Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photo Hunt - Furry

Theme: Furry ** Become a Photo Hunter

I'm a little late posting for this Saturday's photo hunt. Too many things came up earlier today. When I saw that today's theme is "Furry" I knew exactly what I would choose. It's not an original idea using a dog, but Herbie himself is anything but original, lol.

Herbie gets second looks when people see him and usually a few laughs. He's so cute and we love him. He's a cross between a gold lab and a basset hound. He's got the lab body and the basset legs. He's a true pound puppy, as that's where we found and adopted him.

We call him "Herbie the Love Dog," after the movie "Herbie the Love Bug." We also refer to him as our "Low Rider" dog.

I have started a Saturday Photo Hunt link list on my side bar. If you would like to exchange links, please let me know.

Wishing you a great weekend in your part of the world,

Biker Betty :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Hunt - Chipped

Theme: Chipped ** Become a Photo Hunter

It's another Saturday's Photo Hunt and the theme is "chipped." I love taking photos and this is just a lot of fun. The only requirement is that you use only the photos you take. No copying others or using photos from some webite. Besides, using your own is more challenging. Sometimes I go out looking for something new to use and sometimes I use past photos, like this time. That is okay. So go on over to tnchick and join the fun.

It doesn't technically start till sometime Saturday morning, but I'm working very early tomorrow morning to help pay for my college books. So Photo Hunter visitors, I will be by later in the afternoon to check out your cool photos.

These photos came to mind from a trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado in September 2007. My husband and I went away for the weekend on an all expense paid business retreat. We were the only ones to show up at the five-star hotel on motorcycles. It was a retreat just riding up and back. The parking attendants made us park our own bikes - no tip there, lol.

Well, on the way back home I kind of chipped my helmet (see photo above). The duct tape fix is kind of hiding it. The whole incident broke my heart.

You see, we were on our way back home and I was on a motorcycle scavenger hunt that summer in a contest with the Mountain Shadow Riders (a chapter of Women on Wheels (R) . I got a lot of elevation signs on this trip and actually one first place!!! The above photo is one of my elevation signs. I stopped to get a scenic photo (see below) and my bike was leaning a bit more than usual parked in the dirt. I left the engine running, to get that quick photo, and left my helmet on the seat. It vibrated right off the bike and onto the ground - ugh.

I just wanted to cry. I was stomp'n mad at myself (literally). That helmet was only a few months old and it was chipped and the visor snapped at the right hinge. We weren't sure if it was going to be fixable or not. Luckily, I was able to order all new parts and I still wear it today. Yes, I know once it's dropped you are suppose to replace it, but that was one expensive helmet and I couldn't afford to do that.

I tried riding without the visor, but it had snowed the night before and it was darn cold. My eyes were tearing up bad from the cold wind, even with sunglasses on. So after a few stops of trying a few things, my husband (Sir Duct Tape) reaches into his saddle bag (with a MacGyver twinkle in his eyes) and promply whipped out his hunk'n role of "fix-all" duct tape and fixed my helmet right up. Larry the Cable Guy would be proud, hee hee.

After that, everytime we stopped somewhere that I needed to take my helmet off my husband would come over and carefully peel up the duct tape so I could get it off. We got some weird looks. Even more confused looks when he would duct tape it all back!! Life is never dull.

Wishing you a "No Chipped" and duct tape free weekend in your part of the world ,

Biker Betty :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Squeeze in One Last Day?

I was able to ride to work one more day this week, yeah!!! Today it started off at actually 39 degrees!! It was a virtual heat wave by golly. Unbelievably though, was that the last two mornings at 33 and 34 degrees felt warmer than this morning. There was a slight breeze this morning and maybe that contributed to it. Maybe there was moisture in the air? I just don't know.

I don't have too far to ride to work. It usually takes about 15 minutes. So these cold temps don't seem too bad, considering. I told a worker the other day that the cold hurts my neck, but I don't usually like to bother with my windless neckgater for such a short ride. I just "suck it up," a phrase my husband loves to use around the house. My co-worker reminded me about the warm and snugly fleece neck wrap she gave me for Christmas. So this morning I used it. It's very comfortable and blocks most of the cold. The wind does go thru it, as it's not windless. You just got to love the windless stuff out on the market these days. I will have to (ahem) find my windless neckgator and use it. Just to try it out.

