Friday, November 30, 2007

Read the Diagnostic Codes

We can't say we haven't been riding due to bad weather because the weather has been fairly good.  It's just the time of year and the altered schedules among friends and oh yeah, the monstrous amount of leaves. Time to mulch them up since they have passed their photographic best.

I started using Windows Live Writer to do the Blog entries and it works fairly well.  So far I like the finished appearance in the last few posts.

Map image

It lets me insert maps from Microsoft Virtual Earth as you see here.  This will be easier than importing the Google maps but there may be the issue of plotting the trip.

I started using IceRocket to count visitors to the site and Geobytes to see where the visitor IP might be located.  It's very interesting to see who hits the site.

We just had the 5000 miles service done on the Ultra so at least she's ready to ride.  One reason for the service, besides the mileage, was the engine light.  On a recent trip the engine light would periodically and briefly illuminate.  I knew it wasn't oil or heat so I checked for diagnostic codes. 

Here's how to do it:  Reading the Harley codes 

or here Reading the Harley codes

My codes indicated that there were front and rear O2 sensor issues.  How could that be with the Power Commander O2 bypass plugs installed?  Could have been connection issues so we'll give it some time.  I also discovered that the Power Commander folks were coming to train the New Bern Harley mechanics.  That may come in handy one day.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


ThanksgivingOur boys are home and Chad and Lynn's son is home from the military so there is indeed a lot to be thankful for.  We celebrate our good friends and family as well as be thankful for everything we have.



O God of all Creation: You have cared for the earth, and have filled it with your riches. Abundance flows in your steppes, through the pastures and wilderness. You provide for our land, softening it with showers, bathing it in light, and blessing it with growth.

The hills sing with joy; the meadows are covered with flocks; the fields deck themselves with wheat; and together they glorify your name!

On this occasion of our Thanksgiving, we as a nation take rest from our labors to consider your many blessings. We thank you for our freedoms, and for the opportunity to contribute our skills, our attributes and our values toward the good of society.

We thank you for the mixture of our cultures, blending us into one people under God. Help us to be a light unto other nations, and to further the cause of freedom and justice all over the world.

We remember those who are less fortunate than we. We lift up in prayer the victims of poverty and racism, and all those who suffer from forms of political and economic oppression. Let the word that goes forth from our mouths speak of your peace, and let us proclaim our hope in Christ as Savior of all humankind.

We pray that you will bless all those who gather here, as we have come to experience your presence among us. Give us your guidance, O God, and empower us for your work. For we claim nothing for ourselves, but return all honor and glory unto you, and offer our thanks and praise. Amen.

From "Prayers for God's People"
Thomas P. Roberts, editor


Though our mouths were full of song as the sea,
and our tongues of exultation as the multitude of its waves,
and our lips of praise as the wide-extended firmament;
though our eyes shone with light like the sun and the moon,
and our hands were spread forth like the eagles of heaven,
and our feet were swift as hinds,
we should still be unable to thank thee and bless thy name,
O Lord our God and God of our fathers,
for one thousandth or one ten thousandth part of the bounties which thou has bestowed upon our fathers and upon us.

- from the Hebrew Prayer Book

Monday, November 19, 2007

We've all seen it.

  We've all seen it.  The car squarely "parked", blocking traffic in the parking lot lane, waiting until hell freezes over or the car to vacate the spot. parking Usually some one is loading packages into their car while this parking lot hunter wastes time and expensive fuel idling the car just to assume this desired slot.  In reality the walk would do them some good (take notice of the physical attributes of the parking lot hunter) and there would be less anger produced by the drivers of the cars piling up behind them. 

We've all seen it.  The cart squarely "parked", blocking traffic in the aisle.  Is the cart to one side?  Certainly not.  It's smack dab in the middle of the aisle and it will stay there until the person finishes reading the fine print on the shampoo bottle.  grocerycartBetter yet get behind the spot when two people meet and are oblivious to the fact that they are holding up people while they discuss such matters of importance as the various usages of Preparation H, Vaseline and Platinum Blonde hair coloring.  Sometimes I think Jerry Springer is having auditions in the store.  How about the family out on a shopping spree that doesn't know what single file is all about.  So you have Bubba, Violet, Bubba Junior and an Inlaw or two that seem to be some form of defensive line doing a sweep down the aisle.

