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September 26, 2015

Gearing Up on Photography Equipment

Yesterday, I picked up another GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition and another 64 GB memory card at REI.

So, I now have 2 GoPro Hero 4 Black Editions and one Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition.

This guy does a good explanation of how to turn on the Quick Capture Mode on the Go Pro Hero 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqApQS_PF14

And change the Field of View to Medium:

OK. Took me a while to figure out that I had to put the camera in 1080 mode instead of 1080S in order to change the FOV to Medium. Also, I have the Quick Capture Mode on, so I should be good to go.

Also, 2 days ago, I picked up another Canon 100-400mm EF 4.5-5.6 IS USM telescopic zoom lenses.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 26, 2015 at 11:19 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 24, 2015

Canon Gear Update - a new 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM

Today, I met a guy down on US 285 and US 85 and bought a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM lens to replace the one I destroyed on Sunday when I dropped it on the highway south of Leadville.

He had listed it on Craigslist. I picked it up for $800.00. New, they run from $1,600.00 - $2,100.00. So, I've still got to replace my EOS 50D frame, by BG-E2 battery grip, and my 64 Gig memory card, but this was by far the most expensive piece I have to replace.

It appears that I bought the previous 100-400mm lens in April of 2006. So, it lasted roughly 9 1/2 years, and I couldn't begin to guess how many hundreds of thousands of photos I shot with it. My guess would be that I shot "millions" of pictures with it. On a cost/per/use basis, it's probably the cheapest lens I ever owned.

So, in any event, I have this new 100-400 lens and it's in amazing condition. Dude took great care of it. Plus, it has a UV filter on it, and a lens hood. (I know right?).

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 24, 2015 at 9:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 22, 2015

Canon Camera Updates

I sort of lose count of how many cameras I've destroyed over the years, but it's a lot, I think.

On Sunday 9/20/2015, I was riding north on US Highway 24 just south of Leadville, Colorado when I dropped a Canon EOS 50D frame with a Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM telescopic zoom lens and a Canon BG-E2 Battery Grip and a 64 Gig CF card. Everything was destroyed.

I dropped a camera in Utah and pretty much ripped the frame apart.

In Mid-December of 2012, while driving from SFO to SF in the rain on the XR, a 50D got wet enough that it ceased to function.

October 1, 2012 - Dropped a Canon EOS 50D in the parking garage at SFO. Toast. The R-Strap bolt/screw worked its way loose from the tripod mount on the 100mm-400mm Canon lens. Fell to the concrete. Not good.

2012 Camera Updates


April 10, 2012 - Bought a Canon EOS 50D off of some guy in Berkeley.

October 1, 2012 - Dropped a Canon EOS 50D in the parking garage at SFO. Toast. The R-Strap bolt/screw worked its way loose from the tripod mount on the 100mm-400mm Canon lens. Fell to the concrete. Not good.

October 5, 2012 - Met a guy from the Mission (16th/Potrero) at Starbucks on Market/2nd Street on Oct 5th, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. and picked up a 50D.

In Mid-December, while driving from SFO to SF in the rain on the XR, a 50D got wet enough that it ceased to function.

December 19, 2012 - Met a Berkeley guy (Jeff Allen) at Union Square and picked up a 50D and an EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens on Dec 19th, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

December 20, 2012 - Met a guy at Colma Station and picked up a 50D on Dec 20th, 2012 at 5:36 p.m.

Dropped a brand new Canon camera and lens into the natural hot-water spring

All was destroyed.

Nothing to do really but replace it all, I think.

Here's the gear I have registered with Canon Professional Services (CPS):
EOS 50D (Body) XXXXXXX582
EOS 50D (Body) XXXXXXX073
EOS 50D (Body) XXXXXXX340
EOS 50D (Body) XXXXXXX799
EOS 20D (Body) XXXXXXX827
EOS 7D (Body) XXXXXXX315
EOS 50D (Body) XXXXXXX927
EOS 5D (Body) XXXXXXX623

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM XXX394
EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM XXXXX549
EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM XXXXX817
EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM XXXXXXX645
EF 600mm f/4L IS USM XX880
EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM XXXXX263

Speedlite 580EX XXX135
Extender EF 1.4X II XXX446

A box full of Canon

2012 Camera Updates

More camera gear

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 22, 2015 at 2:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 15, 2015

The Spots Fade

Now, as Summer pulls away, the spots of the fawns and the calves fade. The bull elk drive their racks into the mud, screaming insanely in the dying light.

The cormorants, filled with fish, dry their wings hesitantly in the thin evening light. When their wings are dried, they fly south. No one knows where they go. Only they go.

A Great Blue Heron stalks unseen fish, silently. Moving almost imperceptibly. Searching for that last evening fish.

The sun glows red, shrouded in California's wildfire smog.

The heron gives up and scavenges a dead rotting fish from the lake shore.

In the spring, it rained and flooded the creeks. Erased the driveways and cracked the roads.

But now, the land has dried and the earth has cracked.

A girl walks down the hall carrying her face before hero n a stick. Forehead the size of a drive-in movie screen. She looks at me as my eyes search the floor for nothing.

No one dies and no one lives. Everyone just is.

The sun licks the sky and says, "I am tired. I want to die. I need to go home now."

"Where will you?" asks the moon. "You have nowhere to run. This is where you belong.'

"No," said the sun. "I don't want to be here any more. The summer has made me tired. I need to go home."

The sun looked weak, and tired. Leaning on the mountains at twilight.

The candles looked around and said "Let him go. It is fine. It is the way. Now is time for him to rest."

I'm blowing through the canyons. Making up for lost time. Every day after work, I race into the canyons. Maybe Jonathan will go with me. Maybe I will ride alone. Nothing matters any more. Every day is shorter now.

Nothing sticks any more. Nothing stays. Everything fades, like flowers in the fall.

In the meadows, a bull that lost a fight walks alone. Half of his rack is gone. A miracle of nature destroyed. No cows to breed with. He stumbles forward, alone in the meadow. A defeated warrior. No cows to call his own.

Overhead, a lone Osprey augers in on the valley's thermals.

No one knows and no one cares. There is this and there is nothing.

Everything bends before it breaks. Such is the way.

I think about the last girl that was up here. How she crawled up my ass and drove me bat shit insane. A man needs a woman like a fish needs a bicycle.

Always, I think, a woman cannot stay at my place very long. It's my cave, and it's hard to imagine how women enter into it to begin with.

Like, you'd think that a collection of rusting military vehicles would keep them away, and for the most part it does. But they do occasionally filter through.

But somehow, they do occasionally appear.

The fall winds strip the golden aspen leaves from the trees, and you want to run into the forest and tape them back up upon the trees. "Here...you dropped this..."

You want the summer to go on forever. But you know that it can't be that way. Winter is on the way. I wonder what Friedrich Nietzsche said about the winter and the fall.

Now, every day after work, I race the bike into the mountains and try to find a road I've not been down before. This was much easier in Colorado Springs. Not so easy in Morrison.

I'm racing up the canyon in the dark going way too fast. Like, if you hit a deer, or evan a raccoon, you're going to be catapulted into the ravine.

I think that, the greatest problem men face, as a gender, is a lack of testosterone.

Last night, this chick gets up and walks away from her table at Willow Creek, and when she passes me, she turns and smiles really big at me, and sort of curtseys even. Just like the "here I am....fuck me" type of message.

But I don't do anything because...well...just because.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 15, 2015 at 9:08 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 14, 2015

Colorado Wildfires

Driving through the scorched mountains of Colorado makes me wonder when they burned and why. I have a sort of sketchy recollection of some of the big fires that Jonathan, Gretchen, and I have been driving through recently.

This tree-hugger website does a pretty good job of showing the fires we drove though, to wit:

May 18, 1996 - The Buffalo Creek Fire was started by a bunch of idiots on a field trip/camping trip with a teacher that did a very poor job of supervising his students. They were smoking pot, started a campfire, and managed to burn down 12,000 acres, nearly destroying the town of Buffalo Creek.

June 12, 2000 - Hi Meadow Fire, Bailey area - 10,800 acres; 51 structures. Started by a jackass that discarded a cigarette.

June 8, 2002 - Hayman Fire: Hayman, Colorado
This fire was started by a female fireman/bored housewife that didn't feel like going out of state to fight forest fires, so she decided to start one closer to home. This daft broad managed to start the largest and most devastating wildfire in Colorado's recorded history. The fire burned area more than 138,000 acres. In total, 600 structures were lost (133 residences, one commercial building, and 466 outbuildings), causing more than $42 million in housing losses. A total of 5,340 people were forced to evacuate; at one time, 14,000 were told to stand by for evacuation.

