Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spam

I have gone back to word verification because Scooterpie is being heavily spammed.  I hate this.  Spammers your comments WILL BE DELETED.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kindness Revolution

We have had some very sad times as of late in our world.  Shootings of children, polictical unrest and many other incidents both globally and locally.  It seems everytime you turn on the tv, radio, or look at the internet you hear very disturbing stories about people and governments running amok. 

My friends and I have had many conversations about change and what we can do.  I think people are genuinely concerned, afraid, and want our world to change.  The impetus of change is not violence, it is kindness and taking responsibility for our actions and encouraging positive change on local and global levels.  It also rests on parents to teach their children right from wrong and to be caring individuals. With response to violence i.e. gun violence, lobby your politicians to change gun laws. Exercise your democratic rights by voting.  Advocate peace. 

We can and do change our world, even in small ways, one random act of kindness goes a long way and the effects of it can be far reaching with a ripple effect.  Just think how different the world would be if everyone did one kind thing a day.  One act kindness may not have a profound impact on the world, but sometimes it may positively impact one human being and change the way they look at things or give them a moment to think about it and they in turn repeat the cycle. 

Today I was on my way out of a coffee shop and an EMS rig pulled up and one of the paramedics went inside to get coffee, had I been inside at the time I would have bought them a coffee as a thank you for the hard difficult work they do.  Instead I knocked on his window and said "Thanks for all the great work you do all year."  His face lit up and it made me smile knowing that I had a positive impact on someone today. 

Just some food for thought. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tell me are your Christmases like Martha Stewart or Clark Griswold Challenge

I am issuing a Christmas Story Blog Challenge, tell me what your Christmases are like and if you don't celebrate Christmas tell me about your funniest holiday. Are they Martha Stewart-like i.e perfectly decorated tree, table settings and wassail bowl, or are they more Clark Griswold-like  ie. the cat shorting out the Christmas tree lights, farting relatives and never ending mishaps? Tell me your funny Christmas anecdote.


My Griswold-like Christmases started early in my life with one year my dad nailing two trees together to make the Charlie Brown Tree we had look fuller, another was when they had the top of the tree tied with string which was attached to a hook to the ceiling above the tree because it kept falling over. But I have to say I always have the best memories of when I was a kid and decorating the tree and great Christmases. One would have hoped that over the years that Christmases would have become less Griswoldish, but the trend continues, albeit not every year.  Here are a few of my memorable adult Christmas tales.

When Motorcycle Man and I got married we were excited about our first "married" Christmas.  This was when we could start our own traditions and we looked forward to it.  Keep in mind we lived up north and it was really cold at Christmas, so Christmas trees when you got them were pretty frozen.  A few days before Christmas we went off to trudge through the bush to find a tree, but the snow was too deep and we decided to go to a commercial tree lot instead. Off we go to the tree lot and we are browsing through the trees looking for the perfect tree.  This is kind of hard when  they have the trees tied up with cording around them, you really can't see the tree fluff factor or if you are picking a Charlie Brown tree.  After much browsing and complaints of it being cold, standing out there (it was -25) we finally picked a tree.  Off we go to home with the tree tied to the top of my Chevy Sprint, that was a sight to behold the tree was almost longer than the car.

We had to saw off at least 2 feet because it was too tall and then  popped that baby in the stand.  We had to let the tree thaw out because it was frozen. Motorcycle man was checking it for rodents because you just never know if there is a rogue critter hanging out in a warm Christmas tree.  A few hours and a few rum and egg nogs later we started stringing lights.  Motorcycle Man and I have extremely different approaches to light stringing.  He is a minimalist, whereas I am a blinger - the more lights the better.  He is organized in his approach and I am lets get these babies on the tree. He also does not like blinker bulbs, much to my chagrin, I just wanted to put it in for a little bit. I also tend to go back and thread lights through bald spots were there isn't quite enough and in the end it is like taking apart a light strand puzzle (knots). We happily got our lovely tree decorated and had a few too many egg nogs, but the tree was perfection. 

