Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

September 30, 2016

MAKING FRIENDS

... it's taken a week, my honda cb500x is now configured as i like ... brand-new michelin touring tires, well worth their rather astronomical price ... i removed the external gas can mounts from the side boxes, i can always reinstall them if i decided to do a labrador-newfoundland wanderabout ... electrics are all in place, my heated underjacket worked like a charm even in the chill air at the height-of-the-land above bingham—where, as you can see, autumn is clearly upon us ...

... inspired by liz's creativity, i "repurposed" this little canvas bag to serve as a storage place for my cell phone, bike registration, sunglasses, etc. ... turned out those little mounting brackets roger left on the bike were quite useful ... ezpass now velcros above the dash ... jacket controls are easy to reach ...

... i've had the motorcycle eight days ... i'm getting very comfortable with the six-speed gearbox and the 500cc twin-cylinder's power curve ... a week and a day, this afternoon the oddometer rolled over my first thousand miles on the bike ...

... so cool ...

MICHAELANGELO UPRIGHT

... for the past few weeks brian's been painting a beautiful mural on the concourse-side wall of the framemakers, central maine's premier choice for custom matting and framing and my downstairs neighbor ... i stopped a few days ago to take a quick snapshot of him at work ...

... when i returned home this afternoon from a bit of wandering on my motorcycle i found that he had completed the mural and was applying a clearcoat sealant ...

... a little bit of time and paint, a lot of talent, and now downtown waterville is a bit nicer a place to work, visit, shop, and, for those like me, live ...

September 21, 2016

NEW MOTORCYCLE!

... listed my bmw f650cs on craigslist, immediately the phone rang ... first two i arranged to meet with the next evening, three more calls i informed i'd get back to them ... two guys showed up, both wanted the bike, one said, "i can make a deposit," the other flashed twenty ben franklins and the motorcycle was his to load in his van ... he and his kids were very nice ... he's an engineer who is going to "take the bmw apart to be part of a project he's been thinking of for years" ... i can't wait to find out the result ...

... after that, knowing all the paperwork involved, i figured it would be next week before i could get the honda on the road ... however, with roger serving as my chauffeur, the combined efforts of the most excellent bank loan officer, extra friendly ghm insurance agent, and seriously efficient waterville town clerk had me up and riding within a few hours ... 

... first time aboard i flooded it, seems that the five-second holding of the starter switch the bmw required is a killer on a honda ... roger was patient instructing me, and once it'd dried out the motorcycle started up and purred ... i drove down to mt. vernon, all familiar roads, getting used to the differences between the bmw and the honda, then circled around to east pond so i could show it off to chuck and his family (as well as try it out on dirt and gravel) ... 

... end result, after a stop for all the kids to sit on the bike, i made it back to waterville in one piece, which, of course, is a primary evaluation point for any vehicle ...

... so far, perfect ... another hundred miles or so and i'll be used to the six-speed transmission and the power band of a twin-cylinder motor ... some little things to do, ez-pass mount, that sort of thing ... big news is that i've a feeling next year when i go cross country i might be able to carry everything in those wonderful givi side boxes ... way cool ...

... roger'd cleaned it up extra nifty for me—was nice of him, but a few more miles and that'll be history ...

... tomorrow i leave it at the shop to have new super-tires installed ... once that's completed i'll start planning step-two of my "coast-to-coast-and-back-again" epic wanderabout—stay tuned ...

September 15, 2016

LUNCH WITH THE OLD TIMERS

... mike and beth took me to the church's monthly "seniors lunch" ... a casual outing, i was well welcomed even though i only recently received my official u.s. government "senior status" card ...

... craig, mike's friend, is an accomplished artist ... he served 26 years in the united states coast guard ...

 ... aunt may is now 94 years—hmmmmm, even at her age she's such a hot ticket i hesitate to use the word "old" in defining her ... 

... proof my brother knows how to smile, and, equally, proof i have to sneak up on him to get the evidence ...

September 10, 2016

DECISIONS ... HELP ... DECISIONS ...

... this is my bmw f650cs ... i try to be careful about using the "l' word when it comes to machines, things, etc., for which, as far as i'm concerned, it shouldn't be applied, but, as you all know, this is a motorcycle i greatly enjoy ... minor use marks aside, it runs like a top ... 75 mpg on back roads, about 60-65 mpg on the interstate ... loaded with me and my gear it'll naught but purr with satisfaction cruising cross country all day at 80 mph ...

