Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dottie Double Double!

We were at a local trial this weekend while most of our friends were at USDAA Nationals- called Cynosports- in Northern CA (and they all did great!)  Happily for me, Dottie did GREAT also!  It was our first perfect weekend where she qualified in both runs both days earning 2 Double Qs!  That puts us at 18 out of 20 for the MACH and 3 out of 4 for AKC Nationals.  Since I haven't been trialing much recently I'm not too focused on making AKC Nationals, but if we keep this qualifying streak up, looks like we will be going.

Dottie got a first place, a second place, a third place and a fourth place.  We collected all 4, like they say in advertising.  The first and second were in jumpers (second behind a fast BC) and the 3rd and 4th are in standard where I am making Dottie hold her contacts now.  She was missing some and I think it helps her not knock bars right after the contacts.  When our friends saw the 4th place they all couldn't believe it and had to question the scribe and trial secretary if the correct time had been written down.  I told them I was holding contacts but they still didn't believe it.  Most of them think the time was 37 but the scribe accidentally wrote down 47.   I appreciate their help, but a 4th place doesn't bother me when it is part of a QQ!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Number 5

Number One was the 2014 Honda CBF 500.  I believe faithful readers already know I sold it because I kept "dropping it" (aka tipping over while riding).  Not only was I terribly inexperienced, but it was also too tall for me.
Number 1.

Number Two was a really old street legal dirt bike I bought to learn to be a better rider and it didn't matter if I messed it up because it was messed up already.  But even though it ran fine on the test ride when I got it home I couldn't keep it running longer than a 2 house drive so I sold it.
Number 2.

Number 3 was a 2000 Suzuki GZ 250 that I bought after taking the Motorcycle Basic Rider Class. This was the same bike I rode in the class and I knew if I could get more time on it I could be a competent rider.
Number 3.

Number 4 was the beautiful blue 2003 Harley Davidson 883 Hugger 100th Anniversary Model.  A superb bike in every way.  It was heavily customized but I got it for an amazing price.  Sadly, due to a long and complicated story, I was unable to get it registered.  I contacted the seller and she took the bike back and gave me my money back.
Number 4.

Which brings me to Number 5.

Number 5 and Final!

Fancy looks good.

Before any customization.

After giving back number 4 I looked around for bikes that I liked and had low mileage  It had to be a Harley.  You know what they say....

When I couldn't find anything promising, I decided to buy a new one since I really wanted Anti-lock brakes.  It's funny, when you tell some guys, I wanted ABS on my bike, they ask you "what's that?"  The old timers don't know you can buy a bike with ABS.  I also opted for the security option which is a fob that turns the bike on when it gets close and flashes the lights (no alarm though) if you move the bike (like push it off) without the fob.

I was hoping to get a good deal since the 2015 were coming out, but what happened was there was almost no deal!  The ABS with security option was very popular and almost sold out!  Ventura Harley got my bike from a different dealer and it was only 1 of 2 left in the state!

I've already customized several things on the bike, but that will be a separate post.

The new bike is a 2014 HD Sportster XL Superlow 1200T.  The T is for "touring."  Since it comes with saddlebags (which I love, no more backpack!) and a windshield which I can't live without.  Other than that, it really isn't a touring bike.

Other features I love are the trip meter and the clock.  I'm also happy it is fuel injected so it has a low fuel light and no choke to worry about.  Everyone wants to know, "Is it more powerful than the other bike?"  On paper, yes.  It has a bigger engine.  When I first started riding it, it felt slower, but I think that was because I hadn't figured out how to shift it yet.  When I get it just right, it feels like you are sitting on one of those Wiley E Coyote TNT rockets and you just set it off.  VAROOM!  When I am shifting in traffic I am especially careful to let the clutch out slowly and apply the gas gently.  I don't want to rocket myself into a slower car in front of me.

Eventually I'd like to have someone take some pictures of me riding it, but here is what I looked like the other day leaving work.  Before I started riding I took a "selfie."  I wear the face mask if it is chilly out.  Works pretty well.

5 bikes in 6 months...please don't institutionalize me, I'm not crazy, it just took me a few tries to find the right one.

Ventura County Fair

Way back in August my friend B and I went to the County fair.  We checked out all the animals, the kids art, the gems and minerals, the collections, the photography and basically any other exhibit we could find.  Then we bought tickets and played a few games.  I couldn't pop a balloon with a dart or knock over cans with a ball, but I did win the train race by getting the highest number of points in a game of skeet ball!

I didn't actually want the prize but I couldn't get up the gumption to give it to a likely looking kid, so I left it on a likely looking car in the parking lot.  Hopefully some kid went home happy and it didn't turn out that the owner of the vehicle was paranoid and thought it was a suspicious package or something.

