immigration


"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in
good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be
treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to
discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American,
and nothing but an American...There can be NO divided allegiance here. Any man
who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.
We have room for but ONE flag, the American flag... We have room for but one
language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one
sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Friday, January 26, 2007

Return to Wolf Pen Gap


As I have mentioned before, when I first got my bike, I took a spill on GA Hwy 180 near Wolf Pen Gap. I have never been back on that particular rode since the incident. Today I decided it was time to return to Hwy 180 and prove to myself I could handle it.

I set out on Hwy 9 North which takes you thru Dawsonville, hometown to Bill Elliott.

The trip was beautiful. Leaving Hwy 9 north of Dahlonega, I picked up Hwy 60 to Suchess. Hwy 60 is a great ride in itself with some nice twisties and beautiful mountain scenery. Just out of Suchess, I picked up Hwy 180 and began to face my personal demon. The demon just wasn't as mean as I recalled. At first I was hesitant and second guessing myself in the twisties, but finally settled down and began enjoying the road. Hwy 180 is about 7 miles of twisties. I'm told it has the most for any road in Georgia, you be the judge.


I'm glad to report I over come my trepidations and rode Hwy 180 without any spills this time. I followed it to the interection of Hwy 348 and took it towards Helen, Georgia.

I was delighted to find that Hwy 348 "The Richard Russell Scenic By-Way" is also a gorgeous ride. I was suprised to find that there was ice on the sides of the rock walls next to the highway. Yes, it gets cold in North Georgia!

Once in Helen it was time to eat. Helen is a touristy town in North Georgia built to look like a german alpine village. Finding a place to eat isn't difficult. Chosing a place is more the task. I decided on the Cafe International.




After riding 70 miles in 40 degree weather, a hot ham and cheese sandwich, a bowl of chili, and a hot cup of coffee was just the trick.


The lunch was good, Helen was practically deserted. Once I finished my meal, I was back in the saddle. There are a couple hundred routes to chose from back home. I elected to return the way I came and have one more go at Hwy 180. It was even more fun on the way back. I knew I could ride it without issue, so now I was comfortable and riding with bit more speed. I wasn't riding anywhere near the speeds my friends on the crotch rockets would ride it, but I wasn't holding up traffic either :)

Ride Safe

Your Daily Moment of Zin - We Need More Cowbell

"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Valentine's Day Thoughts


DigitalSoul sums it up best, so instead of me babbling, watch his vid and give it some thought...
Valentine's Day Early - DigitalSoul

Monday, January 22, 2007

Georgia Southern signs Chris Hatcher


My Alma Mata - Georgia Southern University had a devistating blow to it's football program earlier this month when head coach, Brian VanGorder resigned to accept a position with the Atlanta Falcons. This weekend, GSU announced signing Chris Hatcher as the new head coach.

Hatcher has served as the head coach at Valdosta State University (which was Georgia Southern's cross state rival when both schools originally launched football teams, but then Valdosta State decided they didn't want to play against the Eagles anymore).
Under Hatcher, Valdosta State won the national title in 2004, was runner-up in 2002, and made the playoffs 6 times.

Official Press Release

Go Eagles!

Parcels Gone


Bill Parcells, head coach for my beloved Dallas Cowboys (America's Team), announced today that he is retiring from coaching. I'm not excited to read this, I'd rather read that Terrell Owens was not returning and was instead signing to play for the Atlanta Falcons (Wouldn't he be a good teammate for Vick?).

Here's hoping that the Cowboys hire a talented head coach that can deal with pompous, self-centered, over-paid personalities like T.O.

A Little Brains go a LOOONG Way


I don't wanna get off on a rant here, but there should be an open season on stupidity. A two and half yr old kid gets kicked out of a store for wearing a hood in cold weather? Smart shop owner. News from London

If you vandilize the boss's house and do it in the company truck, disable the GPS!
If you get pulled over for suspected DUI, don't say "What didn't I drink?"
more brilliance from the Milwaukee Journal Sentintel

Titanic Exhibit


The Titanic Exhibit is in Atlanta (as well as several other cities). We visited the exhibit here in Atlanta at the old Atlanta Civic Center on Saturday and found it quite enjoyable. They've reconstructed several rooms and display a great deal of interesting items - Coins, Currency, China, silverware, pots and pans, jewelry, personal items (bags, hats, shoes), and actual parts of the ship itself (including a piece of the hull, the wheel stand, and the engine room telepgragh).

I'd highly recommend it to anyone that is near any of the cities hosting the exhibit (check their website for Cities and locations). We discovered it from an article in the newspaper. I'm suprised there isn't more advertising on tv/radio.

For tickets for the Atlanta Exhibit, visit musuemtix or you can buy them at the Civic Center.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's Raining Again...

Saturday started out clear and cold (37 degrees F). I road 30 miles over to my men's dicipleship group. I figured it would warm up and be pretty nice by the time we concluded. It did warm up, but the wind picked up too. The ride home was 47 degrees, but I couldn't tell a real difference.

