Happy Birthday, Nebraska. Time to look to the future.

March 1, 2017

Happy Birthday Nebraska!!!

150 years is a long time. Longer than any human has ever lived. You have a fascinating history that began before President Andrew Johnson signed the proclamation in 1867, creating the 37th state in the nation.

The land was here eons before the first people arrived 8-12,000 years ago. Even though the land was filled with precious resources, including the most precious – water, this was not the easiest place to live. Even water can be fickle. .. There are often floods, while at other times there can be droughts that will leave the soil so parched that it blows away in the wind. Not to mention the tornadoes and blizzards! It is no wonder that the entire region remained sparsely populated.

Things were starting to change about the time you achieved statehood. Some of those changes weren’t pretty. It is difficult for me to describe the way the native tribes were treated. They were already competing for resources with other tribes that had been forced westward from their ancestral lands. They were being rounded up and isolated so that homesteaders could move in. The buffalo were systematically slaughtered in an apparent attempt at genocide. (Honestly, the details are too tragic for me to focus on for long.)

Those first homesteaders didn’t have it easy either. .. Those pesky droughts wiped out crops. ,, There were no resources to build homes, so they made them out of sod. .. Then the railroads came and things really started to change.

Although still discriminated against, the natives were eventually recognized as “people”. With the trains, came lumber to build homes and cities. This was still the time before plumbing, sewers, and electricity, but those would soon follow.

Governments would be formed and political parties would also start to lay claim to stakes. Our nation would continue to grow, expand and, after a couple of wold wars, come to lead the world.

I am, of course, leaving out so much. (The civil rights era comes to mind.) Dams and highways were build. Rivers were dredged and tamed. We became a place called the Heartland, America’s breadbasket.

A century and a half ago, no one could have foreseen the changes that would occur and lead Nebraska to becoming the place that I am proud to call “home”. — Now would be a good time to take stock of what we have here, and look at the way things might change in the future.

I can’t be the only one who has noticed the weather the last few years. .. Sure, we’ve still had the floods and tornadoes and other storms, but overall I think that things are becoming very nice here. .. I almost call it the New California. .. If this keeps up, others will want to move here as the weather becomes even more volatile elsewhere.

I don’t think any of us can see or plan 150 years into the future, but maybe just look a third of that. .. What will things be like in the latter half of the 21st century? How would you like them too look? .. The climate is changing. Both environmental and political. .. The new technology that allowed us to make this state great will continue to advance along with our knowledge of nature and geography.

How do we want transportation to look in 50 years? Where should we get our energy from? How do we want to provide social services? How can we prepare for disasters and emergency services? – These are just a few of the questions we should be asking ourselves and each other as we prepare for the challenges ahead.

These are just a few of my thoughts.
Once again, Happy birthday, Nebraska.

From 50 years ago.

Thank you for reading.

Histories Mysteries

Actually there is no mystery. Not really. It’s just bits and pieces that are coming together rapidly. Like a lot in one day. The funny thing is, I’m not entirely sure why I want to know this stuff; pieces of which I’m sure are hidden in mediocre history books.

I’ve known these places my whole life. And it’s nothing too grand really. Just a lot of different things and subjects came up today. I will focus on the pics I took, but I’ve also seen “historical” pictures of a peony farm so now I know how Peony Park got it’s name. .. And I saw a photo of a tunnel that I riding under as a little kid. There were once many such tunnels. Only one is still there. .. It just hit me today how artificial they were/are. Those tunnels were for the railroad, and I can even tie that into where I took some photo’s today. (sorta)

The sun was blinding today. At least it was out. It felt almost warmish in the mid afternoon, but the temps were slowly falling. (From upper to lower 20’s.) I knew that my first destination would have some old trees. Probably some interesting ones too. After I dropped off my passenger, I drove up the hill and parked next to one of those state historical markers. There are several of them.

This is Fort Omaha. Now mostly a community college where I not too long ago considered taking truck driving classes It is the North Omaha campus.

Crook House

It housed General and Mrs. Crook
(Built in 1879, it is now a museum.)
**Fun Fact** Nebraska (supposedly) has the highest number of museums per capita of any state.

I thought about taking a picture of the marker, but it was too bright. Plus it’s easy to find online. Just reading the marker gave me much to think about.

“Indians”. Historically, that’s how they are known. .. The plaque mentioned that General Crook was “respected by the Indians as a man of honor.” .. Ok. I’ll just show the public domain pic. It’s interesting.

The plaque says a lot, yet it leaves out even more.

It leaves out that General Crook met with Standing Bear when he and some other Ponca Indians were being held on trumped up charges. Standing Bear (Who took his case to U.S. District Court where it was decided in “Standing Bear v. Crook”. that Native Americans were “persons within the meaning of the law”.

Someday I’ll get pics of Standing Bear Lake.
The Post Civil Way Military really has some fascinating history out here.

I also thought about “Fort Crook Road”. That’s the old Hwy 75. (The new one is the JFK.) Railroad tracks run between those parallel roads. It wasn’t always populated between these area. .. Hey. You don’t suppose….. ? What is Fort Crook? .. It’s now Offutt Air Force Base.

Go figure. There are lots of open spaces on this campus, where the Navy and Marines still have offices, but it is mostly museums and the college campus.

Oh. The Crook House is built in the Italianate style. .. Fort Omaha housed Italian prisoners during World War Two.

There are wide open spaces.

Balloon testing and training was done here about 1908. They moved it after determining that Omaha didn’t have good weather for the program.

It was bright. I had to keep moving.
So many other names words and large areas of town came up in my followup research to these pics.

They are all pieces in time.

Thank you for reading.

The Great Tree Study Begins
Posted:Dec 10, 2015 9:57 pm
Last Updated:Dec 11, 2015 1:00 am
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I started pulling out my phone’s camera today.
Maybe “started” isn’t quite right. I took a pic yesterday and I had the whole garden and flower series before and everything.
I now have ‘issues’ with my phone, but that is a couple of paragraphs that I don’t feel like getting into at the moment.
The camera still works!

I stopped on the other side of Fontenelle Park today.
There are trees there of all ages. I believe this is an older one.

I am guessing that this is a cottonwood. I am fairly confident.
I wish I knew 100%. lol
—– —– —–
Turning just a bit there is a stand of those Beech trees I’ve been mentioning.

Not sure about the ‘V’ shaped one. I’ll guess deformed cottonwood.
I do see cottonwoods behind them, and evergreens in the distance.This is just one corner of the park.

I was in a brand new parking area.
**I’m gonna skip the “side notes” about the area for now.**
Ducks were swimming in the pond, and some geese were waddling in my direction on the other side of me.
(I did skip out on getting closer because of the area I was in.) Plus I had work to do.

It’s a big park that used to be a small golf course.
—–
Not much later, I dropped off some laundry passengers and I noticed a magnificent example of a beech tree.
I was close and pulled into an alley so I could get a pic.

I knew the light and sky would were showing this as best possible.

(The whole framing of trees in photographs is tricky.)
Remember, I’m just an amateur. lol

And my mind is off to the races again.
Are these really “Beech” trees?

Yeah, pretty sure they are. Although I remember calling them/knowing them as something else.

Adding to my confusion is this little ditty I found while searching for the other name..
“Interesting Facts

You won’t see a lot of Beech trees in urban environments. The species doesn’t like city living, as the carbon monoxide robs it of its natural beauty.

Another interesting fact about the Beech tree is its role in 19th century England. Back then, the oil from the tree was used for cooking and to fuel lamps. The tree’s fruit was also ground to make flour, though only after the slightly toxic tannins were leached out.
Oh, and a different reference to 5′-7′ tall trees. Um, these are tall.

The local trees do have a nice, smooth bark. But the tops are white. I wonder if that’s from the carbon monoxide?

Now I’m drifting off into speculation.

This is part of my “study”.
I use that term loosely. I don’t expect to learn anything that someone, somewhere doesn’t already know. I am not embarking on groundbreaking research.

But I have decided to make this my interest. My non-life endeavor, if you will. (Although it is all about LIFE!)
It is something to keep my mind occupied and from dwelling on the other “realities” that are around us all.

I would really like to write a paper, or a book.
I have written papers in college (and 20+ years ago, I was surprised by how good I was at it) but I have never written a “research paper”. I am not sure what that entails, but am suddenly curious.

I say “book” because in my unique adventure, I also want to look at the history of the city of Omaha.
Just thinking about the locations of where I took my photos today, I can note that once upon a time they were the same area. (Perhaps just over a mile apart.) .

I do know a lot about Omaha’s history, but my knowledge is far from comprehensive.

This could get interesting.

(I hope it does!)

Writing in a daily diary-blog format has become second nature to me here. .. Writing out all that I know in a single piece is currently beyond my capabilities.

I wish I could walk/drive around. Following the saplings to their elders. Looking at their struggles along the way.
But I do have to keep this roof over my head. (and Guapo’s too) . I need to keep food in our bellies.
So I will continue the adventure/research/writings and other shenanigans as always.

Hopefully learning just a little bit along the way.

Thank you for reading.

..

Nothing in Common

CultFit

Sometimes I feel I have nothing in common with anyone.
I shamble through the day, dragging my knuckles in the grass,
and each new hour with each new person is a cliff I can’t climb —

yet I know I’m alive now — inside a song as deep as forever,
that stretches to the infinite future and the bottomless past,
connecting every place I’ve lived or nearly died —

and I shouldn’t worry so much about losing what’s most precious,
my simian balance, shaggy fur, bold fleas,
my plentiful fingers and opposable thumbs,

and my curious, glowing, ape-like eyes that still shine
with radiant chaos, wondrous animal calm,
and so much love, for everyone.

Freya Manfred

CultFit Common

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Life: Turned upside down, then righted again

This is my first original post for this blog.  I find myself up late with insomnia.  The CWS is now over and that was great for business. (I’m a cab driver.)

Two months ago, on May 1st (my parent’s 42nd anniversary) my life was turned upside down.  My mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It was devastating to say the least.  I made the mistake of Googling her condition.  The outlook was terrible!  Even with the best treatment she likely had less than two years to live. 😦  She’s only 64!

Surgery followed.  The family got closer.  Dad really stepped up. (He was the one to made her see a doctor because he noticed a change.  And he admitted that he wouldn’t have noticed a change in her hair style unless she told him. lol)

She made a remarkable recovery after having a mass the size of a small lemon removed from her brain.  Still, family duties needed to be transferred.  Her sister stepped up to the plate when it came to caring for her elderly parents.  (My grandparents.  In the midst of all this, grandpa celebrated his 90th birthday with a big gathering.  He has had Parkinson’s for two decades and is clinging on to life to care for Grandma who isn’t “all there” anymore.)

Prayers were made and answered.  Mom is still surprised by the outpouring of support she’s gotten. (I’m not.  She deserves every little bit, and more!)

The recovery has been slow.   We took a fresh set of family photos before she started her chemo/radiation treatments.   More pathology was done on the tumor.

That’s where the news got better.  Just last week she was reporting that the cancer wasn’t likely to spread and that the treatments she’s getting are effective.  She’s even looking forward to driving again, someday!

But the chemo is starting to take it’s toll. 😦  She’s weak, but she’s a fighter.  I’ve told her that I can get her “special” (not legal) “medicine”, but she’s against that so far.

This whole experience has transformed my outlook on life.  I have so much more going on that I document daily in my “other blog”, but I’m getting tired of keeping up with that place.
I could have copied the post(s) from there, but I wanted to make a fresh start.

I think I might be able to get to sleep now.  Thanks for taking the time to read.

My posts from the last few days……

Even A Dull day Can Still Have Some Good Stories Nov 14, 2012 1:58 am
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Today’s unexpected wake-up call came at 11:15am. That’s not bad. At least I got my eight hours. … It was the landlord telling me he was coming by with another plumber and would be here within a half hour. He said I didn’t need to be here, but I told him I would be.

Guappo wasn’t too happy about having strangers in the house. (He never is.) He hides right away. … Finally it seemed like they were taking the right approach. Running the water upstairs to find the source of the leak. But it wasn’t leaking. Something about the pipes didn’t sound right. I was thinking that the landlord was running the water in the wrong apartment! .. Yeah, he was. They were both outside when it started to leak and I stepped out and they asked “now?” .. “Yep!”. The plumber never came back in. (Maybe he thought I was kookie talking to my cat, but he couldn’t see it. lol)

While I was still waiting an ungodly amount of time for my first order, the landlord came in to let me know the plan. I remember hearing “Friday morning”. My bed will have to be put up. (Actually that feels harder than it likely will be.) .. He was talking about tearing out a huge part of the ceiling! Why? There’s nothing there. (It took him a bit, but he soon figured that out.)

But the rest of the wall around the sewer pipe will have to be torn out. Again, I don’t understand why. (Unless he just wants to rebuild that section of wall so it looks decent. He did talk about “boxing in” that section of pipe.) Yet it seems that he’s planning on replacing the entire sewer line. It’s cast iron! it looks solid and I don’t understand why this is such a major job. (To me, it seems simple to just fix the drains upstairs. That’s where the leak is.) Whatever. I’m not a plumber.

Later in the afternoon, I pulled into the driveway and saw the landlord talking to a neighbor that I guess is the house handyman. He’ll be doing the tear-out tomorrow. I told him I usually sleep until 11 or 12 and he said he’d be by after then. (It’s his apartment that leaks.) Ok, so hopefully I won’t get an early morning surprise on Friday, but I’m still going to be as ready as I can.