After the games we were going to go on a ride.  I really wanted to go on the roller coaster.  It reminded me of the Mad Mouse from White Swan.  But more rickety looking.  I thought the thrill came from the fact that it might actually collapse and you might actually die.  But B refused, preferring to live apparently.  We ended up going on a haunted house type ride.  It lasted about 20 seconds and was cheesyiness personified, except they had one real person in there who kept jumping out at you (it went in a circle.)  For some reason I was terrified of her!  It was quite silly and fun.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2nd Kayak Trip

I went straight to the harbor from work on Friday.  This time I paddled much further.  Not quite on purpose though.  I was hoping the channels formed blocks and would let me go around the "block" and take me back to the starting point, but it turns out none of them went through and I had to turn around and go all the way back.  I saw some nice houses and some huge yachts.  We had a few small "duffy boats" (like a golf cart for the water to put around the neighborhood in) pass us and create some wake which Dottie didn't appreciate.  I seemed to somehow have pulled my right hamstring.  Not sure how that happens while paddling but I've been limping around all weekend.  While paddling I can feel my core being worked but apparently not too hard since that isn't sore at all.

I was able to get one picture.  This is my view.

I bought a waterproof cellphone case so I don't have to rely on saranwrap and a plastic baggie.  The case isn't really a case but a tough double zip lock bag on a string.  It is made for cell phones though- no need to think I'm cheap and just bought a high quality zip lock bag.

Now if I can just figure out how to get the kayak and Dottie both on the motorcycle I'll be set!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Favorite... Dog Pictures!

The SchH Club had a trial and I was only involved as moral support and as a volunteer.  After the trial one of the club members was taking photos and got these of Pie and Dottie.  Fancy was left at home because in her old age she does not appreciate the gun shots.

The nice black Harley shirt is a birthday present from ffluffy.  A great choice.

Dottie pretending to be a disc dog.  Nobody does it like Molly though!

Dottie heading out for the Frisbee.

Pie demonstrates she CAN heel with great attention... when she wants too.

Dog Show Number 2

This was our second show back after our self-imposed break and this time everyone got a turn!  I can't remember the last time Fancy ran agility, but she ran last weekend like an old pro!  Sadly for me she didn't Q- knocked bar in jumpers and jumped off the table right away in standard- but happily for both me and her, she had a great time and loved it.  Plus, she was really fast!

Pie had one Q- I got lazy in standard and pulled up too soon on a send causing the wrong side of a tunnel and in jumpers she did Qualify with a second place behind a BC who won AKC Nationals a few years back.  So we won't be ashamed to come in second to him!

Dottie was entered 2 days and got one Q.  Her first day was not great.  I pulled her off course in standard when she was not paying attention and at this time I can't remember what happened in jumpers.  Probably a bar.  Our second day a poorly chosen rear cross caused a bar in standard and she was clean in jumpers with a great time and a first place.  With the small amount of trialing we are doing and the lack of Qs, I do not know if we will fulfill the qualifications needed for Nationals this year in Reno.  We'll see.  My blasie attitude tells me it isn't that important for me to attend.

At the dog show...

New Adventure

In my young adulthood I saved my money.  This was great because it allowed me to be financially secure and buy my house, my van and my motorcycle. Several motorcycles  Now in my not so young adulthood I am spending money.  My latest toy is a new kayak.  New to me, at least.  It was a cheep find on Craigslist.  Thanks to the parents for some birthday money, I now own something I can put in the ocean.  It is very CA of me.

It fits in the van and due to the lip around the part where the person sits, it is very secure in the van and doesn't slide around.  After posing for pictures with it a few days ago

I took it out for the first time today. 

However, the first stop was eating Toppers Pizza which is right next to the dock I planned to use.  Yumm.  Turns out the dock is a dingy dock.  It was well suited for my purpose.  It is in a well protected harbor with lots of "streets" made out of water (canals?  but bigger?) to paddle down.

Dottie was the lucky kayak dog.  Fancy could probably take turns, but Pie is too big and I'm sure Muffin isn't interested.

Our first kayaking adventure was mostly a success. It was a success because Dottie was well behaved and we did it tip over or fall out. Only mostly a success because apparently going in the direction you want is harder than it looks. I kept drifting sideways and going in circles. I didn't want to stay in the middle of the channel because I was worried about being in the way of any real boats that might come along, and I didn't want to get too close to the sides because I was concerned about running into some of the huge yachts anchored next to the beach houses.   I couldn't get to pictures while kayaking.  I had the phone with me warped in multiple layers of saran wrap and then put in a ziplock bag then secured in a mesh bag attached to the boat in case we tipped over.  Not surprisingly, it wouldn't work with all of those layers of protection. Since I didn't get any action photos out on the water, here is one of Dottie playing on the dock afterwards.

I have a friend who said she'd go out with me and offer pointers on how to go in the correct direction.  That will be helpful, for sure.