Monday, September 6, 2010


I'm in Eugene with Tuli, Shannon and my little grandson Harper. Life here is "all Harper, all the time". He's still totally charming and a raft of fun but at the moment is having a bit of a temper tantrum. Overtired after a big day visiting Shannon's family, including great-grandparents, he's carrying on like a, well,  like a baby. But he has a winning smile and a fantastic personality, is curious about everything, constantly yells out the few words he knows really well, Dada, Mama, ball, hoop (as in basketball), book, gampa (that's me), and of course, NO! But just take a look look at his winning smile:

Harper at age 20 months

Naturally, Tuli and I have played a bit of tennis. It's been hot in the afternoons but by evening the weather is perfect.We got together with Max the other evening and hit for a couple of hours. But the main thing I've done aside from playing with Harper and hanging out with Tuli & Shannon is check out motorcycles and gear. I went to BMW of Western Oregon here in Eugene recently to see these big touring BMWs I've been reading about. Goddamn it, they are huge! The R1200RT, a world class touring machine, is as big as a small car. And the K1200LT (1200 cc) and is so big I can't even imagine swinging my leg over it and driving it away. In fact, I can barely swing a leg over it period. This latter machine is BMW's answer to Honda's Goldwing and comes equipped with cruise control, stereo, ABS braking, power windshield, and of all things, a reverse gear to get you out of spots where you're simply not going to be able to push it backwards with leg power alone! Very intimidating to say the least! These are certainly a far cry from DC's "little" R80RT (800 cc and about 500 lb) I rode last week while the Honda Phantom I'll be riding again this year in Thailand will surely seem a toy by comparison.

BMW K 1200 LT Luxury Tourer

Homer friend and biking buddy DC, who was on the Thailand ride last year, has a favorite BMW and after seeing one here in Eugene, I like it too.  It's the F800ST. It's a sport-tourer and this 800cc belt-driven bike, weighing in at just over 400 lb, seems at least manageable to my inexperienced eye. (Manageable? Am I crazy?) Finding a used one will be difficult and affording one another problem altogether. Buying a new one at list price would cost over $12,000! Ha-ha. I'm retired, remember? I can dream though.

BMW F 800 ST Sport Tourer
Next stop, next Wednesday, will be my daughter Carin's in North Carolina. She said last week when we chatted by phone, Dad, remember, it's summer now. It's hot here. Make sure you bring your bathing suit. Their backyard pool, which was frozen in January when I last visited, will be full of warm, liquid water this time. I plan to take advantage of it.

Stay tuned....