greatbear: (jeff and me)
Despite my working in aerospace for over 30 years, and my childhood years on being a bit of an aircraft aficionado, I never tire of seeing promotional and action photography depicting what the aircraft are capable of. Being that I worked with warplanes and military craft the closest, our promo video showed a lot of really cool planes being totally awesome. I'm no warmonger, and I didn't like what some of these bits of handiwork would be involved in, but the flip side being many were used to protect our own people and allies. A good amount were also used in science, research and civilian fields. And there were the boring, workaday commercial aircraft that many mostly ignored. What is rarely seen outside of industry people and enthusiasts are promo films and video of those big commercial beasts outside the workaday world. Many people know of the Boeing (Boo! Our competitor!) 787, aka the Dreamliner. This in the newest, most technologically advanced commercial airliner ever built to date. Advanced materials, computer systems, powerful and efficient engines, it's got it all. While it's had some growing pains (pesky fires, structural issues, etc) not unlike any new plane, it's still one of the most anticipated and talked about airplane in years. Boeing is bringing the Dreamliner to the Farnborough Air Show in the U.K.. Before this big event, pilots gave the 787-9 a few test flights. This Boeing promo shows what the big gal is a capable of, without even breaking a sweat.



Amazing how something so big and otherwise utilitarian can look like it's light as a feather and maneuverable as a Cessna. I think it's one of the sleekest metal tubes in the air these days. Nice to see this bird with a chance to play before it begins its daily grind.

As for us? Well, we're off. Not flying, unfortunately, but instead, we're dragging the Travel Trailer of Mayhem up the coast to PTown for about a week and a half. This trip, planned last year, was so close to our wedding day that we are considering it as a honeymoon of sorts, but not the only one. Not sure yet what the real deal is, but I'm happy for this one. This time, I'm heading up in the middle of the night, with the traffic being lighter and, hopefully, little or no construction. Unlike our trips departing from Pennsyltucky, this is the first time in years we are heading up straight from MD. This should, with luck, get us up to Provincetown in the fairly early morning, were we then can set up, take disco naps and enjoy the afternoon in style.

Ptwned!

Jul. 23rd, 2013 01:11 am
greatbear: (jeff and me)
My recent disappearance in these cyber parts was mainly due to me and Jeff taking a much-needed vacation. Per usual, we headed up to Provincetown for a little over a week's worth of rest, fun, sun, friends, eye candy and way too much good food. Arriving the Thursday afternoon prior to Bear Week, the two of us, along with the two pooches, set up our little campsite in the same location as last year. We immediately went out to our favorite carry-out eating spots and put together our meal after all the driving. It was an "official" start to our big vacation of the year. While not as long as last year (we took two weeks worth then), it was still plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. I always seem to say that we go to PTown "despite" Bear Week, a we don't bother signing up with any of the official goings-on put on by the Provincetown Bears, opting instead to do our own thing. We get to see our friends that normally live ten minutes or so from us but never see these days except in PTown, familiar faces from years before seem to be everywhere, and we get to meet interesting new people. No expectations, no stress (for the most part). Running into Armistead Maupin and John Waters on the streets, taking pictures with cast members of "Where the Bears Are", talking with recording and DJ folks, parties with friends, it's a different sort of world for a week. I even managed to get my increasingly creaky old ass on the dance floor. And the food, well, let's say not a day went by that we weren't smiling about having a great meal. It's all good, much needed, and always welcome.

Our good friends from Connecticut, whom we sadly only get to see this one time a year, were once again at the campground, along with not one, but two of their potbellied pigs as travel companions. They brought fresh eggs for us from their farm, which made for wonderful breakfasts. Jeff's trio of buddies were at the other end of the campground again, we kept running into them here and there. Weather on the Cape was much more sane than the heat wave to our west. We went to so many of our favorite galleries and shops, dragging home art and souvenirs as well as a couple boxes of electronic gear I picked up from the church tag sale for way too cheap. It was a challenge to get everything into the truck to bring home. We managed fine, we just had to open the rear doors slowly to catch stuff falling out as it shifted in traveling.

