MAN CAVE.

Back in July 2017 when I took delivery of my new Harley I was looking forward to clocking up thousands of HOG miles in the way I used to.

As fate would have it, that was not to be. Poor health and a few other issues, including the weather have kept me off the bike and I’ve only racked up 470 klms or about 292 miles. Just not good enough.

My new machine hasn’t been neglected though.

Seeing my mate’s Aladdin’s Cave made me think about creating my own Man’s Cave in which to store the Harley and the idea is finally becoming a reality.

There is a long way to go, with a wet bar , a couch, a TV, a stereo and sliding glass french doors leading to the outside with a covered patio and BBQ. Really, that’s a long, long, long way to go. Wishful thinking on my part really.

However, the FLSS fits nicely on its carpet square, adjacent to the compressor and a small cupboard containing cleaning gear and other Harley bits and pieces. I was able to fit in a book case too with a shelf reserved for Harley paraphernalia.

I was able to scrounge a coat rack too upon which I’ve hung my jackets and vests.

With the locking ring securely bolted to the floor and the space alarmed, I can securely leave the bike safely stored and out of harm’s way.

Now it’s widely acknowledged that there are many Harley detractors around the place here in The Land Down Under who crack the usual jokes about Harleys, Utes and Cattle Dogs. I don’t have a ute or a cattle dog but I do have a full set of Stanley sockets, spanners and the works stored away in their bright yellow carry case. I included it in the image so detractors will see I am prepared for any eventuality.

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my baby safely snoozing in its new home.

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HOME SWEET HOME.

Hoo roo for now

 

ALADDIN’S CAVE

For a few months now the bones have certainly been creaking and combined with a couple of other issues, I’ve been keeping well clear of my keyboard.

That’s not to say that I’ve been sitting idle. Far from it. In fact I would now qualify as a full trained furniture/carton removalist.

How so you may ask? Simple really. A mate has had to move house and asked if I could help him move and store some of his hobby gear until he resettled. Mates are mates so of course I agreed.

It was only then that I was admitted to his hobby room.

Now I already qualify for admittance to the Bower Bird Bloke(BBB) category. I can’t get rid of anything. However I’ve never seen a hobby room packed like my mate’s.

Have a look at this photo:

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FLOOR TO CEILING UNOPENED BOXES AND OTHER ASSORTED GOODIES.

After I’d recovered from my shock he took me into the shed and there were five other cardboard boxes, all stuffed with more of his model collection.

I couldn’t resist another photo:

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JUST FIVE MORE CARTONS.

Over time it all migrated to Casa Creakingbones and is yet to find a resting place. Locating a spot is proving to be a little difficult because his ‘stuff’ is increasing in volume.  He discovered that his furniture had to find a temporary hiding place too so mates being mates, Casa Creakingbones is also the temporary repository of a bedroom suite, a lounge suite, a dining room suite plus a kitchen table and chairs. Oh, and the lawnmower and all the garden tools.

Silly me, I forgot to mention his five racing bikes and assorted wheels. They actually fit in well beside my three racing bikes, spare wheels and other cycling paraphernalia.

Back in the day when I was racing there were thirteen, not a typo, bikes hanging in the garage. Only ten of them were mine, the other three belonged to SWMBO who also held a Cycling NSW Race Licence. That’s a story for another day.

Hoo roo for now.

 

 

 

KELL’S RIDE FOR DEMENTIA AWARENESS.

A few weeks back I saw a small piece in a newspaper about a youngish man called Greg Kelly( Kell) who had recently been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia known as Frontotemporal Dementia(FTD) at the relatively young age of 59.

The article went on to relate how Greg was committed to raising awareness of young onset dementia worldwide by committing to ride his Harley Davidson motorbike the length and breadth of Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Whilst having a yarn with another Ulysses Motor Cycle Club mate, the subject of Greg’s ride came up and I learned that in the latest issue of Riding On, the Ulysses Club magazine, there was a full article about Greg, his fight with dimentia and his planned ride.

Reading the article was a real eye opener and I learned that Greg intended to visit and speak at as many venues as he could and already had a number of well known sponsors.

My next surprise was contained in an email from my Harley Owners Club Chapter that Greg would be at Canberra Harley Davidson, in Canberra obviously,  on Saturday 19th August, 2017 for a b-b-q breakfast, mingle and yarn.

When SWMBO and I arrived at the dealership, quite a number of our Chapter mates were already enjoying the steaming hot sausage sandwiches. The freezing cold and icy wind didn’t interfere with the mingling mob.

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CHAPTER VOLUNTEERS MANNING THE BBQ
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SWMBO ENJOYING THE TRADITIONAL SAUSAGE SANGA

Not long after I took the above image, I recognisd Greg( also known as Kell) from a photo I’d seen in the Ulysses Club magazine. He came straight up to us, introduced himself and immediately gave SWMBO a big hug. Fortunately SWMBO had finished eating.

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GREG ALREADY KNEW THEY HAD SOMETHING IN COMMON.
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SWMBO WARMED TO GREG’S PRESENCE AND THE LOOK ON THEIR FACES SAYS IT ALL.

