Tag Archive: family


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!

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People ask me from time to time how I keep such a positive, happy attitude.  I like to tell them that no matter how bad things get, someone else always has it much worse.  I am fortunate to wake up every day with a great family, a gorgeous girlfriend, my health and a motorcycle.  How could you not smile on a motorcycle?

But, I do have days where I am in a really bad mood, or even a funk and there’s one sure fire way to get me out of it – Music.  All I have to do is grab the iPod and pick something out and start listening.   Certain music will instantly put a smile on my face.  It really depends on what type of mood I am in to determine which type of music I need to perk me up.

I like to listen to a lot of different types of music, so I have a ton of music in my iPod Photo I bought in 2004 or 2005.  I still have the old school iPod.  It’s huge, but it still works like new.  About an inch thick, and 60GB worth of space on it.  I put about 4,000 songs on it, so I am not very limited in genres.  I am not a fan of country though.  I hear it’s getting a little more pop-like, but it’s just not my bag, baby.

So, as I was sitting here trying to figure out what to do my blog on, I went looking for some old CDs with old pictures stored on them.  I found an old 50 CD spindle crammed with a ton of CDs that was stored in a tote in the basement.  I was hoping it had the pictures I was looking for on a CD in it, but it didn’t.  There were a ton of burned music CDs and a few actual music CDs in there.  Jackpot!

I think that everyone has that ‘era’ of music that they love.  Well, maybe just old farts.  I am very partial to 90s hip-hop.  It’s my guilty pleasure.   I grew up in Virginia and it was the most popular among the people I grew up with.  I think it was a great time for the genre.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge rock and metal lover, too.  I love old school Metallica (pre-St. Anger) and Rage Against the Machine is one of my favorite bands.  And, much to Kevin Marshall’s chagrin, I love Nickelback.  I’ve seen them in concert three times and they put on an amazing show.

Now, it’s your turn.  Tell me what can put a smile on your face when you’re in a funk.  Music?  Friends?  Shopping?  Alcohol?  Do you have a musical ‘era’?  What type of music do you like?

See ya soon!

When I wrote yesterday’s blog, I started with an idea in mind, but as I typed, something else took over and changed the ending a bit.  The story about my grandfather was supposed to lead up to what originally inspired that blog.  Instead, it turned into how I came to love motorcycles.  Good or bad you ask?  Bonus, I say.

What I was originally going to write was how as a kid, my grandfather worked on small engines.  We would test them out and make sure they would work before he called the owners and let them know they were fixed.  The rest of the story was true, but not where I had originally wanted to go with it.  Here is what I was going to write before I got sidetracked…

My grandfather was very specific about how we mowed the lawn.  He had a system that cut the yard into four sections.  He wanted us to go in a certain direction, never blowing the grass towards the house or the pool.  I thought it was a little wacky as a kid, but now that I am grown up (well, that’s still questionable) I have my own system when I cut the grass, sort of like he did.  I always cut it in a different direction each time.  I usually chose a diagonal pattern across the yard, and the following week, I will do the same, but from the other corner of the yard so they intersect.  I know, riveting stuff, but I do have a point!

As kids, we lived in an old farm house with acres and acres of land and a ridiculously long driveway.  We had so much grass that we actually used two riding mowers to cut it.  One of my brothers would use one and I would use the other.  It was quite the task, but we got it done.

The point I am trying to make is that I never got tired of mowing the lawn.  I hear people all the time saying how much they hate doing it, and it’s such a pain in the butt.  I personally love doing it.  I take great pride in making sure the lawn looks good.  It makes me feel like I have accomplished something.   There’s nothing like finishing the lawn and looking out the window to see how great it looks and the diagonal lines in brilliant green.

The reason I wrote this is to ask you a question – What chore or task did you have growing up that you love still?  Which one do you hate?

See you soon!

P.S. Please check out Rose’s blog today.  Her friend’s daughter has leukemia and they are doing a fundraiser for her tomorrow, Friday the 21st.