When I got off work today it was 60 degrees outside. But, to my surprise, it was very noticeably overcast. Many people around me were saying snow is due tomorrow. I say "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" I actually heard a few days ago that the bad weather wasn't due till maybe Sunday. Predicting the weather is just that - predicting. I don't hold the poor, and sometimes confused, weatherperson to their predictions like some.

So, hopefully I get to squeeze one more day of riding to work this January before the snow flies.

Wishing you a good day in your part of the world,
Biker Betty :)

PS ~ Have you noticed the days are starting to get a wee bit longer?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's Electrifying

I was actually able to ride to work yesterday and today. It started off cold, but by the time I got off work it wasn't bad at all.

Yesterday I knew it was going to be nice in the afternoon, so I just planned on riding. When I got up at O'Dark thirty I checked the temperature outside and saw that it was 35 degree F. I think to myself, "Okay, it's a little cold but who cares. It's going to be nice later." I get ready for work and just before pulling out my bike I check to see how much warmer it is. It's now 34 degrees!! I'm thinking, "What the heck?"

I'm still determined to ride and I think to myself "what's one degree less?"(LOL). I pack my lunch and get my stuff together. I pull out the bike and have it warming up. One last glance at the temperature gage - It's now 33 degrees!?! I thought it was suppose to be nice. I start having a few second thoughts, afterall the weather can change here without much notice. I think "what the heck" and go back to plan A and hope on my bike and go to work. I also pray to the weather gods that all will be well.

Driving in the dark early in the morning I take my time. There is gravel on the road and it's not too easy to see till you're very close. No problems getting to work.

Ah, all's well. The weather cooperates and it's pretty decent when I get off. I take the long way home (heh). I make it to the last turn onto my street when my bike slips. Luckily, I don't go down, but you can bet I was thanking the Lord for saving me on that. After parking my bike I had to hop into the car and go get my youngest son from school. As I pass the spot I slipped, I look closely at the ground. There was hardly any gravel, but it was there. Lesson learned.

Today I ride and it was a bit warmer when I start off (34 degrees). I take it easy in the dark and get to work. Now this morning I wash my hair and get lazy and don't put the conditioner in. When I get to work and pull off my helmet my hair is loaded with electricity!! It feels like it's sticking out and you know that feeling when your hair gets static? It was there. Oh man, it was there!! I'm looking in my mirrors and can't get it to cooperate at all. I get a momentary panic attack. People are arriving to work and my hair is looking like I just stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I feel like Bozo the Clown, the Wicked Witch of the West on the Wizard of Oz, one of those Anime cartoon charaters (I think you get the idea). On normal rides I don't care, but I'm at work and I would like to look okay. I run for the bathroom and wet my hands and rub it thru my hair. I was relieved to see that that did the trick. It actually looked better then normal, lol. From now on I will be sure to use hair conditioner when I ride to work. Lesson learned.

This whole week is suppose to be nice and I plan to ride everyday, yah!! It will always be cold in the morning, but I have the afternoon ride to look forward to. Bad weather is due sometime this weekend, y-u-k!

Wishing you well in your part of the world,
Biker Betty :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Saturday Photo Hunt - Aftermath

Photo Hunt - Aftermath

Theme: Aftermath ** Become a Photo Hunter

The above and below photos are the "aftermath" of our school library having flooded from a busted water pipe the weekend of December 20/21. The above photo shows them replacing part of the carpet where the wood under it had buckled. In this last Monday's post I had reported that we had 370 books damaged and that I wasn't finished going through all the books yet. Looks like we are now done and 596 books were damaged when the water pipe broke. Most of the books were lost in the history section of our library. Water also came down and destroyed most of our Shakespeare books and some of the poetry.

