Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Commencing a new journey

After some encouragement from some other bloggers, many of whom listed on my link list, a new journey starts for me today. I've started a blog! Not sure where this blog will be headed but I am looking forward to the adventure. I am learning this on the fly, so to speak, so forgive me if the postings seem a bit amateur. But that's the way it is. Actually, the start of this blog is a new journey for me, but the real journey started in July 2008 when I purchased my scooter. There were many reasons for the purchase, economics, fun, etc. But little did I know how much fun and excitement there would be. Since I bought the machine, I have commuted to and from work almost every day. I only missed a few days in the winter due to icy streets and have ridden in just about all weather conditions imaginable (even down to 10 degrees or so). On this day, it was about 30 degrees, and some snowplows had cleared off a parking lot and piled all the snow and ice in a big pile. Silly me, I took a picture with my blackberry. Yes I had to be careful that day, but the streets were relatively clear. Riding in multiple weather conditions is a bit of a challenge, but with much experimenting, I have found many ways to survive. The weather here in Kansas varies a lot, blazing hot in summer, and some occasional snow in winter. I have also become an ATGATT advocate mainly because of the many very informative posts I have read on other blogs. On that day I took the ice picture, the ride to work was great, even exhilarating. In fact almost every day I ride to work is great and memorable in one way or another. This morning for instance, I passed by a bakery on the way to work. There was very little wind this morning, and the smell of the freshly baked goods permeated the intersection where I was stopped at a light. I would have never noticed the smells if I was in a car. Just one of the little things I enjoy about Scootin', and there is a veritable plethora (always liked that phrase) of little things about Scootin' that I enjoy. I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time, but have hesitated because I was afraid it would take too much time. But it has been a bit easier than I thought, and even though it will take some effort, I think the introspection involved will be good for me. I will try and make it interesting. I do not profess to be a good photographer, but would like to continue that hobby, and blogging will keep me going. I actually take a lot of photographs with my Blackberry which has a 2mp camera, and I have a pretty decent Canon digital camera as well. In fact, all the pictures on today's post, except for one were taken with the Blackberry. I live in Wichita. Some of my friends and myself used to jokingly refer to this city as "The Mistake on the Plains". It's actually not that bad at all. I have lived here for close to 30 years now. It's actually not a very old city, founded in 1870 or so. Other parts of Kansas are a few decades older, but the city is partially defined by the meeting of 2 rivers near the downtown area and was for many years before the city was founded a native american trading post. A relatively famous native american artist known as Blackbear Bosin designed a sculpture that is situated where the two rivers meet. Here's a link for more information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbear_Bosin The 2 rivers that meet here are known as the Little and the Big Arkansas Rivers. Of course the Big Arkansas river starts in Colorado and ends up at the Mississippi. The smaller one is just sort of a tributary, but has always been known around here as the big and little rivers. One word of caution however: Do not pronounce the name of the river like you would the state of Arkansas (Arkansaw). In Kansas the river has the same pronunciation as the state of Kansas does. A sort of side note: With the help of some friends, we have recently started a little scooter club here in Wichita. Here's a recent picture:

Although we just getting this club off the ground, it looks like we are going to have lots of fun and hopefully safe miles together It is an interesting group of people, with scootering in common.

Since this is my first post and I am just barely learning how to do this, I'll keep this relatively short with a promise of more to come later. Please feel free to comment, make suggestions, and otherwise give me lots of help. I need it!


  1. Congratulations on your entry into the blogging world. It can be a amazing experience! I'll keep an eye on your premeditations.

    Looks like you have some interesting landscapes and features to tour through. I will enjoy learning a bit more about your neck of the woods.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  2. I've checked your profile now and then on Blogger for some time wondering if you'd be joining us here in Blog Land. I'm glad you've joined in! Welcome!

    - Joe at Scootin' da Valley

  3. Hello Jim - great post, and that's great you have a scooter club going. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and views from your part of the woods, and I've put you on my bloglist so I can stop by regularly!

