Monday, March 2, 2009

Orange Blossom Special - T=0

Ever notice how cold feels colder when it's dark? The cold this morning clung like dryer sheets to the hills west of San Antonio. It will take a good tug of sunshine to release its grip.

Shiver spasms struck each time I got back on the bike after fueling up...until the Gerbing warmed up again. 24 degrees was the low for the day, somewhere near Sonora TX at 9:00 AM.

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There are quite a few wind farms out here in west Texas. They sit up top of the buttes on the north side of I-10. I passed a butte-ful of idle windmills and thought, "What are you just standing there for? Get to work!"

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Riding along for 1,000 miles or so gives you lots of time to think. I got to thinking about my shrinking retirement fund and about how much mutual fund shares are a lot like fat cells. I have a fixed number of shares in my portfolio and a fixed number of fat cells on my body. When we lose weight, the fat cells don't go away, they just shrink. So, when times are good my mutual funds and my fat cells get bigger. When times are tough, both shrink. I wish that weren't true. Why can't fat cells shrink and funds grow when times are good?

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Texas has been experiencing the drought of the century. Parts of west and north Texas are now officially the driest areas of the country. Evidence was abundant along I-10. I saw two wild fires - one on the shoulder and one on the median. And I saw plenty of large areas burnt from recent fires. Careless disposal of cigarette butts, no doubt. Scary to ride a motorcycle past a raging fire just feet away on the median!

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Eastern New Mexico along I-10, though flat, is quite pretty this time of year. The grasses are platinum blond and when the sun slants in from the south and touches the prairie it literally glows!

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A very bad accident had I-10 eastbound closed a few miles west of Anthony TX. Traffic was backed up for a good 5-6 miles. I was heading west to get my turnaround receipt near Deming. When I passed the accident site going the other way, I had 47 miles to go to that turnaround...so I figured I'd be passing the accident site in about 100 minutes. I took my time at the gas station, had a drink, something to eat. Killing time. It worked. When I got to the site, traffic was slow, but the accident was cleared, just a few state troopers on the shoulder creating some rubber-necking.

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Official start time: 3:26 AM

Official finish time: 7:32 PM
Completion time: 16 hours, 6 minutes

Miles: 1043 by the GPS; 1057 by the odometer

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I noticed when I first got this new BMW that the speedometer has only a very small error compared to the GPS, much smaller than that on my previous BMW. Timed distance rides on that old BMW always showed significant mileage error after 1000 or 1500 miles. Refreshing to note that the difference between my new BMW and the GPS is only 14 miles. It would have been close to 50 miles on the old BMW.

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Talked to Greg Rice about an hour ago. He should be in Van Horn within the next 15 minutes.

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The eagle has landed.

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