Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The Pumpkin Massacre last night was a success. We had around 30 guests of all ages in the house, madly scooping guts and getting creative with knives. I was pleased to see that a large number of my friends from TWTexans managed to make it all the way out here...

Dinner was tri-tip, potato salad, beans, and bread. The Texans universally decreed that tri-tip was *yummy*, even as they tried to guess what part of the cow it came from.

If I had a camera more capable in low-light situations, this picture would be far more interesting. As is, I present a view of some of the carved pumpkins from early in the evening, when my camera still had battery life...

In other news, my cat Cali isn't feeling well. We went to the vet this afternoon for a short examination to figure out why he's not keeping food down. The vet didn't find anything wrong, so we're going to try some anti-nausea medicine and bland food for a few days.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Arrivals

Mom and Amy are back, with the horses (Tuffy and Cisco) settled in at a nearby pasture and Sophie the bloodhound bathed and well on her way to becoming an indoor dog.

My cat, Cali, seems to be fine with the new addition. Kelsey the scottie isn't quite ready to relax.

A few pictures:

And a short movie of Kelsey playing with Sophie looking on. (6.7 MB)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

So Jealous

My sister Amy recently decided to move from Idaho to Texas. My mother is helping her with the drive. She needs a bit of help, because she's bringing her bloodhound puppy and towing a trailer with two horses.

Yesterday morning I spent a few distracted hours visualizing them swooping through the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.

Right about now, they are somewhere in Nebraska or Kansas.

I'm so jealous. I love roadtrips. It's pathetic, really....but just being on one of the cross-country interstates makes me feel full of potential. Interstate 80....magical words. Interstate 10...do I really have to turn around now?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Workshop CD Arrived

I ordered a BMW R1200 Workshop CD and oil filter wrench from Motobins just before the New York trip. It arrived yesterday.

Cost was $91 shipped from England.

Now I just need to acquire the appropriate feeler guages, oil filter, and oil. Maybe I'll attempt the valve check this coming weekend.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New York Photos

Photos from my trip to New York last weekend are posted here.

Some of the better ones:

Circle Line 3-Hour Cruise around Manhattan Island:

Rockefeller Center:

Walking in Central Park:

At the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art):


We were hurrying along toward a subway stop and all of a sudden I see "Lever House" out of the corner of my eye.

More architecture. I'm blanking, but I know it's a famous skyscraper.

Sunday night on the observation deck at the Empire State Building.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Guess where!

Mom and i are on a tour boat circling manhattan island. It's pretty chilly here at 49 degrees.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Femmoto 2006 - Sunday

We were back at the track at 7AM on Sunday morning so Yosh and Kristina could select motorcycles for their track day. Carolyn and I had flights out that afternoon, but we wanted to be there to watch and take pictures.

Kristina & Carolyn in line to choose bikes

Kristina & Yosh at the riders' meeting

Yosh prepping for her first session - Breakfast of Champions!

Yosh and Kristina cooperated by riding on the same track (there were two) for the two sessions before lunch. Carolyn, Jason (Slingshot) and I found some good vantage points for pictures.

Jason's pictures: http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c280/redfury93/femoto2006/
Carolyn's pictures: http://www.bluepoof.com/pics/october06/100806-femmoto/

For the first session, Yosh was on a Buell something-or-other (technical term) and Kristina was on her coveted orange Ulysses. They rode on Track 1, with lots of straights and tight turns.


Kristina fastening her helmet

Kristina on the Ulysses

Yosh leading on the Buell



In the second session, both Kristina and Yosh were on Kawasaki Ninja 650s. They rode on Track 2, which has more smooth sweeping turns. Both Kristina and Yosh later said that they preferred Track 2.

Jason and Yosh - nana...Femmoto is for Girls!

Yosh in neon leathers on a Ninja 650

Yosh leading the pack

Kristina on a Ninja 650

Yosh leading Kristina

Time passed quickly watching the riders on the track. Before long, it was time for Jason to drive me and Carolyn back to the hotel to get our luggage for the flights home.

If they still offer the MSF Dirt course next year, I think I'll do the Saturday track day, and then Sunday morning dirt session.

A few more of my pictures and 3 movies of Kristina and Yosh on the track are posted at http://www.rocketbunny.net/uploads/Femmoto2006/Femmoto2006.html

I'm definitely going to be at Femmoto2007. How about you?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Femmoto 2006 - Saturday

Saturday morning was a whirlwind of activity trying to get four women out of bed and to the track by 7am. With dusty conditions in mind, none of us took showers before getting into our gear and guzzling mochas from the cafĂ© in the Sahara’s lobby.