  4. How awesome! Even if you don't keep with it, at least you can say you went for it. Although, from your comments there's probably a lot of fascinating things to share. Of course, there's that addiction, thing, too!

    Looking forward to watching it grow as you find your own style.

  5. Jim:
    A great start. Now we're going to learn more about your area. While it may only be your first post, you write like a Pro.

    You are right about being exposed to the elements and absorbing the good smells of fresh baked goods. It seems that lately I have been getting the bad smells of dirty exhausts from cars that burn oil, or the diesel fumes of trucks and buses, or the smell of cigarettes from other drivers who dangle their fingers out their window. Or more recently, the spray of the windshield fluid from the vehicle ahead who wanted to clean their windshield. I do not do drugs, but some strange aroma was coming from an old beat up Thunderbird the other day. I am positive it was an illegal smell of some sort.

    Welcome to the other side

  6. Dear CPA 3485:

    When in doubt always begin a story with a statement. For example,

    "The sleet was thicker than shit on on congressman's agenda the first winter day I decided to ride my scooter to work." See how that sets the tone? Or:

    "The aroma of fresh baked buns caused me to run my morning commute through the front door of the local bakery. Yet it was the perfumed scent of sweat on the blond jogger in front of me that forced me off my scooter, and into the arms of destiny..." Or:

    "Why would any man want to start a scooter club?"

    'Why indeed,' I asked myself, trying to come up with a good excuse to engage the tanned brunette eying the Vespa at the dealership. 'Care to join my scooter club," I stammered. Then I handed her a blank sheet of paper and said, 'Just write your name and number on this simple membership form and I'll call you in 20 minutes.'"

    See what I mean? Now go have some fun with this literary venture. Good luck. The first picture of your scooter club meeting looks very promising.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack Riepe
    Twisted Roads

  7. Jim,

    Congrats! You did it. It's true, "a thousand miles journey begins with the first step." You've taken that and ya did well!

    Looking forward to checking in on you. Great way to reflect on life's big and small matters.

    I have slept with my BlackBerry!

  8. I had 2 mini heart attacks last night after I posted the announcements of my new blog on some of your sites.

    First, about 4 of you commented within an hour or so from my posts. Made me wonder if some of you actually have a life outside of blogging, LOL.

    Secondly, I was reading the comments you all made while using my blackberry at home last night and discovered that I was unable to post a response to my own blog from my own phone. I never have had this happen. I actually do most of my blog reading and posting from the phone. Maybe there is some setting I need to tweak a bit. But anyway, I can always do it from work in the morning where I have a real computer.

    I am not sure we have very exciting landscapes around here to tell you about. When you get out in the country, there is only so much you can write about wheat fields. Of course we do have a few Amish people around here and maybe I can tie that in, (Jack might appreciate that). But thanks for the encouragement. Yours was one of the first blogs I found and I enjoy your 'stuff' immensely.

    Thanks for the welcome into the blog world. I am very excited about it.

    Charlie 6,
    Thanks for the compliment. I wanted to start off relatively simple. I was just excited to get something up so I could go back and look at it later and say "I did that!" In the future I am guessing that some of my posts will be short and sweet and simple, while other posts may be from deeper thoughts and ideas.

    The scooter club ought to be fun. I used to belong to a great bicycle club for many years before my knees objected. Made some great friends and had lots of memorable rides. If the new scooter club gets anywhere close to the fun of the bicycle club, I will be pleased.

    Irondad, (Dan)
    Thanks for the encouragement. I sense that you may be a bit burned out, as I get sometimes during 'tax season'. But hopefully, this too shall pass. I've told you before how much I have learned from your blog. Then there was that Christmas tree, LOL.

    Thanks for the compliment. Around here some of the smells I encounter usually involve diesel fuel. I agree that the smell of illegal smoke is unmistakable. Haven't smelled much of that since my college days, if you catch my drift.
    When you said welcome to the 'other side', did you perchance mean that blogging is part of the 'Dark Side' of the 'Force'?

