Sunday, April 26, 2009

Poolside garden project

Well its spring time and my son (Myles) and I decided it was time to build a small garden. Around three years ago I bought one of those plastic landscape ponds, ever since then it has been sitting around on my deck waiting to be installed. The pond itself is a 300 gallon; it came to me in a dream to fill it with dirt instead of water.

My boy and I got started early Saturday morning a week ago; Myles started by tighten up the air chuck on the nail gun. I have to admit the nail gun was almost as big as my boy. Ha-ha.
Next step was to nail down the boards where the pond was to be placed; Myles got the hang of it very quick and made short work of it.

Next step we needed to drill some one inch drain holes; again Myles was up to the job, he first drilled holes in the bottom then went to work on the sides. He did an amazing job.

The next step you ask; well Myles abandon his dad and went to the front yard to play some baseball. Ha-ha. He had done a good job…I think the heavy nail gun took it out of him.

Now it was my turn to work; I first built the frame then added braces due to the odd shape of the pool.

Then a test fitting of the pool

Then I placed the pool back into place and did a test fit of the 8 foot 2” x 12” treated board.
I had to use 2 x 12’s to cover the odd shape of the pool; once I laid a board on top I would lay on my back in the pool and trace the shape of the pool on the bottom side of the board.

Then it was time to get out the jig saw; here is a little back ground story of the jig saw I was working on another project a few years ago (the deck) and I burn up my other jig saw and I only had one board left to cut and to make matter worse it was late in the day and a Sunday. So at the time of day I just went to Wal-Mart to get a cheap jig saw to finish the job until I had time to go to Lowes and get a better one. When I got to the store there was a Black and Decker jig saw for 20 dollars, so I picked it up and was walking out to pay…then I saw it a no name jig saw for…get this its price…six dollars. I laughed to myself and picked it up, figuring it would last at least long enough to finish the one cut I had left…well to make a long story short; I’m still using the same cheap jig saw three years later…go figure. Ha-ha.

Next step was to finish up the crazy cuts and nail them to the top.

Then I stared on the sides, I used six foot dog eared boards (fence boards) cut into 16” boards

Then came the trim boards around the top

It ended up looking like a hot tub once done.

Now it was time for the dirt, my Pop sprung for the dirt, we ended up getting it from Wal-Mart too. It cost $ 1.20 a bag; we ended up getting 60 bags somewhere around 70 dollars. So if you ever ask your self what 2400 pounds of dirt looks like in bags…well here it is…

Next was painful I had to carry 60 bags of dirt from the driveway to the pool and cut open and dump each bag. It’s amazing how everyone has something else to do when lifting is done…ha-ha.

Once I got it mostly full I went back to Wal-Mart and the nursery and picked up the plants and some high dollar dirt to finish off the pond.

Next I planted the plants

Here is the finished garden…after the garden is over I plan on planting dwarf fruit trees in the pond next.

I also planted some more veggies in some pots that will go into another planter on my deck…more on that later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hmmm what to do, what to do???

Well as I said in the last post, I walked in the motorcycle dealership and was greeted by a salesman named David. I asked to see the 2009 Yamaha Road Star 1700; they had four of them in stock. Two with no windshields and saddle bags
and two fully loaded. I ended up looking at the two fully loaded ones.
One was silver and the other was a darker gray. I was a little disappointed as both were not my favorite colors but still nice looking bikes. They also came with hard saddle bags instead of the leathers ones like my bosses bike. Not a bad price $14,400.00 with I think a 700 dollar rebate.

Then it happen…David told me he also had a bike and was thinking of trading to a bigger one. This is where I made my mistake and asked…what kind are you thinking of getting? His reply…you ask? A 2009 Yamaha Raider 1900,

come to find out the bike I was looking at was only a couple of bikes over from the Raider, I took a glance at it and thought it was a very sharp looking bike, but not what I was looking for…no windshield, saddle bags and no real place to put them on it without making the bike look dumb. It looked like more of a around town bike with a huge motor not one made for the long rides that I want to do.

I have to admit, I did keep glancing over at it while talking to David. So the next think I know, I’m sitting on it and love the way it feels. I loved the tall risers the 21” front wheel and the 240 tire in back, it also has a nice little rake (I think all total 40 degree) that’s a lot of rake for a stock Yamaha and let’s not forget the 113 ci motor tucked inside the blacked out frame. Then David does the unthinkable and said I have one sitting outside already fitted with a set of cobra pipes;

you want to hear it run? So I go outside and he cranks the beast…all I can say is OH MY GOD!!! In all honesty it was one of the best sounding bikes I have ever heard, it even beat out the Harleys. WOW!!!

But as nice as it sounded I was still looking for more of a cruiser so we went back in to look at the Road Stars 1700’s again. But the whole time I kept eyeballing the Raider…then David said “do you want to take the Raider out for a test ride???” My first reaction was I’m not dressed for it, I was in shorts, boat shoes, and I did not have my helmet with me. His answer “no problem we have plenty of helmets for you to barrow.”

He was a man of his word; he had about ten helmets to choose from. I picked a half helmet

like I always wear and to my surprise it fit. He jumped on a Suzuki and I was on the Raider, as I turned the key and hit the starter it roared to life. He told me to follow him as they had a usual block they take you around. As I let off the clutch, I noticed the bike had more power than I’m use to (even at idle speed). As I followed him to the main road, I was surprised we crossed it and got on a very busy highway 49 heading towards Jackson. I look up and he was gone. He was hauling ass down the highway; so I gunned the gas on my bike (this is where things get crazy) the next thing I know my rear tire has broke loose and I’m spinning like crazy (I've got to admit this scared the poop out of me) so I let off the throttle and shifted in to second…yep you guessed it spinning again. This time I got it under control and I was off. Seconds later, I was on David’s rear wheel as we turned onto interstate 59. As soon as we got off the on ramp, we were gone at speeds, I know, hitting the triple digits in mere seconds only to briefly slow due to a ticket in progress along side the interstate, but once passed we were off again until we turned again onto a smaller road and came to a stop at a little store to tighten up our helmets that were flapping on our heads at the high speeds while on the interstate.(grinning from ear to ear I might add) Then we eased our way back to the dealership, and I thanked him for the ride of my life…if you want to go fast try out the Raider you won't be disappointed.

Now here is my dilemma…what to do? Do I keep my V-star 1100 (fine bike, by the way) or trade it in on a 2009 Raider. Now I’m wondering will I be satisfied if I buy another cruiser even a larger cubic inch one…I’m just not sure I’ll feel the same kind of rush…but then I like to travel on a bike and I’m not sure the Raider would be a good fit for that either. Hmmm, what to do, what to do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Well it happen

Well it happen…as I mentioned many posts ago, when I bought my Yamaha 2008 V-Star 1100, I found out that one of my bosses had bought an identical bike a few weeks before me, same year, same color the only difference was his (Mr. Duckworth) had a seat back rest (HE'S GETTING OLDER AND NEEDS SOMETHING TO PROP UP AGAINST TO KEEP FROM FALLING OFF..HA-HA)

and highway bars. Well, I also mentioned that I loved my bike but wish it had a sixth gear for hwy. riding.

Well, I’ve been saving up my pennies to buy a set of pipes (Cobra Speedster Slashdown pipes- see pipes below)

for my little bike (funny that an 1100cc bike is considered small now days…I remember when that was the biggest motor you could get) shhhhhh don’t tell my wife I have saved the money now for the pipes, she will want some of it.

But now that I have the money, I’m having second thoughts about putting the pipes on, as I’m starting to dream of a bigger bike.

WELL IT HAPPENED…Thursday, April 16, 2009 my boss Rick (I bought a bike better than yours) Duckworth threw me the keys to his new motorcycle and said “you will just never know until you ride it)

Ok here is a little background about his new bike before I go on…he too had loved his little bike and was a Yamaha man from years back. As the story goes Rick had stopped into his local dealership to buy a dust cover for his V-Star 1100, when he walked into the door…There it was sitting all alone a fully dressed out 2008 Yamaha Road Star 1700, black on black (see photo above) with every option you can imagine including cruise control (as I mentioned before, he is getting kind of old and brittle and twisting the throttle is getting to be a little much for him…HA-ha. it appears that a coworker must of brought in a wheel chair for him today. I guess in case of a crash or just getting around in the office).

Well come to find out the bike was used, the previous owner had ordered it with all the bells and whistles and after putting just 24 miles on it bounced a check and the bike ended up back at the dealership just waiting on Rick to get his grubby little hands on it at a great price and trade in of his old V-Star 1100.

Ok back to the story, after getting the key I stopped off at my desk and picked up my helmet and was followed to the bike by two co-workers Ann

and David

They wanted to check the bike out too. As we were looking the bike over, Ann mentioned that Rick had more money than brains…hmm I’m not sure what she meant by that; and David after finding out that the leather bag mounted to the handle bars was not a bike tool bag as we thought and was really holding Rick’s gas cards
wanted to go on a gas spending splurge…don’t worry Rick…I stopped him…I gave him crime does not pay speech. Well after I saved Rick I’m sure thousands of dollars in gas charges, the next thing to do was to have a seat and crank it up. This caught me a little off guard as I had not noticed the custom pipes, the beast roared to life with a fantastic sound. As I clicked the bike into first I could feel the difference in my bike and his as soon as I let off the clutch. Power and power to spare, as I tooled down the road amazed at the feel of the bike, I swear a little drool dripped down the side of my mouth

as I drove it down the road (lets not mention the drool to Rick as it would give him a much bigger head than he already has) . I have to admit the ride would have been more fun if it was not the boss’s brand new bike with not a scratch on it (pressure, pressure) I kept imagining the call Rick…Mr. Duckworth sir… oooaaa I’ve had a little accident…that would have been a very bad call.., and I’m sure it would not look good on my resume. Well I made it back safe and sound (I guess the key is the bike made it back safe and sound. Ha-ha.) well to quote Will Smith from the movie Independence Day as he first test drove the alien space craft “I have got to get me one of these’s!!!) This was my thinking exactly!!!

Later that day after work, I was driving my truck to the store to get some tomato plants and…I must of blacked out because I ended up in the Hattiesburg Cycle dealership parking lot…hmmm I guess I was thinking since I was already there I might as well go in…after I walked in I was greeted by a sales man named David and yep I looked at motorcycles just like Mr. Duckworth’s bike…but then there was a twist to the story….stay tuned…
Ok on the serious side, I’d like to thank Mr. Duckworth for letting me test drive his new bike, its not every man that would let an employee do hot laps around the building at break neck speeds…uhhh I mean slow control turns at nearly idol speeds as I obeyed all traffic laws. Oh yea and the part where I said Ann said you had more money than brains….well ahhh…she should not say those things about you…that’s just wrong!!! And David…yep he was going to steal those gas cards…ha-ha.
Thanks again Mr. Duckworth.

BREAKING NEWS!!! THIS JUST IN!!! I just recieved a email with this photo attached, it appears that Matt (the hammer) Roland also took a ride on the bike too without permission (he must of hot-wired it). The email also said "DIET COKE RULES" I'm not sure what he meant by that...maybe Duckworth will know...hmmm

States I’ve traveled to over the years

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