Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UPS Delivery

Yesterday, UPS delivered my R100RT heads overhauled by Ted Porter at the Beemershop. They look wonderful and their cleanliness will really stand out compared to the rest of the bike. Oh well, maybe I should clean up the rest of the bike. I had left in the valve cover studs when I sent them down back in December and they were missing upon return. Rather then mess with having them try and locate them and send them up, I just ordered replacements. I had also lost one of the chromed nuts holding on the valve covers and needed to order a replacement anyway. Plus there were some other maintenance bits and pieces. Right now, I am sitting in an airport heading up to Barrow for a couple of days. Hopefully, I will be back in town to take a picture for Gary France's ABCD "event". (Event? Not at all sure what else to call it)

Hopefully, I will be able to get the bike back together on Sunday or at least get the bulk of the work done. I'm not sure I will be able to ride it next week to the May Airhead meeting on Monday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Interesting Photo App & Corvallis Moto Bloggers

I downloaded a very interesting photo stitching iPhone app made called Photsynth. The author listed is Microsoft and it is supposed to work with a site called with authentication provided by Microsoft Live. To make a panorama, you touch the screen then simply start moving the phone around. The app automatically takes the pictures when needed and stitches them together. This is a crude test while sitting near the Horizon Air gates at Portland International Airport.

Saturday Morning Coffee

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet some of the bloggers I had met last July in Bend. Troubadour and Trobairitz have mentioned several times in their blog postings that they usually met with other riders for coffee most Saturday mornings. Troubadour sent me the time and location so I crashed the party obviously showing up "bikeless".

Stacy of was there as well as about a half dozen others whose names I don't remember. (I'm horrible at remembering names) It was pretty entertaining seeing the interaction of obviously good friends and I immediately felt welcome. After some pastries and coffee, the group moved outside for another hour or so before folks headed of for rides or errands.

Trobairitz's Gladius looks even better in person than in the pictures. Maybe it was the sunny warm weather (atypical I'm told) but the blue frame really stands out. It was a real pleasure to meet everyone and their friends. By Saturday evening, the wind and rain returned and it pretty much rained the entire trip to the Portland International Airport this morning.

BTW, Blogger/Google does not make it easy to edit posts without a real computer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meeting Mike

This morning, I left Washington D.C. and stopped in Oregon for the weekend. I had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger Mike Simmons of Been Riding and Thinking About... for lunch. Since I was heading from the Portland airport towards Corvallis, he met me at a Subway in Wilsonville riding through some pretty heavy showers to get there. Unfortunately, I failed to check and see if there were more than one Subway in Wilsonville and I initially went to the wrong one (of three). After a brief phone call, I found the correct one. Mike is a very pleasant person to talk to and after reading his blog for a while, I felt like I knew him already.

We only spent an hour talking and getting to know one another before heading our separate ways. I really appreciate that he was willing to take some time out of his work day to meet me. Especially going out of his way south to Wilsonville. I think that it's pretty stressful just driving around Portland, I don't see how he is so calm riding through the mess. Originally, Mike was going to be part of the blogger meetup last July in Bend, OR, after the BMW MOA rally but he had other family responsibilities to take care of. I really feel fortunate that I'm able to travel with my job and meet some of the authors of the blogs I follow such as Mike.

On another note, after leaving Wilsonville, I called the Beemershop (hands free setup) and talked a bit with Ted Porter. He said that he was finishing up my heads as we were speaking. They will be shipped UPS ground so hopefully I'll get them back within a couple of weeks.

Update - Good news, this morning I received an email from Porter's Beemershop that the my Beemer heads are done and that they will be shipping out today. I even received the tracking number by mid-afternoon with a delivery date of April 28th. I won't have it put together in time for Gary France's Challenge since I'll be in Barrow again. Also, I'm told that we still have four inches of ice on the driveway.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The Internet² Spring Member Meeting started on Monday morning here in Washington D.C. and one of the things they set up is a "typical PoP" or point of presence showing off the new 100Gbps hardware (lower left slot in the Juniper T1600). I believe that this will be the typical equipment setup that you will soon find in one of the gigapops after the upgrade. This particular setup is destined for New York but was rerouted to the meeting to show it off. They also brought a flat screen display with a touch panel in front of it. It is used to graphically display network statistics overlaid on Google Earth. The software was developed by the Global NOC and is a pretty cool setup.