Many kids would say that that isn't a loss, lol. They'd be more worried that the books in the Twilight Saga Series by Stephenie Meyer were destroyed. Even if the water came down in the fiction section of our library, those books would be safe, as every one of the books in that series were checked out over the Christmas break! Ever since the movie "Twilight" came out, we can't keep the books on the shelves. They were pretty popular even before the movie came out. You can get some info over at The Official Website of Stephenie Meyer. Presently there are four books in the series. Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. For those fans I found out that there is another in the works called "Midnight Sun." I need to read at least the first book, so I can see what the kids are so ga-ga about. I'm just not a vampire fan and haven't had the desire to read them. Have any of you read them and how did you like them?

Now the Harry Potter series - that's a totally different story. I'm a huge fan of that series. The first book was out a year before I finally read it and I couldn't put it down. Took me about two days to read the first book. Then as the rest were published I was at the store that day to buy it, lol. Okay, I wasn't so bad that I was at the store before midnight. My hat's off to those that were, though.

Below are more pictures of the "aftermath" of the flood. As we went through the books on the shelves, we placed the bad ones on the tables.

Below is a close up of some of the damaged books. Just today a representative of Follette Corporation (a book supplier) came out to survey the damage. They are offering us a pretty sweet deal if we go through them to get the books replaced through our insurance. We also will have a representative from another major book supplier, that we also buy our books from, come out this next week. My boss (our school librarian) wants to hear from both before he makes his decision as to which to go through to get all these books replaced.

I was crushed to see the mess this whole thing left our school library in. My hat's off to our custodial staff. They have done a tremendous job cleaning up and drying out the carpet. There were two inches of water that they had to deal with. I have been working very hard wiping down all the surfaces and it's getting there. My last big project is washing down all the shelves that the water and ceiling tiles came down on. This week I can bring the live plants back to work. I take them home to care for them over long holiday breaks and summer. I bought two of them and one of the staff donated one of the others. They add that welcoming feeling to the place.

I was hired the fall of 2007 and the previous person could care less about how the library looked. I love to decorate and slowly, using my own money, I would find bargains of nice items and plants to put on display. We have been getting lots of compliments from the students and the staff about how inviting the library now is. I had a few of the staff tell me that before I was hired the library was like a tomb. The previous person was so mean (as the kids and staff put it) that no one liked to come in. I also like to decorate for the different holidays and seasons. My next goal is to find nice/gently used furniture. We just need a matching couch and loveseat and hopefully some matching lounge chairs.

The library is really coming along and that is pretty exciting. We are recovering from the aftermath of this disaster.

Wishing you a great day in your part of the world,

Biker Betty :)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Give Me My Kidney Back!?!

I just heard of this unbelievable story a little bit ago on CNN. I just have to tell you about this. Not sure if you had heard about it, but what a circus it is turning into. Get a load of this... Seems Richard Batista, a doctor in Long Island, is suing his estranged wife for his kidney back or $1.5 million for damages and compensation.

Here's the brief low down:

His wife, Dawnell had two failed kidney transplants earlier. He donated his kidney to her in 2001, in hopes that that would work and she would get better. She still has it, so this transplant must be a success. Years later, feeling much better, she took up karate and hurt her knee during a lesson. Her husband is alleging that she started having an affair with her physical therapist in 2003. In 2005 she served her husband divorce papers. She is also not letting him visit their three daughters, ages 8, 11, & 14.

It's been reported that Richard is so hurt and angry over this, that he has decided to sue his wife in the divorce settlement for his kidney back or the $1.5 million mentioned above.

Okay, do you think this is helping his practice? I mean - Yikes!! He really needs to think deep about this. It's looking real bad for him. He really needs to let this go. Doesn't he ever want to see his daughters? He "donated" the kidney, for cry'n out loud. She is saying she didn't have the affair. I'm not here to judge either way. All I know is what the news portrays (and we know how that can work sometimes). It's just mind boggling that someone would want back an organ they had donated to help another person get better. This takes Indian Giver to a whole new level, lol.

You can go to to get the story. I also googled "Richard Batista" and went to a few other web pages for more info.

You know, when you hear stories like this... I'm not so sure we have totally evolved from the ape.

May your part of the world be a little saner,

Biker Betty :)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's back to ...

