Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Riders Against Hunger - On Rock Community Services 6th Annual Fundraiser Ride!

1st annual Riders Against Hunger
I will never forget when I first met Kim Reid, and how I was taken by his story of  running a local food bank. I had a feeling at that moment that I wanted to get this know this dude. We had ended up on a ride together up through the mountain in Rigaud, Qc. It was a glorious day and we had joined a small group for an afternoon ride. It took me 10 seconds to say yes that I'd attend when Kim later that day told me of his first annual Riders Against Hunger in September of 2012.

Ride to Pitalkhora Caves, Chalisgaon, Maharashtra By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

Pitalkhora Caves
The ghosts of Pitalkhora Caves. On my descent to the caves I heard some people talk. This made me glad as I was all alone and thought that at least the guard and his companion will give me company. Tourists being there was out of the question since my bike was the only ride parked at the mouth of the stairs. On my reaching the site I was met with emptiness and those voices had ceased too. Perhaps the talkers were present inside some caves. Thinking this I kept an eye out for them while exploring the caves. I did not find anyone and got a bit alarmed not spooked though. Then while exploring the furthest caves on the other side of the cliff I heard humans again coming from the main chaitya hall. I looked up only to see some parrots making merry which uncannily resembled human voices spoken in an unfamiliar language. I quickly fixed my telescopic lens and captured those green goblins, those ghosts of Pitalkhora. Indeed I was the only visitor there, having spent 3 hours alone exploring the caves with not a soul in sight, not even the ASI guard was anywhere to be seen. On my climb back to my ride I met with a man headed towards the caves. He was the two hours tardy ASI personnel, amazing!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Moto Guzzi V7 Racer (aka Bella) 6000 Kilometer (3728 Miles) Review!

Bella Out and About in The Eastern Townships -
Semi-Abandoned Businesses Reminding Us of a Different Time
In just over a month of having picked Bella up from storage we found ourselves right back at Rock Moto Sport for my 6000 kilometers (3728 mile) service. To say that she has been the center of my attention is an understatement. 😉 From visiting the Boscobel Ghost Town and meeting up with B.A.C.A. Montreal to see them off on their 100 Mile Run to some Back Roads Therapy with Junkyard Villain and his lovely Harley Davidson Heritage Classic; we have even helped a couple of motorcycle learners by taking them to their motorcycle road exams at the SAAQ! Ownership of my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer has been exquisite. 😍 Indeed, if I had any complaints at all they would be mostly about some of the accessories that I purchased last year. Like any proper motorcyclist, I have also succumbed to purchasing even more accessories for Bella from a very lovely British fellow this spring (It's an addiction, I know). 😜

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Backroad Ball 2017 - Another Successful Year!


The Backroad Ball is not only a women's only motorcycle adventure weekend & campout. It's a celebration of female motorcyclists. Inspired by events such as California's "Babes Ride Out" and Washington's "The Dream Roll" the creators of The Backroad Ball are striving to create a sense of community amongst all female motorcyclists in Eastern Canada as well as surrounding states & areas. Registration is open to all licensed female-identifying motorcyclists as well as moto-curious women regardless of motorcycle make or type, club affiliation, or age (19+). The first year for the event was a huge success and we can't wait to share what we've come up with for year two with you! Check out #BRB2016 to check out last years good times! Come sit around a bonfire and swap stories, enjoy the talent of local musicians, take in the beautiful New Brunswick scenery on organized group rides, make new friends, get tattooed & rock out to your heart's content! We can't wait to meet you!
- K & B

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Start 'Em Young With A Kiddimoto Balance Motorcycle!

Birthday Girl Atop Her New Kiddimoto Kawasaki Ninja!

Kiddimoto kids balance motorcycle is the perfect gift for your little biker in the making. I found this little gem at Rock Moto Sport last week when I brought Bella in for her 6000 kilometer (3728 mile) service. The little wooden balance bike was hanging from the ceiling as part of their promotional advertising for Kawasaki Motorcycles. A Kawasaki Ninja no less (No. 66) it's fitted with a wooden frame, wheels with aluminium edge, air-filled tires and seat and handles made of foamed material. It's specifically made for children from 80 to 105 cm height. With my daughter's 4th birthday around the corner, I couldn't resist! 😎

Classic Machines Paris Circuit Carole 24-25 Juin, 2017!

Classic Machines, Le Week-End 100% Passion!


C’est ce week-end qu'aura lieu Classic Machines, sur le circuit Carole, aux portes de Paris. Comme depuis deux ans, c'est l'événement qui fait rouler et se rencontrer les amateurs de belles machines sur la piste du circuit Carole. Un événement 100 % plaisir, où plus de 200 motos - des années 1940 à 1991 et le café racers - et une vingtaine de side-cars roulent sur le circuit sans les contraintes d’une course, puisque ça n’en est pas une. Juste le plaisir de rouler, entre amis, au rythme que l’on choisit. Pas de course, pas de chronomètre, pas de classement juste l’éclate durant les séries qui s'enchainent comme des perles durant tout le week-end. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Review of Richard Hammond's A Short History of the Motorcycle (2017)


I'll be teaching Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Studies this autumn again and decided that in addition to the late Robert Pirsig's book which the course itself is named after (just replace 'Studies' with 'Maintenance') I also decided to include another book by Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame. Whilst Hammond has since moved on to bigger and debatably better things in the form of The Grand Tour and Drive Tribe with his lifelong friends and co-hosts James May and Jeremy Clarkson, it's nice to see that he still has time to publish a book or two every now and then. Unlike Top Gear, Drive Tribe allows room for more than just exotic cars as motorcycles are given their dues. Not surprising really given that both Hammond and May are avid motorcyclists, both boasting a collection that the majority of folks like us can only dream of. Hammond's newest book, A Short History of the Motorcycle is a testament to his love of two wheels and in keeping with his target audience, provides plenty of pictures too. That is a good thing. Me likes picture books. 😜

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Geoffrey Darwent: Biker, Painter, Storyteller!

I met Geoffrey Darwent back in 2014 on a ride to Venise, Quebec with the Dragon Riders. He was riding a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 at the time which was begging for a Blue Collar Bobber Kit. Even then I knew he was more than just your average biker. He is also a Canadian painter. Self-taught, his prolific technique is quite unique. His paintings often represent nature as well as life's mysteries, beauty and peace. Each painting is made using only the highest quality acrylic paint and tells a story. Below are just some of the examples on offer at present.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Becoming A Tattoo Artist - Draw Or Else!

Draw Or Else!
Pic/Gif © gifin.com
Over the course of the last seven months I have noticed that despite the prevailing belief that to become a tattoo artist you need to be an expert drawer, the truth is this is not always the case. It would be fair to say that any tattoo artist should have an artistic talent. However, many artists are opting to create beautiful and intricate designs via programs like PhotoShop. There are two schools of thought on the latter. Some argue that the technology is removing the artist from the art whilst others say that it is a natural extension of the artist's talent. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, as far as I am concerned so long as the artist can actually tattoo, it's all that matters. I use to draw regularly when I was younger but once I moved to Ireland I allowed it to fall to by the wayside. It wasn't from a lack of interest. Rather, there aren't many people willing to pay for handdrawn images anymore. 😔

Ride to the Dhankar Monastery of Spiti By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

SuperGrass Enjoying The View Of Spiti Valley
This is a small collection of pictures from Sabya's (aka The Artist) trip to the Dhankar Monastery of Spiti. Enjoy! 😎

Ride to the Sun Temple of Nirath, Rampur Bushrar, Himachal Pradesh By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

Royal Enfield Bullet Classic EFI aka SuperGrass! 😜
The Nirath Sun Temple is a tiny 8th century structure dedicated to Surya. it stands beside the fast flowing Satluj River about 20 kms from the small town of Rampur Bushrar. Nirath is a tiny village and the temple is surrounded by kitschy ugly houses and attended to by an obnoxious castiest creature of a Brahmin Priest, who had the audacity to question my caste lineage and proudly proclaimed that had i been a 'bhangi' my entry to the temple would have been barred! Well I did give him a piece of my mind and that took away my peace. Also, like most uninformed 'morons' who attend lesser known temples, he claimed that this structure was mind mind bogglingly old, to be precise '4000 crore years and built by the Pandavas'. Well I did not correct him, that slimy lizard. inside its Garbhagriha there are some sculptures of Vishnu and Surya but their craftsmanship is of inferior quality. However, the sculptures on the outer walls of the temple are different and in a way attractive. I did ride to this place on my way back from visiting the upper Himalayan Monasteries of River Spiti. The monks of those places are not arrogant idiots like many temple priests that I have met. Unlike these imbeciles those monks are well informed about the antiquity of the monasteries they are living in. I have always wondered about the factual ineptitude of the priests of temples and their claim to prehistoric antiquity of the sites they look after. What do they get out of misleading a visitor, I wonder?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Becoming A Tattoo Artist - The Ugly, The Crooked & The Hopeful

Opening Soon!
Pic/Gif © WiffleGif
As my apprenticeship continues so too does my anticipation for the day when I can tattoo something other than pig skin. Nevertheless, there is more to tattooing than simply applying ink to someone or something. Todd has given me the opportunity to set up and take down his tattoo station for him. This includes but is not limited to sterilizing the area with antiseptic cleaners, preparing his tattoo machines, setting up the equipment that goes with the latter such as the appropriate needle sizes and all the other goodies that inevitably start to add up the overall cost of getting a tattoo. Stenciling and drawing, let alone actually tattooing inevitably is only two out of several parts of the job when you consider how much work goes into the hygienic and preparatory practices of tattooing. That being said, however, I wish I was learning to master the art of tattooing itself as quickly as I have learned how to actually set up a tattoo station.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Installing a Phatmx Carburetor on Darwin, My 1976 Honda CT70!

Darwin Foils Me Again! 😡
Darwin, my 1976 Honda CT70, seems to have a mind of his own! Despite having spent no less than four months at L'Amis Denis being restored he seems rather resistant to the idea of running at all this summer. According to L'Amis Denis, Darwin needed a new carburetor. With the help of a fellow CT70 enthusiast that I met via the Honda CT70 Trail Enthusiasts group on Facebook, I purchased a new carburetor from Phatmx for the princely sum of $93.39 Canadian. They packaged it and sent it the same day they received payment and within a matter of a few days it was at my doorstep waiting to be installed. I am not going to lie to you. I procrastinated about installing it. It's really not laziness but rather an intimidation by most things mechanical. Don't get me wrong, I've GrOwN a pAiR oF NuTs over the last decade and have wrenched on my bikes plenty of times. However, I am always hesitant to start a new project out of fear of screwing things up. I prepared myself by first watching How To Clean The Carburetor On A Honda CT 70 Mini Bike By Don The Small Engine Doctor. His instructions are so detailed that I figured installing a new carb would be half the work and time... or so that was the plan.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

RiDe iN PeAce: Richard Grondin (aka Bullet) 1961-2017

Richard Grondin (aka Bullet) in 2012 With His New Suzuki M109
Ride In Peace - 1961-2017

Carol Artico has informed me that Richard Grondin (aka Bullet) passed away on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017. 😔 I had the pleasure of meeting Richard back in 2012 on a ride with the Dragon Riders. He had literally just picked up a brand new Suzuki M109 (pictured above) and was naturally as happy as could be. We rode rode to Venise, Quebec together. He was an interesting man, passionate and opinionated. What biker isn't? 😉 Though we didn't stay in touch as much as I would have liked, I never have nor will I ever forget him. Someone once said, "four wheels move the body and two wheels move the soul". May his final ride be endless with clear skies and a warming sun setting against him.

Send Your Condolences

Friday, June 2, 2017

DOT. Sydney to London On A Wing And A Prayer From Make Your Bones


"This 14-minute documentary is perhaps one of the most honest illustrations of what life on the road is really like. It isn't just a rose-tinted travelogue of how wonderful the world is - it shows hardship, it shows struggle and it raises a few questions about the act of travel itself."

How To Clean The Carburetor On A Honda CT 70 Mini Bike By Don The Small Engine Doctor


Whilst I inevitably purchased a brand new carburetor from Phatmx for Darwin, I came across this helpful three part short series on how to clean the carburetor on a Honda CT70 by donyboy73, aka Don The Small Engine Doctor! Don is rather soothing to listen too as he takes you through a step by step process of dismantling and cleaning your carburetor. See below for the remaining two parts of this series. I'll be sure to let you know how Darwin is doing after I have installed his new carb! 😎

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

SAAQ Road Safety Knowledge Test: Because Knowing is Half The Battle!

Pic © SAAQ
(click to view)

As we near the end of Motorcycle Safety Month, I thought it would be interesting to share with you the chance to test your road safety knowledge! The Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) offers you the opportunity to test your road safety knowledge with 60 questions divided over two vehicle types - automobiles (class 5) and motorcycles (class 6). Whilst it may be tempting to do just the test for motorcycles, remember that the best offence is a good defense! Whilst the test questions are not a direct replica of the knowledge test itself they are similar enough to help you gain insight into how to navigate Québec roads. The system chooses from roughly 500 questions so doing the test once doesn't mean that the same questions will present themselves a second time around. Below are some of the questions with correct answers to give you an idea of what to expect! 

Back Roads Therapy By Junkyard Villain



Montreal to Rigaud via Eastern Ontario. Special Mentions to Victor Labelle for the awesome slide and lead guitar on my tune Heavy Load 
- Junkyard Villain

Sunday, May 28, 2017

GoPro - Go To Hell!



In the short time that I have owned my GoPro Hero Session, I have managed to capture several pretty amazing moments. From the 100 mile run with B.A.C.A. last Saturday morning to some great twisties with my buddy Junkyard Villain on the same day. I even attached it to my kids' bicycles using the GoPro Handlebar Mount and got a bird's eye view of cycling along some great paths here in the Eastern Townships from a 10 and 7 year old's perspective. My oldest son and I even took our first dip into the river submerging ourselves and the GoPro in freezing cold water to the amusement of passersby. My wife used the GoPro to record our youngest son's very first piano recital. A co-worker even borrowed it for a day to record some footage. What a great start to an otherwise very simple, easy to use little camera. Unfortunately, the same can't be said regarding that hellish application Quik™ | Desktop.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jasper Corbin's Piano Recital 2017



Our youngest son has come along way since his days shadow boxing with his older brother, Joel! Filmed by my wife, Jennifer, I put together a video paying tribute to my youngest son who has worked very hard this year and performed very well for his very first piano recital. Special Thanks to Roxane Johnson for her wonderful tutelage with our son. He has always loved piano but you have helped him live his dream. Main Music By Shane Speal - How Great Thou Art.  Jasper plays Rock Beat on the piano. Like his mother, a very talented little fella whose love of music is only surpassed by his love for dogs.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Inked By Todd Beck - Part Deux!

Classy Sassy
(Placed on my right upper arm on the bicep.)
Todd Beck finished this little number for me today at his shop in Lennoxville, Quebec. This is the first tattoo of many that will mark the beginning of my new sleeve on my right arm. As part of my apprenticeship, what better way to learn how to tattoo than to observe the master at work! He completed the outline/lining two weeks ago. Thus, today was an excellent opportunity for Todd to show me how to properly shade in a tattoo. I have been having trouble with the latter and so getting a bird's eye view helped clear some things up. With summer finally here (more or less) there are many projects to look forward to. Looking for a Tattoo? Contact Todd today!

Contact Information
Todd Beck Tattoo - Facebook
 30 Rue Academy,
Lennoxville, QC J1M 1P8
Tel: (819) 791-8686

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Show Off Your Ride With BikerGirlBling!


I want to tell your story.... 
From custom paint to sparkles!  
Or maybe you ride a Dirt Bike, Scooter, or Vintage Bike?

(aka The Frozen Canuck)

Click Here To View Official Website

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Highs and Lows of Becoming A Tattoo Artist!

Pic/Giff © Smarter Every Day
I am not going to lie. The road to becoming a tattoo artist has had its highs and lows and though I find myself discouraged at times, I can say that I have enjoyed learning the a to z of tattooing. Though I have always had a dose of healthy respect for good tattoo artists, actually putting needle to flesh has made me realize just how talented these people really are. Best described as part painter, part sketch artist with a touch of calligraphy for good measure, getting used to just holding the tattoo machines has been a challenge in its own. It's easy to forget that you have to use it in just such a way that the needles are making proper contact with the pig skin and in doing so, creating a proper line. However, to begin with, I underestimated the availability of pig skin in Sherbrooke! Adding to the oddity of my dilemma, when I did find some available pig skin, it was at Le Marché Végétarien on King Est in Sherbrooke!

B.A.C.A. Montreal, Quebec Chapter - 100 Mile Run

B.A.C.A. Montreal, Quebec Chapter 
100 Mile Run

The day was here. We would meet in Terrebonne, Quebec at 9:30AM and register with the 2nd Annual B.A.C.A. Montreal Chapters 100 Mile Run. It was a cool morning at 10C but the Harley was set to go, and I was excited to meet up with my buddy BugSpatteredJacket to do a short leg of the 100 mile run. Our plan was to then split from the group, ride back roads and discuss over a warm cup of coffee our project for a series of short films.

Friday, May 19, 2017

To Vlog or Not To Vlog? Setting Up My GoPro Hero Session!


When my Kodak EasyShare P850 Camera went the way of The DoDo several years ago so did any thoughts I may have had of filming my rides. I wasn't vlogging per se, as I can't stand the sound of my own voice. If anything, it was highly stupid of me to be filming with a handheld camera whilst riding. This time I opted to go with a purpose made action camera that could be attached to Bella, Bambi or even Darwin in a secure fashion that didn't involve either me holding it or using duct tape. Cue the GoPro Hero Session. But, wait, why does Ted Forbes review a GoPro Hero4 Session? Because they are one and the same camera! Only, GoPro has lowered the price, removed some accessories and essentially made it its entry level camera.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ban The Accompanying Rider Law In Quebec!

Click Here For A Free Copy!
Pic © SAAQ

Whether you're learning how to ride a motorcycle or an experienced all weather biker trapped in the bureaucratic bullshit that is exchanging your foreign permit for a Quebec one, obtaining a motorcycle driver's license in Quebec is still as aggravating and nonsensical as a tuna and peanut butter sandwich. The Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) still insists that permit holders must go through a two year process before they can ride alone. Whilst students can easily complete the theory and circuit test in one summer, it's the eleven month period whereby you can only ride your bike whilst being accompanied by a full motorcycle permit holder that just plain sucks. Whilst I applaud the SAAQ for their recent Motorcycle Safety Days, this is one aspect of their approach that leaves something to be desired.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

DesTination: Boscobel Ghost Town

Welcome To The Boscobel Ghost Town!
What better way to start the riding season in earnest than by beginning with Quebec's various ghost towns with Bella, my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer. Admittedly, the decision was inspired by an article that I came across titled 9 Creepy But Beautiful Ghost Towns You Need To Visit In Quebec by Jeremy Hazan. Boscobel is listed as number 2 on Hazan's list. A quick Google search yielded some supporting evidence to the existence of this ghost town as both Katrina of Globeventures and another website by the name of Barraclou share some of the history along with various pictures of this otherwise obscure little area. So with a full tank of petrol, a fully charged camera and the promise of a beautiful day Bella and I set off this morning with high hopes of exploring a semi-abandoned village.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Review Of David H. Price's Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State By Heather Major

Available Via Amazon
(Click To View)
In the book Weaponizing Anthropology by David H. Price, his opinion is clear; the Human Terrain System (HTS) is not ethical anthropology (Price, 2011, p.174). Price asserts that social sciences program funded by the US military to “win the hearts and minds” of those in Iraq and Afghanistan to “save lives” and to “humanize” the other is a hoax (Udris Film, 2010). A poignant chapter in Price’s book is chapter ten: “Going Native: Hollywood’s human terrain Avatars” (Price, 2011, p.173).  This chapter compares the movie Avatar with the HTS program and discusses how similar fiction can be to reality, except, in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are real bullets and death with no avatar to create that distancing buffer zone (Price, 2011, p.173). Chapter ten in Weaponizing Anthropology also raises issues with cultural habits in American society, rather than only criticizing the program specifically. Price highlights that Americans have been so indoctrinated in the belief that militarism, patriotism and imperialism are good, that they have sided with the anthropologists who have been abusing their power, rather than with the natives as they did while watching the movie Avatar (Price, 2011, p.176). The author even points out that anthropologists have bowed to this militarism, which is proven by the existence of the HTS itself. According to Price, this program is furthering military intelligence regarding the native populations in the Middle East, but the information is being distributed to all levels of the military, not just those who are on a need to know basis (Price, 2011, p.175). So, when those anthropologists, sociologists, linguists and political scientists submit their work, they are submitting information that can be used for several military reasons that they do not get to approve or even know about (Price, 2011, p.175). Thus, the main point of this chapter is that the HTS is not ethical, nor does it follow any of anthropology’s responsibilities. To put Price’s viewpoint into perspective, the ethical responsibilities of anthropologists will be listed below and compared with the incongruous actions of the Human Terrain System.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rockin For Relief @ Resto Bar Le Pionnier


"We are happy to announce the "Rockin' for Relief" benefit concert this Thursday evening at Le Pionnier in Pointe-Claire, in support of the Neighbours Relief Fund. Come rock out with us, and help those affected by recent floodings!" 

Tickets are $10 at the door!
Fabulous raffle prizes & 1/2 & 1/2 draw! 
We hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Tattoo Life Episode 2 - Tattoo-Rendez-Vous Convention At Trois-Rivières!

All in A Day's Work! ;-)
Hey guys! sorry for the massive gap between updates, On todays episode of the tattoo life... (as if my life was a TV show haha, although sometimes I think it is, now with all the buzz and attention that tattoo artists and tattoo shops get.) Forever Ink recently attended the 3rd edition of the Tattoo Rendezvous Trois-Rivières. It took part at the Delta Hotel, concerning conventions, it was a rather small one , all "local" talent, being as the farthest artist was from New Brunswick, everyone else from Quebec. It was pretty nice to walk around and see the all the amazing work and variety from my home province of Quebec.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Women of Moto

Art © Amanda Zito
"Women of Moto - Canadian Edition; is a coast-to-coast project that will showcase how women who ride motorcycles in Canada are breaking gender stereotypes through their common love for two wheels and an open road. We will introduce you to women from various backgrounds and demonstrate how riding has influenced them, building strength and character in their everyday lives." 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Date With Bambi!

Bambi Makes A New Friend
The weather was just right for an evening ride as it was Bambi's turn for a short stint in and around the Eastern Townships. My little SYM Wolf Classic 150 performed flawlessly despite some harsh crosswinds. At just 266 pounds, it's easy to feel like the front wheel is giving out under her but inevitably, she putters along without a care in the world. Something I admittedly could learn from her. With no particular destination in mind, it wasn't long before Bambi and I found ourselves on some backroads with some rather lovely views to be had. The following are just a few pictures of an otherwise perfect evening ride.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Beakster Checks Out #TheMotoSocial

The Iron Kilt Returns To canada In Style 😎
Pic © Beakster
"#THEMOTOSOCIAL IS A FRIENDLY AND WELCOMING MONTHLY MOTORCYCLE COMMUNITY EVENT CREATED TO GIVE ENTHUSIASTS AND THOSE CURIOUS ABOUT THE MOTORCYCLE LIFESTYLE A SOMEWHAT CURATED AND POSITIVE PLATFORM TO MEET AND BUILD CAMARADERIE."

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Review of Anne Westhues (Editor) and Brian Wharf's (Editor) Canadian Social Policy, Fifth Edition: Issues and Perspectives (2012)

(click to view)

I had the privilege of teaching SOC292 Social Policy last semester at Bishop's University. This course is an introduction to the sociological study of social policy in the Canadian context. The course examined civil society in relation to a rapidly changing policy context. The development and outcomes of policy was investigated from a number of theoretical perspectives. Thus, students acquire a broad understanding of Canadian social policy in the context of a “globalized” world. In so doing, they explored what is social policy and policy analysis; how social policy is made; current social policy issues; and the limitations of social policy and policy analysis. Thus, choosing Canadian Social Policy, Fifth Edition: Issues and Perspectives was a logical choice.  Anne Westhues (Editor), Brian Wharf (Editor) have put together a variety of chapters from authors that helped shed light on a variety of issues in current Canadian social polices. Whilst my personal favorite was Chapter 5 Indigenous Wholistic Healing in Social Policy: Rethinking, Reframing, and Re-presenting Policy Development for Indigenous People by Mac Saulis, each author made a compelling argument for their respective topics. This edition facilitates the use of guest speakers. Our class had the pleasure of having Mr. Kim Reid – Founder/Operator of On Rock Community Services give a talk this semester whilst linking his class visit with Chapter 9: Child Poverty and The Canadian Welfare System  by Garson Hunter and Chapter 18: Housing Policy by Jill G. Grant and Tonya Munro. Keep in mind that this edition does away with various chapters of previous editions. Thus, should you assign it, insist that your students use this edition as they will not have access to all of the material for the term. Finally, allow my students to share with you their impressions of the textbook instead. 😊

Motorcycle Safety Days Sponsored By la Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ)


GET OFF TO A SAFE START THIS MOTORCYCLE SEASON!


"Feeling rusty? Come tune up your skills and knowledge at Motorcycle Safety Days! We’ve teamed up with a variety of partners to help get you ready for the season."

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Welcome Home Darwin - My 1976 Honda CT70!

Meet The New & Improved Darwin
My 1976 Honda CT70
Admittedly, it was tales of Percy Hart's quest to ride that put these small monkey bikes on my radar back in 2013. Whilst I had always noticed them it never occurred to me to actually buy one until recently. Having purchased Darwin, my '76 Honda CT70 back in January of this year from a former student of mine, I am happy to report that Mr. Antoine Noel has successfully completed his motorcycle course with Sur 2 Roues this spring with the money he received for the little CT70. 😎 Whilst Antoine has been studying hard and learning the basics on how to ride a motorcycle safely on Quebec roads (if you can call them roads), Darwin has spent the last four months at L'Amis Denis being restored back to health by a group of classic bike enthusiasts. To say that the little CT70 was worse for wear would be an understatement. However, the certified technicians at L'Amis Denis worked their magic and now Darwin is riding as well as can be expected for a motorcycle in need of an entirely new carburetor. 😏 *sigh

Thursday, April 27, 2017

GET SCHOOLED! Kim Reid's Class Visit at Bishop's University!

Mr. Kim Reid
Pic © Harry Zgnilek
On Tuesday March 28, 2017 Mr. Kim Reid – Founder/Operator of On Rock Community Services drove all the way to Bishop's University from Montreal to speak to my students. Enrolled in SOC292 Social Policy, the course is an introduction to the sociological study of social policy in the Canadian context and among many things, examines civil society in relation to a rapidly changing policy context. Students acquired a broad understanding of Canadian social policy in the context of a “globalized” world. Various case studies were used to highlight the different policies that affects us both directly and indirectly. The latter included tackling child poverty and homelessness in Quebec. Thus, given Kim's extensive experience in these areas of working with children and adults in need, it made him the perfect guest speaker.

From Turning Over A New Leaf To Striking A Sustainable Balance!

Photo © naibank/Shutterstock
On March 22nd, 2017 Jennifer's students executed a kiosk event at Bishop's University encouraging both the campus community and surrounding areas to turn over a new leaf. The public information kiosks was held at the Gait where various teams presented innovations and social enterprises that  have the potential to make our societies stronger and protect our environment. Each student team had interactive activities aimed at showing how ideas of trust, reciprocity, and care for the environment can make a difference. Reporting on the event was none other than Victoria Vanier of the Stanstead Journal.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Welcome Home Bambi - My 2013 SYM Wolf Classic!

One Very Happy Customer, A Wonderful Friend and a Fantastic Motorcycle!
What more can a guy ask for!? Did I mention How Brilliant Scootart is? 😎
Pic © Scootart
A special thanks to Mr. Hart (aka Junkyard Villain) is in order for helping facilitate collecting my beautiful SYM Wolf Classic on this fine cold and rainy Irish - oops, I mean, Canadian day! He was kind enough to come out to Sherbrooke, Quebec to collect me for the sole purpose of bringing me to Scootart to pick up Bambi. Scootart, a brilliant little scooter shop is located in St. Leonard in Montreal, Quebec. I had the honour of being their first customer in 2017 at their new shop. Admittedly, I didn't really know what to expect but seeing the little SYM in person made me realize that pictures don't do this little bike justice. In person, the little SYM shines and looks the part - ready for whatever adventure you may have planned.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Harley-Davidson XR750 By Gabriel Wapachee

Pic © Silodrom: Gasoline Culture
In 1969, Harley-Davidson had no competitive racing machine because of a rule change in the sport (Harley-Davidson.com, N.D.). It is in the following year that the company released its first Harley-Davidson XR750. The motorcycle had many flaws in its first years but still had great potential. The XR750 won its first AMA Grand National Championship in its release year. The company saw its potential and took back the bike to improve it. Two years after its initial release, the company re released the motorcycle and from that point on it has dominated the racetracks accumulating more titles than any other motorcycle to this day (Gingerelli, Michels, & Everitt, 2010).  Evel Knievel, a great daredevil, used the XR750 in many of his stunts and also accumulating a lot of world records with this motorcycle. These records are still being beaten today by new stuntmen using the same motorcycle. These many records and titles gained by the many years of racing and jumping with this motorcycle has created a very important social history for the bike.

Suzuki Hayabusa: A Motorcycle of Great Social Impact By Mikael Wheeler

2017 Suzuki Hayabusa (GSX1300R)
Pic © CarAndBike
The Suzuki Hayabusa also known as the GSX1300R or ‘Busa has been on the market for over sixteen years. Obviously, with the rapid growth of technology Suzuki have made adjustments to keep it up to date. Such as rebuilding the engine back in 2008 and refreshing its appearance to stay fashionable. Suzuki, a Japanese automotive company first introduced the Busa at the 1998 Paris show (Motor Cyclist, 2009). This motorcycle socially impacted the motorcycle community in numerous ways. It has become an icon to many for delivering such power and speed. The bike itself could reach speeds of up to 187.5 mph (Colker, 1999). It was built for speed from tip to tail and managed to reach such high speeds through its aerodynamic assets. “This machine was obviously shaped, not by stylists, but by aerodynamicists.” (Motor Cyclist, 2009). The Hayabusa was different because of its aerodynamic properties, some people loved it and some didn’t. Actually, at first its unfamiliar looks didn’t convince everybody (Motor Cyclist, 2009). Was it just a Japanese gimmick? The question was quickly answered. They had just launched what has now become a historical motorcycle. Many people didn’t know the meaning of “Hayabusa”. It turns out that “Hayabusa” is Japanese for “Peregrine falcon” (Colker, 1999), the fastest falcon in the world.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Inked by Noémie at Nephty's Tattoo Parte Cinco!

Nearly Done!
As my sleeve nears completion I am already thinking about other projects. Part addiction or just a clever way to learn how to tattoo via observation? I'll let you decide! 😏 Watching Noémie complete two of the last mandalas destined for my arm yesterday gave me a chance to clearly see how she does her line work. All that is left at this point is to fill in the sleeve with various geometric shapes and perhaps one final mandala on the top of my hand and a small(ish) one on the right side of the lowest mandala. I'll also be meeting with Crystal-Marie (aka Eternal Sunshine) in two weeks to do the remaining touch ups on my back tattoo! The entire experience has been cathartic and whilst I would like to think that its nearing an end, there is still much to do. I plan on having my chest and right arm done at a later date; not to mention Todd Beck has plans to have me tattoo myself as part of my apprenticeship... though, I am not entirely convinced about the latter to be honest. 😒 

Like what you see? 
Contact Nephty's Tattoo today and set up an appointment with Noémie. 😎

Contact Information
Noémie
 61 Wellington Street North,
Sherbrooke, QC J1H 5A9
Tel: (819) 563-6030

7th International Journal Of Motorcycle Studies Conference

 
22-24 JUNE, 2017

"The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies (IJMS) is dedicated to the study and discussion of motorcycling culture in all its forms—from the experience of riding and racing to the history of the machine, the riders and design to the images of motorcycling and motorcyclists in film, advertising and literature. We welcome submissions on all areas related to the cultural phenomenon of motorcycling. We invite contributions from all members of the motorcycling community." 
- IJMS


Picture & Words © IJMS

Tattooing A to Z: A Guide to Successful Tattooing By Huck Spaulding


"For years the Tattoo industry was shrouded in secrecy. Artists didn't want others in their area, which they assumed they owned because they were established. What they forgot is how they got there and that they were not born tattooists. So the big question was, where do I obtain the knowledge needed to become a tattoo artist? This insightful and straightforward book gives you the facts about tattooing. Tattooing A to Z was written to share with you what Huck learned through many years of first hand experience. Don't expect this book to make a master tattooist out of you in a few days, but what you will gain from it may have taken you years to find out. From setup and maintenance of machines to setting up your own shop, Tattooing A to Z, A Guide to Successful Tattooing is a valuable tool for anyone starting out in the business. We hope that it gives you the information you have long been searching for."

From Academia to Tattooing - Becoming A Tattoo Artist!

Wait Until They Get A Load of Me... 😎

Until recently, I never really considered becoming a tattoo artist. Whilst I enjoy having them, the career path to becoming one has often left something to be desired. Unlike many trades, the industry remains relatively unregulated in North America. That being said, there are those that stand out and separate themselves from the riff raff.  As Crystal-Marie (aka Eternal Sunshine) aptly points out in The Tattoo Life, tattooing has come a long way. Popularized by reality television shows like Miami Ink, L.A. Ink, and Bondi Ink to name but a few, for better or worse perceptions of tattoos have evolved.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ARCH "The Story" HD With Keanu Reeves

Who we are, what we do, and why. 

Whilst Polaris has saw fit to focus on its acquired Indian Motorcycles Brand, it's nice to see that there are still companies like ARCH Motorcycles pushing the boundaries. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Review of Deborah Lupton's Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body (2012)

(click to view)

I had the privilege to teach SOC 307 Sociology of Health last semester at Bishop's University. This course seeks to examine the place of health and illness in society, the relationship between bio-medical problems and the social, political and economic realities that help shape them. Topics included poverty and health, mental illness, aging, death and dying, professionalism, health service organization, inequalities in health service access and use, recent policies and difficulties with health care reform. Whilst choosing a textbook for a class is never a straightforward task, I personally enjoyed Deborah Lupton's book and found her insights particularly interesting as she draws from various disciplines including social and cultural anthropology, world geography and sociology to analyse the aforementioned topics. However, allow my students to share with you their impressions of the textbook instead. 😊

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Inked by Noémie at Nephty's Tattoo Part Four!

My Newest Mandala - By Noémie!

Today Noémie created yet another striking Mandala on the back of my arm! She also shaded in the original shoulder tattoo. 😊 With 50% of the sleeve now complete, I am excited to begin the next stage. Remember, Noémie creates each mandala from scratch! Thus, every mandala will be unique and as you can see, her newest creation was rather detailed and intricate. Like what you see? Contact Nephty's Tattoo today and set up an appointment with Noémie. 😎

Contact Information
Noémie
 61 Wellington Street North,
Sherbrooke, QC J1H 5A9
Tel: (819) 563-6030

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

L’équipée Rides the Pyrénées - 4 days / 120 riders / 1000 kms from the Atlantique Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea

Picture © Ludovic Ismael
In celebration of International Women's Day I wanted to highlight a group of women who impressed the world back in 2015 with their Himalaya trip on a set of Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc motorcycles! Whilst many men and women in the motorcycling community spend more time taking selfies than they do actually riding, these five women set the bar for all adventure seekers with their wanderlust. They represent the very best of the motorcycling world and should be an inspiration for any man or woman looking to get into adventure riding. This time L’équipée take on the Pyrénées for 4 days with 120 riders over 1000 kms from the Atlantique ocean to the Mediterranean sea!

L'équipée rides the Pyrénées / Transpy AMV Legend - Film from l'équipée on Vimeo.

Happy International Women's Day! 💗