The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

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My wife, who is a wonderful an understanding person has talked me into leaving even earlier on my trip. The day job has been kind of nuts, lots of hours and a pretty involves service project over the last two weeks. The kind of project that eats up your days and weekends, one of which was a long weekend. Seeing as we are sort of a new company, I didn’t feel like soaking the customer or my boss with the day where I would be earning essentially 2 1/2 times my wage. So I and the guys I was working with opted to flip the holiday day for a day off to be taken at a later date. My later date looks to be June 10th. This gives me essentially three extra days to explore some of the southern Midwest. It also means that instead of being roughly 15 days from departure I’m only 12. Which of course fills me with anticipation and a little anxiety. But that’s really just the OCD part of my brain kicking in. Most to because I have set dates for places I need to be at and throwing three extra days in there changes things up quite a bit. I can cover a lot of real estate in three days.

Originally my plan had been to take on a fair bit of old Route 66 South out of Chicago and take a hard right down around Kansas City, that I do a firm push on the interstate out to Colorado. Of course with three extra days, I can do a couple of things. I can take it little easier as far as my days go. Though those of you that know me know how that’s going to turn out. And in that way of thinking I’ve decided to head south of Colorado Springs initially and check out the mountains there and if all goes well I’ll be in Mesa Verde National Park checking out the cave dwellings on day four. The park looks suitably impressive with lots of road to cover (all at 40 mph) so that’s going to be a full day with probable camping in the park. In fact this trip camp he looks to be a lot more prevalent for me than on any other trip. It will be interesting to see how a full day on the bike intersects with a full night on a sleeping pad.

So this morning I was able to finally put my current service project to bed and finish it off just before noon. My plan for this week was to install my new Oxford heated grips and my new Barkbuster hand guards on my Strom. I was going to do this come hell or high water. Of course I had to choose a day where we hit 31 Celsius and about 85% humidity. There really is no spring here in Toronto, you go from freezing cold, to uncomfortably cold, to I’m melting. At any time spent with the bike is still a good time.

So the first thing was I had to remove the existing heated grips. Which of course meant I had to to cut all my cable ties that were holding the current wiring set up together. Then as with all things Strom, there’s a certain amount of what we later call the Tupperware that needs to be removed. Though because I was really just running wires it was only the side panels that need to come off or be opened up. And thanks to the wiring for my GPS unit cradle, I needed to lift my gas tank to keep the wires neat and out-of-the-way.

So that’s what that first picture is. It’s my old grips cut free and hanging. All in all and really just because I’m fairly thorough about how I like to run my wires, it took about 2 1/2 hours to mount everything. The Barkbusters were fairly straightforward and I really like the mechanism they use to lock the bar end sections in place. Now I’ve got a nice rigid Aluminum bar in place across both knuckles, I realize how inconsequential the stock hand guards really are. Still they for the most part did their job with a few mods by yours truly over the years.

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Looking at this picture, I realize I have a lot of electronics on the front of my bike. So for the curious, I’ve got a Spot tracker GEN three (worth the money because it gives them a starting place to look for your body), my ZUMO 1190 GPS (were still getting to know each other), and of course a new control block for my Oxford heated grips. I do like that this new unit has five power settings.

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And here you can see the new Storm grips. They’re slightly larger than the standard Barkbuster covers and we’ll have to see how well they keep the wind and rain off my gloves. Relatively speaking that is.

Tomorrow, I’m going to change my oil and filter. Then it’s just some light chain maintenance and making sure everything on the bike it’s tight prior to leaving and the Strom is pretty much ready to roll. The loose nut behind the handlebars is a whole other matter.

As always, you can purchase either one of my thrillers Devil’s Gambit and Reliance on Amazon in either trade paperback or for the Kindle.

Of course I’m talking about race fuel. A smell I can’t even describe accurately but one that gets my blood pumping and makes the hairs on my arms and neck stand up.

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Colin has been bugging me about going to a race since before Christmas. I had bought tickets for the Vintage races on June 17th at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly known as Mosport) but it clashed with my trip dates, so I bought us tickets to the Sunday racing of the Victoria Day Weekend series. It had a NASCAR race as one of the heats which made Collin very happy as he is a big NASCAR fan and I still don’t know where he gets that.

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Of course we just missed the first heat with the Minis, which sort of bummed me out as most of the ones running are the same year as mine. Still, they were cool to look at.

The guys in the Honda tent, didn’t look like they were having a particularly good morning.

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But that’s the beauty of racing, you never know what’s going to happen and what you’re going to have to do to pull it out of the fire.img_9329-x2

The first qualifying race was the Grand Prix car’s. Some pretty impressive stuff on four wheels and none of it cheap.

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As always my Sigma 150 to 500 mm lens did yeoman’s service, giving me some great captures for the day. One of the things I like about this lens is that for the most part I can just shoot with a UV filter without the need for a polarizing filter. I think it has something to do with the construction of the lands and the fact that the light has to travel down a very very long barrel through multiple optics we seems to really knock out any tendency to flare. I’m not saying you couldn’t pick up brilliantly high whites if you wanted a blow everything out completely but the fact that I was shooting in direct sunlight and didn’t need an ND filter or a polarizer to compensate for the Sun’s direct rays was a real plus. I know these big telephoto’s are very expensive but I do think the end results speak for themselves.

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And after the Grand Prix cars, we had the Porsche GT3 series, which remains one of my favourites. The cars not only look great but they stick to the track like glue.

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I’ll try to post up the rest of the photos before the end of the week but all in all it was a fun day of racing one my son and still talking about which is pretty cool considering he normally just seems to go from one thing to the next. It’s nice that our love of racing does seem to transcend at least at some level his autism.

As always and I’d appreciate it if you would, my thrillers Devil’s Gambit and Reliance are available on Amazon in trade paperback and for Kindle. Reliance is only $.99 and it would be great if you could show some love. I’m almost finished the rough draft for the sequel to Devil’s Gambit, Devil’s Ante. I should have it in the can just before I leave my Colorado trip. Now my plan was to try and publish a book about my Colorado trip this year but because of other time constraints in regards to my getting back into the film game, that may not happen next year. And don’t worry about Augmented, it still firmly on the docket but while I was hoping for an end of the year release, it’s now looking more like next spring for it’d release but don’t worry, it will be worth it.

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I like to plan but only to a point. There should still be some sense of discovery at every trip. My feeling is you don’t want too many fixed points in your days just in case you would like to stop and check something out. So generally, I don’t tend to pre-book too many hotel rooms. Of course this trip is different. The Pike’s Peak time trials practice days are on fixed dates, June 23 and June 24 and we need to be on the mountain by 4 AM. Which means I need to be in Colorado Springs by June 22. I’m also meeting my buddy Kelly on the 18th in Salt Lake City. So I figure to get there by the 17th which means of course if I want to do it in any sort of non-crazy time, I’m out of here on the 13th.

Five days, five whole days to get to Utah. The last time I did something similar to this trip, I crossed the Alberta border at Glacier National Park in three days and that third day was a wowser. The next time I even suspect I’m going to hit weather like that I’m parking the bike.

But back to logistics. The real issue here is Pike’s Peak, it’s a big deal and obviously not just to me. Speed freaks of all types and sizes will be descending upon Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and of course the rest of the area surrounding Pike’s Peak. Getting a reasonable hotel at a decent price is of course critical. And that was my job for this morning. So arriving on 22 June, my buddy Kelly and I will be staying at the Garden of the Gods-La Quinta in Colorado Springs and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, well not a leg anyway. I have in actual fact put my money where my mouth is. I’m pretty stoked. My countdown timer (yes, I have a countdown timer) tells me I am one month, six days, 15 hours and 19 minutes from departure. I know from experience those numbers are going to count down fast.

My car is in the shop this morning having a steering pump installed, which gave me a pretty good time to look at my bike with a critical eye. Is much as I like the mods I’ve made to the stock hand guards on my 04 Strom, the left-hand side keeps popping off and it’s kind of irritating. With that in mind and after seeing a set of bark busters installed on a similar year of bike last Saturday, I’ve ordered a set for myself with an extra couple of their weather resistant covers and some new bar end weights as well. And I’m trying to pull the trigger on a new top box. Though that ones going to depend on the supplier being able to ship me one in time.

The rest is just housekeeping. I’ve got to change the oil in the bike, check my coolant and clean my chain. You know the general stuff you gotta do keep the ride running.

Now the plan is to get the rough draft of Devil’s Ante finished prior to my leaving so I can review it on my trip and have notes compiled for my return (Yeah, I know. We’ll see how that pans out). My other two thrillers Devil’s Gambit and Reliance can be purchased on Amazon in print and for Kindle. I’ll also let you in on a little secret. Reliance covers the majority of Max’s backstory a CIA assassin who features prominently in Devil’s Ante, and it’s priced to move at $0.99 USD.

 

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Two and a half decades ago I got involved in competitive paintball. Back then most of our competitive venues were outdoor woodsball fields. Play was pretty fast with five-man a side teams but nothing compared to the intensity of the speedball fields of today. We were also shooting mechanicals which while capable of shooting ropes of paint, were nowhere near the rates of fire you can send today with some of the modern electros.

The thing is, when you play paintball, especially tournament ball, you accept that there is going to be a certain amount of pain you will experience. Your opponents will keep shooting you until you raise your hand and call yourself out. The difference between experienced players and new players is their acceptance of this. New players have a tendency to camp. That is they sit in one spot and shoot into the fray as opposed to moving on the field and looking for their targets. It’s not a bad tactic but once your opponent figures out where you are, you really are only seconds from being out. Of course moving on the field a lot does expose you to a lot more fire but it’s harder to hit a moving target that a stationary one.

There have been more than a few times for me on a paintball field were my choice was clear, kick up my aggression level to 11 or stay in place and take what was coming to me. Each time I chose the more aggressive approach, it worked out well for me. You can draw from that whatever metaphor you want but I think it speaks for itself.

It’s very easy in life to rest on your laurels and for most there is really nothing wrong with that. They’ve worked hard to build their skill set and their reputation amongst their peers and they’re sort of reaping the rewards of that. Good for them. But there are those of us who always want a little bit more, to go a little bit further. We’ve accepted the fundamental that it’s going to hurt at some point but we are going to take the pain, move through it and move on.

You get used to the coppery taste of fear in your mouth and you learn to ignore those sidelong glances of the people you know who just don’t understand what’s driving you forward. You get used to the veiled smiles but while the people you’re talking to enjoy what you’re telling them, (after all it is a hell of a good story) but behind their eyes you can see they think you’re totally nuts. They could be right but really who cares. You did the thing, whatever that thing was and no matter what, nobody can take that away from you.

Fear is just your body and brain’ s avoidance tactic to avert pain either physical or mental. The core you wants to maintain equilibrium, it doesn’t want to rock the boat and it doesn’t want you to be the tall poppy either. The unknown scares the literal shit out of it. The only way I know of overcoming the unknown is to make it the known. And the only way I know to do that is to keep doing something until you’re good at it. There is no such thing as an overnight success but I firmly believe in that 10,000 hours or your half-million words of shit. My dad was a pretty good classical guitarist and he didn’t get there by just sitting on his ass. I can barely strum a cord much as I’d like to learn how to play the guitar decently but I write pretty well my lack of guitar virtuosity aside.

Guess what I’m trying to say is know it’s going to hurt, do it anyway. Over and over and over again until the become so ingrained, so much a part of you that no matter what they try and you know who they are, their rounds just slip on by and you move through them to your final goal, whatever that may be.

 

You can find my thrillers Devil’s Gambit and Reliance on Amazon in both print and for Kindle and you can find out more about me on my Author page.

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I’m just under six weeks away from my Colorado trip and I’m finally getting around to the things I needed to do on the bike.  I swapped out the standard dog bones for longer ones and raised the rear by an inch. I was a little concerned about changing the geometry of the front end but the bike seems is planted as ever. Haven’t tackled any gravel yet to see if it makes any changes in that regard but I’m not that worried about it. I will be doing a fair amount of off-road on this trip but for the most part it’s going to be gravel track and not too gnarly.

The new Zumo 1190 GPS seems to be working out fine. Like all things Garmin you need to program a lot of waypoints or the unit will try to impose its will on you. I do have the curvy roads feature and that does seem to make a difference as far as reassignment if you miss a waypoint but I just haven’t had a chance yet to play around with it enough to make a truly informed call.

The hardest part so far of this whole experience of planning this trip is that it seems my age is finally catching up with me. Nobody is more shocked about this than me. I’ve done some long days in the saddle. I once wrote from Mississauga to Des Moines, Iowa in a single sitting, about 16 hours. Well with breaks but thankfully no tears, my Sergeant seat is pretty comfortable. Though I had sort of lost contact with my hands and arms and everything below my belly button was pretty much numb.

My average day that I tend to plan for is 10 hours in the saddle with breaks about every 2 to 3 hours. The breaks depending on what’s around you will be anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour. Just enough time to get something wet or food like down your neck and give your ass enough time to recover for another three hours. At least that was all well and good and it could just be that I’m out of shape for the mental and physical aspects of long-distance riding. Right now, I find that after four hours, fatigue really sets in. You can be a lot of things in a motorcycle, tired isn’t one of them.

My current solution is going to be shorter riding days. Eight hours instead of 10. I’m also going to slow my pace down little and try to enjoy the ride. Because the problem is, and were all guilty of this, when you’re on a long trip you tend to focus on getting to that destination that’s set for every day. And target fixation can really take away from the joy of the ride. Add to that the fact that you’re going to be meeting people at the other end and that drumbeat can be pretty strong between your ears.

I talked to Kelly the other night (my good friend Kelly is who I’ll be meeting up with in Salt Lake City before going on to Moab, Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak) and got his firm dates as to where and when he will be. So the target is the 18 June in SLC. I’ll be leaving from here on the 13th. I plan arrive late in SLC on the 17th. Which gives me the day of the 18th to meet up with my buddy David and catch up with him. At least that’s the plan. In between those two points I’ll be riding to the Ontario border, around Detroit, hitting the bottom of Chicago, doing a little bit of Highway 66 and then working my way across the Midwest. The trouble with the Midwest is it’s really big and if you’re trying to stay off the interstates, it doesn’t get any smaller. Still, I sort of look forward to rolling through all those small towns. Of course once you’re into the mountains it’s all about majesty and grandeur and being really glad your bike has fuel injection.

The new job hasn’t quite kicked off yet and so I find myself with a week without anything to do. Well that’s not really true, nothing to do in regards to the day job but all the other stuff? Well it makes me wish I had more than a week off. So yesterday I had my car serviced and today I’m doing the same for my eyes, so that if I do need a new prescription I can have it ready before it’s time to go.

It does look like where were going to be staying in Moab is right at the entrance to Arches National Park. Which I am super stoked to check out. I’m such a geology geek. Riding aside, hiking through amazing terrain is almost as good and I’ll be able to get some fantastic photographs which will please the other side of my soul.

Every trip changes you in some way, some more than others. I can’t explain it, I can’t even explain the changes in me but you feel them. I think what I worry about is that we’re so engrossed in the next thing that we don’t always look out for the wild places, the ones that put you in perspective size wise. I always laugh at myself when I’m planning a trip. How the purple lines of my route to my daily destination snake across the map. They look so manageable and then when you find yourself on the bike fighting your way through torrential downpour or crazy, crazy headwinds or side winds, blazing heat, finger numbing cold and even just saddle weariness, those lines don’t seem so insignificant then. Then you see them for what they truly were, you just fooling yourself.

Every trip changes you.

And I welcome it.

I hope to gather enough material from this trip to write a book geared towards short-term adventure riding in and around the area I’ll be visiting. The United States is an amazing country geologically and so much of it really can just take your breath away, whether you’re on an interstate or a highway just a narrow strip of cracked two-lane blacktop leading you into the middle of nowhere. The number of times I’ve said to myself as I ride along,” This just can’t get any better.” Only to crest the next hill and it gets better. Leads me to believe that many times, for those of us who don’t have deep pockets or the will and determination to give up so much to go travelling that you really can have an adventure in your own backyard.

In the meantime if you want to check out either one of my two thrillers Devil’s Gambit and Reliance that would be really great.

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I take a fair amount of stick about my choice of vehicle, mostly because of my height, I’m 6’2″ and have a 34″ inseam. I’ve also got pretty wide shoulders. So when people hear I drive a Mini Cooper S, they tend to focus on the Mini aspect of the name. Which I guess is kudos to BMW’s marketing, because the reality is, my car is a compact. I doubt I’d get the same amount of grief if I drove a Honda Fit or a Hyundai Accent (I had one of those for ten years and you guessed it… no stick). It’s not like I’m driving an original Mini Cooper S (Though I’d fit in one of those just fine too).

The simple fact of the matter is my car is a ton of fun to drive. It’s small, low to the ground, wide and light (even with me in it). And as much as I like an American built Muscle Car, I doubt I’d want to throw them down a seriously curvy road at high velocity. In a straight line? Sure, let that motor roar but for twisty road action I lean more towards the European mindset in regards to sports car design.

Then again, I’ve always leant towards the smaller over the larger. I could have a 1000cc motorcycle or even go whole hog and bump up into the 1200cc range but I prefer my 650cc V-Strom and if I had the budget I’d go for a 450cc machine. The trade off being going from a V-Twin to a parallel twin but that’s a pretty niggling thing about trading off some low end torque for top end power. I’d love the weight and agility of a 450cc machine. The beauty of a more off road geared motorcycle is that due to the geometry of a more dirt oriented frame, I don’t look like a bear on a tricycle.

But I’ll admit, the size thing has always puzzled me. You can get into trouble in any size of vehicle, big or small. Though on a bike the smaller ones are easier to pick up.

I did my last day at Qualtech today. I start at my new job next week. It’ll be more focused on design than installations, though I’ll still be going out on the odd call here and there. It’s a whole new area of the food industry I’ll be learning about and that’s got me pretty excited to get started. The systems we’re going to be designing will be modular, made to plug into existing processes. I’ve always been a fan of skid based systems, so in some ways, it feels like I’m going back to my comfort zone.

And in other more crazy news, I’m going back into film. I’m in the process of optioning a property that is a true story from WWII that is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. So unique, I had to try to bring it to the screen. So never say never I guess. The paperwork will be signed next week.

The last few weeks have been hard on my writing time but I’m still chugging along on getting the rough draft of Devil’s Ante done. I’ve got a few days off before the new gig starts so I’m going to try and make a big dent in getting it finished.

 

Devils Gambit and Reliance, my two thrillers are available on Amazon in print and for the Kindle.

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I finally installed the raising links I ordered six months ago on the bike. These new dog bones raise my back end an inch. The install took all of 15 minutes and as these things go was fairly easy. Of course I was worried that by changing the geometry of the bike by raising the back end I would increase the risk of nasty things happening at the front-end.

Right now I’m running a set of Shinko 705s front and rear. I’m running them at about 25 psi which yes, seems a little low but I find at higher pressures I get a little oscillation on the front end. Plus the slightly lower pressure allows me to go off-road when the feeling strikes me and not have to fiddle with my tires too much.

After the install yesterday afternoon, I really didn’t get a chance to test ride the bike other than a quick job on the streets around my townhouse. Things seemed okay there but of course where it all really comes alive is on the highway. So this morning I gassed up the bike and took her out onto the QEW. 120 km an hour and everything seemed rock solid. In fact if there was any change in handling, it so subtle I can’t tell. Of course it’s not as easy to slide the bike into his parking position in my garage as it was because the rear tire does have some contact with the ground now when it’s up on the centre stand. For that small price to play for that tiny bit of extra ground clearance.

I also received my new AFX dual sport helmet this week in the mail from Revzilla. It is of course in Hi-Viz yellow as have my last three helmets been.

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It’s an FX-41 DS helmet. They do come in a variety of colours and surface design. It was a pleasant surprise to discover it has an internal drop-down shade shield. The fit and function is really good on my head and it’s probably one of the best vented helmets I’ve ever owned. It’s also light which is a definite plus. I can’t really speak to how noisy or quiet the helmet is as I always ride with plugs.

I’ve also been trying out my new Fieldshear all weather pants and so far the been very warm and comfortable to wear. And they fit me at my waist far better than any of my Joe Rocket Gear ever has.

Were almost at May, June is not far away, see what I mean about time? The Colorado trip is coming up fast and I still have nailed down some my tracks.

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Putting the finishing touches on a 6″ Sched 10 Stainless Steel Spent Grain Line. I built the run in 3D CAD and then we built the sucker!

It’s been a crazy few weeks but in a good way, no matter how tired I am. I’ve got one more week to go in my current day job and then I’ll be transitioning into my new position with a new company. It looks like I might take a week prior to starting just to take care of all those little things that have slid by the way like; getting my eyes checked, fixing my car, and renovating my basement. Oh, and finishing two books for release at the end of summer and just before Christmas.

And remember how I said I’d never go back to film? Well apparently I was full of shit. But before you judge me too harshly let me give you some context. The first chink in my Armour was the film the big short. I wasn’t able to get out to see it its first week of release, so I settled for reading the screenplay. That was a mistake. It’s probably one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. And there was a definite tug at my soul to write another script. Like any writer worth their salt, I do have a drawer full of ideas. Of course the hard part is building the inertia into yourself to launch those ideas onto the page. I’ve never been somebody who just writes for the fun of it. I always write with an end result in mind. Unfortunately for the most part in film is your soul gets tortured for a paltry sum of money. It would be a lot easier to take if the torture came with a bigger cheque.

So yeah, I was out, I was done.

And then at last week’s writers group one of our members shared a story from her father’s work about an encounter he had just after the end of the second world War on his way to the Nuremberg trials. The four most magic words in the screen writing sphere are, “Based on true events.” There is also a point when if you’ve been doing this long enough and by this I mean working in film, where you know what IT is when you hear it. Hell you know what IT is when you see it. The first time I saw Heath Ledger in the flesh at Sundance in an obscure Australian film called, “Two Hands,” I knew he was going to be a huge star, even though he was standing behind the entire cast. So when I heard the story of what one man was told on a train bound for what was essentially the trials of the century. I knew in the root of my soul that this was an IT moment. I was bouncing the idea off of some of my contacts and getting their feedback before our group meeting was done. It would seem they too see something here.

And just like that, I was back.

Am I scared? You bet. Fear keeps you honest. It’s early days yet, I’ve just started working on the outline for the project. We’ll be signing an option and sale agreement next week. I’ve got meetings lined up already, it’s pure madness but it’s like they say, “Go big or go home.”

I’ll keep you guys updated as we go deeper into this thing.

 

As always, you can find my thrillers, Devil’s Gambit and Reliance on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. It’d be great if you could give them a look if you haven’t so already.

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As you know, I have a day job in addition to the writing. I don’t often write or talk about it there’s no need to give any employer stuff that can be misconstrued or misunderstood, no matter how much you strive for accuracy and clarity in your writing at least as far as your blog goes.

But the simple fact of the matter is that for the last couple of years I have been far from happy in my current job. This on top of having to take several months off to deal with stuff in regards to my autistic son and his needs as an adult. But that’s a story for another day.

The thing is, I actually really enjoy my job. I get to build things and in the building these things I get to figure stuff out and I get to work with other people that are also really good at what they do. Where things have always fallen down for me is in the internal politics that every company big or small suffers from. Smaller companies, you can sort of deal with that kind of thing face-to-face. Which while uncomfortable at least allows for quick resolution of problems. My current employer at least for the next 13 days or so is not a small company. In fact the administration and the owners are in another province and like any long-distance relationship it makes things a bit more difficult.

Of course it doesn’t help the customers in the fields I service want a lot more for a lot less than they’re prepared to pay. But then that’s any company anywhere in the world. It used to be that you could come to an agreement or an understanding at least with any client as to how far you were willing to go in regards the ridiculous demands.

Things have changed now, and to be honest my last three projects just about broke me.

So I had decided, come hell or high water that this last project really was going to be my last with my current employer. It didn’t help that on a particularly low day I was contacted by one of our competitive companies, who has been after me for a few years now. And yeah, I agreed to meet with them and see what they had to say.

Little did I know that other events within my current employer were also at play. There were a series of terminations and reshuffling in upper management in my division. These events when they occurred, directly effected my current project and not in a positive way. I was literally left swaying in the wind with no support, and yes, there was fallout.

After a week of really not knowing what the hell was going on, the Senior VP flew out to fill us in on our new reality and to promise us that things were about to get so much better. All this was reinforced by the surviving members of upper management that had been reshuffled into new positions. After this general meeting, I was called into a private meeting with the visiting VP and offered a promotion. It should be important to note that when you offer somebody a promotion you should probably mention an increase in pay (not that money would have changed things for me at this point) after all a promotion meets more responsibility at least that’s how I usually see it. Instead I was offered a trip out of province to see how things were done at head office.

I like Kool-Aid is much as the next guy but this offered cup wasn’t for me. So I basically said that more than likely at the end of my current project I would be leaving and seeing how I had effectively quit at least in my mind, I as is usually the way I deal with things decided, “Fuck it,” and proceeded to weigh out what I saw was a few key failings of upper management in regards to how our division functioned. I got the feeling when the VPs right eye started to twitch that perhaps most people he dealt with weren’t quite so honest and forthright in their dealing with him. I guess he also forgot about every other meeting we ever had where I was almost always a voice of discontent with some policy or whatever they were trying to ram through regardless of its impact or contravention of current labour laws in our province.

Personally, I figure he’s more than glad that I’ll be leaving. I’m sure I was impinging on his happiness with his job.

I obviously can’t say yet what I’ll be moving on to but I will say that it is exciting and it will use a lot more of my skill set than I’m currently using and that’s always a good thing.

 

As always you can find my thrillers, Devil’s Gambit, and Reliance on Amazon in both print and kindle formats.

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I got both days this weekend off. It’s been about eight weeks since this has happened, with me either working a Saturday, a Sunday or both. Needless to say I was getting a bit shaggy. So yesterday was taken up with getting caught up on all the things I’ve been having a hard time getting to. Even then there are not enough hours in the day to take care of the things you’ve put off for weeks. It’s all a bit frustrating.

Still the weather has turned for the better and the warmer and while I wasn’t able to get out on the road yesterday on my motorcycle, today was a different story. I kept it light, just a couple of hours of decent backroads and I kept off of gravel and dirt mostly because the non-winter roads are a bit crap right now and my skill set is rusty from months of disuse and is usually on that first ride of the season that you discover just how to shape you are for riding. All I know it’s not a sport compared to things you play with a puck or a ball and I’m not running any marathons here. Still, it’s physical in its own way and when you haven’t done it for a while, you do feel it. For me, my right shoulder definitely gives me grief, and right hip and if I ride long enough, both knees. Of this morning there I was just really a shakedown.

I installed the cradle for my new sumo 590LM GPS yesterday. It took a couple of hours, not because it’s difficult but because of the size of the dispersal plug located in the middle of the power and sound cable, you need to run it under the fuel tank of the DL 650. Which of course means a certain amount of disassembly of the Tupperware on the front end. Of course seeing as I was in there anyway, I took some time to clean up all the electrical connections coming off of my battery. Though to be honest it still looks like a dog’s breakfast. I’ll be ordering a distribution buss I can place under my seat. I’ve never been a fan of a messy wiring job. So today was also a test of setting a track in my brand-new GPS. Lesson learned? I’ll need to put a lot more waypoints into my tracks. To be honest, I’m still finding Basecamp a horrendous program to use to plan any sort of trip. So right now I’m using Tyre to generate my tracks and then I drop the.GPX files directly into the GPS unit. From there you have to import them internally into your create trip app. It’s a bit of a pain but not too bad once you get used to it.

I was also wearing my new Fieldsheer pants today. They’re replacing my old and very worn Joe Rocket, meteor five pants that I’ve had for 12 years at least. They were really only good for cool and cold weather riding and offered absolutely no sort of protection against wet weather. The new pants have two zip in liners, one for water and one for warmth. I can’t speak to their effectiveness against a downpour yet but today coupled with my Olympia jacket, my Klim, “Expedition,” gloves and a decent neck sock. I was very comfortable. I didn’t even have to turn on my heated grips. Which reminds me, I need to put the new set of them on as well.

I’m still deep in the guts of planning the actual tracks I’ll be taking in Colorado around Moab. Right now I’m figuring my days to transit out to hook up with Kelly and of course meet my friend David out there. It’s all very back-and-forth as far as the riding goes. Like I said, you think yourself hey that’s months away but those days, the ones in front of your departure date slip away like water.

I am really looking forward to this trip.

As always, you find my thrillers, Devil’s Gambit and Reliance on Amazon in both trade paperback and for Kindle.

Adam Dreece's Blog

Author of The Yellow Hoods, an Emergent Steampunk series for ages 9-99

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