The site has moved!! Update your links!!

I know I might have given you a link or a business card with this site on it… It’s moved.

The new site is

Just go there and enjoy!

Why, might you ask, am I keeping this around? Just to have all the content stay live. That’s all. You can browse here too, but there’s no new content that I’ll likely be adding.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New year, new leaf

A long time has passed since my last post here. No excuses really, just a list of reasons:

  • Work stress
  • Dealing with the final arrangements from my dad’s stuff
  • Trip to San Francisco (which, truth be told should have been up here in the first place… soon)
  • Emotions from the bike incident

Progressive came through for me and bought my bike. Their original offer was for $12,300. Eventually they wrote a check for $17,750 with the custom parts and equipment. So with that I have a new bike. A nice new 2009 R1200GS Adventure is sitting in my garage while waiting for the great outdoors to thaw a bit more. I still have some of the bits and bobs that I have to mount on the new bike that I’ve not gotten to yet. I’m mostly done though. It’s just like the old one except it has five more ponies (my butt dyno can’t feel it) and it’s red instead of white (a total of 3 plastic parts are different colors). I’d be happier with my old bike though — I know how it behaved, I know it was a good bike and not a lemon.

I think I’m going to call up to Labrador to see if I can’t buy back my wheels. That’d be pretty damn cool to have two sets of wheels and tires for my bike. Mmmm… knobbies.

At this point En and I are starting to make plans for this summer’s trip. We’re thinking of mainly aiming for the Smoky Mountains and branching out from there. I just ordered travel guides from a whole host of states around there: Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. I know: dead trees. They whet the apetite so though.

The nice thing is that it’s relatively close by — less than a day’s drive to get out there. According to the Google it takes less than 10 hours to get there. So even if you stretch it out it’s less than two days away! Hell, I drove down to Spencer, NC in less then a day and that was taking the long and scenic route through some twisty West Virginia mountain roads!

The nice thing about going so comparatively close is that we really can take our time.

Really.  🙂

My mom, my brother and I went down through there when I was growing up. We were heading down to see my dad down in Pompano Beach, FL. I must’ve been around 13 or 14 at the time. Between Cleveland and Florida was a lot of fun.

We stopped by the New River Gorge Bridge and did some rafting on the New River. Retiring back to the hotel in Cades Cove we stopped by a mini golf joint and played a round or two — the only reason I think I remember it is that the poor old Civic was parked on a steep grade and left in 1st gear. Slowly gravity won over the compression of the engine and the car was creeping back. Over the course of the game the Civ nearly walked back to the street.

This trip was just about the perfect trip from what I remember. Very much the type of trip I’m trying recreate with all of my motorcycle trips I’ve been doing. There’s a start. There’s a destination. Between the two points is a great unknown of possibilities waiting to be explored. We had options that we brought along on our way courtesy of AAA TripTics and guide books. Those gave ideas.

But so did the road signs.

Like the one for the cave we passed on the highway. I don’t remember what the it’s name was, but it was the first (and thus far only) time I’ve been in a cave. Cool stuff.

We saw a lot and did a lot during that trip. Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the little Civic pushing the poor car to its limits. (Like the Kia we had recently in California) We drove south on 441, the looped west and came back north on 28 and 129.

Here’s roughly what that day looked like.

Imagine the 1982 Civic hatchback running the Dragon.

I guess I’ve been there.

Just not on a bike.


But En will be with me this time.

Posted in Planning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The bike is totaled

Just heard from Progressive today. The bike is going to be totaled — written off. I’m not happy, or sad really. Though it’s good to know what’s going on.

Now to figure out how (if at all) I can get my wheels back…

Posted in Ride Report | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Allstate win!

Well, one part of my fail is well on its way to being fixed: my camera.

I never like to file a claim with anyone since it’s typically not for the best of circumstances. I have to say though that Allstate made the claims process as painless as I could possibly imagine it!

Within 48 hours of me calling them up for my broken camera and lens, the check is in the mail to make things right again! Amazing!

