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Cool Plane Pr0n via Lex

I found this little video over at Lex’s place and figured y’all might enjoy it too :)  Incredible film of jets combined with good music – what’s not to love about that :cool:  And yes, I want a few of those jets for my own :wink:

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Glenn’s views on the Reno Tragedy

I will keep it simple as possible.

What happened the other day was a terrible tragedy. So far nine dead and sixty injured, some of those seriously.

I never made it to the National Air Races. I would have loved it. For airplane junkies, it is almost as much of a pilgrimage as Air Venture in Oshkosh, Paris, or any of the Navy Centennial events this year.

I watched Hannity on Thursday evening. During the All American Panel segment the accident was discussed. The subject of severe restrictions was broached. Sean even wondered why this event is even allowed. But to his credit, NASCAR was referenced. That was possibly due to airplanes not being viewed as “red neck” but the oval racers are. Who knows? I did not know any of the panel members but the liberal was all for shutting this event down…….permanently and grounding all warbirds, midget racers, sportsman racers and the jets that are part of it. Sean did tell this fellow that is a free country. Credit to him. Freedom.

Everyone at the Air Races was there because he or she WANTED to be there. I believe all understood that there was some risk involved.

I have seen on Facebook visceral comments about this accident. That modified P-51 was one of the most meticulously maintained aircraft on the planet. But sometimes bad things will happen. One of my Facebook friends, a lady from NYC of Sicilian descent said it is simply Karma.  That is part of her belief system. She was very sympathetic to the families and friends of the victims.

But for those who said things like…….they got what they deserved………need to take a long hard look at their life priorities. Because something is amiss with those folks.

But I have no doubt that some member of congress and the administration are already thinking about how to over regulate air racing. Isn’t the FAA enough?

My two cents.

ORPO1 Out.

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A Contender For My Next Vehicle – Ural Gear-Up

What vehicle doesn’t usually lean in corners, doesn’t have a roof or doors, uses rather old technology, and isn’t priced under $10,000 (it’s $13,949 if we’re being specific) but has still captured my heart?  I’ll give you a few hints.  It’s Russian, wears a camouflage paint scheme, has three wheels, requires a unique skill set to operate, and features two wheel drive :wtf2:

OK, I’ll tell you – It’s the Ural Gear-up and I’m still :drool2:

It’s decidedly not fast and the speedometer bounces around in about a 10 MPH range, but who cares :D  The Gear-Up’s two wheel drive is made to be used off road and that sidecar looks like the perfect place to carry a whole bunch of shotguns and rifles into the desert :deal:  I wonder how hard it would be to remove the spotlight from the sidecar and fit a machine gun like the Russian Army used to :whistle:

In all seriousness, I’m rather in a quandary here.  A BMW F800GS would be quicker than the V-Star and will do off road with ease as it’s made to be a dual sport.  It’s about the same price as the Ural and would be a much more capable touring mount.  A Suzuki V-Strom would be about half the price, require less maintenance, and go just about anywhere the Ural would.  Both are normal motorcycles which lean and do all the other fun things motorcycles do.

On the other hand, the Ural with its sidecar would allow me to carry more and different stuff than either of the motorcycles would.  Friends and family would probably be much more likely to climb aboard the sidecar than they would be to mount up on the back of a bike.  I’d still be on the vehicle rather than in it, still in the weather, and it has plenty of character :cool:  Motorcycle.com’s full review of the Ural Gear-Up is here, Ural’s website is here, and their page for the Gear-Up can be found here for your reading pleasure and educational enrichment :cheers:

I’ve still got quite a while to go until I’m ready to buy my next means of transportation, so at least I’ve got that going for me :)

So what do all my readers think?  I can almost guarantee I won’t buy another regular car as long as I’m able to operate a bike of some sort, but that still leaves plenty of options open :thumb:  Go ahead and post your thoughts on the subject down in the comments, OK :wink:

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Carver – A Dutch Car I’d Love To Drive

One of the parts of motorcycling I’ve fallen in love with is leaning through corners :cool:  One of my biggest gripes these days about cars is that they don’t lean in corners.  Oh sure, there’s the lower fuel economy, limited visibility, and over-insulation from the outside world but not leaning is right up there with those in things I hate about cars.

