Monday, March 31, 2014

An Unexpectedly Excellent Day

Who'd have thought that I'd write this on a Monday?  It started out with work.  Usually, I have to drive about 30 miles to work, but I got to work in town today, meaning I drove for about five minutes.  The work day was kind of light, so I got off a bit early.  My wife and I bought a new memory foam bed, which was delivered today.  We had originally planned to recycle the old bed, but a friend wanted it, so he got our old bed.  I got off of work early enough to go for a motorcycle ride with my daughter.

But here's the absolutely best part.  About six years ago, I lost my wedding ring.  I looked all over the place for that ring, but never found it... until today.  When my friend picked up my old bed, my wife found my wedding ring.

A slew of small things fell in line to make this a great day.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Working out with Fatties, Oldies and Wimps

Last week was spring break.  It was kind of nice.  The usual gym rats and high schoolers were out of town, so the gym was almost empty.  Instead, what I saw was a gym full of fatties, oldies and wimps.  There were fat bodies in the pool, a couple of whom were so large that I suspect they noticeably raised the water level when the entered the water.  There were fat bodies huffing and puffing as they walked -- yes, walked -- around the track.  There were old people and wimps who actually used the machines without any weights!  Apparently, adding five or ten pounds was more than they could handle.  As I saw this group of misfits hanging around the gym, working up a sweat to zero pounds, or huffing and puffing at a snail's pace as I effortlessly lapped time and again around the track, one thought kept running through my mind...

Good on you!  Keep it up!  You see, despite what you may think, fat body, old dude, or prepubescent wimp, I relate to you more than I do to the stereotypical gym rat.  Yeah, you may not see a lot of fat on me, and I have a relatively toned physique, I relate to you far more than I do to the gym rats.  Though I'm in decent shape, I didn't get that way overnight.  It took discipline and dedication.  I hope that it's a dedication that you're in the early stages of developing.  I remember where I started, and as a nerd at heart, I hope I never forget.

What I'm trying to say, (poorly, I may add) is that I support you in your endeavor to become a healthier you.  You may think we're all looking at you... judging you... deriding you in our minds.  But that's not the case.  Most of us are silently cheering you on.  Keep it up, folks!  You can do it!  The only difference between you and me (especially the oldies and wimps) is that I've been working out a bit longer than you.  Never forget that.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Evaluating the LS2 FF386 Modular Motorcycle Helmet

After owning my Vega V-Tune motorcycle helmet for about three years, it was time to upgrade.  I had a couple of reasons for upgrading, but the primary one was that the bluetooth on the Vega went belly-up.  This is my third motorcycle helmet, and with each purchase, I learn a bit more.  My first helmet, an entry-level Bell helmet protected my head, but that's about it.  It was heavy, and had none of the nice-to-have features of a higher-end helmet.

The V-Tune was a step up, but isn't something that I'd buy again.  It was lighter, but it was kind of cheaply built.  It was noisy, and the bluetooth was effectively useless at highway speed.  I was also disappointed that it went belly-up after less than three years.

This time, I decided to buy the helmet and bluetooth module separately.  I went this route for a couple of reasons that I will discuss later.  The bluetooth I purchased is the Sena SMH10, but I haven't finished evaluating that yet.  That will come in a separate write-up.  For now, let's get back to the helmet.

Let me start off by saying that I like the LS2 better than the Vega in every possible way.  The construction is far more solid, without adding a significant amount of weight.  It's a little bit heavier, but I believe that's more a function of purchasing a modular helmet this time.  The V-Tune isn't modular.  The external visor on the LS2 doesn't vibrate like the V-tune did.  The field of vision on the LS2 is clear and undistorted.  The V-Tune distorted things a bit in the periphery.  The drop-down sun visor is sturdier.  It's not quite as dark as the V-Tune, but I didn't see that as a problem at all.  The LS2 does a far superior job of keeping out environmental noise (which helps for bluetooth communication) and wind.  It's not absolutely silent... I can still hear wind noise (obviously) and the sound of my engine/exhaust (which I like... it makes me feel more in tune with my bike), but again, it's better than the V-Tune.

Since it's still early in the year, I kept the vents closed, so I can't yet say much about warm-weather airflow.  I also can't say much about airflow with the visor partially opened.  One thing I can say though, is that I'd like to see an anti-fog feature on the clear visor.  The sun visor didn't fog up at all, but at stop lights I had to open the primary visor to prevent fogging.  I also haven't yet spent a lot of time using the modular opening.  My main reason for getting a modular helmet is so that I can talk to other riders who don't have bluetooth when I'm at stop lights and so forth.  I have opened the modular face once or twice, and I've noticed that it's a tad difficult to close it from the fully opened position.  This might work itself out over time, but I did notice it.

One last negative with my specific configuration.  The sun visor opens and closes via buttons on the right side of the helmet.  This is very close to where the bluetooth headset is mounted.  As a result, the microphone boom is kind of in the way of raising and lowering the sun visor.  I don't see this as a problem during the summer months, but it's a bit problematic when I'm wearing thick gloves.

While my configuration isn't perfect, I am pleased with the initial performance of my rig.  The LS2 helmet is far superior to the Vega helmet, and the Sena bluetooth module is (based on what I've tested so far) is head and shoulders above the bluetooth that came with the V-Tune.  As I said, I will do further testing on the Sena bluetooth and write a separate review in the not-too distant future.

Since this is a review of the helmet, let me wrap up by saying that the LS2 is a solid helmet with a lot of features and a good price range.  The only thing I really would like is anti-fogging on the primary visor and for the sun visor open/close lever to be located where the V-Tune open/close lever is located.  Overall though, I fully recommend the LS2 FF386.

Oh yeah, I bought the LS2 at J&P Cycles.

Finally, here's a link to my original review of the Vega V-Tune helmet.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dumb$h!+'s Latest

DumbSh!+, for those of you who don't know, is my daughter's sleazebag, deadbeat ex-boyfriend... the one who was just recently took a plea bargain on a first degree burglary charge, who's facing first degree theft charges, who has two assault charges pending, and who can't find enough time to visit his son for one hour, twice a week.  Yeah, that dumb$h!+.

Well, daughter filed her 2013 taxes last week, and they were rejected due to a problem with her adjusted gross income.  Long story short, we found out that ex-boyfriend and his crooked (or incompetent) accountant flied their 2012 taxes claiming married filing jointly.

My daughter will nowf be filing an amended 2012 return, along with a note of explanation.  If everything turns out as I hope, the IRS will be paying dumb$h!+ a visit in the not-too-distant future.