Monday, April 30, 2012

Museum Dedication

Yesterday we went to the museum dedication.  Our grandson told us a couple days ago that he would be playing in the cover band at this event, we got the hint that you wanted us to come.  We had nothing else going on anyway so we decided to go.

The weather was very rainy over the weekend.  We got to the museum around 1:30 pm, the dedication itself was scheduled from 2-4.  We were directed on where to park and they had people in golf carts that would give you a ride to the new building so you didn't have to walk in the mud.

We wandered around and signed the guest book.  It is a very beautiful building, it was hard to really look at stuff because of all the people.  It was elbow to elbow.  I took some photos but will have to go back when not so busy.

The inside of the museum was built with pieces and parts of old building around Big Horn County that was torn down.  There were vintage cars parked out in front of the new building.  A film crew from the PBS program "Backroads of Montana" were there.  Keynote speaker was Stan Lynde.

Unfortunately the band was canceled, we didn't stay for all the speeches and such.  Just too many people.  I did take a few photos and have posted them on facebook and picasa.  I hope to go again to get more, just couldn't this time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Korea Trip

Jennifer's Korea trip finally arrived.  We had to be at the airport between 4:00-4:15 am on Thursday morning so that she could get on her flight from Billings to Seattle.  The airlines is Alaska Air.  Jennifer got everything she needed packed, weighed the suitcase and she has room to spare.  Went to bed early to get up early and on the road.

We arrived at the airport on time and there was one other person waiting.  That was when we were told that the flight was canceled.  Nobody at the ticket counter to talk to yet and no answer at the travel agency.  Travel agency is located in Los Angeles.

More people started to trickle in, so Gary and I left to eat breakfast.  I didn't think Jennifer would need her cell phone on the trip but her dad insisted she take it.  Glad she did.  We were able to keep track of what was going on with their flight.

Thursday was a disaster from the get go.  The plane was having mechanical problems and no way could Alaska air get them out of Billings on Thursday.  They ended up getting rented vans to make the trip to Bozeman/Belgrade to get on a flight to Seattle.  They arrived in Bozeman at 2:00 pm only to find out that their flight was delayed an hour.  No way were they making their flight out of Seattle to Korea.  Their original itinerary had them arriving in Seattle at 7:30 am and leaving for Korea at 2:30 pm.

They finally made it to Seattle.  The airlines paid for their motel rooms and then they got their instructions for Friday morning.  The plan is to get an early morning flight from Seattle to San Francisco to Korea.  Things were starting to look up.  Jennifer was pretty tired and worried that she wouldn't be making the trip to Korea.  I'm sure this messed up everything, there are 30 people affected by this.  Not too sure about the ones who were getting flights out of Minneapolis, Sioux Falls and Phoenix.

This morning the group was split up in Seattle, half went to Los Angeles the other half to San Francisco.  Jennifer is in the group that went to San Francisco.  They will all meet up again in Seoul sometime.

Jennifer is not sure if they are going to be reimbursed by the airlines for all this inconvenience.  I checked on Alaska Air web site.  One section says that if your are involuntarily removed from your flight for a certain length of time you will be compensated.  The other section says that if flight canceled no compensation.

I feel that they should be compensated, the cancellation was not due to weather or missing the flight.  The airlines canceled it and couldn't get them on time to where they needed to be.  Also they are missing a full day of their trip that they already paid for, meals and a hotel.

Jennifer said that Mrs. Park received some papers and I'm sure we will get this all figured out.  I may have to call the airlines on Jennifer's behalf to get answers.

The good news is that they are on their way and can enjoy their vacation.  They should have smooth sailing here on out as their bad luck already hit them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Motorcycle School

This past weekend I attended motorcycle school.  This is a course put on by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.  I took the basic rider course which is designed for brand new riders or people who have never ridden before (me).  This is a highly recommended course because you learn so much and if you pass all you have to take is the Montana written test for your endorsement.  Also you can get discounts on your auto insurance if they offer is.

In Montana, the classes are put on by Montana State University in Havre.  I signed up in March for the weekend.  The cost of this particular course is $175.  The requirements for this class is that I had to wear over the ankle boots, a long sleeved shirt or coat,  jeans, eye glasses or some kind of eye protection, full fingered gloves and a helmet. Also you need a positive mind. You can bring your own or wear one of theirs.  I took my own helmet.  Didn't matter the weather, class went on no matter what.

The classes are not canceled during bad weather, you just have to be prepared for it.  Thank goodness that it was a nice weekend for my class.  The class was in Billings at the Rimrock Auto Detailing Center.

I had watched a short video about the class and was so nervous about some parts of what I would have to do.  Woke up early Saturday morning, couldn't sleep.  Gary went to Billings with me on Saturday, ate a good breakfast since I wasn't sure if I would get a lunch break or not.  I did bring some snacks to eat.  Gary spent the day wandering around Billings.

We spent two hours in the classroom going over our books and watching videos, then we spent the rest of the day out on the riding range.  The instructors assigned us bikes.  There were 10 of us in the class, 4 men and 6 women.  There was only 1 other woman who had never ridden a bike the rest had some experience.  The bike I was assigned was a Kawaski 250 Eliminator.  In fact all the women were on this type of bike, the men were on dual purpose bikes since they were bigger.

In the morning we spent time just doing the basics, clutch, breaks getting the feel and riding around in a circle.  In the afternoon we got into some manuevering weaving around cones, learning how to lean and not steer, stopping, turning at intersections, going around corners and shifting.  I put 8 miles on that little bike on the first day.

At the end of class we went back into the classroom to discuss about the day and then we were told that we had to study for the written test for Sunday.  The test was multiple choice and not to worry about it.  I was tired, the last thing I wanted was to study for a test.

Gary picked me up, we ate supper and headed home.  I studied my book for three hours and had Gary help me.  He questioned some of the stuff.  I was getting very frustrated and things were running into each other.  I was never going to pass the test.

Jennifer's friend Arthur stopped by the house with some smoothies which was very welcomed.  He is getting ready for his fire fighting job in Idaho and just wanted to visit before leaving.  He also wanted to know what I thought about the class.  He said the test was a piece of cake and also told me what the skills test would be like.  I was not looking forward to that. 

Got a good nights sleep and no worries.  Gary said I would do fine on the test since it's multiple choice and not to fret about the skills test.  Sunday morning we went over the manual again before taking the test and watching the last of the videos.  The test was closed book.  I had worried about it for nothing, test was pretty easy.  I missed three questions with a score of 94.  One question I had changed my answer and had it right the first time.  A score of 80 or better was passing.  In fact the lowest score in our class was a 92.  The instructors were very pleased.

Back on to the riding course.  Sunday we got more into stuff.  We learned how to make U-turns in a 20'X60' box (basically take two parking spaces beside each other and the two in front of them in a parking lot), S curves, braking in the middle of a curve, swerving, lane changes, quick stops and obstacles.  I was very worried about the obstacle part.  We had to run over a 2X4 board.  I worried for nothing, that was the funnest part of the riding course.

After lunch we had practice runs for the skills test.  We were told that we would be tested on everything we learned over the two days.  Yikes.  The practice run was making the U-turns without going out of the box or putting the foot down, swerving, quick stop and curves. 

The way we were lined up I was last on the skills test.  I think it helped me because I was able to watch all the others first.  U-turns are not my favorite.  I went out the box but did not put my foot down.  We had more points taken off for the foot.  My swerving I did good, didn't hit the car in front and I stopped good.  On the quick stop I think I impressed the instructors, was told that I was above the standard on that (stopping was very easy for me.  We had to use both brakes and get into first at the same time).  On the curve I was a bit slow but had good technique.

Once we were done we went back inside the classroom.  I passed.  I received my card.  I got a 10 on the skills test. Passing the skills test was 20 and below.  I was told U-turns were not my friend, my swerving was good, my quick stop was good.  A little slow on the curve but technique was good.  For the curve the instructor said that on the Beartooth I could tell the colors on the flowers.  The instructor also said that he would rather we be slow with good technique than fast or we would have ran off the road.

Only one woman didn't pass the skills test.  She put her foot down on the U-turn which I think frustrated her, then on the quick stop she had to do that again which really got her frustrated that she just gave up on herself.  It was not the other brand new rider woman.  Felt sorry for her as I though she was doing good.

The instructors commended me for being last, they think that is the worst position for a student.  I told them no way, I wanted to be last that way I could observe and I thanked the class for helping me.

I now have one year to take the Montana written test to get my endorsement.  I asked why the state didn't recognize the written test since they recognize the skills test.  They didn't know either, said it must be a money thing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Celebrating 60

Last Friday was Gary's birthday.  He has been looking forward to turning 60 as he only has 2 more years before he retires for good. 

On Thursday we went to the HOG Chapter dinner ride to Sid's Place in Laurel.  This was the first time we have been able to participate in this monthly event as we have our tae kwon do classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Jennifer and Arthur handled teaching the classes on that day. 

We left right after work and just met our group at Sid's.  Only a few rode their bikes but most met at Sid's.  We had the patio for our group and it was enclosed so we were out of the weather, well most of us were.  It was first come first serve.  Sid's had a special deal for us, for $13 each we got burgers with all the trimmings, chili and potato salad.  Also our first drink was free as long as it was beer, wine or a well drink.  It was also all you could eat.  Still pricey for a burger but it sure was good.

There were about 40 of us at the event, a good turn out.  We got to see our friends Dale & Kitty Butterfield.  They spent three month wintering in Arizona and just got back home the beginning of this month.  The group even sang "Happy Birthday" to Gary.  We had a good time.

Friday I went to class because I had to turn in testing forms to Grand Master Park.  Jennifer was off so she went with me.  I dropped Gary off at the Harley Dealership as they were having their motorcycle boot camp for people who want to ride.  Our friends Marty & Vickie were there also.

After class, picked up Gary at the dealership.  Found Gary and saw that he had a tattoo on his neck.  The guys were disappointed that I didn't throw a fit.  First of all, I know my husband.  He wouldn't pay that kind of money to get a tattoo and even if he did, he wouldn't get a tattoo on his neck.  I just laughed.  It did look pretty cool, a large scorpion.

We went with our friends to a new Mexican restaurant called Rio Sabino's.  It's in the new shopping area where Kohls is.  The place was busy at 8:00.  We put our name down to get a table for 5 and had about a 20 minute wait or we could find one in the bar.  Vickie found a table at the bar right away, so no wait for us.  We were a bit crowded, but it worked.

Marty told the waitress that it was Gary's birthday and soon she came to our table with a sombrero.  He was supposed to wear it, but he wouldn't.  She told him that since it was his birthday he could designate someone and I was chosen.  I gladly wore the sombrero.  He also got a free dessert.

The food was very good and plentiful.  I had a chimichanga, Gary had an enchilada, Jennifer had a chicken sandwich.  Our friends split a plate of ribs and shrimp. Our free dessert was fried ice cream. It was all good.  Had a very good time and we will definately go back to this place. 

Sunday was the chapter ride to Bridger.  This is the beginning of our riding season and the weather was rainy and cold.  We put on our layers and rain gear and headed out.  Before leaving we got a phone call from our friends wondering what the weather was like in Hardin.  At that time it was just a misty rain.  They had rain in Billings and was coming down pretty hard. 

We decided to go anyway as it was also a meeting which I would have to take minutes.  We got to Arrow Creek about half way when we ran into snow.  Gary said we were turning around and heading back home.  Made it home.  I called the president and left a message telling him we wouldn't be making the meeting.  Our friends didn't go either. The snow didn't last long, but we had no way of knowing that.  It snowed for about an hour in town. 

Found out later in the day that only a few went on to the meeting, no rain but it was a bit on the cold side. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter Weekend Fun

 Here are some photos of the fun I had over Easter Weekend.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Schumacher Visit

My sister, brother and nieces made a trip from California and Nevada to spend Easter with the Grandmas. I took a couple days off from work to spend time with them and we packed alot into the three days. It was so nice to meet Fenna, had heard alot about her.

Thursday Jennifer was off from work so she hung out with us.  The first order of business was taking the tour through the high school.  I had called that morning to make arrangements for a tour but no one called me back.  We decided to just go there in person anyway.  Ed and I didn't go on the tour, Gracie stayed with us.  After the tour we met Gary for lunch at McDonald's, we got there before the high school kids did.

After lunch we went to the Little Big Horn Battlefield.  It has been several years since I've been here.  We wandered around the gift shop and museum.  We then walked up to Last Stand Hill and looked at the memorials.  We didn't drive to see the Reno-Benteen part.  Then we walked the trail to the Deep Ravine.  Got a good workout pushing Libby in her stroller on the way back up to the the top. It was a bit windy but at least the sun was shining. 

I fixed supper at my house and we had tacos.  I had to teach class later.  Gracie and Libby came to class to play on my mats.  The girls met my grandkids and were a little confused on how their new found cousins fit in the family dynamic.

Friday we went shopping in Billings.  It was a tad snowy just flurries.  We were on the tail end of a storm.  Gracie was disappointed that there wasn't any snow on the ground that she really wanted to see.  She was able to see the snow flakes from the car windows.  We wandered through Rimrock Mall.  We ate lunch at the Burger Grill which has the best burgers ever.  The girls and Ed wandered through Cabela's while Mary and I shopped for Easter dinner at Sam's Club.  Mary dropped me off at home while they toured Hardin some more.

Saturday we left for Meeteetse.  Mary had to be in Powell at noon to meet with the Lytle's.  Ed and Gracie rode with me to Meeteetse.  We car pooled on the way to Powell.  My group ate lunch in Cody then made it to Meeteetse.  We climbed the hill, which has been a very long time for me.  Wandered up on the top, then made our way back to the house by the gravel road.  Before our climb, Gracie petted the mules and horses that were grazing.  We ate dinner at the Elkhorn in town.  Mary and her group met us there.  Back to the house to dye Easter eggs.

Sunday morning we went to church and had to take two pews.  Mary and I fixed Easter dinner of ham, creamed potatoes, corn, tossed salad, dinner rolls and for dessert we had two pies an apple and cherry.  It was all very delicious.  Then we did some more planning for Mmom's birthday party in July.  It is pretty much done, just needed to finalize the menu for the BBQ and figure out what the notices for the papers should say.

I came home with a bunch of food for Gary and Jennifer, good thing I took a cooler with me.  It was a fun filled three days and went by so fast. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Fools Ride

On Sunday, we rode in the April Fools Ride with our HOG Chapter. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, so we stayed home and got alot of work done around the house. Gary took care of the yard while Jennifer and I took care of the inside. We got done so that we could go on the ride. Had wonderful weather on Saturday, nice and sunny up in the high 70's and no wind.

 Sunday morning arrived and it was a little cooler. The morning started off without any wind until it was time for us to head to Billings. We had to be at the dealership by 1:00 pm, so we left Hardin around 11:30 am and had awful wind between Hardin and Billings. I told Gary that I thought we lived in Hardin and not Harlowton. The wind is always blowing in Harlowton. At least it wasn't cold. Every once in a while a gust will come up and whip our heads around.

Arrived in Billings and gassed up the bike. On this kind of ride we don't know where we are going. All we knew is that it was about 100 miles. At the end of the ride we get a meal that the chapter pays for. There were 30 bikes in all and about 50 people. A good turnout despite the wind. It was good to see all our friends and make new friends. A surprise to me was that a woman who is from Hardin and has worked in the courthouse was there with her boyfriend. They are new to HOG and I introduced them to people. One of my duties being an officer.

 It was announced that this was probably the first time that the April Fools Ride fell on April Fools Day. This year the theme was an Easter egg hunt. We had to find 8 pieces of a puzzle to figure out where our ending would be. We broke up into 8 groups and then we had to meet to put the puzzle together. It was decided that we would meet at the Muzzleloader Restaurant. This would be a bathroom break and a drink break if needed. The dealership wasn't open this time.

The 8 stops were Molt, Rockvale, Fromberg, Roberts, Acton, Broadview, Worden & Shepard. Our group went to two stops Molt & Rockvale. We had 6 bikes in our group we were the trike brigade. There was Pat Breckenridge, the Davis's, us and a new guy who rides a trike. Our friend Leroy and the woman from Hardin and her boyfriend. Pat led the way to Molt from Billings, then Gary led from Molt to Rockvale, then Marty led from Rockvale back to Billings.

We took the scenic routes to our places. From the dealership it was about a 60 mile round trip. We thought we would be one of the last groups to make it back but we were the 2nd group back. It didn't take long for everyone to get to the Muzzleloader, got the puzzle put together.

We ended up going to The Vig which is up in the Heights. The Vig is a bar/casino it was very nice. We could order anything off the menu, the chapter would pay for anything under $8.95. Gary and I had the special which was sloppy joes. They were very tasty. The chapter paid for any soft drink we had to buy our own adult beverages. I had a raspberry shock top. It wasn't bad. We only had one drink with our meal as we had to get back to Hardin.

We got home around 5:30. The clouds rolled in and it looked ugly out thought we would get wet. Just ran into a couple sprinkles, enough to spot the windshield. Had wind all day long.

It was a very nice day and a great start to the riding season. Looking forward to more.