Sunday, April 29, 2012


Much of Saturday was spent sitting in JFK Airport as, for some unknown reason, Delta chose to route me through New York as the cheapest route from Washington D.C. to Portland, OR. After arriving in Portland, I was informed by the rental car agency that my drivers license had expired last week. Walking in a daze back to the terminal, I called the shuttle bus servicing Corvallis and hoped that they were still open. They were and after leisurely drive south, I arrived around 1:00AM but my body clock was saying 4:00AM. Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't try and drive.

The original plan was to meet Troubadour and Irondad at the range at Linn Benton Community College but without a car, that would have been a long walk. To the rescue comes Trobairitz who graciously picked me up and gave me a ride to the range. Sorry, no pictures of how Team Oregon in action as they pour safe riding information into their students. After a short visit with Dan during his lunch break, we then headed into downtown Corvallis for lunch. Here is Troubadour on his Tiger 800 after I missed the photo-op when he passed us up.

Better company would have been hard to find and we spent quite a bit of time talking after a feasting on the Indian buffet at the Evergreen Indian Restaurant. Trobairitz had even considering letting me ride her Gladius until she learned that I didn't have a valid drivers license. Thank you both for being willing to spend time with just a random person on the Internet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blogger Apps

In order to avoid the issue I had with Blogger deleting my post due to an incompatibility with mobile Safari, I decided to re-install BlogPress onto my iPhone. There are only a couple of apps that actually work on an iPhone/iPad and I had purchased this one over a year ago. I didn't care for the limited formatting options but I thought that I'd give it another chance. It seems to have improved. I can actually resize pictures and move them around on the page. If nothing else, it allows me to quickly make changes to existing posts or write simple posts from the iPhone. The photo shows my birthday treat from a few days back. Deep fried ice cream at the local Mexican restaurant in the Crystal City Mall right near the hotel.

The other app that seems to be recommended is Blogsy for the iPad only. After downloading it on my iPad ($4.99), I think this may be the real long term solution.

It's real easy to resize pictures and the user interface is sort of wysiwyg as you can see in the screen shot to the left. By "sort of" I mean that it really isn't a preview and can't be relied on as to the actual appearance of the page. On the other hand, it doesn't delete the content and you can switch between the app and the "Compose" view on the laptop.

Sorry, no moto content at all...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


One of the shows I occasionally watch on TV is "Storm Chasers" on the Discovery Channel. One of the vehicles participating in the chase is the DOW 7 aka doppler (radar) on wheels. When I got back to my hotel this evening, it was parked in the parking lot. Does this mean that there are tornados in the area? It was pretty cool to see it up close.

I had just returned from walking back to the Pentagon City Mall, not that I was looking for anything but I just felt like I needed a walk. I ended up walking for a couple of hours and covered almost 8 miles. It's easy to do around here since there aren't any hills. I think I've been sitting around too much during the day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Arlington, VA

Blogger completely lost my post....
The new Blogger interface no longer works on an iPad. I opened up this post and it was blank. It then auto-saved the blank page overwriting what was originally there. Google is evil!

Oh well, I'll try again.

Sunday Morning - It's 6:30am and I'm sitting in the Atlanta airport headed for Washington D.C. where I will be attending the Internet²Spring Member Meeting for most of the week. I have trended this meeting for years and this is e first time my flight got routed through Atlanta. Oh well, more miles. Since the hotel is only a block from the Metro, I just took the subway to the hotel. In case you have never been on the Metro, I have a picture of one of the stations.

After a bit of sleep, the rail let up for a little bit so I walked to the Pentagon City Mall to look for a heart rate monitor that would work with my Nike+ devices. I have been relying on the monitors built into treadmills but they generally report that I'm dead (zero reading) or that I'm dying quickly (well over 200). There was one at the Apple store and I got to try their self-checkout. You start up the Apple Store app, it recognizes that you are inside of a participating store. You take a picture of the bar code with the camera and it just charges it to your Apple ID. Then you just walk out. The receipt is shown in the app as well as email. I like the Nike+ stuff since I have been using their site for years and the data easily imports into DailyMile, another exercise tracking site. I have their widget on the left side of the page.

Monday Morning - At the K20 Community Meeting, there was a demonstration of 3D streaming video of brain surgery. Pretty interesting though I wouldn't have chosen to show that video during a breakfast meeting. They also have not used that particular video for any actual classroom. I think that they were saving it for out group.

