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July 20, 2017

How to easily turn off CNN in the nation's airports

https://i.redd.it/gx62aufw9a8z.jpg

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 20, 2017 at 10:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 17, 2017

Return to Pomona

I spent 3 of the last 4 weeks in Oakland, it seems. Jennifer disappeared at some point, and I immediately flew to Arkansas and bought a 2017 Africa Twin. Drove it back - 1,000 miles in 24 hours.

Somehow, I managed to forget that my Tahoe was out at the airport when I came back. So, on Monday morning (a week ago), when I went to get in my Tahoe in the garage, it wasn't there. So, I took the AT out to the airport, and flew to Oakland. So, for a while, I had the AT and the Tahoe at the same airport (DEN).

Jen helped me to retrieve the Tahoe on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the KTM is in the shop CHapparal Motorsports in San Bernardino, CA. It's been in the shop for about a month, while I've been in Northern CA.

So, today, I get up and I fly into Ontario. It's like Groundhog Day. Like, everything just keeps repeating. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Land at ONT, catch LYFT to San Bernardino. Sadly, Al isn't there. He's my buddy. "Rob's so rich when he write a check, the bank bounces". Hop on the KTM. New tires. New clutch. $2,000.00 down the drain.

Now, I compare the seat to the Honda. There's no comparison. Zero. The KTM seat is 100X softer than the Honda seat. Fuck Honda.

Now, ride the KTM on I-10 West. Just winging it. I'm not sure of the address. The GPS doesn't know what time zone it's in. So, I'm just lane-splitting, heading west on I-10 for Cal Poly Pomona.

Like...the problem is that you get so dried out...just like a shucked corn husk. I don't really care about anything any more. Like...so what if they pay me $1,000.00 a day? What's the point? What difference, at this point, does it make?

I'm rolling west on I-10. And then, I see a sign for Kellogg Drive. That's it. That's the ticket. That's the place I'm looking for. And I exit, and roll onto the campus of Cal Poly Pomona. I couldn't tell you when the last time I was here was. But it wasn't that long ago. Maybe 4-5 weeks?

I roll onto the beautiful sprawling campus. The Jacaranda Trees no longer bloom purple. I do notice that.

I walk into our offices where we normally hold court, but no on is here. Now, I wonder...am I in the wrong city? At the wrong campus? I call John...no...we're here...only we're down stairs this time.

And now, it's not a cool spring temperature. It's a roasting 95 F in the sun. Now, we no longer parade around the campus at lunch exploring the campus and the buildings.

They're having some big meeting in a conference room. I don't even go. I've long ago given up any pretense of concern in attending these big kickoff meetings. I just walk around the building, get some diet coke and sort of try to get the lay of the land.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 17, 2017 at 3:05 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 10, 2017

Return to Oakland

Somehow, I thought that I was flying to Ontario, CA today, but in fact, I was supposed to be in Oakland, CA. So, I reticked my flight yesterday, and got a round trip ticket

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 10, 2017 at 6:46 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 9, 2017

Day 2 on the Africa Twin

In the morning, I wake up in some hotel on the North end of Salina, Kansas. I had the alarm set for pretty early, but I turn it off and get up at about 9:00. I want to go to the Barn Party in Peaceful Hills, but it's a long ride. I figure I've got roughly 500 miles to go again today,

But leaving early is a mantra for me on these big motorcycle rides. My mantra is "100 miles before noon". That's always the goal. Get up. Get out of bed. Get off your ass, and get rolling. This came from many rides where I'd sleep in in the morning until the cleaning lady was beating on my door to throw me out. But now, I know that I've got to get up and get rolling early.

So, I check out, hop on the bike, gas up, and roll out of town by about 9:15 a.m.

Now, the party is at 2:00 p.m., and I figure that the best I will be able to do will be to get there at 4:00 p.m., and that's assuming that I drive like a bat out of hell.

I keep pretty good tabs on my mileage because I'm trying to figure out how many gallons of gas the bike will hold, and what gas mileage I'm getting, so I can know how far I can go between gas stations. This is very critical information, obviously.

