Posts

Showing posts from 2015

Yes, we have enough!

Image
We have  traveled  some very familiar roads this past month. Even as the month ended up with the Thanksgiving weekend where we were pleased to have house guests joining us for the annual turkey fest, Margo and I could always hear the highway calling. A popular expression between the two of us, having spent so many years traversing the west, when having spent a full month at home was an anomaly, so this month included a return trip to where it all started for us. San Jose, California, and Silicon Valley. As the picture above depicts, we spent the better part of a week at the San Jose Fairmont, an upscale hotel well suited for small to medium events and this one was very familiar. In our days as volunteers supporting the International Tandem User Group (ITUG) we had been fortunate to enjoy the two primary penthouse suits – the Presidential Suite as well as the even bigger, International Suite. Unfortunately, this time it was just a regular room, but with Margo once again voluntee

I see red, I see red oh, I see red!

Image
Not to do an injustice to the lyrical skills of that New Zealand band, Split Enz, but truly, as I look around the township of Niwot I am taken back by just how popular maple trees have become, and this year the display has been fantastic. We have a number of maples in our own yard but they are puny compared to what our neighbors have planted and coming at a time when the golden leaves of the aspen trees have long gone, the splash of brilliant red everywhere you turn makes for a colorful vista. Winter isn’t too far behind the changing of the colors, mind you, but we will take the sunny days we have been enjoying without any complaints whatsoever. All too soon, the reds of fall will join the golds leaving only the soulful pines to throw a little color across the landscape. But it’s not all sadness; winter does bring its own joys of course, and with the end of October we celebrated Halloween by staying right away from the house – with the distance that exists between homes where

A tale of two cars and of paths not taken

Image
I am running around town these days in Margo’s Mini Cooper S Roadster and having a blast and I am reminded of just how much fun driving can be once you strip away much of the technology. Yes, it’s a stick shift with six forward gears and yes, it’s really light and yes, I know, it’s tiny. But that’s what is providing the almost instantaneous feedback in any road conditions I encounter – and yes, the continuous feedback through the seat of the pants is unmistakable. Put a tire off the pavement and you know immediately you have been a little too aggressive. As for the shifter, the third to fourth gear plane is the natural plane and it’s pretty strongly sprung and engaging first gear can be hit-or-miss affair. On the other hand, I am now mastering the quickly-to-accelerate third gear launch. Then again, as the picture above notes, it was Margo who received the instructions on how best to operate the Mini.  It was back on Thanksgiving 2007 when Margo and I had made it to Singapore,

Moving on and yet, no lessening in our desire to be mobile!

Image
On a long and lonesome highway, (west) of Omaha You can listen to the engine moanin' out its one note song ... This past month was very much about motion. And mobility! Or, sometimes, the distinct lack of motion, as on one occasion I walked into the garage only to find it empty, except for a couple of motorcycles. As I wrapped up last month’s post I ended with the observation on how, only a short time ago, we had more cars than garage spaces and that perhaps we had culled the herd just a little too thinly, even as the highway beckoned. But yes, we still had the motorcycles, right? Well, not exactly. Taking the big Honda VTX 1800 (that’s 110 cubic inches for the metric challenged) out on the road for just the second time this year I only made it down to the local gas station before it too came to an inglorious end. No manner of coaxing could get the big twin to fire up so it too was hauled away on a flatbed trailer. As coincidence would have it, the driver of the tow t

With places to go and plans in place, the wheels fell off …

Image
“Like somebody has taken the wheels off your car When you had somewhere to go, well, it's annoying Not going to get very far, I know …” These lyrics by Sir Paul McCartney pretty much sum up the way the month went. In all the time Margo and I have been on the road I have never found myself looking into our garage and seeing no cars – nothing. Nada. Zilch. The iconic scene of Cadillacs, pictured above and buried nose-first into a field west of Amarillo, pretty much sums up how I felt as I scrambled to find a set of wheels for the family. Fortunately, our daughter stepped in and lent us her Toyota for which we are both highly grateful.   The month started with us already well into our long drive through the south western states of the U.S. As this was a business trip with several meetings scheduled and presentation to be given, we were definitely going to need a car. Needless to say, it was back to doing what we like to do best – hitching up the trailer and towing the ever-fa