Monday, February 08, 2016

Tires, Weather & Conditions

I had been having a little issue with air pressure in the FJR in November and early December.
Before I went to Australia, the back tire would lose about 10lbs of air overnight.
Somehow the problem spread to the front tire over the holiday and on my return both tires were flat.

I keep a mini compressor in one of the panniers and was quickly back to pressure, but the front tire would drop 20 lbs in just a couple hours.

 Did you know you can buy motorcycle tires on Amazon for about 30% off what the dealers charge? Yeah-
One dealership said they install their tires free, but the same model tires were almost twice as expensive as the ones I had shipped in.
One wouldn't install customer-supplied tires on a bike at all, the third place I called said they'd do it but it would be $140/tire (basically 2 hours labor per tire).

 I rang up the guy who hunted down my electrical problem last year- He quoted me a flat $120 to do both including new stems.
Sold American!
So now the FJR has new shoes, and I don't spend 30 minutes pumping up my tires in the morning and before I head home from the office.

 Last week the temps were pretty moderate here in North Florida...
Highs were topping out in the high 70s- and surprisingly, all the two-wheeled SMTers had the same thought...
Yeah- love to see all the different bike styles lined up in front of the building...

Weather has deteriorated some this week-
Pretty cold this AM...
Constant Reader & proofreader-from-a-distance Luc shot me a note with a spelling correction (thanks dude) and we touched on my travel for this week as part of the conversation.
Luc's from Canuckistan, where he last saw his lawn in October and won't see real (local) dirt again until April.
I was lamenting that I was heading to Toronto in the AM which he found amusing.

Having just rode in from the Beaches in high 30-degree temps, I really didn't see how a couple days in Toronto would be any different that just staying in Jax.
I'm not sure he believed me...


Sydney - Neglected Point of Interest

I forgot one point of interest in old Sydney that would be of interest to one or two Constant Readers.
OldNFO and Brigid would most likely really enjoy the bookstore I found up in Millers Point...
On Argyle Place, just up from Lord Nelson's is an itty bitty specialty bookshop...

Sadly, when The Woman and I swept past, the "Out for Tucker" sign was up, and I never got back during business hours...
Next December I will visit again and try to get some interior shots...


Australia Items - 2015-2016 - Part 5

For the last 3 years I have assiduously avoided the big New Year's Eve show in Sydney...
This year needed to be different since The Woman was in town.
YOLO and all that.

We had access to the Royal Botanic Garden for the New Year's Eve fireworks show... The problem is that you have to get your spot early, and stay in it through the evening. It's first come, first served, and if you snooze, you lose (your spot).

Lots of folks on their blankets as we wait for sundown and the early fireworks at 9:00.

The fired up the projectors on the bridge pylons as the harbour darkened.

If you look in the foreground you can see the crowds along the shore near the Opera House.

No one can convert money into smoke and noise like Sydney - $7 Million in fireworks blown off in 12 minutes.

It's pretty impressive.

I shot a little video of the finale...


Saturday, February 06, 2016

Australia Items 2015-2016 - Part 4

Australia with The Woman Who Knows Most Things - 2015-2016

We headed back down to Darlington Harbour and the downtown area-
Lord Nelson's was our fisrt stop after a quick walkaround of the Barangaroo Reserve.

A Three Sheets ale for The Woman, and a nice cider for me, then we walked around downtown for a bit, doing a recon for New Year's Eve, then headed to yet another microbrewery-

Young Henry Brewery.

The Woman picking out her flight of beers...

Mmmm. Tasty ales!

They had some great artwork on the walls of the brewery and tasting room.

I like a good skull-motif mural.

Next - a visit with some locals- a mob of gray 'roos enjoying a lazy afternoon...

We walked around Taronga Zoo to wile away the afternoon, enjoying some of the local fauna.

A pensive wallaby and some uninterested quokkas just hanging out...

After the Zoo we headed to Manly to check out the beach and (quelle surprise) another brewery-
4 Pines.

Jen and her flight...

...And a ginger beer for The Big Guy.



Friday, February 05, 2016

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

(I know - the pics are not coming up correctly...)

Please stand by....


Australia Items 2015-2016 - Part 3

Continuing our excursion around Sydney...

We headed out to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.
Our first stop was near Wentworth Falls near Katoomba.

The walk we took was amazing- the trails were lots of fun...
We stuck to the cliffs... Much better than hiking down to the bottom of the falls, then back up again.

Thanks Captain Obvious-

The Woman really had fun on this hike-

Waiting out the rain under the cliffs.

There were several spots where modern-day aboriginals (other hikers) did some finger-painting...

Other hikers would get their hands in the white clay along the trail and make their mark.

Next stop was out at Echo Point, a rock formation called Three Sisters...

We were a little famished on our way back.
The Woman had asked about native Australian cuisine and it took me a bit of imagination to
come up with a proper Aussie meal. I took her to Harry's Cafe de Wheels-a local landmark for
pies and mushy peas...

In the evening we had been enjoying the Australia vs West Indies cricket test on the TV.
The KFC Big Bash  T-20 cricket was playing in the Sydney Olympic Park, so we got tickets to go see a match in person...
The Big Bash is Short Attention Span Cricket- 20 overs (6 legal deliveries per over), and plays in about 3 to 4 hours. Much better than the 5-full day regular matches.

It's a fun time for the spectators- lots of pyro, easy to follow play, cheerleaders, lots of noise and music.
And- as this is Australia- don't even think about trying to get a beer in a reasonable amount of time.
The lines for beer were the longest wait- food & snacks were relatively short- took me 35 minutes to get some refreshing beverages for The Woman and I.



Thursday, February 04, 2016

Australia Items 2015-2016 - Part 2

Continuing - The Woman and I spent several lovely days in and around Sydney...

We spent a day downtown enjoying the sights near The Rocks and Circular Quay.

Up in the Royal Botanic Park, the views are pretty amazing.

We also took a walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
We didn't do the walk over the upper steel. Just the regular bridge deck was high enough.

Plenty high.

One of The Woman's favorite things in indulging in craft beers, so I made it a point to know the locations of several microbreweries around Sydney.

We hit this one kind of by accident, and it was one of the best. If you visit Sydney and like beers-
make sure you go to Wayward Brewing Co.

Seize the beer, indeed!


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Australia Items 2015-2016 - Part 1

Yeah- I know - It's been quiet. Too quiet.
Time for a photo review review from my stint Down Under.
2015-2016 was my fourth year spending the holidays in Sydney.
Due to the way the holidays fell, I basically had the week between Christmas and New Year's Day off...
So THIS year I was able to plan ahead and got The Woman a ticket to Sydney on points.
(After missing Christmas at home for three years, I needed to do something to assure Domestic Tranquility-
-And let me tell you, a rewards ticket over the Christmas and New Years holiday was really expensive, points-wise.)

Lots of people were traveling on Christmas Eve-

I did manage to get spotted easily (duh) and we were on our way-
The Woman had been traveling for 20+ hours, so the only thing she wanted to do after arriving was to relax and recover from the flight.

Christmas morning over Olympic Park-

She was up at 4am (as most US travelers are on the first day or so...)

We headed out to Royal National Park and went on a nice hike out in the Wattamolla area.

Last year I about killed myself out here by overestimating my stamina.
(Read the tale HERE)

I saw great locations during my hike last year but the clock was running so I didn't have time to stop. This year we were able to take our time out at Wattamolla Falls.
We were the first ones into the park that morning, and took advantage of the peace and quiet...

Beautiful place. We really enjoyed it...

- More -


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Here We Go....

Buckle up, Buckaroos! We're going for a ride...

On the whole, I'd probably be better off in Honduras.

TBG - - Μaking backups-

"Completion" - You Keep Using That Word...

Saw an article on the Rio Olympics facilities...

Rio Olympic Park is 95% Ready.
And they have photos...

Looking at the pics, I think that 95% number is a little generous...
Rio 2016

Rio Olympic Park

Rio 2016

Rio 2016

I'm thinkin' they have a little more work to do...


Defecation, Meet Ventilation, Part 2

That 38 is in Celsius.
That's 100 degrees in 'Merica.

So- hot as hell, then a deluge.
Hope they adjust the competition schedule so it doesn't screw up the next few days...


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Druthers: SOTU

Things I'd rather be doing than watching Obama give his last State of the Union address:

  • Root canal work by an unwashed Mumbai sewer worker using only a teaspoon and a dull icepick.
  • Crotch defoliation via highspeed belt sander followed by site irrigation with nitric acid.
  • Molten aluminum enema.
  • Chalazion removal and curettage on my eyelid using a tire iron & a 10-cent cigar.
  • Swim laps in a the sewage treatment tanks at the Mexico City leper hospital.

Really. Anything but listening to his narcissistic bleatings and petulant simpering.

TBG - still down under.

Fifty Shades of Jay

Information Technology is a great job. </Sarc>

First on site, last ones to leave.

I'm on the late shift, doing last walk-through of the offices around 11:30pm before heading back to the hotel...
I notice a light on in the office an Admin. Better check it out.

She is at her desk.
The tall well-shaped brunette Admin Assistant that has been the bane of my existence all week.

The needy bitch...
"I can't access the share drive. I can't print. I need a bigger screen."
Biting the bullet I walked over to her desk..
"Hey- I'm heading out. You OK with all your printers and stuff?"

She looks up wistfully...
"Oh... I'm OK..." She heaves a heavy sigh.
She looks up at me coyly, then with a come-hither batting of her eyes she opens her gambit:
"I know I've been a pain in the arse with all my requests..."
I waited for the other shoe to drop...
"I'm very high maintenance..." she purred.
Uh oh.
She got up from her desk and smoothed her blouse seductively...
"I've been a bad girl... I need to be punished." She said- biting her lower lip...

I looked into her smoldering eyes...

"No problem." I said.

I promptly installed Windows 10 on her laptop.

"That out to do it."


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Flirting & Sexual Harassment - Definitions Please

In the local news, on of the Big Bash cricket players was twigged for an interview with a local SportsNewsHottie...

“I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well.
That’s the reason why I’m here, just to see your eyes for the first time. It’s nice so. Hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after. Don’t blush, baby.”
She recovered, got the interview back on track and aside from from snickering from the other commentators, but it wasn't any near as bad as Joe Namath and his drunken hitting on Suzy Kolber in 2003...
Granted- live TV and all that. So his timing was off. BFHD.

Obviously, all the blue hairs and feminists got their knickers in a bunch regarding this...
But geez- that's pretty tame, all things considered.
He apologized, she accepted - then the PC Police went crazy- he got fined $10,000AUD
(What's that- $25 USD?)  and they are talking suspension/firing.
For telling her she was cute and asking her out for drink?
All things being equal, if you look at female Aussie Talking Heads, every damned one is a looker. They don't hire the 5s, only 8-10s. So- to be sure they are hired for their (sex) appeal. [The male ATH? I am not qualified to judge such things...] But in as much as they are hired with such an attribute, what the fck do they expect?

Cpould someone PLEASE draw the line where banter / harmless flirting and normal male-female interactions become sexual harassment and become harmful?


Saturday, January 09, 2016

Australia Gun Laws & Rules

To whet your appetite have a peek at this from one of the FAQs

I currently hold a firearms licence for sport/target shooting. Can I go hunting on rural property?

No, you are only authorised to shoot at an approved Sport/Target Shooting Club. If you wish to shoot on rural land you must apply to have the genuine reason of Recreational Hunting and Vermin Control or Primary Production added to your existing firearms licence.
To add this genuine reason, you should email the Firearms Registry Licensing Unit at to obtain pre-printed application forms – please refer to the information under 'What if I want to change my genuine reason or add a new genuine reason?' above.

Pique your interest?

Submitted for your edification, some FAQs and Links regarding gun laws from the oh-so-enlightened Aussies...

From the Auburn Shooting Academy (Sydney west) website:

-Frequently Asked Questions-

How long does it take to get a pistol license?
After joining the club and completing the initial Pistol Safe Handling training, your application for a Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) will take about 6 to 8 weeks. You will then need to complete the clubs 12 week pistol training program while under close supervision and the remainder of the first 6 months of your PPL under general supervision. A PPL is valid for 12 months after which time a Category H (Pistol Target Shooting) licence can be applied for.

Can anyone become a club member and licensed shooter?

You must be able to pass a Police criminal background check, have good English language skills and be a NSW resident.

What do I need to join the Shooting Academy Club?

You will need a government issued photo identification, two references from adults who have known you 2 years or more and be able to pass a Police criminal background check. You will also need to be a member of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA).

How much does a Pistol License Cost?
Your Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) will cost $100 (for 12 months), and your Category H Pistol Licence will cost $100 for 2 years or $200 for 5 years. These fees are in addition to your club and shooting association membership fees.

When I have a license, can I bring an unlicensed friend shooting?
No. Unlicenced shooters may only try pistol target shooting, under the requirements of the Police P650 declaration form, by prior arrangement with the club and under the direct supervision of a Club Range Officer.

Can I shoot at the Shooting Academy at any time?

After you have completed 6 months of your PPL, and have completed your induction and safety training, you can shoot at any time provided the range is not pre-booked for training or competition.

Do I have to attend every Thursday night in the first 12 weeks?
 No, but it is in your best interest to complete your 12 week induction and safety training as soon as possible. You must complete the club's 12 week training course before your PPL is 6 months old. You can only do this on Thursday nights under the supervision of a club Range Officer.

What are the attendance or competition requirements to comply with the conditions of Pistol license?
Licenced pistol shooters must compete in at least 6 club competitions each year, and a further 4 club shoots for each different type of pistol they own.

What's involved in buying my first pistol?
After you have your Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) for 6 months, and have completed the club’s induction and safety training course, you can apply for a Permit to Acquire (to buy your first pistol). You must have your Category H safe inspected by the local Police who will provide a letter stating that it complies with regulations. This together with the Permit to Acquire is forwarded to the Firearms Registry.

Can I buy a gun on the Internet?
No. Firearms can ONLY be legally bought and sold through licenced firearms dealers, and only to licenced shooters who have a Permit to Acquire.

Can I shoot at other Pistol clubs or ranges?
Yes. After you have your Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) for 6 months, with the permission of the other Club, you can participate in shooting events at other approved pistol ranges. Range fees and competition entry fees for other Club venues are not included in your Shooting Academy Club membership. Additional training and accreditation may be required for participation in external shooting competitions.

Do I need to purchase my own pistol?
No. Club pistols are available free of charge to members under training and during the first 6 months of a PPL. .

Can I store a pistol at the Club?
Yes. Safe-storage compliant gun safes are available at the Club for a modest biennial fee.

Which leads us to the NSW Gun Laws...

Licence Applications

In NSW, any person seeking to possess and use a firearm must be authorised by way of a licence or permit.
All persons wishing to obtain a firearms licence in NSW must have a genuine reason for obtaining the licence and must meet a range of legislative requirements relating to that genuine reason.
Licence holders are only authorised to possess and use the category of firearm for which the licence has been issued and the firearm may only be used for the purpose established as being the genuine reason for holding the firearms licence.
The Genuine Reasons applicable to a firearms licence are listed below. Please review the requirements for the genuine reason you wish to select to ensure that you can meet all the requirements. The Licence Category and Genuine Reason Table also shows the categories of licence applicable to each genuine reason.

Genuine Reasons

Changes to an Existing Licence

Firearms Safety Training Courses

If you are applying for a licence for the first time you will need to complete a Firearms Safety Training Course for longarms or pistols. Refer to each genuine reason FACT Sheet for information regarding applicable courses.

Business Licence

If you are making an application for a firearms licence for a business, please see the FACT Sheet below and the Business Declaration form which must be completed and returned with your application.

Making Your Licence Application

Once you have determined the appropriate genuine reason and category of licence, you may use the link below to request your pre-printed licence application and genuine reason forms.
You may also obtain pre-printed licence application forms by contacting the Firearms Registry Customer Service line on 1300 362 562.

I especially enjoyed the phrasing under the section on firearm collectors the caveat:
"A Firearm Collector licence allows for the possession of firearms only, not their use.
NOTE: This licence does not authorise the collection of ammunition. For information on collection of ammunition see Ammunition Collection Permit."

And finally, as an American gun owner, these FAQs are hilarious and frightening.

Lord, please spare us who want to use the Australian model for proposed gun regulation & ownership...


Friday, January 08, 2016

Deterrence? Maybe.

From our "you've gotta be sitting me" file:

This must be a joke, especially with that 9gag watermark. Because wearing these might cause a host of other problems...

And after a moment cogitation, I'm thinking that I might get a pair of these, except that it would lead to misrepresentation or false advertising charges...
(Girls can get away with padded bras, but if a guy wears a stuffed codpiece, things tend to end badly.)

TBG - still down under...

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

This Is Why I'm Such a Shitty Blogger

If you substitute the word "Thought" with "Blog Post Idea"...


Monday, January 04, 2016

Think Before You Speak - Hurt Feelings Edition