Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tales From The Road

It's been so long since I updated this blog that I am going to combine a couple of stories together instead of writing five separate blog posts. A lot has happened since the last time I shared anything in here.

In September, I attended a work related conference in Beantown.  Prior to this trip, the last time I visited Boston was in 1999. I've been meaning to photograph Boston's waterfront area for a while now, so what better time than the night after the conference ended.

The Fan Pier Waterfront is a magnet for photographers and wedding proposals. Surprisingly, the night I visited was almost empty. I took pictures uninterrupted throughout the night. These are two of the images taken that night.

As a member of several motorcycle internet forums, I "stole" a forum banner idea and borrowed the graphic (with his permission) from a friend to create a banner and hoping to encourage forum members participation. The concept is simple, people meet up, take pictures with the banner, and post them in the forum. 

I contacted a friend and fellow Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 rider from New York, and invited him to meet me for lunch at Orange County Choopers in Newburgh, NY. And of course, the obligatory forum banner photo. 

If you follow this blog, you know that one of my favorite locations to photograph the Philadelphia skyline at night is from the South Street Bridge. Recognizing that I am my own worst critic, and that I am not satisfied with any of the images I’ve taken from this location so far, I tried one more time. These are my favorite pictures from that night, they were taken the first week of October.

Last month I’ve visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In the past 40 years I've visited several times, mostly to serve as a “tour guide” to some of my friends. This trip was no exception. I have no interest to visit the statue on my own, the place is always crowded, over 4 million people visit each year. 

To beat the crowds, this time I planned the trip from Philadelphia to NYC to board the first ferry to the Statue of Liberty early in the morning. They depart every 15-20 minutes. As I suspected, the first ferry out to the statue and Ellis Island was almost empty. It is why I was able to capture this image without any people in it. By the time I finished taking these pictures, in a matter of minutes the place became heavily crowded. 

Two weeks ago went for a short ride to Nockamixon State Park. The trip goal was twofold, test my new Vello Freewave Plus wireless remote - shutter release, and to capture a colorful image of my bike when the autumn peak colors of fall foliage were in full swing. 

I wasn't happy with the pics I took the first time so I returned to Nockamixon State Park again this weekend. Despite the cold weather I decided to give it a try one more time. I am glad I was wearing  my Revzilla balaclava and freeze-out warm long sleeve shirt. It was a chilly ride.

What a difference a week makes; this time most trees shed their leaves ready for winter. The real bummer is that now I have to wait until autumn next year to capture fall foliage again. On the plus side, the wireless remote - shutter release passed the test with flying colors.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Speed Racer

First of all, I want to include a disclaimer. I stopped watching TV in 2006, and truth be told, my life didn't end from not watching TV. One day I decided I had enough dealing with Comcast and Verizon cable lousy service in my area, I took a break from TV and I guess that break never really ended. I don't even miss it a little bit. But I digress.

I didn't realize how out of touch with television, Anime/Manga animation and automobile racing I am until I posted the above image on Facebook and a relative mention Speed Racer. To be honest, I had no idea what he was talking about so I did a google search.

The name Speed Racer fits perfectly because the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 is one of the fastest production motorcycles in the world, the epitome of speed in a nutshell.

I was returning from having dinner with friends when I remember seeing this graffiti wall mural next to an auto detailing shop in Philadelphia. I've seen it before during a commute on public transportation.

It was a grey day with an overcast sky, weather was typical of this time of the year. If I had waited another hour, and I had with me the Neewer CN-160 Led Video Light with a diffuser mini softbox, it could've been a great opportunity for another motorcycle light painted image. Unfortunately, I was only carrying my Nikon D7000 with a 28-80mm lens. It is a deserted neighborhood, rarely any traffic goes by, so I hurried and took several photographs.

Now I have another reason to return to this location to try to capture a motorcycle light painted image.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Minutiae of My Restoration Project

To be honest, I feel more comfortable building a motorcycle engine than dealing with the intricacies of the motorcycle chassis. When it comes to working on a motorcycle frame, I rather leave it to the experts. A man's got to know his limitations, but I digress.

The Kerker exhaust system arrived from the United Kingdom in less than a week, it is in excellent condition. And I found an original brand new seat on Ebay this week.

Working on this project has been very therapeutic for me. If things go well, my bike should be ready for the next vintage event April of 2020.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

It's Been Fun So Far

Went to the garage yesterday to check on the bike and while I was there spent a couple of hours removing the carburetors, the stock exhaust system, replacing the handlebar, and installing both handlebar control switches and the front brake master cylinder.

I am at a crossroads, undecided on retouching, painting the whole frame or have frame powder coated. I am more leaning towards retouching the whole frame, with the expectation to have the bike ready before next vintage motorcycle event April 2020.

In other news, it was a matter of sheer luck or planetary alignment was in the works for me. Last week, I found a Kerker 4-1 exhaust system in excellent shape and reasonably priced advertised in a Facebook vintage group. It's been shipped from the United Kingdom and should be here by the end of next week. Nowadays, these Kerker exhaust systems cost an arm and a leg. I found a real bargain.

So far, it's been a real fun project tinkering with this iconic bike.

Step-By-Step Journey To Rebuild :

1) Let The Restoration Begin

2) Parts Have Been Ordered

3) It's Been Fun So Far

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Retirement Countdown

I am emotionally ready for retirement. To make it official, I installed a Retirement Countdown on my phone. With this free App I can see how much time I have left until retirement.

I was ready to retire last year, but then I decided to wait a little longer.

Unless an economic collapse occurs and there is a financial disaster..... starting today, I have 607 days = 1 year, 7 months, 30 days, 17 hours, 35 minutes to retire.

I am ready to do what I want when I want it.

The countdown has begun....

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Parts Have Been Ordered

This weekend I ordered several parts to start the restoration process. I am glad there are sites like Z1 Enterprises dedicated to offer OEM vintage japanese motorcycle parts and links for other services.

I know what direction I want to go in with this bike. It's just a matter on focusing and concentrating on cost effective changes. One thing at a time. It could get expensive pretty quick if I spend money on parts, and later on change my mind. I want my bike cosmetics to look somewhat similar to the image posted above.

I was planning to wait until winter to start working on it, but I've been bitten by the restoration bug. If all goes well, maybe I could get the bike ready before next riding season. Can't wait to see it finished.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

El Presidente del PNP Ricardo Rosello Acusa sus Seguidores de Pendejos

Mientras la administracion del gobernador Rosello sigue la directiva de su lider y anda en un apology tour, hoy finalmente publican las 889 paginas del chat de Telegram.

En uno de los chats, Rosello se burla mofosamente de haber cojido de pendejos a sus seguidores. Incitan violencia, a "caerles arriba" o caerle a tiros a los opositores politicos".

Bien lo dijo la periodista Sandra Rodriguez Cotto, "lo más revelador es la manera en que el propio Rosselló se expresa del pueblo y hasta de sus correligionarios en el Partido Nuevo Progresista: “Cogemos de pendejos a los de nosotros mismos”. Si algún miembro del PNP tiene vergüenza en la cara, respeto por sí mismos y por su país, lo menos que exigiría es su renuncia y la de todo ese equipo. Deben exigir la renuncia de esa gente y que ninguno se vincule más al gobierno."

Y todo esto es aparte de los arrestos por corrupcion esta semana pasada a personal del Departamento de Salud y Educacion, dos agencias que abarcan más de la mitad del presupuesto de todo el Gobierno. Mientras el pais esta en una crisis economica, esta administracion esta robandole al pueblo.

El gobernador y su administracion insulta mujeres con comentarios de indole sexual y ataques sexistas, a la vez que incita violencia a sus opositores y se mofa de coger de pendejos a sus propios seguidores.

Asi no se puede pedir la estadidad.