Archive | November, 2013

Moving day in Toronto

30 Nov

We’re helping our daughter-in-law move.



And now having dinner on Yonge St. near Davisville

So, my last post this month. NABLOPOMO has been fun. Sorry if I deviated from my motorcycle theme.

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Just a traveling day

29 Nov

It seems that all I’ve done today, Friday, is change locations. I left this place this morning

for this place this afternoon


I avoided Black Friday shopping so missed all the mob scenes and tramplings.

Not a test. I was visiting friends in the boonies at the end of a phone wire with poor internet connection at best. After posting daily for almost a whole month I nearly blew it. I did post yesterday but after many struggles I guess it never actually worked properly. I am surprised that anyone noticed.       finaly posted from Android HOX

Old survey lines

29 Nov

I spent Thursday afternoon retracing a boundary line created by a reference plan that I surveyed 30 years ago in the Bracebridge area.  It was interesting to find the monuments and tree blazes that I made and see how they have grown over.

We refreshed most of the old blazes so they are more visible.

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Reading a good book

27 Nov

I’m reading Downhill Chance by Donna Morrissey, sitting in a comfy chair and enjoying a warm fire.

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Rice Lake is frozen over

26 Nov

We stopped for lunch at Rhino’s Roundhouse restaurant and noticed that the lake had frozen over. Unusually early; it froze three  nights ago at -16C.

It’s almost time to go ice racing.

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Just one of those days

25 Nov

I spent much of the day researching and reading about Lake Superior agates; what they might look like before polishing and exactly where to look for them on the Keweenaw peninsula in Michigan. I’m not likely to strike it rich but hopefully I might find at least one special and memorable beach rock next summer. Thanks to   for this picture.


Having now struggled through two full days without any play time with my Vstrom, I picked up four library books that have been on my must read list for a while.

Copper Harbour – upper peninsula of Michigan

24 Nov

I’m planning a ride next summer along some of the shoreline of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Stopping at the many lighthouses is priority and finding as many scenic twisty roads as possible to ride that connect them is the challenge.

Copper Harbour seems like one of many interesting places to visit for it’s mining and shipping history. In doing some on-line research regarding geology to satisfy my interest and curiosity of collecting rocks and attempting to identify them , I stumbled upon the  unanswered question of the great copper heist. It’s amazing how my mind works when connected to the Google search engine. The Bronze age began about 3250BC

It might seem that about 3000 BC a large amount of copper was mined on Isle Royale, in Lake Superior, and became the raw material for the Bronze Age.

The pits on the island clearly show that copper was mined about 3000BC but where did it go and where was it used? Hmmm … it seems tough to imagine how so much copper turned up in Europe at the same time.  The Newberry tablets of Minoan origin are an obvious connection. Do we have proof?
I suppose now I’ve got some winter reading to do before to learn about plate tectonics, Keweenaw rift, volcanoes, geology and glaciers, but who would imagine that I needed to order this book through to read about the Minoans and Michigan copper trade.

Lost Empire of Atlantis

The final step in winterizing my motorcycle

23 Nov

Today was the end of the riding season for me. I enjoyed a ride last week but we had our first snow flurry today and I know that the salt truck can’t be far behind. The forecast for the next week is freezing winter temperatures, so I may as well do the garage chores before it gets colder, because my garage is unheated.

I spent some time changing the oil and filter, cleaning and lubricating to make it simpler to get riding next spring.

But there is only one way to stop me from wanting to go for one more ride and the final step in winterizing is to remove the battery and put on the cover.

Garmin technical support

22 Nov

Don’t you just love it when you get a message like this ….


You seem to be lost.

Let us help you find your way.

Page not found.


Please Go to Our Shop Home Page  

Well that’s precisely where you end up if you enquire on-line about an old Garmin 12.

In the past with my Zumo and MapSource software I always had great service from the 1 800 800-1020 phone-in technical support line. But today when I called requesting help for a 13 year old Garmin 12 it seemed that maybe I’d just come through a time warp using my handheld device. The only support that they still offer to users with such old units is a suggestion to boot up using on+page to accomplish a master reset. They didn’t really even want to understand my problem and offered me a discount to buy a newer model.

Apparently I’m not the only person still using old reliable technology and I was able to download a free complete 66 page manual in pdf format from

As it turned out the screen contrast had accidentally been set so dark that I couldn’t see it to read it; because was basically all black.  I discovered eventually that by looking at the screen at a very acute angle, nearly flat to the screen, that I was able see well enough to navigate and access the settings and fix the problem.

I think that some of the Garmin products are made so well made that they may outlast the support staff. In all fairness to the customer service staff in Kansas that I’ve spoken to: Thanks for being friendly and speaking clear English, you must get requests from people with a large variety of user knowledge, attempting some very crazy things in bizarre locations all over the world.

It Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking

21 Nov

The old 1950’s Timex slogan is appropriate for my Garmin 12 that still works.

In May 2000 ( technically at midnight May 1st Coordinated Universal Time) , at the direction of President Bill Clinton, the US government discontinued its use of Selective Availability. So on May 2nd I bought my first GPS.  Yup, I remember that the Garmin 800 phone lines were very busy that day. SA intentionally limited precision of GPS receivers for non-military use. So unscrambling the signals opened the doors for many of us to buy and use some very interesting new toys.
The old unit has done lots of sailing and is still full of GPS locations for many aids to navigation and favourite anchorages in Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. For motorcycle trips I would prelaod a few waypoints obtained from topo maps or GoogleEarth and ride with the old Garmin in a map case held on top of my tank with bunge cords. It would only display “as the crow flies” bearings and distances. So without a map in its tiny electronic brain I would ride around in circles trying to find a road to get me to my destination. Yup, that’s adventure riding.
My old Garmin 12 has had little use in the past six years since I’ve been using a Garmin Zumo 550. I put in new batteries and used it today hiking around near the family cottage and found an original lot corner.

I was able to retrace where road allowance is located. I’ve not done much land surveying work in the past 20 years and it was nice today to be able to use some old skills and find some survey monuments.  Apparently I’ve not lost my touch; I can still stumble around in the bush and find evidence.