Flipping To The B-Side

Recently we have been cleaning out our attic space, and in the process have been taking quite a few memory lane walks. One such walk has involved finding my old turntable, and giant box of LPs and 45s. If you are too young to know what I mean, google it. lol

Anyway, last Friday we hooked up the old thing to its speakers(which barely work, but still do somewhat), and started going through the old albums. Faves of mine are my two original Rolling Stones full albums, one from 1966, and the other from 1969. Plus the piles of 45 singles, ranging in years from about 1969- the mid eighties. My very first 45s were given to me by my teenage babysitter when I was 6… The Who’s “I’m Free”, and The Stone’s “Honky Tonk Woman”. Both are in sorry shape, but still play without skipping. The grooving and spontaneous dancing commenced! It was very fun!

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There was something so visceral about the “vinyl years”. The cover art for the album, the flipping through the stack to find the one you feel like listening to. Going to the record store in anticipation of buying it. The pulling of the album carefully from its inner sleeve, carefully only handling it by the edges, to place it gently on the turntable. Dropping the needle gently into the grooves. Then comes the “tone” before the song starts. That moment of anticipation…

Still kind of sucks to have to get up to skip a song you don’t like, or to flip the thing over, but that, too, is all part of the physical experience of sitting around playing the tunes. And when we were spinning the old discs last weekend, I wasn’t bothered at all. I missed it in a weird sort of way. Enough that I declared that I wanted a new portable turntable for Christmas this year. Oddly enough, vinyl is hot again, and stores are popping up in the city, which sell or trade old records…never mind the Internet has EVERYTHING! haha.
Plus you can actually go out and buy a new turntable. Fitted with USB ports and other new fangled features which let you transfer your old vinyl LPs to your iPod. Meh. To me, that just defeats the purpose of playing the record! I can buy them all digitally, for better sound, if I wanted to do that. To me, spinning vinyl is about the tangible experience, not bumping everything over to play in the car. It is about sitting in the living room, or wherever the turntable is, having a moment with the album covers while the tunes play. Needless to say, that feature doesn’t interest me.

So now, my quest is on to find some nice original albums for my collection. Not freshly pressed. I’m all about the vintage sound…even if it includes the odd scratchiness to it….  🙂

 

 

 

Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads!

Spent Thanksgiving weekend, last weekend, dirt biking in the mountains. Got a little rain…ok a LOT of rain….on the second night, and the next day was interesting in a mud boggy, gigantic deep puddles, sort of way! lol Saw a moose too! Bonus!

moose!

moose!

Gorgeous trail

Gorgeous trail! Leading up to the giant hill….

Did a lot of challenging stuff this trip. Ok..like we ever do easy, now. 😛 Sometimes it is easyish, or it seems so, after doing challenging trails! My definition of an easy trail has changed dramatically in the last couple of months, as my skills improve. Hills can still be difficult for me. Coming down is harder than going up, though! Did a gigantic hill that was mostly dirt, and few rocks, and it was surprisingly easier than a few of the smaller ones. Crossed a creek…no bridge there for whatever reason…never good to have to ride through creeks, but there was little choice… to get to a trail where we then parked, and hiked a bit to get to a ghost town site. Very worth it, as that was super cool! I rode on the back of hubby’s bike to cross it, ’cause I chickened out, lol, and that was scary enough! He rode my bike across, and the thing stalled in the middle! ACK! My little guy(ok, maybe not so little anymore, at almost 9!) also went across with his Dad. It was almost too deep for his bike. The other two are daredevils, and got across on their own. I couldn’t watch! I was the only one who didn’t get wet feet, though, princess that I am! haha! 😛

ghost town remnants

ghost town remnants

8 also fell over in a puddle and got totally soaked and muddy, and was laughing the whole time. Better than tears, thank goodness! Especially since we were out in the middle of nowhere and still a good 40 minutes away from the staging area. Poor guy! Mom, of course, thinks ahead, and had a change of clothes for him. I learn something every time we go, though. And one thing is to bring about 10 pairs of socks each, instead of 3! lol Muddy and wet socks were the order of the day…well, excepting mine of course! hehehe I would dry them, and the boots, overnight on the hotel furnace fan on cool. Don’t need a fire happening, after all. Smelled particularly wonderful in the room all night! Stinky boy feet! 😛 LMAO!
All in all, it was wonderful to get to go out again so late in the season! And a great way to spend Thanksgiving! 😀

Where we're going we don't need roads!

No roads here! Skinny rocky trail….

Riding My Rocket

I love my dirt bike! Now that I know what I am doing, and can ride nearly every kind of terrain on it, it is more fun than stressful. I’m no daredevil however. I do have some sense! 😛 Once in a while my 12 year old has to come to my rescue if I am not comfortable with a spot on the trail, like huge deep puddles where the only way around is through a narrow channel of deep mud, or through the puddle while hoping it isn’t soft on the bottom! Or giant hills with lots of rocks, or channels…up or down them. Meh. I have no shame in asking for his assistance. Ok…it is a wee bit embarrassing…but I am a big chicken about pain! hahaha He has no fear, and is a chivalrous sort. ❤ 🙂
I love the straight & flat-ish areas for fulfilling my need for speed…woo hoooo! :D, and I like the challenge of the trails through the trees with their dips, puddles, and small hills, which are a rush all their own, and give me a feeling of accomplishment when I dare to do them, and succeed. Getting muddy is half the fun too! I always still have the cleanest bike of the bunch, though. Which they delight in telling me so. Little smarty pants dirt monkeys! lol

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I never thought I would love doing it as much as it turns out that I do! Can’t wait to go again….
😀

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Mud Girl

Well, I finally know how to ride the thing. And even be comfortable riding it! A few weeks ago we went for a 4 day dirt biking trip in the mountains. I learned really fast because I just did it. Some of the trails were very tame, and some….not. By the end of the 4 days, after 142 km of various level mountain dirt bike/ATV trails, I was confident on it, and raring to go again! lol

At the start of it, though…I froze. It had been a month, or so, since I had even gotten on it, and I forgot, largely, what I was doing. I still had lots of fear of riding, because of lack of confidence. Where we had ridden before was busy, the trails moderate to difficult(so we avoided them), and the only flat place was the road in! While not ideal, it was necessary in order to learn how to shift gears. The whole time, though, I kept thinking I was going to get hit by a vehicle, so I was just tense, and I did not enjoy myself at all. So, this 4 day trip we were taking did not exactly fill me with excitement.

After practicing…on some very flat, tame trails…starting, stopping, and standing up(to go over rough spots, dips, etc.), we were ready to start doing the trails in earnest. I was last in a single file line, and that was fine with me. I get nervous otherwise, since there are no rear view mirrors. A weird psychological thing, I have, I guess. 😛

Going along on a flat, tame trail is no guarantee that it will stay that way! A lot of the time, there would be large and small puddles(it had just rained) scattered all over, and you either had to ride through them, or dodge them. Very good practice for steering and for standing! Then other times, the trail would be littered with small to large rocks, left there by flooding, etc. Dodge or go over. More practice steering and standing! There is problem solving involved as well, as you decide the easiest, or the safest way around, or through whatever the trail throws at you. By the end of the trip, I was going through the little puddles on purpose, because it was just fun!

We did some hills, as well. Big ones. Littered with river rock. Ack! A bit nerve-wracking, but after I managed them, up and down, without falling off, I was pretty proud of myself! Then there were the giant puddles in some places. Some 6 feet in diameter, covering the entire trail with no way around them! There was no choice but to charge through them. Not knowing how deep they were, or how soft the bottom. Usually the outer edges were better, but not always, as I found out. I got most of the way across one of them, and felt the bike slip, then get stuck in the deep mud at the bottom. My shifter was under water, I couldn’t find neutral, and I was panicky since I nearly went over! So, I had to be rescued.  Out of a mud puddle. A mud puddle even my 8 year old managed to get across! Sheesh. 😛 They all had a hoot over that one! lol

I broke my bike in, finally….and I got muddy, and it was awesome! Woo Hoo!  😀

All in all, we ended the trip with nobody hurt, and everyone a thousand times more confident than when we started. Because after doing what were most definitely advanced intermediate trails, doing anything else was easy…. Now, I don’t fear going again. And actually look forward to it.

The scenery is gorgeous, and the riding has finally managed to be thrilling to me. We even named our bikes…There is “Beast”, “Mayhem”, “Cyclone”, “Hippie”(my little guy’s…don’t know why that name. lol), and I called mine “Rocket”. 😀 hahaha IMG_20150718_171241

Newest Midlife Thrill…

I think I might be forming an attachment to my dirt bike. I was leaving to go get groceries, and I had to walk past it in the garage. It was like it whispered to me…”psst. Come over here. You know you want to just start me, and rev my engine.” lol

