Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist

8.17.2014

Yep, I'm still out. And so is Eleanor. So who wants to teach me how to...dance?

What a summer...and it's not over yet.

After doing the same, planned cross-country ride to a specific destination every July since 2007 with Eleanor, circumstances kept me here in California through July to focus my attention on other things like my video and photography work and paying my bills. Both of these items are looking positive, and believe me, being able to pay the bills in this economy (with nothing but independent contractor work) is an accomplishment. As much as I wanted to get away, and as painful as it was to miss a yearly event that was very important to me, I know that my time will come again and things will be even better very soon.

Of course somewhere in between all this, a few extra bumps on the road come my way. My car decided to die on the CA-134 East freeway and is out of commission for a little while. That came exactly two weeks after I dropped Eleanor off for some long-awaited maintenance.

Long-awaited is right. Like I'm still waiting.

So here's the update on Eleanor as of this blog post. She's not done yet, and last Thursday (8/14) marks a month since I've dropped her off at the shop. Yes, that means I have not thrown my leg over a two-wheeled vehicle in a month in California, which in Christine speak is quite unusual.

I've spoken to the Service/General Manager and the Office Manager of the dealership, and they're in a major staffing shortage, quoted as being down to "2.5 techs" (two highly-certified techs and an MMI graduate) not to mention that the most senior tech assigned to my bike injured his knee the week I dropped her off, throwing everything else out of whack. The shop is doing what it can to get through the backlog of service and has turned away multiple customers until this is back under control. It's a crappy situation, but what has impressed me is that the shop owns this problem and is not beating around the bush or making excuses. It is what it is.

With that being said, I choose to make lemonade out of my lemons. I will continue to wait for Eleanor. Considering the circumstances, I probably should be quite pissed off. Not to say that I'm not annoyed to be missing the vehicle that contributes to half of my monthly income (and is my pride and joy), but as a person who has worked in the motorcycle industry in multiple dealerships, this is a situation I know all too well. Also, I'll still be riding in the dead of winter when everyone else has to put their motorcycles away, that one season that doesn't exist here.

So here's my point: If you're a motorcycle/watercraft tech or a salesperson who needs a job, Pacific Motorsports in Harbor City IS HIRING. Like now. Visit their website at http://www.pacificyamaha.com/ or call the store. Get hired, go wrench some bikes, kill the service backlog, and help me get Eleanor back on the road again. See where I went there? ;)

But yes, this kind of stuff rekindles my love-hate relationship with cars. Cars are useful, when one has to transport more than one extra passenger or hockey gear. I like cars, as long as other people's cars aren't blocking my way. Since my independent contractor jobs require travel, I'm usually sitting on [insert congested CA freeway here] in a borrowed, air-conditioned cage reaching for a nonexistent clutch while "Bailando" by Enrique Iglesias blares for the umpteenth time in an hour.

Sitting in a cage does give me too much time to think. I guess it's an advantage at this point in time since I'm so focused on the road when I'm on a motorcycle. I can dream a bit, wish a lot, and figure out what mental direction I'm headed in. I have to admit though, that song is pretty catchy, like I imagine myself being whisked across the floor to it. There we go. I should start a new hobby outside of motorcycles and hockey. How about dancing? That'll pass the time and get me outside of my work. Anyone interested in teaching me? Perhaps the footwork will help my goaltending game.

Steering wheel? What the hell is this? Where are my handlebars? I am so not in my element right now.

7.29.2014

Quick Bites: Ramen Yamadaya (Torrance, CA)

Los Angeles is littered with ramen shops. This one is becoming a favorite with their flavorful take on this aspect of Japanese cuisine.

Ramen Yamadaya is a restaurant chain with several locations in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, and San Diego. Their claim to fame is that their tonkotsu (pork) broth is cooked 20 hours to achieve flavorful perfection. But that's not all they serve - their other side dishes including their chashu bowl (first photo below) definitely showcase their attention to detail. If you're looking for a good, filling meal sub $20, this is the place to go.

The following photos were taken at the Torrance location (3118 W.182nd St. Torrance, CA 90504). I've also eaten at the Culver City location (11172 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232) and that place is just as good. Enjoy the photos, and get yourself down there!






For more information about Ramen Yamadaya, visit http://www.ramen-yamadaya.com/.

Ramen Yamadaya on Urbanspoon

7.07.2014

While I was out...

It's been a few nutty weeks, but I'm checking in to let you all know that I'm still alive. I'm currently working on a few video projects and photography gigs as an independent contractor as well as running around delivering goods on my motorcycle. In other words, I'm hustling for the dough with an unenviable, erratic schedule that I can barely keep up with. On a bright note, bills are being paid and some money is being squirreled away for the rainy days that I hope don't happen any time soon.

Just for kicks, here is some of the work I've been doing. It involves a children's performing arts camp here in the Los Angeles region. For being a summer gig, it's quite entertaining, and sometimes I think I'm having a little too much fun with the material that I'm capturing. Gotta do something with my abilities until the right opportunity comes around...


6.07.2014

Quick Bites: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ (Torrance, CA)

Anyone up for a quick bite of Japanese BBQ? The catch: you have to cook [most of] the meat yourself. However, that's the fun part and part of what makes this place entertaining...and you don't get the charcoal smell when you're all done!


In this place, you're seated around a gas-powered grill and given specially-prepared food that is designed to be cooked on the spot. You have the ability to cook that food as long or as short as you'd like (the servers give you a recommended time depending on the entree), and it's not just meat or seafood! All sorts of vegetables wrapped in convenient packages can be thrown onto the grill as well. And yes, they use tons of garlic.

But before I get into what goes on the fire, here are some appetizers and sides that they've already prepared for you.