Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Well I am back from my final trip on the academic year... I hope.  The last trip was to Toronto, Canada for the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) annual conference.  Back in September I had the crazy idea of submitting a program proposal and in January I found out that my proposal had been accepted for the conference.  My plan was to present with a colleague and we planned our presentation for the 1 1/2 hour.  When we received the acceptance, we found out that our presentation was for 35 minutes.  We had to do some major cutting to get the program down to the bare bones.  Then in the beginning of March we received notification that our program would be recorded and webcast out to people who would be attending the conference virtually.  Stress level moved from a 2 to a 4 on the Netflix star scale.  Thankfully the presentation went well and several people have contacted me for our PowerPoint slides.

I flew into Buffalo, New York on this trip to meet with my co-presenter.  Being my first trip to Buffalo I felt is was important to try some wings.  I was taken to The Anchor Bar.  They claim that they are the original home of the Buffalo Wing.  They were quite tasty!

The Original Buffalo Wings
After the wings, we headed across the border and made a stop at Niagara Falls, Canada.  I learned that the US side of the falls is a state park and the Canadian side is has more hotels and amusement parks and a better view

After looking at the falls we headed on to Toronto.  Home of the CN Tower.  At one time the tallest free standing structure in the world.  I had been to the CN Tower 10 years ago but decided to visit again in the evening.  What an amazing view.

Toronto at night
Glass floor at the 113 floor observation deck

Glass floor in the elevator looking down

While in Canada, I was able to have my three favorite Canadian treats, Ketchup Potato Chips, an Aero Bar, and Poutine.  This was a small one... I ate about a quarter of it but it was very good.

French Fries with cheese curds and brown gravy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo Shoot

Trying to find a birthday gift for Mom is always a challenge.  A couple years ago I gave her a photo of me volunteering at the CARDV Mothers Day Run.  She loved the picture but I have lost a few pounds and she has made a couple comments that she needed a new picture.  A good friend has started a photography business so I asked her if she would be willing to take a few pictures so I could give one to Mom for her birthday.  

We agreed to meet after work.  Tish called to see if I rode to work and I told her that I had.  She told me to bring my gear to the photo shoot.

Below are some of the pictures she took.  If you are looking for a great Photographer... Check out Pic TishPhotography on Facebook.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Farkles for the Garage

It is winter here and soon to be spring but it's a great time to do a little garage cleanup and remodeling.  OK so it is raining too hard really want to go out for a ride.  Yes, I know I live in Oregon, yes it rains 9 months out of the year. Yes, I know the rain gets warmer in the spring, cooler in the fall and down right cold in the winter but this is not about the rain... it's about the garage.  I have added two new little toys to the garage.  The first is my Garage Butler.

Garage Butler mounted next to the garage door opener

This is a handy little gadget I first found while reading the Sky Mall magazine while I was flying somewhere and found this amazing gadget.  See, I have a little problem.  I tend to get distracted and sometimes forget to close my garage door.  Sometimes it is on my way to work, sometimes it when I'm headed out for a ride, and sometimes it is when I'm headed to bed.  I don't use a regular garage door opener that is left in the car but instead use a key fob so that should I leave my car unlocked, some not so trusting individual would not be able to break into the garage.  To resolve this little problem, the Garage Butler solves the problem.  It automatically closes the garage door after a set amount of time or when the garage is dark for a few minutes.  The Garage Butler saves the day. I found the Garage Butler on Amazon for about 1/4 the price of Sky Mall.

The second item was picked-up at my favorite store IKEA in Portland.  These handy hooks are compact but work well for hanging items on the wall.   These hooks sell for $6 for three.

Hook in the closed position

Hook in the open position

Hanging the helmets on the wall.

Monday, February 21, 2011

One Year

Hard to believe that it has been one year since I bought Zedward the ZZR.  I have put 12,899 miles on the bike in one year.  Not too bad...

The Story of Zedward

I had been looking for a new motorcycle for about 4 months.  Shortly after the deer of Toledo tried to take me out on the Concours.  That is another story.   My friend Trubadore found Zedward on Craigslist and sent me the link.  He had been sending me a couple links a week but this one jumped out to me.  The only problem.  Zedward lived in Olympia, Washington.  I made the call up to South Sound Honda and talked to one of the sales staff about the bike but they would not hold it for me until the weekend.  I had him send me pictures, I checked several sources and found that this was a great bike.  I called back on Friday night and the ZZR had not sold yet.  I asked again if they would hold it for me as I would be making the 4 hour trek north to look at the bike on Saturday morning.  They said they would since it had not sold by 5pm on Friday night. Thanks to a few friends the journey went very smoothly.  Troubadour and Trobairitz came to my door early Saturday morning and took me to the Corvallis International Airport.

John--- is this the right way to Olympia?

Rick- Head North my Capitan!
Mt. St. Helens

I think Olympia is down there!
 My good friend John flew down from  Washington to pick me up and fly me up and fly me up to Olympia.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning and any opportunity for John to fly makes him a happy boy.  I called and asked if he was interested and of course he jumped at the opportunity.  The flight was quick, only a little more than an hour, and I was landing in the beautiful town of Olympia.
The kids checking out the plane

I was next picked up by another good friend, past staff member and avid motorcycle rider Cable and his two sons.  After poking around the airplane with the boys we headed over to South Sound Honda.  They had the ZZR setting out and ready to go on a test ride.

