Saturday, February 22, 2020

Published in Sidecar-Traveller Magazine

A German publication, it's focus is sidecarists and their rigs worldwide.

I'd been asked before by them for use of my pics, am happy to report that they've once again liked one of my pictures enough to use in edition #48:

I'm sure there's a name for this placement, it's what you see
when you turn the front cover of the magazine.

On a less happy front, the trail I'm on has been extended past the estimated 8 days and will now probably go to 10 days before it's handed off to the jury for deliberation!


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Uraling to Jury Duty, learning to install drywall....

One of the major to-do's causing my flying home from Arizona in late January was to attend Jury Duty selection.

February 10, Monday, was part of a group of 150 prospective jurors assigned to a Homicide Trial.  Lucky me, I apparently am everything lawyers seek in a potential juror and I was selected to be one of 14 jurors for the trail.  Twelve of us will eventually render a verdict, with two others as "alternate" jurors to ensure the number doesn't drop below the twelve required.

Good thing they have "spares", one juror got sick and had to drop out soon after the trial started.

Can't say much else about the trial of course, but I can provide pictures of the Uraling done to get to/from the courthouse.  The weather has been quite cold and snowy since before the trial.  I did have to swap out the worn down pusher tire for a new Heidenau K37 as the old tire just wasn't gripping well in the snow and ice.

 Arapahoe County Courthouse

Broncos Training Center located nest to the Courthouse

The two days after the above photo, the sun came out and melted a lot of the snow off the roads though it was still sticking to the landscape.

Here's the view from the jury's deliberation room where the 13 of us, one had dropped out sick, would sit around a table....unable to discuss the trail so far and basically exchanging awkward glances in the ensuring silences.
 The fenced in building is the county jail I believe

Mount Evans

Feb 15, Saturday, after having failed to find any available handyman to do the installation of drywall, I decided to do it myself!  Never thought it'd be that hard to get people to take my money.

Dale B. turned up and lent me a hand with the "mudding" process soon after I had (with Patrick's help), cut and mounted most of the "moisture resistant" drywall panels.

Over the President's Day weekend, Dale B basically did most of the second mud coat application.  Once that was dry, I could start applying "texture" from a spray can, and then priming/painting the drywall to protect not only the drywall panels but the dried mud.

Feb 17, Monday, the truck from Waste Management's Bagster program came by as scheduled and picked up all the old drywall pieces, tiles, the bath tub and associated waste.  It was actually a bit cheaper than me taking it all to the local dump, go figure.

Feb 18, Tuesday evening, I applied the second coat of paint and caulked all the seams where the drywall panels touched the shower panels to ensure no water gets behind the panels.

I believe, this is the 95% final result.  I still have to try and reinstall the wood trim along the bottom edge of the walls.

Not even close to a professional finish but good enough for us!  So glad this particular project is "complete", we'll see how things hold up in the long run.

The court trial continues, scheduled to end Friday afternoon.  I'm hoping to be on a plane bound for Phoenix, AZ this coming Sunday morning.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

The Shower is in!

No Moto content follows.

Got the Shower Insert assembly installed and working over the last couple of days.  Lots of work and so glad I had our friend from the neighborhood: Dale B. (Master Plumber) doing the really hard stuff involving pipes and fittings!

 Dale does nice work doesn't he?

I should have known things were going too well.  I got the frame for the shower doors mounted with only some minor issues (must buy a Mitre Box for future work like this).  Then came the big problem:

I had the inner door hanging, no issues.  Then, I went to hang the outer sliding glass door and it burst into tiny little safety glass bits in my hands as I went to hang it!

One second I had a pane of glass in my hands, the next was a big bang and I was looking at Patrick who was as shocked as I was.....nothing remaining in my hands and the floor full of bits of glass!

I cleaned up, and Patrick and I headed to Home Depot to see what they could do about a replacement pane of glass.  I didn't have much hope but would end up being pleasantly surprised.

