Thursday, August 22, 2019

Another follow-up...

Regarding the BMW scoot we have a deposit on and has a "stop sale" on it from the manufacturer.  I found this on the internet...

Straight from an email from BMW Motorrad:

Recalls are specific to a Vehicle's Identification Number (VIN).

BMW Motorrad USA has recently announced a safety recall for the Brake Calipers that affects certain 2017 to 2020 BMW G 310 GS, G 310 R, and C 400 X models, produced between 10/2016 and 8/2019. Over time, the front and/or rear brake calipers may be subject to corrosion. If the caliper becomes corroded, then braking performance could be affected, increasing the risk of a crash.

Owners of affected motorcycles will receive an initial letter in October via First Class mail advising them of this recall and, if parts are available, to schedule an appointment with an authorized BMW motorcycle dealer to have this Safety Recall performed. If parts are not available, owners will receive a second letter when they become available, advising them to schedule an appointment at that time to have this Safety Recall performed.

Authorized BMW Motorrad dealers cannot sell motorcycles with an open recall. We are in the process of implementing this Safety Recall to ensure that the necessary parts, tools, and procedures are available. Current owners and authorized BMW Motorrad dealers will be notified as soon as these parts are available. At this time, we're unable to provide an estimated time frame as to when replacement parts will become available.
If I am understanding this correctly, it is unlikely this will be resolved before we are ready to head out of here.  We are now waiting for our dealer friend to let us know how to proceed from here.
Disappointed?  Sure.  Joan is philosophical about it: "I don't want to take the bike if there really is something wrong with it."  Of course, there would be no corrosion showing on a brand new bike.  She has not written this off, yet... again, we'll see how it plays out.

Another big moving day...

Almost a block from the other site we were in.  It was easy to move our "caravan" a piece or two at a time, since we could easily walk back and forth.  We have 21 days (the maximum) in this site.  We have been in this site in the past (twice last summer)... we are told that all the sites are the same size, but the concrete pad in this site is a bit wider... enough so that our sun screen will need some extensions on the bungees to hook it up (in the grass on the edge of the paved site).

We have a huge front yard in this site...

... since it is a corner lot.  The downside of getting all that space: the direction it faces puts sun on our all day, so we can really use that sunscreen.  Right now, it is a bit too breezy to put the awning out.

Rufus really liked the site we were in: with a big coach on our patio side, it was more private, and he had immediate access to the dog walking area (that is the size of a couple football fields).  In fact, the normally sweet boy got a bit pissy while we were preparing to move.  Rufus?  Pissy?  Yes, to the point where he swatted at us as we walked by.  With a certain urgency in his meow.  Now, it may have been because he didn't get to go out for a walk this morning... or it may have been because he could see that we were scurrying around, and that means a move.

When you scold a cat, they generally don't show shame and remorse the way a dog does.  When Rufus took a swing at me (no contact) I said sternly, "What did you do?  You do NOT hit the Daddy!"

He said, "I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!"  Yes, really.

When he and I made the 30 second drive from the previous site to this one, he looked out and said, "Oh, this site has grass, too.  OK, I guess this is good, too."  (All the sites here have a nice grassy area between the paved sites.)

So, as much work to hook up utilities and get set up inside the coach again as at the end of a long driving day.  But, after that 30 second drive, we are once again settling in.


Later this afternoon: the sunscreen in place...

The patio under the sunscreen...

Rufus out on the patio...

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Well, not much of an update.  In regards to the BMW scoot we ordered for Joan: it sounds like everything with that brand of brakes is likely going to be involved in a nation-wide recall.  BMW supposedly (and I say that because I haven't see anything from BMW) won't have any kind of fix for this until sometime in September.

That may be too late for us.  For now.  In the meantime, sure glad we didn't decide to sell Joan's PCX instead of trading it - she has a scoot, and a scoot she really likes, to ride until (and if/when) there is a resolution to this "stop sale."

I guess I can stop studying up on this C400X, for now.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

That's enough of that healthy crap...

Joan asked what I wanted for lunch... yeah, we're going to Custer!  More specifically: Black Hills Burger & Bun Company.  Since this trip is a rerun, here's a look from a rider's perspective...

All about the roads.  Hardly any motorcycles on the roads today - we saw 17 bikes between Hart Ranch and Custer, and most of those were in Custer State Park.  In fact, traffic of any kind was pretty light.  I don't mind.

Once in Custer, we parked the scoots, put our name in at BHB&B Co, and wandered around town before getting the notification that our table was ready.

After lunch, we decided to do some highway riding, past Crazy Horse and Mt Rushmore.  I swapped cameras... unfortunately, I didn't change the setting on the Nikon, which was set for manual to photograph the full moon.  That setting was WAY off, so the photos are crap... I guess we'll have to ride by all that again, so I can get photos.  Here are 2 images that I will euphemistically call "artistic."

Grossly over-exposed... don't believe that "you can fix anything with digital" crap: if it is shot bad, there isn't much you can do for it.  Excrement occurs.

On the other hand, the riding was great, the weather was gorgeous, the food was tasty... it was just a swell day.

Eating healthy...

We had a discussion: one of us felt we need to "eat healthier"... the other of us is good with bacon and eggs in the morning.  So, we're eating healthier.

Joan makes a nice fruit plate each morning; has been doing that for a long time.  I figure that "cancels out" any issue with bacon and eggs.  Kinda like having a Diet Coke with pizza.

