Thursday, June 20, 2013

Learning and Fixing

Recently, my friend John got it into his head to find a 20+ year old Peugeot to buy as a daily driver.  He remembers the car as having wonderful steering and being a great car to drive.  The idea is to replace a Honda Accord that he considers too boring to drive.

Of course, finding parts for a 20 year old French car that wasn't sold in large number in the US could be a challenge.  Not exactly what most people think of for practicality.  None the less, he found one and dragged it home.

Parapharsing John, 'I could have paid a lot of money and found a nicely restored one, but that's not what I do.  I have to find something really rough and bring it back from the dead.'  And that's what he did, or should I say, is doing.

I got thinking about this and I can really relate.  It seems like I am only happy when I am learning something or fixing something.  I like the stimulation of learning something new and the challenge of figuring out how something works and make it better.  In that way, John and I are kindred spirits.

I have another friend who told me once that he had trouble saving money because he would find something new and exciting and he would just buy it on impulse.  It took a wife and kids to reign in his spending and only because he had no money left.

That makes me realize why I have kept and modified my old KLR for 10 years.  The process of understanding and fixing the old girl has been as much or more fun than the trips I've taken.  The thing is, after all this time, I've run out of things to change or improve on the KLR.  I am just about to pull the plug on my second motorcycle trip this year.  I realized that I have less interest in riding motorcycles at this particular moment, in part because I don't have any motorcycle projects in front of me.

Early in the year, I started researching the possibility of a new bike.  I guess that's trying to invent a new project.

I can understand Doug and his constant train of motorcycles through his garage.  If you aren't going to modify a bike, then I imagine one gets to this point of declining interest at a sooner point, so you might as well sell it and look for a new challenge in a new bike.

How strange we are.  I wonder if this is the same feeling that guys who have had 5 wives feel about their women?  ' Oh, I'm done figuring out that women.  It's time to turn her in for a new one, a new challenge.'  I wish I could understand what motivates myself and others better.  At least I'm a one bike, one car, or one women man.  At least for a while.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Color of Paint

Tobermory Harbor, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Recently, over on Doug's 40on2 blog, Doug shared some beautiful photos of St. John's Newfoundland.   The bright colors of the St. John's houses and buildings are part of the fun.

That got me to thinking about places that I have been where bright, bold colors are the norm in a community.  One of those places was not too far away from St. John's, St. Pierre and Miquelon, which is a province of France off the south shore of Newfoundland.  Another is the town of Tobermory in Scotland on the island of Mull.

What these places seem to have in common are that they are far north, on the ocean, and are filled with smart, friendly, and creative people.  Perhaps these things come together in winter.  If you were a smart and creative, sitting in a bar in the middle of an 8 month winter and looking out at a gray sky, a white land, and a slate
ocean, would you want to paint your house orange or bright blue when spring came?  Or is it just for the tourists?

Village of St. Pierre, St. Pierre et Miquelon, France