Yes, I was feeling this weird compulsion to practice starting it, now that I have learned the proper way to do it. And I admit it…I kind of get a thrill out of revving that engine. I think I may have a slightly adventurous wild streak in me….which is simultaneously exhilarates me and scares me. I have been having dreams about it too. I think there might be a “midlife-wanna-do-new-things” element to this weird attatchment to my bike. I never would have thought of riding one in my 30s! Hmmm. Food for thought…

I finally got on the thing last night…to ride it! Albeit only in first gear in circles around the backyard, but I did it! And it felt good! It is really zippy, though, and I found I had to really concentrate on not giving it to much throttle too fast, or it kind of lurches forward. :S Too little throttle and it will stall. Then there is understanding the clutch. I do, basically, but learning how to shift into 2nd and up will require practice. I keep having trouble finding neutral when I stop. There is no gauge telling you what gear you are in. Hopefully, after lots of practice, it will become second nature. After getting comfy riding and shifting, I next need to learn how to stand while riding…for going over bumps, dips, etc. eek.

All in all, it is fun, so far. 🙂 Plus, I also love how my white cycle boots look and feel like Stormtrooper boots, and a company called Thor makes them! Just maybe meant to be for geek grrl me. 😉 lol

Getting Dirty

I am jumping into doing dirt biking this summer. Talked into it, because I hate being left out. Good thing I am a tomboy! lol I don’t mind getting dirty, and I like a good thrill! ;P  I will admit to being a bit nervous about it though. Starting it at my …ahem…”advanced age”… is a wee bit scary. I don’t want to go getting all hurt, and such. Plus I need to learn how to start it, run it, and ride it. eek!

I so love doing stuff with my boys, though. I started archery as an activity to do with them, and ended up loving it even more than they do! I worry for them on the bikes also, but then, I worry when they snowboard/ski too….

Life is too short to just sit in my house all the time. It isn’t horseback riding, which I would prefer, since I already know how to ride them, but there are some advantages in that the bike will be more predictable to ride, since it can’t think, and therefore get spooked, and it doesn’t need to be boarded and fed…unless you count putting gas in it as feeding. 😛 I think I am smart enough to figure it out…at least I hope so…I have never been good at driving manual transmission cars, so am a bit daunted by this prospect in a bike.

At least it will be nice, anyway, to get outside and play. We have some nice places to do this here. Great scenery. Do guys think of that when they head out, or is it just the chance for them to shatter the peace with the noise? lol

One of the things I worry about, too, are the idiots. Those guys who feel the need to show off how fast they can go, or how reckless they can be, without consideration for other riders. Plus there is also the fear of the drunk drivers. Guys going out to ride their bikes/ATVs after they have had a few beers in the truck beforehand. There will always be people like that. Always an idiot in the crowd, as it were. Hopefully we can find quiet, easy trails, on which to learn this new skill in peace. Without that extra stress…

At any rate, my boys think it is cool that I am willing to try this with them. Cool Mom…that’s me! 😛 More like Crazy Mom, maybe. haha

Out for a Stroll in SubZero Loveliness

Stroll. Yeah. Whew! hahaha!

Well, we didn’t end up going snowshoeing yesterday, as a blizzard rolled in, but today it was overcast, and not snowing anymore. We almost didn’t go today, either, as the temps had plummeted to around minus 22C…..just a wee bit cold to be out and about. 😛

But, after a little thought, coupled with a great desire to go, we bundled up in lots of layers, a good balaclava, toe and hand warmers(an ABSOLUTE MUST…those things are amazing!), and off we went anyway, thinking that if it was just too cold, we could always turn around.

This time we went to a favourite summer hiking spot, that features a lookout at the top. So a good steep incline was to be on the agenda, too! We ended up doing the whole 5KM loop, including the lookout, and it took around 4 hours. I was never cold! Not once! My eyelashes…as were everybody’s…frosted, but nobody felt the cold. We were exercising so hard, that even when we rested, the extreme cold never seeped in.

My stupid camera battery died, though, and I couldn’t take the pics I wanted to take….of a trail so breathtakingly beautiful, that one could only stare at it in absolute awe. Because of the snow storm the day before, the trees were heavy with it. And so tall were the trees…gigantic white sentinels! So quiet was the trail. So incredibly peaceful! While I don’t have my own pics because of my camera failure, I did find one that describes the scene fairly accurately…

It was SO nice. SO fun. SO tiring too! lol But that good kind of tiring….where at the end, when you finally sit, get warm, and relax, you feel so good, and also proud of yourself that you did such a trek. That you bonded with your kids, surrounded by the grandeur of nature, braved…and pretty much conquered….the cold, and did something so special, that it will live in memory long after it is over….

I shall sleep well tonight. 🙂