Is nothing sacred?

A lonely tree overhangs the steep drop from the overlook area

A lonely tree overhangs the steep drop from the overlook area

For the last few years, I have been going to John Boyd Thacher Park to see the vast beauty that it holds.  Whether it be for a picnic lunch and a hike down to the falls, or with a bunch of biker buddies wanting a scenic ride, I love Thacher Park.  I would say that I probably venture up there at least a dozen times a year.  I am sure that figure is a little on the low side.

Thacher Park is a great place to visit with family and friends.  There are a ton of places to hike, picnic, or just hang out and look at the amazing views.  I have taken many photos of the area to capture it’s beauty.  No matter what time of year I go up there, there are always quite a few people hanging out and exploring the mountain.

If so many people love the park like I do, why are they trying to shut it down?  Governor Paterson has decided that in order to trim the New York budget, he is planning to close a number of state parks to make up for the budget shortfall.  What a crappy thing to do.  I am very saddened by this decision.

Why the state parks?  In these difficult times, when people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend in ridiculously overpriced them parks, why would you do this?  Find another way.  I costs next to nothing to go to the park for the day.  There are still tons of people out of work that can’t afford expensive trips and vacations, so they stay close to home and share these parks with their children.  It keeps them active as families without breaking the bank.

A few local media outlets have covered this story, and I want to make as many people aware of this as possible.  I am including in this blog the links to those articles so you can have all the information that is out there about this travesty.  There is also a Facebook group that was created to stop this from happening.

It doesn’t look good for my favorite park.  I hope that something will change and they can find the money elsewhere.  Until then, we need to get the word out and sign any petitions to save the park that we can.  According to this Facebook page, there was a protest at the Capital building last week.  I hope it helped.

If you know of any other sites or petitions, please feel free to let me know about them.  Also, let’s keep this civil and not turn it into a nasty political debate.  Save your nasty comments for someone else’s blog.  Here are a few more pictures I have taken at Thacher Park.  See you soon…

The falls

The falls

The stairs

The stairs

The bikes

The bikes

And no, for once that is NOT a LOST reference.

From time to time, you will read posts from me about “back home” in Virginia.  Today’s blog is about another town close to where I grew up.  The town is called Cape Charles.  Growing up, it was a very poor town, with a lot of run down houses and old businesses that aren’t open anymore.  Over the past five or ten years, the town has been revived.  There are now gated communities, beautiful homes and golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.  It was quite a nice surprise to drive into town back in December and see the wonderful changes that have been made over the years.

Cape Charles is just 15 miles or so North of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  I learned a neat tidbit of information on this trip.  My grandmother told me that my grandfather used to take the ferry from Virginia Beach to Cape Charles back in the ’50s before the bridge was built.  He was in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, VA and would hitchhike from Virginia to Massachusetts when he had leave.  Can you imagine that?  He would hitchhike 500 miles to get home.  Back then it was safe to do.  In his travels, he loved the area so much that he moved the family there in 1973 and lived there until he passed in 2006.  He was then, and always will be, my hero.

My grandmother asked me to drive her through the town so she could see the changes that had been made, as it is 30 or so miles South of her house.  We were pleasantly surprised.  I even grabbed a few pictures.  When you come into town, they have a water tower that has been decorated to look like a lighthouse.

Water tower in town

Water tower in town

There were some old train cars by the harbor that made for great shots.  They look like they have been well maintained over the years and some may even still be in service.

Rail car

Rail car

The old train

The old train

As my title implies, there were cotton fields in Cape Charles.  I had no idea they grew it there.  I was driving by the field and was like “what the?” “Is that cotton?”  It sure was.

Cotton

Cotton

Cotton field

Cotton field

At the entrance to one of the gated communities, there was a small pond with a magnificent bronze sculpture of a man fishing with his dog.

Man's best friend

Man's best friend

Have you ever been to Cape Charles, or even heard of it?