Forest fires and bikers

I’ve been watching the KTLA online feed of the North fire. The fire crossed the 15 near the Cajon Pass and is traveling unhindered on its way. The wind funnels up the pass and drops down onto the flat. I don’t think it will bode well for any homes in its path.

In another life well-lived, I spent 4,000 hours of helicopter flight time on forest fires in northern Canada. A lot of it came back to me in a huge rush while watching the feed. I had to load a mapping program to follow the progress of the news helicopters as they patrolled the perimeter with eyes high in the sky. The resolution of the camera from 8,500 feet is phenomenal.

There were no DC-10 airtankers back in the old days.

But I digress.

I couldn’t resist centering the map over a former favorite watering hole.

The usual suspects were in Fontana at a biker rally. One p.m. (that’s right, one in the afternoon) came and went, and, being the irresponsible, thirsty louts we were, we saddled up and headed for the 10. At the 215 we turned south and pulled off at La Cadena. For the uninitiated, it’s the home of the Club 215, a peeler bar renowned for nothing in particular but for being two stories high, with a balcony.

It was also on the way home, if you took the slight detour I outlined.

We liked the place because we could get out in the fresh air, wander around, and watch the sights – of which there aren’t many in Coulton. The girls liked it, too. Since we were the only ones in the club at that early hour, they wandered in and out to chat. I won’t go into details, but by early evening, it was long past time to herd the lads home.

I knew that, because beer bottles began floating down from the second story balcony to explode in the parking lot. Seeing as I was the only illegal in the club (I checked – there were no Canadian girls performing), and being of sound mind, I made an informed decision.

It was time to roll.

With the able assistance of a couple of the ladies, we managed to get the boys down the stairs without anyone falling down. Out in the parking lot, it was an entirely different story.

Tommy threw a leg over his Sporty, collapsed the kickstand, put both feet on the pegs, and headed on his way, eager to be in the wind. The problem was, he hadn’t bothered to light the fire. He promptly fell over with both feet on the pegs while still gripping the bars.

Much laughter ensued.

Eventually, we managed to get Tommy untangled and out from under his Sporty. We made sure to keep him on the bike as we helped him up. Once we got him straight and level, I started the engine, put it in gear, and slapped him on the back.

Away he wobbled.

It was a simple matter to head south on the 215, hit the 60 at Box Springs, and meander on down the road on the 10 to the 62 turnoff. I got to ride sweep to clean up the debris on the way home.

It was an uneventful ride on a normal California day under sunshine and blue sky.

I miss it sometimes, but not often, now.

It is official. I am bored.*

This morning, I made my very-early a.m. cup of green tea with the usual substantial infusion of fresh ginger root. I sat to do several paragraphs, and then, so eagerly anticipating that first sip of green tea nectar, reached to put cup to lips.

Imagine my shock when all I couldn’t taste was hot water. It is absolutely, terrifyingly unimaginable, is it not?

Please send condolences, cards, letters of commiseration, flowers and/or treasures to Box 13, Nara Visa.

Note to self for next time:

  1. Put ginger root in cup.
  2. Put tea bag in cup.
  3. Place cup under Tassimo.

* Or, suffering from early-onset Old-Timers’ Disease.

Polar Electro straps and wrist bands are cheap trash

The T31 transmitter on my Polar Electro has broken at one end and is now unwearable. After dutifully trolling the internet for this cheap trash POS, it is apparently a common problem, not only for the heart transmitter, but also for their cheap trash POS watch bands.

Rather than pay prime replacement rate for a Polar Electro T31 cheap trash POS, I have decided to fix this cheap trash POS Polar Electro T31 myself.

Good luck getting me to ever purchase another cheap POS manufactured by Polar Electro.

Should you ever need to replace the battery in this thing, there are plenty of videos covering instructions on how to replace the transmitter battery. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for a new heart transmitter, considering the battery is only a couple of bucks.

Gfeller Casemakers Moleskine leather cover

Gfeller notebook cover

Update March 20, 2016: Five years later, I can report that the Gfeller covers, both large and small, are nicely aged and are performing just as reliably as when first purchased. I still can’t recommend the Gfeller covers enough.

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Update: I liked my small Gfeller cover so much I bought one for my larger Moleskine. Furthermore, two-and-a-half years later, both of Gfeller’s leather Molskine covers have aged nicely and look fantastic. I can’t recommend these enough.

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If you’re a fan of Moleskine notebooks, you’ll be a huge fan of these Gfeller leather covers. Here’s a link to a review better than I could ever write. All I can say is that I now have mine, and I’m thinking of ordering another for the large Moleskine. If you want to see true craftsmanship, watch their video.

I’ve got mine (NC.SNH) on the soft-covered Moleskine and it fits just fine, although it’s made for the hard-cover Moleskine. Added bonus: with the soft-cover Moleskine, I can slide a pen under the cover and still use the elastic to keep it closed.

If you’re outside the U.S., you’ll have to order by email/PayPal, or order by phone and pay by credit card. Don’t be in a hurry to get it. It takes time. Mine took a month–but considering the quality of the product, who cares how long it takes?