Sunday, October 31, 2010

Introducing "New Black", the other Nighthawk

I bought "New Black" Friday night after work. I took it for a spin that evening and caught a head cold. Saturday it rained cats and dogs. Today, Sunday was sunny and cool. I spent about 3 hours in the saddle and my head cold is a lot worse, but I had a great day -- for multiple reasons! Anyway, time for a nap.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Old Blue Update

Just talked to the mechanic.  Old Blue only needed a new battery.  So with that and a general tune up, she'll be up and running by tomorrow!  I never thought I'd miss having her around this much.

On a side note, here is a good youtube video:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old Blue

Old Blue is down and out and is in the shop right now.  Nick and I finally decided to take her in last thursday to fix the starter.  So far, the only thing we know is the battery needed to be replaced.  Hopefully after she is fixed, we wont have to embarrass ourselves by push starting her every time we want to go somewhere.

We miss you Old Blue!

Monday, October 25, 2010


No need to worry. We'll be on motorcycles, not buses.

In all seriousness, we're probably going to stay in southern Vietnam and avoid monsoon season in the central and northern regions of the country.

1 Month to go (and counting)

The countdown to the trip has officially started!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Clear skies + full moon = awesome

Just had a great ride.  Went from Nicks to Lake Washington Blvd to Seward Park then back to my place.  The moon illuminated the sky and reflected off the lake.  The air also had a nice, crisp feeling to it. 

Tonight was definitely my most enjoyable ride yet.  Can't wait to get out there again....

Snake Wine

I definitely plan on trying this stuff....I wonder if its legal in the US?

"Snake wine and Scorpion wine are asian beverages that can be found in some Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Laos Cambodia, but also in Korea, and Japan.

To prepare this incredible beverage a cobra snake or some scorpions are put into a bottle fulfilled with transparent rice wine liquor and some herbs are added before the drink is left to ferment for months. The venomous cobra snake used to make Snake wine is preserved to have the snake poison dissolved in the rice wine, but because snake venoms are protein-based they are inactivated by the denaturing effects of ethanol, and no more dangerous, but this makes a healthy liquor with many health benefits.

Many types of snake drinks can be found all across Asia, but the most famous one and the only original one is the one found in Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos."

Monday, October 18, 2010

We've hit a milestone

We just hit 1,000 page views! 

I'm guessing 600 of these are from me, 300 are from Nick, and 50 are from Charlie.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Movie Night!

The three of us got together for a movie night last night!  The movie choice was the American classic "Easy Rider."  If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.

I think the jury is still out to which one of us is most like each character.  I'm not sure we'll ever be able to decide that, but we might try to sport some of the looks from the movie.  Charlie is going to grow a mustache just like Dennis Hopper, Nick will wear Peter Fonda's super cool glasses, and I'll fashion Jack Nicholson's helmet.  We're going to be the coolest Americans in Cambodia/Vietnam (or at least feel that way). 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

250 cc's of fury

With 400 miles under my belt on Old Blue, I decided it was time to take it to the next level. Tonight around 11:45 pm, after a night of studying at Starbucks and salsa dancing at SCT, I entered the I5 on-ramp off of NE 50th street. I had second thoughts as I saw a semi fly past me halfway down the ramp, but I took solace in knowing that if I was going down, I was taking the ASM study manual with me. Old Blue didn't let me down. She sped up to 70 in a hurry and smoothly sailed all 5 miles on her maiden I5 voyage. I live to study another day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Riding in the rain

You know all those times that you are driving comfortably in your car in the rain, you come across a motorcyclist who is soaking wet and you say, "man, I feel bad for that idiot."

Well, I'm officially one of those idiots.  I pushed my luck tonight and got caught in a nice little downpour.  Fortunately, I was only in Ballard, but I still got pretty wet.  Riding wet and in the rain is about as much fun as it sounds.  Its also a little more scary because we do not have windshield wipers on our helmets, so the water beads up on the visor and limits the vision a bit.

I think I learned a lesson tonight, but I have a feeling that this is going to happen again pretty soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Stopped by REI this morning and bought a duffel bag for the trip.  As shown in the pick above, its The North Face Base Camp duffel bag.  I decided to go with the small, which should fit nicely on the back of a motorcycle.  The size of the bag is also going to force me to pack light.

I wonder how many Justin Timberlake T-shirts will fit in there?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Motorcycle Course Tomorrow

I am excited. Also, I'm growing more excited for the trip by the day. I found out recently about a friend of a friend's motorcycle trip through China -- thoroughly documented.

Motorcyle Horn

I'm not sure if you have ever heard a motorcycle horn before.  Think of it as a cross between the sound a clown's nose makes and a dog squeeky toy.  Basically, when I hit it, I turn around and act that it didn't come from me when I hit it because its so damn wimpy and somewhat embarrassing (its a man thing).

Well, let me tell you, for it being wimpy and embarrassing, that thing is effective.  I've honked twice now.  First when a guy in front of me wasn't paying attention and didn't see that the red light turned to green.  The second time was tonight.  Someone decided to pull out in front of my on Leary Way in Ballard and then proceeded to go around 20 mph (Its a 35 mph road).  So, after a few blocks, I hit my wimpy horn.  Lone and behold, it worked!  The car moved over and let me pass.

Now I'm trying to figure out what is more embarrassing.  Hitting Old Blue's wimpy horn or being someone who responds to the horn?

To compensate for the lack of posts, check out this video!

I'll take a poll, of us three (Danny, Nick, Charlie), who do you think dances most like this guy?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Ride

I survived my first ride last night. I went home after work, got dressed, put on some Bruce Springsteen for inspiration, and headed off to Nick's apt.

Getting the bike going was a little difficult, but all in all, once I got moving I felt pretty comfortable right away. I decided to take things a little easy and start slow by driving from Cap Hill, through downtown, then off to West Seattle, all at night. Everything went pretty well and I accomplished several things, including:

Running my first red light, performing multiple California Stops, first illegal turn, going the wrong direction on a one way street (on purpose), having my first "oh shit" moment (seeing construction zones can be difficult), first hand wave to a fellow motorcyclist, first compliment on the Nighthawk, first major maneuver around a obstacle at a high rate of speed, and first time going 10mph + over the speed limit.

It was a good trip. All in all, I might be hooked and I now understand why Nick is always so giddy after his rides.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Let the riding begin

After two really long days, I passed the written and field motorcycle tests today.  Scored a 96 on the written and a 89 on the field.  My original plan was to grab the Nighthawk and go for a ride, but I'm too damn tired.

Just to limit Nicks posting material, he scored a 100 on both tests.  Which translates into a score of 10 for us actuaries.  I think my score is around a 7 or a high 6.  Either way, this once again proves that he is more of a man than me.  Even with at J. Timberlake shirt on.....


I got bored of studying for Exam C yesterday, so I decided to swing by the thrift store to pick up a few things for the trip. My plan is to bring mostly thrift store clothes and ditch them as we go so that I don't have to carry along stinky clothes or try to wash clothes in the Mekong. I got a pair of jeans and a few shirts, one of which you will see below. What kind of ambassador would I be if I didn't have a JT shirt?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Riding a motorcycle is pretty tiring....

Day 1 of my motorcycle course is officially over.  No crashes, but I did kill the engine about four times.  Overall, my body is really tired.  Sitting on a bike for that long is much more difficult than I imagined!

On a different note, I finally found a mexican restaurant in Seattle that I actually like.  I wandered into this place during the lunch break.  It sat on a stretch of road that was dominated by "adult" stores, so naturally, I decided to eat there.  I went in, went to the counter, and quickly realized that no one there spoke english.  Better yet, I was the only gringo in the place.  I threw out some rusty spanish and ended up with a delicious lunch.  I'm definitely headed back there tomorrow.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Motorcycle Course this weekend!

Watch out people, assuming I pass this course this weekend, I will legally be allowed to drive the motorcycle on city roads!  So if you see someone that looks like me, driving a blue motorcycle and wearing a funny looking helmet, its most likely me.

Pop Quiz

Name the official language of Cambodia?  First person to get it right gets a date with Nick.

(No cheating)