Fast forward a couple of days to Christmas day, we were having family over for dinner and cooked the perfect turkey, had all the yummy food and then of course everyone was in the turkey coma after dinner.  Soon it was time for everyone to leave.  After we had cleaned up and were snuggling on the couch looking at the tree I saw some flickering reflections.  I commented on how pretty the reflections were and then they started to increase (no it was not my mind hallucinating or too much egg nog).  I got up and decided this needed some further investigation, on closer inspection to my horror our tree was crawling with SPIDERS - YUP the only thing to do at this point was to scream, flap my arms and do a little dance of "OH MY GOD KIRK THERE ARE SPIDERS ALL OVER THE TREE!!!!"  He thought I was kidding, but I wasn't.  The tree was seriously infested and even a can of Raid was not going to do the job and we probably would have suffocated from the noxious fume cloud from the volume of Raid we would have had to have used to kill them all.  I guess the spiders hatched out because the house was warm and dry.  I am shivering just thinking about this. 

Our beautiful tree that we had taken hours to decorate was de-decorated within 20 minutes flat.  Ornaments and lights were heaped all over the floor and the tree was unceremoniously chucked out the front door into the -40 night  and 10 feet of snow - TAKE THAT SPIDERS!!!  That was our first married Christmas. 

There have been a few Martha-esque Christmases in there, but for the most part the Griswold-esque Christmases seem to outnumber the Martha's

In 1996 there was a blizzard and we were living on the floathome in Victoria and spent most of the holidays shovelling snow off our house so we wouldn't sink. Friends had come for dinner on boxing day and ended up being stranded at our house for 3 days because the city shut down due to the volume of snow.  Thank goodness I had cooked turkey and had plenty of stuff in my freezer.  I truly believe there are more Griswold-like families than there are Martha-like families.

So come on and tell me about your holidays, are you are Martha or a Griswold?


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas in Scooterpie land


I spent the entire day christmasing the house. I admit it, I am a tinsel junky. I don't even try to have Martha Stewart trees or decor, because I am truly more like the Gridwold's from Christmas vacation. I love my eclectic tree and its homemade ornaments from my daughter & the ones I have been collecting for years. This year I wrapped the candy cane tinsel garland on the tree that my motorbike was decorated with when Motorcycle Man and Scooterpie Jr gave it to me Christmas Eve. My tree tells the story of us, from our wedding ornament, my daughters handprints to our beloved dog Muggie and now Grand Duchess Roo. My daughter is baking gingerbread cookies and it feels like Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday morning walk on the WestSong walkway

The BEST thing about living on Vancouver Island is that there is always somewhere lovely to walk.  Victoria and the surrounding communities take walking seriously have a network of walking trails and paths.  I am very lucky because less than a 1 minute walk from my house is the WestSong Walkway which stretches from West Bay harbour to Victoria's Inner harbour.  It is a great walk and I can usually walk my portion of the walkway in about 45-50 minutes.  PupZilla however is not quite ready for such a long distance, so we go for about 30 minutes tops.  Today it was unseasonably warm and we have been getting a lot of rain and it definitely does not feel like December.  Hello global warming.  Over the last few years I have noticed the trend of October, November, and December being relatively mild and then along comes January, February, and March and that seems to be when we are getting winter.  Today we actually had a little sun, so I took Pupzilla out for a good walk and she is snoozing in the livingroom with Scooterpie Jr right now.  YAY walkies!!!!! 








She is cute and she knows it, she looks angelic doesn't she? Don't let the cute puppy exterior fool you, she is PUPZILLA, the 8 pound fluffy ball of terror.



Flowers in winter.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My neighbourhood

I live in a very eclectic community.  The architecture is very diverse from old homes to new modern styles, as well as floathomes in the Westbay Harbour.  Every day I take Grand Duchess Roo out for her puppy burn off some energy walk and usually carry my phone or camera -  Enjoy!

