Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Catchin' The Bus

 The two white scotties are a frequent sight for me on the way to the bus in the morning. Today, though, we are joined by another equally delightful critter. I've seen him before, too, just not as often. Today's doggy convention was a surprise and fun for a brief moment. The owners and I  talked about the rain we got last night, a grand total of 3/100 of an inch. (Who measures that stuff?) (3/100, really?)
 It was about 38 degrees (low single digits in celsius) and cloudy. But altogether not a bad day for a walk. My goal was Hillside and Central, 2 1/2 miles from home. There I would catch the bus. It will take about 50 minutes for the walk.

There are some fast food eateries on the way, starting off with the ubiquitous Sonic Drive Inn. I didn't take a picture of the McDonalds just up the road. You've seen one, you've seen 'em all. There's a Papa John's pizza place and a Dairy Queen along here.

The next pic, sorry for quality, takes a little explanation. Imagine a restaurant, actually a "speakeasy" in the 1920's with a little tower on top. As you look at the next pic, imagine that you are in the little tower of the "speakeasy" and watching out for the authorities. As you look west down Central Ave, you can see for about a mile or so. There actually was a little establishment right along here, torn down about 15 years ago with just that little tower of which I speak. The story goes that they would keep someone in that little tower and watch for the police coming down the street. If the police showed up, then they would have time to hide the "hooch" and act normal.  Right here, in little old Wichita KS.

 After crossing Oliver street, we come up on this little chinese restaurant that was converted from an old gas station. The Sesame Chicken here is to die for. I kid you not! The lady that runs the place doesn't speak the best English. She doesn't even ask for my name anymore because she knows my voice and that I almost always order the same thing. Jayna and I share one order of Sesame Chicken and eggroll. We can't eat any more than that. It's always "ready in about 15 minutes".

Then we get a little closer to the College Hill area, with some more exclusive homes. This street even gets it's own gate.

And near there, is something I've always wanted. A car with the owner's face painted on the side. Believe it or not, I actually know this guy and he does a little insurance for us at the office. He's okay, but I am sure nobody would want to see my face on a car. On a scooter?, Maybe!

Now, since we are in the College Hill area, I wanted to give the gentle reader an impression of just how immense this hill is. Be careful as you look down hill so you don't become disoriented. What is known as College Hill is actually more of just a ridge with total change in elevation of about 125 feet.

Toward the bottom of the hill we reach another restaurant that I like.

 It's a busy restaurant because it sits just across the street from a place that I visited for a few days almost exactly a year ago (twice). The hospital marks the end of my walking journey today, 2 1/2 miles from home and almost halfway to the office.

And finally the bus gets there and I ride the remainder of the way to the office.

Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Do I Have To? or Do I Want to?

Walking, that is.......

Let me explain:

On Feburary 7 I will be allowed to drive a motor vehicle. (Auto or Scooter). I have just spent a year not being allowed to drive due to a medical reason.

Part of me really wants to drive again, especially the scooter (I could care less about the car).

Part of me really doesn't care to drive an automobile ever again. Seriously!

Back to the walking.

This little medical restriction I had has really had an effect on me. Okay, the heart attack was one thing. But I seem to be doing fine, Hell maybe much better than I was before.

But not being able to drive forces one to find other ways of getting around, and for me it was primarily walking.

And walking and walking, etc etc etc

I rode a bicycle a little bit, maybe 150 miles or so this past year. I caught a lot of rides with other people. I rode the bus almost every day to work.

But I had to walk to get to the bus, at least half a mile. I played little tricks with myself. If I was early to the bus, I'd just walk to the next bus stop. It's not uncommon for me to walk 1.5 miles, today I did 2 miles. On numerous days I took a walk at lunchtime. And in the evenings there were walks with the dogs.

I have averaged almost 2 miles a day for the last 6 months. I know because I kept track of it with an app on my cell phone that uses the GPS device in the phone. I'm not bragging, it's just what happened.

So, Here's the thing.

Walking has been really good for me, both physically and mentally. I have come to really appreciate the morning walks.

So even though my driving restriction is being lifted soon, I'm not planning to go back completely to my old ways. I'm still gonna walk. I won't "have" to walk anymore, I just "want" to.

Buy I'm also going to ride Max!

The poor Canadian Subaru will continue to be relegated to being the vehicle of choice for longer trips and bad weather. Max will be ridden more than the car will be driven, but probably not every day. I'm thinking every other day. I'll alternate with walking the other days.

That's the plan!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bound and Determined

The sun was shining brightly. Not a cloud in the sky. Temperature in the 50's. It would be a shame not to get in some sort of a ride today, even if it was just a few miles. was bound and determined to experience something that I hadn't had the pleasure of for a very long time.

Almost a year.

Two weekends ago a winter storm was threatening the area. There were hopes for a white Christmas. Ahhh.... Didn't happen where I live! About 100 miles northwest of us they received over a foot of snow, but there was just a light dusting here.

The weather has been nice ever since. Mostly sunny skies, reasonable temperatures. I noticed a lot more motorcycles out on the streets in the last couple of days. The warm weather brought out a lot of riders. Maybe it was the holidays, too.

I didn't want to ride very far. I am still not supposed to be riding. But I thought a short ride wouldn't hurt. It was a beautiful day. And I was hoping that some other motorcyclists would be out riding. Because, if they were, maybe I could experience......

The Wave!

Seems like a little thing, but it has been a long time.So I left the house with a particular destination in mind. I just wanted to ride by a building owned by one of my clients. No real important reason, just someplace to go. It would result in about a ten mile round trip. Thought there would be a good chance that I would see another motorcyclist and perhaps get a wave.

On the way to my client's building I didn't see a single motorcyclist. Not One! I turned back toward home. About 3 miles from home I saw a pickup truck pulling a trailer with 2 dirt bikes strapped on it. The person in the cab saw me, and sort of acknowledged my existence in the 2 wheeled world, but there was no wave and I thought to myself "This Won't Do!"

Less than a mile from home I was beginning to lose hope, but eventually spied another rider going in the opposite direction. I wasn't positive he saw me, but I ventured out a wave with my left arm...

And He Waved Back!!!!!

It was one of those manly sorts of waves, just a simple extension of the left arm without even a pointed finger. But it worked.

Big Grin!

Huge Friggin' Grin!