Russellville, Arkansas Odometer: 0

Fort Smith, Arkansas Odometer: 84 miles
Fuel: 2.13 gallons regular gas @ $1.97/gallon = $4.19
Mpg: 84 miles / 2.13 gallons = 39.43 mpg

Tulsa, Oklahoma Odometer: 219 - 84 = 135 miles
135 miles / 3 gallons = 45 mpg

South of Wichita: 375 - 219 = 156 miles
156 miles / 4.1 gallons = 38 mpg

Salina, Kansas: 487 - 375 = 112 miles
112 miles / 2.79 gallons = 40 mpg

Day 2
11:00 a.m. Wakeeny, Kansas: 617 - 487 = 130 miles
130 miles / 3.479 gallons = 37.36 mpg

11:57 a.m. Eastern Colorado: 761 - 617 = 144 miles
144 miles / 3.78 gallons = 38 mpg

2:04 p.m. MDT Denver, CO 929-761 = 168 miles
168 miles / 4.35 gallons = 38.6 mpg


Then, at some point, I realized that I'd crossed into Mountain Time Zone, so I'd gained an hour, and this meant that I would get to the party at 3:00 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. So, I was only an hour late to the party. Woohoo!

When I was riding yesterday, it was so hot, that I wanted to prop open my visor, but it wouldn't stay open. It's a beat up old helmet that and the visor kept coming down, for some reason. So, finally, I just pulled over on the side of the road, got some sticks/briars from the brush, ans hoved it into the holes on the sides of the helmet visor so that the sticks would hold it open while I was riding. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

Also, at some point I realized that, when I stop for gas, I have to clean my helmet visor and my little windscreen on the bike. Like, these are just little things that you have to do when you stop. Go inside, get some food, get something to drink, clean your bike windscreen and helmet visor, gas up, and take off like a bat out of hell.

The last time I tried to drive across Kansas, they were waiting for me at Goodland, Kansas. It's a little speedtrap they operate at the state line. Like, going west across Kansas, by the time you get to the state line, you're ready to take your own life. Just countless hours of monotonous flat land that never changes. So, by the time you're getting to the Colorado state line, you're going 95 in a 75 and you're thinking..."so what if they throw me in jail? anything is better than this".

And, last time, that's what they did. They threw me in jail and when I woke up the next morning, they were deporting some of my cell mates.

But this time, I tried to drive slower past Goodland, KS. I think I was going 91 in a 75? i saw a cop but he didn't stop me.

Eventually, I made it to Colorado somehow. I managed to almost get pulled over by the Morrison speed trap because he was coming off of Jefferson County Highway 8 and merging onto 285 while I was screaming past cars trying to get home. I'll never know why he didn't pull me over.

I should point out that the bike has no plates on it. As in zero. And the only insurance I have is just photoshopped nonsense I made just for the trip.

Here's a map of roughly where I rode today:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Salina,+KS/Morrison,+Colorado/@39.2965019,-103.6471597,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x87bcc060cf52504f:0x35654acfee2d6bf2!2m2!1d-97.6114237!2d38.8402805!1m5!1m1!1s0x876b7817bd454fc3:0xef00554d2d581268!2m2!1d-105.1910996!2d39.6535988

One of the things that really struck me on this trip was that, even as I approached the Denver airport on I-70 from the east side, I had no clue about this area. Like..I've probably only seen it one time in my life. And it's really strange to realize that...to see how familiar the home around us is, but then we just step out a tiny litttle bit, and you're in some terrain that you've never seen before. Very odd.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 9, 2017 at 11:16 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

July 7, 2017

Day 1 on the new bike

So, I get up this morning at 3:00 a.m. and drive to the airport for a 5:20 a.m. flight to Dallas. Surprisingly, I landed at Love FIeld. I don't think I've ever flown into Love Field, and I lived in Dallas for 7 years.

Then, I wander around and find the connecting gate, and hop on a plane to Little Rock (Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport). Then, I rent a car from Enterprise, and drive from Little Rock to Russellville, Arkansas, about 80 miles away.

Find the place, walk in. They don't have it ready for me, even though they said that they would. They wheel it away to do Lord knows what to it. Gas it up, apparently.

I pay them more money than I ever have before for a motorcycle. They put a paper license plate on the back that says "HONDA".

They guy follows me to drop off my Enterprise rental car in Russellville, about 5 miles away. Then, I ride back with him to the Honda dealership.

I've paid them the money, and signed a bunch of papers. They hand me the key, the spare key, show me where the owners manual is (under the seat).

The guy helps me set the clock, because the time is wrong.

At some point, my boss texts me and asks if I'm taking today off. "I'm traveling," I offer. As if that makes it ok somehow.

"I'll be on the teleconference",
and I take off, hell bent for leather.

Im driving about 85 mph in a 70 mph zone and I pass a cop. I'm sure he's coming for me, so I exit and hide for a while, Eventually, I get up the courage to get back on I-40 westbound. Then, I pass another cop, but this time I'm only going like 75-80. I'm trying to get the Fort Smith in time for the teleconference.

This cop doesn't come after me either, I dunno why.