Loved the Christmas ornaments.
This used to be one of the funkiest houses in Esquimalt and was decorated with a sea motif, but alas in the name of progress and high density housing it is being torn down.  Progress sucks.

This is called a Monkey tree. 
This is WestBay Harbour where our old floathome was moored, the picture is looking up towards Victoria's Inner Harbour.


This is the floathome called the Pink Dishrack, the story behind the name is that when the marina was just new and there wasn't much infrastructure mail was sorted and put in a pink dish rack for the live aboards to come and collect.  This house was moored directly in front of us and it was a funky little house.  Our house was called the 'Resting Cloud'.  I miss floathome living and am still digging around in my pictures to find some to post.  I have to say though with the storms we have been having and the wind I am actually pretty happy I am a land lubber and happily warmly ensconced in  my dry, non-moving home. 

Times have certainly changed in the marina, now the little funky floathomes have been replaced by 'Monster' floathomes.  They are cool, but they are not as individual or as funky as the ones that used to be moored in the marina.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gearing up for winter riding - I'm a year 'rounder'

I hang my gear on the scale in my office (perfect drying rack)

Winter riding has season has started and I am still commuting by bike.  I have yet to purchase my bus pass for those incredibly icky hellish days that usually include the "S" word.  Last year I was only off road for about two weeks during the entire winter - here is hoping this one is the same.  I don't mind commuting in the rain & cold, if you dress appropriately and have the right combination of base layers, I find that I am actually warmer on my bike than in my VW van. 

I have worn my TourMaster Transition 2 jacket and TM Flex pants for an entire season and they have worked well for me.  They are starting to show some wear and tear, particularly the pants, because honestly I do wear them every time I am on the bike, even in the dead of summer.  The pants are definitely 4 season and I have gotten my monies worth of riding out of them. 

My winter gear consists of: 
1) TourMaster Transition 2 jacket which has the waterproofing built into the jacket, it comes with a quilted liner and it works well keeping me dry and warm.
2) Merino wool base layers - I have found this is the best for wicking away moisture and keeping me warm, Costco had a screaming deal on the shirt and leggings.  They probably aren't as upscale as what you would find at a sporting goods store but heck, they work well for me.
3) Ski socks - I have had a pair of Hot Chilly ski socks for several years and I pull those out and wear them in my boots.
5) Valhala Pure fleece vest with a high collar
6)  Neck tube.  This is invaluable and way easier than wrapping a cumbersome scarf around my neck, I actually tuck it up over my pony tail and up onto my face and slide my helmet on so it keeps my hair dry and chin warm.  I am asking Santa for a Merino wool version for really cold weather.  If you haven't gotten one of these you need to go find one!
7) TourMaster Flex pants.  These pants are amazing!  They are four season pants and work well all year.  You can zip off the outer nylon layer in warm weather and they convert to mesh which allows you to still ride safely in the heat.  They come with a warm quilted liner and rain liner.  These pants have been the best investment and I will definitely buy them again.   These pants have been through hell and back and have served me well. 
9)  GoreTex Boots. My TCX T-Lily boots are a relatively new addition to my riding wardrobe.  I am extremely happy with them, they fit well, comfortable and best of all keep my feet dry and relatively warm. 
10) Waterproof gloves.  This part of my ensemble is currently a work in progress because I have some gloves, but I am NOT happy with them and they are NOT waterproof at all and I have had to add thermal liners in them.  I have been searching for the perfect pair and am leaning towards something with GoreTex and a thermal liner in them. 
11)  Hi Viz yellow traffic vest.  This is a winter riding staple for me, with riding in the rain and usually its dark when I leave I prefer to have my vest on to increase my conspicuity. 

Some things I have learned commuting year round.  You get what you pay for, if you buy inexpensive gear, expect that you will need to replace it sooner rather than later.  It probably won't be waterproof (eventhough the manufacturer rates it as waterproof) and you are going to be soggy.  Layering is a motorcyclists best friend, invest in some good base layers you won't regret it.  GoreTex gear is definitely something to think about if you live in a wet and rainy climate and it's breathable and windproof.  I prefer gear that is waterproof because dragging around separate rain gear for me is a pain in the tookus.  Always make sure you are conspicious particularly in winter months when it is darker early.  Do your homework and get opinions from other riders. 