So what if there was a car that does lean in the corners?  Intentionally lean in corners that is :P  Leave it to the Dutch to come up with the Carver One :D  The lean of the driver section is accomplished via hydraulic actuators which are controlled by a computer that senses how hard and quickly you turn the wheel :wink:  Sadly, Carver has filed for bankruptcy but thankfully a company called Persu is working on a similar vehicle based on the Carver’s proven technology :thumb:

If I had to travel in a fully enclosed vehicle, I’d prefer to do it in a Carver or a Persu :mrgreen:

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Morgan 3 Wheeler – A CAR I Would Actually Buy

I’ve noticed that I really don’t want a car now that I’ve got a bike.  Now, that might not seem to strange at first to those who haven’t known me that long, but others remember when I was a total car nut :)  There are still times when I miss my 1988 IROC, but none of the new cars out really excite me at all.  I don’t care if it’s a new sports car with wonderful acceleration, superb handling, and a reasonable price.  I just don’t want one.

I found this video the other day while cruising through YouTube and I have to say that I’d buy one in a heartbeat if I could :thumb:  It might not lean like a bike does and you sit inside it with a seat belt on, but it’s still got that V-twin engine and no top at all :wink:

I’ve seen a few of the old Morgan Three Wheelers in the past.  I’ve seen them raced at vintage events and I’ve seen a couple at the Imperial Palace and they look to be a great deal of fun.  This, however, looks like a whole new level of road going entertainment :cool:

If I had to travel in a vehicle rather than astride it and that vehicle didn’t normally lean in corners, this would be the one I’d take :D

Do yourself a favor and go check out the Morgan 3 Wheeler website and stop by the car creator feature while you’re at it :deal:

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Prayers for Reno

Today the air races in Reno, NV saw a terrible tragedy.  Jimmy Leeward lost control of the P-51 known as “Galloping Ghost” while competing in a qualifying race.  The plane crashed into the front row of box seats and many spectators were injured and killed along with Mr. Leeward.

Videos of the crash and the aftermath have been posted in various places online.  I’ve chosen not to link to them.  We don’t know what caused this catastrophe and I didn’t see anything in the video that would advance that understanding.  I’m going to leave the search for the cause of this terrible crash to the experts.

I found the above video posted on YouTube by user FSchmehl and I’ve chosen to post it here as a memory of better times.

My prayers go out for everyone at Reno.

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Voyages on Two Wheels – Arizona September 2011 – Day 3 – Heading Back to Las Vegas

So we’ve covered my journey voyage from Las Vegas to Prescott, AZ and my day trip to Jerome and the Prescott Town Square.  Sadly, all good things must come to an end and I had to head back home on Monday.  I’d planned to take off sometime around 0900 or 1000, but that didn’t happen.  I finally managed to get back on the road sometime around 1230 which probably doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me :whistle:

5 September 2011 - Ready to hit the road for home :)

5 September 2011 - Ready to hit the road for home :)

Mom got this picture for me as I was about to take off :wink:  She also made sure to get a few pics with her cell phone so she could share them with friends :cool:  You might have noticed that I swapped my face shield over from smoke to clear.  I did that because the skies weren’t exactly blue and sunny with warm breezes :deal:

5 September 2011 - Panorama - I wonder if I'll get to ride through that...

5 September 2011 - Panorama - I wonder if I'll get to ride through that...

5 September 2011 - Panorama - Hmm... Looks like the road goes straight into that storm

5 September 2011 - Panorama - Hmm... Looks like the road goes straight into that storm

 I checked the weather radar before I left my family’s place, but I couldn’t tell where these storms would actually be when I got a ways north of Prescott.  Just so you know, these are both different thunderstorms.

I don’t mind rain, even when it’s cold and the raindrops sting like stones being kicked up.  What I’m not all that thrilled about is lightning :shock:  Motorcyclists are more exposed to many different dangers compared to travelers in cars.  There’s pavement, other cars, and of course weather.  If it’s hot, we sweat.  If it rains, we get wet.  If it’s windy, you can be sure we notice it :wink:  Lightning in close proximity is about the only thing I worry about on the bike when it comes to weather.