Tuesday Morning - I stopped to see a demo of an 8K video stream from London. The resolution of the 85" display is four times the horizontal and video resolution of HD television. In other words, sixteen times as many pixels. And you can stand a foot from the screen and not see any pixels. Watching the video stream was just like looking out of a window. The video traffic was running over the shared bandwidth, routed, production network and not on any sort of dedicated layer 2 path. Impressive...

Here are a couple of iPhone pictures but they do not really demonstrate the sharpness of the actual video. To add to the immersive experience, they had an impressive sound system that shook the floor especially when they showed the shuttle launch.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Old Bikes Smoke

Not a whole lot going on this week. I've ridden my bike every day this week except today when I walked in from my wife's school. I needed to take her car to the tire shop to swap out the studded snow tires for the low rolling resistance summer tires. I had forgotten how quiet the new car was without the studded tires. And my running around this morning averaged 55+ mpg! Way more than the bike. No issues at all with the motorcycle this week except for the cloud of blue smoke in the garage when I started the bike before closing the garage door after pushing it outside. For those who hadn't dealt with airheads before, after shutting the bike off, you would normally lean the bike to the right for a bit so the oil could drain out of the left cylinder. If you don't do this, the oil will seep past the piston rings while parked on the side stand into the left combustion chamber. If you read the BMW forums, there are some that say that because of this, the side stand should NEVER be used. Sorry, I use it every day during riding season.

I was attracted to the train tracks this morning during my walk due to the new rails laying down next to the tracks. This is the only set of tracks coming into Fairbanks so I'm sort of curious how they plan to replace them without impacting the schedule. Tourist traffic using the train is a big deal since it is a pretty nice trip between here and Anchorage especially when it passed through (and stops at) Denali National Park. As you can see, almost all of the snow has melted with just small patches in the shady areas.

Last Saturday, I participated in the Beat Beethoven 5K. The goal, for the competitive types, is to finish the course before before the last note of Beethoven's 5th symphony. The conductor of the Fairbanks Symphony starts the race with the first downbeat and there are speakers located though out the course so participants could hear the music and tell if they are on track. I'm not one of the competitive types, at least when it comes to running, and my goal was to enjoy the walk and get the t-shirt (this years design shown here). If you finish before the last note is played, you get a free concert ticket. I don't remember what my time was except that it was slower than last year. I thought that my time should be improving over the years.

Tomorrow, I head to Washington D.C. for the week then stopping in OR to visit family on the way back for a couple of days. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Now It's Really Spring

I'm thinking I can finally say that Spring has actually arrived. The snow has melted back enough for patches of green grass to start to show through. The water and ice that was our driveway has thawed enough to see the pavement and this morning, it was a balmy 30°F and dry pavement.

So, at 11:00am, I headed home to get the bike and I was actually able to ride the bike in to work today! I haven't done many of the maintenance tasks I listed on my last post but then again, I did need to warm up the engine before I can drain the oil. So I just checked the oil, brake fluid level and tires before heading out. Fortunately, there was no runoff crossing the road since it was still a bit below freezing but there is a lot of pea gravel and sand everywhere so I'm still going to be slow through the corners. It feels great to be back out on the road....

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It Sort of Looks Like Spring

It looks like Spring is around the corner even around here. The snow pile is starting it melt and the grass along the road is just starting to show through. The walkways are still mostly covered with snow, ice and gravel but temperatures are warming up to almost freezing. The sun is just starting to show itself above the horizon when I head in to work and it is still light at 9:00 at night. I've been able to get out and about on my bicycle a few times. The studded tires really work well and have kept me upright more than a few times. I think it may be time to start working on the motorcycle again. Last week, I saw a few scooters out on the main roads which were pretty clear of snow but there are still ice patches in the shadows.

Bike Maintenance Tasks:
  • Replace front master cylinder and front & rear brake fluid
  • Replace rubber fork boots and fork oil and maybe fork seals
  • Engine oil & filter, trans oil, final drive oil
  • Grease final drive splines
  • Grease wheel bearings
  • Install digital voltmeter
  • Install new horn
  • Remove/install exhaust nuts
  • Adjust valves
  • Grease swingarm bushings
  • Check timing chain
  • Check alternator brushes
This should keep me busy for a while.