Bus Driver Jim has been an eclectic computer programmer and photographer since the early seventies. A recent twenty year stint in the transportation industry has earned him the handle and this blog is a documentary of his life and travels.
My niece Catherine married my friend Dave yesterday. Steph and I attended and were privileged to sit front row. We had a great time and the dinner was terrific!
The after party was going down in the barn there at Moose Creek Ranch but we decided to leave it to the kids and simply went home.
Perhaps my best contribution to the wedding was that I shot a video of the ceremony from the front row with my camera poised on my knee. Dave bungled the mike and flubbed his lines magnificently! Towards the end, god gave a visual blessing…
Click on the photo below to show all 48 shots and a video of the ceremony. (SlideShow)
There’s a new little house popping up on Short Street that’s using straw bales for insulation. According to the ladies doing the build, straw is just inedible stubble, left over from crops. It’s hollow and dry, as opposed to hay, which makes it an insanely great insulator. The word on the street is they’re going to seal everything up with concrete.
My niece Catherine’s twin brother Brian put together a great dinner tonight for the family and wedding party in advance of tomorrows big wedding at Moose Creek Ranch. The participants got to practice their moves and the boys from Forage catered the meal. This was Brian’s wedding present to Dave and Catherine. Well done nephew!
There were family members here that I haven’t seen in decades and new ones I had the pleasure of meeting. Tomorrow should be a great wedding day!
Click the photo below to show all 16 shots or run the SlideShow
I was unwinding from a long day after a great hottub, finally back to work and preparing for a four day weekend with my nieces wedding events run amok when Steph yelled at me from the front yard about a mushroom.
The afternoon drenching thunderstorms had spawned some cool mushrooms in the yard so I went out and played around with macro mode on my new camera.
Here’s some eclectic photos accumulated over the last few weeks. This opening shot was taken while navigating downtown Portland recently at rush hour. The others were taken from my backyard while acquiring a little space. As to the last shot, when Steph can grab one that doesn’t make me look morbidly obese, I’ll share it.
I laid over in our state capitol yesterday. I wasn’t in the mood to drive much further and downtown Boise is great. After settling in to probably my last motel of the summer, I went for a walk.
The city is very reflective and it has a beer bar that caters to the legislative crowd. I spotted an intense guy there that looked like Anthony Weiner and noticed that they carry our local made beer. The bartender asked for my beer preference and I told him I don’t drink beer. Yeah, right he said, what do you want, whiskey? No, I replied, vodka and water. He rolled his eyes and gave me what I asked for. Damn beer snobs anyway…
Click the photo below to show all 28 shots or run the SlideShow
Riley, Jess and I all departed their house around the same time Monday morning. They went to work, and I continued my obscene second summer vacation in a row, heading south. My goal was the Tillamonk Oregon rest area off Hwy 101 by sunset but I had way too much time in between so I drove to Salem, OR.
This town was on my list of places in Oregon to check out and after a few hours of cruising around I’ve determined it’s just another giant strip mall. Now aren’t you glad I’m out here doing the hard evaluation work so you don’t have to!
I left there early afternoon and told Tomi to take me to Tillamonk. We arrived to rain and a roaming cell connection. I knew Oregon was not one of my Silverstar Seven States but I could still get a phone call if one occurred, and man did one occur!
I got the vacation call of death from my co-worker Karen yelling at me over the roar of her bus asking me when I was coming back to work? School starts Wednesday and rides are starting to stack up quicker than we thought. I was shooting for the day after Labor Day to come back…
She was actually quite gracious and said she could handle it until I got back. Yea, that’s bus driver speak that means get your ass back here, now!
I’m not one to submit to pressure but I’m currently sitting in a rest area along the Columbia River writing this post several hours after her call. That means that I said screw this rain and drove through Portland at rush hour to get here before sunset. Hey, Portland rush hour was on my bucket list!
My destination tomorrow is good old Boise. I have a favorite motel there with internet and with cell connection since I’m back in Idaho.
Update: Tomorrow is today and I’m posting this from my motel room…
As the evening wound down last night, Riley suggested we run to Fred Meyer for some microwavable pulled pork to make sandwiches. As we drove the short run I was struck by how the pace has changed in my old stomping ground. It’s much faster, the energy is higher and the diversity of the inhabitants is striking.
We parked quickly and efficiently in a parking lot I’ve parked slowly at over the years. This was a stop for my old Shopper Shuttle buses and I spent many a years bonuses buying Christmas gifts here.
The walk to the meat department was rapidly paced and the checkout was electronic and without human intervention. In what seemed mere seconds we were driving out the main entrance.
That’s when I saw her. A woman in her thirties was sitting there with a large sign and a child by her side. The sign was descriptive but all I could make out was I need help!. As we sped out to the main road she made eye contact with me and I saw a woman who once had a life and now has none.
It struck me how much of this I’ve seen here on this trip. A lump formed in my throat and my eyes welled up as I told Riley that if someone sat on a corner in my small town with a sign like that, a hundred people would swoop down on her to find out what’s up, and help her out!
I obviously live in a completely different reality…
Riley and Jessica drove the old man to Seattle today for some fun, food and fotos. It was great to be a passenger as opposed to being the driver, and the back seat of their new KIA ain’t a bad place to approach the city.
We hit the market first along with the crafts sprawl that extends down from Pike Place in the summer. An elevator dropped us down to the waterfront where we had lunch next to the new Ferris Wheel.
I trimmed 210 shots down to 40 and created a photoset which you can view by clicking on the photo below, or just dive into the SlideShow.
Riley and I went to Alki Beach in West Seattle today. The original plan was to take the Water Taxi but I wanted to show Tomi and Jill off so we trucked it to the beach under GPS guidance. Tomi took us the back way and I was very pleased with her!
The place was crazy and crowded which was as to be expected on a perfect August Saturday. We cruised the beach and had a pricey lunch at Dukes.
The first photos in this set were shot under full zoom, on tripod, from the Alki shoreline. Not bad for a point and shoot :-) That bowl of stuff at the end was the exotic lobster chowder I’d already dug into.
Here’s a video we created later on down at Saltwater State Park:
After watching the Seahawks kick Green Bay’s ass we headed out to a local sports bar so Riley could attempt to impress me with his new cue stick. The first place we went to had decent tables but the rap music blaring from the jukebox was horrible. After hearing the expression for doing the bouncy with your mom (or somebody’s mom, I don’t know how that works) for the umpteenth time we knew it was time to move on.
Besides, a 23 year old pool shark had talked her way into our game and we were feeling crowded. It’s funny I remember her age but not her name :-) We ditched her when she went for a smoke.
The next place we found was a down home local place with crappy tables. Oh well, it’s the father/son bonding time that counts :-) btw: his new cue stick works very well!
I grabbed a strong cup of convenience store coffee this morning, next door to the scantily clad Barista that Wendy recommended and drove to the Green River to watch the sun rise. The days of looking for bodies down there are long over since Ridgeway’s in solitary now, but it’s still a great place to plan a day.
I’m hanging out with Riley at his house for the Seahawks game tonight which gave me and my GPS Tomi the day to enjoy my old stomping grounds. The fun involves telling her where I want to go and then ignore her directions and take back-roads that I learned years ago which forces her to re-calculate madly. She’s a quick learner and once I turned her voice off I didn’t have to listen to her bitch about it. (Hmmm…)
It’s been a decade since I was a paratransit supervisor here, chasing down drivers and wrecks, but the place comes back to me naturally. It feels like home even though it no longer is.
Betty, Tori and I pulled out of our driveway at 0200 this morning. My truck was loaded down with the girls luggage, Tori’s games, Betty’s walker, my camping equipment, a large cooler full of sandwiches with drinks and enough padding for the little one in the back area to win an egg dropping contest.
I had serious concerns about the mountain passes but we flew over them easily. Fourteen and a half hours later with some fun adventures along the way we rolled into Betty’s driveway and were greeted by the clan. People delivered, truck lightened and as I camp out in Betty’s back forty now, my poor body is still vibrating.
What’s all this got to do with the blue braid Wendy grew out of the back of her head with her own hair that she just shared with me? Everything…
We share our space with multidimensional entities that sometimes present themselves as demons, and I met one back in the early seventies on the second floor of an apartment on College Avenue in Berkeley California. Religious folks refer to them as devils and have invented rituals known as exorcisms to chase them off. The truth is, you have to kick their ass on an individual level to gain multidimensional respect, and then they leave you alone.
I was taking a nap one afternoon in the back bedroom of an apartment I shared with a couple of friends. I was slowly waking up and I heard my friends talking in the living room, when I was suddenly attacked.
There has been much written about that space between asleep and awake. It’s a place where dimensions can connect, it may just be a soft good morning wish from a loved one on the other side or it could be so much more. That particular afternoon a small black demon tried to kill me.
The experience was so bizarre, a dark entity about four feet tall was attacking me and I started screaming and defending myself but my friends never heard me. I had shifted into a dimension where I was still here but fighting for my life there. The battle raged for a good minute and I ultimately won (obviously), but I’ve never forgotten it and it changed the way I view what we call life!
Here’s some shots that have been accumulating on my desktop over the last month of traveling around locally. I’m taking off on my last adventure of the summer shortly so I figured I’d share them with you before the next round of photo madness starts.