Ranch Hands

Texture & ColorColor & TextureWe made quite a bit more progress with the rocks, including some stream-bed realignment on the “back-forty” where there’s an erosion issue, and I’ve been handling some of the bigger stones.
In England, a stone is an archaic/Medieval term of measurement.  Thanks to Wilkipedia we know that, By the late Middle Ages, international trade, such as England’s exports of raw wool to Florence, required a fixed standard and, in 1389, a royal statute of Edward III fixed the stone of wool at 14 pounds.[11] So what I’ve been playing with are stones that weigh a few stone each – like seven or eight.  Not quite boulder-size but big enough to blow a disk or cause a hernia if I’m not careful, so the really big ones get rolled into the stinky little green wagon (from Tractor Supply, some total assembly required, still smells like bunker-fuel or creosote – whatever the Chinese use to make 600lb. industrial plastic is really gnarly) and hauled-up to a likely new location and tipped out.
As seen after three days, the brand-new Wells Lamont leather gloves (Costco three-pack!) have developed a well-worn patina of sweat and some texture. Rock is basically pretty unforgiving, and I have already worn-out two fingers (long/middle), with a third on the way and stitching has come un-done in the palm. In other news the recent internal application of Glucosamine-Chondroitin seems to help the early morning joint-pain – but not as much as Ibuprofen.

Car Parts

In many ways the BMW Motorrad engineering solutions are automotive-inspired, take the front suspension: the forks don’t contain much besides some friction inducing oil – there’s no suspension within, they are just there as a Motorrad-effekt, and primarily just hold the wheel in place on the axle and align where the front brakes go…
FrontStrut_x1000The suspension chores are handled by an automotive-type shock-absorber on a (pretty damn big, bridge-abutment sized) yoke, that is not re-build-able (without throwing a whole BUNCH of money at it), or have many adjustments for compression or rebound damping as a traditional motorcycle fork might. A dirtbike this is NOT.

Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun

rock-work As Old NFO said in comments, I’ve got a work-out goin’ on. We fought the rocks and the rocks won. 86° Fahrenheit yesterday and the hottest day of the year so-far – 16-degrees above average.
We started moving the rocks off the tree roots in preparation for laying down tan-bark – something more gentle on the shrubbery. And the pseudo-curbside had rock-chip in place but the smooth river-rock (known to dirtbike riders as “baby-heads”) only wrapped around a portion of the frontage, stopping at the walkway, so we started filling-in. My little plastic wagon was taxed mightily and has not yet broken despite our efforts, the “dump” feature coming in very handy. We stopped yesterday at about 16-feet of frontage. There’s more roundy-river-rock in places we don’t need or want, but the work is heavy-lifting and we’re takin’ a break.
Rocky-RacoonUPDATE: Back at it – this is morning work, by the time the sun gets way-up there’s no shade.
UPDATE-UPDATE: We’re almost to the sign-post, and other more river-rock is being removed from the driveway edging and elsewhere, the edging replaced by blocky granite hunks…
Update-Update-Update: A beautiful old Stearman in vintage Army Air Corps paint just fluttered-in to land…

Gone daddy, gone…

Juniper Phase II…my Juniper is gone away. Well, a bunch more anyhow – off to our friend’s burn-pile.
Yes here in rural California, outside the smuggy Prius-drenched confines and cloistered closed-minds of the Tesla BayArayans, we have a vastly different lifestyle and mindset that includes the Liberal allowance for such things as burn-piles.
We don’t have one ourseves, mores the pity, but neighbors down the hill and by the golf-course do, and does our friend on the other side of the lake. And today (Monday) we attacked it further, revealing much more of the hidden flora beneath the boughs.
UPDATE: And then we went to work on the rocks…

Vocabulary Lesson

Oil Head
Oil-head – I have a whole new-to-me BMW-riffic nomenclature to learn. Also re-learning things, like the thumb-operated turn-signals are weird and from my ride-height invisible – so like Old Uncle Ernie I can drive from here to Nebraska with the left turn blinker going. And somewhere out there is a 1998 Owner’s Manual – I already downloaded the service manual, but it’s a horse of a different color.

