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Thinking about pet adoption?

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I can't recommend enough how rewarding adopting a pet from an animal rescue or shelter can be.    HomeoAnimal.com has an excellent guide for anyone looking to adopt.  They gathered their information from hundreds of rescue groups and shelters.  I strongly advise you take a look at their guide before you adopt. 

The Ultimate Guide to Pet Adoption

I'm not a fan of puppy mills, mall pet stores, etc.  I understand the desire for many is to have a purebred, but I also know some breeders do so primarily as income revenue.  One common myth is rescues and shelters don't have purebreds.  That's not true.  Purebreds have just as much chance as mixed breeds to be offered for adoption.  They don't end up at a swanky hotel for pedigree pets and while away free time perusing a list of potential human companions.  They end up at the same shelters and rescues as lovable mixed breeds. So there's no real excuse for not at least taking a look at the guide above from HomeoAnimal.com.

 


Front Royal motorcycle ride

The showers of May have passed.  But by last weekend, the heat of summer had slipped into Virginia.  But not before I took my Harley 48 out Saturday morning for a long ride.  I've been wanting to see how it handles on the open road besides the 30 minute commute it takes every weekday.  It didn't disappoint.

After topping off my 2.2gal peanut gas tank, I left town on interstate 66.  It was mid morning, temps around the 80s, with a bit of wind in the air, just enough to keep me cool in my new mesh jacket and textile/mesh pants.  My destination - Front Royal, VA, about 60 miles from my starting point.  Most of it would be on 66.  

The ride on 66 was excellent.  Traffic westbound was light to medium.  The bike felt great and sounded great.  With the 48, your posture is different than if you're using ape hanger handlebars or on a crotch rocket.  The handlebar is short and straight, the seat sits low, forcing you to lean forward, and causing your boot heels to angle about 45 degrees from the road. In my opinion, the 48 is similar in looks to a bobber style bike, with the exception to the fenders, seat, smaller tank and a few other features.

Cycle styles

48 classic
Harley Davidson Sportster 48

As you can imagine, the 48 is not very comfortable for long rides.  This forced posture will take it's toll on the back and shoulders.  But for my ride, I felt fine by the time I turned off 66 and rode the rest of the 5 miles or so to Front Royal.  My gas indicator light had yet to come on, so I kept riding towards Flint Hill after passing through FR.  At 65 mi the light had yet to come on.  I pulled over to check Gas Buddy for the nearest pit stop.  FR was about 5 miles back but Flint Hill was southbound about 4 miles away.  The indicator light came on as soon as I started rolling again, so the highway miles were definitely an improvement to my city miles per gallon.  In Flint, I had used 1.4gal out of the 2.2 tank and traveling 70 miles.  So I could have pushed it for another 20 miles (90 mi total) or so before it would start to chug along.  Normally, I'm running to the gas station when it hits 60 miles with mostly city driving or I'll end up pushing the bike by the time it hits 70.  I made a mental note to get a gas canister that I could throw in my side bag for the next ride.

I made it back to Front Royal and stopped by Soul Mountain Grill & Cafe to get lunch.  Great service with a simple but pleasant atmosphere. I had a Soul Burger with a couple sides that didn't break the bank.

FR SM1

Soul Mountain Burger meal
Soul Mountain Burger meal

After lunch I walked around the small historic city center and checked out some of the shops.  The whole time I was in town, you could see and hear different biker groups passing through.  

FR st1

FR a2

FR park

The ride back home was just as nice except for a little congestion around the 495 beltway.  Aside from a little fatigue in the hands and my back, it was a great ride.  I'll see how I do on a longer one next time.  

Total miles round trip = 130mi

 


Project Underground: Accomplished!

Version 3

The entire project has taken over two years to complete but it was well worth it.  The hardest part was the just gutting the basement, letting contractors replace the water displacement system (sump pump and drainage), and then waiting a year before I did any construction to see if water still found it's way into the rooms.

The actual construction took about 14 months. 

Looking back the basement went through many different looks.  It started with the original finished basement with horrible carpet, no insulation, bad plumbing runs, a sump pump pit in the main room, and multiple leaks.

After a few major rainstorms and the loss of power several times, my sump pump just wasn't able to keep up. I knew I had to decide if I was going to redo the basement or give up and just use it as an unfinished basement.  I went with the former and hired contractors to cut up the perimeter of the interior floor, replace the drainage tubing, and move my sump pit.  (See eariler posts)

Jump to a year or so later, and I began the long road towards finishing the basement.  With B's help, I hired plumbers to replace the poor pipe runs that were always in the way.   Next came the carpenters to put up the framing around the rooms.  B and I worked on the electrical after that.  Then along came drywalling. I still have visions of drywall dust lingering everywhere.  Actually, I think I'm still finding places in the house where dust came from the basement.

Then the real fun began with the brick walls, ceramic floor tiles, glass tile back splash, and dri-core flooring projects.  After that, painting began and the light of the end of the tunnel was starting to show.  Next came the engineered hardwood flooring, wall trim, and actually putting all the light fixtures, electrical covers, and final touches into place.

It wasn't until the final weeks of putting in the flooring and touching up the paint that I realized how much work it took to remodel a basement.  My back still shudders at the labor that went into it.  Now when I see drywall waiting to be installed, I can help be think of all the sanding I had to do for mine.

Here's the before shots of the stairway, bar area, and back room when they were completely gutted.  Check out the ugly carpet on the stairs. That use to cover the whole floor.   

So happy that it's finished and I wouldn't change a thing.  And a huge Thanks go out to B and N for all the support and help.  I couldn't have done it on my own.

  Master 001  

Master 002 

Master 006

Master 009

 

 


Low..ri..der.. Take a little trip with me

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Thanks to a giagantus pot hole in DC, my old Italian buddy and commuter partner has been decimated beyond repair.  That's right, my Aprilia Scarabeo 250 has traveled it's last trek via a tow truck trailer to its final resting place, my house.  Thankfully, the pot hole only damaged my wheels and not me. But based on the rarity of parts and the age of the scooter (10 years), it isn't as cost effective for me run any more.   The wheels alone were going to run me over $500.  So once I find some replacement(used) parts I'll be selling the Beo.

However, after a few weeks as a metro bus/train commuter I started looking for another ride. The current scooter models just didn't have the same look I wanted as the Aprilia 'Beo, so I finally decided to expand into manual transmission territory.  Motorcycles.  It has been 25 years since I had a motorcycle, and that was a Yamaha 650 special that died more than it lived on the road.

Fast forward to me going through a refresher motorcycle course provided by a local Harley Davidson dealer, and I'm walking through their showroom looking for my new cycle.  My eye was drawn to the Sportster XL1200X, Forty-Eight immediately.  I test drove it with a Custom 1200 but knew that was the one I had my heart set on.

48

After buying my "48", I discovered the cycle was built seven days after my scooter had it's last ride. 

So, by the seventh day, the Harley builders finished the work they'd been doing; so on the seventh day, I could rest on a saddle seat and enjoy my ride!

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