Polska Brain Jelly

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A Bee on My Bonnet

by on Jul.01, 2012, under Uncategorized

I’m riding down the highway coming to a junction, doing about 60 mph.  A bug thumps me in the chest, and it’s a fairly large one judging by the impact.  This isn’t unusual, I’m smacked by any assortment of things while I’m riding: bugs, rocks, hail, etc.

This bug, however, decided it would bounce off of my chest and then swing up and rest on my helmet where my visor meets my faceplate.

Oh, and this was a bee.

And it was pissed.

I would say this was a pucker factor of eight once I realized what was hitching a ride on my helmet.  I’ve never been stung by a bee, so I have no idea if I’m allergic to them.  I would suspect not since I have no honey allergies, but I’m not sure if that’s completely indicative of a bee sting allergy or not.

At any rate, I don’t want to be stung by anything riding at 60 mph while rounding a corner and merging onto another highway.

I twist my head to try to blow it off, hoping it doesn’t blow off onto my shoulder or back.  The bee slides around the visor and out of my peripheral vision, but when I bring by head around, it scurries back into the middle of my visor.

It stares at me.  I stare at it, then realize I’m heading down the highway at 70 mph now, so I better watch where I’m going.

It’s fluttering its wings in a very pissed off manner and I’m fairly certain it was staring me down thinking, “You’ve got to stop sometime, and when you do, you’re mine.”

There’s nothing like having a bee with a bright yellow butt staring at you while you race down the highway.

Fortunately, the second head twist maneuver blew it off, but it did thump my shoulder as it left, so I spent the next five minutes anticipating a bee sting somewhere on my shoulder or back.

This is why I ride on the highway with a full face helmet.  I love the wind on my face, but I don’t like bees on my face.

Or their butt-needles in my face.

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From the Land of Fiesta

by on May.12, 2012, under Uncategorized

So I went to San Antonio recently, and while there, had to sample the local tourist fare.  I think I walked that river a half dozen times at least.  Had a great time and probably sampled a beer at just about every bar on the river walk.  They have some great restaurants there too.  Definitely recommend hitting the Esquire if in the area, great atmosphere and several local brews on tap.  I also ate a huge burrito, my weight in meat and the best strawberry ice cream smoothie I have ever tasted in my life.  Had a great time.

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Harley and Me

by on Jan.21, 2012, under Uncategorized

I have a new ride.

I’ve been obsessing over the H-D Night Rod for the past few weeks now, and yesterday I finally decided to tempt fate and go looking for one.

Fate won.

I’ve been looking at dealerships in the panhandle area for a while now to see if they had any in stock.  I had seen numerous photos and reviews online, and I wanted to get a look for myself.  Nobody had any new Night Rods listed.  Ever.  I dropped by the local dealer once and they were fresh out.  They had one on order, but it was already spoken for.  That was about a month or two ago.

Yesterday I decide to head back to Tripp’s and see if they had anything similar that I could look at.  The Night Rod is one of the H-D V-Rod series that includes the V-Rod (anniversary edition this year), V-Rod Muscle, and the Night Rod Special.  I was hoping they would have one of the other models in, and while it wouldn’t be a direct comparison, it would be close.

I head in and was greeted soon by Rick, a nice guy that I had actually spoken with the last time I was there.  I told him what I wanted and he ushered me to the back where, to my surprise, they had just gotten one in.  It hadn’t even been on the showroom floor yet, he said, and they had just prepped and checked it.

I was thinking, surely it’s not the color I want.  The Night Rod Special comes in three colors, Sedona Orange (it’s actually not bad, I saw one of those on the showroom floor later), Vivid Black and Black Denim.

I wanted the Black Denim.

They had the Black Denim.

There is only so much you can draw from pictures and videos.  Seeing the real thing sealed the deal.  I sat on it – it fit.  Visions of me riding it flashed in my head.  I was hooked.

Rick offered to let me take it out for a spin.  I declined.  Momentarily.  If I had taken it out, I would have been all in.  At this point I wanted an illusion of free will to decide if I really wanted to make this deal.  I asked about how much I could get for my trade-in.  We went to his office so we could talk numbers.

The numbers he came back with were good.

Fate was kicking my ass.

At this point, I needed to gather my thoughts and run through everything once more in my head.  I told Rick I wanted to get my Shadow and bring it up, and then I would take the Night Rod out for a test run.  I made plans to be back up there after lunch.

Over Thai food with a friend, I mulled everything over in my head.  I was getting a great price for my trade in, it fit in the budget, it was the bike I wanted and ready to go.  I had gotten the Shadow for this express purpose, to get me to the point where I could ride a motorcycle like this.  After a talk with my wife and her endorsement in my pocket, I grabbed the Shadow and headed north.

It was windy yesterday.  The Shadow is a light bike.  Wind and the Shadow and a highway are not fun.  Add to that the Shadow only has a 600cc engine and four gears, it’s not a highway bike.

This was probably the final nail in the coffin.

I get to Tripp’s and find Rick.  He checks over the bike, verifies the VIN and we head inside.  He takes me to the back and starts the engine on the Night Rod.  He gives me the basics on the controls (still getting accustomed to Harley turn signals) and says “Have fun.”

I take it out for a ride.  It’s phenomenal.  I have ridden only one other Harley, that being my father-in-law’s anniversary edition softail deuce.  If I’m not mistaken, it has the same engine (the Revolution). That was an incredible ride.

This was much the same.

The power I had when I wanted it was a welcome change.  The ride was smooth, the saddle kept me in place well.  I never had the feeling of slipping back when I hit the throttle.  I suspect this is from the model’s dragging roots.

The ride bought me a Harley.  I got back and we did all the paperwork and Rick handed me the keys.  Everyone at Tripp’s was exceptional, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.  The ride home was great.  The wind was still blowing, but it wasn’t shoving me around.  This is a solid bike.

I rode it more that day, and it was great.  I’m going to enjoy riding it, especially to work, which I wasn’t able to do with my Shadow.  It was just too far.

Of course, I don’t believe in fate, it was just fortuitous that I happened into Tripp’s when they had the ride I wanted.  I was pretty much decided on my course of action before that, having obsessed over it for the past few weeks proves that.

Oh, and now I’m a HOG member.  I have no idea what that means, but they made me one.  Suckers.

Here are the requested pictures.  I’m sure there will be more posted in the future.

 

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First Time’s the Charm

by on Jan.14, 2012, under Uncategorized

Wow, my app made it in first time through.

If you recall, I submitted an app a few days ago to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, and it was awaiting their code review process.  Many get thrown back due to technical errors, some violation of their app policies (the app does something it’s not supposed to or doesn’t do some it should), or because it just doesn’t work.  Mine made it through first time in.  I am now officially published and, if you have a Windows Phone 7 smart phone, you can download the app with the handy link at the bottom.  Oh, and you’ll need a buck.

My next task is to make an ad supported version so I can offer it free.  Then onto my next app project.

Any app suggestions are welcome, so send them this way.

Download Now SFB Ship Tracker 

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My Mobile Software Empire Begins

by on Jan.11, 2012, under Uncategorized

Well, maybe empire is a slight exaggeration. Last night I submitted my first app to the Microsoft app hub for Windows Phone 7. Hopefully I’ve double checked everything and it passes verification, and if so I will soon have a published app in the Windows Marketplace.  It’s an app for a niche market, but it was a good test bed for future apps.

Cross your fingers.

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