Thursday, July 31, 2014

Feliz Cumpleanos a me!

Yesterday evening I was on the way home at just the right time to be rewarded with this....

One is frequently rewarded with such serendipitous views as this, and it helps to have a phone handy. As usual I took numerous exposures at varying degrees of zoom and varying the angle of frame, then discarded the trash and picked the winner. This is Mamquam Mtn. about 8 miles uphill from our house.

I got a pleasant surprise, and one that left me chuckling when I went to brush my teeth this morning. Of course this resulted in some toothpaste spewage, but it was a small price to pay for the humor of the event.

This is another view, in case you were unable to decipher the message that my beloved ScooterChick left for me this a.m. What a card she is at times. A wild card!

The same adorable chick was waiting for me when I came out to the living room.
She thinks I'm smart....she thinks I'm funny....she thinks I'm good looking.
I had better not do anything to disabuse her of these notions. All I have to do is look at her and I feel like a winner. I love her completely, and she thinks I'm her big juicy hunk of man meat. So, hooray for all that!!!!!

We decided to go for a birthday breakfast and ride, she on her little Raspberry and I on her other scooter Ruby. Here we prepare.

We headed out about 6 miles north to Brackendale and stopped to get a bite of breakfast. Here we are dismounting and getting ready to eat.

Our chow de choix this a.m. is at the Red Bench Diner. This is an eclectic local eatery with a diverse breakfast menu. The last time we were here was on a weekend and the place was packed out.

The menu is "breakfast fusion", lots off dishes that combine tradition and cuisine nouveau to very good effect. The only thing they are a little light on is spices, but then we use a lot of spices in our daily caloric intake, after all "variety is the spice of life" and our life gets pretty.....ahem ;)

Here is the Queen of my heart, the incomparable ScooterChick having made a selection from the widely varied menu, and smiling at her's me!

Here are our keys. Hers sports a tiny bejeweled scooter that a dear lady gave her. Mine has a Universal Studios tag I got in 1998. I took advantage of the key proximity to move the scooters to the back of the restaurant and into the shade. That colored vinyl can get warm in the direct sun.

In short order the food arrived. My selection was poached eggs over Vegetarian Chili in Tortilla Shells, with Crispy Home Fries and Avocado. May I say delicious? all right then I shall.....hahaha.

My beloved chose a Scramble with Spinach, Mushroom and Swiss Cheese, the same Chili on the side with Potatoes and Sourdough Toast. The toast came with her meal, but I ate it.......smirk smirk!

After we finished our breakfast we prepared to saddle up for a trip up "the Valley".

The views get more striking as you travel north of Squamish. Many years ago I lived up near the end of the road, so this was like coming to visit the old homestead.

The Tantalus Range affords some pretty spectacular views as we travel north. The Squamish Valley Road is actually an extension of the Provincial Highway system
so the speed limit is 50mph (80kph) this point I should say hahaha because there are two points on the road where you are advised to slow to 60kph and Raspberry can almost manage 60kph with the throttle wide open!


The next three pictures are taken at the entrance to Glacier Valley Farm. It was sold recently and comprises a 7 bedroom home, 42 acres and outbuildings. In the last picture part of the home is visible.

This view towards the west gives a good look at Rumbling Glacier.

In a bit of "sidebar humor" I remarked to ScooterChick that the last time I was at that location the farm was owned by Marty and Sue Vanderhoef and the occasion was a meeting with BC Tel to try and get telephone service into the Valley. At that time there was no service other than RadioTel.

That was 32 years ago!!!  Phone service has been put in since.

We turned around and headed back towards town. This is the Bailey Bridge over the Pilchuk Creek. It is still an alternate-stop one way, just as it was 32 years ago.

There is a place to stop and get a view both up and downriver. Have you ever wondered why the river is a grayish green color?

That's because all the water is melt water. If you dip any part of your body into it there is a sensation very much like burning, as your nerves in the affected area immediately scream "DANGER" and do their best to convince you to get as far away from the water as fast as humanly possible. When I was young and foolish many years ago, I actually dove into the river to cool off on a very hot day. Extricating myself from death's cold advancing grip, I stood on the bank and when the violent shivering stopped about 15 minutes later, I admitted my folly! Yeah.....don't do that....even dipping your toe in this water will leave a lifelong impression, and one you will not wish to repeat....

Well, we're ready to roll on. we actually traded scooters for a while, and I reminded myself that 50ccs is a little limiting. Patsy of course was grinning as she accelerated briskly away.......

With a joyful heart and a freshly filled gas tank we arrived home from our little tour. The temperature is a balmy 84F. (29C.) with the promise of more to come. Thanks for coming along....I'll be thinking of you when I eat my cake....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chow? And How!

We spent a little time in the garden this morning, watering and feeding the greens and Scooterchick was plotting another culinary coup. We had picked up most of the ingredients yesterday and after we ran a few errands we got down to work.

I am the first to admit that I can put together enough calories to keep me alive, but it may not taste all that delicious and there's every possibility it will look like a dog's breakfast. When we work in the kitchen, Patsy is the chef and I am a mere scullery lad.

