Tag Archive: friends


For the last few days, the weather has been pretty cool and rainy.  That’s not helping the pool very much.  Over the last few weeks, it has been in the 80s and 90s outside, and the pool was around 76 degrees.  That’s not too bad when you consider that I had to backwash it a lot and had to keep adding cold hose water to fill it back up.

Yesterday when I checked the temperature in the pool, it was about 71 degrees.  I haven’t checked it today, but with the constant rain and temps around 58 degrees, I can only imagine what it is now.  I don’t think I want to look.

The pool is finally starting to clear up.  I figured it would take a little longer this year, as it wasn’t opened last year and there was a lot more to clean up.  It turned blue quickly, but it hasn’t cleared up the cloudiness quite yet.  I can see the shallow end bottom and halfway down to the deep end, so it wont be long now.

One good thing about the rain is that it is filling up the pool and I don’t have to run the hose into it and waste the water.  It’s also watering my garden.  Two birds, one stone I guess.

My question is this – Why did we get Summer weather in Spring, and now that Summer is about to begin, we are getting Spring weather?

With the first day of summer just about two weeks away, I start to think of why it is my favorite time of year.  I think the warm weather is a bit of a given, but I have a few other reasons why I love it.

The Pool – I’ve been a water rat since I was a toddler.  I also lived close to the ocean in Virginia growing up.  So, I have spent many hours of my life in the water.  I’ve also been pulled out of the pool (over the side) because I couldn’t breathe more times than I care to remember.  That has not stopped me from going back in.  To this day, I still will spent a good portion of the day in the pool.  I love it!

The Grill – I love cooking on the grill.  I do it all year long, but it’s much more pleasant when it isn’t below freezing outside.  This morning I made bacon in a frying pan on the side burner of the grill.  I like to make it outside so it doesn’t smell up the house.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs or steak, I love cooking out there.  Plus the grill overlooks the pool.  Bonus!

Motorcycles – Riding is a huge passion of mine.  I still do it in some of the colder months, but like other things, it’s much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.  Being on a motorcycle is such an amazing feeling.  It’s so relaxing.  It also will make you forget all your problems for a while.  Great for clearing your head.

Friends – This one sort of ties into all of the others.  Summer to me is about hanging out with your friends, having a cookout, swimming in the pool and riding.  There’s something about the camaraderie of bikers that makes you proud to be a part of that family.  I’ve met some of the best people while riding or talking about motorcycles.

Photography – This is also a given.  I do have a photography blog and a Photo Group.  The sun, the flowers, nature, cars and waterfalls all make me very happy when I get out with the camera in my hands.  There are a lot of places that I want to shoot this year.  Hopefully this nice weather (well, before this weekend) will continue and I can check more places off my list.

What about summertime makes you happy?

As I sit here tonight trying to think about a blog topic, I am surfing the guide on TV looking for something to watch.  There’s usually not too much worth watching at this hour, but for the most part, it’s just background noise while I surf the web.

At midnight, I try again and find that “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is on.  I love this show!  I nearly have a stomach ache every time I watch it from laughing so hard.  It baffles me how the comedians on the show can come up with funny material so quickly.  I think my favorite skits are the ones where they have to ask questions of each other or the ‘props’ skit.  Wayne Brady is a genius and keeps me in stitches. Ryan and Collin are also incredibly funny.

I also have a special place in my heart for the ‘stupid’ comedies.  When I say stupid, I mean most people think they are stupid, but I laugh my ass off watching them.  Movies like “Dumb and Dumber“, “Office Space” and “Ace Ventura“.  They have a great way of taking your mind off the bad things that may be happening in your life, even if only for an hour.

Because I love these types of movies so much, I have an endless supply of useless movie quotes in my head.  Unfortunately, everyone else doesn’t always get the jokes when I use them, but it makes me smile.

The Blue Collar guys (Larry the Cable Guy, Ron “Tater Salad” White, Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall) are pretty high up on my list of comedians.  I grew up in the South, so I can relate to them a little.  Maybe a little too much sometimes.  I also like Katt Williams and Mike Epps quite a bit.

What makes you laugh?

Take the plunge

A shot from my phone while sitting by the pool...

So, a few days ago, I opened the pool for the season.  For a few reasons, it didn’t get opened last year.  So, this year I was expecting a nightmare of a time getting it cleared up and ready to swim in.  I could only imagine what had gotten in under the cover while being closed for a year and with all the crazy wind we have had since it’s been closed.

I took the cover off and it was a murky brown, but not the pitch black color I had expected.  I started scooping leaves out of the deep end and got quite a bit.  A big fear that I had was the leaves would stain the liner because it got closed in November a year and a half ago.  It was cold and we were very busy, so it didn’t get cleaned out as it should have.