    Slept with your blackberry, huh?
    Hmmmmm, conjures up some strange visions there.
    Ironically, the subject of my next post will probably be that very device (the blackberry) which I have come to love and hate at the same time.

    The management of PMS (Premeditated Scootin') will always appreciate all of your comments and suggestions, even if they border on harassment. I am sure I will never be able to match the imagination you display in your blog. You sincerely are a wonderful wordsmith. Guess it's because I may be a numbersmith instead.
    Most of my writing these days involve writing a letter to the IRS on behalf of my client. I have to be precise and technical and make it understandable to the idiot on the receiving end can fix whatever it was that they screwed up. It's a totally different form of writing. I actually look forward to trying my hand at a little creativity.

    Thanks to all of you for writing in. It's much appreciated.


  9. I am no photographer but I carry a pocket camera and use it all the time. I get in as close as I can to the subject, following the advice I got from a newspaper photographer years ago.
    Don't make a format else it will box you in, write about what you want to write about and just see where it goes.
    Good advertising will kill a bad product. You've told us all you are here so now get producing!Silence kills blogs deader than anhything.

  10. Jim, welcome to the blogosphere! As others have said, the hard part can be finding something to write about, but I always keep in mind that famous quote often attributed to Nora Ephron, but actually said by her mother: It's All Copy.

    Didn't know you were in Wichita. Bet lots of others don't know there are scooters there. You can tell the world about that...

    Scootin' Old Skool

  11. Conch,
    Thanks for your comments. Please know that I may imitate your blogs a bit. I find them interesting. I may not read them all very thoroughly, but I am always checking in to see what you are up to. We don't have the same kind of beautiful scenery here, but there will always be something to write about. Thanks for your encouragement to "get producing". I find that the blackberry really takes pretty good pictures and the file sizes are very small. I also admire the frequency of your posts.

    Thanks for the welcome. I don't think I will have much trouble finding thingss to write about even if all the posts are not about 2 wheeled transportation per se.

    Thanks for writing in, and yes, even though it has only been one winter for me, I do very much consider myself a 'Rounder'. I have actually found it to be quite exhilarating. On cold days, I am definately awake when I get to the office. Sort of gets some adrenaline going for the day. I enjoy the heck out of it.

    Thanks to all 3 of you for writing in. eleven coments in under 24 hours is surprising and encouraging.

    Thanks again,


  12. Good looking Blog you got going here.

    Ride on,

  13. Torch,
    Thanks for writing in
    Have seen your name around a bit, but regrettable have not visited your blog til this morning. Dude, that looks like a gnarly blog!
    I'll have to spend a little time there. Sort of a mid-lifer here as well, a new stooterist and a new blogger, too.
    Thanks for your comment

  14. Just back from Istanbul so only now looking in. Great start! And a great scooter!

  15. John,
    Thanks for writing in. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog even though I may not comment much on it. Your pictures from Syria and other places are fascinating. It has always amazed me how much recorded history there is in the middle east compared to where I am. Sometimes I think the native Americans weere wiser than we are here today, but alas.

    Thanks again,


  16. Dear CPA3485:

    It's been 5 days! Nothing else happened over Memorial Day Weekend?

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  17. Great to hear of more scooter activity in the Bartlesville, OK, suburb of Wichita (LOL).

    Seriously, best wishes on the new endeavor.

    Do it for yourself and do it until it's no longer fun for you. Life is too short.

    Joe E.

  18. Jack,
    Just be patient my friend. Have about 3 posts in the works. My weakness is not enough pictures, so I took a lot over the weekend. Should have 2 posts up this week.

    Joe EE,
    I know Bartlesville, my older brother married a gal originally from Bartlesville. Haven't been there for some time, but it seems like a nice place. Maybe we can meet up sometime. Not sure if you are a suburb of Wichita, but maybe a suburb of Tulsa. You do know what Tulsa spelled backwards is, don't you?