Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And Then There Was Road Star...

As I alluded to earlier, I now have acquired a 2007 Yamaha Road Star Midnight Silverado. It was a 2 hour trip to reach the dealership in Osseo, MN, but with temps around 87 and a sunny day it was not time wasted. I rode as a passenger on my neighbors Road Star (yes, we have the same the bike)!

The handling of the bike in turns was most impressive and it is very forgiving with the clutch, unlike my 2000 Vstar. I posted pictures of my Vstar on and less than 12 hours later got my first request to see the bike. Sold to the first buyer for my asking price!

Specs on the Road Star are shown on the right. I'm told if you cruise at 60 mph the fuel economy is in the 50 mpg range.

Sheila even sat on the bike when I brought it home -- but much to my regret I neglected to snap a photo of the event!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Cruise - Updated

We finally finished The Cruise today, just as the rain started falling the last 15 miles. The organizers anticipated 1000 riders (800 last year) but actually got 1200 this year! I scrapped together an impromptu team of Afee Abdulla, Jim Soppa, Bob Petrillo, Mark Bauman and myself.

Bob has a 1978 Yamaha Vstars and Mark has a 2008 Vstar but with the larger 1100 size engine. So we had 3 Vstars in our group and 2 Harleys.

Here's a partial view of the RCTC parking lot at the end of the ride - lots of bikes to admire!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Yamaha Road Star Silverado

Possible bike in my future? We don't know for sure, but Sheila is allowing me to consider it as long as its the last bike I ever get. I think this offer isn't going to come my way again, but this is what I'm looking at...hopefully the Midnight Silverado package.

Paws & Claws - Duex

Ahh, I walked 3 dogs at Paws & Claws - Damon, Chevy and Moose. I already mentioned Damon in an earlier post, but here is a dog I really enjoyed walking. Meet Moose, super friendly, super active, wants to get close to you!

I had a hard time getting a picture of Moose because he kept moving and jumping on me! I would love to adopt this dog for myself, but alas, we already have a dog (Lacey).

Paws & Claws

Chevy's description which is hung on the the kennel of each dog in Kennel Row. As you can see, Chevy has a problem with seizures. Here's Chevy while on our walk. He didn't have any seizures while I was walking him.

But he was a "staff only" dog for a long time since he bit one of the volunteers. They finally moved him down to green level (anyone can walk green dogs).

Farmers Market

Sheila and I hit the Farmers Market today, which is held every Saturday in the summer. Lots of vegetables, but no fruit to be found? Oh well. We found some stir fry veggies to cool on my new grill veggie tray. I also bought some Medium Mango Salsa, which sounds good! Awesome weather for the morning!

Sheila was focused on finding fresh snap peas for some dish she had in mind. We hit Roscoe's (right next to Farmers Market) for BBQ pork for lunch before leaving.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursdays on 1st

Every Thursday during July and August vendors and restaurants setup on 1st Avenue in downtown Rochester to sell food and crafts, and there was live Cuban and salsa music in Peace Plaza. I ran into Beth Harrington (left), a good friend of ours while there.

Afee is one of my motorcycle riding pals and I met him to get a hamburger at Newt's. Afee was talking about trying to meet some women, and Beth and I helped him get up some nerve to "make it happen". Let's just say Afee left downtown with a phone number in his pocket...


Took a ride out to Wabasha yesterday with Jim Soppa (left). We stopped to grab a bite at Slippery's just off Route 61 and Route 60 junction. This is the location for the movie "Grump Old Men" with Walter Mattheau and Jack Lemmon (for those of us that can remember).

We stopped at the scenic overlook to Wabasha, but the lighting wasn't very good to get a shot of the valley. Jim took a shot of me instead.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

La Crosse

We went to La Crosse, WI today looking for 2 things: the Jazz Festival and the Flea Market. We found neither, but we did find the St. Elias Mediterranean festival in full swing at the Oktoberfest site.

I got danced around by the artist on stilts and Jack insisted on taking my picture with one of the belly dancers....

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Today we made a trip to Mall of America in Bloomington, the largest mall in the United States. We spent enough time walking to qualify as the RDA for exercise!

When we got back to Rochester, we finished the day with high dining at Chesters, located in University Square in downtown Rochester.

Chesters is located right on Peace Plaza, and is in the background behind the fountain in one of the earlier posts.

Art Museum

Yesterday we took our visitors to the Rochester Art Center, which we have never been to in all our time living here. Turns out the current artist was Roman Signer, who's art features kinetic motion.

