It's happened. I waited patiently, with about a quarter tank of gas left. At least 3 years ago the price of gas rose above $1.58. I was astounded at that price and swore-jokingly-that I would not buy gas until the price came back down to at least $1.58. Well, that would have been a long time, and I really didn't think I'd see $1.58 again. But we are there; gas is $1.53 a gallon down at the corner and I am happy to fulfill my swearing.


The times they are a changing. You can now have Santa send your kid (or you, I suppose) a cell phone text message three times before Christmas, for a price, of course. The radio ad calls it "engaging holiday magic." I don't think so, but then I am old and showing my age. Santa is an old fashioned guy in my opinion and he does not own a cell phone much less know how to text. Neither do the elves. And what is a kid young enough to still believe in Santa Claus doing with a cell phone anyway?


On March 1, Uno was at Three Dog Bakery in Clayton, MO. If you don't know, Uno is the beagle that won Best of Show at the Westminster Dog Show; he's the first beagle to ever win such a prestigious honor. Uno is from Belleville, IL and is now touring, because he's quite the celebrity now.

I went to Three Dog Bakery and found about 50 people already lined up outside the store. It was cold, windy and raining, so fortunately the sidewalk was covered. A man worked the line, giving line tickets! And taking orders for photos with Uno. My line ticket number was 52 and by the time I got inside, there were at least that many people behind me. Some people brought their beagles, but dogs were not allowed inside the store.

Photos were $5 each, even if you used your own camera to take pictures. The money benefited the Barkley House, which is a Ronald McDonald-type house but in this case, it's located at the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine to house people who have brought their animals for medical care.

A professional photographer took pictures. You can see all of them here.


Here's a photo of our entire tomato crop this year. Yup, that's it. One little fruit, which was picked before the squirrels got it. The summer's heat and perhaps my inattention to soil nutrition are the culprits. However, regardless of size, it still tasted like a home grown tomato.


I've been riding BMW motorcycles now for 13 years, almost exactly. Recently I received the 100,000 mile patch, pin and decal from the BMW MOA. It signifies that I have ridden 100,000 miles on BMWs. Actually, I have about 109,000 miles at this point.


Item One: I've been published (again) in the BMW Owners News, August 2007 issue. The story is about the 2007 Hiawatha Rally at Money Creek Campground in southeast Minnesota.

Item Two: Did you know that if you are 62 or older you can have free access to our Natiional Parks?  Check out the America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity fee. The pass can only be obtained in person at National Parks. The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.


In looking up a scam on Snopes.com I came across an interesting entry. Thanks to Chase Visa, a tree was issued a Visa card (sort of)! A West Hollywood realtor named Gary More became annoyed at the number of credit card applications he was receiving in the mail. After writing to the companies to try to stop the junk mail without success, he wrote "Never Waste a Tree' across one of the applications and sent it back. And guess what? He received a credit card issued to "Never Waste Tree."


I retired last August 1. It wasn't handled very well. I was sent out the door the day that the head honcho got my letter indicating my intention to retire April 1, 2007. You might say I was fired (dunno) but as I frantically packed up my stuff in the two hours I was given to do it, said head honcho asked if I wanted to come back in a couple weeks for a retirement party. Uh... I don't think so. Never tell your boss when you plan to retire. Just spring it on 'em and walk out the door.

However, retirement has brought more time to ride, and some new hobbies. Most notable is a new-found interest in lampwork (glass) bead making. I work out of Glasshopper Studio here in St. Louis. The studio provides booth (torch and all the tools you need) rental, as well as classes and work space for all sorts of glass art and metalworking. My craft site is here.


Hooray. We're finally getting a new BMW dealership here in St. Louis--Gateway BMW Motorcycles--which will open around the first of June this year. Dave Hunter coughed up the money and Bob Honz is finally going to get to do what he's really wanted to do--manage a BMW dealership.


BMW Motorcycles of St. Louis has gone out of business. No one knows why, or maybe I should say there are lots of opinions.


Wow: Check out Steve Farson's streaming video of a lunchtime ride up Bear Canyon in Colorado.  This is an 8-minute clip, so if you don't have high speed Internet access it's going to take a looooong time to download, but it's worth it!  Here's the URL: http://www.farson.com/video/sbcc.wmv.  Photo courtesy of Steve.


It's springtime and lots of people are doing it. Topping trees is just plain ugly. Why would someone chop off the branches of a tree? To make it look better? Why not chop of the perpetrater's head and arms and see if they grow back better looking? I bet not.


Here's a really good joke my uncle sent me: A woman calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying home because she is not feeling well. "What's the matter?" he asks "I have a case of anal glaucoma," she says in a weak voice. "What the hell is anal glaucoma?" 

"I can't see my ass coming into work today." 


I'm a recent convert to J.J. Cale's music. He's put out an new CD, the first in 8 years and I highly recommend it.


BMW Motorcycles of St. Louis has the new models--the K1200S, R1200RT, and R1200ST--on the showroom floor. They've got a red and black ST, a red RT, and a gray and a blue & white S. Traffic was heavy today and most customers gathered around the new bikes, some taking demo rides. The ST may already be sold!  One of my fellow Gateway Riders members took the S for a demo ride, pictured right. He liked the lighter weight (from his K1200RS) but said his knees were cramped, although they don't especially look it in the picture.


The City of Maryland Heights, MO in conjunction with Midwest Waste has had curbside recycling for some time now.  Recently, we've been able put out the odd numbered plastics (5, 6, 8, etc.) for recycle in addition to the common 1s and 2s, and they are also accepting cardboard, magazines, newspaper, cans and telephone books.  I'm very big on recycling and I think this is just great.  Kudos to Maryland Heights and Midwest Waste.

Gas prices went to $2.25 yesterday.  That's good because perhaps it might keep people from buying those humongous SUVs that no one in their right mind needs.  And maybe it will slow down the speeders... if they ever realize that slowing down saves gas.  I don't know, maybe high gas prices are not so bad, except for the effect on the poor.  If the cost of gas makes people think about taking the car somewhere, then we're ahead of the game on air pollution and consumption of resources (an odd thing for a motorcyclist to say!)