Friday, July 29, 2016

Heading North

While riding home from Potsdam in February, I passed through Lake Placid and was stunned by its beauty. I made a note to return to that place later and explore it.

I'm heading up tomorrow to spend the weekend there. Will see my friend Aimee and might also run into some biker-buddies since they'll be visiting too.

Lake Placid is a beautiful town in the Adirondacks, about five hours north of New York City. The Winter Olympics were held there twice, most famously in 1980. The Olympic structures still stand and you can visit them. In Winter, you can pay to ride a bobsled down the competition-run, operated of course by skilled bobsledders. Wouldn't that be fun? I want to try it someday.

To avoid traffic, I decided to ride up tomorrow instead of today. That was prescient since it's raining today and will be nice tomorrow. Nobody likes riding in the rain.

Have you ever visited Lake Placid?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rack 'em Up!

Do you ever shoot pool? I do. It's one of my favorite activities.

When I was young, I played a lot. It was a fun activity in college. Two decades later when I started riding motorcycles, I returned to the game. My friend Rich, a biker, owned a seedy bar and we used to hang out there and play late into the night. Rich is very good and our lengthy games sharpened my skill. For a while, we competed as a team in a local billiards league and did quite well. I stopped playing when Rich moved to Las Vegas where he lives now. I visit him occasionally and am impressed that he has a fancy pool table in his living room. Not every wife will let you do that!

There are several billiards games, the most popular of which is eight-ball. That's my best although I sometimes play English billiards -- which uses only three balls on a table without pockets. That requires totally different skills.

The reason I mention billiards is because I'm getting back into the game. Last week I pulled my cue-stick out of storage and headed down to a local pool-hall. (Yes, I have my own cue.) I'm out-of-practice but a few months of steady play will bring back my ability. What I love most about pool is its meditative quality. It quiets your mind and trains your body to be steady and smooth. It's a lot like motorcycle-riding; you're dancing with the forces of nature. At its best, billiards makes me feel closer to the center of the Universe.

Pool is also cool. It was the subject of "The Hustler", a classic film from 1961 starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie. In the movie, Jackie Gleason is mesmerizing as Minnesota Fats, a legendary pool player whom Paul Newman's character is desperate to beat. The tension during their bouts is amazing. Many years later (1986), a sequel was made with Tom Cruise and Paul Newman ("The Color of Money").

"The Hustler" was shot in grainy black-and-white, which perfectly suited the material, and the shooting was actually done in New York City where the drama takes place. The film was nominated for nine Oscar awards and won two.

"The Hustler" stimulated huge national interest in pool when it was released. I saw it as a teenager and was entranced by a tricky pool-shot in it called a "masse." With a masse, you hit the cue ball very low (below its center) which causes it to jump into the air. Jump! Once it becomes air-borne, you can make it leap over over balls. I learned how to do it and it's my favorite way to impress people. When you're in a situation where the cue-ball is blocked from an object ball by other balls, you can make the cue-ball leap over them to get to the object ball. People's eyes widen when you do it right 'cause they didn't think it was possible to make pool-balls jump in the air, certainly not with control.

If my return to pool takes root, I might get a table for my house; there are beautiful ones, ranging in style from traditional to modern. (See below.)

Have I enticed you in playing? Maybe we can go to a pool-hall together... Rack 'em up!

Monday, July 25, 2016


Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
So hush little baby, Don't you cry.

This is my Summer dress. It's new, along with the faux-pocket-watch necklace which I bought from a vendor in a NYC park.

Are you enjoying Summer?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hipster Dogs

Brooklyn, the capital of hip, had a dog fashion show. Here are some of the amusing entrants.

Do you have a favorite?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Motorcycle Shirt

There's a company that embroiders specific motorcycles onto shirts. I got one for my new 2016 BMW S1000R and was amazed at how perfectly they reproduced the bike. It looks exactly like that!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Swap Spectacular

I mentioned to you a little while ago that a blogger I follow (Ashley) is hosting a Summer Swap. I forgot to mention that Ashley has a partner in that effort (another blogger, Dean).

I had the good luck to draw Dean as my swap-buddy. Dean's selection of gifts for me was fabulous. She chose wonderful gifts, all of which fit my particular needs. Nail polish, spa products, a candle and chocolate. Here are some pics of the goodies.

The best part of the swap was getting to meet Dean. She's sweet, generous and nice. I've become a regular follower of her blog and recommend it to you (along with Ashley's).

I feel lucky to have participated in this! They'll be another one in the future; I'll alert you to it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pink Tulle Dreams

I recently splurged and bought a pink tulle skirt. People shook their heads and asked "How can you wear that?" What they meant was, "How can a woman as old as you wear such a juvenile item?"