There were many very useful presentations on topics such as IPv6, security issues, network updates, K20 networks, regional area network updates, ION, etc. There was even an announcement of the resurrection of the Research Channel at the University of Wisconsin - Madison instead of the University of Washington. We will soon be taking part in an IPTV pilot with all content being distributed via ASM multicast. Time to get our IPv4 multicast infrastructure working and properly monitored. Some questions came up on the future of IPv6 multicast as it is not being used in the R&D networks at all. IPv6 uses link local multicast as a replacement for broadcast but the uptake of inter domain IPv6 multicast has been very slow. This meeting was also an opportunity to meet other colleagues I normally communicate with via email or on audio conferences. We discussed some more campus logistics associated with the upcoming ESCC/Internet² Joint Tech meeting that I'm hosting in Fairbanks this summer. I'm starting to feel stressed out by all of the arrangements and tasks that still need to be done.

I head out tomorrow morning with a stop in Corvallis to visit family over the weekend.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beat Beethoven - Not Me

Another post with no moto content. This morning was the 17th annual Beat Beethoven 5K Run put on by the Fairbanks Symphony. The goal is to try and finish the run before the last note of Beethoven's 5th symphony. I have never even gotten close. My time has been getting worse each time I've entered, maybe I should quit while I'm ahead (behind). I'm still unable to run much due to a sore knee so I was happy just walking and visiting with others along the way. It was a beautiful day about 40°F and sunny. The course had some ice and lots of gravel and it seemed to have more uphills than before.

Tonight, I'm headed to Washington D.C. as I have been doing every April for the last 6 years or so, for the Internet² Spring Member Meeting as well as some other meetings. I'll be taking advantage of the flight outside by swinging through Oregon to visit family on the way back.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ABCD - Will You Take Part?

From Gary France's blog USA Tour on a Harley Davidson, an invitation:

Maybe you would like to join in with this.....

A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules....

Rule 1 - the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 - the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 - the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 - when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture.

Gary France will then pick his favourite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.

I think that I'll actually be home that day. If I'm in Barrow, there are no centerlines on any of the roads. Does that mean I would be disqualified? Hopefully, the bike will be back together by then...

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Airhead Mtg.

This evening was the monthly "meeting" of our Airheads Beemer club. It is actually referred to as "Barley Therapy" as it is held at the local microbrewery. There was a pretty good turnout and George Rahn, who used to own the BMW dealership in Fairbanks until 2008, showed all the other riders up by arriving on his Royal Enfield. The roads were still pretty wet with large patches of ice but he made it out without any mishaps. He has a number of sidecar rigs including a Cozy on his Royal Enfield but for some reason he chose to arrive on two wheels. When asked why he rode the simple answer was the car doesn't work. For anyone who hasn't met George, he is a bit eccentric but very knowledgeable about the old Beemers. His shop has a lot of old "R" and "K" bikes laying around mixed with a bunch of newer Enfields and a whole pile of "stuff". It sort of looks like a motorcycle junkyard. He is currently a dealer for Royal Enfield but still does a lot of work on the older BMWs. I had talked to him in the past about my valve issue and he said that he would just replace everything with OEM parts and call it good. "After all, how long do you plan to keep the bike?" I guess that wasn't the solution I was looking for but probably a reasonable question.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I had called the Beemershop, the company reworking the heads of my '83 BMW, and they are able to start working on them again. Apparently, they have been waiting for some parts to come in from Germany for about six weeks and the shipment was held up in customs somewhere. Ted Porter said that they should be getting the shipment in today and if not will "borrow" the parts from another shop. For a while I was thinking that maybe I should've sent the heads to another shop, specifically a machine shop outside of San Diego that I've heard has a very quick turnaround and good prices. But there has been a significant amount of traffic on the Airhead's email list about the work done by the shop. One of the really knowledgeable posters (in my humble opinion, I met Joe at the MOA rally in Redmond) mentioned that based on the quote he received, they weren't going to do the job properly and he had them send the heads up to the Beemershop to be done right. One of the local shops had a set done by the machine shop and said that they look great. High quality work. The question I have now is how long they were going to last. Joe mentioned in his email that if you don't use the all of the correct parts, the problem was probably going to occur again in another 50K miles. Maybe I'll get them back soon...

I had thought that Spring was actually here since the days were venturing above freezing but last night it was -21°F.