First up I’m ordering a Canon 24-105mm lens to replace my original. Tomorrow or Saturday I’ll swing by ProCamera to get the top plate on my camera fixed.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Amazon Kindle

I think I’m going to pull the trigger on the Amazon Kindle after looking at it for the past year or so…

I’ve been reading more lately and it’s not about saving money really, but actually reading more. That’s what I need to do.  🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Seagate: Avoid at all costs

Mr. Burgyan,

Thank you for allowing me to speak with you this afternoon.  Per our discussion, I requested that your case was to be reviewed.  It was looked at shortly after we touched base on the telephone.  The original decision that declined your request for an ARO, could not be resolved.  As such, the billing information that you entered will not be accepted.  I apologize as I am unable to elaborate on any of the factors which led to this decision.


Seagate Warranty

Last time I buy a drive from them.

I want my pound of flesh (or, actually them spending as much money as possible) from the retards there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Seagate FAIL

One of the first things I have to do when I got back home was swap out a dead Seagate drive. Not a problem. Things fail, that’s why they have warranties.

Up until you call.

They can’t cross-ship a drive to me because they can’t authorize a my card for the $20+whatever they need.

What’s this, bitches?

08/18/2009 SIGNED PURCHASE SEAGATE.COM\\800-732-4283 POS 22.62

That’s straight from my checking account. What the f*** do you mean you can’t charge my card? Don’t give me whatever bullshit line you gave me.

Neither the CSR nor her manager even has the number for “the department above me” (what, the department has no name?) that can tell me what’s going on. He put my phone number on there for them to call “maybe they’ll call… or maybe they don’t do that.” This is not how you deal with a customer. That is how you fail.

If you’re making business critical systems, be prepared to support them. If you can’t, use someone that can. Paypal has this whole payment thing down — use them if that’s what it takes.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Last flights toward Cleveland

Getting up early in the morning I looked out the last time on the harbour. The last time I’m not moving, or trying to move, in Newfoundland. I make some coffee, do a final check of my email, and head out calling a cab for the airport.

At the airport I needed to unload some stuff from my big box – it was heavier than 70 pounds, by around five. Open up the box and take out my jacket, 72. Fish out the bag of rocks: 67. Done. Hearing my story the lady behind the Air Canada baggage desk winked and let the bag go on without the extra charge.  😀

Knowing that I have suspicious boxes, I head to the oversize x-ray machine for where I can explain what’s in it. He checker needs to open the small box anyway – not a surprise considering the rat’s nest of wires and metal bits in it. He give it the thumbs up and the big one doesn’t even need to be opened again. W00t.

Getting to the gate I notice the plane isn’t there. It shows up after our flight is scheduled to depart. Crap. We take to the air around 45 minutes to an hour late. I start worrying about making my connection to Cleveland since I only have 1:45 to make it to the gate, and that includes waiting for my bags, customs, and re-checking them. Crapity, crapity, crap.

Sure enough, my bags took long to show up. Inexplicably my small bag landed on the fragile line. I didn’t even know there was a fragile line. Ironically, the “fragile” item looked like someone drop kicked it.

On to customs with half an hour to go. On to being punished for honesty. I checked that I had food – freeze-dried food to be used in case of emergency. Wait a while I go to the agriculture desk to get checked. Cleared with 10 minutes to go. Get to bag-check with 5 minutes. Crap.

There’s another flight in 4 hours. I get rebooked for that one. Finally I check my bag. Then take a freakin’ shuttle to get to the other concourse. Even if the flight was on time and I didn’t have any issues there’s a chance I wouldn’t have made it.

More waiting.

At least I’m cleared through customs (in theory at least), my bags (er, boxes) are checked, I have my boarding pass and am waiting for my last leg of the trip back home to a waiting Ennie.

Just a few hours left.

A bit of mirth

“Attention, the flight to Grand Rapids is now ready for boarding. I do have a rather strange request though: that the  ladies sit at the back of the plane; this is due to weight and balance concerns since and this is a very full flight.”

Everyone laughs.

“Did you weigh is on the way in?” ask a woman walking to the counter.