... work I go. I knew ahead of time that today, my first day back from my school winter break, I had plenty of work to do. Sometime during the first weekend of the winter break a pipe broke and flooded part of our school library. I went in twice during the break to help assess the damage.

Originally, word had come down that water had come right down on my desk, but luckily that wasn't the case. On my way to work, at O'Dark Thirty, I stopped at a Starbucks to get my favorite flavored coffee, Caramel Macchiato. I don't stop there often, but a coworker had given me a $5 gift card. So armed with this dreamy coffee creation, I was ready to forge ahead to get my work done.

I tell you what, a lot of water came down thru many parts of the ceiling. Lots of ceiling tile was all over the place. I'm not done with my inventory of the damaged books, but so far it's 370 books. I have one more table of books that have been pulled, due to damage, that I must inventory.

Here's the damage...

and here...

and here...

The above photo shows new books that were on display and water never even touched them. They got damaged by all the moisture in the air. We tried to stack heavier books on top of the warped ones to see if we couldn't straighten them out. This is only 1/4 of the new books warped, ugh!!! We aren't even sure if we can even claim these books.

We also have damage under parts of the rug and I have a lot of shelves to clean. They have bits of ceiling tile and water residue on them. I will be very busy these next few days. Water had fallen on our tables, but luckily they are fine. That's great considering they were standing in 2 inches of water for a day or two.

On top of this, we came back to very bad news. One of our students had died over the winter break. He was very popular and well liked in our school. The students come back Wednesday and many of them will take this news understandably hard. Our school counselors are ready and the district crisis team is on standby. It's horrible when a child dies. I knew this boy some. He would come into the library every now and then. He was very nice. I didn't know it, but he had a health problem and things were starting to look grim for him in December before the break.

Sorry this isn't one of my more upbeat posts. Life isn't always roses, is it?

Here's hoping things are going better in your part of the world,

Biker Betty

Saturday, January 03, 2009

PhotoHunt ~ Hope

Photo Hunt - "Hope"

Theme: Hope ** Become a Photo Hunter

I haven't done the PhotoHunt in a while and I'm pretty excited to be participating this week. Yesterday I had mentioned in my post how I visited Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza and Steve Clark, General Manager, was very helpful in helping me locate the new 2009 Yamaha V-Star 950. The above is the basic model in Raven (black). Steve induldged me and took my picture sitting it. Thank you Steve. It fits just like my 2002 V-Star 650 Custom. This is a sweet bike! It is my Hope that when I replace my V-Star 650 that I can get the V-Star 950, but with the Tourer package. It is my Hope that I could replace it this year with the Black Cherry model before my big trip to Texas this summer for the Women On Wheels (R) Ride-In. One can always Hope, sigh.

I learned about this new model for the first time in my Feb 2009 issue of Rider Magazine. They have a Rider Test writeup on it and just reading it highly peaked my interest. I really like my current V-Star, so replacing it with another upgrade V-Star just seems a no brainer. What I like about this model is that it's not too powerful, but way more powerful than what I have now. I really don't need a 1300 or more powerful engine. Plus, lets face the facts, those bigger machines just don't go low enough for my 5'2" tall body.

One of the features that I really like is it come with floorboards. I have footpegs and after a day on my bike my feet start to go numb. Another feature that I like is that it has eight-spoke cast wheels. I currently have spoked wheels and the members of the Mountain Shadow Riders that rode with me last summer can testify how my spokes do vibrate loose over time. That can be very dangerous, if not watch and adjusted as needed. I have learned that my spokes do work loose and that bugs me!

The 950 has a gorgeous design that I would never want to custom paint. In the write-up Clement Salvadori has many good things to say about the design and the ride. I would be very curious about the clutch, as in the write-up it he says that it's very smooth and "minimizes any risks of stalling when starting up." I would be a good test for that, lol. Okay, in my denfense I don't stall often and I guess we all tend to embarrassingly stall on occasion. I just hope the person behind me doesn't run me over at that green light when it happens.

