Monday, October 5, 2015

114. Shootings and remembrance

I have been shooting quite a bit. Bought my first gun a few days ago and have enjoyed blasting through 500 rounds already. We are headed into the slow season for business so I finally get a little time off before the next season commands all of my time.

Also have my first employee which is my brother. Had no intention of helping his scenario since it also helps his wife whom an unbreakable hatred has developed.

Even though things are going well with my daughter and the business, this is not a positive post.

From time to time I find myself gravitating towards the dead and remembrance. Remembering someone who has passed takes me to the river of melancholy where I float face up listening to my breath and the flow of water around the rocks.

The sadness feels like home. Welcoming. It is the reflection of childhood.

When I look at my daughter it rips me clean out of the water because she is not allowed to experience the same things. She has not been robbed of her innocence and almost every time I see her face I fall in love again. You do anything to see that smile.

She inspires guilt too. If my presence is not around her the feelings begin to fester. If my return sees past her bedtime there will be a sleep inspection. She does look like an angel when she rests.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

113. Vacations and theft/abandonment

Our daughter has it so good. My first airplane ride was when I was 16 or 17 years old. Been so long that the memory has faded. She is not even a year yet and she is riding first class. Not because we flew in luxury but the kid had a memory foam pillow to sleep on and did quite well. Kids don't have a clue how good things are!

The little one had the opportunity to meet both sides of my family and enjoyed it to the fullest extent. No complaints and the social bombardment came at no ill mental suffering. Unfortunately the life back in Las Vegas is less than social with busy work schedules and my own antisocial behavior. There was only one time when one of the relatives was rather loud that Mona got uncomfortable. Just like dada, not a fan of the loudness.

Now momma and dada did very well with the quiet pace of upstate NY. Much needed relaxation with the family volunteering for some baby duty. Even if for 10 to 20 minute increments it is very welcomed. The little princess has not had a babysitter yet as there is a serious distrust about the folks of Las Vegas.

Speaking of distrust of the Vegas people, after being in New York city and on Long Island this time around, for the first time I looked forward to being back in Vegas. Vegas is actually very quiet outside of the Las Vegas strip. Much more so than NYC and the areas within commute distance. The older I get the more I seek peace and quiet.

I used to attain such peace and quiet by going on the motorcycle adventures but these days my work travel is the only time away from the madness. Never too far, though.

Exercise, one of the other saviors, has been minimal. I love activity where one can get in the zone and go for hours. Hours I don't have. Yesterday there was an opportunity to get out on the fat bike. I love riding that thing. It is like a two wheeled Jeep with nothing but people power.

Loaded the truck with the bike and started scoping the southwest part of Las Vegas to go exploring and get some exercise. I used to ride all of these areas by dirt bike years ago before all of the building to the very edges of town. While cruising the desert I found a woman's high heel shoe, a desert tortoise shell and while headed back to the truck noticed a vehicle on top of the mountain.

Initially I thought it was a truck because it is very rugged terrain and a car would not make it out of there. That and my buddy and myself have been up there in his modified for rock crawling truck. Instead of going back to the car I decided to ride up to the car which looked like a Lexus LS or Mercedes S class. To get to the top of the hill it required circling around the base of the mountain to catch a trail since the side of the hill is too steep for ascension.

The further I got the more it puzzled me that a large luxury sedan had made its way up there. Had to be a theft. Coming to the last steep drop at the top of the hill to where the vehicle had been abandoned it took footwork to get down to it. Too steep for a bicycle even if I was on fat tires! While climbing down I took many photos of the footprints before I damaged them from the climb back out.

Maybe a man and a woman did this since the shoe sizes are large and small?

As I got to the car it left a feeling of disgust. Whether this was abandoned by the owner(s) or it was a theft and abandoned, it did not bode well. When I called the police department to report it they checked the VIN and said it had not been reported stolen. What do you think?

Speaking of the police, when the VIN came back as not stolen they said they could not do anything about it. Then handed me off to another agency to report the vehicle as abandoned to go get it. Crazy that if you do not report something as stolen(what if you are incapacitated or dead) that the police will not lift a finger?

I collected all sorts of visual evidence for the stolen Mercedes S420 located in the southwest of Las Vegas behind the Wet and Wild water park. You cannot see it unless you go back into the desert.