Greg told us a lot about his diagnosis, his prognosis in the single figures and how he intended to complete as much of his bucket list as he could with the ittle time he had left.

His positive attitude was infectious and his sense of humour as he spoke about himself was indicitave of he man he is.

Later he took centre stage and spoke about his diagnosis, how his wife, children and friends were providing enormous support and encouraged him to continue his plan to bring dementia into the light.

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GREG GIVING A SHORT, HUMOROUS  ADDRESS THAT BROUGHT A LAUGH  FROM  JOHN, THE DEALERSHIP PRINCIPAL AND THE AUDIENCE.

As Greg’s address came to a close, Cowboy, our chapter’s Assistant Director, presented Greg with a donation of $250.00 towards his campaign.

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GREG, JOHN, OUR DEALER PRINCIPAL AND COWBOY, OUR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR AT THE CHEQUE PRESENTATION.

Not long afterwards, with Greg following the ride leader, the chapter left for a run around Canberra and environs to show Greg the delights of the Nation’s Capital.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a shot of Greg aboard his Harley  but I was able to catch a shot of Paul, Greg’s mate and support vehicle driver, as he in turn photographed Greg aboard his Harley at the head of the ride.

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GREG’S BEST MATE, PAUL, GO PRO IN ACTION,  AS GREG AND THE MOB RIDE PAST.

It was an honour and a privilege to shake hands with Greg and his talk with SWMBO did wonders for her outlook on dementia.

We intend to support Greg through https://www.gofundme.com/kells-ride-for-the-future  and you can follow his progress at http://www.facebook.com/kellsride/

Hoo roo for now

 

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE AN OLD MAN WITH A MOTORCYCLE WHO WAS BORN IN JULY.

On the 4th July this year,  American Independence Day,  I celebrated my birthday over a quiet lunch in town with SWMBO and,  as you can imagine,  our conversations traversed our yesterdays and what the future offered us.

Over the last few years SWMBO and I have, with our advancing years, faced a few significant health challenges and these ups and downs had impacted heavily on SWMBO’s golf and my motorcycling .

Fortunately,  in my case,  radical robot surgery completely removed my cancer and I am now totally free of the big C.  During the same difficult time, SWMBO emerged from a series of brain scans to be greeted with the wonderful news that no nasties had been discovered.

Over my birthday lunch we decided that the past was the past and realised we had plenty to look forward to.

That was when SWMBO presented me with my birthday present,  a T-shirt  with this fantastic message emblazoned across the chest:

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I couldn’t help myself, I put it on and swanned around the restaurant like a kid with a new toy.  Some of the patrons in the place  were quite amused whilst others obviously weren’t.  I couldn’t give a hoot. I could see a whole new chapter opening for SWMBO and myself.

Now for the past three years my beloved 2014 Harley Heritage Softail Classic has hardly been out of the shed. My new T-shirt convinced me that had to change.

Accordingly SWMBO and I prowled motorcycle dealers, kicked a lot of tyres and became more convinced than ever that I’m a rusted on Harley Davidson rider.

We visited a couple of Harley dealers within a 200 klm radius of home and a few weeks back as we entered one dealership,  SWMBO’s eyes lit up and she indicated an Olive Gold softail that had caught her eye.

Sure enough, it fitted me like a glove, was a little lighter than my Heritage and most importantly, SWMBO told me I looked good on it. Plus I liked the colour and loved the logo.

For the past twenty five years I’ve always dealt with the same Harley dealer and with one phone call, our deal was done.

A week ago today, my brand new 2017 Harley Davidson softail  FLSS was was delivered  to our door. What a ripper of a motorcycle.

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MY NEW 2017 HARLEY DAVIDSON FLSS
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WOW FACTOR – 10/10
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WHAT A PAINT JOB

Now, am I a happy little vegemite?  Am I ever! The bike’s colour is Olive Gold Denim.  I understand it’s a little complicated to maintain but it’s  well worth any extra effort.

I was sorry to see my Heritage Softail taken away, it was my 5th black Heritage and I was really attached to that model Harley but, as my new T-shirt says,  ‘never underestimate an old man with a motorcycle who was born in July.’

Just for the record though, one last image of my beloved 2014 Heritage Softail Classic. I hope it goes to a good home.heritage-with-a-bit-more-bling_0603_0002-copy

Hoo roo for now

PS. Don’t ask me what it’s like to ride. Everyone knows that you don’t take your Harley out when the weather is crook. Therefore it is still standing, unridden, in the exact spot where the scarcely ridden Heritage stood.

 

 

 

 

 

ALWAYS REMEMBER WHERE, OUTSIDE YOU HIDE THE SPARE KEY TO YOUR HOUSE.

As a back up for opening our locked house, SWMBO and I buried a spare key to our back door to ensure we always had access no matter what. As a precaution we cleverly marked the spot so we could always locate the keep in quick time.

Last Thursday evening SWMBO called me outside to view a magnificent dying sunset.

The sunset was magnificent, my camera was urgently needed but it was not to be.

Unknown to both of us, the door we had used was now locked.  Did SWMBO have a key? No.  Did Have a key? No.

Not to worry said SWMBO, the front door will be OK. No so, locked and dead latched.

Last resort, back door. Again, no luck. Locked tight.

Things were looking grim, darkness was approaching fast and the temperature was dropping towards zero with similar speed.

It was my turn to say, ‘not to worry,’ and I added,’ we’ll use the spare key.’

A problem immediately became apparent. Neither of us could remember where, almost 18 years previously, we had buried the bloody thing.

As the light faded and our search was proving fruitless we decided a broken window was the answer.

Fortunately the back door has the smallest window in the house and it’s the last door we dead latch before bed time.

Next problem, how to break the glass. Where were the tools or implements I could use. All secured in the shed which was locked and dead latched of course.

A timber splitting wedge tucked away in the firewood came to the rescue and I attacked the pane of glass with gusto. No matter how I slammed the wedge against the glass it just bounced off. Then I remembered, we had specified toughened glass in every window.

As a last resort I took ten paces back and hurled the wedge with all my strength against the glass pane and low and behold, it smashed the glass. Access enabled.

I gingerly reached through the hole and was able to unlatch the door. SWMBO entered first and handed me some shoes as I’m habitually barefooted.

The wedge had flown straight through the glass, coming to rest on the  floor just before it would have penetrated an inside wall. As for the shattered glass, it was everywhere inside, big bits, little bits and minute bits.

As we were able to securely shut another door to close off mess we did so and popped down  to our favourite restaurant for dinner, leaving the mess for the morrow.

My little steel wedge finally did a great job, have a look:

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ONE BROKEN TOUGHENED PANE OF GLASS.
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MY HEAVY WEIGHT RESCUE WEDGE.
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WAITING FOR THE GLAZIER.

This whole exercise was a real education:-

1   Always wear shoes when out in the yard.

2   Never go outside without my camera.

3   Always take a spare key when outside.,

4   Never rely on my memory for buried keys.

5   Don’t rely on a buried key, leave a key with a trusted neighbour( Now implemented).

6   ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LEAVE THE BACK DOOR UNLOCKED WHEN OUT IN THE YARD.

Hoo roo for now.

 

THE BEAUTY OF THE COMMON THISTLE.

The other day Ed Knepley in his terrific blog ‘Photography Improvement’ showed a photo from his collection of what he described as ‘The Common Thistle.’

Here in The Land Down Under their common name is ‘Scotch Thistle’  because  they were introduced here by early settlers who hailed from Scotland.

Like many Aussies I’ve Scottish ancestry and the Scotch Thistle has a special place in my heart, or should I say, on my right leg.

That’s right I proudly display a tattoo on my calf of a Scotch Thistle SWMBO found growing wild near our place about twenty years ago. She picked it of course and directed me to have a tattoo created from it.

The tattooists made a realistic image of the real thing and did a good job as the ink has hardly faded even though I wear shorts most year round.

Here’s an iPhone selfie of the thistle taken just a few minutes ago. Sorry that it’s not up to Ed’s great standard.

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Hoo roo for now.

BORED STIFF AND LOOKING FOR REVITALISATION? JOIN THE U3A!

A few years ago, SWMBO joined the local branch of the U3A. ‘What on earth is the U3A,’ I asked. SWMBO replied, ‘You are always mucking around with Google, find out for yourself!’  Short, ‘sweet’ and to the point, as usual.

A quick visit to Mr Google informed me that the U3A ( University of the Third Age) was formed in Toulouse, France in 1972, spread to the UK in 1982 and arrived here in Melbourne, Australia  in 1984 and then spreading like wildfire across the country.

A further search led me to the U3A’s web site and an indepth explanation of what the U3A is all about. To quote from their blurb:

‘The University of the  Third Age (U3A) movement is an unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its U3As life enhancing and life changing opportunities.

Retired and semi retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward, the sheer joy of discovery.

Members share their skills and life experiences: the  learners teach and the teachers learn, and there is no distinction between them.

The U3A movement is supported by its national organisation, The Third Age Trust.’

Now I’m no spring chicken but the thought of getting involved with a mob of oldies learning from each other was an absolute turn off and I decided there and then that SWMBO could have the U3A entirely for herself.

Then, early last year SWMBO enticed me to go with her on an U3A bus trip exploring the homes of some of Australia’s original British settlers.

It was a revelation for me. The people were great, the organisation of the trip was first class, the day passed by at great speed and I thouroughly enjoyed myself.

As a result I joined our local U3A, go on many of their escapades and twice a week participate in a walking for health program. In addition to that, twice a month I go to an U3A  Photography Group where we have fun with our cameras and camera phones, swap photography information and learn from each other.

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SOME U3A PHOTOGRAPHERS IN DISCUSSION MODE.
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U3A PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE START OF A FIELD TRIP.

It’s quite amazing how great it is to mix with people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who are happy to share their stories, information about various subjects and are happy to sensibly discuss differing views without getting bitter and twisted as is so often the case.

I could go on and on about the benefits of being a member of U3A and list the many, many courses and programs that area available to members. However I know that if you are interested you too will visit Mr Google, look for your nearest U3A and see what they have to offer. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Hoo roo for now.