This summer has given me the opportunity to finally do something that I have wanted to do for a great deal of my life. I remember being a little boy playing with toy motorcycle and making the sounds as the bike rolled through the landscapes that sprang forth from every imaginable surface. I remember watching with fascination as red, white and blue striped dare devils performed death defying stunts on television. I remember riding on the back of my father’s old Honda with the giant white fairing and holding on tight enough that he had to tell me to ease up. I remember after he had a close call on the highway one day him telling me that I was not allowed to ever ride a motorcycle. I remember sneaking a friends dirt bike out one day to try and ride it but my lack of knowledge about all things clutch related ended up with the motorcycle bouncing off a tree and me with a damaged knee and a bruised ego.  As an adult I have had so many friends with bikes. I have hung out with them for hours talking bikes and tinkering. All the while wishing that one of them were mine to ride. A couple of years ago I got a little taste from a friend who was willing to let me roll around the parking lot on a beat up old Buell. Oh man the flame was fanned at that point!

This spring my amazingly supportive (and hot) girlfriend and I took the MSF class together and got class M licenses. A few weeks later we had both purchased motorcycles. She found a great deal on a bike very similar to the one she rode in the course and for me we found a very classic looking old Honda. It is a Shadow ACE VT1100C. While it does not have the giant white fairing that my dad’s did, and it is a bigger bike than his was, there is a certain feeling of camaraderie with my dad the Honda gives me even though he isn’t around anymore. Even though he forbade me to ride a long time ago (I honored his wish as long as he was alive) I think he would approve of my bike if he were around to see it today.

With owning an older, “previously enjoyed” vehicle of any kind there comes the adventure of finding out what the previous owner did and did not do in the way of maintenance. Last week I found that even though the bike has been well maintained there are a few things that have caught me by surprise. The picture above shows how I found the air filter. Needless to say it had been changed and the bike runs much better than I even knew it could. I will do my best to follow the maintenance in a fashion that would make my dad proud. I’ll even try to put the tools away when I am done. I miss you Dad.

Wood eye.

Recently while on vacation in the High Sierra with my hot girlfriend we came upon this ancient artifact. The workmanship, though rudimentary, is superb. Clearly this totem wielded much power and the craftsman* responsible for spent hours laboring over it’s every detail. I can only wonder what sort of ritual it was used in.


*The craftsman was some sort of bug. This really is just a piece of wood I found on my sister’s wood pile while we stayed with her on vacation. The Sierras are absolutely amazing and you should definitely go see them if you ever have the opportunity.  This picture was taken and manipulated all entirely with my iPhone.

Mr. Robata

I hadn’t been to New York in a long time. I had never been there on a trip like this. I was there on a business trip for a very unique training opportunity. It afforded me a chance to live the Madison Avenue life for a couple of days.

I made this image on my first lunch break entirely on my iPhone. Considering the crowded sidewalks and misty rain I’m reasonably happy with how this turned out.


I really hope I can make another trip and have more time to spend just taking photographs. There is just so much to take in.

It’s been awhile…

I don’t know if anyone is even following this blog anymore. The site has been down for a pretty good long while following an error on my part which jacked things up. I let it slide for a while because I have been busy living life and honestly just did not know how to fix the problem. Well, I figured it out and *poof* we’re back. Live and learn.

I hope to be putting more content here regularly, also check out www.morethansmoke.com if you have not been over there. That site will be about booze, food, cigars and anything else that gets consumed, craved or enjoyed. I intend to do some more regular posting there as well. I am also starting things up on Google+ if you haven’t had enough of me already.

Salt Water

Tonight I met a wonderful old Merchant Marine. He was a crusty old guy with salt water in his veins and the weathered, ruddy skin of a waterman. Out of his well worn wallet he shared pictures of the things he prized most. His kids, his wife and the fifteen foot, nine hundred and fifty-seven pound shark he caught in North Carolina.

We swapped stories of time spent on the water and laughed at each others corny jokes. Truthfully, he did not remind me directly of my father, but he did make me think of him by being of a similar breed. Jovial, Southern and raised on salt water. There is redneck, there is Southern and there is waterman. They all collide somewhere but they are all different. I am happy to have a bit of each in my blood but the waterman seems to run the deepest.