Category Archives: 2017

Hot Damn!

I got my Harley back on Tuesday.

Last week, they took my bike to the shop to change out the battery, and to do a state inspection.

Turns out they only had to charge the battery for me, which saved me a lot of money.

The first few months of this year it was cold, and um, I was tired because of tax season, and um, I didn’t ride.

There was one nice spell during those months and my co-worker and his wife came over.  I let him ride it while I ran errands, um because (a) I went through a class with him and saw how he handles riding a motorcycle and (b) I share my toys.

I have another friend who I am going to take to a parking lot and remind him how to operate a motorcycle.  He doesn’t have a motorcycle license, so in a deserted parking lot at the crack of dawn we shall remain.  But I am happy to show him and let him give it a go on my bike.

Anyway, when my co-worker rode it, he charged the battery up right nice.

After that, I would at least go down and turn on the bike and let it run for a while thinking that would give the battery juice.

Um. No. According to the Harley dude, that’s why my battery died…..because I drained it!

I don’t have an electrical outlet in the garage where I park so I can’t keep the battery charged when I am not riding it.

Now to keep it alive and healthy, I need to ride it about 100 miles a week.

No time like the present…..so I took my Harley out for a spin this morning!

Wait it gets better.

After making my second lap of keeping it safe aka not venturing out too far…..I thought – eff it! Ride mama, ride.

And I did.

I zipped all over the place, all up in traffic.  I have never done this before but, the only way to get used to something is to – Just Do It.

I drove around for 45 minutes this morning and I loved every single moment of it!

My day was already complete by 7:30am.  The day cannot get any better than this!

And what a great stress reliever.

I am happy as a lark.

For my visual friends, here’s how my riding will evolve in pictures….

Me: Getting My Morning Rides In!

Me: WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!

Me: Catch Me If You Can Sucker!!

Hot Damn!

Oh, Rolling Thunder will be in the DC area at the end of May.

This year I might finally pull off riding on the GW Parkway with all the other motorcycles in town.

#DreamComeTrue

#LongTimeComing

 


School is in Session

Well not really.  Not yet.

My classes start a week from today on Monday, May 22nd.

Yikes!

My boss agreed to let me try working extended hours Monday – Thursday, and taking off Fridays (since our non-tax season hours are 8:30am – noon on Fridays).

Notice the word try.

As in this is not a completely done deal yet.  So, I will work hard to ensure that I stay on top of my duties.

One less day of commuting and one more day to study = would help me tremendously not to burnout on any fronts.

Although my official school classes don’t start until Monday, I’ve been studying audio books like mad for the last year, with a concerted effort for the last six months.

I don’t only listen to the audio books during my commutes to and from work.  I listen in the morning, I listen in the evening, I listen while cleaning, I listen while walking, I listen while sitting out on my porch.  In short – I listen, listen, and listen.

When I am tired of listening or need a break, I turn to music or silence for a while (even days) until I am ready to hear more information.

I’d like to share what I have been listening to over the last year.

Perhaps you will find something of interest.

I started with one book which led me to another, or I would read or hear about a book and I just followed the path.

The first two are my absolute favorites because they are personal life stories, and I am very interested in these people’s lives and how they got to where they are today.

I hope you find something of interest.

 

 

My deepest desires?

To never stop learning.

To never think I know all that I need to know.

And to always keep an open mind and be willing to at least explore.

 

 


I Think I Am Going To Be Sick

Principles of Accounting I

Intro to Computer Applications & Concepts

Intro to Business

I just signed up for the first three of seven classes I need to earn a Bookkeeping Certificate.

And I just paid for it too.

I think I am going to be sick.

 


RIP Sandy. I Am Only Sorry That You Will Not Be Buried Next To Our Grandmother

And your wife of 37 years and 9 months, only due to her passing before you.

Today is my grandfather’s funeral.  Actually, technically, he is my step-grandfather.

His funeral is today at 11am.

It is about a four and a half to five-hour drive from my home, one way, depending on traffic…and I am not there, nor will I be.

After much texting and phone calls late yesterday and last night with my family, that was my final decision.

I am not going.

This is my grandfather’s obituary (I deleted any specific telling details) –

Blank, 89, of blank passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at blank Hospital. He was the husband of the late Gloria blank.

Mr. blank was born in Boston, Mass., on April 10, 1928, was the son of the late blank and blank. He was a member of blank Presbyterian Church, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and a former helicopter pilot for the Ontario Hydro Co.

He is survived by a granddaughter, blank of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada; a brother, blank of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada; three great-grandchildren, Jason, Alex, and Madison blank; a son-in-law, blank of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He was preceded in death by a daughter, blank.

A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at the Blank Family Cemetery, on blank Rd., in blank by the Rev. Blank.

Hm.

Outside of his brother who is 80, my grandfather knew the rest of these other people for about five years. Tops.

My grandmother and Sandy were married in January of 1979.

So.  What about his other four grandchildren, and what about their children?

I am the oldest.

That means Sandy has been in my life for 38 years, and 36 years for my sister, and our cousins…..I am not sure how much younger they are than us, but they had to have  known him for at least 28-30 years,   If not more.

And our cousins and Aunt & Uncle were much closer to our grandparents in the later years.  They spent many annual holidays with them at their home.

My dad, my uncle and my aunt…they have known Sandy for those 38 years too, on an adult level.

Sandy passed away on Monday, April 17th.

My sister and I did not find out about it until Friday, April 21st.

At first I had great peace.

He was no longer alone, outside of a caretaker coming in a few times a week, because he (and my grandmother) had lived out in the middle of nowhere for decades.

None of us could easily just pop in to check on them or say hi.

And because the only listed granddaughter in his obituary, who he has only known for 5 years, who also happens to now be his sole heir aka the one calling the shots about his final resting place and the date and time of his funeral….. My sister and I did not know the final details regarding his funeral until Monday, May 1st in the evening.

Um, his funeral is on May 3rd (today) at 11am out in the middle of nowhere which equals pretty significant driving time to get there, let alone including the time to drive home and trying to take time off from work on the spur of the moment.

The thing that I am most upset about is the decision to bury him “at the Blank Family Cemetery.”

Please.

There is a small family cemetery on the estate BUT he will be the very first of HIS family to be buried there.

That is a nice way of saying we are not going to fly your step-grandfather’s remains, who we have only known for five years, down to Texas to be buried beside your grandmother (wife of 37 years and nine months) even though there is a paid plot waiting for him next to her.

Some of his last words, as I have been told, heard by several people at different time were to bury him in the estate’s cemetery…to save money for his granddaughter to inherit.

For me this has nothing to do with money, at least not for myself.

Sure, I sincerely hoped my dad and my uncle would receive an inheritance alongside Sandy’s only blood related granddaughter because Sandy and grandmother built a life together for 37+ years and it should be shared with all the heirs.

But for me, this is more a matter of honor and respect.

Even though I personally want to be cremated and released in the wind (preferably in a really cool and awe-inspiring place!), I believe that once a person dies, their spirit is free.

But if you have been married 37+ years, and burial is your method of choice, if possible the two should be buried together.

Our side of the family, as of late as yesterday, was willing to try to raise the money to send Sandy’s remains to TX to be with my grandmother, even though none of us have that money to spend, we would have done so to honor and respect the sacred bond of a lifelong marriage.

But c’est la vie, such is life in French.

Thirty minutes from now my grandfather will be buried miles and miles, and states and states away from my grandmother.

I won’t be there.

I sent the largest and most expensive red rose arrangement I have ever sent to anyone…..and I will honor him from my home.

My eyes are practically swollen shut from crying so much in the last 24 hours, hence me not going into work today even though I chose not to go to the funeral.

My face looks like I have gone ten rounds and have been beaten three times over by the world’s greatest boxing champ at present.

I really don’t want to have to explain this to anyone.

I will admit I am a little irritated with Sandy right about now.

But no matter where he is buried, or whatever happens…

I truly hope he is at peace, that he is with my grandmother and that he knows how much her side of the family, aka us, loves him.

RIP Sandy.

I love you.

 

 

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I

 

 

 


Be You

“As long as you stay true to exactly who you are,

you will be rewarded in ways

you can’t even imagine.”

~ Ellen Degenerous


That Is My Future Following Me Around

Yesterday I came this close to driving a Porsche!

This closes as in…my fingers are close together in the formation of a pinch without touching but as close as you can get without touching.

That is how close I was!!

This is my background picture on my work computer (and I have two monitors so that gives me and others double the viewing pleasure) and on my laptop at home.

Niiiice, huh?!

This is my goal.  This is a 2008 Porsche Boxster.  I am so not opposed to used if the car has been well maintained and has low mileage.

That is how I landed my Honda S2000 and was able to afford it.  It is a 2002 model and I bought it in December 2007.

Honda only manufactured this car from 1999 to 2009.

Back when I test drove a brand new yellow S2000 in 2006 the base price was @ $40k.  Um, I couldn’t afford that.

Also, that was the only time in my life up to that point that I test drove a brand new car.  By test driving it, I was visualizing my future.

And lo and behold, one year later, I got exactly what I wanted for half the cost and I have enjoyed the hell out of that car ever since.

In the office my computer background has caught the eye of any guy that has come into my office, even contractors who came in to do work for us.  They all know what I want.

One of my bosses with such sincerity said – Wow that is a really nice car!

I looked at him and said – Dude you could buy that if you really wanted it.

Those days have passed for him according to him.

Only one co-worker said – Dude that is so lame!

I said – What, why is that lame?

He said – Why do you need to have a picture of your car up on your computer?

I said – Dude that is not my S2000.  That is a Porsche Boxster.

He said – Oh.  It looks the same.  But in that case, nice car!

About a month ago, I was talking to my mom about resolving the issue I had with a garage that dorked up my oil pan on my S2000 (if interested, please see previous post).

She said – We saw the prettiest little yellow Porsche convertible out on the road today.

I said – Dude that is my next auto goal!

She said – What?  You are going to trade in your little yellow car and your jeep for one?