March 27, 2012 - Lower North Fork Fire: Near Foxton, CO.
This fire burned up 4,140 acres andwas started by - are you ready for this - the fire department. It was a controlled burn that got out of control. Well done, morons. In March, the 4,140 acre fire took the lives of three residents and destroyed 23 homes, one mile east of Foxton, Colorado. The Lower North Fork fire started on Monday, March 26. Preliminary reports indicate that the fire was caused by embers from a prescribed fire.


Posted by Rob Kiser on September 14, 2015 at 10:35 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Reformatting MicroSD Card in GoPro Hero4


Here are the steps to reformat your SD card with your HERO4 camera:
Power ON your camera with the SD card inserted.
Press the front (Power) button repeatedly until you see Setup (gear icon) on the camera's screen.
Press the top (Shutter) button one time.
Press the front Power button repeatedly until the trashcan icon is highlighted.
Press the Shutter button one time to select the trashcan icon.
Press the Power button until "ALL/Format" is highlighted.
Press the Shutter button one time to select "ALL/Format".
Press the Power button until "Delete" is highlighted.
Press the Shutter button one time to select "Delete". Your camera's LED will indicate that your SD card is being reformatted.
If you power OFF/ON your camera, and your file counter should show 00.
Important - Take a picture. This confirms that your SD card is successfully reformatted.

I am giving up on GoPro. I will never buy one again.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 14, 2015 at 12:36 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 10, 2015

2007 XR650L

(Above) 2004 Honda XR650L - Purchased from a guy in Petaluma, California on 3/1/2011. I drove the bike in SF until August of 2011, then drove it to AK and back, then drove it to Denver in September 2011. In June of 2012, I drove it back to SF (by way of Yellowstone). In May of 2012, I drove it back to Denver.

2004 Honda XR650L - Purchased from a guy in Petaluma, California on 3/1/2011.
I drove the bike in SF until August of 2011,
On 8/3/2011, I got the bike titled in California in my name, but with my Colorado address. http://www.peeniewallie.com/2011/08/buen-viaje.html

Put Givi case on the bike, then drove it to AK and back, (8/8/2011 - 8/21/2011) Bike has canada sticker now.
Then drove it from SF to Denver. 8/29/2011 - 9/2/2011. Bike has Yosemite National Park sticker and Circle 7 sticker now on right side.
By October of 2011, it looks like I had only one sticker on the right side.
By November of 2011, it was snowing and I put the bike in the barn.
On March 9, 2012, I bought the 1993 Honda XR650L in SF.
On May 14-May 17th, 2012, I tried to drive the 1993 Honda XR650L from SF to Pismo Beach. It broke down on May 15, 2012 near Lucia, CA. I made it back to North Beach on May 17.
6/1/2012 - 6/11/2012 Drove the 2004 XR650L from Denver to SF. NXNW. Now as Yellowstone sticker, plus 2 others on right side.(circle 7 + ?)Givi case. Now three stickers on right side in a triangle.
12/17/2012 - 2004 XR650L comes over on me while riding a wheelie going into work in SF in the rain.
1/27/2013 - Bike found at SF airport.
5/15/2013 - 5/17/2015 - Drove bike from SF to Denver. (It has the Big Sur sticker on it now, but I don't think I ever drove it to Big Sur.)

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 10, 2015 at 2:37 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 9, 2015

Getting the Bikes Running Again

So Jonathan has been helping me to get the 2007 XR650L running again. I was convinced that the bike was missing a carburetor, and the starter. But for some reason, Jonathan wouldn't take "No" for an answer.

I was like..."see...the bike is missing the carburetor...I'm not sure what happened to it..."

Jonathan looks across the bike to find the carb hanging precariously on the other side of the bike. After that, every time we found something missing, I just rummaged around until we found it. And we found everything. Every single missing piece, including the starter, the carburetor, the bracket and the bolts for the starter, the carburetor, all of the hoses, the starter relay, all of the little pieces that go into the battery compartment, everything.

We had two starters. Tested them both, and they both worked fine. So, we picked one, put it on the bike, and then reinstalled the carburetor.

Essentially, Jonathan reinstalled the starter, the carb, the starter relay, etc., while I basically put the plates back on it.

Once we got it all put back together, we drained the old fuel out, put fresh gas in it, put oil in the crank case, oiled the chain, added some brake fluid, and decided to try and start it.

But all it did when we pressed the start button was make a clicking sound. Slowly, it all came back to me.

The problem was with the starter relay. For some reason, I knew what a starter relay was...how it worked....I must have had trouble with this before. That must be the problem.

We left it for the night, and I researched the issue online.

Basically, the shop manual said to hook the hot wire directly to the starter. If the starter turns over, then there's a problem with the starter relay. If the starter doesn't turn over, then there's a problem with the starter.

The starter turned over once in this test, and then refused to function. Slowly, I began to recall that I did have a problem with the starter.

Now, I have recollections of trying to start the bike. I got very good at push-starting the bike and roll-starting the bike. What I recall was that, I'd be going down Telegraph Hill on the bike, then I'd pop the clutch, open the throttle, hit the starter, and hang on. When the starter caught, the bike would stand up on one wheel, and go racing down the hill at breakneck speed.

Very scary.

So, the starter was the problem. We tested the other starter. The other starter worked fine. So, today, we decided to pull the carb, pull the starter, replace the starter, reconnect the carburetor, and see how that worked.

Now, we're like professionals. We can pull the carb and starter and replace them in like 20 minutes or so. Get the starter removed, reinstall the good one, test it, and it works like a champ.

Reinstall the carb, and now we're close to being ready to roll.

Replace the broken clutch handle on the other XL650R. Oil the chains on both bikes. Put some air in the air shocks on my bike, as the forks are a little low. The bike fires right up now. The starter problem is solved. We label the old starter as bad.

The bike fires right up and runs like a scalded dog. Now, we're out riding on the 2 XL650R's. It feels funny to me...it's much lighter than the KTM, and has less power, and vibrates more as it's a single cylinder thumper.

But, it feels fun and light and easy to ride. Jonathan and I ride until dusk, meet Jen at the lake to shoot some Senior pictures, as a herd of elk comes down to Evergreen Lake. Three bulls calling like mad signals the start of the rut.

Beers at Willow Creek, then home in the dark on two XL650R's. Now, if we can just get Mark to go with us...

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 9, 2015 at 9:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 8, 2015

2007 Honda XR650L Won't Start - Starter Relay Makes Clicking Sound

Update on the California Bike (XR650L) - May 3, 2012

I've been struggling with an issue on my bike that I've never seen before. Battery was weak when I got the bike, and it would barely turn over. But, over time, it seemed to get better, as though the battery was starting to hold a charge fairly well, so long as it was a daily driver.

Then, a few weeks ago, it started failing to turn over when I pushed the starter. What was odd was that it didn't seem to me that the battery was drained, only that it wouldn't turn over and made a "clicking" noise from the battery compartment.

After getting two new batteries, a trickle charger, and putting a battery I knew to be charged and working on this morning, I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't the battery. So what is it then? What's making that clicking noise?

Turns out, my best theory at this point is that the clicking noise is the starter solenoid, which I didn't even know it had before today.

So, I called up my buddies at Golden Gate Cycles, and they're closing their doors for good, unfortunately. It really sucks because I liked having them here in the city. They were always able to help me out. Now, they're telling me to go to City Cycle Werkes on Ellis.

But of course, I can't find a starter solenoid for an XR650L in the city. Great. I think I'll turn one of my bikes in Colorado into a "parts" bike and just start flying it to the left coast in pieces.

XR650L Starter Problems in California - May 8, 2012

I'm still struggling to solve my starter problems on my XR650L in California. I've replaced the battery and the starter solenoid, but this hasn't alleviated my issues. Sometimes the bike makes a clicking noise in the battery box. Sometimes it doesn't make any sound at all. I'm beginning to think it's an issue with my starter. I don't think it's an issue with the "safety switches" (i.e. kickstand, neutral, clutch), as if it were related to these issues, then it wouldn't even make a clicking noise.

So, I'm beginning to think that my starter is bad. I'm also beginning to think that I'm doing to drive this thing into the bay at SFO and drive one of my other bikes out here, as this one is cursed.

Doug hits the Road

The SF motorcycle has been giving me fits lately. Last week, I finally decided that it was the starter, so yesterday I pulled the starter from one of my bikes in CO. Only after I removed it from the bike did it dawn on me that I'd have to some-how get it past the goons at the TSA.