While it might seem this was an idyllic trip free of snags, like all good things there were clouds among the silver linings. PTown had been experiencing some manner of rain practically every day since early June, this resulted in a bumper crop of mosquitoes that rivaled some tropical climates. Lounging outside at the campground was doable with repellants and sprays, but we didn't do too much to speak of. Even parts of downtown were plagued with the bloodthirsty beasts, but it was a small distraction to all the goodness abounding. All the aforementioned good food didn't take long to overwhelm the wreckage that constitutes my lower digestive tract. Some of our plans had to be shuffled or skipped as I dealt with far too many trips to the bathroom. The janky wireless internet access I was getting at the home base of Mobile Mayhem made keeping up with the outside world sketchy at best, and downright frustrating at times. The campground lies at the fringe of 3G mobile data coverage, and the reliability/availability of the connection made my early days of dialup internet seem like fiber optic broadband. As such, I lost out on meeting up with some LJers and Facebookers. Service was better downtown, of course, but I didn't bring the laptop with me, and I wasn't going to be one of the many cellphone zombies wandering around the streets not watching where they're going, or Instagramming their meals, or posting Twitter and FB updates every two minutes. I find it so much better to pry myself away from constant online access, instead enjoying the moments. Honestly, I don't have that many years left, so I am making the best of the time while I can.

I also discovered that, as time goes on, I am taking far fewer photos than I used to. Yes, I dragged four cameras with me, but the SLR stayed in the bag, the waterproof Pentax I brought along had its battery conk out at the beach where I hoped to take pics of the dogs frolicking in the sea, my little Canon compact accumulated less than two dozen shots, while my cell phone camera probably had to most use of all. Honestly, I have no idea what's going on there. My interest in photography has fallen way off in recent years. Still, I have a few good shots that will service as nice reminders of our time. I guess I need to focus (heh) on bringing my hobbies with me more often.

We ended up breaking camp and hauling our asses outta town the following Friday. Since traffic heading on and off the Cape is legendary for long lines on the weekends, we've discovered it best to leave early on weekdays instead. While there were still two good days of beary goodness to be had, we needed to get to Pennslovakia in order to rest up and unpack the trailer on Friday evening in order to take it in for repairs on Saturday morning. We couldn't get the work done on it before vacation as we hoped due to parts availability issues. Luckily the damage caused by the fire in March was not bad enough to keep us from using the trailer for vacation, it was mostly cosmetic. I hauled the trailer up to the RV shop on Saturday, not before running right into the start of a vintage tractor parade in the town of Gratz, where the shop is located. I had to shoot ahead of the parade using side alley streets, once ahead of the vintage machinery, I got back on the main town road lined with people waiting for the tractors. I guess we should've waved or something. Once that was taken care of, we visited Jeff's mom at the nursing home and headed home, We had a Sunday in Maryland to ourselves, working in the gardens and the yard plus running errands. This Monday, of course, was back to the grind. At least we had our fun and are better for it.

I didn't promise pictures, but here's one of us on the breakwater in PTown. Gadzooks, I am looking older by the day.

IMG_1424


We are already making plans for next year.

Bear stuffs

Jul. 8th, 2013 12:39 pm
greatbear: (forearms)
Here's a silly little video just in time for Bear Week in Provincetown next week, from local artist Tom Goss.



Who else is heading to PTown?
greatbear: (jeff and me)
You probably didn't take notice, but there has been an extended period of radio silence on this here bloggy-poo. The reason? Some much-needed vacation time. It was actually a two-parter, the July 4th weekend was spent up at Hillside for 4 days, a return home for us so Jeff could do some worky-worky stuff for a couple days, then a return to the road for a trip to Provincetown for Bear Week. I set the controls at the House and Garage of Mayhem on full auto, the antipersonnel laser vaporizing a trespasser (or it might have been the meter reader, I'll see what the electric company says) but apparently missing the sly groundhog that took liberties (and big bites) with some of the garden veggies.

