Sunday, October 07 2007 @ 04:26 PM PDT
Contributed by: Richard Pitt
Well... that was fun!
Our local motorcycle "Toy Run" was this morning - 10AM at Coquitlam Centre - ride from there through Port Moody to Burnaby and then to Hastings Park (aka the PNE) just inside Vancouver near the Iron Worker's second narrows bridge.
It was heavy overcast when I left just after 9AM - and still that way when we left the parking lot for the ride.
The route is closed to cars for the hour or so that it takes all the bikes (have seen 10,000 other years but estimate there were less than 5,000 this year - more probably about 3000) to ride by - police at most intersections and motorcycle club members at the rest. Usually lots of spectators to wave and honk at but by the time we got to Burnaby it was raining hard - so few people :(
I suffered through the rain in just my leathers as of course I'm the optimist so didn't put on the wet weather gear - I wasn't the only one to arrive with a wet crotch ;)
Of course I didn't purchase a toy until I got to the shopping center but Zellers (discount version of the Bay) has found that they do a booming business on Toy Run day so they were open early - got my usual, a construction toy.
Got to the PNE grounds and unlike in most past years we ended up in one of the animal barns (someone thinks this is funny probably :twisted: ) instead of the old Forum building (original ice rink for hockey) - handed in my toy and got my pin - then got a couple of tee-shirts as usual - they're great shirts and not expensive at $10 each.
Signed up for the BC Coalition of Motorcycles again for the year - they are the ones responsible for getting bikes first on ferries and into HOV lanes - and are working on other things like reduced tolls and "lane splitting" as well as transferable plates for those with more than one bike.
Anyway - got outside and it was still pouring so put on the rain gear - standing next to another guy with a Gold Wing just about to ride off without his - doesn't carry it all the time for some reason - hope he didn't get pneumonia or something.
Of course when it is wet my cell phone isn't on the dash, so when it rang I couldn't answer. Turned out that Shirley called to let me know the power was out at home but I didn't know that until I pulled into the garage and noticed the lights were out.
It's Thanksgiving - and we're supposed to cook the turkey for dinner with my sister-in-law and her husband and their kids (and our #1 son Michael too) but no power!
But I have all this solar stuff - batteries, inverters, etc. for the Chehalis estuary. Hmmm... wonder if I can run the rotissary on the barbeque with it (of course I can - the real question was could I run the sump pump?)
So I made a little hole under our back sun-room where I could run the 'Q - hooked up an extension to the solar setup and got ready to cook.
The new 'Q has a side burner fortunately - so cooking the stuffing was a cinch - except that the storm has lots of wind and it blew out the flame at least once - thought I had run out of gas but no.
Shirley and I were just about to skewer the bird when the power came back on - but I was ready just in case. We had the recipe all chosen and everything. Problem is that the timing would have made us a bit late for dinner but hey - at least the turkey would have been cooked!
All this running around made me think about what it would be like to be "off grid" with a complete solar system instead of connection to the pole. I'm not sure I could do it with all the computers here - but hey, maybe some day.
I'm "cooking" some pictures as I write this - but I just noticed my drive is almost out of space so I'll have to move some stuff around to fit them in - will post them and some others from the hatchery install soon.