I explained what happened, and the customer service rep said to fetch another glass pane assembly and I got the box back to him and we opened it back at the customer service desk.  I extracted the one that had shattered and they'll return the rest to the manufacturer for refund.  No added cost to me except for the PITA factor and the worry that the glass is more delicate than I had assumed!

We carefully got that pane of glass back home and mounted without further issues.  Caulking all the seams was next and though not great, good enough for my limited skill set!

Now to line up a drywall guy to replace the stuff that had to come out for the removal of the old tile wall and bath tub!

After waiting the required 4 hours for the caulking to dry/cure, I tested out the shower and so did Patrick, no leaks, all good for now.

Now all that remains for me specifically is to report for jury duty on Monday and see if I'm selected for a trial or not.  Honey-do task is complete, I need not be here for the dry wall installation, Martha says.

So assuming I don't get selected for a long jury trial, I can start making preparations to return to Arizona before the end of the month!

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Been under the weather....

I got back to Colorado on Friday, the 24th of January.

By Saturday afternoon I started feeling sick and by Sunday was in the full throes of some flu-like symptoms.  I did manage to take Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol out for a short ride to catch the sunset.

 Pikes Peak

The next few days were spent coughing and feeling tired and achy.

By Friday I was feeling much better and so began the major task I had for my time here before I go back to Arizona to retrieve the URRV and resume camping.

Pretty much did the demolition of the bathtub/shower in the basement.  There'd been evidence of water damage and some mildew under the tub and it was time to rip it out and replace it with something else.

Martha got me one of those "dumpster in a bag" setups from the local big box store and its on the driveway now, perhaps half filled with the debris resulting from the above demolition.

Here's how it looks now, I think perhaps ready for the initial test fit of the Full Surround Shower that we picked up at the same big box store today.

After picking up the stuff, it was time for some riding.  It's been over six weeks (basically the time I'd been gone camping) since I'd ridden Brigitta, my '87 BMW R80 Airhead motorcycle.

We went on about a 65 mile or so loop of county roads riding to the east of the cesspool that is the Metro Denver area.  Very enjoyable in spite of the wind which wasn't too bad but noticeable. 

Sunny with the temperature around 70°F (21°C), it was pretty nice riding weather for February!  Of course, this coming week, we'll be lucky to see temperatures above freezing according to the forecast, we got snow inbound.

Still have some minor coughing going on and some sniffles but I think I'll live. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hanging out in Phoenix, AZ

Drove to Phoenix from the Gila Bend AFAF on Monday of this week, unloaded stuff from the URRV and did laundry at my Father-in-Law's place in Sun City, AZ

My FIL Richard continues to do well and has fully recovered from his open heart surgery from almost two years ago.

Weather was overcast and light rain.

I installed a set of cheap driving lights that I had delivered to my FIL's home that afternoon and we'll see how those do in actual usage.  I also unloaded Yagi, the Yamaha TW200 dualsport from the front mounted rack and parked her in a golf cart slot under covered parking.

Tuesday, January 21, I drove Uma, the URRV along with Fiona on the trailer down to Goodyear, AZ....a suburb of the Phoenix Metro Area and put her into open storage for the next month or so while I am back home in Centennial to attend to duties, appointments and chores as mentioned before.

Wednesday, January 22

My FIL Richard and I had breakfast at a hole in the wall "comfort food" diner a couple of miles from his home, called Brenda's.  Nice place, good food and service.

The main event of the day was my visit to the Musical Instrument Museum or MIM where my FIL volunteers time as a docent.  His status got me in free and I wandered about the exhibits again (I've been here once before, but apparently didn't blog about it.) but this time concentrated on mostly the European exhibits and photographing only instruments which "caught my eye", most had an animal of some sort involved.

A "fully involved" animal was the basis of this particular bagpipe

French Slide Trombone

Circa 1800.  Bass Horn
"The Serpent" was used to accompany choirs as
early as the sixteenth century

Mongol Shava
Shava (the deer) heralds new life and
brings fertility to people's herds

Yueqin (plucked lute)
The "moon" lute is popular in folk and opera ensembles
The bat represents good fortune

Dramnyen, another plucked lute

Pyeongyeong (litophone)
Blocks of Nephrite Jade are carved to produce
a certain tone/pitch upon being struck

Here's Richard, my FIL, manning his station near the front lobby by the guitar exhibits

No, it's not a hearing aid of days past....this one was designed to amplify the music for recordings.  It became popular with outdoor folk musicians.


