It took a while, but I’ve finaly gotten back in the gym on a regular basis. I’m still wrestling a bit with my diet; I’d say I’m about 75% in control right now, but getting better. I enjoy the weights, always have, but I really hate cardio work. I find it very boring. The gym does it’s best to help keep you entertained while you tread water by placing big screen TVs everywhere. Sometimes, however, that only makes it worse.
Just the other morning I was working out on an elliptical machine, busy going nowhere, when I looked up at the television in front of me. Of all of the choices of machines available, I happened to land the one right in front of the screen showing HGTV. I don’t like HGTV. In case you didn’t know, HGTV is a tool women use to punish and humiliate their man. It gives them all kinds of ideas of how to remodel and improve your home. And since I don’t possess good carpentry skills it means I am set up for failure…or huge debt.
On this particular morning, as I’m swinging my legs back and forth on the elliptical, pain surging through my joints, beads of sweat popping up on my forehead and thoughts of biscuits and gravy dancing in my head, I look up for some help to pass the time…and I’m greeted by House Hunters. Or at least I think that’s what it is. I can’t think of any show on television that makes me feel more like a loser than that one. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why; I never see anyone on that show shopping for what I think of as average priced homes. There is never a show where the couple is looking for $150,000 houses. Or $250,000 houses. Heck, I never see anyone shopping for $350,000 houses!
Here is what I do see: I see 28 year old couples, barely out of college and into a career and they are shopping for a new home. And then they get to the budget. On the morning in question, I look up just in time to see the closed caption statement from this young couple; “Our budget is $800,000.” $800,000? Seriously? I immediately say to myself, “Where the Hell did I go wrong?” I mean, my wife and I both have good jobs. We make a very respectable living. But $800,000 for a house? No f@#k*%g way! As my father would say, when I was 28 I could barely afford a pot to piss in!
So now I’m getting all worked up wondering how everyone in the world can afford a million dollar home except me. Or why I’m not in Costa Rica shopping for a second home like the rest of you obviously are. And why everyone can flip a house and make a fortune, except me. Then there is the landscaping; everyone’s is phenomenal…and I have weeds! HGTV is giving me such an inferiority complex that I’m about to explode. Next thing I know I have sweated so much I’ve soaked my shirt, 30 minutes have gone by and I’m swinging that elliptical so hard there is smoke coming from the pedals!
Hmm. HGTV may just be my favorite channel!
Writing has always come easy to me. Once I get started, words and ideas just seem to flow. In fact, I have to make a concerted effort to shut them down, otherwise my blogs would turn into books. Good or bad, for better or worse, I never seem to be at a loss when it comes to spewing random drivel. Until lately.
Over the past few weeks I have probably started at least a dozen blogs and I’ve not finished a single one. Every time I get a few paragraphs in, I stop and say, “This is rubbish,” and push it off to that mystical land known as “hard disk storage.” Hell, there’s a good chance this one is headed there too!
I’ve never wanted this space to be too tied to an idea or subject. Sure, it’s mostly about two of my favorite things, coffee and motorcycles, but if I want to write about what’s bugging me at the moment, I want the freedom to do so. There has never been any ulterior motive or purpose to the bytes that fill this space; it’s just me, opening my big mouth in a public place, offering you an opportunity to possibly be entertained or at least amused on occasion.
Lyla reading my blog!
If I can get the juices flowing in some valuable way, I will try to be more regular with my writing. If not, then I will try to not waste your time with much ado about nothing. Although, now that I think about it, Seinfeld did a pretty good job creating a show about nothing…which is about all this post amounts to…nothing!
When it comes to motorcycle trips I’m not a big planner. Instead, I have general destinations in mind, usually several, and just shoot from the hip as the opportunities arise. I had planned on a Southwestern ride this past June, a Northeastern ride in September and the North Carolina mountains somewhere in between. However, as the year unfolded it became apparent that riding was not going to be a priority. Now that we have entered into the winter months of what has been one of the most challenging years of my life, I’m looking ahead to what I hope to be a good year for my family and an exciting year on two wheels.
Here are the ideas I am mulling around for road trips in 2016:
- Let’s call this the “year of the beer.” I’ve been on a Founder’s Brewery kick lately, enjoying their Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard when I can score it. Michigan is a nice place to ride and Founder’s calls Michigan their home. Not only that, but my daughter, son-in-law and grandsons are right on the way, near the Michigan border. And if that isn’t enough of an excuse to ride Michigan next year, if I drift a little west on the way through Indiana I just might be able to score a Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust. And since I will be on two wheels I might as well hit the Tunnel of Trees along the western coast. Think I will take the Scrambler.
- I’m sure I’ve mentioned it in the past, but my childhood vacation destination for about 11 years in a row was Nestor Falls, Ontario. That road trip took us from one end of Wisconsin to the other, along with the Northeastern corner of Minnesota. I would call this trip one part nostalgia, one part microbrewery exploration and one part moto gear. The nostalgia is obvious; it has been 35 years since I traversed those Wisconsin roads, passing through towns like Spooner, Bloomer, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls and Eu Claire. Who knows, I might even get a wild hair and go all the way to Big Pine Lake in Nestor Falls. Then there are the microbreweries. New Glarus, just south of Madison is on my list. After that I’m headed to the small town of Decorah, IA, home of the number 2 rated microbrewery in the country, Toppling Goliath. I’m hoping to get lucky and get my hands on a glass of the elusive Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout. As for the moto gear, I’d like to head to Duluth, MN, home of what I think is probably the least sexy and most practical riding suit made, the Aerostich Roadcrafter one piece suit.
- Asheville and the North Carolina and North Georgia mountains are on my list every year. I’m only a few hours away so there is very little reason not to spend a few days riding around some of the best roads in the country. This year I think I will put a twist on the trip and ride my KTM 690 Duke instead of the more travel friendly Vstrom. Speaking of which, the big question for next year is: “Will I still be riding the Vstrom next summer or will I succumb to the new African Twin or the powerful and lusty KTM Super Duke?” Time will tell.
- The lobster shacks of the Northeast are still calling my name. I’ve planned the trip twice. Once I made it three quarters of the way before I had to turn around. The second time I had to cancel before I even left home. Maybe next year will be the year.
- I have a few “alternates” in mind as well, including: the Ozarks, the North and South Carolina coast, as well as the West Virginia and Virginia mountains.
So there you have it, the road trips roaming through my mind. My hopes are that next year will be kinder to us all and that it will find us enjoying the gift of the open road.