The Past Year


Let's see... last entry was a year and 5 days ago. In that time, there's been some ongoing medical issues on my part, my dad ended up in the hospital, where it was touch and go for two weeks, then the winter (hard to get out and ride during the winter season...). I was laid off in March, subsequent cost cuttings meant losing insurance on the bike, so no riding, then discovered my 19-year old daughter has cancer and, wow, did my world get upended.

In a nutshell, this past year has been a rough one.

I miss this site. Just because I've been having issues getting out and riding doesn't meant I can't update parts of it. The Decades section for certain can use some love, and hell, I just need to be in front of a computer for that.

I've also had a new site idea running through my head, which will tie in very closely with this one. Still travel-orientated, but less Harley-related. If it comes to fruition, you can bet you'll see it here.

In the mean time, the shiny, if dusty, side is still up. Gotta stay positive!

Penned after getting back from the pub on Aug 27, 2017

Best Laid Plans...


The plan was to borrow a GoPro, use my iPhone camera, and record the trip down to Lake Anna for a guy's weekend at a friend's cabin. Poker, BBQ, and beer were all to be had, and it's a great time. There's some pretty countryside to ride through as well, and I thought that maybe this could be my "inaugural" video post, and get started into travel video logging.

Alas.

Two weeks ago I was hit with the worst headache of my life. The intensity and quickness with which it arrived was amazing. It was late at night, and I didn't want to wake the wife to take me to the ER (sleeping dragons and all that). Besides, it was just a headache, I thought. I quickly took three Advil and attempted to rest.

By the next afternoon, when the headache hadn't gone away, and I'd maxed the dosage of Advil and Tylenol, my wife finally convinced me to go to Urgent Care. Once there, I was scolded (literally), and sent to the ER. Ended up being admitted overnight and released the following afternoon. In-between were CT scans, spinal taps, and a failed MRI. 

Two weeks later, and I'm mostly OK. Saw my neurologist today, and he thinks it was a burst blood-vessel. Nothing to really do, other than just be aware of my current head state. And currently, I'm feeling mostly fine. I'd put myself at about 90%. Given the previous two weeks however, and the fact that the headache still spikes, and there was a lot of dizziness involved, I think it's simply safer to drive down with a friend, rather than take the bike. 

Hopefully in a few weeks I'm feeling better. Then I'll see about putting the travel blog plans back into place. In the meantime, here's to looking forward to a great weekend, pocket pairs, and better health.

Scribbled while pondering life on Aug 22, 2016

VW & HD Make A Nice Couple


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Put In Writing while wishing I had a cool VW van on Jul 19, 2016

Priorities


Daisy, my 2000 FLSTC, is currently in the shop getting some maintenance done. I needed new tires and can't do that myself, so I took her to a local shop here to get those installed. I asked them to replace the front brakes, check rear brakes, get the fluids changed and do the safety inspection while she was in the shop. I could probably do the brakes myself, and I know I can do the fluids myself, having done it a few times before, but I figured I'd just get it all done at once.

And then, I have to decide if I'm going to sell her or not.

It figures, in that I finally get this website to a point where I'm happy with it, it's easy to maintain, easy to update, and fun to work on. But since my trip in August of last year, I've only ridden the bike twice and I'm starting to wonder if keeping her is worth it.

First, there's some health issues. I have carpal tunnel, and I can't drive five miles without one or both of my hands falling asleep or completely dead. As noted in my travel log from that trip, I acquired braces for the carpal tunnel. It's not to the point where I need surgery, but it is making riding a challenge. I know some might say just the fact that I can't ride for any period of time is reason enough for surgery, but there are other factors.

Such as traffic. The Washington D.C. area consistently ranks among the worst in traffic congestion in the United States. And it's only going to get worse. Aside from the amount of cars, there's also been an exponential increase in distracted driving. I can't count the number of times I've seen people on their phones, paying attention more to the screen than the road. This makes me super nervous as a biker. So much so that I've gone from a half-helmet and leather or jean jacket, to a full-faced helmet paired with a high-end motorcycle jacket with armor in the shoulder, elbows and back. And I'm still nervous. It takes 30-45 minutes to get somewhere where riding is fun again, and I'm focusing 100% of my energy on avoiding cars and instead, can enjoy the road.

The most recent reason I've been considering selling the bike is interest in motorcycling in general has faded, and interest in sailing has risen. I've never been sailing, so I don't even know if I like it. I'm going to spend a little bit of money and go sailing for a couple of hours on the Chesapeake Bay, before getting lessons (which can cost hundreds of dollars). If I do decide I like it, however, and want to spend more time and resources learning how to sail, well... that's another expensive hobby. The wife would be more willing to let me pursue a new passion of I sold off the bike.

For now, it's a waiting game. If I enjoy sailing when I go in a few weekends, I'll definitely need to start reconsidering the bike. 

Scrawled while confused on Jun 13, 2016

Rain, Rain, Go Away


I like the rain. When I lived in Oregon as a child, I got used to the gray, dreary days. Even if it was raining, we'd be outside playing. Granted, it was usually a soft rain, drizzle or mist. Not thunderstorms or hard, driving rain like we'd get in the desert. The rain in Oregon wouldn't drown you.

Oregon rain is the kind of rain we've been experiencing here in Northern Virginia now, for more than two weeks. Someone told me the area broke a record for most consecutive days with measurable rain for this period. I believe it. Even the ducks are starting to look drowned.

While I do like the rain, I like being able to do stuff outside too, that requires it to not be raining. I need to clean my garage. There's a lot more yard work to finish (who am I kidding, yard work is never finished). And I'd like to go riding, take a weekend, and throw the tent on the back of the bike. While riding in a light drizzle, or even moderate rain doesn't really bother me, given I'm probably attired, I do need new tires. Mine are getting a bit worn, and having worn tires isn't advisable even in perfect conditions.

Hopefully the rain ends soon. And hopefully, I pry open the wallet and buy some new tires soon

Created during a rain storm on May 12, 2016

Test Test, Is This Thing On?


I'm going to call it a "work in progress".

I'm sure there are bits and pieces lying around that I need to fix, or address, or figure out. But for the most part, this version of Harleyroads is now live and actively being maintained. I'll be adding more to the Decades and Travels section as time goes on. But for now, I'm calling it acceptable. 

If you see something that's broke, or just bugging you, feel free to drop me a line

Scrawled while hoping everything is correct on May 02, 2016

Getting Closer


I had wanted this site to be live by the end of March, but like the best of my intentions, things got in the way. From house issues (sewer pipe break) to personal issues (I'm just damn lazy sometimes).

I made some more progress today, which is good. I find if I can convince myself to just work on a small piece of the site, I'm more inclined to work on more than I originally set out to. 

There are a few more things to button-up before I'm comfortable making the site live, so...hopefully by the end of April? It's slowly getting nice in this neck of the woods and it'd be great to be able to launch the site, and take a trip somewhere to showcase it.

Fingers crossed!

Scribbled with fingers crossed on Apr 14, 2016

Harleyroads v3.0


While it's not done yet, I've decided to go ahead and start writing entries here as if Harleyroads was finished and live. As I type this, I'm still on my dev server, and still have a lot of bits and pieces to finish up. But getting in the habit of writing is important, so I figured I'd do that much at least. It has the added bonus of putting some text in place to see what this Journal section will look like when populated.

The title of this post is Harleyroads v3.0, but in reality, I'm not exactly sure what version this is. I'm arbitrarily calling it 3.0, because I have two pervious versions that I had before that actually stuck around. Utilizing the Wayback Machine, I found probably five or six different layouts, but they weren't around for long. At least I don't think they were. Harleyroads has been in existence since January of 2000, so there's been a lot of comings and goings of layouts. The layout below is the most recent iteration, having been in place for about three or four years now.

Hr V2

As well as an updated look, I'm pretty much revamping, well... everything. I'm changing the focus of the website, from a blog about news and info related to Harley-Davidson, to more a relaxed format, broken into three sections: the Journal, which you're reading and will be where I talk about anything that strikes my fancy, be it Harley-Davidson or not; the Travel section, which will (hopefully) be more of a photoblog, detailing my trips I take on my bike, and; Decades, which will explore the history of Harley Davidson. This is the only part of the old site I'll be carrying over. I'm leaving the bulk of the entries on the old site, which I'll zip up and archive once I push this one live. It's easier, mostly because I'm changing the backend of the site as well. I'm moving away from ExpressionEngine, and instead moving to Craft CMS. (#geekalert) Mostly this is personal preference, as I think Craft is better built and easier to use. Hell, the updater alone is worth the price of admission as far as I'm concerned. Updating ExpressionEngine was always a nightmare.

So welcome to the new digs. Hopefully you stick around. Hopefully I publish more content to make it interesting enough for you to do so.

Recorded while avoiding work on Mar 16, 2016