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Monthly Archives: May 2012

We’ve all done it. We’ve been getting ready to head over to hang out with someone. Just before leaving we call to see if there’s anything we should bring.  You know what I’m talking about. “Need anything?” Most of the time the answer is “No we’re all set” or “Grab a two liter”.  Not this time. It was “Bring a bottle of wine.”

Now for all intents and purposes I know nothing about wine.  Thinking of wine brings back three memories. All three are very different experiences. None are related other than being about wine.

The first memory flashes me back to what I refer to as my vodka years. If you were around during that time, you understand what I’m talking about. Related: Kudos for being tough enough to still be around. If you weren’t around during that time, count yourself lucky to have missed it. It wasn’t pretty.

I was at a surprise birthday party for one of my friends. This was at a public venue here locally. This friend enjoyed wine. He knew wine. One of his gifts that year was a mug shaped like a woman’s breast. Complete with usable nipple.  Who doesn’t love nipples?  He offered up a taste of his wine via that nipple. Now I’m not one to turn down the offer of a woman’s nipple to suckle. Granted it was fun. Everyone laughed. But damn wine is nasty! I vaguely remember something about Merlot. Honestly I vaguely remember a lot of that night. Well, except for all the stories that I’ve heard so much about.

My second experience with wine that I recall was with a lovely little blond lass. I was visiting her residence and enjoying a summer evening. I remember her wine being somewhat fruity. No idea what it was. I do remember it being relaxing and leading to some other activities.  Ah yes, precious memories.

The third and final recollection comes from years ago at deer camp. It was in a remote mountaintop cabin in West Virginia. If you can only imagine a drunken scholar lecturing a bunch of rowdy young men about wine.

There he stood behind the kitchen counter. Thank God for this. He was wearing house slippers, long handles, a blaze orange toboggan, glasses and smoking a corn cob pipe. Oh and how dare I forget to mention the blaze orange suspenders holding up the bottom half of his long handles. Let that soak in for a minute.

I remember something about holding the stem. A bouquet. I do believe legs were mentioned too. Maybe swishing something and spitting. Hmmm guess you can take it for what it’s worth.

As you can see I’m limited as to my knowledge of wine. However I did stop at the liquor store and pick up a bottle of some kind or other. I didn’t need that wine after all. As the evening progressed it seems that my host was preoccupied with receiving an oral injection of a special miracle root rub. But that’s another story.

I’ll stick to Gentleman Jack. You just can’t go wrong with that fine sour mash Tennessee sippin’ whiskey.

 

Ride safe

 

Ronman

Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are used to help us through difficult times. Stepping stones keep us out of the mud. Stepping stones help us cross the creek. Stepping stones help prevent the trails from wearing down. Stepping stones keep us from getting messy.

In life there are people we use as stepping stones. We only visit them when times are hard. We go to them to help us across life’s troubles. When needed, these people are the ones who bring us a smile. The ones who help us find our way. The ones who reassure us when we don’t believe in ourselves.

Just like stepping stones, these people are important to us when we need them. We’re grateful for them when we use them. They fill our thoughts when the going gets tough. We know they’ll be there for us.

How often do we think of these people when the times are good? Just like stepping stones, once we cross the troublesome places they soon escape our thoughts. I challenge you to take a moment and send a note to one of your stepping stones. Thank them for being there. Let them know you think of them in life’s good times as well as the bad.

Make someone’s day today.

Schools are closing for the year. Pools are being opened. The temperatures are rising.  The grass is growing.  Hell I even already have a couple of little tomatoes on the vines. It’s time to enjoy the sounds of birds chirping and lightning bugs twinkling. As I think about summers of years past I have many things to laugh about.

There was a year or two in which life was pretty good in the grand scheme of things. I won’t trouble you with the bad here. Only focusing on the funny side of life.  You know there could be nothing funny about a group of teens getting together to swim and enjoy the summer sun.

Growing up in Hillbilly Hollywood meant being around Country Music. There were always music stars in and around town.  For a time I had a friend whose family lived in the former home of some Country Music elite.  This home was well known for its guitar shaped swimming pool. Said friend’s family was pretty well to do. His parents would often spend most of the summer abroad. I can’t imagine why we would hang out at his house. Parents abroad, swimming pool, teenagers.

One such afternoon several of us were enjoying the pool. I didn’t have any swimming trunks with me so I had to improvise. I did however, have some old gym shorts behind the seat of my truck.  Problem solved. Soon we were splashing and swimming and having a good time. Now I’ve never been much of a swimmer. Lord knows I’m certainly not now.  It is always fun to splash around and carry on a bunch of nonsense with your friends.

Soon it was that time. You know, the time where all good things come to an end. As I climbed out of the pool and looked for a towel to dry myself, I heard a shriek.  One of the gals was pointing toward me and had a horrified look on her face.  It seems that gym shorts that are gray become transparent when wet. OOPS!

Ever heard the phrase “it’s a grower not a shower”?  Yeah well, anyway you get the idea.  Now once it gets angry that’s an entirely different story.   Just saying.  Let me know if you really need a reference.  Here’s the purpose of this story. Get out and enjoy the summer. Just remember to choose your clothing wisely. Some colors can be more revealing than others.  Unless , of course, you’re into that sort of thing.  If so this post doesn’t apply to you.

Enjoy your summer,

 

Ronman

For years I’ve been carrying many forms of burdens.  Somehow I’ve survived. It hasn’t been easy at all. Now it’s time for me to completely move on from those burdens. To say it has taxed me financially, physically and emotionally is an understatement.

In a sense I will be looking at my life as being somewhat retired. Now I’m just working for me. My child is no longer a child. Graduating from High School and already reaching the age of 18 means they are an adult. It also means I no longer have any need to have involvement with my ex-wife. Thank God for that.

The relationship with my offspring is all but non-existent. I’ve reached out one more time. The ball is in their court. What they decide will be entirely up to them. I’ve left an open invitation. They can either accept it and choose to communicate with me or refuse. Their choice. Nothing more for me to do.

I’ve come to terms with all this. I’ve also learned that while I will still plan for my future, I won’t dwell on it. Each day I’ll live my life how I choose to live it.

Nuff Said!

Let this serve as a notice that hence forth I will NOT be censoring anything I post for anyone. This is MY website and I will post what I decide to post. In the past I’ve let others dictate some of what I did or didn’t post.  I have also toned down the language at times.

Should you feel that by reading this blog that you may be offended then DON’T read it. There are countless other blogs or websites to entertain yourself with.

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read or look at the photographs that I post here. I especially want to thank those of you that leave comments. If you remain a reader, buckle up. This could get good. If you decide to move along, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Ride Safe,

Ronman

How many times have you seen a photograph of a campsite and thought I’d like to do that?  Why don’t you? It’s a great way to travel. You can learn so much about what you can do without too. Don’t let the thought of sleeping on the ground deter you. It’s all in the gear you use.

In fact you don’t even have to own any camping gear. Stores like REI rent camping gear.  What better way to see if you like something.  Basically you need a tent, air mattress and sleeping bag.  But  you can improvise. Depending on the time of year and temperatures, you can make do with a blanket.  If you’re really rustic you can sleep on the ground.

Keep things simple and compact. A small one or two person tent is all you need.   Some folks use a tarp and just use that to sleep under. Hell, for that matter you can sleep under the stars.  Now that’s a great way to sleep. Nothing like looking up into the heavens and seeing the twinkling up above.

Think you won’t be able to make it through the night? Here’s a simple solution. Camp in your yard. That’s right. Just set up everything outside where you live.   That way if you just don’t like it all you have to do is go inside.

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Okay, let’s recap what we need. First a tent.  Keep it simple and small. You don’t need to be able to stand up.  If you’re looking for the first time, think backpacking.  Basically camping off a bike is the same as backpacking.  My tent is a two person tent. Plenty of room for my 6’2″ frame and another person.  It rolls up compactly and is easily carried in a saddle bag or my SAC Bag.

Next I absolutely love my Therm-O-Rest self inflating air mattresses. I have three of them.  Once again I use the backpacking air mattress when camping off the scooter. In years past I’ve even carried both the other air mattresses and tent camped while riding two up.

The bulkiest piece of equipment by far is your bedding. Using compression sacks helps with this tremendously.  I’ve carried my zero degree bag in one of my saddlebags. Most of the time now I get everything packed into my SAC Bag.  These will compress nicely. Just keep stuffing them until they fit where you want them.

For cooking I carry along a compact backpacking cook set. Everything fits inside the largest pot/skillet combo. I even have a small kettle that I use to boil water for hot tea or chocolate.  My backpacking stove is huge compared to most. It’s a Coleman dual fuel.  Usually I’ll fill it full of fuel before I leave and that will last a weekend.

Find an outdoor store such as REI or Gander Mountain and check out their backpacking supplies. Better yet find a small mom and pop store. They will love to help you decide what you need.  Give scooter camping a try.

 

Ride Safe

 

Ronman

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