I did a thing…

Monday I was talking about getting a motorcycle… the shop is closed on Mondays so I called yesterday to check on the status of the 2021 bikes and seeing if the last brand new 2020 model on the planet was still available. The 2021’s are still on EPA hold (gee Biden, thanks for nothing…) and by some miracle the 2020 they had a line on is still available. So I had him work up a price sheet for total OTD (out the door) price. With destination, setup, and doc fees, plus my state sales tax, the total OTD price for my 2020 SWM RS500R is $9,280. In comparison, the KTM 500 EXC-F is about $13,800 OTD. Yep, the RS500R is over $4K cheaper than the KTM. That’s a lot of spare change…

So… I went ahead and told them I’d take it. My wife will probably be mad for a little while. She knows I’m getting a bike “some day” but she’s not happy about “some day” being so soon. Oh well. I can’t see spending $4,500 more for a bike I like less than the SWM. Not that there’s anything wrong with the KTM, I just like the SWM better. It’s a little heavier which is worse for racing but (hopefully) better for stability going fast on smooth dirt roads. Plus in reality it’s a 2010-era Husqvarna with updated suspension and fuel injection and I like that. Went down today and put down my deposit. It should be here next Tuesday and ready to pick up on Thursday. Whew…

The only two problems are (1) I don’t have a motorcycle license and (2) my wife. She’ll eventually forgive me (I did save $4,500 by jumping on this deal after all…) but getting the license will be a little trickier. Luckily I can buy insurance and register the bike without a motorcycle endorsement on my license. The problem is I can’t (legally) ride it without the motorcycle endorsement, and I can’t get the motorcycle endorsement without riding practice. Kind of a chicken and egg dilemma… I’ll figure it out, for now I’m just happy I’ve got the bike on the way. Here’s to exporing all the dirt roads and trails in my AO. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

Whew…

Whew… another week’s backlog caught up. By the end of this week I should be done. Spent all my spare time today looking through my fishing gear and figuring out what I DON’T have. Couldn’t even find one of my tackle boxes… I think it’s been at least 5 years since I’ve even seen it. So basically I’m starting from scratch except for the rod and reel – and I might need a new rod and reel. All my stuff is (was) set up for catching trout in small streams. This bass fishing is a whole new ball game. We’ll see. I’ll probably start with the rod and reel I already have and go from there. I ordered some topwater plugs because according to a friend, that’s what the bass in these ponds bite on.

In other news, I really need a motorcycle so I can explore all the dirt roads and trails around here. I think I’ve decided on a SWM RS500R. Two problems: 1, my wife is opposed. 2, the 2020 models are all sold out and the f*****g EPA or some crap Federal alphabet agency is holding up the 2021 models over some alleged emmissions bullspit. So they’re here – sitting on a dock in a shipping container somewhere. The shop I’m getting it through said they’d call around, so I’ll check with them in a day or so to see if they have any updates. Of course I could just get a KTM, but those are 14 freaking THOUSAND dollars out the door. They sure must be proud of them… The SWM is less than $10K out the door (assuming I can even get one).

If I can’t, the next choice might be a Yamaha WRF450F with a street kit on it to make it street legal. Which isn’t actually a choice. For one thing, it’s not as powerful as either the KTM or the SWM. Second, I really have my heart set on a European bike. Finally, the Yamaha is only about $1K less than the KTM – for that price, it’s not too big a jump to just get the KTM. But I don’t WANT the KTM. The SWM is a better bike imo, leaving alone the cheaper price. I guess we’ll see… (that phrase seems to come up way too often lately). Anyway, until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

365 Photo Project, Day 45

(Feb 14) Happy Valentine’s Day! Actually we don’t do minor holidays here, but I did go to Costco with the wife. Only $22.99 for a 1 liter bottle of Old Forester 100 proof rye whisky is worth commemorating, no? Even more so because my wife didn’t give me a hard time for grabbing a bottle. I might actually do a whole month of booze shots, where every day is a picture of a different whiskey that I’m drinking that day. Should be fun, but probably too expensive. We’ll see. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

365 Photo Project, Day 44

(Feb 13) So I was looking through a local fishing group on FB, and someone mentioned bass ponds in my city. Ponds I’d never seen or heard about before. Ponds that are only a couple miles from my house. Here’s where it gets strange. I was telling a friend about them and he’s like “Oh yeah, they’re about a block away from my house.” And all this time (I’ve been here for like 10 years) I never new they were there. He also confirmed that they do indeed hold bass. He pulled out a 4 ponder last summer. Well. So now I’m researching how to fish for bass. (My entire life I’ve only fished for trout, in streams and rivers. Never fished a pond.) Can’t wait to hit this thing. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

365 Photo Project, Day 43

(Feb 12) It only looks like aliens have landed… Yesterday when I was bringing the garbage can out front, I noticed these little growth looking things on my fence. It’s actually the little pads that climbing plants use to stick to walls. Well, the remnants any way. Anyway, I though it was interesting and kind of cool. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

365 Photo Project, Day 42

(Feb 11) My dad loved wildlife, and loved collection wildlife related artwork. One year for Christmas my mom got him this wood cutting of a Federal Duck Stamp. When he passed away she let me have it. It hangs in my home office, next to a copy of the ship manifest from when my grandfather immigrated from Germany through Ellis Island in 1922.