Anyway…. My first order looked sorta good at first. Talking a senior from an assisted living place all the way to South Omaha. (A decent trip, even at the “senior rate”.) Well, she wasn’t really going to South O. Just to a nearby Family Dollar. (min trip) She asked if I could pick her back up at a set time. (She was talking something like 4pm, several hours from then.) I politely told her she could call dispatch.

I made it back home for more than 45 minutes. (again) Having been only second in line I didn’t expect to wait that long. And guess what? … My next order was her return trip. **sigh** Although this time she gave me an extra $5 (a 100% tip!) “for me”. (Yep, sometimes it pays to be helpful and friendly. )

Another long wait and I got an order talking a girl to the telemarketing place I spent literally YEARS working at. (It was my first real job.) I sure don’t miss that place.

On my way back I was elated to get another order before I got home. Even it if was barely a min trip. It was a delayed-pick-up LFS run and the lady came out with her baby right away even though I pulled up early.

I made it home again and got my next order soon after the early (4:00) news started. I pulled up and the guy (who’s a regular) canceled. .. That does leave me ‘first up’. I was in front of a now very long line. Yet it took until Jeopardy was almost over for my next order to come in.

That one was a bit odd. Set for a 5pm pick-up, yet I can’t wait around, because the pick-up is 10 minutes away. I call when I get there. No answer. I wait a few minutes and a man calls me back. (A man’s name was on the order.) He say’s that he’ll “be right out”. But a lady came out instead. Whatever!

We get to the destination. (a house) and she tells me that she just needs to grab something and then wants to go to Taco John’s. .. “Sure”. I started the timer on the meter. .. After another dollar had clicked off she came out and had another ride. “Ok.” She was a bit short on exact change, but I didn’t really care. It was still an extra buck for me.

I get another order right away! I was expecting a LFS run, but it was just a hospital voucher. (another min trip) Or so I thought.

I pulled up to the hospital and saw a lady approaching with a suitcase. I confirmed it was her then put the suitcase in the trunk. (It was empty.)

She then told me she had another voucher to take her from the house to Amtrak. She asked if I could wait 20 minutes while she packed? “Um, that’s a long time during rush hour. We’ll see…”

After telling her that the trains are NEVER on time, she changed her request. Suddenly she would just load everything right away and pack it at the station. .. “Ok.”

I was in for more than I bargained for. i got the impression that she had been kicked out of the house. Everything was on an enclosed porch and the door was opened once, but she didn’t go in. There were lots of (already tearing) trash bags, plenty of cloth grocery bags, a few backpacks and a box.

The trunk was packed. So was the back seat and the box went in the front seat. Barely enough room left for her. She wanted to stop at a store, and then changed her mind because another store wold have her smokes cheaper. Whatever. (It’s an unauthorized stop on the voucher, but it’s pretty much on the way. I just can’t charge for the time.)

She started making calls, trying to get people to just come and sit with her. She was worried about being at the train station by herself. After getting shot down, she asked me if I would stay with her if she gave me some oxycodone. I instinctively replied right away, “I can’t.” Those are good pills. The last time I took them was when I had all my teeth taken out. They’ll make you forget any pain and will usually put you to sleep. But I just can’t. I know better. I did try to reassure her that the train station isn’t in a bad part of town. (It’s not that bad and is well lit.) … She’d also asked me if I wanted a beer, but I just said that I can’t drink “on the clock”.

It was kinda rough seeing someone who seemed to be on a downward spiral. I don’t know any details, but I can just tell. Eventually I think her friend agreed to meet her at the station. (There was no way all that stuff could go with her on a train.)

When I left her at the station, I had already been in line for another order for 15 minutes. (I completed out the order as soon as the cab was loaded. I had finished the ordered trip.) I had moved from seventh to sixth in line. (A bit long of a line for the late hour. I’m sure other drivers were hanging on late because of the slow day.)

After almost two hours, I checked on my ‘status’. Still third. Then, two minutes later I had an order. . Surprise! lol .. Another regular. This time it’s from NCHS. (Nebraska Children’s Home Society) A delayed order for a 7:30 pick-up. I figured it would be my last trip of the day.

I pulled up along with four other cabs. The woman even said “I always get you!” .. “It sure seems that way.” (The orders are assigned randomly, and I was wishing I’d gotten a better trip, but glad it wasn’t worse.)

I took a moment after completing the order to fill out some paperwork. (Having to do with taking the lady to Amtrak. It needs to be logged on my “trip sheet”. Just to be all ‘legal’ and stuff.)