Just when I was starting to appreciate Las Vegas after this last trip to NYC and this casts the same old feelings that I used to have about this town. Too many shitbags wind up here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

112. Heavy breathing at 8,000 and up

Let's start this off with the little precious at 10 months old. Mona is still a giant baby that is very cute and on the verge of becoming a threat to all who have to chase. She is walking! Of course Mom loves diaper art and there are only two months left until she hits the final month of the series.

Parenting has become more difficult as the little hot rod does not sleep as much and is becoming fussier. Teeth coming in and learning new emotions and with myself working many hours she is changing faster than I can keep up. This can result in an unhappy child.

Mona has had her first road trip to California a few months ago and did well. In two weeks she will be taking her first airplane ride. The kid has it pretty good. I didn't have my first flight until 16 or 17 years of age. Looks as if she, like me, will not remember it! Mom and Dad are worried about the experience!

To the title of this piece; exercise is a very important part of my life. I rarely get free time between a busy work schedule and family life so every opportunity which presents itself is taken advantage of. The last post about fat biking is what today's post is inspired by.

Las Vegas is getting hot as it does every summer and the older I get the less I subject myself to physical extremes. Up until last year my preferred method of transportation has been motorcycle and bicycle in almost any weather condition. Maybe my wife's more sensible side has been wearing off on me?

A few days ago I hit the trails west of Las Vegas for some mountain biking and my dermis was wringing the sweat out in buckets. The conclusion was made that for the remainder of the summer my two wheeled exploits would have to be in higher/cooler elevations or not at all.

Off I went to Lee Canyon to try the Bristlecone Trail which was 3 miles of hill climb followed by some single track with vertical drop off on one side and then some fast flowing downhill. The weather was right and so was the scenery but my lungs were struggling!

When I got to the single track it was so gnarly in parts that I was walking to avoid falling off of the side of the mountain. I should have taken some pictures there but it was 100% concentration. Once to the fast flowing downhill section the ride quickly came to an end as the last couple of miles flew by.

I call it a successful ride to get some alpine riding, cool temperatures, and pleasant sights.

These guys are wild and enjoying a grass cutting session in the Lower Lee Meadows.

It was so peaceful getting away from the city and the crazy. My job entails getting away from the city but I still am taking and herding/entertaining 55 or more people for 15 hours at a time. At home it is the little princess that has the presence of 100 people.

It is getting much too late so you will be left with this...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

111. Fat biker

It has been a while! A not so young buck has been busy. Parenting, working, setting up the new business, getting a fat bike!

It is so rare to get any time to ride said fat bike since other responsibilities grapple for the attention.

Three things have happened in the last year that I never anticipated in my lifetime: becoming a father, owning a business, and asking for a hand in marriage. Talk about nervous on that last one! Not because there was a doubt about the wrong answer coming out but more the act of doing it.

I already call my S.O. my wife out of commitment and love but to actually push towards it being official, just didn't seem like it was going to ever happen.

This song is for her:

It has been seemingly forever since listening to some good music. Few things bring the heightened mood that music does and it is forgotten from time to time. Especially now.

I haven't sang to my daughter much in the past few months. Need to stay on that. She is just about walking at 9 months. She can stand up and take a few steps already. She feels the need to skip crawling and practices walking most waking moments. The kid is so cute and I should be keeping up with the pictures and videos but working 80 hour weeks has been getting in the way. I do have two full days with her when I am not working and the wife puts in a few hours at her job.

Poor girl is being stripped of her job of 13 years by yours truly who just stepped back into tourism after years out of the game. We are both looking forward to the future as I work into my highest paying position of my life. The motivation of taking care of our daughter has lit the fire under my buns. Have to make sure this kid wants for nothing(in a non-spoiled way).

Here is a little vid my wife did of Mona doing boot camp crawling:

How we ended up with such a cute kid is beyond me. I was always complimented on looks so maybe that is why? Mona gets her first plane ride out of the whom in a month. Kid is going to NYC and Bingo town. Next year she goes to the land of the rising sun. Little globe trotter will have half as many abroad trips under her diapers than myself before the age of 2!

I count my blessings how life has went from an aimless lack of purpose to a very clear picture that is beautiful.

