March 17, 2007

A Growing Spirit...

Music | The Story by Brandi Carlile

It has been close to a 6 months since D and I visited the Portland Rock Gym. She is by nature a climbing maniac, which shows when she is in the park climbing and hanging off monkey bars and such. She has talked about wanting to try The Wall ever since she first saw it on and off since then. Today, she got her chance.

I didn't know the difficulty of clibing the wall until I saw other kids not making it up and the one 12 year old girl that did make it up took her 4 times longer than it took D. The instructor couldn't believe she had never done this before.

My little angel, the rock conquerer...

btw, this is the wall, not D climbing up. Mr. Photographer left his camera at home and would never be able to scale the opposite wall to get such a photograph!

March 14, 2007

Erio Warhol

Music | Crash into Me by Dave Matthews

"Hike up your skirt a little more, and show your world to me... " I love that line!

Anyway, I purchased myself a new computer from Apple a few weeks ago. It didn't come until last Saturday. That's what I get for getting a refurbished unit, but now that I have it in my grubby hands, I'm a very happy camper.

I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to use it as it is a laptop. Problem is that this computer is soooo much more powerful than my desktop. I have the feeling the desktop will actually become a back up computer.

One of the very cool things about this computer is that it has a video camera built in. It does still captures as well. The software to run the camera is pretty cool. At a push of a few buttons, I can get this...

March 06, 2007

All GQ and shit...

Music | Olivia by Fred Anderson

I am not known for my fashion sense. I'm strictly a jeans and basic top kind of guy. I have my favorite pieces of clothing that most people would call disgusting. I've got a 7 year old sweat shirt that has worn at the neck, sleeve ends and belly area. I've got a 45 year old sweater vest that I've had since my early 20's that was given to me by a relative who has since past away. So I have comfort necessities that take precedence and I don't care how it looks. I will say I am wearing my sweater vest a lot less because of the disdain of one of my friends...

For special events, I've got my few slacks and nice dress shirts, but those have been picked up because of price and not because they fit me perfectly or that I just had to have that certain item. I look good, but they don't infuse confidence.

Today, I made a commitment to come home with a suit, shirt and tie with suspenders and a pair of shoes. I bit the bullet and went to a shop where I was fitted and all my cloths altered to fit me perfectly. I have to say it was a very nice experience. I wasn't intimidated, though maybe I was a little in the beginning. I tried on the big names and names I wasn't familiar with. I was impressed with myself to be able to feel what was a great fitting jacket and one that wasn't. I would have loved to spend a $1000 on a suit, but that just wasn't going happen.

As it was, I think I made some good choices. I went with a basic black suit, a fancy but understated white shirt, black suspenders and a yellowish tie. I know, I thought no way was I going to do yellow, but my sales guy put together some colour combinations and I actually liked it a lot.

After trying everything on, my very attractive seamstress came out and pulled here, tugged there, measurements made and marked. I will have my custom tailored suit in 2 days.

I'm astonished to feel the affect of wearing nice clothing. Knowing you look good has its benefits. If I could afford it, I would consider wearing suits more often. That sure would surprise a lot of people!!! I don't know however that I would give up my sweater vest...

March 04, 2007

Echoes of the Past...

Music | In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

The sun hasn't been out for sometime here in Portland. We got a touch of it yesterday, which prompted me to get the motorcycle fixed. I had anticipated sun today, but not in the morning as partly cloudy and fog was in the forecast. But for whatever reason, I got up early this morning and did in fact see the sun out. I contemplated rolling over and going back to sleep, but my bike was calling. Suddenly, I hopped out of bed, got dressed, and headed out the door.

It's been so long... key in the ignition, check neutral light, choke adjusted, hit ignition switch. WHAAAAAAA BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH!!! It's nice to hear the sweet symphony again. I have to remember that it is Sunday early morning and people are still asleep. I re-adjust the choke to run the engine at 2000 rpms. As it raises, I adjust again. All zippers closed, glasses and helmet on, gloves rolled over my sleeve.

Clutch in, 1st gear engaged and I'm off. This repetition I will be going over and over for the 2007 season is easily overlooked as a pure joy of satisfaction. But because I haven't gone over this routine in many months, I savor my take off on a Sunday morning into the unknown.

March 03, 2007

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Music | Spinning by Zero 7

I smell like gasoline, my hands and pants have grease stains on them. I'm cold, my nose is dripping... At about 3 this afternoon, I started my bike that I haven't ridden since the end of October. I've been having issues with it to the point where I lacked confidence in riding anywhere.

Via a Vintage Japanese Motorcycling forum I subscribe to, I found a mechanic who lives not too far away, but far enough where I wasn't sure I'd make it. I made some back up plans of borrowing a truck and some ramps, in the event I had to ditch the bike. Every stop sign, every red light was cause for tension, because I thought if I had to stop, the bike would die and I wouldn't be able to get it going. I timed my red lights as best I could, within the variance that other traffic would allow. What would otherwise be a 15 minute ride turned into 25 minutes of tension. But, I made it...

Jeff, the mechanic opened the garage door to a beautiful 81 CB1100F. He turned it into a drag bike that ran in the mid 10's. Those of you that don't know, that is really fast! He had a few other customer bikes in the shop and he spoke with a swagger of one who knows vehicles. I was quickly put at ease. I wasn't sure if I was going to leave the bike, try getting at the meat of the problem right then and there, or what. I wasn't in any rush, but it in the back of my mind, I was hoping that my issues could be resolved.

We rolled the bike up on a lift, pulled the tank and looked around. I had suspected both coil and carburation problems. As we looked it over, I got more education about my bike than all the time I have owned it. Sometime wishes do come true. Jeff noticed one of the ignition wires was not where it was supposed to be. I thought, I must have accidently just pulled it out when I pulled off the tank. Jeff put it back in, started the bike and it sang. Both embarrassed and relieved, I couldn't believe what the issue was all these months. The wire worked its way loose way back in October.

We did some other minor adjustments and the bike just purred. I got a few more tips about upkeep and also riding. I don't often hot rod when I ride, but Jeff said I needed to. On occasion, ride the hell out of it. Blow the carbon out and let the engine breath. It didn't take long for me to follow that advice. I'm sure I pissed off a few people on the way home.

So I need to clean myself up, wipe the dribble off my nose. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice. What do you think I'm gonna do???

March 02, 2007

Head banging...

Music | Everlasting Love by Chaka Khan

I have to remember where I am and know that my mindset is not in rhythm with it. I submitted my estimate to the client I mentioned earlier for licensing the use of a photograph I shot for advertising. The usage was changed to try and lesson my fee, which I agreed to work with. My new estimate I guess was still too high and since I did not receive an email to move forward, this becomes yet another example of a transaction that will not happen.

I don't think my rates are such that they are unfair. I do have a bigger market mentality, but I value what I do and I have expectations of what I think is a fair transaction. It would probably behoove me to take some business classes and learn my way around if I decide to move forward in an attempt to hit the commercial market. I am suddenly reminded of all of my frustrations from my past...

I may as well be living in Mayberry...
-- --