This morning I had to be in at Church by 7:15a (eek). It was clear and cold (43 degrees) and there was almost no traffic so the ride was enjoyable and quiet. By the time the service was over, it was raining and 38 degrees. Once again I REALLY like my Frogg Toggs rain gear. I concentrated on utilizing tire tracks in the highway for the driest spot in the lane and made my way home without incident. Thanks to the rainwear, I arrived dry as well.

ride safe

Friday, January 19, 2007

38 degrees and CLEAR

Ah better. Woke to 38 degrees and clear skies. The roads are wet with a few dry tire tracks, back on the bike. Was really nice to be back out and not in the cage. The forward controls are a nice change. Traffic was easy to deal with for a work day. It's really nice when noone tries to run over you :)

They claim we may actually get some snow around the house and up towards the mountains. I'll believe it when I see it. Pretty sure Atlanta and the perimeter won't get any of it, if it does.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and gets some riding time in...ride safe!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

31 degrees and Freezing Rain

Nope, I didn't ride today. With the combination of freezing rain, the possibility of ice on bridges, and commuter traffic, I opted to cage it in this morning. The door handle was frozen over with ice as was the door edges and windshield. But never fear, I've averaged 12,000 miles a year riding Autumn year-round, so I'll be back at it shortly.

ride safe

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Don't Mean to get on a Rant Here, But...


To borrow a line from an extremely popular political comedian, and someone's blog...

Recent air travel has had me thinking. With all the increased security to make American flyers safe from liquids, gels, shampoos, etc. and the increased screening of carry-on baggage, it is time for a change. I've spent the time in the aisle of the plane waiting for someone to beat and shove an bag that wasn't meant to fit in an overhead and then waited in the aisle for the same kind of bag to be extracated from the overhead. I've been hit in the head with stuff from the overhead bin and very recently witnessed an overhead bin fly open after take-off and watched as stuff started falling out on passengers sitting below it.

I think the FAA needs to revamp the carry-on restrictions. Currently you can carry on one piece of luggage and one personal item (purse, laptop, briefcase, attache', etc.) I propose keeping the one personal item and deleting the carry-on luggage. Do completely away with overhead bins. The waiting line time for screening would decrease because they have less bags to inspect. Boarding and de-boarding flight times would improve. And, the risk of some unsuspecting person getting hit in the head by someone else's luggage would be reduced.

Sure checked baggage can be a hassle from time to time, but it works the majority of the time just as the airlines do.

I've been touting this everytime I get on a plane. Evidentally, I'm not the original thinker on this topic ban the bins
Washington Post Article

Ice, Ice, baby

Dan shared the latest on the weather and driving conditions in Portland snow day

Hill + Ice = No traction = BAD

...including this footage from the local news station: news video

BP




Auto racing lost one of it's finest personalities yesterday. Benny Parsons passed away after a battle with lung cancer. He has been in intensive care since the day after Christmas and from the reports we knew it was just a matter of time.

Benny Parsons was always someone that the general public could relate to because he saw himself as just another guy despite having won a NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship in 1973. Benny was an approachable man with a zeal for life and a helping hand for those around him. He was born in rural Wilkes county North Carolina. His family moved to Detroit when he was young and he grew up working in his father's gas station back in the days when gas stations worked on their customer's cars, changing oil, replacing belts, fixing flats, etc. Benny eventually took a job as a taxi cab driver in Detroit. When he started racing in the ARCA and NASCAR ranks, he enjoyed putting "Taxi Cab Driver" as his form of occupation.

After a successful career as a NASCAR driver and winning a Championship, Benny developed a second career as in Television covering the sport he loved. He spoke a language that everyone could understand and worked diligently to explain the mechanical details to his audience so they could appreciate what was happening on the track.

I cherish the days when C-band satellite was the means for getting ESPN in the backwoods. I had the opportunity to ease drop on the uplink as the guys were getting ready to cover NASCAR events. Benny was always telling an entertaining story as only he could. Using his art for a tale, he could take a story about a trip to the grocery store and have half of the NASCAR garage enthrolled knowing the rant would lead to comedy before it ended.

I've had the distinct honor of walking thru the NASCAR garage area on several occasions and grew used to the site of Benny with his arms around a driver's neck telling a story that would soon lead to both of them reeling in laughter.

Unlike the latest NASCAR Champions, Benny was approachable. I've seen him over and over stopped in a throng of fans shaking hands, signing shirts, and laughing with the crowd. A lot of current era drivers could learn some important lessons in interacting with their fans from one of NASCAR's greatest champions and greatest TV commentators.

Rest in Peace, Benny.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Perspective

It is all about persepective. Unfortunately, we get so caught up in our daily struggles we forget that things could be a whole lot worse. Aaron sums it up really well on his blog, read these two posts.

better than I deserve

I am Better than I Deserve

Kinda kicks me in the shin and readjusts my persective....make sure to read the comments in the "touchy" post as well.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Touchy

I've been informed using the phrase "Work to Ride, Ride to Work" is a trademark infringement by Ridetowork.org and requested to change the name of my blog immediately. Nice folks considering I'm endorsing riding motorcycles to work and that is supposedly what they're all about. Guess they have the corner on the market for commuting on motorcycles. Guys, I know you're reading this, kindly disassociate me and my blog from your organization. You don't seem like folks I care to be associated with in any manner. Thanks!

So I've changed the name of my blog back to the plain vanilla it was before. Hopefully I can use my own name without infringing on anyone's rights.

Always someone looking to make an issue these days.

Forward Controls





Well, I got home tonight to a nice suprise. A box was awaiting my arrival with forward controls for Autumn. I set to task after dinner and you can see the final results. The stock mid-mount controls are no more. I can cruise comfortably on my commute now :)

Riding to Work in the Biggest City in the South

-3.33 degrees C, 269.82 degrees K, 486 degrees R and Clear


Another gorgeous ride to work on Autumn. We passed two accidents within a one-mile stretch both of which were cages running into the rear-end of cages. Reminds me to watch them in my rearview, keep the bike in gear at intersections, and have an escape route planned when one of them doesn't appear ready to stop.


I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of a set of forward controls. I'll be doing a little wrenching on Autumn this weekend if they arrive in the next couple of days. I'm pretty much over mid-controls.


Ride Safe!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

26th Annual Cycle World International - Atlanta


Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Boulevard, NW
Atlanta, GA 30313


Friday, February 23
4:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturday, February 24
9:30am - 8:00pm
Sunday, February 25
9:30am - 5:00pm

$12.00 Adult
$5.00 Children 6-11
Children 5 & under free

Cycle World - Atlanta Show Info

Motorcycle Wisdom

Sometimes I just find something too good not to pass along. No need to rehash, Dave has said it well...
motorcycling wisdom

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Are you Bogarting the left hand lane?



Bogart - v. To hog something which is supposed to be shared, e.g., a bone or controller. To keep something all for oneself, thus depriving anyone else of having any.
n. A person who bogarts
n. The act of bogarting.


Why has bogarting the left hand lane on a multi-lane road or highway become the national norm? According to the driver's manual in most of the 50 states, the left hand lane is for passing or turning. But, on average today's American drivers have decided the left hand lane is the lane of choice. If a vehicle is in the left hand lane of a multi-lane road (not just a highway) and multiple vehicles are passing on the right, someone is bogarting the left hand lane. Why? Perhaps the left hand lane has taken on the same value as the remote control, when someone has it, they feel power and control and relinquishing the left hand lane to someone else is giving up control. At some point in time did they quit teaching children to share in kindergarten or have we decided that since we are adults, we don't have to share anymore?

This morning as I started my commute I was positioned behind a cage (car, truck, minivan, non-scooter, non-motorcycle type transportation) waiting to turn right onto a mutli-lane highway. Cages were turning left from the otherside of the intersection and into the left lane. The cage in front of me would not move even though the right hand lane was empty. It did not bother me as I figured the cage driver was being cautious. But as soon as the traffic on the other side of the intersection finished turning, the cage in front of me turned out onto the empty highway and directly into the left hand lane. It was readily apparent that the cage driver wasn't being cautious at all, just waiting to stake claim to the left hand lane.

As I passed by in the right hand lane, I was a bit more aware than normal how many vehicles were lined up in the left hand lane driving below the speed limit and that the right hand lane was empty. Is it lack of education? Have the Slower Traffic Keep Right signs disappeared? Do we not keep right because we don't want to feel like slower traffic? I've traveled on multi-lane roads in early morning hours when there were very few vehicles on the road and noticed a high percentage were driving along in the left hand lane. Is it a comfort thing?

As over-crowded as most of our roadways are these days, we all need to do our part to make traffic move along as best as it can. Keeping to the right except when passing or turning does just that. Bogarting the left hand lane establishes rolling roadblocks which congest traffic worse than it already is. Use the left hand lane as much as you need, but don't have your mail forwarded to the left lane. Ride to the right and allow others to pass and allow traffic to flow.

Autumn in January in Atlanta

Here is my faithful steed "Autumn", a 2000 model Harley-Davidson Sportster parked at the office this morning. It was 30F (-1C) this morning and clear which spells a great day to commute on my bike. As I rode along in the brisk air, I thought how lucky I am not to be fighting all of the ice and snow that my friends in the north encounter this time of year. Watching the sun beginning to come up through a full face helmet with the chilly air wisking around my chin, I am grateful for feeling so alive.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year



My daughter and I rode with the Harley Owners Group from Fraiser's Harley-Davidson for New Year's Day. It was a little over 50 degrees and beautiful. We rode with 29 other bikes dodging a plethora of possum carcasses winding our way to the Beef O'Brady's in Grayson for lunch. It was a wonderful day for riding in January. On the return trip the wind picked up and began to get colder. The coffee pot was well valued when we got back to the house.