It smelled like gas and was not really shiny and clean or anything, so I cleaned it up so it looked like a nice, shiny pipe bomb, instead of a dirty gas-smelling pipe-bomb. I pulled the wires off of it so it didn't look quite so scary.

I flew it out last night in my carry-on luggage. With the wires attached, it was pretty scary looking.

They did notice it when it went through the X-ray, and they pulled it out and looked at it real close. Then they ran it through again, but in the end, they let me keep it. Now, I've got to put it on my bike in CA, and roll down to meet Doug.

Day 0: Denver to SFO

Day 1: San Francisco to Carmel-By-The-Sea

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 8, 2015 at 7:52 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 5, 2015

Lifetime Earnings of College Degrees


Posted by Rob Kiser on September 5, 2015 at 8:08 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Rate My Professor



Posted by Rob Kiser on September 5, 2015 at 7:59 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 3, 2015

Honda XR650L

2004 Honda XR650L JH2RD06124M210150
2007 Honda XR650L JH2RD06067K502102

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 3, 2015 at 5:01 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 2, 2015

My Life at the Taj Majal

Now Serving 'P' Seven Hundred Sixty Five at Desk Three

I'm sitting at my second home, the Jefferson County Courthouse, affectionately reffered to as the Taj Majal. The citizens mockingly named it that when it was built at the exhorbitant cost of $100M many years ago. In the aftermath, everyone was voted out of office. The only one that managed to keep his job was the Sheriff, and you might know his name from the shootings at Columbine, which thrust him into an unwelcome spotlight.

But I digress.

I'm here because I'm trying to get a title for one of my motorcycles. Back when I used to have money, I was buying motorcycles like the world was approaching an apocalyptic end. At one time, I had 4 motorcycles, all roughly the same, in 3 different timezones.

This bike I'm trying to title is a 2006 XR650L I purchased from a man in Petaluma, California back in 2011. I drove it in San Francisco for one project, then at the end of the project, I drove it to Alaska, then back to Denver. The following year, I bought yet another bike in SF, California that broke down on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway somewhere north of San Simeon. I abandoned it there. Caught the Amtrak back into the city, flew home, and drove this 2006 XR650L back to SF.

I drove the bike in SF for another year, before finally driving it back home to Denver. All of this time, the bike was never plated, and never titled in my name.

Now, I'm trying to get the title cleared up, but it's tough because it's titled out of state in California, and I can't find the title, or bill of sale, or anything like that, of course.

So I'm sitting here at the DMV trying to come up with a plausible story for why I've owned a motorcycle for 5 years that's never been put in my name.

I've driven it from Pismo Beach, to Hyder, Alaska. Through Yosemite, Moab, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, Crater Lake, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Seattle...and then left it to rot in the garage for the last 3 years once I bought the KTM.

Once, I was riding a wheelie in the rain through the financial district of San Francisco, and it came over backwards on me. By the grace of God, I wasn't injured. But today, it

I try to think of a story that might make sense to the little maggots at the DMV. Ugly, broken women, devoid of hope or ambition. Pinned behind the counter like butter flies in a display case. Shattered women who thought they wanted to enter the workforce, but then wished they could have stayed home to raise kids. Speaking slowing, behind taut faces, to the miscreants that wander into the DMV.

The people sitting around the lobby are liars and sinners. They conspire to dream up plausible scenarios, and then spew shameless lies to try to game the system. I try to think of what I'll say when it's my turn at the desk.

"Hey....ah....I've got a bike....I've had it for years....I've been driving it around North America for as long as I can remember, but it's never been plated or titled in my name and....ah....I don't have a bill of sale...or a title...or insurance..."

I have a feeling it's not going to go well.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 2, 2015 at 9:34 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Idiot shoots 2 bear cubs in Evergreen, Colorado

Dan Williams is the guy that allegedly shot two black bear cubs in Evergreen, Colorado yesterday.

His address is 27876 Lupine Dr, Evergreen, CO 80439.

He appears to be the owner/proprietor of Williams Tree Company.

Williams Tree Co

Address: 27876 Lupine Dr, Evergreen, CO 80439

Phone: (303) 679-1867

E-mail: danwilliamstree@hotmail.com

Jefferson County Sheriff's department indicates charges should be filed on the case this afternoon.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 2, 2015 at 10:17 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink