Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Favorite Five (ahem)*

Blogger buddy, Roger in New Zealand (All Things Rogey) came up with a super idea of each person choosing their favorite five pictures of the year. There were only a few 'rules' and I managed to break them all, including the deadline. Here are my Fav Five.
*Actually since I'm late getting this done, I'm going to bend the rules slightly and call mine the "Elite Eight". Bending the rules just a wee bit further, number 7 was taken (on my camera) by a tour guide.
Here they are:
My annual Fathers, Sons, & Grandsons ride. One of my favorite rides every year!
On our way the a Vulcan Rally held this year in Torrey, Utah. This is the Mormon Temple in Manti Utah.

Met a buddy, Utah Motorcyclist, in New Mexico and rode home via the Devils tail highway in Arizona, and then on part of Route 66 If you can't tell this picture was taken in Winslow Arizona (using my timer...). Seeing this corner was on my bucket list...that's one down! :)

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

The Goldon Ratio monument in Green River, Utah.

Eureka, Utah.

Good times with good friends. This seven day ride took us over the Chief Joseph hwy in Wyoming, Bear Tooth Pass in Montana, and upper and lower Yellowstone NP. And yes, this picture was taken on my camera, but by the tour guide that took us through this building.

Yes I rode it, and a couple more like it until the snow was too deep to continue. Southern Utah.

There you go, hope you enjoyed them! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In the winter you have to take what you can get!

Todays weather report says it will be around 35 degrees at noon....time to stir the oil and fluff up the battery.

I announce my intentions on a MC forum a few days before the ride - what time I'll leave from where, that type of thing. There was some interest... here is a picture of all the bikes at the start of the ride.
And yes, it WAS a gloomy day. All the bikes lined up in front of the Saltair concert venue.
Brrrrrrr! These ducks were laughing at me for riding on such a cold day.....

My ride will take me past the Great Salt Lake to the small town of Stockton. I'd planned on eating at the Stockton Miners Cafe, but when I arrived I saw they were closed (Sunday), no problem I just went down the road five more miles to Penny's Cafe.

Penny's is located on lonely hwy 36 about halfway between the towns of Stockton (pop 616), and Rush Valley (pop 453). Ten miles separate those two towns and Penny's is right in the middle. The little cafe is able to survive by having a very personable staff and serving excellent food. Today I had the chicken fried steak (breakfast version) and it was delicious, hot, and HUGE. I ate more than I should have and still left a bunch on my plate.

Christmas decor outside of Penny's

I couldn't get the bike any closer to the building due to the ice on the parking lot.

The pennies at Penny's Cafe. There are 12,002 pennies on this counter.


I wish I had looked at the name of the young gal that helped me, she is a sweetheart! Thanks Penny's for a great meal.

After eating I get back on the bike for the ride home. The temperature had cooled quite a bit, so it was a straight shot home. Only about 100 miles, but.....in the winter you have to take what you can get!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The gift.

(The following was written by my favorite daughter, Kaybi).

In the spirit of gift giving, Dad and I wanted to share a story. Neither Dad nor I can ever talk about this story and not laugh.

A year and a half ago I was living in Fort Rucker, Alabama. My husband was going to school down there and my kiddos and I tagged along for the ride. For that very reason I was a regular on Amazon.com to send Birthday gifts to the fam back home. Dad’s birthday was coming up and I was on the hunt for the perfect gift. Because shipping on a 2009 Yamaha FJR1300 in black cherry was a smidge out of my price range I decided to find something else. Besides, Dad was pretty happy with his strom.

I was at my friends house and saw the funniest looking whisk I’d ever seen. Instead of the metal strands wrapping around and back into the handle they were straight with little balls on the ends. I asked her what it was for. She said it was the absolute best for making gravy. SOLD!

My Dad likes gravy. When I say my Dad likes gravy, it's not a casual thing. It's not that he merely enjoys gravy with his turkey on Thanksgiving or that an occasional side of mashed potatoes and gravy are served at Sunday dinner. Gravy is a staple in my parents’ home. It's practically a food group. When Dad, Mom, and two of my brothers came to visit in Alabama, one evening I had prepared Rosemary-Dijon pork chops with chopped red potatoes, home made rolls and a salad for dinner. I was proud of my meal. Dad sat down, looked around and asked, “where's the gravy?”

So, when I spotted the whisk at my friend’s house that was supposed to make gravy even better, I knew it was the perfect gift for my Dad. I looked and looked online. I checked all my favorite kitchen supply stores. Nothing. I couldn't find the stupid thing anywhere! Plus, what was I supposed to Google, ball whisk? Go ahead and give that a try and tell me what pops up. I finally found it on Amazon. Sweet! I ordered that bad boy and had it sent right away. I made sure to send it as a gift so Dad would get a little birthday message with his package. I was sure Amazon would print my message on a card and throw it in the box. That's what they do with flowers, so I figured it'd be the same thing.

I waited and waited for that package to get to Dad. I checked the package tracking number every day and sometimes twice a day. I was so excited for Dad to get this gift. I just knew that he'd rip it open and run straight to the kitchen to make some toast and gravy. After he finished his meal I knew he'd call and tell me what a life changing experience it had been and that it was the best gift he'd ever received.

The day finally came! I tracked the package, got confirmation that it had been signed for and waited because I just knew my Dad was about to call.

My phone was silent.

10 minutes.

20 minutes.

30 minutes.

Ok, ok, he just hasn't finished his toast and gravy yet.

45 minutes.

Alright, he's had plenty of time to cook and finish his meal, where was my phone call?!!

Maybe he was busy and hadn't had time to use the whisk yet so I decided to call him and see what he thought. I was SO excited! I called and anxiously waited for him to answer. Dad answered, "Hello?" "Hi Daddy!" I said. "Hi" Dad said flatly. "Did you get my gift?" I asked. "Yes" he replied again flatly. I was beginning to sense some irritation in his tone. What the heck? It took me days to find this gift. The gift of all gifts. The one that I knew he was sure to love.

Well, apparently he had ordered himself a birthday gift from Amazon right about the same time I did. He too had been watching and waiting. When the delivery truck pulled up to deliver the package Dad was equally as excited for what he had ordered. It was a Cobra FI2000 which is a digital fuel processor that he spent approximately $150 on.

You can imagine his shock and subsequent irritation when he ripped open the much anticipated package expecting to find his new digital fuel processor and instead found a funny looking whisk.

What on earth had Amazon sent him? Not only had they sent him the wrong item, they had charged him about $150 for the dumb thing! He checked that the package was indeed his package. He looked for a packing slip. There wasn’t one. Remember I selected gift so of course they wouldn't send one.

Dad was ticked! He went to his office and started looking for a phone number for Amazon. Someone was going to hear about this and it was going to be fixed today! Again, no packing slip to snag a number from. He looked the box over trying to find a number. He started getting even madder because not only had they sent the wrong item and charged him for it but they made it impossible for him to report it. Was this someone's idea of a joke? Because it wasn't funny!

About that time my Mom came home. Dad showed her what came and she was equally irritated. Dad told Mom exactly what he was going to say once he got a hold of someone. It wasn’t going to be pretty. Mom started helping Dad look for a number. She grabbed her glasses and picked up the box. After a few minutes she started to laugh. Mom handed some glasses to Dad and showed him the bottom corner of the shipping label. Dad chuckled.

In the bottom corner of the shipping label in tiny font it said, "Happy Birthday Dad. I love you!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Festival of Trees.

Hey Ladies and Gents, I'm Tombstones daughter, Kaybi. I had the opportunity to go to the Festival of Trees today with my rug rats, my Mother and Sister in law and her kids. After my kids cried through another year of pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause we started walking up and down the many many rows of Christmas trees. We found Dad's tree and I couldn't find my phone fast enough when I saw the sold sign. I had to tell my Dad the good news right then!

The Festival of Trees is such an amazing fundraiser. More than $29.3 million has been raised since 1973. Of that, $1.9 million was raised in 2010 with 95,000 people attending the week long festival. All of the funds raised go to the Primary Children's Hospital.

I'm so proud of my Dad for participating in such a wonderful fundraiser. I'm proud of him for his creative idea and seeing it through till it was finished. I'm proud of my Mom for supporting him through all of this work. A big thank you to all those who helped him along his way and donated items for the tree.

One last thing, the company who bought the tree was Struck Axiom. Dad and I were curious so we looked them up and it all made sense. They are a creative company that thinks outside the box. An especially big thank you to them!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Festival of Trees

As I blogged awhile back, we have a "Festival of Trees" every year in our valley. This is a fundraiser for the Primary Childrens Hospital. The PCH is considered one of the top childrens hospitals in the nation.

At the Festival of Trees, a person decorates a tree or other Christmas decoration, and displays it at the Festival. The Festival people auction the decorations and all proceeds go the the hospital. There are many trees dedicated to the memory of a loved one, or some are themed around an important event of a person's life. There are many unique and beautiful trees at this event. My tree is, welllll.....unique.

No such cherished memory for me, I simply like motorcycles so that's my theme.

Gathering some of the items needed for the tree.

I would cut these tires to be the 'branches' of the tree.

The 'trunk' is three abs pipes with some expando insulation between the two small pipes and the largest one. I hoped this would give the strength needed to hold up the tire/branches.
Three neighborhood cuties come over to offer some advice.