PS - The other day I weighed my entire gear ensemble and it came in at 19.84 pounds - WOW!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review TCX GoreTex T-Lily ladies riding boots

I recently purchased a pair of  women's TCX T-Lily GoreTex riding boots.  Retail $299 to $339 CDN.
Pro's
*Good price for a leather Goretex riding boot approx $299 to $339 *Canadian funds
*Solidly built leather boot with a Goretex membrane for waterproof and breathability. 
*Good ankle protection with the armour.
*Good shin protection.
*Waterproof - I have ridden through a few torrential downpours with pooling water on the road and my feet were dry!!!! No more prune toes!
*Good zipper closure with a velcro tab on the zipper pull to secure the zipper pull to the velcro on the boot. Easy to zip up.
*Flexible around the calf area so they are not tight and you can easily zip up and put your pant leg inside the boot.
*Shifter pads on toes.
*Narrow in the heel cup and moderate width through the foot bed, so it isn't too tight.  I have found in past ladies boots have been difficult to fit due to them being super narrow.
*Comfortable foot position in the boot and fairly comfortable to wear when off the bike.  They don't look chunky either and go nicely with jeans.

Con's
*The insole of the boot is not very comfortable and could use a little extra padding and I found the foot bed a little hard.  I have remedied that by adding an insole.
*The boot feels a little cool in the wind because of the breathability of the GoreTex and I have found this in past with other GoreTex products I have.
*The boot sole could be a little heftier and have a bit more tread or deeper at least.

Summary:  Overall I am fairly impressed with these boots. My  feet stayed absolutely dry in the torrential downpours I have used them in so far.  I think they will be a little warm in the summer. Time will tell after several miles of riding to see how they  perform long term. My previous boots only survived 8 months of daily commuting and weekend moto diva riding.  Nice boot, good quality, worth the money spent.

The T-Lily's get The Princess Scooterpie/Moto_Diva 5 Star approval recommendation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Puppy update

Our newest little family member is settling in and is getting to be a big girl. She has been delightful for the most part (except for the teething). She weighs 7 pounds and is a cutie pattootie.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Goretex Boots

Last Christmas Motorcycle Man & Scooterpie Jr bought me ladies Triumph Tritex waterproof boots. They worked like a charm for 8 months and were very comfortable. The boots also came with a great 1 year warranty & assurance from the local dealer that they stand behind their product. Late August I noticed that they where coming apart on the instep. Off I went to the dealer and he was awesome. He didn't have my boot size in stock unfortunately and had to order them. I was able to keep the original boots until they came in so I wasn't sacrificing foot safety.

There was a little wrinkle in the warranty process, Triumph stopped making my boots. So now a conundrum what's next? The dealer went above and beyond to make me happy and I actually ended up with a better quality GoreTex boot at no extra charge other than the difference in the tax.

The boot is a GoreTex TCX Lily. They fit like a glove and are extremely comfortable. The reviews I have read have all been very positive. They are rated as waterproof, so here's hoping!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stupid things I see car driver's do when I am riding my bike to work


Stupid things I have seen when riding my bike to work:
1) Dude balancing his cellphone at the top of his steering wheel playing a  video game & not paying attention to the road - UGH - ironically he was playing a car racing video game instead of driving his  real car.  (yesterday)
2) Woman with a bowl of cereal & spoon eating breakfast. (today)
3) Dude shaving.
4) Woman applying make-up.
5) Person reading a book balanced on their steering wheel.
6) People texting.
7) People talking on their cell phones.
8) Drinking your morning bevie or stuffing food in their mouth.
9) Playing with the GPS.
10) Making erratic lane changes across three lanes of traffic on a 1 way road without shoulder checking - Ummm Hello?!