Peace out,
porcupine

365 Photo Project, Day 40

(Feb 9) After my post yesterday I don’t feel so bad about just taking pictures of things around the house. Of course pretty soon I’m gonna run out of things to take pictures of, but until then I think I’ll run with it. Besides, I’m busy these day… Anyway, this is an old phone my mom found in her cousin’s barn before I was even born. She kept it b/c she thought it was cool. One year as a birthday present, her mom and dad (my grandparents) paid to have it professionally restored. When I got my own house, she gave it to me. Years later, I got a job taking care of the phone system for a community college. Some coincidence, huh? Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

365 Photo Project, Day 39

(Feb 8) Had to go on campus today. They usually have an art display up in one of the breezeways. Question: Would YOU pay $75-125 for a photo like this? I mean, it’s just a weed. Granted, it’s up close and from a low angle, but still… would you? I’m not sure I would. I mean I can take pictures like that. It gives me an idea though… As an aside, I’m feeling pretty limited by only using my iPhone for taking the pictures so far. I think I’ll stick it out through the end of the month, then switch over to my Fuji or maybe my old Pentax. After I get caught up on these, lol…

Peace out,
porcupine

Getting caught up, looking forward to unemployment…

I’m finally getting some time to get caught up. Pretty much all I’ve had time for here is working on my 365 photo project. After getting hacked at the beginning of the month I haven’t even had time for that. It took 2 weeks to recover and I’m still not caught up all the way. I have the pictures but it takes awhile to decide which one to use, then edit and caption it. I got about a weeks worth done today, and hopefully I’ll be caught up by next weekend.

Getting ready for unemployment…

The thing keeping my the busiest is getting ready for unemployment. I was told earlier this year that there’s no guarantee my contract will be renewed at the end of June. Not only that, there’s a chance it could be terminated any time before then with 30 days notice. I hate dealing with uncertainty, so I signed a voluntary early buyout agreement. This guarantees I’ll keep working through the end of June and also gives me a small severance package. I’ve been wanting to quit and do my own thing for a long time, so this is actually good news. If only I could get my wife to see it that way…

Anyway, I’ve been busy getting ready. For one thing, I’m documenting everything I do so my friend (who still works there) will know pretty much how to do my job. He’ll be stuck doing it and I don’t like leaving  friends hanging. Plus I don’t want him calling me with work questions after I retire… lol. I’m also traing a kid (student worker) who hopefully – eventually – be hired as my replacement. All good stuff.

Besides prepping at work, I’m also getting ready around the home front. I’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up the back yard and getting ready for a garden this summer. Also started working out again and “planning” to start eating healthy. And most important, making sure everything I want to buy is bought before my wife finds out I’m gonna be jobless after June… like a motorcycle… Also the mundane stuff of course, like cutting our monthly spending, enrolling in a health insurance plan, and finding a safe place to sleep for the first few weeks after my wife finds out.

Post-employment plans…

I’m already planning on going to Wilderness EMT school in July (the same one that’s been cancelled twice so far b/c of Kung Flu). I’ll be done with that in early August and don’t have any firm plans after that. I’m really hoping for self employement. I’m really burned out on working for others. One option I think I would like is working the camping or fishing department at our local Scheels. Home Depot might be OK too, and we have one close to our house So we’ll see…

The main thing I’m looking forward to though is having more time for woods running. Or in my dase, desert running. I haven’t had much time over the last 15-20 years to go off the beaten path even around my own local area. Hell, just last week I learned about a nice big bass pond less than 5 miles from my house. I mentioned it to a friend who lives almost next to it. Not only did he know all about it, he’s actually pulled bass out of it. He said the biggest he’s caught was a 4 pounder.

There are also tons of trails and dirt roads ripe for exploring (hence the need for a dual sport bike) and of course the garden. I also want to get into raising ducks and rabbits. Anything except sitting around the hause getting nagged at for sitting around the house. And also getting caught up and keeping up with the blog. Anyway, I have a lot more to say (been bottling it up for a long time) but work comes early tomorrow and I have a lot to do. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine