Stacey and I went down to St. Louis Friday morning. We checked into the Hyatt downtown, and I walked from there to the Renaissance, where the Popular Culture Association meeting was held. I gave my talk, which was reasonably well attended. I was the only one to stand and extemporize with a Powerpoint, while the others just read their talks. This was a strange meeting to be a scientist. I actually had data and graphs, and was probably the only one to do so. Afterward Stacey and I met Deirdre for drinks and appetizers. We were so full after that we just got dessert at a different place, went back to the hotel and crashed. We took our time getting up and ready Saturday morning, as I didn’t have any sessions I wanted to attend. Stacey dropped me off at the meeting and went off shopping. I went to Deirdre’s session, as well as Bob and Terry’s. I learned some interesting things, but I’m not sure I’ll go to this conference again. On the way out of town we stopped at Bass Pro, where I exchanged one reel for another. On the way home we stopped in Hannibal, where I looked at a used motorcycle for sale. It met all the criteria I had, and the price was right, so I bought it. It’s a Honda Shadow Spirit 1100C. It’s in excellent condition, a 2001, but with very low miles and lots of extras.
Here are the specs for the model in that year. Savannah drove me down to Hannibal Monday morning and I completed the transaction. We went over to Stacey’s office to say Hi and show off the bike. Stacey’s secretary Connie actually has a motorcycle endorsement on her license. I began the drive home with Savannah following in the Tracker. It was a bit nerve-wracking, as my last street bike was a 450, and that was 16 years ago. The sky was dark, the air was cool, and it began to rain. Perfect. Fortunately, it didn’t get beyond much of a sprinkle. The windshield and the full-face helmet were more than adequate. Still, I found myself squeezing the bike with my legs as you would do riding a horse. My hips were cramping by the time I got home. After lunch Savannah went to work, while I got the motorcycle insured, inspected, titled and registered.
I didn’t have time to figure out a good way to affix my rods to the bike, so I drove the Lil Egg out to Lowell’s. We did a couple rounds of the lake. He caught three and I only caught one, but at least it was on the new reel. It worked pretty nicely. More significantly, I saw a life bird while we were fishing. Lowell said there had been a wood duck using the nest box. As we approached, it looked like a bunch of leaves stuffed in the opening. When we got closer, I could see that it was, in fact, an Eastern Screech Owl. As I reached for my camera, it ducked into the box. So, in lieu of owl pictures, I give you these cute painted turtles.
We opened our Easter Baskets on Sunday morning. I gave Stacey a weather radio, and got it programmed that morning. In the afternoon, we had a tornado watch, and it worked! There were no tornadoes in the area, fortunately.