Me – Um, no.  I want one in addition to what I have now.  I tried to tell you guys, Jay Leno really is my hero.  I want a garage with these vehicles – My Black Harley, My Yellow S2000, My Yellow Jeep Wrangler and a Yellow Porsche Boxster & an Alfa Romeo Spider (color will probably be white like the last one).

People collect different things.  So I want to collect rides.

For me, I truly enjoy driving.  Except during rush hour.  That sucks no matter what you are driving.

All these vehicles bring me such great joy, and the feeling of freedom.  They are all convertibles and I love to feel the wind.

I have owned at one time or another and driven all of these vehicles except one – The Porsche.

It is not like you can walk into a Porsche dealership and say – Um yeah, I’d like to test drive one please.

However, it does one well to have friends in high places!

My other boss is looking into buying a Porsche 911 convertible or a BMW something or other convertible (I don’t speak BMW).

He has already test driven the BMW something or other convertible.

Now he is going to test drive the Porsche and in my mind it looks something like this…

And he offered to let me TEST DRIVE IT!

Holy. Bleeping. BLEEP!!

That blew my mind.

I will be happy enough just to see one up close and personal and to sit in it!

Yesterday was a false alarm.

The leasing agent could not find one in the area in time to bring it over to the office for him to test drive.

But guess what?

The test drive is going down on Monday!!

It gets even better.

God’s honest truth.  This is the car that drove behind me on the highway all the way home last night –

That has got to be a freaking sign!

Even if it is not, in my head it is!

I mean what are the chances?

And the damn thing was yellow!

I’d look up in my rear view mirror and think two things…..

That is such a beautiful car.

That is my future following me around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Victory!  Three Weeks Later.

It has been a looooooong three weeks working on getting my car repaired at no cost to me.

Last post I shared that the oil pan in my S2000 had been damaged because someone used an aftermarket oil plug while performing an oil change on my car.

By doing this, it stripped the original threading and resulted in my car leaking oil.

I have never had an oil leak, and the car is 15 years old, so this really freaked me out.  I don’t like when something it not right with my car.

But when I found out that this problem was due to someone else’s negligence, someone who didn’t have the courage to let me know what had happened, I guess hoping I’d never find out, um, I got pissed.

You mess with my family, my cats or my cars and you are very much going to wish you did not do that.

I don’t go ballistic much, but in those three areas, I will rip you a new one and become your worst nightmare.

To make a long story short, I sent the garage a courier package with a letter that said in essence, you have got to be out of your mind if you think I am going to spend $650 to repair a mistake your garage made.

Well, I really did say that part among other stuff.

I also sent pictures of my home and work parking spaces featuring the oil leak in all of its glory, a repair estimate my normal mechanic (who has been working on my cars since 2000) prepared, along with copies of the receipts of the work they performed and a copy of my attempt to reach them sooner via email that bounced back.

I advised them to fix this, or refund me the cost of the oil change and the $650 needed to repair the damage, or they would be hearing from my lawyer.

Crickets.

Enter said lawyer.

I cannot share the letter he wrote and had FedEx’ed to them because I do not have his permission, but let’s just say, I sure as hell would step up to the plate if I had received that letter.

His letter also stated that all contact of any type going forward should run through him.

Crickets.

On Friday, the lawyer decided to draw up lawsuit paperwork to send over.  I think the paperwork was due to be sent out on Monday.

Friday evening I received a voicemail.  The garage owner asked that I bring my car in on Saturday so we could review and resolve the situation.

They put my car up, we went through the whole drill again about what was wrong and we were getting nowhere.

Then all of my pent-up anger about this whole unfair situation that has plagued me for three very long weeks tricked out and the f-bombs came flying out of my mouth.

I was hopping mad, like I said; one of the three things you do not want to mess with when it comes to me is my cars.

Three hours later, yes I spent three hours at the garage today supervising any and all work done on my car; asking question as they explained every step of the way what they were doing, we resolved (hopefully) the issue…at no cost to me.

They installed a larger oil plug that required creating new threads, which is very tricky and time-consuming.

And, I did eventually sincerely apologize for being rude and mean with my language explaining that my car means a lot to me and it is not fair that costly damage could be done without my knowledge or consent.

Kinda funny, the owner asked me – Do you work on cars?

I was quite knowledgeable and in the mix the whole time.

I said no, but whenever I take my car in and I am on site, I am in the garage under my car with the mechanic to learn everything I can.

And you know, the people who helped me today, I do not think they are responsible.

But I did notice one person who was missing from the scene.

The mechanic who I am pretty sure preformed the oil change on my car that started all of this.

I get vibes about people, those that helped me today, I truly believe they care about the work they do.

That other dude, hm, something about him rubbed me the wrong way from the start and we didn’t even talk.

To me, he was more disengaged and seemed to be there only for a paycheck and not happily so.

Moral of the story.  Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.

I am pretty sure if I had not asked the lawyer for help, I would have had to pay $650 to repair something that was not my fault.

And the lawyer helped me, did not charge me, helped me because he is good and kind, and he does not like when people try to harm others by not taking responsibility.

I am going to buy him a $50 Starbucks gift card to say thank you.

And if he doesn’t drink coffee…he can re-gift the card and become someone else’s hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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