and a new season is on it's way . I have not been doing much riding since the week before our vacation and my V-strom has been patiently waiting for my return
content to be plugged into my battery tender watching the weather turn from warm to cooler . All I remember is that during the last week of September it was still warm and now that we have returned to normal life, the temperatures have been quite cool with lows of around 6-8c. It is a shock to the system as during our vacation to China we had been wearing shorts & sandals with average temps of around 25-28c .
It was also refreshing to see so many 2 wheeled vehicles in Beijing and Shanghai where riding is a way of life and scooters are used for daily transportation, unlike here where they are considered toys for recreational weekend use. How I wished that I could have been able to be riding instead of walking but I had to be content to wait until our return. There is really no such thing as renting any vehicle in China as they do not recoqnize International Drivers' Licenses. You must qualify for a regular Chinese license and take the same test as the locals. If you google rent a car in China you will find that your car rental "includes driver" . There is so much to get used to "over there" and they do not abide by the same rules as over here in a more civilized, regimented country. The main rule is "he who is first has the right of way", and signal lights are only a suggestion to be obeyed or not. I think it wiser to let someone else drive under these conditions.
I have been taking photos for many years but somehow during the past few years I have gotten into the P&S convenience factor. I always find a way to upgrade my equipment but somehow when came time to upgrade my Nikon D80 I decided to carry pocket cameras instead. I tend to purchase at the higher end of the scale, such as: Canon G10, Lumix ZS3, Canon SD880. Also since the advent of digital I have not been printing too many of my images. During the film days I used to develop my own B&W and enlarge them in my dark room . For my trip to China I decided to purchase something more suited for a trip in a lifetime with the idea of coming home with images that I could print.
Over the years I have had a few inkjet printers and usually only print 8x10's . I have had mostly HP printers but a few Canon. I purchased my last Canon wide carriage printer i9100 about 5 years ago and it has just been sitting there gathering dust. The last time I used it was to print a few 13x19 images from the Grand Canyon. One night last week I decided to dust it off and download the new software (for Windows 7) and install this on my new Toshiba laptop. I had to do a few head cleanings to get the nozzles unclogged and did some test prints.
There was something not right with the colours and I did another nozzle check to find that the black was not spraying. I ended up doing another few head cleanings to try to unclog the black. I was trying not to do the deep cleaning as this would have consumed too much ink.
I also took a group photo during our tour and being the photographer, I was not in the photo, so I took a night or two using photoshop to put myself into the photo. I am not a PS user and this took a while to come up with something acceptable
and printed out another 13x19 test print. This one was much better and now I am in the group photo . The quality was not bad for a 5 year old printer, but I did another 8x10 print on my HP printer and it was much sharper and clearer than from the older Canon i9100 . I was thinking that perhaps it was time for an upgrade. It is more expensive to print at home due to ink costs but more convenient.
About 2 days after we returned home, we must have picked up a legionaires bug on the plane during our 11 hour flight and Mrs Skoot had to go to emergency to obtain some penicillin but I toughed it out all week at work and finally was feeling good enough to go for a ride
nothing strenuous but to ride around town doing some errands and have a quick lunch . The weather was warmer than it was forecast and it was very pleasant to run through the gears and lean into the corners
I headed down to Kymco to visit with my buddy Gary whom I had not seen for a month and there was no parking to be had
I was feeling a bit weak but felt better after devouring my usual hamburger combo with fries and sugared soda
I made a quick trip to my insurance agent (another Concours rider) to renew the insurance on my V-strom as I keep it insured all year round, and also to purchase storage insurance for my "vette as the insurance has run out for the year and I only insure it for the summer months
I haven't really used the 'Vette much this year, probably less than one tank of gas. Usually when the weather is right I will always gravitate to the bike. I drove the vette to EMS to deliver another bottle of prune juice for Ted. In preparation for winter storage I filled the tank with 94 octane and fuel stabilizer and drove a few miles to get the mixture into the fuel system before driving home to put on the battery tender.
Back to the printer . . . while this Canon was state of the art 5 years ago I find that I am a perfectionist when it comes to quality and equipment
I have reacquainted myself with the various photography forums and reading printer reviews for the past few days and while most of the amateur Pros go for the Epson 3800 or 4800 I find it is too much trouble to constantly calibrate and unclog the jets so have settled on a new Canon Pro 9000 mark 2 printer from eBay. It seems that Canon recently had a rebate sale and there are still lots around the country at cheap prices, considering what they sell for in Canada. It is a wide carriage printer capable of printing on different paper surfaces up to 13x19
During our stay in China it is obvious that tourists are targets of unwanted attention. Before we can even get off the bus they are everywhere wanting us to buy their Rolex watches, purses, kites, or other stuff we don't need. Some even beg for money. We found it difficult to even to into the stores as they are constantly shouting at you to buy something or to make an offer. They don't understand the word NO, and think that all tourists are rich and want to buy . . .
it gets tiring after a while and we had to get out of the mall, but even as we left others were there to sell us the same stuff "on the street" . I didn't have the heart to film everyone. There were some without limbs or missing feet and for these people I truly felt sad and wanted to give them something, but we were told NOT TO by our guide