Brammoblog: More unrequested advertising efforts.

4 12 2012

Blog 59: not really a blog…just bored at work and so….Wait…isn’t that the definition of 98% of all blogs?

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Obviously I am not a marketing person. And it shows.

For most people knowing their limitations is a good and healthy start. Me? I know my limitations and, like a Honey Badger**, I  just don’t care.

Now the smart and sane thing would be to know one’s limitations and then either accept them or work at improving oneself….privately. Me? I know my limitations, don’t care, AND will share all my failings for the world to see (or at least the three people who read this…me, my mom, and my other personality).

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Today I “help” Brammo with their Advertising campaign. And I use the word help very loosely.

So why I am helping them? Because they asked??

Ha.

Because they might find any of my ideas helpful in some small way?

Nope…

If anything my constant emails and posts take Brammo away from needed work and further delay them.

So Why?

Because…well because I am neither smart nor sane and so there…

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BRAMMO: LET’S RIDE

brammo lean

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brammo lean 2

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brammo charging

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brammo green

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bramm clean

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brammo mean

LETS RIDE: BRAMMO

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Till Next Time…

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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**I Just Don’t Care…

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Brammoblog: It’s been a while…I bet you will wish it had been longer.

3 12 2012

Blog 58: Perhaps this is a sign that true Madness has set in…

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Haven’t posted in a while as I have been cage riding. The downside of driving a Test Bike is that sooner or later the company will want the bike back to do, well testing. The Upside is: FREE BIKE TO RIDE (till it is torn asunder from your grasping, confused and suddenly lonely throttle hand—and NO SUGGESTIONS from the peanut gallery about what I can do with my “lonely throttle hand”).

So as I slowly (and hella reluctantly) adapt to sitting in a Cage of metal, glass and sorrow** for my commuting and such…well I have not been posting here at all…

That changes today!!! Sadly this post is just silly whimsy and all fluff, no substance. But I hope to include some substance ASAP.

Hint Hint to Brammo…I want to ride again! And once you go Electric, it is hard to go back to riding a gas bike.

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As I wait and suffer, my mind has slowly (maybe not so slowly) been cracking like Arctic Ice on a hot August day.

And that unstable brain was doing a little Jingle/Song advertising for Brammo…I don’t think they will rush off to the presses with this idea any time soon.

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Sing along!

ostrich

BIRDS DO IT!

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bee

BEES DO IT!

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north korea

Even superfluous pseudo “World Leaders” DO IT…

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LET”S DO IT….

78064_10151094673835443_335001529_o

LET’S RIDE BRAMMO….

(just a place holder photo…need a good Brammo photo of many people riding Empulses)

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One other version was:

Birds do it,

Bees do it,

avery-martin copy

EVEN DINO’s INEBRIATED FLEAS DO IT…

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But: A) The Dean Martin reference is pretty old. B) Dean Martin’s mobster friends might not like me implying that “Dino” had fleas…and most importantly C) not sure you should ever use Inebriated in any motor vehicle ad.

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But there you go….nothing for a couple of weeks and this is the slop you get…

Sigh…don’t blame me…blame…heck, Blame Canada….

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https://i2.wp.com/marcos.kirsch.com.mx/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/south-park-blame-canada.jpg

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Till Next Time…

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

**Actually driving my pickup isn’t horrid…but it just pales to riding that Brammo to work each and every day…





BrammoBlog: Non-Brammo Related Blog Post…Sadly.

8 11 2012

Blog 57. “It’s been a week and a day, since my baby went away.”

Being without the Brammo Enertia Plus has turned me into a BCS:

Bad Country Singer.

(No oxymoron comments about BAD not being needed with Country Singer.

See: Hank Williams SR, George Jones, John Hiatt, Johnny Freakin Cash.)

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Well today is a totally Brammo free blog…well other than the Title…and the blog’s first line…and that last sentence….but no more. Except one more: the Brammo Enertia Plus has been gone since last Wednesday…and:

“There’s been a hoot-owl howling by my window now

For six nights in a row,

She’s coming for me, I know,

And on T’Challa we’re both gonna go.”

Gah, must stop listening to the 70’s radio station at bed time….

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So “currently” no electric motorcycle for me. But I still had a ride planned:

The Marigold Parade/Dia De Los Muertas Parade.

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I couldn’t miss that. For one, I made a special Dia De Los Muertas Panda head just for the ride. And two, it is a nice time with TONS of people.

I did shoot a little video and I took a few photos. But I couldn’t take photos nor video while driving the Maxi-Scoot (horrid name) down the parade street with my panda head on. It felt very much like I was an 80 year old with glaucoma driving to the liquor store for more vodka. (Editor’s Note: A future not impossible to imagine for Gavin.)