The attendant relays the response quietly back to her walkie-talkie: “Yeah, I told them. They all laughed at me.”

Posted in Ride Report | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Leaving Red Bay

Wade and Blanche started off the day with a breakfast followed a few hours later by a traditional Labrador dinner. (Dinner is our lunch, supper is our dinner) I didn’t get the names of all of the food (I’ll try to fill in later), but I know I had salt beef, rabbit, pork, greens, potatoes, gravy, peas pudding, and cloudberry pudding. I think remember all of it. All of was great! I love trying new foods – I’ll try almost anything twice; if I don’t like it the first time it might just be a fluke.  🙂

Afterward their nephew and his girlfriend took me the hour drive to Blanc Sablon to board the plane. I had to leave a few things behind (the stove and fuel containers) that he promised to post back to me when I get back home. Otherwise it was a rush through the hand-check security since they don’t have an X-Ray there.

We went up in the air, taking off from the tiny Blanc Sablon airport, and landed just a few minutes later in St. Anthony. A few more folks got on making it a full plane. Around a half-hour after we touched down we took off again headed to St. John’s. The long leg of the flight in the Dash-8 lasted an hour and a half. The scenery that I saw out the window was as spectacular from the air as it was from the ground with the mountains, trees, water and the speckles of little towns scattered about.

Landing in St. John’s gave me the biggest surprise of the trip: a fellow I met on my way west in Gander, John, was there to pick me up! O. M. G.

I gave him the address of the blog while there and he checked it out on Sunday morning and saw Ennie’s post that I was flying to St. John’s. There’s only one flight from in from Blanc Sablon each day so he took a chance. Just about anyone I’ve met out here has been the nicest people I’ve ever met. We found me a hotel room, dropped my big crates off and went off to have some beers in an Irish pub on George Street (if I recall correctly). Beer is good. Seems a lot of Irish settled in St. Johns which explains the theme. A band came in to set up for some live music as we were getting ready to leave.

Before dropping me off at the hotel he took me up to Signal Hill where Mr. Marconi tested out his newfangled wireless gear. (Guglielmo Marconi: his name is fun to say!) I looked over to Cape spear a few miles south down the shore to see where I was standing in the rain just a week prior.

He dropped me off at the Battery Hotel for the night and I had an overpriced steak. That’s life. At this point it’s only money, eh?

Settling in to my room I looked out my window seeing a view that would be worthy to be on a post card. Wishing I had my real camera working I snapped a few shots with the small one hoping to capture a bit of the scene. Again, that’s life.

Posted in Ride Report | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Going home

All of my crap is packed. Two carry-ons and two checked boxes.

Blanc Sablon doesn’t have an X-ray so they hand check everything I hear. I packed things to try to make it easy to go through by hand.

I have my back pack which survived just fine with a book, laptop and various small items.

The Seal Line bag is my main carry-on with all my clothes, the remainder of the books. The remains of my camera. Toiletries. And a bag of rocks. Can’t forget the rocks.  :-)  (Some rocks from Cape Spear, the mantle rocks from the Tablelands in Gros Morne, and the Labradorite)

The smaller of the boxes is divided in two parts: motorcycle take-offs and small camping doo-dads. That’s the one I’m afraid of. The bike stuff is various odd-shaped metal parts and a whole rats-nest of wires. I guess if they hand-check it I can explain what each and every part used to do. The other side has camping food, gear, and whatnot.

Finally, the big box has my bigger things: boots, suit, seat, helmet, hand-guards from the bike, engine bash-guard, sleeping bag, tent, empty fuel bottles, etc.

I’m hoping they make it back OK. They’re both heavy boxes.

I still need to settle up for the room here at the B&B. Wade and Blanche did more for me that I could have possibly expected anyone to do. I’ll be eternally grateful for the help they’ve offered me when I needed it the most. Without their help I would have still been un-hurt, but I would have been a lot farther from help. I probably wouldn’t be going home today either.

If you’re ever in Red Bay, please stop in and let them know.

Posted in Ride Report | Tagged , | Leave a comment