Until I can Hopefully upgrade, I feel very lucky to already own the 2002 Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom. That is an incredible bike and I can depend on it. I have put over 15,000 miles on it over the last 3 1/2 years and it hasn't failed me yet. It is a rock-solid motorcycle. I have heard other V-Star owners say the same thing. I ride it to work, when the weather allows, and I ride it all over Colorado. It is excellent on pavement, rock, high mountain passes and did an excellent job getting me to the top of Mount Evans, CO (North America's highest paved automobile road). At the top we were at the elevation of 14,240 ft. It is 14 miles of some of the tightest twists imaginable. Once at the top we were warned that due to the elevation our bikes might not start up right away. Well, mine started on the first try and I had no doubt.

I have to say that any day on a motorcycle is a good day. I Hope you have a good day too.

Biker Betty :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

On The Road Again

I was very excited today, as I got to ride my motorcycle for the first time this year and since early October. I had to go into work for a couple of hours today on my day off. I've been off for the last two weeks since school is out. Into the first week our Christmas break the school library got flooded and it looks like over 300 books got water damaged (and that's another story, sigh).

I planned last night I was going to ride today, as the weather prediction was good for today. First thing I did before backing it out of the garage was start the engine. It hadn't been started since early October and I wasn't certain what would happen. True to my Yamaha V-Star 650 track record it started up on the 3rd attempt. Talk about a dependable bike!! I love my Yamaha ;)

When I took off it was almost 34 Degrees F. Yah, it was balmy, lol. I could see my breath, but I was soooo happy to be riding that I didn't notice how cold my hands were till I was almost to work. When I pulled out of my driveway I had the biggest smile :) After working a few hours I went home to feed my son and then planned a short ride, ahem.

After a quick bite I decided I had better check my tire pressure and the front tire was very low. I should have checked it before taking off earlier - shame on me!!! Note to readers and myself: Don't call your significant other at their work to ask questions to do with minor maintenance before going on ride. They get cranky knowing you are going out and they are stuck at work. They tend to not be very helpful with the knowledge you seek, lol.

My goal was to ride to two motorcycle stores in town. I decided to go by way of Garden of the Gods. It was such a beautiful day I needed to ride thru and take in the winter beauty. It was pretty busy with lots of visitors. Seems I wasn't the only one with the same idea.

On the way out I just had to stop and take a picture of this mountain. I learned most of my rock climbing on it and did many lead climbs to the top. It is lots of fun. The view at the top is breathtaking. I wrote about it early on in this blog.

I then thought it would be really cool to run up the pass (Hwy 24) and do a quick visit to Woodland Park. (Remember - this is just a short jaunt, lol). Little did I know how "cool" it would be. Most of the pass was in the shade and talk about cold, brrrr. It felt like the time I had jumped into a snow fed lake in Oregon. It was very "refreshing"!?!. I get up to Woodland Park, gas up, and head back to the springs.

The town of Green Mountain Falls is situated in such a way that it is in the shade most of the time. I took a detour to take a picture of the snow they still have. It was pretty cold there and I got back on the highway to get to warmer weather.

I haven't been to the two motorcycle stores I like to visit in quite a while. First stop was Apex Sports to see if anything new is out. My main goal was to see the 2009 Yamaha V-Star 950. I read a review about it in Rider magazine and was very curious and excited to see. They didn't have it, or I just couldn't find it. It wasn't thru lack of trying. I looked over everything twice, lol.

Next stop was Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza and - Jackpot!!! - They had what I was dreaming to see. It IS very cool and I will share a picture tomorrow. I couldn't find it at first, but a salesman was very helpful in helping me locate what I was looking for. What a sweet bike. After talking with the salesman who, gave me lots of information on the 2009 V-star, I went into the accessories store to see what new things were there and to see if Sharon was in. Everyone there is very nice, but I have got to know Sharon thru the years. She works in accessories and greets everyone with a huge smile. She was there and we had a very nice chat getting caught up with each other. I was really sorry to hear she and her husband have been thru some rough times this last year with her husband health and I really wish her and her husband the best in 2009.

It was 5pm and I figured I had better hightail it back home. The sun was setting and the evening commute was in full swing. I got home safely and what a fun afternoon of playing hookie. I managed to blow out all the cobwebs from my motorcycle and get 70 miles today

What a great day and wishing you one too,

Biker Betty :)