May 2013 S M T W T F S « May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Category Archives: life
the life and times of nate
Naraku, the blahog, has pretty much been dead for awhile now. I finally figured out what I want to write about and keep up on. Stuff that’s Fun To Think About. The name leaves me so much wiggle room I’m virtually guaranteed to fit in no matter how many tangents I take.
As for naraku, I’m not entirely sure what to turn this domain into yet. There’s a lot of history here and a decent number of visitors still for the archives. So it’ll probably continue to “live on life support” for now at least.
since becoming an avid elevator rider (two to four 7th floor round trips a day,) I’ve noticed my habit to press the button many times. there’s something downright visceral about doing something whilst waiting for the inevitable. generally, a concious effort is required to stop from repeatedly smacking that inconsequential button.
at just over two years old, my audio companion was forcefully taken away. torn off my motorcycle-pants while traveling through Novato at 75 MPH on a three-lane portion of the 101 freeway. its last heard words were “…his appetite had just returned.” oh how I miss thee greatly. sentiments aside, it’s as if I tossed two c-notes into the wind at a packed stadium; what a bitch. as as soon as you were gone, I knew it was for good. pronounced shitdamfuckshitshitshitgone dead at 7pm 10/8/08; may ye rest in peace… hope you got squashed quickly and throughly.
taken by the news about final fantasy xiii coming to xbox 360 – I am definitely a FF fanatic – and this timely slickdeal for a black xbox 360 elite bundle ($300+tax, that’s ~$150 off) I just couldn’t resist.
bye bye free time and extraneous bike trips… hmm… hope I didn’t make a mistake! :)
whist riding my my v-strom six fiddy (’08) over the past 2k miles (that’s all of them by the by, including break in and a majority of commuter miles) I have averaged 54 mpg. my fill up habits tend not to push the envelope – as it can potentially cause fuel pump failure – the liquid gas cools the pump! this means I get between 220 and 250 miles per tank – then dump between 3.5 and 4.5 gallons of petroleum based black gold.
I’m ok with this, because even though I live in California, which has the highest gas prices in all the land by far, I still pay just ~$20 per fillup. and while it’s cheaper than public transport, I am trying my darnest to keep on the goin’-green-goal for the month of july/august and possibly beyond. now if only they’d hook me up with a bus seat suite… or at least let me drink my fucking coffee!
for about nine months now, my work-day has included commuting to Sausalito from Petaluma (and back.) I’ve done so via the Lazy American Way(tm,) that is driving only myself to and from work. most of that time, was spent listening to audiobooks in my reliable old benz and more recently, crusing the fast lane on my vstrom six-fiddy.
it’s not that bad and I’ve made the best of it by upgrading my ride. I will definitely continue to utilize the bike for commuting on nice days but I would like to move towards having more free time to do as I please – like play more video games!
so starting July 20th, for a month (and possibly forever onward, depending on how this little experiment goes,) I will be taking ye’ ol’ public transit.
the major downsides of this method are: the extra time it will take to get to and from work – estimating an extra hour per day, and the utter loss of flexiblity in my daily schedule. there are probably others; for instance, I hope the bus is clean, I don’t want to feel like I need another shower as soon as I get to work… these and the unknown(s) are what has kept me from hoppin’ on the bus thus far.
the experimental operation is: will the benefits of this option out-live the downsides? I’m going to give it four weeks to find out…
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observations / comments:
- it would be impossible for middle class mid-western family to move to CA
- biggest observed contrast: what’s up with wyoming home prices?!
- need a salary heat map to round out the comparisons!
1200 miles in, I love it. I even like the model name, DL650K8A.
Current mods: painted exhaust shield, madstad windshield bracket/mount, and oem knuckle guards.
53 average MPG on my daily 70 mile commute, 90% freeway at speeds ~70MPH. actually kind of low compared to some other peoples milage reports – reporting high 50s low 60s! I guess I like to ride hard, maybe I should’ve got a DL1000… :)
So, I’ve become pretty comfortable on my daily ~35 mile commute (each way) but there’s always new ready-to-kill-me obstacles. This mornings were *two* abscent minded cagers changing lanes and a LADDER in the middle of the freeway.
I wish I had captured a picture of that gigantic thing. It was almost fun, though, because I spotted it a couple seconds before I needed to react. thus was able to gracefully glide around the death-trap with a grin on my face and the throttle held steady.
Here’s your friendly PSA: stay aware out there, your reflexes are the first and last defense on the road.
having just passed 700 miles (it started at 1!) and getting the ehh-ok at the 600 mile service – $170, overpriced oil change much? – I’ve noticed the bike running more and more smoothly and enjoying it more as well. from shifting to the power curve everything seems less jittery.
part of this I am sure is myself improving my own skill and familarity with how my bike operates. the other part, I assume, is the break-in process progressing.
the biggest observed win is the shifting – I had some serious qualms with the jolty shifting. especially going from neutral to first while stopped (I know not the safest idea, I only go there at long lights and after there is someone stopped behind me.) the transmission would stick in neutral, I could not kick into first at all… often right when a light would turn green. because of this, I forced it once or twice before figuring out that all I needed to do is let off the clutch the slightest bit while pushing down (normal pressure) on the shifter and it would slip right into gear. also, first to second seems a bit smoother, and I find myself using the clutch with less and less tension while shifting.
as a majority of my engine break-in is complete (again, I assume,) I have been riding at higher rpm (i.e. going faster, yay!) on the freeway. cruising at ~5500 rpm in 6th feels pretty solid with a good amount of engine breaking (if/when needed) and an equally good amount of ready-torque when I need it.
only farkle have on the bike so far is a madstad windshield mount. I bought it to help with wind issues however I do not feel that they are “resolved.” I am still using the stock windshield and think that it may be just too small to provide the amount of protection and calm-wind-pocket I want on my commute. I am currently undecided which after-market windshield to purchase…
my OEM hand guards come today… can’t wait to put them on. I am also considering these stock mirror replacements – emgo mark ii mirrors – that I’ve seen a couple times and looks like a cheap and effective farkle.
I’ve always had an issue sticking to doing push ups regularly due to my bum elbow (it’s like arthritus/tennis-elbow/nerve damage but not.) it’s always been something I’d like to accomplish – that is, being able to do a shitload and reap all the benefits (superficial and otherwise.) I’ve seen firsthand how effective they are as one of my best buds has immaculate pecs and push ups are basically all he does (for exercise.)
onehundredpushups is a fitness plan of that sort.
so first “fix” the bum elbow, then invest six weeks in pushup training.
If you’re a lark, apt to wake as early as 6am, and go to sleep around 9 or 10 pm, you’re going to feel your nap need around 1 or 1:30 pm. If you’re an owl, preferring to go to bed after midnight or 1am, and to wake around 8 or 9am, your afternoon “sleep gate” will open later, closer to 2:30 or 3pm.
I am an owl. larks are weird, imo.
view the entire nap graphicy goodness at boston.com
as I work from home today, naturally still in my underwear, I’m overjoyed to not be stuck in the grind.
since purchasing my V-Strom from cyclewest, who assured me I was getting the bike on a “buddy deal,” I have received two return calls as a result of my multi-dealership inquiries back in april. the 2008 v-strom 650 abs has arrived, in great(er) numbers.
so much for getting it to me ahead of the game, jerkwads.
in believing them, I totally tossed out the negotiation card as well and paid premium. I’m not that upset about it because I love the bike, but it still ticks me off. so much so that I’m abandoning the “maintenance plan” and quite likely the “extended warranty” the dealership offered me.
I believed scarcity would drive up the cost regardless of dealership (which I suppose, may still be true…)
cest la ve~