5/28/2011

Cedar Point

On Memorial Day weekend i went to Cedar Point with Karrie, her sister Kristina and Paul. We left at 6 am.

Because we were staying at the Sandcastle Hotel, at the northeast corner of the park, we were allowed in at 9am. Everyone else gets in at 10am.
The first thing we did was wait in line for an hour and go on the Millennium Force. It's a really great coaster. Super fast, smooth and that first drop is an insane 89 degrees down.

We rode several rides till 3pm then rode the shuttle back to the hotel and took a break. We went back out around 5:30. It ended up thunder storming around 8pm but we were ready to be done anyways.

Because of super long lines we never rode the Rapter or the Maverick. They both had lines close to a 2 hour wait. We did go on the Top Thrill Dragster. It said the wait was 1 hour but it ended up being closer to 1.5. It wasn't worth it. The ride lasted all of 8 seconds. It shoots you up a hill and back down.

The Gemini - aka The Rib Cracker
cedar point, the gemini, wood roller coaster, hurts, old
Park view from the buckets
aerial view of cedar point, park view, ohio
My favorite ride is the Magnum. It's super fun and there isn't a long wait, at most 15 minutes. I rode it twice. It has the perfect combination of speed, hills and turns. Here's the view from the top.
The Magnum, drop from the top, best roller coaster ever, cedar point
View from down below.
The Magnum, cedar point, best ride ever
This was the beach by the hotel. I don't know why there wasn't anyone swimming in the lake.
dead fish on the shore of lake erie, cedar point, sandusky ohio
Other than the beach, staying at the hotel was a great idea. Great views of the lake and we got to drive home the next morning.
cedar point hotel, water, park, view, walking path

5/25/2011

Happy 40th Birthday

This October my 1972 Honda CB500 motorcycle will be 40 years old. It is 4-cylinder and 50 horse power that gets around 45-55 miles per gallon. I've had it for 11 years. When i first got it, it had 12,062 miles. Today it's at 21,595 miles.
Here's what it looked like when i first got it in 1999. It had a big old seat and tall mirrors. Other than the exhaust it was pretty much original. 1972 Honda CB500 motorcycle, 4 cylinder,
Since then i've learned a lot from working on it. Usually the process is: something breaks, i try to fix it, i make it worse, i try fixing it several more times before i realize what i'm doing wrong then fix it properly.
honda motorcycle tear down, frame, cb500
This is probably the furthest i've had it taken apart. Over the years i've replaced a few things:
brakes, tires, oil filter, screws and bolts, chain and sprockets hand grips, jets for the carburetors (I had them apart and took 6 tries to get them back together before i realized i had the overflow needle upside down) throttle cable which broke in Arizona and lots more. remove parts, honda cb500, motorcycle
I wrapped the exhaust. This is my idea of form and function working perfectly. The exhaust works better because it stays cooler and i think it looks better too.
wrap exhaust, motorcycle exhaust wrap, heat
I made a new seat. It's thinner then the old one and a little bit harder, but it's easier to ride and the center of gravity is lower which helps. make foam and leather seat for motorcycle, diy, seat pan
Mackinaw Bridge
motorcycle at mackinaw bridge, michigan bike trip, ride
The 45th parallel near Traverse City. This was on the same trip to Mackinaw. I rode around the outer edge of Michigan, about 900 miles in 4 days.
45th parallel, traverse city, michigan, bike trip
The biggest thing i've ever done is my 2,600 mile, 13 day ride from Arizona to Michigan.
Continental Divide somewhere in New Mexico.
Continental Divide, New Mexico, Motorcycle trip, bike ride
Camping on Thanksgiving by Foss Lake Oklahoma at sunset.
camping at Foss Lake, Oklahoma, campground, lake, motorcycle
Just outside of Phoenix Arizona.
motorcycle ride, phoenix, arizona, mountains, cross country
Riding through the Petrified Forest. Petrified Forest, motorcycle ride, road, national park, trip
I don't remember where this was. Maybe Texas?
Cross country motorcycle ride, honda CB500, 1972
This is a picture of every state border i crossed on my ride from Arizona. The only 2 i missed were Arizona and Ohio. The Ohio border is on a bridge, over a river, in 4 lanes of traffic, i didn't stop. For that entire trip the only thing that went wrong with the bike was the throttle cable breaking as we unloaded it from the truck. It's quite amazing that a 40 year old motorcycle rode 2,600 miles (most of that at 7,000rpm) without any problems. And still today it's running great.
Cross country motorcycle trip, USA, State Border Sign, texas, tennessee, michigan, oklahoma, kentucky

5/24/2011

Bamboo - 2011

This was a tough winter on the bamboo, lots of leaves turned yellow, overall though they survived.Bamboo in michigan, winter, yellow leaves

cane break bamboo, winter, yellow leaves, cold climate

I'm still not sure exactly what type of bamboo i have. I think the small trees are Canebreak bamboo (the only native bamboo to the US) and the larger ones are Yellow Grove bamboo I'm only guessing from pictures i've seen. The Canebreak bamboo i got in Kentucky and the Yellow Grove i got in West Virginia.

I also have Moso bamboo that i grew from seeds i ordered online. After reading about the different types i've learned that as long as the roots stay above -10 degrees Fahrenheit they should still be alive in the spring.
bamboo in snow, cold, winter
In the summer i piled lots of grass over the root area and in the winter i made sure to pile lots of snow around the base of the trees to help insulate them.
snow bamboo, insulate roots, rhyzomes, hardy bamboo
Here's the shoots this year from the little Moso bamboo. This plant is only 1 year old and probably will never be very big. Down in Florida it could be 40 feet high and 6" in diameter. But here in Michigan it will never grow that size because of the cold winters.
animated gif, bamboo shoots, moso bamboo
I was happy with how well the Yellow Grove bamboo grew in 2010. I was really excited this year because of all of the roots i saw growing last year. This picture was taken early in the summer 2010.bamboo roots, rhyzomes, spreading, neighbor, summer, energy


Around Easter i noticed the new shoots coming up. Over 30 shoots from this one cluster of trees.
animated gif, bamboo shoots, sprouting, rhyzomes, buds


This is one of the bigger shoots, maybe 1/2" in diameter.
animated gif, bamboo shoots, grow fast
These pictures were taken over no more than 10 days. You can see the shoots on the left. They will grow sometimes over 8" on really warm days.

animated gif, bamboo shoots, fastest growing grass
One day i was outside and saw ants chewing on the bamboo. I sprayed some insecticide but this is what they looked like the next day.bamboo insect damage, ants, kill plant
Because of the heavy rains and ants, not every emerging shoot fully grew to trees but overall this has been the best year for the bamboo.

Channel 7

Last week while at the same job i found the morel mushrooms, i noticed a Channel 7 truck. It was the day after Governor Snyder announced his new budget and Channel 7 came to interview the superintendents of Michigan schools about getting less money for students next year.
Channel 7 action news, governor snyder, teachers vote, superintendents of michigan
I didn't know why they were raising their hands but after watching the video they were saying that they would all have to fire people next year. Here's the video.
video

Looks like i was almost in some of the shots in the background.

Morel Mushrooms

I found these morel mushrooms while working on a job site. They were growing in a grassy field in Wayne right near the airport. It was a few weeks ago in early May. And no i didn't cook them and eat them. Morel Mushrooms, michigan, sun, shade, grassy field, forest, expensive, dried
I just found out though that they are super expensive, $40 for 2 ounces! That's nuts.
Dried Morel Mushrooms

5/18/2011

Tigers Rain Out

I went to Comerica Park last week with Karrie, her cousin Jackie and nephew Atreyu. We arrived at 5pm to see batting practice but just when we got there it started raining. We waited around but it was very cold and wet so at 9pm we left. Luckily the game was canceled and the make-up game is in June. comerica park, rain delay, tigers baseball game
It rained the whole time we were there.
tarp on the field at comerica park, rain delay, detroit tigers
Last look at the field.
waiting for the rain to stop, tigers game, rain delay

5/06/2011

End of Days

So that guy was wrong with his end of the world prediction. Now he says the world will end October 21st.
crazy bible prephecy, end of the world, minister, preacher
Remember a few years ago when the Large Hadron Collider at Cern was set to go online. Insane people that had little or no information were sure that it would cause a black hole to appear and destroy Earth. That was 2008. Time Magazine Article
LHC, Cern, Large Hadron Collider, end of the world What happened to those people with the predictions?

For a long time people have been saying that because the Mayan calendar ends December 21st, 2012, it must mean that's when the world will end. Maybe the guy chiseling the calendar into stone got bored and went to go see a good sacrifice.
Mayan Sacrifice, remove heart
Or this
mayan calendar, end of the world, ran out of space cartoon Or what about the Millennium. Weren't all the computers suppose to blow up then too.

Penn and Teller's show had a great episode about how throughout history there have been tons of predictions by people calling for the end of the world.


Here's a site that has over
200 past/failed predictions of the end of the world. Be warned, the website appears to be stuck in 1996.