Yesterday and today, we had granola after our fruit.  I think the brand is "Bit 'o Sawdust - now with twigs and rabbit droppings!"  Yum.  Almost tastes like food.

Rufus made an interesting discovery this morning: one should not play with bees.  A few days ago while out for a walk, he discovered the little yellow butterflies.  He does not take them out of the air the way Izzy could.  He is also not focused on "the hunt."  Little Izzy discovered the little yellow butterflies have a powdery taste; a bit less chewy than "Bit 'o Sawdust," but still not particularly appetizing.  Rufus generally does not try to eat things he finds outside.  Oh, on occasion he will do the "cat pounce" because that hunter instinct kicks in.  Pretty sure he could not survive in the wild on his hunting skills.  You can tell if a cat is a good hunter when they don't have to look under their paw to see if they caught something.  When Rufus lifted his paw, I think the bee gave him a little shocking surprise in the cheek.

He decided that sitting in "his chair" for a while might be a good idea.  After a walk, a bike ride, and some exercises, I felt the same way... it was a beautiful morning for sitting outside.  He was licking his cheek; I was using my tongue to try to get sawdust and twigs out of my teeth.  Nice morning.

Monday, August 19, 2019


Nothing to do with the new hip.

Last night, I received a piano track from my friend and music partner, Mark.  Mark is a musician - he makes a piano come alive.  When he sends me music tracks, I know I am going to be impressed with his musicianship.  He makes me want to be a better player.

I am an old rock 'n roller at heart.  I love to make music, but I subscribe to the saying, "Close enough for rock 'n roll."  ;-)

This is not the first time he has sent files that make me think, "Are you just messin' with me?  You know I can't play like that, right?  Where's the back-beat?" 

Do you know the difference between a jazz musician and a rock n' roller?  A jazz musician plays 1,000 chords for 3 people... a rock 'n roller plays 3 chords for 1,000 people.  (rimshot)  Mark can go back and forth between the genres; I stay in my comfortable little wheelhouse.

All that said, he sent me a file for a medley with What The World Needs Now and Get Together.  Yeah, one is a Burt Bacharach/Dione Warwick song, the other is a rock song by the Youngbloods.  Who puts those together?  And does it in a key that makes me stretch way up or way down? 

I spent about 3 hours listening... trying to get the phrasing... rehearsing (now, Joan can't get that song out of her head).  Then, I set up my Spire Studio at the dinette in our motorhome and went for it...

I recorded two tracks: one high vocal, one low vocal.  One take each.  Then sent that back to Mark to let him decide if either one sounds OK to him.  A snippet of each track...

Nice piano playing.  That isn't rock 'n roll.  ;-)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Another solo ride...

Again, not the Man from U.N.C.L.E. nor the guy who hung out with Chewbacca in Star Wars... this was me riding by myself.  Joan wanted to go to the store and pick up a pizza.  We agreed to meet back at the coach in three hours or so.

I left the camera behind once again, just wanting to ride.  I did stop in Keystone and took a photo of my scoot on Main St there, in case I can use it for a later Scooter Tag game...

Great twisty roads on the way to Keystone and the world class Iron Mountain Road after I moved on.  As you can see from the photo above, not much of a crowd in Keystone and Iron Mountain Road was, likewise, uncrowded.

I got to thinking while riding: I am using my phone with WAZE on it to see what curves are coming up.  I used the phone in Keystone to get that photo.  I have never tried using the phone while riding... time to see what it will do.  I pulled over in a parking area on IMR and adjusted the phone holder to be more upright.  A test shot with the camera looking back at me...

I think this might work to get a couple "from the road" shots.  Glancing at the screen, it looked like the phone screen was on drugs: "wavy" images... I don't think the images on the screen liked being put on a vibrating conveyance in the wind.  I took a few shots, just to try it out.  When I got home and loaded those images...

Better than it looked on the phone's screen.  Yes, there is a bit of my windshield in the image... in an article on how to get the best video from a motorcycle, the author mentioned getting a piece of the bike in the shot for some perspective.  Yeah, it's OK.  Not as good as a dedicated action cam like a GoPro, but another option when I don't feel like messing with a camera, and then decide I want to get a few photos.

Another test while out: I wanted to see how the Vespa would handle some steep inclines and declines.  Coming out of Keystone, about 10 miles or so on Highway 40, there is a 15% grade on one hill.  Going down, the scoot free-wheels - not much in the way of engine braking to slow it down.  When I turned around and ran it the other direction, the Italian scoot was down to 38 mph by the time it got to the top of that 15% grade.

Speaking of my "Italian scoot": while stopped for a short time in Keystone, there were two old guys walking along the sidewalk behind where I was parked.  I heard one telling the other, "That is a Harley Davidson - you can tell by all that luggage on it."  (He was talking about the red Harley dresser I was parked next to.)  Then, when they came to my Vespa, he said, "I think that is a European motorcycle - they make them swoopy like that there.  Expensive, too."

Close.  Interesting how non-riders perceive things.

I got back at 2:58 - Joan was taking the second load of groceries into the house.  Good timing.  Good pizza, too.

And then out to the grassy area by our patio for a couple games of bean bag.  Stripes (me) was victorious over Stars (Joan), 2-0.  I attribute the win to good, clean living.  ;-)