Friday, July 21, 2017

Vimy Ridge, so close to home



Welcome to episode 17 of the vlog.

In this episode you come with me as I explore the amazing ties that bind the City of Toronto where I live, to the World War I epic battle for Vimy Ridge in France.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the battle, and the 150th anniversary of Canada as a nation. It was as a result of those anniversaries and the press coverage they received that I learned of some very intimate links between the City of Toronto, the battle for Vimy Ridge, and the Vimy Memorial that stands on the battlefield. The battle for Vimy Ridge was a Canadian victory, and, in the fullness of time, it has come to symbolize the point where Canada truly became a nation.

The music for this episode is Phife for life by Otis McDonald, made available courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library. The images Canadian troops on the battlefield and of the Vimy Memorial are from the Canadian War Museum.

Summer is in full swing and there will be much more to come on the vlog, so stay tuned!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Stutter, stall and a Texas strut



Yes it's another episode of Life on two wheels, but regrettably, I'm not broadcasting from the Sticks.

Check out this episode to see how, when handed a bushel of lemons, I stumbled on the finest barbecue joint north of Austin Texas.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Canada: 150 years young!



Happy Birthday Canada!

This is how Susan and I celebrated Canada Day: a trip to the roof terrace to take in the fireworks popping and crackling all over the city.

Next stop: the Boalsburg Moto Hang!

The music for this episode is Darling Ranch by Jingle Punks, courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library, and the national anthem of Canada.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Godmorgon to you, and Odensvik!



I'm hoping that all my blog followers and vlog subscribers are suitably impressed.

If you haven't noticed, I'll blow my own horn with impunity and a total complete lack of humility.

It's another episode of the vlog, and it's landing in your inboxes within something crazy like 48 hours of the previous episode. Believe me when I say that, even a month ago, I would have said that was a shear impossibility.

What changed?

Well, like anything else, it's possible to get to a point where producing a half-decent YouTube video becomes a little more routine, and a little less of an unaccompanied hike in a steamy wild jungle. That's because you begin to learn where the path lies among the myriad complex and bewildering choices you are faced with when you open a powerful video editing suite on your computer.

This episode was prompted by one of the basic things that motivated me to begin blogging in the first place.

You have the need to get something accomplished, like in this case installing an Ikea Godmorgon - Odensvik - Rinnen floating bathroom vanity.

In short order you hit a foggy wall in the plumbing section at your local Rona, Lowes and Home Depot stores, and you don't get any further at a couple of professional plumbing supply houses, and in spite of having Googled and YouTubed for hours, you are still scratching your head stymied in your attempts to solve what ought to be a very, very, very simple task: hooking up the Ikea Rinnen drain system to the drain rough-in that pokes out of your bathroom wall.

Eventually I figured it out, and quite elegantly I have to say, speaking as a non-plumber. More elegantly than some of the examples I found in my online searches, here, and here, here, here and here.

Once all the running around and cursing is done and the job is a success, I for one react this way: "Holy crap, if only I had come across a video like the one I'm going to make explaining how to get from Eh!?! to beeee-you-tiful!"

So there you have it. Another public service like some of the other examples you can find right here in the Gear Guide, and the Touring Guide. Only it has absolutely nothing to do with riding a motorbike. It's about life. Life on two wheels.

My work here is done!

You're welcome!

And now the credits:

The music for this episode is Tribal Song by Silent Partner, a royalty-free selection from the YouTube Audio Library: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music

The vanity is from the ingenious folks at Ikea.

The blood, sweat, and tears are all my own.



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hmmmmm.... butter tarts!



Welcome back to Life on two wheels!

In this episode of the vlog, a small band of intrepid scooter desperadoes from the Toronto Moto Scooter Club hits the road bright and early on an impossibly sunny Saturday morning and heads up north, way up north.

This ride was destined to be an eye opener on so many levels.

Wikipedia debunks the myth that Yonge street (where Susan and I live in the north end of Toronto) is the longest street in the world. I generally trust Wikipedia, so when I was about to head back home, and my GPS told me to "turn left on Yonge street" I felt like an explorer discovering something new about the planet. Wikipedia says categorically that Yonge street ends 80 kilometers north of Lake Ontario. Yet here I was, more than 150 kilometers north yet still on Yonge street!! Cool! The thrill of discovery!!

But that's nothing!

Any excuse is a good reason to swing your leg over a saddle and hit the road, destination irrelevant. But what if there was a prize at the end of the road? How about an annual butter tart festival? When I saw that on the club's news letter, I was SOLD!!

The ride up was just what a moto trip ought to be. There were some nice hills to give you that soaring feeling when you cross the ridge line, some really nice twisties that I failed to record, sweeping left and right arcs, and gorgeous green countryside along every mile.

The event in Midland was well worth the trip all on its own, including the guy riding the Emu, not to mention the sinfully good butter tarts.

I hope that the video does the ride justice.

And now for the credits:

The music for this episode is Clap Along by Audionautix which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by the artist:  http://audionautix.com/. This is one of the many excellent royalty free music selections from the YouTube audio library.

Check out the comments on YouTube. The guy doing drum duty for the Canadian Legion bagpiper chimed in! How cool is that?

Friday, June 9, 2017

ExPrEsSiOn - Conclusion



At long last, another episode of the vlog.

This one has had a ridiculously long gestation period.

What I needed to express was how I see blogging and vlogging as a form of art. I certainly see my writing efforts as a form of artistic expression. As for my videos... well, there lies a challenge. My technical skills are still very much ramping up, and my ability to tell a story as a video is in its infancy.

Vloggers who are much more talented express the view, with which I agree, that the story is where the art lies, much more so than in the technique of cobbling together a series of video and sound clips. In that spirit, I honestly try not to get wrapped up in the technology more than I absolutely need to.

There will always be better choices in terms of equipment and software, but even the most modest setup should allow plenty of room for creativity and is certainly no excuse for a boring, annoying, or pointless video. Heaven knows there are enough of those.

As I try to transition from blogger to vlogger, the blog suffers, my attention to fellow bloggers suffers, and along with them I suffer too. What I am trying to do in this episode is to express to you how I see this process and how this experiment is having an impact on me. I have literally lain awake at night, nursing the story for this video, imagining what I could do express my thoughts and point of view effectively. I imagined all kinds of fanciful wizardry that is quite frankly beyond my grasp at this point.

As for future posts, there is a club ride tomorrow for what I am told is the epicenter of butter tart magic up in Midland and that will be fun to document, and in early July it's off to tour the Sticks with Steve Williams and Paul Ruby which will be epic fun.

In the absolutely mundane department, I finally completed our guest bathroom update and that involved three difficult days wrestling with the installation of an excellent Ikea floating vanity. I Googled and YouTubed that project to death seeking advice. Given what I found, I am determined to offer the YouTubeOsphere a little ditty on my installation that may just save some future handy men a litany of florid cursing and needless treks to the hardware store.

So stay tuned, there's more in store.

And now the credits:

The music for this episode of Life on two wheels is:

I'm Everywhere Remastered by TeknoAXE hosted on http://www.teknoaxe.com which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,

and

It's Always Too Late to Start Over by Chris Zabriskie which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/dtv/
Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

The short footage of the Bellagio fountain is used with permission from the copyright owner.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

eXpReSsIoN - Part one



In this episode of the vlog, the first of two parts, I explore the mystery of what drives us to attempt art.

Not everyone develops an artistic bent, but
they are not that hard to find.

In part one you get a glimpse of me helping my dear friend Marc by editing a new book he has written and is busy publishing. It took two very full days of fairly grueling work on my end to deliver the comments that Marc was after, so that his publication target could be met.

As I worked to help Marc, it got me thinking again about what art means to me, and my own artistic process. You may not agree with me of course, but I consider the stuff I publish here on the blog, and up there in the new vlog, to be art.

It's a great conceit, and you may not believe that I am writing this with genuine humility, but when I go back into the depths of this journal's history to re-read stuff I posted a ways back, I actually enjoy what I read. I imagine that others enjoy it too. I think it would be a whole lot more difficult to do if I thought that I was producing drivel that was painful to read and difficult to watch. Well... maybe the videos are painful to watch. I've been learning to write in earnest since... I think grade 5. So those skills have been honed for a decent time. My video editing is in its earliest infancy.

But here's the thing, there's something in it that is very compelling for me.

That's my next challenge. Trying to explain what the blog and the vlog mean to me, how they drive me, and why I think they are art.

If I manage to get it halfway right, it will be art, about art.

I'm curious to hear what my fellow bloggers (who are suffering my neglect as I spend long selfish hours on my 'art') think. Not about the quality of what I do, but about their own blogging (and vlogging of course, if any vloggers happen to stop by).

Speaking of art, the music for this episode of the vlog is Hall of Mirrors by Bird Creek and is available in the YouTube audio library.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Flashback!


In this episode I revisit the place where my life on two wheels began, in Victoria, British Columbia. My experience there nine years ago changed my life in ways it was impossible to imagine. Those ways are all documented on the blog and are well-worth exploring.

The music for this episode is Deep Hat by Vibe Tracks, available for download in the YouTube audio library (https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music). Mood music was incidentally provided by talented guy in the video thumbnail.

The detailed narrative for this episode may be found in these posts: The opening post of the blog from March 2010 Getting started... and this post from December 2011 How and Why I got into Motorbikes. Each of those posts provides some key insights into what living life on two wheels means to me. The only way to gain a more complete understanding is by viewing this episode of the L2W vlog, and by exploring this journal. One of the easiest ways to do that is to click on the link above to the version of this journal in chronological order.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

Later on in the season I'll have more to say about the mysteries of Vimy, you'll get to tag along as I take a trip south to the sticks of Pennsylvania to hang out with Steve, and there will be much, much more in store.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Catching up with Dar Duncan


Oh Boy!!

A fresh episode of the vlog!

In this episode you'll hear from Dar Duncan (#MotoDiva) herself. She gives us the inside scoop on what it takes to be a professional motorcycle instructor, plus you get a glimpse of Dar in her star persona on Farkle Garage, and Dar does a great sales job on the Honda NC700SA.

The trip to Victoria was a long one, no doubt about that, but so, so worth it. The view of Mount Baker from Dallas Road all by itself is well worth the visit.


I'll be back to provide more complete show notes a little later on... so keep an eye on this post...

In the meantime, please enjoy episode 8 of Life on two wheels!

-----

Well that did take some time.  The only thing I'll add on this episode is that I'd been wanting to meet Dar as far back as the spring of 2012 when I met up with other moto bloggers on the West Coast. Now at last this episode of the vlog checks that box. Finally!




The music for this episode is "I Like Peanuts" by Audionautix and it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rider profile: Dar Duncan

Name: Dar Duncan
Find me on Earth: Victoria, British Columbia
Find me Online: Scootermayhem.blogspot.com, @Moto_Diva on Twitter and Instagram, @Motochat and #motochat also on Twitter, and on Farkle Garage, a motorcycle show broadcast on Shaw cable TV and available on the Farkle Garage channel on YouTube, and at farklegarage.tv. Finally see Dar's Life on two wheels interview
Interview Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Interview Location: Victoria, British Columbia


Life on two wheels: When did you start riding, how old were you?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ken Wilson and the Oyster Tour wrap up




Yes! It's another episode of Life on two wheels.

In this episode you get a short and sweet interview with Ken Wilson where you find out what makes him skip, tick, and talk.

The musical selection is Acoustic Blues by Audionautix courtesy of the excellent YouTube audio library.

Peering into my looking glass into the future, I see a meet up with a moto blogger on the west coast, and more insight into my "Is it possible?" puzzle.

Stay tuned, there's more to come folks!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Is it possible?

This is the year I celebrate my 65th birthday.

It's a milestone like few others.

Turning fifty was a major event, so was 21. But 65, that one really does loom large. This may be the season for something big. Perhaps something really special.

These past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my grandfather. He was my mother's father, Georges Terroux. He was in the Canadian Armed Forces and he fought in World War I. His fight ended in a fog of mustard gas. He was lucky. Lucky because he didn't die, and lucky because he met the love of his life in England, my grandmother Margaret, his war bride.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Truth


When I was a kid, truth seemed simple. Over the last sixty years I learned that truth is not really simple at all. Truth can be surprisingly elusive, and finding it can require a whole lot of intelligence, energy and time.

Some devote their entire lives to finding truth.  They search for decades in the hope of discovering the truth about tiny slices of our reality. Think of astronomers, particle physicists and cancer researchers. Some philosophers have devoted their careers to thinking critically about the very meaning of truth. Those explorers are the vanguard in the quest for truth.

For most of us truth is more mundane than the study of cosmology and the meaning of life. "It's raining"; "I'm hungry"; "that shirt doesn't fit me well"; "it's dark out". Statements like these are easily verified. We measure truth with our eyes, our gut, our skin.

When it comes to things that others tell us, truth is more complicated, though we can usually verify what we are told. I test your honesty when you tell me "It's raining". Your coat is wet, I see the rain, I know it's true. As I learn that you speak the truth, I come to trust you. Once I trust you I simply accept what you tell me in the same way as when I see the rain myself. The truth we speak, and the trust we earn and share, are the bricks and mortar of our society.

How is the truth complicated?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.