5 September 2011 - I think we can agree that it got just a bit humid on my trip home

5 September 2011 - I think we can agree that it got just a bit humid on my trip home

 In case you’re wondering, yes, I managed to ride through both of these storms and another one on top of them :thumb:  There was plenty of rain, but thankfully it wasn’t too heavy most of the time.  Yes, the rain can sting a bit when it hits, but that was mostly on my legs where I only had my fatigue pants for protection.  The helmet, jacket, and gloves protected me from everything but getting a bit cold :)  I am currently looking into getting some better rain gear and I will pack the rain liner for my jacket next time :wink:

5 September 2011 - The weather finally broke for me on Route 66 west of Seligman

5 September 2011 - The weather finally broke for me on Route 66 west of Seligman

 I usually don’t mind rain all that much and I’m OK being cold for a while.  Still, that blue sky and the promise of warm sunshine was welcome as I rode west on Route 66 north of Seligman :cool:

5 September 2011 - Truxton Station is an old time gas station on Route 66

5 September 2011 - Truxton Station is an old time gas station on Route 66

 Unlike the Hackberry General Store, Truxton Station is still a working gas station :)  I stopped because I’d been drinking the same amount of fluids as I had on the way down, but the weather wasn’t nearly as warm if you get my drift :P  It’s nice to see some part of the past that’s still around :D

5 September 2011 - Bikers from Germany at the Hackberry General Store

5 September 2011 - Bikers from Germany at the Hackberry General Store

5 September 2011 - Shafts of light playing on the mountain near Hoover Dam

5 September 2011 - Shafts of light playing on the mountain near Hoover Dam

5 September 2011 - Panorama - Shafts of light playing on the mountain near Hoover Dam

5 September 2011 - Panorama - Shafts of light playing on the mountain near Hoover Dam

 Rain clouds appeared in my path once again as I headed north from Kingman towards Las Vegas, but they’d moved on by the time I got to the border.  These pics were taken just south of Hoover Dam and the bypass bridge where I thought the sky was truly beautiful :)

5 September 2011 - Sun setting during my approach to Las Vegas

5 September 2011 - Sun setting during my approach to Las Vegas

 The sun was finally setting as I approached Las Vegas after passing through Boulder City.  The extra red you see in the sky is from a layer of smoke from brush fires in California being carried east on the prevailing winds.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that and my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the fires.

5 September 2011 - Safely back home after a tiring but very rewarding weekend

5 September 2011 - Safely back home after a tiring but very rewarding weekend

I finally made it back home after stopping by the gas station sometime around 1830 with the last light of the day fading in the west.  Th bike’s still dirty from riding in the rain and I’ll have to deal with that heat shield on the lower exhaust pipe that came loose, but it was well worth it.  700 or so miles under the wheels later and I can’t wait to do another trip like it again :thumb:

That’s all for now, but I hope everyone has a great week :mrgreen:

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Voyages on Two (and Four) Wheels – September 11 2011 – Ten Years Later

Starting off a post is usually the toughest part.  I have to get my mind going and start some creative energies stirring.  Today isn’t one of those days.

September 11, 2001 was a horrible day that I’ll never forget.  I’ve written about it a few times (use the search function on the upper right to find all the posts), but the original one with my best account of my experience that day is here.  I don’t know really what more there is to say about it that I haven’t already said.  Instead, I’m going to focus on today for the most part.  The day started with a shoot out in the desert and due to the dirt road, I was in the car for a change.  I’ve done a bit of dirt road and gravel on the V-Star, but I don’t know that I’ll ever take it to this place.

11 September 2011 - Scattering our friend Christina's ashes the way she wanted

11 September 2011 - Scattering our friend Christina's ashes the way she wanted

 Before anyone thinks differently, this was not my idea!  Christina was a member of Nevada Shooters, a gunsmith, had worked construction, and loved tinkering with mechanical things like cars.  We were sad to learn that she’d passed away earlier this year due to brain cancer.  I hadn’t been too close to Christina but I remember that she was extremely nice, always helpful, and a great person to have around at our shoots.

The way I understand it, she’d wanted to go out with a bang and to have her ashes scattered over a gun range.  After her sister said a few words, her wish was granted.  Her ashes were placed on a fairly substantial charge of tannerite which was then set off by a .50 caliber rifle bullet :)  That smoke you see by the mountain is the aftermath of the shot and I think she would have truly loved it :cool:

I made sure to stop and chat with Christina’s sister a little while later.  Christina had owned a gun store in El Cajon, CA near San Diego and we’d discussed San Diego quite a bit.  I may not have known her all that well, but I knew her well enough and will miss her.  I explained this and I hope I gave her sister a little more support during a very tough time.

Godspeed, Christina and may you rest in peace.

11 September 2011 - Stopped in Red Rock Canyon

11 September 2011 - Stopped in Red Rock Canyon

 Some of the people from the shoot went to Dean’s Place (a local Italian restaurant which is very friendly with the gun community) to eat and chat over truly good food.  I considered going, but I was getting rather tired again and still wanted to get in a bit of a ride to settle my mind.  September 11 has always been a day for remembrance and introspection for me, but Christina’s memorial shoot added a bit more than usual.

I got home, checked the weather on the computer, swapped flip flops for boots, and headed out on the bike.  I didn’t have anything in mind except going for a ride through Red Rock and getting a pic of my bike with the September 11 memorial decal on the saddle bag.  I met back up with a guy named Nick I’d met before out there and we talked for quite a while about all sorts of stuff.  He’s just gotten into riding with his first motorcycle as well.  I don’t want to spoil the future fun and tell everything about it right now, but I will say that it’s a Harley :)

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Storm clouds and rain in Red Rock Canyon

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Storm clouds and rain in Red Rock Canyon

11 September 2011 - Panorama - More storm clouds and rain in Red Rock Canyon

11 September 2011 - Panorama - More storm clouds and rain in Red Rock Canyon

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Half of the clouds in sunset, the others still in sunlight

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Half of the clouds in sunset, the others still in sunlight

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Golden light filtering through the broken clouds

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Golden light filtering through the broken clouds

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Sunset glowing on a few of the clouds

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Sunset glowing on a few of the clouds

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Clouds glowing from within as sunset illuminates their tops

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Clouds glowing from within as sunset illuminates their tops

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Sunset illuminating a cloud like a smouldering coal in a campfire

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Sunset illuminating a cloud like a smouldering coal in a campfire

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Last light of day on the highest clouds

11 September 2011 - Panorama - Last light of day on the highest clouds

It’s getting late and not only do I have to work tomorrow, but we’re all working ten hour shifts instead of eight so I’m going to wrap this post up fairly quickly :wink:  Our weather her in Fabulous Las Vegas has been a bit mixed this past week.  We’ve had a few thunderstorms lately and the temperatures are coming back down into the reasonable (under 100°) range.  Tonight the atmosphere was rather more unsettled than usual.  We only got a few drops in Red Rock, but I got a decent light show a bit later from a thunderstorm over by Lake Mead on my way home :D  Oh yeah – We also got some broken clouds that indicated a very cool sunset might present itself :wink:

I think the pictures came out fairly well considering I went handheld for all the pics :)  One of these days I’ll remember that I have tripods in the one of my saddle bags :P  In any case, I hope you like ‘em :thumb:

In closing, let’s remember those who’ve sacrificed for us and those who continue to do so today.  I’m going to remember them and my thanks will always go out to them.  Here’s hoping it all gets better from here :)  Have a great week, everyone :mrgreen:

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Happy Birthday, Glenn!!!

Air Force Civilian Maintainer. Me.

Air Force Civilian Maintainer. Me.

 Glenn is one of the authors around here along with Kath and myself, but he also has his own blogs as well :D

Today may be the tenth anniversary of the infamous terror attacks, but it’s also Glenn’s birthday :cool:  Although he served his country in the U.S. Navy some years ago, he’s once again working with the military at Edwards Air Force Base.  This pic is from one of his earlier posts – click here to check it out :)

Glenn, thanks again for your service and I hope you have a wonderful 57th birthday :thumb:

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Remembering 9/11/01

Never forget

Never forget

 The image above isn’t mine, but it’s the best one I’ve seen yet in its simplicity and message.  I would give credit to its creator, but I found it in too many places on the web to know who that is.  Thank you, sir or ma’am for your efforts.  I will remember.

 There are many great posts out on the Internet today about the anniversary of the terrorist attacks ten years ago.  I will be back later today with a more in-depth post, but I have a few things to do.  I’m going to a shoot in the desert which is being held as a memorial to a friend of ours who was recently lost to brain cancer.

A little bit later, I’ll be out on the bike on a solo ride to let everything sink in, coalesce, and settle back down.  I was thinking about going on one of the organized rides, but decided not to for many reasons.  I’ll never forget where I was that day a decade ago, who I was with, or what I was doing.  I didn’t personally know anyone injured or killed that day, but it still affected me deeply and still does.

God bless those who have died, those who have lost loved ones, those who have been wounded, and those who still serve today.

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