Finally the decoration day is here. On November 28, all trees must be put up before 7:00 pm. The doors open at 7am. We got to the South Town Expo center just after 7 Sunrise found us, (wife Beverly, son Fenton, and I) toting our supplies into the building.
I can't believe how much sssch...tuf we took.

Starting to put together the tree.

It's going together... I can't tell you how hard it was to put this Benelli on the tree. I wanted it for myself!

A salute to our riding brothers and sisters 'down under'......(get it? down under the tree...)

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this project!

And.....here it is my unique tree! We received numerous compliments and positive remarks about the tree and almost all of them were said with a straight face.........

Some more pics

It was a good experience, The huge Expo center is filled with beautiful trees, ginger bread houses, quilts, etc, etc. But more importantly it is filled with a giving spirit, and the true meaning of Christmas. This might be the most Christmasy Christmas I've ever had, but, there is no sense going overboard. I'm done. At least until next years Festival of Trees!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seven bikes in seven days!

Somebody, one of my blogging buddies (Sonja maybe?), started the "seven day challenge" - outfit your stable of bikes by choosing a bike for each day of the week; a fantasy motorcycle collection. Money is no object....sounds like fun, lets play! You might notice that I prefer Adventure Touring machines.

For a nice relaxed Sunday ride what could be better than a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Electra Deluxe? The Bullet inspires images of jacket, tie, and beret clad riders off on a Sunday ride out to the country side, stopping at a green meadow for a picnic and tea.
Monday's ride; start the work day week off right on a sassy Triumph Scrambler.

Tuesday take a ride on a sexy looking, very sexy sounding Benelli Tre - K. The Benelli has a triple, if you search you tube, "Benelli TreK test" you will hear and see what I mean......

Wednesday, another beautiful Italian with a LoveLy set of twins, the Multistrada 1200 S

Wednesday yet another sweet Italian is in store for the spoiled rider. Can you see the pattern here? The Moto Guzzi Norge, a good looking bike, with a sweet sounding V but the Goose has the engine mounted cross-ways with its jugs sticking out on each side.
Friday has to be the V-Strom, a bike that is actually in my garage. Since I've owned two Suzuki V-Stroms, and I absolutely love the Strom I would be remiss to not include it in my stable. The V-TWIN engine, and the comfortable ride make this bike a winner! I've put a combined 98,000 miles on the stroms and have no real complaints. It will be a sad day when this bike leaves me...........

Saturday is for the Triumph Speedmaster. I have no idea if I would enjoy riding this bike, I've never even touched one, but I've always loved the drop dead sexy look of the Trumpet Speedmaster.

There you have it, one thumper, one triple and 5 twins. Sounds like party time in Tombstone's garage!

Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Burger Run - October 2011

What's a burger run? Mike, aka Vegashotwheeler (and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada) me (West Valley City, Utah) and any friends who want to join us, meet at Hoovers Grill (Marysvale, Utah) for a burger and BS session. We've been doing this for quite a while now; a burger run combines three of our favorite things; a nice ride, a nice burger, and a nice visit with good people.

Mike suggested October 8th for the last burger run of 2011. He and I had been trying to line up our schedules for some time and finally hit a day we were both free. We knew we might have some weather problems, but pushed forward anyway. Sure enough it was a rainy day...at least in Utah, in Vegas it was 73 and sunny!

The Vegas guys have to start on the ride at 5:30am. I can start around 9:00 and make it in time. Adrian from Layton is coming on this ride, he and I meet at a gas station near Lehi and hit the road.

We saw these near the Big Rock Candy Mountain. I'm not really a railroad train guy, I never had a train set or railroad collection, but I have to say I do enjoy seeing a well built caboose! I'm endlessly facinated by the caboose, and can spend a lot of time checking out the different sizes and shapes, so it was fun to see this place.

This project is still under construction. I don't know who is doing it, what their plan is or how it will look when finished, butt I'll be checking it out next time I'm in the area! I didn't get any closer or take a lot of pictures as some people get a little edgy when you spend too much time admiring their caboose.

A few miles down the road is our goal, Hoovers grill.

Adrian and I get here first so we patiently wait for the others, we were only about half way through our burgers when the Vegas guys arrived....

My lunch, a 'Shroom-Bacon burger with the house fries. It's not on the menu, you have to ask for it.

The bike line up.

Meet Mike (left) and Jerry (black shirt). They may look like a couple of hairy old bikers, but they are actually two of Santa's elves...yes you read that right! Mike and Jerry carried a bunch of Hotwheel motorcycles on this burger run and gave them to me for my "Festival of Trees" tree. You can see the motorcycles in the last picture. What a couple of Steller guys!

Thanks Mike, Jerry and Adrian for donating items for the tree! And thanks for another great burger run.