Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cali Trip Day #3:Like Herding Ducks, at the Zoo.

Have you ever tried to herd a flock of ducks!? Chasing 13 and 14 year olds through a zoo feels a lot like that...

We started the day off with a quick "continental" breakfast in the parking lot by the buses while rooms were checked and keys turned in. Once everything was good, we headed to the San Diego Zoo.

My flock of "ducks"...

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Pretty cool zoo. We started out at the reptile house and things went downhill from there. Got to see all kinds of things.

Yawning pythons,

Turtles?! Not sure I want to know whats going on here...

Even got to see Momma Panda and her baby!

There was a bit of uphill as well, which the "ducks" were quick to take advantage of the free ride.

Thankfully, after all the downhill, we could ride the tram back to the top!

While we were all milling around getting ready to do the behind the scenes bus tour, guess who shows up!? A few players from the NFL Chargers!

The girls swooned, the guys... Well, lets just say the first words out of one of my ducks was "OOOOO, WHERE ARE THE CHEERLEADERS!!!?!?!" No joke.

Behind the scenes tour was cool, saw all kinds of things like a giant sleepy kitty,

(from the tour guide: why does he sleep upside down? because he CAN!)


More kittys,

and all sorts of other things. I also found THE COOLEST souvenir of the entire trip: A propeller hat!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Seemed like a long day but we actually left the zoo late afternoon for a couple hour bus ride to our new hotel. Got there without incident, got settled in, and had some pool time!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

After the short break we loaded back up to eat at Shakey's.

Kinda funny- I think their capacity seating is like 130. We brought 123, and the 30 or so people that were in there sure cleared out in a hurry! Not bad food and a nice break from the days activities. EVERYONE slept well that night!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cali Trip Day #2- Getting Wet.

So after a lllaaaaattteeee start from the Mcdonalds, we trundled off toward California. We were running a few hours behind so we were late for our next stop- Sea World!

First stop once we got there was to check and make sure I was tall enough for all of the rides.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Pretty sure I'm good.

I should mention here that our bad luck continued through the night... 2 of our students had siezures of some kind while on the bus. One was fairly severe but she seemed to be doing great. We kept her with us throughout the day in a wheelchair. One good thing did come of this- as her helpers we got to cut to the front of most of the lines. First ride we went on- Atlantis.

"Oh, you'll only get a little wet"...

We got VERY wet. Thanks a lot, Bonnie... Just remember that what goes around comes around.

Spent the rest of the afternoon trying rides and taking in the shows. The dolphin show was incredible and so was Shamu!

So many things to see- polar bears, sharks, penguins, dolphins, orcas, and on and on. Great place to visit, but plan on spending more time!

We stayed a little later than we had planned on because we were late getting there. Once it was time to go we loaded up and went a few blocks to Belmont Park to ride the 100 year old wooden roller coaster. Lotsa fun!

Thoroughly cooled after the roller coaster:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Pretty amazing feat to watch- we managed to get 110 kids OFF the buses in 90 seconds flat, all of them rode the coaster, and loaded back on the bus in I'm guessing under 1/2 an hour. Guess they were hungry! We at that night at a lovely restaurant called Ricky's just up the road from our hotel. Finally, we got to sleep in a REAL bed!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cali Trip Day #1- Dead Dino's and Deader Busses.

So I got to tag along on this years 8th grade California Science trip...  Meaning I chased 12 of the 110 students that rode a bus from Blackfoot, Idaho, to San Diego, California, see all of the sites, and then ride all the way back.

What. An. Experience.  It was a ton of fun with many, many memories made along the way.

So day one.  Whats more fun than waking up at 5 a.m., loading all your crap up on the bike, and riding off to meet the bus?  Well, sleeping in comes to mind, but that wasn't an option.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

We got everyone checked in, loaded all of the luggage, and trundled off down the freeway. We had THREE buses- 2 full size MCI's and a Ford Superduty "Truck Bus". After only an hour or two we started having some overheating issues with our bus, which after a few freeway roadside stops it was decided the temp gauge was off so we continued on our way. Hmmm....

One of the bus-fulls of kids:

First stop was the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Ut.  Cool stuff!

Of course, our boys had more fun in the little kid play area...

After a few hours there we loaded up, got some new drivers, and headed down the road again.

New drivers... Wow. Our buses were a little new to them and shifting turned out to be quite a challenge. ESPECIALLY on the crazy road up through Panguitch, Ut, to get to our next stop: Bryce Canyon.

Originally, we had planned on doing the Queens Garden hike but because of SEVERAL stops to check the overheating bus and reeallly slow going up all the switchbacks, we ended up doing the Navajo Loop trail, which was incredible!

How do you get 110 13 year olds through a canyon!? Very carefully!!!

Beautiful place. I'm going to have to go back there and do some more exploring! SO- now it's getting later, 7 or 8 in the evening. Load 'em all back up and trundle off to the next stop- Mcdonalds for dinner. Our bus made it in decent time... but the OTHER big bus blew a rad hose. We unloaded our boys and sent our bus back for the other bus. Spent the next FIVE HOURS at Mcdonalds waiting for the bus to get fixed. Ug. What to do at Mcdonalds for 5 hours....

Juggle basketballs?

Sit around? Charge your cell phone?

Lay down on the bus once it got back from rescuing stranded students and try and sleep?

Sure, why not.

Note to self- Don't let the students sleep on the lawn next time... When the sprinklers kick on they aren't happy when you laugh at them. Or maybe that note should read: Be sure to have the video camera ready next time.

They finally got the other bus fixed. Of course, then the good bus had a DEAD BATTERY. We finally ended up getting out of there at 3 a.m. and picked up some fuel and new drivers again in St. George, Ut.

What a loooonnnnngggggg day. Hope it gets better from here on out!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Smashing Cricuts.

Well, not really, but I used a Cricut vinyl cutter for the first time today.  Lotsa fun!

I found a set of Adobe Illustrator templates for my bike several years ago and have been meaning to do this for a long time.  I designed some new graphics a couple of years ago, but still didn't get them cut.  Today was the day.  Last day of school, no students, room was all checked off and I was good to go.  Been fighting with file formats for the last week so I figured I would give it one last try, glad I did! Got them all straightened out and ran them through "Make the Cut".  The OLD version, that lets you run the Cricut like a CNC without having to cut only whats on the stupid cartridges.

Cricut doing its thing.

Peeled off the extra vinyl and had this left. Made a few stickers for my website with all of the extra space.

Used a little bit of contact paper to transfer this piece over,

The rest were just stuck on by eyeballing it.



Not to bad for eyeballin it!  One side done:

Now to do the other side and finish up a few little things.

FWIW, the templates I have DO NOT fit perfectly... I had to trim a little to get it to look right, and because the tank is not perfectly flat there were a few teeny wrinkles in the vinyl.

I spent about $25 on vinyl- just used whatever my local craft store had in stock. Don't like the orange I got so I will probably order some brighter stuff but I was impatient and wanted to get it done.

Here's what my poor bike looked like before:

and AFTER!


You might notice I changed a*few* other small things besides the stickers... Glad it's finally back in the dirt! Hoping to do a lot of riding with the family this year... I even figured out how to stuff the bike, the 4 wheeler, and two mini-bikes on my teeny little trailer!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Oh, and did I mention?  SCHOOLS OUT!!!