Thankfully I was only riding at 1 mph hour. So, even 90 percent blind, I somehow pulled off, by the grace of God,  NOT running over any of the thousand or so kids jumping into the street trying to catch cheap candy. “Hey kids, it’s like 3 days after Halloween; no candy left at home? Willing to be run over by a near blind panda-headed moron for that piece of cheap off-brand Bazooka gum that you will just throw away when you get home?”

And it was HOT. Over 80 degrees….in New Mexico…in NOVEMBER!!! Not surprisingly, inside that Panda head it was much hotter. Sweat dripped into eyes as I tried constantly to re-adjust the panda head to allow some tiny amount of vision. Oh, and I had a passenger.

So that mile ride from the Isleta Police Station to the Southwest Community Center was a long, hot, mildly scary drive. And at one mile per hour that mile ride took….wait, I think I can do this math in my head…let’s see…carry the 1…divide by 1…correct for lowest common denominator (me)…and it took like eleven billionity hours…or it took about an hour. Gah, that part of the ride was painful and distressingly like WORK. (gotta stop saying Gah so much.)

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Jessi and I post ride, wandering around the community center. I was in immediate search mode for FLUIDS.

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Me and Jessi, my passenger. It was great having Jessi there. (photo from the Daily Lobo website–UNM’s college paper)

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http://goodtogrow.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/monday-2012-marigold-parade-in-albuquerques-south-valley/

The above link takes you to a site that has lots of nice photos Many that show the crowd some. None of my photos ever show the crowd 😦

The place was PACKED. Nice.

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At the “staging” area.

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Ron on his Spree.

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Ron, Panda Head and Jessi at the end of the Parade.

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Jessi, her date and the Panda Head 🙂

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My Video. Mostly of the Parade staging/set-up area (we were group 28 of over 100 groups).  I slowed down the beginning part as I was spinning around and it would have made everybody throw up on their monitors. Don’t ask how I know this. (memo to self: buy new monitor)

Then some footage (can we use the word footage any more? Everything is digital…no film footage to handle and splice together) of riding to the start of the Parade. You get to see Jessi coming up with my Panda Head just before the turn onto the street with all the humans. The person squealing like an 8 year old girl is me. 😦

I rode the scooter down to the parade and didn’t want to carry the head. Jessi said she would bring it, but was running late as the traffic was HORRID. So I almost didn’t do the ride in the head. (which would have made me hella sad, but it probably would have been safer and I would have had some video of the crowd)

And finally some “footage” of the end of the Parade site. It was starting to get crowded, and the Parade was still going. So that field at the community center was going to be packed by the time night fell.

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All in all, it was a nice time. I want to invite Brammo to do a group ride at the parade next year. A few silent and clean electric motorcycles riding down the road would get a lot of attention with this crowd. And tons more at the huge party at the ride’s end. And throwing candy to the kids is always fun. And you would get a nice visit to the beautiful Southwest. (Large, vision obstructing paper mache heads are optional)

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And you know it isn’t a Gavin trip unless I stop somewhere to take extra photos of the bike in nice scenery. Sorry, no electric vehicle photos, but here is my Fuoco 500 down at the Rio Grande River with the Cottonwood leaves turning gold.

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Dark shadow at top is part of my finger…I kinda suck at this stuff.

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Till Next Time…

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus

The Daily Lobo…Physical copy.

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The Road Warrior…In the Future he will be kicking ass, but he won’t be looking for gas.

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BrammoBlog: I promised myself I wouldn’t cry….

31 10 2012

Blog 56: Parting is such sweet sorrow….Actually it is just sorrow, nothing sweet about it at all.

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So if anybody, other than the voices in my head, have been following this blog, those people will know a couple of things:

1) I take a lot of photos.

2) I am a few rungs low on the ladder of normal.

C) I don’t follow rules well

and

4) I have been riding an Electric Motorcycle (made by Brammo) for the last year and 3 weeks.

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I have put over 6000 miles on the two bikes they lent me (over 4800 on the first bike: a Brammo Enertia. Their first bike that is a city commuter with a 40 miles range per charge. And over 1300 miles on the second bike they lent me when they took back the Enertia : a Brammo Enertia Plus. This was a  newer version with double the range and other improvements). It also was one of Brammo’s Test Bikes (number 9 to be exact). That info comes into play today.

6000 miles in a year is pretty good for a city commuter. I rode just about everyday, either commuting to work or running errands or just going for fun rides along the river or up in the mountains. Good Times.

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My very first ride on the Brammo Enertia.

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https://brammoblog.com/2012/08/29/brammo-blog-new-computer-new-bike-same-old-me-sorry/

This was my blog saying goodbye to Enertie (the green Enertia) and hello to T’Challa (the black Enertia Plus)

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T’Challa at the Grand Canyon.

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Well the day has come that Brammo is collecting the Plus and I am no longer an Electric Motorcycle rider. And that makes me a Sad Panda.