Trees & Rocks

RedwoodAll around us the bushes are exploding in foliage and blossoms, the wet weather has invigorated the plant life and some bushes we radically cut-back in the fall are now showing-off in a display of color. I’ve never been big on azaleas and we whacked them back good – and now they’re heavy with purple/violet flowers… And the redwood needs help. You’re not supposed to lay rocks on the roots around the base, it must have been a temporary decoration that hid underneath as the tree outgrew it – like so many other things around here. So I have my plastic wagon and we’ve got plenty of other places to put the rocks – and replace it with shredded cedar mulch/bedding/bark.\
UPDATE: Japanese Maple and purple azaleas.
maple and azalea


Gonna see a man about a horse tomorrow… Like the one we rode in Germany-Austria-Switzerland-Italy-Austria-Germany back in ’98. Exactly like it. Except for a few extra cc’s.
Oops, can’t leave out Lichtenstein!
UPDATE: Back to the Future!
Edelweiss called and they want their 1998 BMW back… 

1998 High Alpine Adventure

That was the R850R back then, just 6k+ on the clock…

Back to the Future

This is now a 1998 R1100R with just 6k+ on the clock…

Back To The Future 1998 R1100R

Hard to believe nobody wanted this old jewel. Perhaps it’s the age, perhaps it’s the obsolescence, perhaps it’s just too boring, perhaps it was priced too high – but it’s less than half one third of the original cost from sixteen years ago – and it’s all that I wanted: no damn GPS, no damn hypervelocity, no built-in iPad, no expensive swoopy plastic to bash or remove whenever a bit of work is required, no dings-dents-or-scratches – just great weight-to-torque ratio, easy to work on, luggage for two-up riding, heated grips, extra smidge of power that the R850R lacked, and the less-complicated less prone to error ABS that later models didn’t enjoy… Can’t wait for summer in the CA Alps.

Paper pushing – Big Day!

The top of the cover sheet is checked **APPROVED**… Just ONE month after the initial application. My second interview with the Detective went well. I guess I am really a pretty boring person with no “exciting” criminal history and nothing much to hide. Truth is my a Permanent Record is pretty “thin,” he said. I mentioned the speeding ticket and that I wasn’t sure how long ago it occurred – but apparently it was over five years so the overworked DMV dropped me off the hot-sheet.
Other stuff: Being born overseas I always wonder what the question about birthplace triggers – or if it even shows-up on the list (it must), because it always seems to raise a local eyebrow, but The Professional foreheads remain untroubled, with eyes clear as glass – like riding on a sea of botox. So anyhow I had with me my Naturalization and Immigration papers, including some 56-year old Consulate documentation and foreign Hospital pulp-paper — stuff the current President doesn’t even have available in faked-up pseudo .PDF file – and didn’t hear “Boo” about that either. As an International Child of Mystery, I’m disappointed and wonder who’s gate-keeping, but welcome being on the Good-Guys side finally. I think.
My new BFF the Deputy Sheriff checked the gun’ SN#’s listed on the application. I removed the Hogue monogrip on the Model-10 .38spl and put the stock stocks back on, because it hides the SN# that’s stamped onto the bottom of the frame with a stirrup-latch screw-pin holder thing. He was checking the spurious numbers stamped on the crane, and I had to direct his attention to the actual serial-number location.
I thanked him for his work and told him how much we liked living here compared to life among the Foggy BayAryans, and he smiled and said, “We pretty much believe in the Constitution up here…” – or words to that effect. Now for an appointment to pick-up and get the Permit! Woot!!
(Updated to reflect unexpectedness and various commentary)

Schadenfreude-pa-looza! What is best in life? … to hear the lamentation of their women

Loozas! CA (along with Illinois) seems determined to prove to the rest of the USA, that a Democrat One-Party State is UN-sustainable. The lamentations of their women began THIS AFTERNOON when El Presidenté Pro-Tem of the CA Democrats’ Supermajority One-Party State, the flapjaw Darrel Steinberg, called a meeting to defend and deal with the wreckord and wreckage of State Senate corruption, regarding 1.) outspoken anti-gun State Sen. Leland Yee indicted on arms trafficking, corruption charges, Über sleazebag corruptologist 2.) Ron Calderon, the Google face (images) of CA Senate Corruption charges who is up on a long list of Federal bribery and corruption allegations, and including the Senate’s support for convicted California Sen. Rod Wright, who has been found guilty on corruption charges, and now faces more than eight years in jail – but is on paid leave (WHY???) as he prepares to fight felony convictions for perjury and voter fraud…
Also his buddy, former SF School Board President and the city’s highest education official Keith Jackson was accused by the FBI in a murder-for-hire scheme.
The gift that keeps giving…