Monday, August 31, 2009

New Port, Rhode Island

Above are my photos of my trip to New Port, Rhode Island. If you like mansions, the beach, architecture, history, sea food and boats then this may be a good place to visit.

During my trip I had a chance to try some genuine Boston Baked Beans at a few New England Restaurants. In the early 1700’s the grand consumption of the meal gave Boston the nickname Beantown. Back then cities such as Boston and New Port were part of the Triangular Sea Trade where Sugar would be produced in the Caribbean. The sugar was then shipped to ports in New England and made into Rum. The rum would then be sent to Africa and used to buy more slaves which were brought back to the Caribbean and West Indies. Molasses made from sugar was very inexpensive in Boston during this time and beans were grown throughout the North East and were inexpensive as well. The surplus of beans and sugar made it possible for the masses in the area to consume Baked Beans on the cheap. The credit for the respite of Boston Baked Beans goes to the Native Americans of the area who were eating the dish long before the colonials.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Lost Battle of Bunker Hill

On June 17, 1775, the second major battle of the American Revolutionary War began with the British advance on Breeds Hill outside of Boston, Massachusetts. After 2 failed assaults the British Regulars captured positions from the Colonial Forces defending the hill. American Militia then retreated to Bunker Hill where the Colonials were ultimately defeated by a well disciplined and motivated British Force.
The resulting victory for the British Army was truly a credit upon the dedication and honor of the British Army advancing up those two hills. The British tactically met their objective but suffered their greatest losses of the entire war. Colonial Forces stood and fought against the greatest military power on earth and wreaked a 42 percent causality rate upon the enemy. British General Clinton stated, “It was a dear bought victory, another such would have ruined us.” Nathanial Greene who was a Rhode Island Colonial General put the encounter in perspective when he said, “I wish we could sell them another hill at the same price.” The Lost Battle of Bunker Hill soon became a rallying cry for American Patriots across the 13 Colonies and served as a betterment to the cause of liberty. (The photo at the top of the post is of the Monument at Bunker Hill. The photo below was taken from the top of the monument and shows the Boston Sky Line.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Have You Seen a Giant Sea Turtle with a Gun Turret Mount on its Shell?

I am a loner by birth but I am also a social creature by habit. I love hanging around others until it’s time to go and love to contemplate life alone until I get bored. I have driven half way across county on my cycle alone without feeling solitude because I was lost in the moment. Then there are times where it would be nice to have someone to ride with down to the local ice cream shop. In the most part, I would define myself as a solo rider not because I dislike riding with others but because an itinerary is not an option for me. The other day I was riding with a group of friends. We were driving down a back road and for some reason there was a statue of a huge Sea Turtle with a Gun Turret Mount on its shell sitting in someone’s yard. Well as an Iraq War Vet, that sculpture constitutes my definition of modern art. That turtle had character and is something you just don’t see every day. Everyone was in such a rush that I did not have a chance to stop and take a photo. It’s not all that easy to stop and grab a picture when you have 5 riders ahead of you and 3 behind you. You need to understand that the last camera my riding buddies probably had was a Polaroid. For me to stop, I would be interfering with everyone else’s definition of a good ride. Maybe I need to find some folks to ride with that have the same need to take photos of strange things? I guess I could always lead the group of riders then people would be forced to do what I wanted. The sad part of this story is that I have no idea where I was when I saw that Giant Sea Turtle or I would go back and get the photo (when not leading a ride I tend to day dream and have no concept of my geographical location). Strange thing is that I really would not have been happy to just get a photo of that battle ready tortuous. I would like to have found out why the owner of the home had such a monstrosity sitting in their front yard. That story would have made for a better post then the actual photo. Oh for missed opportunities, well next time I see such a thing I am stopping!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It’s Not Just About The Dressing.

Have you ever heard of Thousand Island Dressing? Have you ever heard of the Thousand Island Region of Upstate New York? This past weekend I was fortunate enough to visit Alexandria Bay, NY and if you have not yet visited then give it a try.

Let’s get back to the dressing. In the early 1900’s a women named Sofia Lalonde concocted a dressing which became a local Favorite. Sofia lived in Clayton, NY which was nestled in the Thousand Island Region on New York State. The Respite eventually made its way to a part time summer resident George Boldt who happened to own the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. He was so enthralled with the flavor of the dressing that he ordered it on the Waldorf Astoria’s Menu which catapulted the dressing to become the Thousand Island Dressing which is so famous today.

This takes us to George C Boldt and his famous castle (please see the photos above). The story goes that he builds this castle for a summer home for his wife. Four years into the project, she passes away. Mr. Boldt then halts all constructions and vacates the property. The unfinished Castle actually sits vacant for 70 years until the mid 70’s when NY State Acquires the property. They hype this as the saddest story ever told. Don’t get me wrong, love lost is a tragic event and I can only sympathize with the sorrow Mr. Boldt endured. As sad as his loss was I feel that his emotions could have been channeled in a more positive direction to lay a tribute to his diseased wife. Instead all the effort that was put forth to construct this glorious Island Castle becomes wasted along with his grief. Why not finish the castle and pass it along to charity in her honor. In the End it was Mr. Boldt’s money to waste. I truly believe that grief and intense emotions can be channeled in a positive direction and it saddens me that the man could have turned a horrifically ugly and sad situation into something positive. To let this castle just waste away for 70 years just seems criminal given that it could have been used for other such positive endeavors. Either way you look at it the story of the Boldt Castle is a sad one but it’s a wondrous site to behold and is worth the trip alone.

Monday, August 10, 2009 has passed on this award to MotoPhotoAdventure with a request that it be passed on to other deserving blogs.


1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to as many or as few other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So I pass this award on to:


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Conviction or Bust

The post below has nothing to do with the common theme of MotoPhotoAdventures but I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

Below is an article which was published today in the Seattle Times. It’s about a bank teller named Jim Nicholson who was fired from his job for chasing down and catching a bank robber. In the defense of the bank there are many reasons why the banks have rules against tellers doing such heroic acts. Some may say that Mr. Nicholson may have put others in danger through his actions but he also had the courage and fervor to act on his own conviction. Mr. Nicholoson exhibited behavior that should be celebrated and not punished. It just seems that too many people lack the fortitude to take a stand on principal and are willing to sell their morals to the highest bidder.

Our society seems to openly promote us to look the other way when others are in harm’s way. It’s an issue that plagues America. It starts in our schools with bullies terrorizing others and continues on the streets where the week and less fortunate are taken advantage of every day. I think as a population we need to focus more on what is right and wrong and worry less about law suits and financial gain. I spent a year in Iraq back in 2003 and have seen ugliness beyond disbelief but in that same place I witnessed immeasurable courage, kindness and love. As a people, I believe we must begin to look beyond ourselves. We must grasp the concept of humanity and fight for the common good. It begins with simple work of charity and manifests its self to a more splendid world.

Seattle bank teller chases robber, loses job

via the Associated Press from the Seattle Times

Sun Aug 2, 1:24 pm ET

SEATTLE – A Seattle bank teller has lost his job because he ran down a would-be bank robber and held him until police arrived. Jim Nicholson, 30, who had worked for more than two years at a Key Bank branch near the Seattle Center, says he understands the bank's strict policy that employees comply with robbery demands and avoid confrontations.

But he told The Seattle Times that instinct took over when a thin man in a beanie cap, dark clothing and sunglasses pushed a black backpack across the bank counter on Tuesday and demanded money.

Nicholson threw the bag to the floor, lunged toward the man and demanded to see a weapon. The man bolted for the door with Nicholson in pursuit.

He chased him several blocks before knocking him to the ground with the help of a passer-by. Nicholson then held the man until police arrived.

On Thursday, Nicholson was fired. Key Bank spokeswoman Anne Foster declined to comment on Nicholson and his actions.

Police and the FBI discourage such heroics. Bank tellers are trained to get robbers out the door quickly and are advised against possibly escalating a situation over money that's federally insured.

Nicholson said he understands why he was fired.

"They tell us that we're just supposed to comply, but my instincts kicked in and I did what's best to stop the guy," he said. "I thought if I let him go he would rob more banks and cause more problems."

Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the best course for citizens is to be good witnesses to crimes.

"When confronted by a violent criminal, it is best to comply unless they feel their personal safety is in jeopardy. It is possible that taking action and confronting the criminal may lead to the injury of the victim or other bystanders."

"You want tellers to be proactive, but you want them to do it safely," said FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt.

The would-be robber, a 29-year-old transient, has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for theft and robbery, according to court records. Charges in the attempted robbery were not immediately filed.

Nicholson said he has run after shoplifters while working at other retail jobs.

"It's something I almost look forward to. It's a thrill and I'm an adrenaline-junkie person. It's the pursuit," he said.

Information from: The Seattle Times,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Visit to See Jack

Just got back from a great tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. There were tons of motorcyclists out.
The riding around Lynchburg, Tennessee is just plain gorgeous. Rolling green hills and fresh black top make for a pleasant journey. I wish I had a dual sport because the wild off road terrain in the surrounding areas begged for some action. The roads are perfect, the people were pleasant and the tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is free. If you get to Lynchburg remember that the tour of the distillery is about 1.5 hours long and afterward you must get a bite at the Iron Kettle Restaurant. The town of Lynchburg is worth a walk through as well.