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But the Plus was a “Test Bike” and Brammo needs her back to check on the batteries and such and possibly make a few changes, adjustments and update the software.

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So back she goes…sniff…I will not cry….

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And while I am currently EV-less and sad, I appreciate the time I got to ride both motorcycles. And all the people I got to meet and talk to because of those Brammo motorcycles (and believe you me, EVERYBODY will want to talk to you when they see these bikes. It is not the kind of bike you get if you are “overly shy”…or horribly anti-social). And HUGE thanks to the people at Brammo. Especially Adrian Stewart who made this all happen. And BrammoFan and all the people over at BrammoForums. So many people to thanks…but it is hard to see the keyboard as it seems to be raining on my face…

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Till Next Time…

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus

Ok…not way in hell I should put this here. But I just am not bright enough to know that somehow this will come back and haunt me. Dancing Panda (with my drinking head vs my day of the dead panda head that is impossible to drink while wearing)…A) I am a horrid dancer. B) Tequila is never your friend. C) I was not driving that night.

Somehow I think Brammo will not loan me anything ever again after seeing that.

Bonus 2

Ashton Kutcher might be interested in an Empulse…at least according to some rumors…so here ya go…

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Ashton Jobs

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Dude, where’s my Brammo?

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BrammoBlog: It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday…(sorry…A) it’s Monday and B) that song is just vile)

29 10 2012

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Blog 55: I decide to join Brammo on their Friday Afternoon Ride…well not in Ashland…That is FAR…But I went on my own little Friday Afternoon Ride.

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Every Friday (or most Fridays) Brammo goes on group rides from the Brammo Headquarters in Ashland, Oregon.

See here: http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1671

Well it was a beautiful fall Friday here in Albuquerque and work was a bit slow…..So I said goodbye to the Hospital and jumped on the Brammo Enertia Plus and hit the streets of Burque. I just missed the leaves changing on my ride to the top of the mountain (seen in last weeks blog post: HERE) …but they are just starting to change down by the Rio Grande…so that was my destination. And I have some photos (surprising I know) and video to share. And, since it is Halloween time, a few bonus images at the end….Non Brammo related, but fun.

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Down near the river looking East toward the mountain. The Cottonwoods turn bright yellow this time of year.

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Panorama Time

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What’s my favorite phrase? I PARK WHERE I WANT

(unless it is inside JUMBO at the Trinity Site and the Military Police are super pissed at me)

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This path leads down to the Rio Grande Nature Center and the River.

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Panorama Time…It Panoramamonium…or something like that…

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And I did video the ride. I’m linking to two versions. They are exactly the same–so don’t watch both–, but YouTube might block the first one as it has a Fela Kuti song…

I wish YouTube and the record companies would work together and let me have the song in the video and YouTube mentions the song playing and gives a link to purchase the song and where you can find more songs from the artist and similar music…a win win you would think…

Anyways, try the first and if blocked, try the second.

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fela version

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Mash up Sex Pistols dance mix of Pretty Vacant…it’s fine, the song just goes a bit long in the middle…hence why I prefer the Fela version

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Till next time, ride safe.

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus Halloween stuff:

Ok, I did two pumpkins this year. I stopped carving and moved to scraping a couple of years ago.

One Pumpkin is a traditional orange, the other is a white pumpkin. That pumpkin was HEAVY. Next year I might try sculpting a pumpkin if I get one with as thick of flesh as that white one. For scraping a candle is usually not enough light (unless you scrap it really really thin. I leave mine a bit thick and use a light bulb. The orange got a standard 25 watt bulb…the white got a 25 watt green party bulb as the character is green.

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Pumpkins pre scraping…along with my Day of the Dead Panda head. I am riding, again, in the Dia de los Muertas Parade and will be wearing that head…sadly not on the Enertia Plus…but more on that in the next blog.     see how I added some tension there… 🙂

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The White Pumpkin scrapped. Interestingly the white flesh smelled like cucumber, not pumpkin.

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My niece loves Robert Downey Jr…so this was for her. And it was an easy design.

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White Pumpkin lit up. Both my youngest daughter and my eldest daughter’s husband love the TMNTs, so this was for them. Also an easy design.

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And together….

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I was trying to make the “Duck Face in the Bathroom Mirror” photo that everybody posts on Facebook, but all I could pull off was Sad Panda.

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And while I am a good 10-15 pounds overweight**, I make a dang skinny panda…need a pillow next time.

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If I get up the nerve I might post the video of me dancing in the Panda suit (with my drinking panda head) after a bit too much tequila. But it is sooooo over the top that I might just sell it to a Furry Lovers site online.

🙂

**Thanks to Brammo I never ride my bicycle anymore and it shows…sigh…why do desserts taste soooo very yummy?? Damn you red velvet cupcakes…





BrammoBlog: What do you do when you’re broken hearted?

22 10 2012

Blog 54: RIDE BABY RIDE. Or if you are watching too many bad movies from the 60’s. Faster Pussycat, Ride Ride.

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Ok, so Saturday I heard the great news for a good guy: Jeremy Dorn (aka. EmpulseBuyer) was officially named the Brammo Evangelist for 2012. Along with the accolades and recognition for his work promoting Brammo, he also gets a brand new Brammo Empulse R. A damn sweet ride. And a list price of 18K, so that is a super sweet prize. And now his name is EmpulseWinner. 🙂

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Of course his great news was a bit less great for me. I am extremely happy for him, but I have to admit I was feeling a little less than ecstatic on Saturday.

Because while 1st place is super super sweet, second place is….nada. It’s like when our children were born. For some time I was the most important person in my wife’s life. And then we had kids. And I knew I would be second to the kids, and had no problem with that. Still I was a bit unprepared as I didn’t think the gulf between 1st (the kids) and 2nd (me) would be quite sooooooooo huge. 🙂  She is just head over heels crazy for those girls. And that is what makes her just such an amazing mom. Me? She does recognize me most days as a sometimes mobile and breathing Carbon-Based Life-form, so I do have that going for me.

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So (and I’m not proud admitting this) I was moping around a bit. Kinda feeling a bit sorry for myself. Then I realized it was about 4:30 pm on a BEAUTIFUL Saturday and I was acting like an Emo kid on Prom Night. I thought: “Pull it together dude (i often mentally call myself dude…nothing to do with The Big Lebowski). Get out of the house, DUDE (see?), and do something to take your mind off it and have some fun.”

Now the question is: What do you do when you find out that you are likely the 2nd place finisher in being named Brammo Evangelist for 2012? What do you do when you find out you won’t “win”/”earn” an amazing free bike (and the press and accolades)???***

Now I’m not sure what you would do, my kind, indulgent and likely imaginary reader, but me? To forget and put the whole Brammo Evangelist 2012 announcement behind me, I  jumped on “my” Brammo Enertia Plus and rode 70 miles to the top of Sandia Mountain and back.

It was a little after 5 when I left. The day was still bright (brighter than me, but more on that later*), but the shadows were long on the ground and I knew I probably couldn’t make it up the mountain and back before dark. Especially as the way up to the top of the mountain is on the East Side* and the Sun sets in the West…so the Mountain will be blocking the Sun for my ride up. Still I grabbed my Icon Airmada Stack Helmet (I don’t know why but I seem to be giving free press to Brammo and Icon now-a-days) and my Contour Roam helmet cam and set off.

Now my helmet doesn’t yet have the connector for the camera, but I’ve been using it lately by driving one handed and filming anyways. It is actually much nicer. I get to pan around. And on this ride I got to hold it out in front by the tire, and lean over and hold it close to the ground. Fun stuff! And for Adrian who tells me the Empulse is too much for me…Hey, Enertia Plus, 50 mph and riding one handed and filming…So there! 🙂

Photos and Video up next.

Photos First.

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It was getting dark fast and I was using my iPhone. So the images will be a bit contrasty.

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A short panorama

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A full panorama. Curvy roads seem to baffle panoramas.

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The Video: longish at 15mins, but has some fun stuff when I decide to “drag” the camera.

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Till next time, ride safe.

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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*Why I am not bright: 1) I have lived in Albuquerque for 16 years. Albuquerque is to the WEST of the mountain. The way up to the top is on the EAST side. In the video I reversed this. 16 YEARS. Sigh. 2) The top of the mountain is 5000 feet higher than where I live. The top of the mountain is always 20 to 25 degrees colder than where I live. So Saturday was a beautiful day in the low 70’s. Perfect. But it gets cold fast when the Sun goes down. So…AND I KNOW THIS…when I was coming down the mountain after sunset is was quickly below 40 degrees. I did have my full face helmet. I did have my nice fall gloves and my fall coat. But under the coat was only a t-shirt. And the fall gloves are pushed to their limit at 39 degrees and going 50 mph…So it was a COLD ride home….I almost always forget to dress for the mountain top…even after all these years. A mental block…heavy emphasis on MENTAL.

*** To be fair and honest…Brammo has been super good to me and had let me use a Brammo Enertia for 9 months…and now the Enertia Plus for the last couple of months. So it is hard to “complain”.





BrammoBlog: Sunday was a GREAT day for Balloons in New Mexico

16 10 2012

Blog 53: A mostly non-Brammo blog today. But Sunday was just too lovely not to share.

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So Sunday was the last day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  And the weather was perfect for ballooning. Low winds, cool air and clear skies. AND it was the same down in Roswell, New Mexico where Felix Baumgartner was attempting to take a balloon up high enough to see the curvature of the Earth. And then jump out of that balloon. Crazy stuff.

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Linkage:

http://www.balloonfiesta.com

The World’s Premiere Balloon Event…it says so right on the web page…and is true. Crazy number and styles of balloons.

and

http://www.redbullstratos.com/the-team/felix-baumgartner/

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I love this image

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And of course I did poke a bit of fun about his upcoming jump in a blog last week…

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And while I don’t usually take requests, Brammofan sent me an image of Mr Baumgartner making his historic landing (and landed it perfectly! the only time I sky dived I was in a tandem and still ended up on my arse). He said I should “Brammo it up”…and how could I resist.

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I find it rather impressive that Brammo just happened to have an Empulse near enough to the landing site that Mr Baumgartner could aim for it and make a perfect “land, sit and GO!” 🙂

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But that’s all I have that is Brammo related today. The rest is Balloon Fiesta time, baby. And what a nice time it was. I went with my wife, my eldest daughter, her husband and their amazing and lovely daughter. And we met my mom, my youngest brother, his wife and their lovely and amazing son. My youngest daughter wasn’t there as she in charge of the mobile and online coverage of the Fiesta for the Albuquerque Journal and had been doing insane hours and was taking the day to sleep and sleep and then sleep some more.

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First things first. To celebrate a man taking a balloon to the edges of space and then stepping free and hurtling back to Earth like Icarus, here is my wife and I looking like idiots. Well at least me. My wife looks amazing doing anything.

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That photo was taken at the Balloon Fiesta, but a bit later in the morning. Ballooning is an early morning event and we arrived at 5 am to see the Dawn Patrol set up and take off. And to beat the crowds as 10’s of thousands of people go on the weekends.

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Arrival.

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more people arrive

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I always forget to ask why the launch officials dress as Zebras.

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In the early, pre-dawn AM of the high desert, the best place to stand it near the balloons as they inflate. Those propane tanks put out a lot of heat.

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The first few balloons inflate just before the Sun rises. This is the Dawn Patrol. Usually 6-10 balloons that take off before all the other balloons to see what the wind speeds are and which direction the balloons will go.

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More of the Dawn Patrol

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I liked the combo of the faces lit up by a balloon inflating just out of the photo…and the mountain silhouette lit up by a soon to be rising Sun.

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Ready to go.

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And off they go. I really fell in love with the look of the Mountain and the slowly lightening sky that outlined it. It was hypnotically beautiful.

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After the Dawn Patrol is when the many Many MANY other balloonist start to inflate.

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A panorama of some of the first wave of post dawn balloons inflating.

The Dawn Patrol is always “normal” shaped balloons. The first wave after the Dawn Patrol is also all “normal’ shaped balloons.

Special Shapes never fly with them for 2 reasons.

1. Special Shapes are much harder to fly and more sensitive to the winds. So making sure the other balloons ride easily is very important.

2. The people love them some Special Shapes. So it’s best to have them later in the morning when the bigger crowd has arrived.

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3 of the 4 most important women in my life. 3 of 5 as I should include Becki too.

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The crazy thing is just how close everybody can, and do, get to the balloons. Kids touching them, me poking my head inside one as it inflates.

Surprisingly you never hear of injuries on the ground. You would like one person (me) would get too close and have his hair set on fire…well I guess I’m kinda safe on that part. 🙂

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“Balloon, I am your Owner.” Dark Father was there.

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A nice panorama of a lazy Darth kinda chilling.

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And a few take off. It was a good amount of balloons. Not a great amount, but good. It was the last day and many of the balloonist go home before the last day. I was at a Fiesta one year that had over 700 balloons take off in one morning session…just wave after wave of balloons. It was “memorable”.

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Creamland: It’s Legen…Wait for it….Dairy.

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POW balloon (barbed wire balloon on far edge), SpiderPig (love it) and Simba (he’s new this year). The Baby Bumble Bee (Jolie) has her back to us.

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And probably my favorite balloons…The Bumble Bee family. And the baby is named after my youngest daughter.

When they take off the handlers on the ground spin the Mom and Dad to rotate and “kiss” as they rise…and they, if the winds are low, hold hands the whole time they are in the air. The “baby” usually flies off by herself. She is interesting as the pilot doesn’t ride in a basket. There is a two seat chair similar to what you use as a ski-lift at the mountains for skiing and snowboarding. So two people hang down below the balloon very exposed. Kinda cool.

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More balloons…and the beer garden was taunting me. No alcohol sales in New Mexico till after Noon on Sundays. Though I do wonder how much beer they sell at 7 am. On bitter cold mornings. But probably more than one would expect.

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More balloons….I admit that I didn’t get a lot of images of the mass ascension. I forgot to charge my iPhone the night before and it died…and that is a long story as I also got separated from the family (I have the attention span of a gnat drinking red bull and constantly wander off at events like this) and had to borrow a phone from the Lost Parents security station. Twice. Sigh.

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So that’s it for Photos. I am putting up two short videos of the Dawn Patrol.

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The Propane tanks are quite noisy. Most years we have a balloon or two fly right over our house (usually less than 50 feet above the house) and the dogs go CRAZY. They hate the balloons. And fear them.

The Crowd yells happily with every balloon that launches.

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Short.

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That’s it. Take care and bee safe 🙂 Till next time.

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus Photo

The daughter and granddaughter getting a photo with one of Darth Vader’s henchmen. I love the look on her face.

“….What the @#$% is that…and why aren’t we running away from it?”

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Bonus 2—Stolen from my daughter’s Facebook





BrammoBlog: Leaving White Sands, I get a beautiful sunset & some amazing Ruins. Nice.

15 10 2012

Blog 52: Finishing up the weekend trip. The Trinity Site and White Sands: DONE. Still the trip home has a few more wonders to show. Plus: Bonus Balloon Fiesta photos (non-Brammo related)***

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First: Leaving White Sands (a great Nicolas Cage movie) I got a wonderful sunset in my rear mirrors. I wanted to hit White Sands a couple of hours before sunset and timed it pretty well. White Sands is most beautiful in the hours just after sunrise and the couple of hours before sunset. It is also quite beautiful on a night with a full moon. Sadly the moon as only at half full.

Still I got there in time to ride around and take lots of photos and video as the sun slowly lowered and the colors of the sky and dunes multiplied and deepened. See yesterdays blog for the photos.

On leaving I had to pull over and get a few shots of the sunset. If I was smarter I would have stayed in the Dunes for some shots. It would have been legen…wait for it….dary. But truthfully I didn’t want to ride the 15 miles from White Sands to my motel in the dark. I don’t really know the area and it was all highway from White Sands to my motel. And “on a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air”…is not the safest place to ride when you are not familiar with the surroundings. Plus people in New Mexico are CRAZY when they drive.

Most importantly, I didn’t know it would be soooo pretty. But I should have guessed. Clouds plus Sunset in New Mexico almost always equals pretty. Next time I will stay at the dunes well past the setting sun. Red and purple dunes at night would have been so very lovely.

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I spent the night in Alamogordo (about 15 miles north of White Sands) and thought about maybe going to White Sands again in the morning. But I knew there were some nice Puebloan Ruins I had never visited about 2 hours from White Sands. And they were on my way home. Or at least one way home 🙂

I wanted to get some nice photos at the Ruins before the Sun got too high in the sky. So I woke before sunrise and loaded up the Enertia Plus into the pickup and headed back north towards home.

I traveled some of the most empty lands I’ve ever driven. Nothing, nobody for as far as the eye could see. I even had Prong Horned Antelopes crossing the road in front of me and cows grazing beside the highway without fencing (Neither are very comforting. Driving a truck at 60 mph and seeing a cow 1 foot off the road slowly chewing the grass is just unnatural to this city boy). But I guess they don’t do secret Nuclear testing in populated areas. So they had to pick a place like this for both the Trinity Site and White Sands Missile Range.

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Not my photo…I was driving too fast and the Prong Horns are very quick too. Not that I didn’t try 🙂

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I always thought Prong Horn’s were imported to this country…but they are indigenous. The oldest bones at the Ruins are Prong Horn bones.

They just look so “African”. Plus there are Oryx breeding in Southern New Mexico and I know they were imported from Africa.

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Oryx at the edge of the White Sands. They were brought in for hunting. Which is mildly sad. Neither Oryx or Prong Horns are overly fearful of people…and the lack of trees and cover make them insanely easy to hunt. Still a person gets his trophy kill and head to mount all for the extreme effort of driving a truck to an area, walking less than a mile and getting 30 feet away from these beautiful creatures and then shooting it with an expensive, high powered rifle. Yea.

Eh, Whatever. There are worse things happening everyday…just don’t pretend you are some great warrior or hunter. It only slightly harder than shooting a cow.

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But I’m off subject. My first stop was at Gran Quivira.  http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/66gran/66gran.htm

This Puebloan Ruin is literally in the middle of nowhere, as you will see in my panorama shots. It does have a nice walkway and a gift shop…as do all 3 ruins in this general area. And a Ranger. Nice man. Though he did tell me to stay in the middle of the path to protect against Rattlesnakes. Ha. A) I have caught and moved quite a few rattlesnakes from my home when we lived up north of the mountain in Placitas. B) It was 9:30 in the morning and still below 40 degrees. No rattlesnake is awake and alert in 40 degree temps. I assume his comments are there to impress the tourist and to keep people from venturing off the pathway…But it doesn’t do either with “locals”.

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Map showing the 3 Ruins. Gran Quivira is the furthest South. It is about 130 miles North of White Sands and about 100 miles South of Albuquerque.

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Sadly, for me, this Ruin is only accessible by foot. And no way to position the bike for a photo op. Still they are quite lovely and I’m glad I stopped and got some “non bike” related photos. 🙂

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These Panorama are big files. Click to see “the bigger.”

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I didn’t ask, but I think it is very likely that some major renovation was done to the site. It is 1000 years and abandoned for over 300 years. Though I gather the big Church is only 400 years old or so. It would have been added during Spanish rule. The Pueblo People didn’t do Churches till the Spanish came and forced them to.

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Notice the distance behind these last two images and the “nothing” that fills it 🙂

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So a nice short walk about. Nobody else there, just me. Beautiful morning, beautiful site. Nice.

Then off I went to Abo. Abo is the Ruin that got me interested in going here. A friend had put up some images of Abo and I just had to go. The Quarai Ruin is supposedly the largest and nicest, but I saved those for the next trip. They are also the closest to people and the most visited. I wanted to have the Ruins all to myself.

http://www.turnerinnandrvpark.com/Quarai%20RuinsPage.htm

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Again, like Gran Quivira, the Abo Ruin had a gift shop and a Ranger there. Another nice man who told me to come back on a weekday and he gives petroglyphs and rock tours of the older parts of the Puebloan Ruin. Where Gran Quivira was white rock, Abo is dark red and the sunlight was in a great position hitting the large East facing wall. And the nice thing, for Brammo Photo Ops, is that the road runs right in front of the Ruin. I still couldn’t take the bike on the 1/2 mile path that went around the Ruin, but I could get some nice shots from the road.

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The Ruin has a rather extensive older portion on the other side of the creek. It is totally worn down to the ground and really only an archaeologist would know what is what.

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All the panoramas are large files ready for some clickage by the viewers.

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Far Warning: I took too many photos…and I still could have taken tons more.

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Aimed higher to include the almost half moon. The moon, especially when full, always looks so much bigger to the eye than on camera.

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I may have been standing a bit askew* for this panorama.

*(i wanted to put standing a bit zygoggle or psygoggle..but I don’t know how to spell it….)

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Having a round Kiva in the middle of the church is supposedly very unusual for Puebloan design.

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By the time I was leaving (multiple photos and the 1/2 mile walk around the Ruin) the moon was much lower in the sky.

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Abo from behind….

hmmm, there is something potentially nasty in that phrase, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

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And further down the pathway.

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I didn’t know if I wanted to insert a Talking Heads “Road to Nowhere” reference or a Wizard of Oz “Follow the Red Clay Road” joke. So I am doing both. It is just concrete painted to look like packed red clay. Tricky. It’s Tricky Tricky Tricky.

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As you can tell I took too many photos. I only used a few of the many many many I have. It is the combo of red brick and blue sky that always makes me fall in love…and the jagged Ruins are just icing on the cake.

Till next time.

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

***Balloon photos are moved to Tomorrow’s Blog….which will be, interestingly, tomorrow. I figured this blog post already had too many photos.

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A Funky Bonus.

I was interviewed by a fellow EV enthuisast over the phone. And you can find it here. Personally I hate the sound of my voice. I have huge, expansive sinus cavities (i’ve got the xrays to prove it) which helps keep my huge head from being too heavy. At the same time those hollow chambers echo and expand my tinny voice so that I hear myself in my head sounding not unlike Barry White. A deep, sex-drenched voice.

But on tape I hear my true voice and it is so unlike the sound in my head that I find it quite unsettling. I sound similar to Christopher Lloyd at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Sigh. The brave, darning and foolish can listen to it by clicking this link.

http://esbk.co/2012/10/02/esbk-studios-episode-10-interview-with-gavin-mccullough/

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A Funkier Bonus

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Me with the Albuquerque Isotopes Mascot: Orbit.





BrammoBlog: White Sands and More. Ok, not more. Just White Sands. Believe me, just White Sands is Enough.

12 10 2012

Blog 51: White Sands was amazing. Got tons of photos, some nice panoramas and somewhat shaky video. I forgot to put a helmet cam connector on my new Icon Airmada Hi Viz Helmet, so I rode with the camcorder in my left hand. Actually it was kinda nice. I could video to the sides without turning my head.

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First Note: Head slowly clearing…Still I think this post will be mostly photos and videos and very little of my ramblings interrupting the flow. So, in other words, probably one of my better blog post.

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But less talk, more photos.

Added note: All the photo files are quite HUGE. Click on them and you will get a large image to look at.

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This video shows the ride into the park. I always forget that the road basically disappears under compressed sand that looks like packed snow.

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First of a number of Panoramic photos. Click to make bigger. Click that opened photo to make insanely big.

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I park where I want 🙂

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I like the people on the top of the dunes.

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So, as promised, few words, many images. Next will be the ruins.

Till then, ride safe.

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

Bonus Time.

from yesterday’s post that had the balloon photos…forgot I did a couple of seconds of video too.

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Second Bonus

Ha….as I was getting off the bike to take some photos with my iPhone I accidently turned on the helmet cam that I was holding in my other hand. So most of this video is up side down and weird angles. I get off the bike and walk to the middle of the road and take some photos and then some panoramas.





Brammo Blog: Fat Man, Jumbo, So Much White Crystal and a Culture in Ruins…

11 10 2012

Blog 50: Sounds like a season on Breaking Bad, but instead is a weekend trip to The Trinity Site, White Sands National Monument and a couple of Pueblo Ruins.

Still sick, but pushing forward…I probably won’t be as witty, and maybe even more incoherent (if that’s possible)

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So I had a very busy weekend planned last week…and actually did everything I wanted. Pretty sweet.

There will be some stories to tell…but mostly just photos. In fact I have soooo many nice photos that I might spread this post over a couple of days.

We start at the Trinity Site. The site of the first Atomic bomb testing. It is only open 2 days a year for the public and is smack dab in the middle of nowhere…and right in the middle of a military base.

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And yes the site is too far away for riding on the Electric bike…soooooo…

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At the site…behind the bike is Jumbo….Aptly named as it almost got me in a jumbo amount of trouble.

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I thought, “Wow, It will be cool to take a photo of the Enertia inside of Jumbo. I’ll just sit here on the bike and take my turn…”

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Video of me riding from truck around the parking area and stopping in front of Jumbo to get a photo.

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Of course the Military Police did not agree with me and A) wouldn’t let me ride the Enertia into Jumbo and B) told me to go park the bike as this area was for people walking.

I have to admit that I thought it would be less crowded. The Trinity Site is far far from everything. I thought there would be a couple of dozen people spread out over the day. Instead the parking lot was full and there were likely a couple of thousand people just during the time I was there.

So I parked my bike a little bit away…hoping to catch a slow point to grab a couple of more photos.

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The bike did get a far amount of attentions. lots of questions, a few people sitting on her, etc etc.

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and I was able to get right up by the gate that leads to the short walk to the actual bomb site.

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And I thought, Hmmm, I could move the bike a bit and get a couple of more shots…and that was my downfall.

The same Military Police Officer saw me and started walking really fast toward me and held out his arm and did the universal sign for “Get your ASS over here right NOW.” And I can say that Military Police are not something I have any real experience with. The do take their job very seriously. They do not have much of a sense of humor nor an ability to handle change or an unexpected situation. Being rigid is probably a necessity for the job. I tend to think I can talk my way into and out of just about any situation. But on a Military base….not so much.

Now I was going to give a long run down of what happened next, but my head cold is telling me to get moving on. So long story short: I got a good “talking” to. Was almost thrown out, possibly arrested. Had left my license in the truck, wasn’t wearing my helmet…etc etc. Finally I was told to put the bike on the truck and then I could stay and finish the tour. Which was nice. I would not be able to get good bike photos, but I still could get some nice photos from Trinity and do a proper tour of the site.

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Ground Zero Plaque

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Trinity Site Marker.

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A close up…then off to…

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Fat Man…not me, but getting there 😦

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Self Portrait of a Man, a Bomb, a Marker and a Mountain.

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Next stop at Trinity was a Bus Ride to McDonald Ranch House. The house is 10,000 yards from the bomb site and was the place military and scientists watched from. Not nearly far enough in my opinion. But the first bomb was rather small, as far as Nuclear Bombs are concerned.

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Nice Panorama leading out to the Ranch house. I am in love, as you will see later, with Panorama. Works great in New Mexico.

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Leaving the Ranch House

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Next was driving to White Sands National Monument.

But that involves many many more photos…and my helium and mucous filled head is telling me to stop and do that tomorrow.

I will share with you about my bonus photo from yesterday.

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Take this:

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Search the internet for images of the guy trying to break the record for jumping from a balloon. That should be this weekend down in Roswell, New Mexico. Find this:

He is basically doing the jump in a space suit.

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Extract, resize and add some motion artifact to falling man and you get the finished photo…voila.

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Next Time: White Sands. Pueblo Ruins. And hopefully a clearer head.

Gavin

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Bonus….

Wonderful Sunset down in Alamogordo. I was leaving White Sands and driving back to my motel Saturday night when I had to stop and take a few photos.

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When we have clouds at sunset we often get pinks, salmon, gold and purple colors. It crazy. When I first moved here I saw a collection of New Mexico art that had the sky Purple, Red, Pink and Orange and I thought, “How gaudy. Why would somebody use those colors?” And now I know.