Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Day At The Range

Had a fun morning turning money into smoke and noise, made even better by the fact it was someone else's gun and ammo and by outshooting him in the match!

Topped off the day with some recoil therapy with my own Civilian Marksmanship Program M-1 Garand, a rifle a dozen years older than me, firing mil-surp ammo almost as old as me.

Hopefully with practice I'll improve my shooting skills to be able to use the rifle to its full potential.

And yes, I did hear the PING of freedom!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Travels with Harley

(with apologies to John Steinbeck)

I rode to Durham NC for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation's 2012 Meeting Of The Minds.

2613 miles on a 1990 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

My daily commute is 20 miles, so this was the equivalent of 130 days of commuting, most of it at 65 MPH or more.

Some thoughts from the road:

My seat is approximately 47 years old.  The bike's seat is approximately 22 years old.  Before the next long trip one of them is going to be changed.  I'm betting on the bike seat.

I don't mind when my Harley marks its territory, but when it does it on my jeans it becomes a problem. The rocker box gaskets I planned to do this winter during chrome polishing season suddenly moved up in priority.

As I was riding down I-64 in eastern Kentucky, I wondered why the on-ramps were always on curves. Later it occurred to me that it was because there weren't enough straight sections of I-64 to accommodate the on-ramps!

Speed limit signs in the Durham NC area are apparently suggestions, or perhaps recommended minimums.

Indiana has found a way to keep roads from buckling in summer heat: generous expansion joints.  Unfortunately, the rest of the year, when the roads contract, there are corresponding gaps.  At 70 MPH on a motorcycle, it feels like riding over a 2x4 every 15 feet or so.

I knew I was back in Iowa when I started seeing evidence of road-killed deer and started meeting wind generator blades and tower sections on trucks heading east on I-80.

Speaking of wind generators, I have deduced the reason for locating them along I-80.  There's never any shortage of energy to drive them!

Speaking further of wind generators, maybe it's me but it seems a waste to have wind generator parts meeting each other on the Interstate.  Seriously...instead of trucking a blade from west to east at the same time a blade is being trucked from east to west, why not arrange to use the parts in the west on the project in the west and vice-versa?

It was a great trip, and a great conference, and I can't wait to do it again!