My new hobby is fat biking. Just no time to do it now while busting tail at work and home. Going slow has never been so much fun.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Buck ten: Almost died

Being a father has put a tail of responsibility to every decision made henceforth. As I type this, one eye is kept on the little gem.

Last weekend my trade brought me to Death Valley for some scouting but instead of going by preferred method of transportation I was relegated to the truck. Still had a great time but the itch to get the new bike out there and ride was like a fresh case of poison ivy.

Enter today, the rare day off. I woke up early to return some paperwork to the office and it was a very calm and clear. The bike was a must as it sits for a week at a time.

Paperwork handed off and I knew I had to go back to Death Valley. Permission was granted from the wife and I was off. A quick fill up just before heading out of town and the ascent begins to get out of the Vegas dust bowl.

Don't laugh because I roll a scooter! After eating, breathing, and living every facet of motorcycling and conquering the largest, fastest, and heaviest my final frontier is the slowest and most fun. You can say I no longer have much to prove.

This little scoot, however, is quite competent. The ride today proved this and the photos to follow should give you a decent idea.

Speaking of photos, after the picture above was taken, yours truly was almost turned to mashed potatoes. Kind of fitting that on a ride to Death Valley I almost died. Climbing Mt. Potosi, some impatient cager decides to pass around a corner on a double yellow(no passing zone) in his Hyundai Veloster. He is next to 2 other cars which are too close for him to escape my lane so I swing wide and am ready to bat his mirror as he passes.

I felt a slight anger but maintained composure an did not retaliate and continued on my ride without much fanfare. Later in my ride it started to weigh on me the possibility of leaving my daughter without a dad and even though this bike is a lot of fun and recently purchased, it may be time to hang up the jacket and helmet and quit while ahead.

Back to the ride; I climbed Mt. Potosi at a steady 59 to 61 mph indicated(scooter riders can appreciate this statement) and flowed down the back side at 70 mph not wanting to use much throttle. The little Yamaha conquered the mountain that the fuddyduddy Jerry claimed would bring a CVT equipped scooter to a halt.

Posing after the hill climb.

Before getting to Pahrump I almost always bypass it and head for Tecopa Hot Springs. Better scenery and less knuckle heads usually. Once over the pass you come to Resting Springs Ranch as well as the China Ranch Date Farm. Both are an oasis fed by natural fresh water springs. This is Resting Spring Ranch.

Just a little further in is Tecopa which is now a modern day ghost town. I took this picture more for the old truck.

This pic is of a pool in Hot Spring. I love how peaceful it is here.

Muddy Hills of Hot Spring.

In Shoshone there was a well kept Airhead from Montana complete with hack and trailer. Most likely the only vehicle I had a top speed advantage on.

We make entry to the Death Valley National Park.

Finally down "in" Death Valley. A little breezy but still holding decent speed. Badwater is still another 20 miles from here.

Telescope Peak at over 12.000 ft. has its snow cap in the background.

At Badwater(there is a tiny sign in white indicating sea level) you are 282 ft. below sea level.

I am getting hungry at this time so I forego any stops until Furnace Creek. I park next to a KTM 690 and head for the bar.

The food was over priced, looked decent, but tasted mediocre.

After lunch I felt the need to get back to the family so off we go.

Tecopa drew in a few hot rods.

The final shot is Mt. Potosi after conquering it in ease.

Friday, October 31, 2014

109. 2 and a half months with an angel

Last we left off prior to the birth of my daughter: Mona. She has arrived. Each sight of this cartoonish miniature of her parents leaves us in a deeper state of enamor. The child could not get any cuter. As luck would have it, she is an easy baby as well. Quickly taking to sleep through most of the evening and never whining or complaining. It is like the math of both of us parents worked out well: calm + calm= calm.

When she smiles, all is right with the world. And now into the 11th week she smiles and giggles aplenty. I am back to working long hours and when I get home and begin rattling off my baby talk she gives that toothless smile with squinted eyes. Be still my beating heart. Never had I known this type of love in my life.

Luckily with my schedule and my wife's we do not have to take our little girl to some sort of a sitter service or day care. The last thing I would want is this little gem receiving anything but the best of care.

Some pictures are in order.

This is fresh from the oven. She was delivered via C-section a few says after the anticipated birth date. Looking at her now, she was so skinny then. 7 lbs and 20".