Being a motorcyclist I am acutely aware of my surroundings and who is sharing the road space beside me, in front of me and behind me.  Every motorcyclists I have talked to has a story of some of the dumbest/scariest things they have witnessed on the road by someone not paying attention while driving a car.  Some of these incidents are funny, but some are downright scary because it usually means the motorcyclist has had to take some sort of evasive action because of someone else's lack of judgement.  Tragedy results from incidents such as people chatting on their cell phones because they drift into your lane and don't see you.   I  don't know about you, but I get pretty nervous sometimes when I see the 4,000 pounds of rolling death coming my way and the driver isn't paying attention.

I am not saying all car drivers are bad, on the contrary I see quite a few great drivers who are courteous,  and completely engaged in the act of driving. 
Driving a motorized vehicle is one of the most complex things anyone can do, it requires the driver to process information quickly, make decisions based on that information and act appropriately.  Where things go wrong is when you add some sort of distraction into the mix - i.e. a  handheld cell phone or eating and then your brain does not process critical information that helps you make good driving decisions.

Your car is NOT your office, your kitchen, your bedroom, your livingroom or your bathroom- it is for transportation - DRIVING attentively. The life of most motorcyclists would be less complicated if people just concentrated on driving.

Think about this the next time you get behind the wheel, your inattentiveness could result in someone NOT going home to their loved ones because you just had to take that call or text or slug back that last bit of coffee, or one of the many other things you are doing while driving that takes away your focus from the road and your ability to not make critical driving decisions. 


It is illegal in the Province of BC to use handheld devices  while operating a vehicle.

Feel free to add what you have seen.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Earthquakes, tsunamis - oh my

Most people have already heard that there was a 7.1 earthquake last night and a widespread tsunami warning/advisory. I have to question our provincial and municipal authorities because in Victoria there doesn't seem to be a warning system in place. I only found out we were under tsunami advisory after my dad who lived 120 kilometres away FaceTimed me & asked me if we were off to higher ground. There was no emergency broadcast over the tv, nothing, zilch, zip. Kind of disquieting if you ask me. Makes me wonder why we don't have any sirens? We live in an active tectonic area and a tsunami is a very real possibility. I turned to the twittersphere for info and got more info, but what happens if all the wifi and cellular is knocked out? I also listened to Cfax & they had lots of info which they are always reliable and dependable in times of crisis. I think though in the end the different levels of government need to do better to make everyone aware and I think a siren system would be something worthy to think about.

Today it was business as usual, but you always have that niggling fear after what happened last night. We actually enjoyed the waterfront today taking our puppy doggis for a walk, it was pretty crowded on the walkway, I guess everyone was tsunami watching.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moto license anniversary 1 year!

Challenging the cone course on my bike

Well the first anniversay of getting my motorcycle license was October 19th.  I thought about getting out for a ride on Scarlet, but the weather was iffy, and to be honest the new puppy has been wearing me out so much, that riding has been the furthest thing from my mind because I am just a bit too tired to be out there safely riding.  Good choice in my estimation.

It has been an amazing year of firsts and challenges.  I love riding and the empowerment that it gives me and plain old pure joy.  I have met so many wonderful people and been on some amazing rides, both organized with large groups and with my dear friends the Moto Mama's. 

My greatest hope for next year is to get out on my bike and log some distance and do a few trips, I have a passport in my pocket and am ready to go! 

Who knows where my two wheels will lead me?!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cowichan Bay Moto Date Part 2

 Back in the early summer hubby and I escaped on a moto date to Cowichan Bay.  It is a quaint little village on the Island.  We used to live there on our floathome and regularly ate at the Rock Cod Cafe, the food is delicious and filling.  

The Bay is usually packed in the summer and finding parking is an onerous task.  We wandered through the village and I was happily snapping pictures to share.  Their is an eclectic group of little shops and usually something for everyone.  The village is picturesque and quite charming.  If you are on the Island it really is a great place to stop and have a wander. 









 Who could resist taking a picture of  stiletto with flowers in it.