First 2 sweet potatoes and 2 yams were coarsely diced and seasoned preparatory to baking. A large flat cookie sheet is the best thing for this.

Once the Potatoes were in the oven, some Italian Sausage was stripped for the meat and put in a pan with some Rice Bran oil.

You can almost hear the sizzle can't you? While the sausage simmered 2 Small Onions were minced. Once the sausage was halfway cooked, in went the Cibolas!

The Onion and Sausage "worked together while some more ingredients were prepared. Things are happening fast now!

How about a little Garlic? I stripped about a bulb and a half. I used Alton Brown's 2 bowl peeling method which borders on alchemy. Perfectly peeled cloves in about 30 seconds! Then they were squoze in a press into the mix.

I missed a step but got a picture of the result. One bunch of Swiss Chard, and one bunch of fresh Kale, stripped of their spines (to be saved later for soup) and coarse chopped were added to the pan and a little vegetable stock, then covered.

We had thinned the Carrots and the Carrot greens chopped and added.

By now the Potatoes were ready and were removed from the oven.

The Potatoes were placed in a bowl, the Sausage and Greens over top and it was served up. I thought a little Fresh Parmesan was in order.

Scooterchick preferred hers without the cheese. Looks

It was hot, it was impeccably fresh and it was Fantastico!!! Here Patsy is cooling off another forkful. We did have some leftovers, but they won't be left long!

Another culinary masterpiece, simple country food made with panache and that one special!  Thanks Scooterchick. ( I mean Chef).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Things Change

We readied ourselves for a quick trip to the Okanagan to visit my Mom. Having sold “Maj” my maxi scooter, I was in the market for a new ride and ScooterChick was looking for a 50cc. to add to her growing stable. Our first stop was in Langley to look at a Honda Jazz. 

ScooterChick employed her excellent negotiating skills to great advantage. She got the price lowered by about 36% and made an excellent deal.

This is the new addition “Raspberry”. She is as cute as the day is long. While Scooterchick made the transaction, I ensured she was firmly affixed to the trailer. Then it was off to our next stop.

I had lined up a couple bikes to look at but my preference would have been the first one. I looked it over while the owner showed me a few of the features, and we struck a deal. I didn’t quite manage the deal my Baby did but I got a reduction of 20% from his listed price.

Since we were in Mission, the previous owner and I transacted the conveyance locally and we shook hands on the deal. Then we parted ways.

By now our stomachs were growling and Patsy had found a place to get some lunch. It was a Korean Japanese Fusion restaurant on the Main Street, and she had ordered for me while I finished up at the insurance agents.

Scooterchick ordered one of her favorite Korean dishes which came on a sizzling platter. Pork Bulgogi. I find it a bit spicy for my taste but Patsy likes it. 

She had ordered a combo lunch for me which came a California Roll, Sashimi and Miso Soup. Very good, really hit the spot on an empty stomach.

I took a few pictures of downtown Mission which seems to have changed little from the late 70’s, but which has in truth spread quite considerably in population. Still looks the same on the main drag though. 

Here are the 2 bikes bolted down and ready for a trip to the Okanagan.

Here then is the overall picture. For a name I have reached all the way back to Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss and the story of “The Cat in the Hat”. I decided an apt moniker would be “ Thing 2!”. Discretion and modesty would discourage me from revealing the location of “ Thing 1!”.

One of the things that was alluring to me was the mileage on this bike. I have read many accounts on ADV Rider of people traveling great distances on smaller displacement machines and it helps that this one had the low mileage it did to start off with.

This is a picture of the “engine bay”. Not much to it really, a single cylinder and minimal electrics with which to deal. My opinion (rightly or wrongly) is simple is better. Less to go wrong. When the ignition is turned on, and the choke is set, one kick brings the motor to life.

As you can see the original tank decals are still readable. These cautionary mottos I had known already but it’s nice to see instructions from yester-decade. As you can see, this bike is the height of engineering simplicity and style for Honda in 1977.

The paint is still in fine shape as are the rest of the finishes, though time worn are good. I did have to replace the front tire which had checked with age. I went with the Heidenau K60 Scout which although a bit upmarket for my taste has good reports about durability and tread wear.

The previous owner also gave me a gnarly dirt tire, for which I really have no use. I will not be going into any roost inducing shredder territory. I gave it to the Honda Tech when he was mounting my new tire.

By now the hour was growing late, and we having eaten prepared to rest. The sun reclined with a flash of color.

A shakedown cruise would definitely be in order so we readied ourselves for a little putt around the neighbor hood. The area where my Mom lives has fairly quiet roads so we rolled down into the little village of Naramata, and did a quick tour around.  Here is Patsy, enjoying the heck out of Raspberry.

We rolled back into Mom’s having completed a whopping 5.7 miles. Here we see the victorious ScooterChick. Her one comment was, it sure seems slow after riding my 250cc.

This picture of the helmets shows the few spots of rain through which we rode. Just a drizzle really, enough to cool down a bit and that’s all.

And that’s all for now......