I had to learn baby maintenance first while the wife enjoyed the medications which kept her comfortable from surgery. The lack of sleep was very difficult while staying in the hospital. I manned the bottles and diapers and time went so slow as I counted Mona's breaths it seemed.

Her cries were so cute as her lungs had yet to have the strength to give her wailing power. I still find her cries and coughs cute as they are so subdued compared to my own power. Yet somehow she packs flatulence like a 50 year old lactose intolerant man after drinking a gallon of 2%. That is always good for a chuckle.

I have a curse or gift of hypersensitivity with all of my senses except for smell. My sleep is usually deep and difficult to awaken from. This little girl so much as makes a peep and it is like a Marine Corps sergeant is shouting over me at 4:00am to get my ass out of bed. I spring up instantly. Faster than Mom does, even!

For the first few weeks I would have dreams that she was sleeping in the bed with me, that my head was laying on her, swaddled in a blanket. It would start a state of panic with me searching for her in the bed only to find my head resting on the pillow. Very bizarre.

Later on I would let her sleep in the bed with me. She sleeps very well there but I only do so for naps on occasion.

It feels as if she has been with us for decades already. We have been to the doctor for her check ups and immunizations twice now and she is gaining weight appropriately and getting taller faster than normal. In 10 weeks she has gained 6.5 lbs and grew 4.5". She is truly a happy baby.

Mom does not like having her pictures shown off so I will leave her out of the entry.

Here Mona is having a laugh at daddy.

When people see her when we are out and about they gush at the cuteness. I can't fault them. For the first month and a half since she has arrived my voice has been like a broken record to the sound of, "I can't believe how cute she is!" I must have said it a few thousand times already.

So far she has had no problems and is as happy as a clam so we could not ask for more.

Outside of the new life as a parent, things are going well on the job front. After the baby was born I went back to work and am in the process of opening my own business. It will sort of be like being a parent of a business as well. No other plans to talk about details as competition is ruthless and will try to shut me down. It happened to a company I worked for years ago in the same industry.

Things have changed for the better since the arrival of our little treasure. She has added a new found meaning to my life and no longer are decisions made on my behalf but on behalf of my daughter. It took me a long time to find her mother and thanks to her our efforts have resulted in a blessing.

Until next time we see you, whenever that may be...

Monday, August 11, 2014

108. Somebody to love

This goes out to my girls.

My love barometer for the past 7 or 8 years has been based on my immediate feelings of Billy Joel songs. His music was always a cornerstone from my all time favorite artists until I associated it with a few year love affair gone wrong. Sure it led to some of the highest natural feelings during my possession of this thing called a life. Unfortunately a bad love will be subject to Newton's Laws.

I am not blaming anyone for what happened. Sometimes the forbidden will steal a part of you even if you contain the strength to resist.

So, Billy Joel, my unborn daughter gets a kick- pun intended- out of your music. No longer do I despise your work due to the negative association drawn from that emotional corpse that was in tow.

Which song does she like?

I say she likes the song but truth be told, she gets active to the music. This could be her begging for peace and quiet. We won't know until she gets out and can verbalize, at least with body language, her opinion of the said piece.

The Yukester's mother is visiting from Japan to witness her first grandchild in the flesh. We will have three generations of the clan under one roof. Looks like 500 years of samurai blood will be continued with an Irish kick.

The fact that two people are about to experience the best moments in their live's is out there. We have been waiting so long for our baby girl that each day seems to lengthen in hours. Maybe this is life's way of slowing things down as prior to the engagement of legacy procurement the days were but a blur. It was great but now that g word does it no justice.

Even clothes shopping for the little girl is entertaining. Heck, you would be lucky to get me in a store, much less one without internal combustion engines attached to two wheels.

Depending on how Mona does on the birthing finale will decide if she gets a sibling. Should she pull off the miracle natural birth then we will try for baby numero dos as soon as it is safe. With the Yukester's age we are being cautious even if our first attempt has been nothing but seamless and healthy.

Estimated birth date is less than 48 hours away and it is looking as if she will be a little late. Ironic as I am like a Swiss watch with timing. Due to the Yukester's age the doctor is recommending an induction in the 40th week to avoid complications.

Tomorrow evening will be another appointment to plan the course of action.

This kid will have an amazing life. Showered in love.