So, that's twice that I've passed cops when I was speeding and they didn't come after me. And, I have no license plate. And I stayed up late creating phony insurance documents. All for naught, it would seem.

Finally, I roll into Fort Smith. McDonalds has Wifi. YES! So, I plop down at 2:50 just in time to call in and realize that I have another hour before the teleconference. Argh!

I sit down at a McDonald's and start into this teleconference, connecting people all over North America...SF, Toronto, and Fort Smith Arkansas. Lord.

THey want me to share my screen and I'm like..."I can't do that...I'm not smart enough...I'll just explaint the problem to you."

The truth is that I really don't know where to go on my bike. I don't really know why I'm here, or why I bought it, or where to go next. All I know is that, it's got to get better than this. Because this isn't working.

I guess that I'll ride it back to Denver. But, I should mention that this is nothing but a coin toss. I am very close to driving back to Jackson, MS and spending next week there.

I think that, because my boss got onto me about not working today, I'm inclined to ride back towards Denver, instead of Jackson.

It is 97 degrees F in the shade out there. I'm sweating like a whore in church. And now, I've got to somehow try to make it back to Denver without dying from the speed wobbles. This bike does not handle as well as my KTM, IMHO. But, I'm going to try to get back to Denver this weekend.

I think that today is Friday.

Here is a map of roughly where I rode today.

This map shows I went 458 miles. My bike shows that I went 500 miles. I did a little bit of back-tracking when I got turned around in Tulsa. I ended up in the North end of Tulsa, and it's not a safe area, I can assure you.

Also, it dawns on me that I'm dying of thirst, so I stopped in at a gas station and get 2 massive gatorades. This is one of the cardinal rules of riding a bike. Carry food and liquids with you. If you break down, and are stranded, you will need food and water. It's all about survival. So I stock up on gatorade.

Then, I was going west on US Highway 412, going west out of Tulsa, and I'm heading right into the maw of this massive thunderstorm. But, I'm thinking that, at some point, I'm supposed to run north on I-35 somewhere near Perry, OK. So, sure enough, just as it start to rain on me, we turn north on I-35, and I basically outrun a very nasty storm.

Now, as I'm going North of I-35, I finally see that there's an indicator that shows how much gas is in the tank. And, of course, I decide to push it to see how far I can go. My goal is to go 200 miles on a tank, but really, I can only get about 150 miles.

And, now the gas light indicator is flashing, and I only have 0.8 gallons left, and I'm about to run out of gas in the middle of BFE Kansas, but by the grace of God, there's a gas station and I stop and fill up with only a few miles to spare.

Also, my Garmin Montana is completely drained, and the Honda Africa Twin has no USB ports. It appears to have a cigarette lighter, so I try to pull the cover off while I'm driving down the road, but it won't budge. So I push it in, and it disappears down inside the bowels of the motorcycle. Huh.

So, I have no GPS. Only a cell phone, which is tough to use while I'm driving down the highway.

Oh yes...also...there are many toll roads. I'm not clear why. But there are toll roads all over in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. But, the beauty of the Toll Roads is that my bike has no plates. It just has a piece of paper that says HONDA.

So, I go through all of the "toll-tag only" lanes, and blow through them, knowing that, even if they take photos of me, that have no clue who I am, as the bike has no plates.

Finally, I'm driving north on I-135, run running balls out. The speed limit is 75 mph, and I'm following this car and he's going 90 mph, and we run like this for about an hour, it seems.

My goal is to make it to Salinas, Kansas, becuase then, I think that I'll have driven more than half of the distance today. And I'm looking for a place to stay for the night, because it's about 11:30 p.m., and it's dark and I really don't need to be driving at night and I'm looking for a room, and I roll up on this hotel that has about 50-100 motorcycle riders in the parking lot.

So, I ask if they got a good rate, and I go to the front desk and explain that I'm with the motorcycle riders, and my rate is $75 a night. Woohoo!

The bikers are in some sort of cult where they have rides around Kansas, but they're in every state, apparently, and they donate money to people who are victims of house fires, apparently.

Their motorcycle club is called the Fire and Iron club, I think.
http://www.fireandiron.com

So, I check in and crash for the night. My plan is to get up early and hit the road again. Another long day tomorrow.

I rode roughly 500 miles today. It looks like I've got roughly the same distance to ride tomorrow.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Salina,+KS/Conifer,+Colorado/@39.2965019,-103.7028192,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x87bcc060cf52504f:0x35654acfee2d6bf2!2m2!1d-97.6114237!2d38.8402805!1m5!1m1!1s0x876b7151a0dcb603:0x23dee2c730bc21cf!2m2!1d-105.3056996!2d39.5202516


I originally wasn't sure where I was going to go when I picked up my new bike. Part of me wanted to go to Mississippi and hang out there next week. But my boss discovered that I was traveling this morning instead of working, and he was pretty upset about it. So, I figured that it would be a better move to just ride the bike back to CO, and keep it there for the summer. I'm supposed to be in Oakland on Monday, apparently.

Also, I should mention that the bike now handles very well. It's a smooth riding bike, and I'm very comfortable on it. I just lean over the handlebars, and run about 90 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Once the sun went down, it cooled off considerably, so I kept riding. Because, in the heat of the day, I was roasting and thought I was going to die. It was the hottest day of the year so far in Russellville and Fort Smith. I was roasting.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 7, 2017 at 2:43 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 6, 2017

Let's Fly to Arkansas

So, it would seem as though I'm flying into Arkansas to pick up a new motorcycle tomorrow. I don't really know why, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I've pretty much exhausted my Honda XR650L's here in Colorado. Like...I'm just burnt out on them. They're not fast enough on the highway. I want a motorcycle I can ride in the mountains this summer. And something that I can drive down to South America when the winter sets in.

So, I've set my sights on the Honda Africa Twin. And, after looking around, the cheapest price I can find on one is in Russellville, Arkansas. Even if I have to fly into Little Rock, rent a car, drive 80 miles to Russellville, leave the car at the Honda dealership with the keys in it and the engine running, and then just ride away into the sunset. Even if I do that, it's still cheaper than buying the bike in SF.

So today, I broke down and put a deposit on the bike, got a cashier's check for the remainder, bought a SouthWest one-way plane ticket from Denver to the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, rented a car from Enterprise via Orbitz, fabricated some insurance papers, and somehow, now it looks like it might really happen. That things might really come together. I have to admit that I didn't have a plan on how to get 80 miles - from Little Rock to Russellville. I had already committed to buying the bike, and bought a plane ticket, before I decided to use a one-way rental car to get to Russellville. That was the biggest hole in my plan. Also, I didn't like the idea of flying with more than $10K in cash. So, the cashier's check was the solution suggested by the motorcycle dealership.

So, now, it seems like I'm heading to Arkanasas very early in the morning. Boarding time is at 4:50 a.m. So, that means the flight takes off at 5:20 a.m., which means that I need to leave here at 3:00 a.m. - 3:20 a.m. Ouch. That's going to suck.

Oh, and tomorrow is a work day, also.

It looks like I have a teleconference at 3:00 p.m. MDT, 2:00 pm. CDT. Argh.

Now, I have to get ready for the big trip. Get together all of my riding gear, etc.

Why does my life have to be so complicated?

Let's see, I'm already checked into my flight. I have my reservation number at Enterprise Car Rental. I have my cashier's check. Now, to pack....ugh....

But, suddenly, in the wake of all of this breathless action, something is gained. I collect the trash out of the yard that the bears drug out there last week. I take a shower and trim my toenails, which look they belong on some animal. I charge my electronics and copy the files off of them. All of this just sort of happens, seemingly without effort or planning. All of these things that seem impossible when I'm lying in bed, now suddenly seem like they're ridiculously easy, and it makes me wish I'd learn from this and not retreat into this shell, as I'm so often want to do.

Now, charging camera batteries.
Copy the files off of my Garmin Montana 600.

http://www.peeniewallie.com/2016/09/copying-files-o.html

So, I'm finally getting around to copying the .gpx files off of my Garmin Montana 600.

1) Launch EasyGPS.
2) Click on "Receive (from GPS)" icon.
3) Click OK.

Looks like these GPS tracks are from March, April, May 2017.
So, now I see them in my EasyGPS app, but there's no topo map or anything. So, I save them off as s:\garmin\2017_05_California_Mexico.gpx

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Deleting Tracks from the Garmin Montana 600.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Click on Up arrow at bottom center of screen on Garmin Montana 600.
Click on Track Manager.
Click on Archived Tracks.
Select the top track.
Click on Delete.
Click on Delete again.
Rinse. Repeat.

OK. So, I copied off and then deleted all of my tracks from the Garmin Montana 600.

Now, charging camera batteries, iphone, GoPro Hero 5 Black Edition, Garmin Montana 600, MacBook Air, etc.

Printed out a copy of my insurance papers, and I should be good to go.

Now, lets' see....It's 1:00 a.m., and my plane leaves at 5:20 a.m., which means it starts boarding at 4:50 a.m. In theory, I should leave for my flight at 2:50 a.m., or 3:20 a.m. at the absolute latest. Lord. Why do I do these things?

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 6, 2017 at 10:03 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink