Sunday, October 23, 2011

out and about in my neighborhood

I am soooo lucky to have stores like this around the corner!

I like shopping at the little stores in my area. I am supporting anyone who goes into business for themselves. I know from experience how much harder you work when you are your own boss. Not to mention all the WONDERFUL food and clothing that come from these unique shops.

From Zeppe's Italian MarketI I bought the workings for a nice dinner for four. We start with some great smokey provolone cheese. Smooth and creamy with a hint of smokey flavor. Perfect for on top of a pizza, tomato basil soup, or in an omelet. Also is nice sliced thin as an appitizer.

I also love their spicy rich and fatty pepperonis and dried sausages. The pepperoni just slides onto your tongue and dissolves with a smooth rich meaty flavor and then it hits you with the spice. Whooooo! Spicy but not too spicy, just enough to get your nose engaged and running. 

I also like their other dried mild sausages. These are super rich and fatty and chewy. I dare you to eat one slice! They also have a delicate meaty flavor. It is hard to tell what is better, the smooth and chewy texture, or the flavor.

Either of these  sausages are great cut up as appitizers or added onto the focciacia. The Focciacia bread is made fresh at Palermo Bakery on Harlem in Chicago. Heat it in the oven for 10 minutes and it comes out slightly crispy yet still thick and fluffy...this stuff is GOLD! Add a bit of cheese and pepperoni to make it even more flavorful.

Rainbow pasta lobster ravoli is also an excellent choice. This is great mix of delicate flavors, the fresh pasta and the lobster. Eaten plain with butter and cheese or use a creamy sauce and your dinner guests will love it. I choose Zeppe's creamy vodka sauce and got rave reviews.

Dang if scooter riding won't make you fat! Ride and eat well my friends!

A New Day, A New GARAGE

This is my supposedly 1.5 car garage...rrrrrright.
Just because you say it, does not make it reality.

I was born to a life without a garage. It seemed no matter when I went, I never had a garage. When I bought my house, I was told it had a 1.5 car garage. In reality it had a 0.0 car garage. If I could squeeze a car in there, I had to get out the window and climb over the hood. I am NOT kidding. Well, at least I had my own one car driveway.

So after years of making due and leaving my car exposed to the elements, I bit the bullet and had one built. It is 24 x 26 feet of luxurious space for me to park my 2 cars and my scooter. As well as store my BF's bikes and MAN-CRAP.

 It took 2 days to build. I did the mega-driveway about 6 months earlier.

You will never know the cost or how long or how many permits and how many sub-contractors wallet-punched me over this thing. Not to mention my extra long cement driveway and it still isn't done. 

What lies in store for my former 0.0 car attached garage....hopefully it will become a 2.0 personal office for me and my BF.... well, a gal can keep dreaming.

This is a 1 Car Garage Remodel! 
Phase II of my home remodeling dream.

Todays scooter photo comes to you from TREKEARTH Learning about the world through photography.

A note from the photographer:

Vespa is an Italian brand of scooter manufactured by Piaggio. The name means wasp in Italian.
The Vespa has evolved from a single model motor scooter manufactured in 1946 by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. of Pontedera, Italy—to a full line of scooters and one of seven companies today owned by Piaggio—now Europe's largest manufacturer of two-wheeled vehicles and the world's fourth largest motorcycle manufacturer by unit sales.[1]
From their inception, Vespa scooters have been known for their painted, pressed steel unibody which combines a complete cowling for the engine (enclosing the engine mechanism and concealing dirt or grease), a flat floorboard (providing foot protection), and a prominent front fairing (providing wind protection) into a structural unit. (Source: WIkipedia)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Can't we all just get along?

Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. 
It's just that yours is stupid.

Why oh why do people have these jacka$$ opinions about what people ride? As if "shifting" somehow elevates your IQ.

Okay - I am going to say it... I drove a stick shift for 25 YEARS and it DID NOT expand my knowledge of the vehicle, traffic or enhance my driving experience. And yes, 25 years of driving a stick does NOT make me a better driver than anyone else. Yeesh.

In fact it SUCKED! Yep, it was a pain in the arse and after 25 years I was THRILLED to get an automatic ANYTHING. I only did it because that is what my Dad taught me to drive, so out of loyalty to me old Dad, I kept buying them. That is MY personal experience and that led me to purchase a scooter. 

I am just as in tune with my scooter as you are with your bikes. I was in tune with a mechanical log splitter when I lived in Colorado. I was even in tune with a hot dog packaging machine at Hygrades one summer. I am in tune with whatever, vehicle, appliance, power tool, light switch, electric toothbrush, that I so choose. So puhlez, spare me your boring one-sided arguments. Are your egos so fragile? That you can't have a girl riding a scooter on a highway next to you? My BV500 can go anywhere your bikes can. Deal with it.

When I read the article regarding the new Aprilia 800cc scooter, I was pretty excited. I ride a BV500 and anything with more power for the highway and touring would be great to try. Of course there are the usual naysayers and hardcore macho jerks who just can't share the road with other 2 wheel vehicles and will say anything to protect their tiny territory. 

Taken from an article located on This is just an excerpt from the comments found below the article. The comments are sometimes interesting, yet annoying and predictable. Usually I skip them. I have heard them all before. So I am going out riding while the nice fall weather holds here...

Enjoy the pageantry:

ziggy says:
The only difference between these pigs and a real ride now is skill, commitment and training.
As for a city scoot–I’ll take a drz or something comparable any day.

Ruefus says: Spoken like one who’s spent next to no time on one but thinks they ‘know best’.
I assume you still have a horse and carriage as your main source of transportation then? No?
Engines and the vehicles they propel are so dirty and lets face it, don’t take as much skill, commitment and training to operate.

ziggy says:Nope. Spoken like someone who has spent countless hours in the saddle riding and racing on and off road. I’ve had lots of training, many certs, and broken enough laws to know that maxi scoots and their ilk are nothing but the dumbing-down and sissification of motorcycling. 
ANYONE ride them, and they make the “perfect city scoot” from the cafe to the mall and back…hooray!
Sorry chum but not my kind of riding! 

Ruefus says:  
That’s a different tone than your original post, and one I can understand. The first implied scooters were somehow less valid. The second basically says different strokes for different folks. That’s fine. Most riders haven’t the level of expertise you do and don’t want it.
The whole POINT of a scooter is to not have to focus on gear selection, rev range, clutch brake, throttle…..etc.
Yes. They take less training to ride. For a myriad number of reasons, that’s the point. Much the same way automatic transmissions in cars are popular. It’s simpler. But having ridden several types of large scooters (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Aprilia, Kymko….you name it…..used to sell them), I can tell you that the ride is entirely different. It’s not ‘dumbed down’ so much as it is a different experience. Much like a Gold Wing, a Burgman 650 disappears beneath you after achieving walking pace.
You still have to hit the apex right to grab throttle on exit. Have to be very wary of lean angle, as the wheelbase requires more roll to effect a turn. You can’t move your body as much to compensate when you cock up a line, so don’t.
As for riding a DRZ as a commuter, while you’re either strapping on your backpack or properly loading your saddle bags…..the inexperienced scooter rider indiscriminately shoves their bag and whatever else under the centralized underseat storage, steps on and disappears before you or I have thumbed the starter.
Like I say….diffn’t strokes…..

ziggy says: I’d say my message in long form is the same as what I wrote in short form. I also contend that the least skilled and most dangerous riders I’ve seen are scooter pilots. 
The whole point of riding a motorcyle is to be totally involved in the experience, at all levels, with complete focus and concentration untill the world melts away and you feel like you are flying. 
The whole point of a scooter is to sit up like you’re at the breakfast table and toodle around from stop to stop. 
If I am going to commute, it is going to be rip-roaring fun and believe me, it’ll be on a DS. If I’m going to run errands that require toodling around, I’ll do it in my car. 
There’s very little difference in terms of price and experience between scooting around on a maxi and driving around in a smart car or base model econobox. So if that’s the selling point, I’ll take the econobox to bring home my groceries, thank you!
Bikes are fun. Econoboxes are practical. Scooters occupy a netherworld between the two where fun and passion are greatly diminished, and practicality only modestly upgraded. 
My sense is North Americans are just too red blooded to fall for this crap. 

Ruefus says: I agree on two things. Motorcycles are about the experience. Scooter pilots are, by and large, less well-trained.
Scooters are about simplicity and transportation. And the experience on a maxi-scooter is nowhere close to that of a smart car or econobox. Wwwaaayyyy different.
Horses for courses….but if I owned this I guarantee the Aprilia logo down low would end up needing pucks….. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Maxi Fever - Why do you tease me!

Please, Please, Please can I at least TRY one of these????
I don't can't what you call it or who makes it.. I just want to TRY one!

Aprilia announced it will present a new 850cc V-Twin engined maxi-scooter with an RSV4-influenced design at the upcoming EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy.
The 2012 Aprilia SRV 850 will be the Italian brand’s largest scooter. The SRV will be powered by a fuel injected 850cc four-valve 90-degree V-Twin engine, claiming 75 hp at 7750 rpm and 56 ft-lb. at 6000 rpm.
The SRV 850 appears to be a rebranded version of the GP800 scooter from Aprilia’s fellow Piaggio Group stablemate Gilera. The 2010 Gilera GP800 is powered by an 839cc V-Twin boasting similar horsepower figures but only 54 ft-lb. of torque.
The two scooters appear to share a similar frame and swingarm, but the Aprilia SRV 850′s front face and mirrors with integrated turn signals resembles the RSV4 superbike. The tail also appears to be angled slightly higher and the seat has been modified accordingly.
There is no word yet on whether the Aprilia SRV 850 will be imported to the U.S., though the new branding may make it more likely to show up here than the original Gilera GP800 which was never brought to North America. (Grrrrrrrrrr!)
Hopefully we’ll hear more on U.S. availability as more details about the Aprilia SRV 850 are released at the 2011 EICMA show.
[Source: The Piaggio Group]
The entire point may be moot here if we can't get this scooter over here in the U.S. In all reality, not many scooter riders go for anything over a 300. Scooters are light and flighty urban creatures and these big scooters are not for every one. Usually in the US if you wanted more power and touring capabilities, you would get a motorcycle.
Me, I am a stubborn one, and I want more power and a twist and go. So I will wait and see what develops. But it would be nice if there was more in the US maxi market besides big ol' Bergmans.

From the "Other Stuff You Can Do with a Scooter" Files

Ya can't do this on a BV500 kids

Okay - it's not a "Vespa" but he is riding the Krap outta it. This was shot at the Bowl of Marseille, a skate park in France. The riders name is Boulon. (Alternately, the name of a commune in France and a metal "bolt").

It might be possible that he is just trying to establish that he has a "screw-loose" in Frog lingo.

You have gotta love the wee power and flexibility of little scooters. For urban fun, they have it all. Tell me that scooter would not come in handy during a Zombie Invasion or possible End-of-the-World senario!

Oddly, most of the comments on a french scooter site seem express that fact that many skaters are not impressed with Boulons antics.

"The good snapshot of Marseilles, an acorn on a stolen scooter that is doing anything to impress."

"A guy on a 30-year stunt sad: lol: At this age he should be father and driving a minivan ..."

For me, this earns Boulon one Unimpressed Spock meme outta 5. That is because I am an old white lady and this stuff seems pretty cool to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foot Porn... is it wrong?

I like 'em THICK and CHUNKY! 

Are your old riding boots beat?

As they as flat and lifeless as Lindsey Lohan's career?

Instead of skipping off your scooter like Ginger Rogers, (who?) do you lumber off like Nancy Grace in DWTS?

Here is a product that can reinvigorate those tired old gun boats with 
a Dansko shoe and The Walking Company's shoe insert. 

My Harley Davidson boots and old pink sketchers are my riding boots of choice. (I like a BIG, THICK and CLUNKY flat sole for better flat-footing stops when riding my Bad A$$ Scooter.)

However they have seen better days and I was about to put them out of their misery. Being the cheap Bastage that I am, I went off to Payless Shoes for their spectacular BOGO event!!!

But I came up empty handed... no cheap shoes/boots to be found.

I strolled about the mall in a wee funk until I happened on The Walking Company.

They had loads of FAT CLUNKY shoes that I prefer...(being a mutant and all) So I went in. 

A hipster sales gal tried to convince me to try their exciting state-of-the-art computerized foot scan for a true orgasmic shoe buying experience.

"Rrrrrrrright, sounds great. What do I have to do?"

"Just take off your shoes and stand on that pad."

So I do. Instantly up on the screen, in front of the entire store, floats the image of my hot, sweaty feet, in a glowing cinemascope rainbow aura of foot porn.


"I know," sez Mz. Hipster Sales Gal. "You are a 36, it's European sizing. Hang on"

And then she came at me with these UBER CLUNKY and SHINY SHOES.

"These are Dansko shoes... They are a clunky plasticky, ergo-powered, breast cancer fighting shoe designed to appeal to nerds at a cellular level."


"I put in our special shoe insert. Once you try it, you won't believe how comfortable they are. The combination of a Dansko breast cancer fighting, ergo-designed spine saving shoe with our insert is a rich and full experience that all women deserve."

So I slid my foot in

mmmmmm....nnnice "What is that I am feeling??"

"Oh that, that is an actual arch support." Hipster Sales Gal smirks. "You can also buy the inserts separately and put them into your old shoes."

Wait? REALLY!!! 

With a knowing smile, she slides the support insert into my old pink sketchers.

"Howww much"  I manage to stammer, as my hot little heels breath easy for the first time in 50 years.

"The shoes are $125.00, the inserts are $60.00"


"BUY THEM!!!!" scream my heels and arches.."WE WANTS them PRECIOUS!"

So I did. And they are really, really nice. Not only do the inserts breath life into my old Sketcher Hiking Boots, the Dansko shoes are super stable and I am now looking at their boots specifically for riding. Plus the soles are so BIG and THICK! mmmmm, yummy!

busy busy ...Aw Crap

Adieu my sweet summer cabin dream... You were wonderful while you existed!

Well I have been very busy lately so that is why I have not been posting. I have been riding my scooter hither and yon looking for a small summer cabin retreat. Having finally found one, only an hour away, (perfect scooter riding distance),I put in a bid and then began making all sorts of mental plans... only to have it fall through when some, "Rich" person outbid me and bought the cabin with CASH!!! THE NERVE!!! It even had a Troll Hole in the back so I could set up a distillery and start making "Shine"!

So even in this time of economic difficulties, people of means still have the means to poop on ya!
Okay, enough of the sour grapes. I am going to continue my search so I can invest my measly savings and still somehow enjoy it. Wish me luck!

Goodbye little Troll Hole / could have been so...nice