Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Answers for Marc and Other Thoughts

Hello, Marc! I have no idea who you are because your Blogger profile is empty, but you seem to be here every day and usually with a good word to add. I figure you're here somewhere in the northeast because you know a good Sheetz brew when you taste one. By the way, I can't recommend anything fancier than their usual java blends. Though I wrote about that fancy chocolate and coffee drink I had at that coffee chain which will be henceforth unmentionable here, I don't typically drink the stuff. Anyway, you asked a few questions yesterday which are easier to answer here than in that little comment box.

How are you taking photographs of yourself in different locations? Tripod? Help of a passer-by?

I carry a light but full sized tripod on the back of the scooter, and inside the trunk area under the seat I have one of those short jointed and bendable tripods. When I can't just perch the camera somewhere on a nearby bench or in a forked branch of a tree I'll resort to using one of the 'pods. I rarely want to bother a passer-by though I did ask a Sheetz driver to shoot a picture of me on the scooter beside his tanker. I've had this picture in the blog directory forever but hadn't thought of a good reason to post it before. This is the one the driver took for me with as big a smile as I was wearing myself.

What camera & computer are you using?

As for the camera, it depends on the day. There are three Fuji digital cameras in my main photo arsenal. I call them Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear because when I ask one of the girls to grab one for me they're easy to specify that way. Baby Bear, the smallest, I carry on my hip at all times and use it to shoot all kinds of things spontaneously. I've been carrying a camera for years - long before my first scooter ride. If I'm going out somewhere with the intention of taking certain photos I'll usually carry the mid-sized Mama Bear with me. Papa Bear, the largest and heaviest with an external flash unit, is generally reserved for special occasions.

I've never used state of the art computers. My workhorses are humble PC clones with more freeware on them than commercial software. I switch between Windows 98 and XP because each has features that I like over the other.

Irondad (Dan) over at Musings of an Intrepid Commuter postscripted a comment on yesterday's post with this puzzling addition: "By the way, now that you're famous I'll have to come hang out here more!"

This past weekend one of the local papers ran a story about the surge in popularity of scooters and not only did they interview me for the article, but they quoted me throughout as if I were some kind of authority on the subject. It was, to say the least, flattering, but Dan's from Oregon and not likely to have read the local rag so I can't help but wonder (with a shudder) what else I might have done to be called "famous."

I have to say that I'm very impressed in general at the bond that seems to exist here in the cycle related parts of the 'net. I've participated in forums online for many years and no matter what the topic there were always those folks whose negativity either cast a shroud of gloom over the board, or worse made you wonder into which mental health pathology category they would best fit. I've yet to find anybody like that in the motorcycle and scooter forums, websites, and blogs. And isn't it ironic that a lot of persons would expect riders to be the ones on the fringe of being sociable and friendly? Another fine prejudice shattered!

I'm a heavy drinker - of soft drinks and when I'm riding I like to have a generous supply of soda (pop) with me. In keeping with my habit of praising products and businesses which serve me well (in spite of my intense hatred of commercial advertising) I have to mention the Bubba Keg which accompanies me on most of my longer rides. At 52 oz. it holds a plentiful portion of ice cold soda and it keeps it cold for hours even in the hot sun. It fits perfectly into the small backpack which hooks onto the built in ring on the scooter so that a huge gulp is never more than an arm's reach away.

If the keg doesn't look all that big there, take a look at it here!

Which brings me to another shameless plug for Sheetz. I can fill the Bubba Keg there for ninety-five cents, and after getting a punch with each purchase on my Sheetz soda card, after five sodas my next one is free - even in the big keg! It works for coffee too. A full keg (Over a pot's worth!) is only around $1.50, and after five the next one is free.

I'll be leaving town tomorrow and will be back sometime late on Monday. I have a few blog entries set to post automatically in the next four days and will work on a few more to see if I can have one for every day that I'll be gone. It's a car trip out to Western Pennsylvania and I'd love to take the scooter but I don't think I could focus on the ride for over four hours or put up with the stress of sharing the road with 18 wheelers and some old people who like to ride the bumper of the vehicle in front of them. Taking back roads isn't an option because a four hour ride is long enough. Besides, somehow I just don't think I could trust the scooter to run at near max speed for four hours straight without something going wrong. It looks fragile next to a motorcycle which seems more built for the long haul. These now famous adventurers rode a pair of Piaggio scooters coast to coast so maybe I'm selling the scooter a little short, but if mine's a 250 and they make a 500cc as well, doesn't it stand to reason that the bigger one's more built for longer distance travel?

1 comment:

Marc said...

Sorry about the empty Blogger profile. I didn't even realize they had profiles on here to fill out... I originally just signed on using my Gmail account. I just added a few quick facts -- I'll go back and add more details later.

Thank you for the compliment about the "good word to add". Your blog is one that I follow most regularly, along with Scooting with Dru ( and I read Scootin' Fool occasionally ( On the technical side, I follow 2strokebuzz ( and The Scooter Scoop (

Having a Google Homepage with RSS feeds is definitely the way to go.

I found your blog via your postings on, by the way. It's a nice forum even though I (and you apparently) have no plans to buy a Honda Met. I'm surprised you don't participate in Modern Vespa, by the way (

You are the only blogger I know of that carries a tripod, but it's a great way to be in the photo yourself...

Sorry, but I have no love lost for Windows 98. As a hard-core user, I remember needing to format and reinstall every 6 months as the OS would "unravel" leading to BSODs at least 3 times per day. Windows 2000 was more reliable, but not very pretty. Windows XP was the first Windows OS in my opinon that was ready for the masses and could be deamed reliable. I've moved on to a laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit and I just built a tower (my main computer) running the 64-bit version on Vista Home Premium. The addition of SP1 makes them rock solid.

Do you have a link to the article where they interviewed you? It's quite possible that the AP syndicated the article and that's why Irondad Dan mentioned your fame.

Holy cow, man! That's a lot of soda. I hope you are drinking the decaffeinated stuff once in a while. I'd be vibrating from the caffeine (and looking for a pitstop all the time).