The Hillside trip was nice. We had on board with us a couple friends, one we knew for years on and offline (former LJer Aaron/"fredneckteddy") and a buddy of Jeff's all the way from North Carolina, Tony, whom Jeff had been conversing online for a very long time and met in person for the first time upon picking him up at the train station on Wednesday. A good time was had by all, lots of good food was cooked and eaten, and, as is apparently an unwritten law for Hillside camping, at least part of the time spent there had us rained on. Tony, being a Hillside "virgin", had a lot of fun despite being at times overwhelmed by, well, the people and things going on there. Hell, he's ate it all up and had a blast. Aaron was last at Hillside maybe 8 years prior, and had no trouble adjusting (yeah, that's what I'll call it for now, "adjusting"). Once the extended weekend was over, I towed our 26 ft home back to its summer parking spot at Jeff's parent's place, leaving it connected to the truck and driving home in the car that we also brought up. This allowed us a substantial fuel savings, and the convenience of having the rig all ready to go again in three days.

We headed up to PTown at the crack of dawn on Thursday, arriving about mid-afternoon. After setting up and a bit of a break, we headed into town. Of course, our first stops are at Mojo's for a big cup of Cape Iced tea, and a stop at the Portuguese Bakery. Any familiar faces or "bears" had yet to make any sort of mass appearance since the bear week event did not officially start until Saturday. We were treated to lots of muscled Chelsea Boy types among other homosexual subspecies. Once the official start of Bear Week approached and passed, the eye candy quotient went into orbit. Jeff and I were quite content with finding outdoor seating at restaurants, shops and the town square and watching the parade of hair humans, many quite familiar from years past. Several of our well-known friends popped up in all the usual places once again, and I got to meet quite a few LJ peeps for the first time, more so than in previous years. There were apparently some missed opportunities as well as outright ignoring by a few people, a major (though not entirely unexpected) disappointment,

Our extended week had us doing our traditional whale watch boat trip, typical shopping sprees and general lolling about town, not to mention eating some of the most awesomest food around every day. We took Kodi with us into town every day, where he soaked in rockstar-like popularity heaped on him by dozens of people at a time. It didn't help that, in addition to his adorable doggy-ness, he would ride in Jeff's bicycle basket through town or carried in a over-the-shoulder sling pouch, both of these carriers designed specifically for pooch perambulating. In addition to the miles of walking, toting and riding, Kodi managed over 1200 miles of puke-free riding from Mayhem Acres all the way to PTown and back. It's like he knows it's vacation time, and relaxes immediately. If this could only be the case with every road trip! It was Kodi's first trip to the beach, where he eventually had a blast dog-paddling in the water once getting used to it.

This year, our vacation accompanies a big change in both of us, as we are officially two middle-aged men with major medical conditions. Jeff was not able to ride nearly as far on his bike as in years past, and I still fumbled my way around a bit while walking. Despite this, we both did remarkably well IMO, with Jeff taking the little rides in stride and I didn't end up falling down once. We even managed to take part in the now-standard-feature-of-Bear-Week, Blowoff. This was short lived, as the dance floor at the Boat Slip Resort resembled a sauna, with the heat and humidity oppressive to say the least. The next day Jeff was hit with a case of "kennel cough" and I still have a case of intermittent sniffles. We are either way too old for this sort of thing, or someone has to provide several thousand more cfm of ventilation to that place.

There's much more, but, sad, to say, all good things have to come to an end, after an 11-hour trip off the Cape and back to the trailer's summer parking spot, a night's sleep, then the additional 2.5 hour trip home this afternoon, our vacation for 2011 officially ended. While sad, and seemingly awfully short, we packed a lot into the time we had, and were glad to arrive home in one piece, bettered by our time spent up north. We are already making plans for next year.