The shuttle over to the dirt course was a little late, so we hung out at the track rider’s meeting until it arrived. We smiled to hear the “Dirt? Whoa, they’re brave.” comments as we strutted from the meeting area to the shuttle.

Yosh reviewing the pit area

Waiting for the festivities to start

Kawasaki had a huge trailer and awning set up at the motocross track with several bright green dirt bikes and dual sports of various sizes lined up in front. We sat down for introductions after everyone had been outfitted with dirt bike helmets, goggles, and gloves.

Kristina checking out the Kawis

Green Machines

I struggled to keep my jaw from dropping as the coaches rattled off their decades riding and competitions won.

Part of our instruction crew...Bonnie, Charity Okerson, Tania Satchwell, Mercedes Gonzalez-Natvig, and I don't know the last lady's name. (Photo Credit - Krismark)

With six students in the Saturday morning MSF dirt class, the student:teacher ratio was 1:1. We split off into two groups. With no dirt bike experience, I went for the more beginner of the two.

Over the next few hours we went through several exercises from the MSF Dirt playbook.

First we just rode around the laid out arena to get a feel for the bikes, practicing starting and stopping. With a baseline for our skill levels, the coaches taught body positioning and braking.

Counterbalancing was next (the act of pushing the bike into the turn while keeping weight on top (or to the outside). I was quickly amazed at my ability to actually trust tires on dirt, leaning my lightweight 125cc over far more than I ever remember leaning my R1200ST.

After learning about body positioning while standing on the pegs, we rode in impossibly tight circles. I think I finally understand why experienced dirt riders laugh at newbies who think the DMV circles are too tight to ride around.

Standing on the pegs was effective for getting around tight turns, but I tired quickly of the unaccustomed position. I was adequate at slaloming through tightly placed cones, but when the cones were offset too far to take sitting, I had trouble keeping off my seat long enough to get through the course.

The best part of the class came at the end, when the coaches led us on a little 15 minute trail ride through the Motocross track. We rode through mud, sand, gravel, washboard, up steep hills, down *cliffs*, and generally managed to have a blast. The brief ride helped me mentally pull together all that I had learned during the class.

I think that my street experience helped get me through parts of the class. I already knew about turning my head to LOOK where I want to go from street riding. That was very important when going around the tight circle. My street-bike learned reflex of letting my bent elbows flex as shock absorbers and staying loose to go over obstacles helped make the washboard area fun.

One moment that sticks in my mind was going through a muddy area. The coach rode her bike to the side of visible mud. I followed her, but freaked when my rear wheel squirmed around. On the next lap of the course, I was ready for the temporary but harmless squirming and had no problems. After the ride, the coach who was sweeping commented that she'd noticed my improvement in that area.

Trail ride

Trail Ride on the Motocross track

I did a double-take during a water break when what looked like one of the official track photographers addressed me by name. Jason (Slingshot) from Sport-Touring.net had arrived at the track with his HUGE camera while we were doing our exercises. I had met him at the National in West Virginia last June.

Now that I've got some dirt riding under my belt, I'm eager to get some more seat time. I'm sure that the more I ride in dirt, the more comfortable I'll feel in loose situations on my street-bike. Hmmm - maybe the CB350 needs to acquire some knobbies?

We rode the shuttle back to the paved track for lunch and then loitered in the pit area for an hour before heading back to the hotel.

Kristina and I 2-up on a Kymco

Carolyn, Kristina, and I decided to walk downstairs for Daiquiris on the pool-deck before showering. We spent a few minutes in the huge spa and relaxed on lounge chairs.

After time spent primping for the Femmoto Banquet, Carolyn convinced me to join her at the blackjack tables. I've never gambled before, but decided that I could afford to budget $50 for a few hours of entertainment at the $5 tables. I probably drove the dealer batty with my constant questions about which actions to take.

The banquet included a catered dinner and women's gear fashion show by Hein Gericke, Icon, and Ducati. The hall was freezing, so we drank lots of coffee attempting to keep warm.

At the banquet

Afterward, I watched Carolyn, Yosh, and Jason play blackjack while attempting to keep my eyes open. We headed back to the room early; Yosh and Kristina needed to be up early to get to the track for the Sunday trackday.