In the street festival section, some of the costumes really caught my eye.  I wonder if these gave little kids nightmares even though they're supposed to scare away evil spirits instead.

Manuthone Costume, Sardinia, Italy
Worn in carnival parades, bells are used to
scare away evil spirits

Kukeri costume, Bulgaria
male dancers go from house to house 
to bring good luck and health to their neighbors.

Richard's shift ended and we drove back to his home in rush hour traffic but it wasn't too bad as we could use the HOV lane.  Like everywhere else, we in the HOV lane were the minority of the cager flood that is Phoenix rush hour.

Thursday, January 23

Not a very busy day, mostly errands done in company of Richard.

We did check out a "used tools" store that I'd spotted yesterday after we left the diner.  Got myself a wire stripper tool and three forceps for $6!  Forceps you ask?  They're great for accessing hard to reach places to grab some dropped item or to hold item in an ackward spot until you can secure it.

I packed most of my riding gear onto a borrowed suitcase and will be flying home to the cesspool that is the Metro Denver area.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Last Day of T-Dubing in the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range

Today was my last day of camping for January, headed for Phoenix tomorrow to put the URRV into storage for about a month while I fly home to get some chores done, report for jury duty and get my hearing aids from the VA.

I thought I would check out the Hazard Area (in pink) shown in the range map below, as I had confirmed there were no active ranges in operation today with Range Security.

The plan was to take Trail 601 to 602 from Gate 5 and then see how close I could get to the Hazard Area's eastern border with the East Tactical Range.

Today's riding was pretty much the same as the other two days, rocky trails with frequent crossing of rock filled gullies and washes.  The gullies got steeper and rockier the closer I got to the ridges that formed the eastern border with the Tactical Area, forcing me to negotiate them very slowly and carefully.

By the time I got to the border ridges area, I could see another steep trail heading to a pass over the bordering ridge.  This time I knew better and stopped way before the steep stuff began.  I shed my riding gear and hiked the short distance to the top.

Trying to show you how steep and rock-strewn it was is difficult with a camera.  But here goes:

 The last bit before the top

 About two thirds of the way up

 The half way point where I surely would have dropped Yagi

Standing Yagi back up on this side sloping rock strewn steep portion
of the "trail" would have sucked.

Glad I decided to hike it instead.  The view from the other side was "OK" but nothing to reward one for the efforts of braving the climb in the first place on a motorcycle.

I believe I got as far as where the red arrow is pointing on the map below:

A pic before I turned Yagi around:

I retraced my route, "enjoying" the narrow/steep/rock-strewn gullies yet again, and made it back onto 601 safely with no real issues.

No name for that craggy peak in front of Yagi, according to PeakFinder

Along the way, you see a water tank area labeled 578 on the map above, I believe this was it:

The area is fenced off I think to keep cattle out, not sure why its covered though unless they uncover it in the Spring?  The sign said: "Game Water" so I think it's to provide drinking water to the local wildlife.  You're not allowed to camp within 1/4 mile of such locations per AZ law.

Back on AZ Hwy 85 north, I went into Gila Bend to look for sugar cubes to replace my stock.  No luck in the two food stores I tried, just 5lb bags available and I didn't need that much sugar in the URRV!

So, feeling hungry as it was almost 2:30PM, I stopped at the McDonald's and got a meal while also helping myself two four sugar packets for tomorrow's breakfast coffee.

I'm sure I'll find sugar cubes in Phoenix!

I liked this campground a lot, cheap with full hookups, not exactly crowded but lots of room between sites to keep things friendly.  Apparently, you can stay here for six months if you wish, but you have to pay in advance and no discount.

Last camping sunset for this month