More (possibly) to come...
greatbear: (Default)
This morning I wanted on teh intarwebz, but my computer awoke to a black screen. There was audio when mashing keys, but I figure, being a PC and not the perfection that is Apple, it just needed a reboot after being on for weeks. A reboot did nothing, but I noticed a curious behavior with the display. Usually the power light blinks when in between video modes or the PC is rebooting, instead, it was solidly on. I cycled the power and expected the little on-screen menu to pop up. Instead, there was fire. Actual fire, with the acrid smell of burning solid state deices and smoke. I dropped the backup display in its place and now am looking for a replacement. I'm jonesing for something larger than the 24" Samsung that stunk up the room, and something that will play nice with the new replacement PC that I built about a year ago. A bit of unexpected research and shopping is in order, as well as an unneeded expense.

I have a batch of photos to upload for LJ posts and such, but my Flickr Pro account lapsed and it's nothing but wonky now with the limited features and groups, so that will have to wait as well. My time has been taken up with outdoor projects and our rekindled efforts to put in a decent vegetable garden. My attitudes towards gardening have been guarded at best since losing Mom, being that it was her primary and ultimate passion. Just looking at the various beds makes me sad and uneasy, so for the past several years the gardens received minimal care is any. Jeff tried to take the mantle of suburban farmer, but his time is limited. This year, however, I am finally getting a bit over my apprehension (and outright breakdowns) when faced with Mom's favorite activity and the memories it brings flooding in. This year, if I can keep the critters out of it, we should have the most productive garden ever. I'll be installing the various electronic countermeasures to protect our crops.

You can probably guess already that it's gonna be called... The Garden of Mayhem. Hey, I have branding continuity to consider, after all. ;-)

Last week I had pulled all the wheels off the trailer, checked and adjusted the brakes and regreased the bearings as well as other mechanical checks, then hauled it up to Pennsylvania and Jeff's parents' driveway. I took along lots cleaning supplies and the bigass pressure washer which we used Saturday and Sunday to clean up our vacation home in preparation of our upcoming trips. I just hope my health issues don't ruin things like late last year.

Speaking of vacations and trips, who's gonna be in Provincetown for Bear Week (or in spite of, for all you post-whatevers)?
greatbear: (Default)
I'm taking a break from reorganizing the garage and cataloging some of my "stuff" (more on that later). I had started thinking about our little excursion that week and how much it meant to us as far as sending time together, not thinking about work or medical procedures or any sort of pressing matters of the day. It does do a body and mind quite a bit of good. We went during "Bear Week", of course, but the only true reason for that was to simply pad the time with hopes of running into some of our friends while there, and to take in the eye candy. The latter was at higher levels due to IBR Lazy Bear in Cali being non-existent this year, raising the sightings of unfamiliar faces, cover bears and "a-listers" as they packed the streets, shops, eateries and parties. As for us, we managed to take in one "tea" at the Boatslip, and Tuesday night's Blowoff. The Blowoff was our first, despite them originating basically down the road from us in DC. It was a lot more fun that either of us expected, Jeff got a chance to shake his bootay on the dance floor. Of course, I could not even try, having a difficult enough time just getting around. Still, it was a ton of fun for me. We attempted to go to the tea dances again the rest of the week, but found them way too packed and turned right around and left. I can't handle that kinda stuff anymore, and we didn't attempt any more.

We had way too much excellent food, Kodi was a total rock star with everyone he met, and despite having to make my way around with a walking stick, I made good use of my time by taking it easy. I hope next year these medical problems won't be an issue.

I have three cameras worth of a few hundred pictures to go through, but found this one in my first go-round. If one picture best describes our little vacation in P-Town, this would be it. Happy, smiling, having a good time, and a truckload of seafood. Kodi helped Jeff with his ice cream, mine was melting faster than I could eat it. I seem to be storing some of it in my beard.

IMGP0642


And, yeah, that's my ever-present walking stick in the pic. It sure beats that old medical cane by a mile. I managed to wear the rubber tip of it off, and tried to make do with stuff from the local hardware store to fix it.

We will do this again.

Edit: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] putzmeisterbear for correcting me. *blush*

Question

Jul. 6th, 2010 12:52 am
greatbear: (ciggie bear)
Who reading this plans to be in Provincetown for "Bear Week" (or in spite of it)?
greatbear: (Default)
In a few hours from now, Jeff and I will be heading up to Provincetown for Bear Week. A stop tonight in PA at Jeff's 'rents to drop off Kodi and hitch up the trailer, a good night's rest and an early rise on Friday morning to head on up. Hopefully we get there with some time to spare, allowing us to set up everything then head downtown for a while. Last year we arrived late, in the middle of a downpour and had to set up in the dark while getting soaked.

Both of us can't wait.

How many LJers plan on being on town anywhere from from the 11th to the 19th? I know [livejournal.com profile] rootbeer1 and [livejournal.com profile] qbear will be there, [livejournal.com profile] slothel and his giant pooch are going to be there all week, and [livejournal.com profile] griffmoss will make a showing later on. If anyone wants to get together (and since my internet access will be nearly zero), IM me via my profile page or call me at 443- eight one two -6030. I will have email via my cellphoneofmanybuttons as well.

Can't wait to see y'all!
greatbear: (vacation)
I feel like Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane excitedly giggling out "G-g-g-good news!". Today I received the confirmation letter for a campsite reservation at P-Town. Houston, we have vacation!

Last year we managed to snag the last space at Coastal Acres. This time out we have a slightly better space. It's during Bear Week again, but unlike last year, this time we wont be signing up for any bear stuff, if there is anything going on, we can do it on a case-by-case basis. Why Bear Week? Mainly because it's when some of our friends are guaranteed to be there, and unlike last year, I hope to catch up with so many of the LJers that managed to avoid me I sadly missed last time.

It's nice having something to look forward to.
greatbear: (forearms)
Jeff and I (and Kodi) are finally back home from our first real vacation in years. It was fantastic in every sense of the word, with only a couple rocky spots. Since it's late and I am still in the process of getting ready for the return to drudgery this week, I will make do with highlights for now, with multimedia to come later.

Thursday afternoon we headed forst to PA, and Jeff's parent's place. They were to be Kodi's puppysitters for the week. It's also a convenient, bit more than halfway-point to Hillside. We spent the night there, camping in their driveway. It was more fun than it sounds.

Friday morning we made our way up to Hillside. Our good friends, Dave and Will, would be our esteemed houseguests for the weekend. They also brought along "Junior", their 10-month old Pomeranian. Yes, we had a surrogate Kodi for the weekend. We spent the weekend mostly around the campsite, walking around and relaxing. We spotted and socialized with new and old friends, as well as fellow LJers [livejournal.com profile] climatebearnj, [livejournal.com profile] mondragon and [livejournal.com profile] showmeonthedoll. Definitely one of the better Hillside weekends, especially weather-wise.

Sunday morning we pulled up stakes and made our 9+ hour trek to P-Town. The weather for driving was great until we hit Massachusetts, where we were hit on and off with some serious rain. It did not slow us down much to speak of. Still, it was about 8pm that we hit Provincetown and Coastal Acres campgrounds. We checked in and headed over to our initially assigned spot. I mulled over how I was supposed to maneuver the big rig into the tight little spot when the man from the office showed up, replete in rain gear, to move us to a more accommodating spot. Seems he saw what we had brought for equipment and realized it was not gonna fit. So, from Site 2, we were directed onto Site 40T. I uncoupled and set up the trailer in the rain and hordes of mosquitoes and then relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Monday was spent riding around town, getting our bearings, sightseeing and relaxing. We discovered that our (cute) neighbors had with them their (you guessed it) Pomeranian. We had another surrogate Pom for the rest of our stay. This one was named "Precious" (cue Gollum quotes).

Tuesday was spent for the first half getting ready for my little LJ get-together. Fail. No one showed up, for various reasons, probably the last minute site move or difficulty in finding the place or whatever, we had lots of food for the rest of the week. After a while, we headed back to Commercial Street, where more bloggers and friends were spotted and/or socialized with, some items for the trailer purchased and fun was had.

Wednesday's highlight was whale-watching on the Dolphin Fleet boats. I've never done this before (nor has Jeff), and it was amazing. Humpback, Minke, Finback and other whales were cavorting, feeding, spouting and doing all those things that whales do, but all around the vessel, and up close. Lots of pictures and some video was taken, and we overstayed our journey because there was so much activity. Awesome. This is definitely on the must-do list of things when we return. To celebrate, we had our big seafood meals at the Lobster Pot, then hit the street some more for shopping, socializing, and looking at all the eye candy.

Thursday we walked the breakwater and beaches, took a dip in the water, did more exploring and whatnot. In the evening, we watched our buddy Troy Rusnack perform while we ate food and watched the bears go by. This was also the first event we attended which was part of the P-Town Bear Week run package we signed up for. Since many of the events were either in conflict with what we wanted to do, or we just were not interested in, we decided that next (and subsequent) years will be done without bothering with the run itself. We will pick and choose and pay the (very reasonable) admissions for the events we actually attend instead.

Friday was spent doing more of the same that we had been doing. It was our last day there, so we hit Bubala's for dinner, ending the day at the Crown and Anchor for their annual Fireman's Ball fundraiser event. It was a mob scene. We soon tired of the sardine-can feel and headed out into the courtyard where we found many of our friends doing the same thing. Maybe I am getting old, or possibly tired of the same old boom-tsss music and overpriced, overiced bar drinks and cramped quarters (even outside!) at the clubs. Still, the fun was had, our last day at P-Town a success and we got back to our site feeling like we had a great week.

Saturday was spent pulling up stakes and driving all the way back to Dornsife PA to Jeff's parental units and our homesick-for-us Kodi. With the stops put in for gas and food breaks, it was over 12 hours of driving. I guess in my zeal to get back 'home' and pushing the 18 year old truck beyond what it was designed for, I blew out second gear in the transmission (for the second time). I limped the trailer back to the parent's house (it was not far at this point), where we unpacked the food, leftovers, etc and called it a night. Kodi was incredibly glad to see us, as you might guess.

This morning I woke up, fiddled with the trans to make use of only first and third gears, packed up our goodies and things along with Kodi and headed home. No problems on the way. It was good to be safe at home, with a mostly successful vacation behind us.

Will we do it again? Youbetcha. Things that will be different? Do any of the 'events' piecemeal. Have any of the personal parties at a public venue/restaurant (if at all). Possibly skip Hillside, or just do the vacation in the off-season instead. And get a new truck.

PTown bound

Jul. 5th, 2007 07:53 am
greatbear: (forearms)
It wont be long till Jeff and I begin our trip north for our much needed time off. First couple days at Hillside, then up to Provincetown. There is fun for LJers to be had on the 10th, details here. If you would like to come, (and I hope you do!), let me know. My # is 443-812-6030, if you'd like to meet up anywhere, gimme a call. Hell, gimme a call anyway.

Hope to see yas!
greatbear: (face)
As many of you know (and I have been greatly anticipating), Me and Jeff will be in Provincetown for Bear Week, from July 8-14. Since it appears, via LJ postings, BearCiti calendars, BMB event listings, et al that a considerable number of people on my f-list will be in attendance along with quite a few others from the ol' LiveJournal, I thought it would be kinda cool to have a sort of get-together to share in all the blogging brotherhood and all that. To that end, Jeff and I are going to have a cookout on Tuesday the 10th, starting at noon. We'll provide the grub, you provide the camaraderie. Does that sound like fun, or what?

If you'd like to attend, leave a comment. Let me know if you'll be bringing guests/partners/friends along, so I have some idea of how much food and drink to have ready. We'll be holding the party at our campsite at Coastal Acres, site #2. C'mon! It'll be fun!
greatbear: (forearms)
First off, I have to thank everyone who left notes of concern and encouragement in my last post. The past several days, leading up to and after the anniversary have been rough, no doubt about it. I lost my 'true' family in one fell swoop, and it's devastating. I've been trying to learn that 'family' can go beyond blood relatives. I have Jeff's extended family, most of whom welcome me as one of their own. I have a few close friends throughout the years as well. And I have my Livejournal friends. Many of you I have never met in person (though I want to, believe me). So many of you brighten my day via your posts in so many ways. To have you guys and gals send some kind words truly means a lot. I don't feel so alone.

Trying to fend off depressive feelings and be useful has been the order of the day for a while now. My upcoming vacation with Jeff to Provincetown next week has been a huge motivation. On Thursday I came home to find that the windshield fairies paid a visit to the house while I was at work and replaced busted windshields in the truck and the Mini. Granted, I have no idea of the glass installers' orientation, so maybe calling them fairies is a bit presumptive. The insurance company made it easy for me to have the glass replaced under the comprehensive policy, a few phone calls with some unusually pleasant and helpful people from the insurer as well as the installers made what could have been a bit of an ordeal a nice surprise, especially given my background mindset and preoccupations. I came home from work to find two shiny new windscreens. The MINI's glass was sandblasted badly, despite it's relatively young age. A hard hit finally started a crack, and it wasted no time creeping across the glass. The truck's glass had been busted (from top to bottom, and in several isolated places) for a while, and I figured I'd be better off replacing it before the trip to stave off any potential eager constabulary from writing me up an inspection/safety tickie. No, I dont want to have anything spoiling the trip.

More work on the truck involved installing a three gauge pod on the dash, fixing burned out and darkened bulbs in the instrument cluster, replacing the onboard charger, cleaning things up, and installing the Star Trek horns. The latter does make people stop and look around. To make the trip a bit more comfortable I replaced my old Activator II time-based trailer brake controller with a Tekonsha P3 proportional controller. No more feeling kicked in the ass every time I let off the brakes with a trailer attached. Should be a lot safer as well. For something as mundane as a brake controller, the thing comes with a GUI. Unreal.

Since P-Town is best navigated on foot or by bicycle, I pulled out our two bikes and gave them a much needed tuneup. Mine was having perpetually flat tires; the last trip to pick up inner tubes netted me ones with Presta valves rather than Shraders. Since I have no adaptors to make use of those, I needed to get the proper tubes. While assessing what needed to be done, I inflated what was already on the bike. Filled the back tire, everything looked good, only need a tube, no tire. The front was next. Tire flopping on the rim. Air it up for inspection, all's well. Get set to check it out and I am greeted with "fffffPOW!!" as the tire slips off the rim and the tube explodes from the tire. I drop what I am doing, head to the bike shop at Dick's and get three new tubes (one spare), two bells and a light set for Jeff's ride. Come home, clean up everything, replace the tubes, tune up and lubricate everything then hit the street for test rides. The good news is I can still hit about 30mph. The bad news is that it ain't for long, unlike my younger days. Ah, well, it's not like I'll be racing in Provincetown. Two shiny bikes for the week. As I put them away, I noticed a bulge beginning to show up on the front tire of Jeff's bike. I guess that will have to be taken care of too. fffffPOW!!

Been making use of the new laptop. I set it up along with the scanner in the trailer this afternoon just to be different and began scanning the few dozen photos that Jeff's mom gave me to digitize to load into the digital photo frame we got her for Mother's Day. I plan on getting a similar frame for myself to show the countless photos of Mom that I have.

My only worry regarding the trip is the tires on the trailer. I made the 'mistake' of googling the brand ("Mission") after noticing they are made in China. I did not find anything encouraging. Even though I had no issues with the tires, all I have read are horror stories of blowouts on tires that have little use. Then comes recent news of a big tire recall involving several off-brand tires made in China (though not these, different village sweatshop manufacturer). Apparently, safety testing, quality control and integrity are lost on some people. This is what the cost of 'low prices always' brings us, along with governments being lobbied into allowing the various industries to regulate themselves. Le sigh.

If you made it this far, you probably missed the teal deer.

Look for an upcoming post regarding a LJ 'get-together' at P-Town. Details to follow, but it's looking like a Tuesday lunch bash at our place. Would love to see yas!
greatbear: (fuzzy)
It's becoming apparent that quite a few people on my friends list have been to and/or are planning to go this year to Provincetown for 'Bear Week', July 7-14. Jeff and I were set to go last year, but due certain (and much written about here) circumstances we had to opt out. This year, however, we'll be there, staying in our newly christened Party Trailer at Coastal Acres Camping Court. I am thinking about putting together some sort of Livejournal get-together one day that would like totally rock with awesomeness or something.

Who's gonna be there? If you are, and havent, like, stealth-defriended me or sumthin, let me know. Tell your friends! Your family! The Klingons!
greatbear: (jeff and me)
Some highlights from my trip to Provincetown last week. As you might be able to tell, I have a thing for New England seaside architecture.



Much more inside... )
greatbear: (vacation)
Well, here I am, home from my little Provincetown excursion. Had a great time. I just wish it was not a 9+ hour drive.

Already plans are in the works for next year. Knowing what to expect and what to do for future trips makes it much easier.

I've always loved exploring little seaside towns, but P-Town takes this to a different level. It's what Rehoboth in Delaware should be, but has lost a bit of it's charm from being surrounded by shopping-on-steroids outlet malls and big box stores and every manner of chain restaurants bordering the insular little village like barbarians at the gates. Provincetown and it's line of serially-attached towns along the cape will have nothing to do with generic, all-conquering retail and hotel hell. The charm, energy and identity of the area is plainly evident in just about every square foot of the place.

Not to mention, there is some serious fucking eye candy to be found in so many places. So many muscles, so little time. lol

So, I have bid Provincetown a farewell, with hopes of returning somedays soon. Most likely it's gonna be bear week (an event that finds it's way into local tourist booklets due to it's size and popularity) next year.

I can't wait.
greatbear: (face)
Big 'tea' party at the Boat Deck with hundreds of others (even people I know, the 'gay world' can be very small at times) consisting of quite a few potent cocktails, then dinner at Bubula's, now for a little disco nap before heading back out.

Having fun for a change is, well, fun.
greatbear: (face)
...from Provincetown.

Weather here has been awesome, fun is being had by all. My laptop is finally working and thanks to Chris' unsecured WiFi, here I am. Gonna be headaing to the beach in a few minutes. I'm leaving the PC, though not the camera, home.

Vacationing is great. I need to do more.
greatbear: (greatbearthehorrible)
Some overhauling of my travel plans had to occur.

The Hillside camping trips (Bears 2, 3 and Wrestling weekends) are all still in place. However, the trip to San Antonio had to be cancelled and has been replaced by a week in P-Town at the end of this month. Jeff and I are both kinda relieved about this, since the SA shindig was all work-related for him and now we can concentrate on having a 'true' vacation. We'll be in Provincetown from the 25th-29th, then picking our way around New England area for the next few days on a whim, since our place has been reserved by other from then on. So, if anyone has any thoughts on what to do, spill 'em here.

Maybe I will put on my newfound Peppaviking hat and do some sacking and plundering of my conquests...

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Phil

December 2016

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