2 Wheels To Adventure

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Alaska/Canada Trip--2006
Two "Adventure" Bikes

Ride boldly, Lad,  fear not the spills! (From "The Man From Snowy River," by Banjo Paterson) 
 
I'm not the man I used to think I was. (RBW)
 
"Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!"
(William Butler Yeats)

For a looong discussion on motorcyling in general and Adventure riding in particular, see the archives (or scroll down) for the first post on September 28, 2006.
It gives some opinions and ideas, along with a bit of philosophy; one (old) man's view of the world of 2 wheels.

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New Scooter---2014 R1200RT
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Cap'n Ron in the Straits of Georgia
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Beautiful Seattle

I have been here in Seattle for a week or so, getting a few things done on OH MISS, and taking a sail now and then. Yesterday was beautiful, with sun, but not a lot of wind. I went out with Stu H., and we had a pretty good sail---two landlubbers klutzing around on Puget Sound. We did some Man Overboard practice, and that was pretty comical. I had rigged a round orange buoy with a weight hanging a few feet below it for our "man," and I am afraid any person would have suffered severe hypothermia by the time we got him aboard. It took us three or four tries before we got Orange along side on the first couple of attempts.

There were patches of fog, and after one particularly inept attempt,  poor sail handling had tangled the jib sheets, taking some time to set right. We had sailed clear of any fog, but in our Chinese fire drill recovery and the aftermath, we had experienced a real man overboard---the orange buoy was gone! We looked back toward our course, but Orange was nowhere to be seen. We headed back, and I finally got the GPS tracking feature turned on, so we could retrace our previous course. I got the binoculars out, and after sailing awhile, there was Orange, bobbing quietly, about 500 yards off our starboard bow!

It took us four tries, but we finally had our poor victim aboard! Fortunately, "he" cannot complain. The GPS proved a real boon, because it allowed us to see our previous path, and we could retrace our course exactly, leading us to the "victim." Of course, Orange would be subject to some drifting, but it put us right in the vicinity, a good thing to remember if anyone ever goes overboard without being noticed.

All in all, it was a nice day, and much was learned by both skipper and crew. So much to learn, so little time...

I'll be heading for Los Angeles today, as I have a meeting on the evening of the 21st, preparatory to a three day sailing class. This will be my last Blue Water Sailing Class, at least for now, and should give me some more much needed experience and knowledge. This class is a remnant of the series I signed up for prior to my MC crash in April, which set my program back considerably. This probably is better though, since I have had some time and sailing in between classes, giving things time to sink in a little.

I'll take three days to drive down, and am driving so that I can have the pickup in PHX to bring the new outboard motor back with me when I come. I bought a new Tohatsu 9.9 HP four-stroke on-line, and it is in the garage in PHX, waiting.

As to "Beautiful Seattle," it is gorgeous here when the sun shines, and it shines so seldom that when it does, one is most appreciative. Today looks bright and shiny also.

 

9:30 am mst 

Friday, January 16, 2009

This Is A Turning Point: What Kind Of People Are We?

We are on the brink of a new administration, and a new era. Our nation is in dire circumstances: We have an economic crisis that probably will rival the Great Depression in severity. We have an infrastructure that desperately needs rebuilding (forget repair). We are neck-deep in a morass in Iraq, and the situation in Afghanistan worsens by the week. We will get through this. President Obama will not accomplish it easily, early, or by himself, but get through it we shall.

A less obvious, but as far as I am concerned, far more troubling issue is our attitude regarding the outgoing administration. We have a new group coming in, and apparently in the quest for consensus, will be reluctant if not obdurately opposed to investigating the alleged crimes committed by and in the name of George W. Bush. Our new president has said as much, and the probable new Attorney General has been less than direct in his pronouncements regarding this serious issue.

It seems that there is this reluctance to poke about into the past. "What is done, is done," seems to be the new byword. There was some commentary lately about not going after Bush and Company for "policy errors."  TORTURE is not policy. When committed, when ordered, when allowed, and when condoned, it is CRIMINAL. This is a fact, and it is a fact that this country has done all of the above. Our government has been complicit and worse in the application of torture to people in its custody. The Vice President said as much in a recent interview. The fact that he appeared to be proud of his participation notwithstanding, he is a prime suspect in what has become our national shame.

Soon-to-be-but-not-soon-enough ex-President Bush has acknowledged his involvement. He is the man at the top, and he is the one ultimately responsible for what happens under his regime. He knew what was going on, and he approved. He, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Rice, and assorted others met and discussed this, and acknowledged at the time that it could be a problem.

If we, the American People, allow this to stand, we are also culpable. We have a duty to see these people answer for their deeds. It is not something that can be left to "history." This is a moral issue, and it reflects upon each and everyone of us. We cannot let this pass, because if we do, we can be assured that it will happen again. I give you the deeds of the Reagan Administration and the machinations of Iran-Contra. That was allowed to pass. A couple of people were convicted of relatively minor crimes, and most of those were pardoned, including Elliot Abrams and Ollie North. Higher ups skated. No justice was sought, nor was it achieved.

We now have had eight years of what progresses from these lapses. We have had eight years of an administration that has trod with filthy boots on our constitution in the abrogations of the Bill of Rights. We have passively allowed our birth rights to be elided. We have stood by and scarcely blinked. The immorality of government has flooded the business world (perhaps it was the other way around), and finally our attention has been got, to put it into tortured syntax. We have had that two-by-four smacked up against our collective head, and it has pinched us in the pocket book. These things are not unrelated. 

Well, they got our attention, and what are we going to do about it? Are we only interested in our economic health? Do we not see that our "leaders" have been more than incompetent? Do we not recognize that they acted in our name? They represented what we are as a country. They illuminated our national moral fiber, and it is woefully thin. We have to recognize that we have been led to the brink by charlatans and criminals. This is not vindictiveness, as is suggested by the Rigid Right. It is justice. No man or woman should be above the law. These people have willfully broken our laws, and the laws of morality. They must be brought to answer for it.

My religious attitudes are known, but to my Christian friends and detractors, I once again must ask," What would Jesus do?" If you believe in that demi-god, you must ask yourself that question. Would he have had anything to do with water boarding? Would he have been responsible for invading Iraq? Would he have allowed unrepentant criminals to enter the pearly gates? Would he have forgiven men who are proud of what they have done?

I cannot speak for others, but I want indictments. Indictments will be surely followed by prosecution and conviction. This is important to point out to Obama and succeeding presidents that breaking laws are not permitted.

Are we a nation with strong morality or not? It is soon to be determined...

7:28 pm mst 


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For future use

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Our New Best Friend, TRES

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My Hero, Uncle Pete, two days short of his 90th birthday.

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Meet Mort--- Mortem "mors me cum equitat"
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The view from 50 feet up the mast
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The Old Guy At The Helm Of "OH MISS"
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Adventure Bound
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The Old Guy, Back Home Unscathed
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2005 BMW K1200LT, long gone to bike heaven
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"Der Klunkenschiffter" at age 4, 102,000 miles