In this picture, the suspended bottles swing as pendulums pushed by air from fans on the floor.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peace Plaza

Yesterday I made a trip to pick up our two visitors...

Here we are at Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester. Peace Plaza was recently completed this summer and is finally fully open to the public, with a water fountain in the background in addition to a grassy area.

My late mother-in-law and father-in-law. I never met Elowin, but by all accounts he was a lot fun. Julia was an awesome cook and loved bingo and cards. I'd never seen a picture of her without white hair until Kathy brought this one!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Got a new book from Barnes & Nobles about month and a half ago. I haven't bought a book that I've actually finished in about 10 years. That's mostly because I read so much online and for work that I simply must take a break from reading!

Hyperspace is written by an actual physics teacher at NYU and attempts to boil down the physics behind black holes, wormholes, parallel universes, time travel and the existence of higher dimensions.

I read all 6 pages of preface before I bought the book and was intrigued -- it used some college level references to formulas and physics but you can follow along if you have some background in physics at all.

Like most good intentions, I haven't actually started this book. I thought I would read it on my flight to Buffalo come late August. I didn't want to waste nice summer weather unnecessarily...

I'm also interested in his follow-on book, Physics of the Impossible, which I actually browsed first and found the reference to Hyperspace. I decided I wanted to read Hyperspace first...

Bag Ladies

Anyone want to guess who these lovely ladies are? One of them is coming to visit us in 2 days. The other one already lives with us...

Winner announced on this blog!


Took Lacey to the Clip N Dip groomers yesterday, and this is the before shot.

This is the after shot. She got SHAVED! They don't normally shave her, but I imagine her hair was matted too bad in some spots for them to get it out. That's usually the story when they cut her close.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Iowa Scenic Ride

Took my first ride down to Iowa since I moved to the Midwest. I've ridden along the Mississippi in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but I'll have to say the portion at the Iowa latitude is breathtakingly wide and muddy.

Shot of Mississippi from Mt. Hosmer in Lansing on the Iowa side. We put at least 400 miles on our bikes today, which was sunny with 78 temps.

The Mississippi bridge at Lansing, as seen from Mt. Hosmer overlooking the river. We crossed from the Iowa to the Wisconsin side here. You can see sand from dredging on the far side of the bridge.

Cassville Ferry coming in to dock on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi. It picked us up and dropped us off on the Iowa side, which had a mile long gravel road to greet our bikes.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cycle Gear

I got a new handlebar bag for my bike last week and it's finally attached to my windshield. Now I've got a place to switch my glasses and hold my garage door opener. What took me so long to get this? This tiny bag ran me $80, so it was kind of extravagant. But I've logged 16K in miles since I bought the bike in 2004, so it was time.

Paws & Claws

I walked Damon today. He's very sweet but afraid of loud noises and sometimes takes stress pills at the shelter. Damon got the only walk I did today since he hadn't gotten his yard time like the other dogs. I think Damon is started to trust me more now. He actually let me dispose of my doggy bag in the dumpster, which is something he's afraid of and lies down on the ground and won't budge to keep from getting near it.

Unfortunately, Damon's been at the shelter a while. It's hard to get black dogs adopted and Damon is an adult Rottweiler/Lab mix.

Is Lacey ready to go...?

Someone needs a trip to the groomers...

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Cruise

I'm looking forward to The Cruise after missing out last year. I managed to get a few riders in my neighborhood to come along too. This will be my 3rd Cruise, although I think my 1st was the best one. The local HOG chapter made 4" square wooden kickstand plates for everyone. I'm still using it in my garage to as not to mark up the floor. The ride itself is 132 miles, but I've put on over 300 in a day on at least 2 occasions.


This is the first year I was able to get my roses to bloom after 3 years of being planted. I'm slowly turning from "black thumb" to "green thumb". More likely I've learned what not to do, like let bugs eat half the plant leaves and expect the plant to produce.

Web 2.0

Earlier this week, mrs. jss told me that she was taking "Web 2.0" and that when she's done with it she's gonna be a "programmer". And the first class was to learn how to "comment on a blog". M'kay....after you're all done sniggering, let's just say my wife was surprised to hear I had my own blog. Granted, it's not had a posting to it until now, but I've been a little busy riding my Yamaha while the ridings been good. Oh yea, and having to work the rest of the time...

So it was time to pony up and show the goods. Here we are, I wonder who's gonna post the first comment on my blog??