... however, is time for me to begin the planning for what i hope to be an epic coast-to-coast-and-back-again-on-minor-roads-and-state-highways wanderabout in 2017 ... two problems with the bmw ... one, i think relatively minor considering how reliable the bike has been, is that bmw dealers are relatively scarce in most of america's back country ... two, more a consideration, is that i've no way to leave my gear secure when the motorcycle is out of my sight ...

... i could equip it with hard luggage for about $1,400, but ...

... but, i've an opportunity to get the very expensive hard luggage with a motorcycle already attached ... !!! ... is a bike i like, one that four years ago i'd actually ordered but when honda failed to deliver by the beginning of the riding season i canceled and ended up quite happy with the bmw: a honda cb500x fully outfitted for cross-country wandering ...

... so ...

... first, please, your thoughts and advice are welcome ...

... and ...

... if you or anyone you know is interested in adopting my faithful bmw f650cs, here's some information ...

... 650cc single, about 55 hp ...
... belt driven ... smooth ... no maintenance ...
... $500 custom corbin seat ...
... $700 waterproof side bags and mounting rack ...
... rain cover ...
... heated handgrips ...
... folding mirrors ...
... tank bag/backpack (grey, not green as pictured) ...
... brand-new tires ...
... wired for electric riding gear ...
... immaculately maintained, only normal minor cosmetic wear ...

... is a "light" bike, only 422 pounds ... low seat height is excellent for not-tallish people ...

BMW F650cs REVIEW

... in california, where most of f650cs's were sold, it's a bit of "cult" machine, and as is would probably easily sell for $2,500 ... here in maine, where the word "motorcycle" is synonymous with another word that rhymes with "carley," i'm not really sure its market value ... i'm asking $1,800, but would be willing to consider a serious "i'll take it now" cash offer ...

... there you have it ...

... decisions, decisions, decisions ...

... important p.s. ... although i'll not be formally announcing until the first of the year, i'd be thrilled with a riding partner or partners on my epic journey ... !!! ...

September 8, 2016

SUNSET


Now in his Palace of the West,
Sinking to slumber, the bright Day,
Like a tired monarch fann’d to rest,
’Mid the cool airs of Evening lay;
While round his couch’s golden rim
The gaudy clouds, like courtiers, crept—
Struggling each other’s light to dim,
And catch his last smile e’er he slept.

THOMAS MOORE

OLDEN

... i wandered east to the coast and visited with roger while he was watching the gate at the owls head museum antique motorcycle show ...

... a beautiful 70ish honda 350 ...

... i was fascinated how my second motorcycle, a suzuki tu250, was so similar in design ... the honda was of an age, i believe, in which styling still took a back seat to function and performance ... for mechanical things i am a "form follows function" traditionalist, thus there are few modern motorcycles, or, for that matter, automobiles, that i find very attractive ...

... this ancient bmw was my favorite ... "why," you ask ... because while most of the classic machines, all twenty-five years or more old, typically displayed mileage counts of 3,000-15,000, for this one the number was over 75,000 ... in other words, it's been ridden ... this motorcyle, i'd like to meet its owner ...

... i've no problem applying the word "beast" to this moto guzzi ...

... bmw's horizontally opposed cylinders cool well in the airstream and are very easy to perform maintenance upon, but—well, i've a feeling that stuck in traffic in downtown houston on a texas summer afternoon they just might also be fabulous foot warmers ...

... i don't think they make racks like this for modern bikes ... too bad, they're way cool ...

... from an era when after a young man said, "i'm going out for the evening with mary lou," his father could quite innocently respond, "well, make sure your hood's belted before you put 'er in gear" ...

[EDITORIAL NOTE:  I SHOULD APOLOGIZE FOR THAT.  I'M NOT GOING TO, OF COURSE,
BUT YOU CAN GIVE ME A FEW POINTS FOR AT LEAST KNOWING I SHOULD]

... in the fifth-grade, this was my dream ...

... most fascinating, they make them brand-new now ... 50cc (motor scooter power, back roads only), or 125cc (state highways as long as you understand the wind from a passing pulp truck will probably blow you off the road) ... 150+ mpg ... if time comes i have to slow down a bit, as long as i'm still able to get my leg over the seat this might be my wheels ...

... "elegance in mechanical design is simplicity" ...

... make a visit to owls head, it's well worth the wander ...

SOON, WORDS

... soon, i think, very, very soon, there will be words ... for now, i'll offer up a bit of assistance to baby grant ...

... "you're not foolin' me, i know where you hid my bread" ...

... "i got it" ...

... "arghhhhh, i can't get it" ...

... and, of the greatest of all words ...

... "my brother" ...