Archive for May, 2010


Happy Memorial Day!

Image courtesy of the US Marines

In your travels today, please don’t forget about those men and women that have fought for our freedom.  Some of them lost their lives in battle fighting for our freedom, and some have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Lots have long term illnesses or have lost limbs just so we can have our lives the way we do now.

Please see this day as more than just a day off from work and a reason to party.  Thank a veteran.  Thank a member of the military.  They deserve it.

See ya soon!

If you see a Veteran, please thank them for serving our country!

On the road again

Sorry to give you a short post, but I am out in the Berkshires and my access to internet was very limited.  I have to take my mother to Boston in a few hours for a small eye surgery procedure.  It’s around midnight now, and I have to be up at 3am, so I am gonna run off to bed.  I promise a couple good posts to make up for it next week. 

Hopefully I can snag a few pictures while she is in surgery or on the ride down or back.  I think we might hit rush hour traffic, so I am leaving extra early to make sure we are there by her appointment at 8am.  See ya soon!

Image courtesy of Rose

Yesterday, the temperature hit 94 degrees here in Albany.  According to Channel 10 New’s Steve Caporizzo, we tied 1994 for the record temp on this day in history.  It was pretty warm for upstate New York in spring.

Every Wednesday, we ride with a meetup group called No Destinations.  Yesterday was no different, but it was a little bizarre.  We put on the gear (yes the jackets, boots, full face helmet and gloves) and set off on this adventure.  It was to be different that most days.  We usually leave here around 4:30 so we don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic on the Northway.  Sure, we get to the ride about an hour and a half early, but it beats sitting in traffic for an hour or two.

We left a little later than usual, probably around 4:45 or so.  The Northway was already moving pretty slow, so we jumped off exit 6 and picked up Route 9.  That wasn’t much better.  We hit every light on 9, and it seemed those lights took forever to change.  We were roasting.  I needed gas in the bike, so I pulled into the Hess in Halfmoon.  I got off the bike and Rose noticed a sign on the door that the air conditioning died, so they closed early.  The sign also said that the pumps were still on for credit card users.

Great!  I spin around to the pump and look at where the numbers should be, and there are none.  What the ?  I guess we wont be getting gas there.  As we rode up the street, we noticed a bunch of stoplights were out.  Not flashing, but out.  If you live in the area and know Clifton Park drivers, you will understand why that scared the hell outta me!

We headed up to Malta and grabbed some gas, then headed back to the Mill to wait for others to show up.  As we were heading up for gas, I saw the tire marks where my friend was riding and a van did a u-turn in front of him.  It was pretty eerie.  Word on the street is that he is coming home from the hospital tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

Back at the Mill, about 25 riders braved the heat for the ride.  We did a nice ride up to Saratoga.  We stopped at the Horseshoe Inn Grill & Bar.  It was a really nice place, just across from the Saratoga racetrack.  While we were there, I got a text from the Weather Service telling me a thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area.  I pulled up the Weather Channel on my phone and the radar showed the storm North and West of us.  Nothing to worry about right now.

When we got back to the Mill, the club had some meatloaf and mashed potatoes waiting for us.  We ate dinner and had birthday cake for our good friend Murph.  There was a sign up sheet for us to volunteer to help our friend that was in the accident, as he wont be able to do these chores for a while.  People signed up to mow the lawn, help with the pool and cook food.  That is why I love this group so much.  The list filled up quickly and people were more than willing to jump right in and help out a member who fell on hard times.  It’s like a great big family.  I am honored to be a part of it.

It was getting kind of late and it had been thundering and lightning to the north of us, so we decided to head home.  As I turned the key on to start the bike, I noticed this fine mist in front of the head light.  I took my glove off and felt for rain.  It wasn’t rain.  We got on the road and it was coming down almost like fine snow.  I joked to Rose through our communications device about volcanic ash.  It was really weird.  I chalked it up to being pollen blowing out of the trees because it was very windy.

Heading down the Northway, the lightning show was amazing!  I could tell that we were heading for some rain though.  Around Exit 8, it started to downpour.  At 70 miles per hour, the rain felt like needles on my skin.  It was crazy, but I loved every minute of it.  It was a great day.

See ya soon!

A few nights ago, the TCRPMG members had a model shoot in Hudson, NY.  As we were shooting, my eye wandered up an enormous flag pole to see the flag among this gorgeous blue sky.  I couldn’t help but shoot it.  It was so gorgeous.

You see, ever since I was a kid, I have been in love with the flag that represents this great country of ours.  I always try to get good shots of it to share.  That flag represents our freedom.  That flag represents those risking their lives so we may keep our freedom.  Many have given their lives for us. Unfortunately, a lot of people take that freedom for granted.

