Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa on a sexy black sleigh!

This is the time of year when I get to play Santa. I hope nobody minds that the sleigh is Raven Black instead of red and a little sleeker than the original.

This is our city's Christmas Tree. It's more impressive at night, obviously. I figured that if I were invoking the name of Santa a Christmas tree should somehow be involved.

Our company has traditionally given out boxes of smoked salmon and desk calendars this time of year. Since I've been on board the pleasure of making these deliveries has become mine. Some of the stuff that goes East is delegated to my guys. I like to do the Willamette Valley distributor runs myself. This is probably the only time of year that they're truly happy to see me with no other agenda in mind!

Being a motorcyclist, and an advocate for using a bike as much as possible, I am doing these deliveries on Elvira. Thank goodness for the Givi trunk as Elvira's saddlebags are a bit smaller than Sophie's were. I'm handing out the salmon and cards for now. I'll worry about the desk calendars later.

All these photos were taken with the G11, by the way. I still think I get better photos with the Nikon SLR, but that could be due to the fact that I'm still learning how to use the Canon effectively. I'm really appreciating the smaller size and tilt screen on the G11. You can see my self portrait in the reflection of the box up on edge. I got partway through deliveries and realized I had forgotten to take a picture of the salmon in the trunk. See how bad it's gotten? It's not real unless I take a photo of it!

It certainly doesn't feel like a Santa run right now. It's a lot more like running a river. Not to say that it's been wet, or anything. However, when you see these in front of your windscreen, you know it's not dry and sunny.

I now have my own lake in the side yard. Perhaps I should stock it with small trout and do a little flyfishing. No motorboats; paddle rafts only.

Despite the rain, I set sail. I mean, started the ride. Since I don't have a candy ass, I didn't figure I had to worry about melting.

Just for documentation, and not as any sort of great art work, I snapped a photo at a couple of places.

In between stops I headed for Lancaster Mall to do a bit of quick shopping. I took the spot where Cass usually parks. He works for Best Buy and his red KLR is his year round choice of transportation.

This is a photo from 2008. It must have actually been warm when this picture was taken. Here's what it looked like yesterday.

As is usual from here on out until Spring, Elvira is a lone bike amongst a sea of cars.

Finding myself with the time to do so, I took a back way home. Ok, so I planned it that way. It all washes out in the end. On Wednesday my work day was 16 hours. I mixed some invigorating rural riding with some contemplative photo taking. Once in a while I would pull over and ask myself what Steve Williams would do. I tried to put myself in a Vespa state of mind. It only made me hungry for pasta and sausage marinara sauce. I did get some really good photos, though. I'm saving those for shorter posts by themselves.

At one point I looked to my left and thought I was seeing my reflection in my sideview mirror. Then I realized that this guy wasn't wearing a helmet and so it probably wasn't me.

I'm not sure how this one horse got so special as to get a rain coat, but whatever. It's interesting that this horse is all by itself, separate from the rest. Equine class distinctions? Extra body odor from sweating under that blanket? Attitude issues? Excessive flatulence? I wasn't sure, but I was glad Stacy wasn't here with her peanut lighter! Just in case. ( tongue firmly in cheek, girl! )

Farther down the road I tried to sneak up on a Red-tailed hawk without a lot of luck. The G11 doesn't zoom like the Nikon with the big lense does. I would take a photo then move the bike closer. I kept this up for a bit but the hawk wasn't feeling too sociable. The picture of the bird isn't so hot, especially being blurred by the drizzle, but I thought it was interesting to see which sign it was perched on.

I'm not sure exactly what a butterfly farm is and who they sell the crop to. I guess it's something to put on my list.

I can so see myself making a living by riding around on a bike, taking photos, and writing. There is an endless variety of fascinating things out there. The bike was getting hot from idling beside the road so I decided to go back to the spirited riding thing. Purely in the interest of cooling the bike, mind you. So I was zooming along and then this shape started to show up through the rain of Elvira's windshield.

Oh, oh! I am so busted. Looking at the officer's face I figured I was really going to get it. Especially since I was so flagrant he couldn't let me go. Which meant he would have to come out in the rain.

I'm noticing, however, that there's something not quite right with this picture. I lifted my eyes to look over the windshield.

Things were becoming clearer, now. Then I turned off the key and the electric windshield lowered to its resting state.

For a brief moment I thought I was in one of those movies like "Smoky and the Bandit". Where they have these big chase scenes with a hundred cop cars, most of which suffer some calamity. Somewhere along the line somebody ends up driving just the front half of a car for a bit. Shaking my head to clear the surreal fog, I realized what was up.

Whew! That was close. This was actually the plywood mockup that this guy puts out. The shed is in just the right spot so that all you can see when approaching from the South is the front of the car sticking out from the bushes. The homeowner has a couple of different "cars" that he rotates through. This has been going on for years. All the locals are aware of the situation. The only ones that should be fooled by now are those new to the area.

Hmmm, if I were a Benton County deputy, however, this might have possibilities. What if one day the "decoy" was actually real?

Yesterday was so much fun I can't wait to do it again. Today I'm making appointments for the Eugene area on Monday and the Portland area on Tuesday. Merry Christmas to me!

Miles and smiles,



Charlie6 said...


we've got one of those plywood mockups of a sheriff's patrol car in one of the mountain towns here....I forget which, now I have to go look....

ya know, with a sidecar, you could carry more of those year end presents to your customers! ; )

Stacy said...

You bring the peanuts and I'll bring the lighter!

If I had been around those critters, it would have been "4th of July in December" instead of Christmas in July!

Anonymous said...

This is good, the camera(s) are being utilized. Ironically the G11 is one of the better point and shoot cameras on the market. And please note your D40 technology
speaking, isn't. For me, for you and others.
The G 11 has superseded the D40 in available options, in one way or the other. And as with motorcycles or any technology, things change.

The G-1l as an all in one camera is the current in a long line of evolving hardware. Keep in mind the D40, and yes the G11 as well will be superseded when the next model
appears. Sort of like motorcycles!

Have fun.

bluekat said...

Great ride report & pics :)

See, what's going to happen is you're gonna start carrying both cameras. One for the quick pic, one for the artsy, thoughtful stuff. You know you will. I myself have not heeded the two-camera call...yet.

...And don't forget the tripod!
Merry Christmas

Orin said...

I dunno, the cutout cop car looks more like a Buick Park Avenue than a Crown Vic. And "Highway Patrol"? That'd be California. Dude, you really aren't fooling anyone...

Scootin' Old Skool

irondad said...


OK, you got me there. I admit that there are times when I just might consider the benefits of a sidecar. You are becoming insidious, you know. By all three definitions!


We have got to go ride together. Just make sure we both have bail money.


I am really coming to appreciate the G11. The D40 works better for me in some cases because of the interchangeable lenses. Admittedly the D40 is entry level. First I figure to get good, then I'll get the D5000 or whatever is available at the time.

Take care,


irondad said...


I often carry both cameras. You caught me. Although I find that for quick trips on the bike or stops at the mall or something, I slip the G11 into my pocket.

The first rule of taking photos is to have a camera. At least that's what I was told. So much easier to do with the G11.

Is there a small tripod I can hang from a string around my neck? :)


That was my thought. Although, from a distance......

Take care,


Anonymous said...

Hahahaa @ smokey and the bandit, one of my favourite movies!!
Here they park police cars at garages overnight, giving the impression of police presence too :)