After some direction from Cable I took it out for a little spin on 101 and was immediately sold on the ZZR.  I went back to negotiate the sale and the immediately accepted the low offer that I made.  I wondered if there was something wrong for the motorcycle... New fluids, new rubber, a Corbin solo seat and smuggler tail as well as Muzzy pipes... I got a great deal.

After leaving the dealership, (Cable, the boys and I) headed out to lunch and then over to Cables house to look over the motorcycle before heading down the highway to Corvallis.

Everything looked great and it was an awesome day for a first ride.  I rode Zedward home and into my life.  It's been a great first year!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In My Bag

I'm getting excited.  Tonight is my last night in a hotel.  I have stayed at nine hotel/motels in the last three weeks as well as a couple of friends houses along the way.  I though I would take a moment to list out some of the items that I like to keep at hand to make the travels smooth.

These items are in no specific order but just items I like to have in my bag.

Ditty Bag
This is a great way to keep everything
organized in my messenger bag

Cable management straps
A must on every electrical cable, made with Velcro

My Droid Dock
My alarm clock holder and night light (NightClock app)

Mini Power Strip
The plugs are always behind the nightstand. UGGGG!

Snack Bar, Chop Sticks, Plastic Fork and napkins
In case you need a snack, stop for a salad, or need to pick up the plug from behind the bed (chopsticks)

Post It Notes and Butterfly Clips
 Post It notes are used to cover up LED lights in the room that glow so bright you can't sleep and the Butterfly clip is used to close window curtains to keep the parking lot lights out.  I also use the post-it notes to mark the hotel room door on the outside.  After the 4th hotel room... I can't remember if I am staying in room 203, 222, or 216 (all room numbers from this trip)

Flashlight in case the power goes out
 It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is nice to have on hand.  Yes, I know I could also use my cell phone.

Ear Plugs
To keep the noise out.  If it isn't drunk people coming back from the Casino at 4am, it is the basketball practice happening in the room above mine or railroad trains going past your window.  Yes you can complain, but sometimes all they do is make more noise.

Items not pictured:  If I am driving and have room in the car, my polar fleece blanket (to keep warm at night) and a neck pillow, used to keep my head propped up while driving or used as a half donut to help relieve all the pains in the backside while sitting.

Final Tip of the trip:  If you have a room that smells, open up a package of coffee that the hotel provides in the room and set the bag in front of the heater vent, this will improve the smell of the room or absorb some of the odors.  Also works well for rental cars that have been smoked in.

Good night from The Dalles!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Deflated Pumpkins


This has been an interesting journey that is almost complete.  I have had the opportunity to meet some great prospective students, talk with faculty from several community colleges and meet other recruiters from other colleges and universities.  Best of all I have had the opportunity to reconnect with friends.  Last week at the Student Success and Retention Conference I reconnected with one of my first mentors from Western Oregon State College.

I also stopped to visit a good friend from Lewis & Clark and Portland State.  If was fun to see Gary and Merci and to meet their kids.  When I came out of their house I noticed pumpkins sitting outside their door.  Most times pumpkins are rotted when left out but these were deflated.

I guess this is what happens when pumpkins freeze for weeks and don't have an opportunity rot.  Here are a few other pics from the trip.

The Columbia -- smooth as glass
I - 84

Just a little snow on the Blue Mt. Pass

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Thursday, I must be in Portland

Sunset Beach

Well I'm more than half way through the winter tour and so far so good.  I have stayed in 5 hotels in the last three weeks between hotels and friends houses I will be staying in 6 more places before I see my home again.  I have been to Bend and Prineville, prior post.  Last week I was in Roseburg, Eugene, Albany, and Salem.  This week I have visited Coos Bay, Newport, Tillamook and now I'm in Portland.  Next week I'm headed to the east with stops in Baker City, Ontario, back to Pendleton, The Dalles and Gresham before returning home.
I have met some great people along the way and had some fun adventures.  Last week I rode Johnny 5 (my Kawasaki Concours that is in the process of becoming a naked street fighter bike) to Lane Community College. I strapped my catalog travel case to the back and down the road I went. This week I rode again to Coos Bay via the Smith River Road.  I then returned home, spent the night and packed up Tedward the Trooper for the trip.

My Escorts to Coos Bay
Taking a break at Smith River Falls
Smith River Falls
Smith River Falls

Room View at The Mill Casino Lodge
 On Tuesday morning, I headed out for the trip to Newport.  First stop was to take a picture of the light house at Yaquina Head.  An perfect winter day at the coast.  Made for a great stop and recruiting at Oregon Coast Community College and a leisurely drive up the coast to Tillamook.
 Not much to look at in Tillamook... except the Cheese Factory of course.  Several representatives from other university and I decided to start with appetisers and dessert at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
Anyone up for Sqeeky Cheese?
Black Cherry Tillamook Ice Cream
 It is said that there are more cows than people in Tillamook County.  From the smell,  I would have to agree!
Room View from the Ashley Inn in Tillamook
 I spent Wednesday at Tillamook Bay Community College and then drove into Portland.
Aloft Hotel at Cascade Station PDX
 On the way into Portland, I heard the news that St. John's Honda was going out of business.  I made a stop to see if I could assist.  I left a little bit poorer but with some new gear for winter riding!

Can you see me now???