Kristi was tweeting and talking on Facebook the other day about people that wouldn’t stop talking during the National Anthem.  It made me pretty mad.  I have noticed that people have become incredibly rude and just don’t care anymore.  And it’s not only during the National Anthem.  There have been a few instances where I was probably sitting in my chair with my mouth wide open, amazed at how rude people are.

My cousin’s wedding was a great example.  My cousin and his wife were at the altar and the priest was doing conducting the ceremony.  There was a crowd of people in the back of the room that were carrying on a loud conversation.  I was getting pretty angry.  They were disrupting the service and didn’t even care.

Last week, at Baseball and Bloggers, the panel was speaking and the people in the back of the room were so loud I could barely hear the speakers.  It baffles me that this is becoming so common.  Why would you go to an event and ignore the lecture just to chat with your friends?  Pick up the phone and call them.  Go to a bar.

I know that I have no control over the way people act in public.  I am just saddened by the lack of respect that seems to have become OK in society.  What happened?  I can only assume it’s because parents can’t (or wont) discipline their kids anymore.  The world is going to be a very scary place in another twenty years.

Now that my whining is over, I want to add one more thing.  Find a Vietnam Veteran, an Iraq Veteran or a current military member and thank them for protecting this great country of ours.  It’s because of them that we have the freedom we have.  And don’t forget all of those that have lost their life fighting for us and those that are POW-MIA.

See ya soon.

Need some advice

Image courtesy of Top 10 List

A friend was asking me recently about home improvements.  They wanted to know what to look for in a contractor.  This friend needs a roof and siding replaced.

I offered to write to you all and ask questions, hoping some of you could offer some good advice.  This will be the first time this friend is having some work done on their home, so they want to be sure they don’t get ripped off or get someone who takes the money and runs.  I sat down and wrote out some questions that I thought were valid, and maybe you can add more or answer the ones I have here.

How does he know they have insurance and it is valid? – Anyone can ‘say’ they have insurance, but how does he know if they really do?  Is it OK to call their insurance company and ask if it is still in good standing?  Is there a privacy act that will not allow the insurance company to disclose information to someone other than the policy holder?

References – Most say they will provide references, but how does he know if they are legit?  The reason I ask this is because if someone called me asking about someone’s work, I might think it’s a scam and not talk to them.  It’s kinda weird, ya know?  I can see how it would be very easy to make up a list of names and say you did work for them.

Red flags – What should pop up a red flag?  Things that will appear, but not be kosher?

Maintenance/Warranty – What if there is a problem down the road?  How will he know that they will come back and take care of it?

Thanks for the info.  We really appreciate it.  See ya soon!

Image courtesy of Hub Pages

Please read this one.  And then share it with everyone you know.

It had been a busy few days, and I woke up tired yesterday morning.  Yes, I woke up tired.  So, when a friend sent me a text asking if we wanted to go out on the motorcycle for the day, I turned him down.  I wasn’t feeling alert, and being alert is a huge must when riding.  We went about our day and did some things around the house.  Later on, we went out to get some stuff for the garden.  We were walking around the nursery I hear a text alert from Rose‘s phone.  Rose then said to me “Oh my God, (friend’s name) has been in a motorcycle accident.

We hopped in the car and headed for the hospital to see him and comfort his girlfriend.  We got there and were allowed to go in and see him.  He was in a lot of pain but his injuries were not life threatening.  Here’s what he told me:

He was riding by the lake just past The Mill and a lady in a minivan was sitting on the side of the road by the lake.  She apparently decided to do a u-turn across the road without looking in her mirrors.  He locked up the brakes and laid the bike down and hoped for the best.    He said he hit the bumper of the car.  He was pretty heavily medicated by this point, so I don’t know if it was the front or the rear bumper.

The accident left a him with a huge gash across his knee, a compound fracture and a chunk of bone out of his foot.  He went into surgery and we waited around for him to be out, so we could make sure he was in the clear.  He was, but they had to amputate all of his toes (on the right foot) and part of his foot (right).  I am both saddened and angered as I type this.  Someone couldn’t be bothered to look in their mirrors, and now he has to live with this for the rest of his life. The road by the lake is a major highway with four lanes and a turn lane in the middle.  Why would you do a u-turn across that road?

And then there are the what-ifs…

  • What if we had gone with him?  Would we have been in the same accident?
  • If I was on the Harley, would they have heard us?
  • What if he just stopped for five minutes, even to get gas?
  • What if his girlfriend had been on the bike with him?
  • What if he was going just a little bit faster?  Would he have made it past her?

But, all the what-ifs in the world wont change what has happened.  The only good thing I can say is that he is still alive.  And for that, we are very grateful.  Please, please, please – Look twice and save a life.  Motorcycles are everywhere.  This didn’t have to happen.

See ya soon.