Well... my philosophy is GO FOR IT. Double down on flouting convention. I took this youthful piece and added an equally youthful sailor top. Maybe the outfit makes me look foolish but I'm having fun. And that's the most I ask of fashion.

Would you wear either of these pieces?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I Need Your Opinion

I'm not personally familiar with female social culture. I hear about it but don't have my own experience to draw from. I need your opinion on something I just read.

A famous female author (Terry McMillan) was profiled by the New York Times last Sunday. The article reports that the author was shopping in a fancy clothing store in Manhattan. She found a top and proceeded to the cashier to purchase it. Then this happened (I'm quoting verbatim from the article):

As [the author] handed the clerk her credit card, she admired the young woman's curls. "I like your hair," [the author] said. "Can I touch it?" The clerk said no. "Why?" she asked. "Because I'm not a petting zoo," the clerk replied.


What do you think? Was this a reasonable or impolite thing for the author to ask? Have you ever responded to anyone with such a witty remark?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Last Call

Lately I've been living life like someone who hears the bartender yell, "Last call."

I'm acting with a sense of urgency. I don't waste time or opportunity. The frenzy isn't due to an awareness of mortality, although there's a bit of that. No, my heightened activity is motivated by positive force -- i.e., desire. Pent-up, half-century old desire to be my true self.

I won't bore you with tales of my past, but I'm throwing caution to the wind. Before I die, I want to live. No matter what. And that includes, very especially, women's clothes.

Here's what I wore today. It was fun to assemble and joyous to wear. I'm displaying a pin that my best friend Ashley gave me. It's cute and fit the outfit perfectly.

What do you think?

(P.S., At the end of this post is a famous poem.)

This poem was written over 300 years ago in 1648. It is called "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time."

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


There are experiences growing up that, to some girls, are uncomfortable. Like being forced to take dance classes when they have no interest in dance. Or having to wear weird bathing suits. I understand that -- but, to me, those experiences were the subject of dreams. I craved them, all the more for being denied them.

One thing I thought was irresistibly attractive was swim-caps. Rubber caps girls wore when near water. They were almost always decorated in pastel colors and flowery designs. I wanted one like you want dessert. Today, they have a delightfully retro-look.

I found some examples on the Internet. Do girls still wear these? Did you?

Friday, July 15, 2016


One consequence of riding a lot is your gear wears out. In less time than usual, my helmet fell to pieces. I replaced it today with a new one. Because I value what's inside my skull, I buy good lids. This one costs $600.

Helmets come with stickers on them. Some stickers are required by law, some advertise the manufacturer. I add a sticker of my own as a way to personalize a helmet. Can you tell which of these stickers is mine?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


The shed I built for my motorcycle isn't much to look at but it's perfect for my bike. Yesterday I realized that when I'm in the shed (which is almost every day), I'm happy. I thought it'd be fun to decorate the inside of the shed even though nobody sees it except me. Lacking artistic talent, I grabbed a can of black spray-paint and graffiti-ed the inside. Voila!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Journey To The Past

When most people hear "vintage", they think of the 1950s. But blogger and fellow-giant Gracey gave me a dress that looks back even further. It evokes the styles of the 1940s.

I think the dress is pretty. And if we're going back to that period, let's do it right -- seamed stockings!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad has been building motorcycles for a hundred years -- literally. This is its centennial year and there will be celebrations next month. Over that time, the company has sold 2 million motorcycles. ("Motorrad" is the German word for motorcycle.)

You probably know I own two motorcycles. They're both BMW's. That's no accident. I chose BMW after riding other brands (Yamaha; Kawasaki) and finding BMW to be superior. In my opinion, they make the best bikes in the world. The engineering and build-quality are amazing, better than I thought possible. The brand is expensive but when your life is on the line, you don't cut corners. When you're a thousand miles from home, you don't want to break down on the side of the road. My machines do exactly what I need and ask from them. You can't put a price on that.

BMW motorcycles are serviced every 6,000 miles and I rode to my dealer today for that service (BMW of Manhattan). I used the occasion to snap a few pictures. The people there are exceptionally nice and competent, starting at the top. My old friend Chris is the Sales Manager.

Fifteen years ago, I went to a grueling, two-day riding competition with a group of ten riders. During breakfast it started pouring rain. Eight of the riders bailed and went home. Chris was the only hardy soul willing to endure the rough conditions and complete the event. I was the only crazy rider willing to follow him. The two of us rode through every kind of weather. The ride turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Facing and overcoming adversity is deeply satisfying.

Happy Birthday, BMW!