Another concern I had was that it never had any chemicals added to it last year, including winterizer and anti-freeze in the pipes.  I was really worried that the pipes would freeze and burst, but was pretty confident that the winterizer that was added before would still be OK.

After I got the leaves out, I hit the pool with a gallon of algaecide and let it sit in the pool for a day.  I vacuumed it out and added 5 gallons of chlorine right after the back washing.  Within ten minutes, the brown was turning to blue.  I couldn’t believe it.  This was much easier than I had hoped.

The only problem I am having is that the water is cloudy.  My chemical levels are good, but the cloudiness just wont go away.  I have backwashed many times, and even put some clarifier in, but it’s still cloudy.  I can’t figure out why.  Any pointers?

I have been swimming since I was a toddler.  My grandparents always had a pool in their yard, and I spent most of the summer swimming in it.  I am a total water rat as well.  I could spend hours on end in the pool.  You literally have to drag me out.  On top of that, I learned a lot about taking care of pools from my grandparents.  It helps a lot now that I am doing it on my own.

Hopefully, in a few days it will be nice and clear and we can swim on a regular basis again.  There’s nothing like being able to wake up in the morning and dive into the pool, or finish mowing the lawn and diving in to cool off.  I love it. My specialty is the backflip off the diving board!

Do you like to swim?  Are you a pool person, or do you prefer the beach?

See ya soon!

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!

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.

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.

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!

Last night, Rose and I attended the Times Union Baseball and Bloggers event at the  Dale Miller Restaurant in downtown Albany. The event was put on by Mike Huber, the Interactive Audience Manager for the Blogs portion of the site.  Mark McGuire was the MC for the night. Mark is a sports columnist and also blogs for the Times Union.  In the first two hot seats were Jordan Carleo-Evangelist and Chris Churchill.  They both root for different teams, but it seems they put aside their differences when they write.  Jennifer Gish was the third member in the hot seat.  She is a newcomer to baseball, and admitted that she grew up watching football.  I got a laugh when she said they should just get rid of the (Pittsburgh) Pirates.

Personally, I am not a sports fan in the least.  I don’t know much about baseball or any other sport, but I did want to attend to see what it was all about.  Just like the Media 2010: How blogs shape the new conversation blogging event a few months ago, I really enjoyed being a part of this event.  It was fun, informative and great for networking with other bloggers.

Jordan and Chris exchanged a witty banter and had me laughing quite a bit.  Even though I don’t know much about sports, I did enjoy listening to them interact with the audience.  The audience did a great job of participating as well.  Unfortunately, the game was delayed due to rain and the guys stretched it out as long as they could, but had to release us to mingle as the delay was going to be another 40 minutes or so.

Mike did an awesome job of organizing this event.  Dale Miller Restaurant is a beautiful place.  We were on the 13th floor (or P1 as the elevator displayed).  The view of the city was quite incredible from there.  I am glad it rained, because I would have been upset to have that gorgeous outdoor patio with 360 degree views of downtown and not have my camera with me.  If anyone from Dale Miller reads this, I would love to have the opportunity to do some photography from that patio.  The shots I could get from there would be amazing!  End of shameless begging…

I had the opportunity to meet some Twitter friends and writers of blogs I read frequently while I was there.  I finally got to meet Amanda Talar, who may or may not know how to flirt, but she likes motorcycles.  That is OK in my book!  Kari VanAlstyne was there, and so was local self-proclaimed sex symbol Kevin Marshall.  I also met Mike Keane and got to chat him up about jobs and blogs.  At some point he realized that I lost my mouth filter a while ago and I just let things fly.  It catches people off guard sometimes.  They see me dressed in Brooks Brothers slacks and a nice button down shirt,  so they don’t necessarily know that I am a heavily tattooed biker.  I love it.

Oh, and if anyone sees the nice lady that was taking pictures of the guests at the party, please send her my apologies.  I can be a bit of a wiseass.  She came up to us at the beginning of the event and asked if she could take our picture.  I said, “No, you can’t take my picture.  I am anonymous.”  I was totally kidding, and she never took my picture.  Oops.  It is a bit of an inside joke.  As a photographer I hate having my picture taken.  Ironic, isn’t it?  So, in most online sources, you wont see a picture of me.  I will post a picture of my reflection in the chrome of my Harley, or wearing a helmet, but you’ll rarely see my face.  Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.

I really think that a motorcycle blog should be a part of the Times Union Blog section.  I would be happy to contribute with perhaps a few other bloggers sharing the blog.  Have your people call my people and they can do lunch together!

See ya soon!