Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: December 2013


I'll see you next year, Ohio.

It was an unexpected gift from the people in my life who I can truly call my family: I'm leaving Ohio for the remainder of 2013.

Okay, so that's not a long time, but it is definitely enough time to be able to recollect my thoughts and try to start 2014 on a brighter note despite the weirdness and unexpected life changes that had haunted me through these occasionally somber holidays. With that being said, I'm heading back to my childhood home, and you can follow my travels via GPS by clicking the "Where Am I?" link at the top of this blog. If things go as planned, I will be riding a motorcycle all over my old stomping grounds of Southern California. You'll be able to follow my route and collect stats on my travels.

As I heard from someone out here, "May the best of 2013 be the worst of 2014." I hope that will be the case.

Stay tuned on Two-Wheeled Tourist for photos and reflections as I kick off a new (and hopefully much improved) year from a very familiar place.


Five Motorcycle Problems that California Riders Won't Understand.

I write this piece as a native Californian and a transplant to Ohio.

It is difficult to describe many of the freedoms that motorcycle riders have in California as motorcycling is pretty much a seasonal, recreational activity in the Midwest.

For me, motorcycle riding back home was not just for fun (although it sure as heck is). It was my most economical method of transportation and my time saver. It allowed me to travel to far away places very cheaply and explore the world in a whole different way. Although I can still do that out here, I am challenged by three things: the unpredictability of weather, traffic laws, and the mentality of cagers.

So without further adieu, here are several things many native California motorcyclists (who have never ridden anywhere else) will not understand...

A typical November day in Ohio. Not to worry, it'll be 65°F and sunny tomorrow.


In Memoriam: "Super Duper" Cooper the Rat (2012 - 2013)

Cooper passed away unexpectedly this morning. It was quite a shock as there were no outward symptoms that anything was wrong. Unfortunately, as intelligent and as awesome as they are, they don't have much of a shelf life. He was one of my all-time favorite rats and leaves behind quite a few memories.


How to un-suck the holiday season. Be the better person.

Frankly, the holidays can go bite my left ear.

Although my level of seasonal depression fluctuates from year to year, 2013 has reached an all-time high of super suck. Sure I may be having a good time for a couple days out of these several weeks, with the food, hugs, well-wishes, etc. But really, regardless of how much I'm involved, there comes a moment when I'm here sitting by myself in some state of loneliness wondering why everything had to crash down on me at once right before the holidays. Perfect timing, huh?


The 2013 Nerdy Christmas Wish List

Here on Two-Wheeled Tourist, I'm bringing back the annual "Nerdy Christmas Wish List." This is the first time it's appeared on this blog but it's been in other writings of mine on and off over the last decade.

This year, the Christmas season is going to be celebrated in a bit of a more unorthodox manner (my life's gotten a bit complicated as of late) so it's highly unlikely that I'll see anything under a Christmas tree, real or hypothetically, this year. And of course, being the geek and severe motorcyclist I am, my dream list is a bit pricey. But, it's a lot of fun to just dream about these things. Maybe someday when I don't have to decide between feeding my rats, feeding myself, paying the bills, or paying my rent, I can revisit these things again. Fortunately, fantasizing is free and is great for budget-desperate people. So here goes...

1. Portable Single-Sheet Document Scanner
This particular one by VuPoint catches my eye because it saves to a microSD card as well as run on batteries so it's great for those trips when you can't carry all those flyers, information sheets, business cards, and what-not home with you. Clutter sucks. Digitize as much as you can. Save the luggage for those random souvenirs. Check it out here.