Sunday, July 11, 2010




When I woke up this morning I knew I was needing a different kind of day.  After the stresses of the past week or so I figured it was about time to get myself un-Jeeped for awhile & get myself re-Biked again.  Been awhile since I'd been out for a ride on the big Honda Shadow & knew if I left it any longer I was going to have to put the training wheels back on again.  So, with that thought in mind, I saddled up the bike, grabbed my leg, threw it over the seat, hit the starter, & with a few sputters & pops lurched my way out the driveway & off down the road into the beautiful rural farmlands of southwestern Ontario.

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Corn is about 5 feet high & the wheat is nearly ready to be cut.  Acres upon acres of soybeans looked healthy as I cruised through the dog days of summer stopping for a picture here & a picture there.  Had my Canon point & shoot with me because it's much easier to handle on the motorcycle.  How relaxing to feel the wind on my face again & how nice to be surrounded by the peace & tranquility only Mother Nature knows how to deliver. Nobody around for miles & miles, just me & the bike & I could feel the stresses dropping by the roadside as I thoroughly enjoyed a long slow leisurely overdue 4 hour back roads ride:))

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Early afternoon saw me home again for my 2 o'clock coffee & a short doze in my recliner.  Well, the short doze turned out to be a bit longer & I guess that's because I had got up this morning shortly before 4.  Don't know why I am an early riser but I just am.  My little nap boosted my tolerance levels so thought I'd try putting the soft top on the Jeep down.  Things went better than expected & it wasn't long before I had Checkers loaded up in the passenger seat for a short ride over to see 'Mom' at Deer Park Lodge.  I picked Checkers for the ride because she is the most relaxed one of the bunch in a vehicle.  She sat right up in the seat looking all around & I could tell she was very happy with the wind blowing in her face & through her fur.  Kelly took a few pics of us at Deer Park & then it was back home.  Just wanted to make this first ride for Checkers a short one to get her Jeepsterized in a favorable way. 

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While at Deer Park I had noticed what appeared to be a dark storm front across the lake so after dropping Checkers off at home I grabbed the camera's & headed the short 3 minute drive back over to the lake.  Sky didn't look as threatening when I got there but I was able to crack off a few pics anyway.  I love to photograph storms because the sky takes on a whole moody & foreboding personality of it's own.  The trick is to be in the right place at the right time to catch the storm.  No easy feat!!

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If Kelly had not asked Pete the Jeep owner to come over Friday night & show us how to put the soft top on our Jeep we would never have got it on in a hundred years.  Had been awhile since Pete had put a top on too but he was able to figure it out despite this top being newer than an older style he was mainly familiar with.  I found the whole procedure discouraging because with my impatience & low tolerance for mechanical things I knew tugging zippers, stretching fabric, metal clamps, pins, metal bars, & things that require a lot of grunting to fit together was not going to be user friendly for Al. 


Kelly has a preference for the soft top now but after Friday night I am definitely a supporter of the more secure & hassle free hard top.  It took Pete nearly 40 minutes to figure out the sequence of procedures to get that top on & logically troubleshoot any part of the sequence he didn't understand.  I just don't have that kind of patience anymore.  I do understand the more one does something the better they will become at it & if we only had the soft top to work with I suppose I would just simply have to come to terms with that & deal with it.  But, the hard top gives me a very logical alternative to all the added stress of having to deal with the trials & tribulations the soft top brings with it.  Now, if only I can convince the other half of the more logical solution:((   Y'know, some days my recliner is my best option.

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I particularly liked Mike's description about the American southwest in his blog today........ HOMER & LUCILLE.



And here's 24 Signs Showing You Might Be Canadian

1. You're not offended by the term "HOMO MILK".
2. You understand the phrase "Could you pass me a serviette, I just dropped my poutine, on the chesterfield."
3. You eat chocolate bars, not candy bars.
4. You drink Pop, not Soda.
5. You know that a Mickey and 24's mean, "party at the camp, eh!!!"
6. You don't care about the fuss with Cuba. It's a cheap place to go for your holidays, with good cigars.
7. You know that a pike is a type of fish, not part of a highway.
8. You drive on a highway, not a freeway.
9. You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.
10. You know that Casey and Finnegan were not part of a Celtic musical group.
11. You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
12. You brag to Americans that; Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion & Mike Myers are Canadians.
13. You know that the C.E.O. of American Airlines is a Canadian!
14. You know what a toque is.
15. You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
16. You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always pronounced "Zed".
17. Your local newspaper covers the national news on 2 pages, but requires 6 pages for hockey.
18. You know that the four seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road work.
19. You know that when it's 25 degrees outside, it's a warm day.
20. You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.
21. You know how to pronounce and spell "Saskatchewan".
22. You perk up when you hear the theme song from 'Hockey Night in Canada'.
23. You are in grade 12, not the 12th grade.
24. "Eh?" is a very important part of your vocabulary, and is more polite than, "Huh?"


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains un-awakened



AL'S SMUG MUG PHOTO GALLERY (a work in progress)

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. There is nothing more exhilarating than a ride on a bike in the country feeling the wind blowing on your face surrounded by mother nature. I can only imagine how free and at one with your surroundings you felt. I know you are glad you kept your motorcycle.
    I agree with your feelings about the soft top / hard top; sometimes it's just not worth the hassle to change the tops.
    Mike & Gerri

  2. I think day lilies are my favorite flower. In NC they are referred to as ditch lilies, because they grow wild in the ditches along the road.

    I think I would prefer the hard top anyway, but that jeep is a beauty and you and Checkers look mighty fine in it.

    I have always called pop "pop" and hate the term soda. In a lot of the Midwest US it's always referred to as pop.

    So glad you kept the bike. I've never ridden but it does seem like you could ride in the countryside and feel the stress falling away.

  3. cheers for us Canadians eh!!!..and a big Jeep wave to you and yours!!

  4. Now, aren't you glad you decided to keep the bike for at least another year? Sounds like you may need the bike as a stress-reliever every time you have to make a change to the roof on the Jeep! Checkers looked good in the shotgun seat too! Nice pic of the couple by the lake reading the paper!

  5. I like your 24 Canadian examples, like Mike & Gerri said a few of them could cover Midwestern USA'ers. Repetition will make putting up and taking that top down second hat. Just keep working at it. I am like you though, a small tree branch will scrape along that hard top, but it might poke a hole in the soft top, I would like the hard top for my off road journeys. Just a thought.By the way my only jeep was a 1942 Willy-Overland MB that I found in a nieghbors barn in Pa., with the original flathead 4 banger and a two bladed fan, that sounded like Pat Brady's Nellybelle. Top speed of 40 mph until I found a set of CJ-5 Axles and that raised it to 50. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  6. Loved you and your pooch in the new movie "Driving Miss Checkers" (or is it Mr.?) I'm with you on the storm photos..I will be the one taking pics on my way down to the basement as the tornado hits our house!!!

  7. Did we miss something? We didn't see any storm pictures. That couple sitting in their chairs didn't look stormy to me, or the sailboat either! Don't tease us like that!

  8. I like the looks of the Jeep with the top down, almost a sporty convertable. I'm sure it'll come in handy when you get back to exploring the South West and get a much better view for taking pictures. Enjoy!

  9. Wonderful pic looking through the windshield of your bike. You are creative and artistic, that's for sure!!!

  10. Love the signs you may be Canadian. I've spent a fair amount of time with some Canadian Hockey players and many of the items made me smile an remember those fellas.