We've all seen it.  Heaven forbid if you give them a different amount of money once they open the cash register drawer.  If so, you're done for and may have a meeting with the most feared of all creatures: The Customer Service Representative or.... The Manager.  cashierDuring the meeting you will be secretly photographed,  tattooed with a infrared reflective symbol and your Visa card will be everywhere you want to be.  But then I get in the line with the older lady at the register and from my $12.37 purchase I hear: "$12.37, $13.00 and seven makes twenty. Thanks and I hope you have a great day."  She didn't need the register to indicate to her how much money to return. There is still hope for analog intelligence in a digital world.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I was in the yard early Saturday morning joining Buster on his morning constitutional when I noticed the leaves. The temperature had been below freezing during the night and as the morning sun warmed portions of the poplar trees it caused large volumes of leaves to be Dscf7330released in a slow dizzying race to the ground. There was no wind to be noticed and it was so silent as to be almost eerie. As the leaves came to rest on the ground and each other there was a sound not unlike that of large damp snowflakes, that soft plop of a noise, as they hit the ground. There were hundreds of leaves in the air at any given instant and I stood there for a while, mesmerized by the event, but it only lasted for a few moments. The only evidence of the incident was a rather thick golden carpet under these particular trees. I find it interesting that I was in the precise location at that particular time to witness the leaf flurry. Buster didn't share my interest in the least.

Monday, November 5, 2007

From Trenton to Swansboro

Lynn asked "Have you ever been to Mallardtown?"

"That's near Trenton, right?" I replied.

And we had the start of a Sunday ride.....

I liked the fact that we could park the bikes on the grass and not the gravel parking lot. Did I mention I hate gravel roads and parking lots?

Such photographic opportunities upon arrival that I couldn't believe my eyes.

Z.A.K.'s of Mallardtown is located at 1553 Ten Mile Fork Road just outside of Trenton, NC. They can be reached at 252-448-1920 and if you drop by you will probably have reason to call. This is a very interesting shop with such an array of items inside you just can't take it all in on one trip.

From wall to wall and floor to ceiling there is an amazing variety and amount of items on display.

Highly desirable and collectible items are on display in every nook and cranny...

Various areas seem to separate you from time and create an almost children's story book setting.

Well it's time to collect our treasures and settle up with the proprietor. Vast selection, good prices and I even had the opportunity to meet the owner who happens to be a jeweler.

With a high of 67 it was one of those fall days where it's hard to determine what to wear; Starts out cool and cools quickly in the late afternoon. The temperature difference in the areas in the shade and the sunshine is quite drastic this time of year so Debbie and I rode in chaps and leather jackets and were glad we did. We would have been OK in nylon or light leather as Chad and Lynn wore but hey that's what zippers are for. I like cold weather but I really hate getting cold.

We leave Trenton on 58 and head back to 17 South to pick up 58 again in Maysville with Swansboro and a late lunch on our minds.

Swansboro. What can I say. We are so lucky in eastern NC to have places like this. Yeah there is the main drag with hardware stores and the local Hardees but there is the fantastic waterfront area with all the shops and local restaurants.

Upon arrival we head to the Icehouse Waterfront Restaurant. A place that Debbie and I enjoyed on an earlier ride. Inside or outside the view is fantastic.

What was ordered? Fish tacos, tuna, fried flounder and a house specialty burger. I believe that everyone enjoyed their meal a great deal. The Icehouse is a great destination with a varied menu and the prices are reasonable.

Well it's time to head home so we point the machines toward Maysville and then New Bern. It was a little cooler on the return trip and darkness is arriving an hour early since the time change this weekend. A great trip of around 115 miles with good friends, good food and a new discovery in Mallardtown.