Plus I need to wait a few seconds before booking back into my ‘home zone’ for what would basically be my drive home for the night. … Good thing I waited! (Well, now I was going to miss a show, but money needs to come first. ) I got an order picking up from a bar and heading to a (kinda) South O address.

It was an older gentleman, but I didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt and ran it at the regular rate. Just like my first call, I confirmed the address; but unlike my first call it was correct! (Well, sort of. he was going to go to a bar across the street from his house for one last drink. .. No problem.)

He gave me a 10% tip for $21 total. That made it so I at least “broke even” on the day. (Doubling my gross from yesterday. )

On the way home I stopped for gas. (I was going to put it off until tomorrow, but why be so lazy. ) Another cabbie as at the gas station and I heard him say “So where’s the next good fare?” .. I said that I didn’t know, but I’d just had my best one of the week! .. He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to his dog that was in his cab. (So I guess he was done working.) … We did get to talking and he was kinda relieved to not be the only one who is getting frustrated with how slow business has been this week.

When I got back into my cab, I saw that I’d been logged out. That was a surprise. I guess I missed an order. Maybe there was some late evening business, but I was done for the day. … Go figure: I was more tired after doing very little than I would have been if I had run nonstop.

Aw crap, there’s more, but this is getting long and it’s getting late. Basically my neighbor started texting, then he called. I could tell he was drunk. He had a story about how a cabbie had just pulled a gun on him! (He was pissed that neither dispatch nor the police could or would do anything about it.) .. I’m sure there’s more to it. Whatever. He’s two weeks late from the last time he said he would pay me the bill and a half he owes me. (I kinda need it, but figured it would be pointless to bring it up.) I was just relieved that he didn’t want a ride.

He asked if I wanted a steak, and I said that I already had my teeth out for the night, so he’ll bring me one in the morning. He’s off tomorrow. He’d better not wake me up.

It’s not even midweek yet.

Thanks for reading.

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So, um… Monday Was A Big Let Down. Nov 13, 2012 1:35 am
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Where was this pic on Friday?

Mbc didn’t call today, until 12:15pm. 15 minutes late. He asked for a 1:30 pick-up instead of his usual 1:00. I didn’t mind the extra 15 minutes of sleep or the extra 15 minutes to get ready. But it was an extra half hour before I’d get started. (That likely mattered little today.)

Nothing special about today. I took him to the jeweler downtown where he was going to check on a watch, then went to the office. I didn’t owe as much as last week, but still a lot.

I got out of there and came home for a modest breakfast. I had wanted to keep my eye on ‘the board’ to know what was going on, but that didn’t work. … When I first looked, it seemed slow. Then at the office there weren’t any cabs waiting, so maybe there was brisk business. (NOT. It must have been a fluke.) After breakfast there was a small line again, and I waited for more than an hour for my first order. (I could have been thrift store shopping!)

Sure enough, that order was from coffee guy. It was supposed to be a “wait and return”, but ended up being just a one way trip to Quick Trip. .. Then I headed to the Salvation Army Thrift store, hoping that it was open. It was!

I wanted jeans, but the selection was crap. Plenty if I had a 40″ waist, but I’m only a 36″. (I should be a 32″ or even 30.) I can just picture people dieing because of their weight because there’s so many HUGE pants available.

I did find a pair of cotton pants that fit and a pair of uni-bomber shades for 99 cents. So that trip wasn’t for nothing. There was another Mexican thrift store nearby, but I had moved up to first in line. (I was glad that I hadn’t missed an order by making the stop. )

It took forever to get my next order. An Er Voucher. (Sadly, my best trip of the day.) The passenger asked who was playing on the radio? . Um, Metallica. She said she liked it, but come on. How do you not know Metallica?

I waited a long while for my next call. That came from Chinese restaurant guy. Then I was first up and only had to wait 20 minutes for my last order which came from a regular hospital employee.

Yay for TV shows. there are only a few episodes of “Revolution” left in the Season. (Even fewer for “Grimm”. ) It’s getting to the point where I can take or leave the sitcoms. (Although I’ll always love watching them.)

So now Tomorrow might be busy, even though Tuesday’s are normally the slowest. .. It’s just to cold for me to take my trash out now. I’m gonna take a chance and hope that it’s delayed because of the holiday. (I doubt it.) But I saw that the cans were full a few days ago, and this isn’t “my” week and neither is the next. I think it’s time for the neighbors to step up.

The rest of the week can only be better!

Thanks for reading.

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You’re Gonna Card ME For Wine. Seriously? Nov 12, 2012 4:06 am
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I’m not gonna rake, but I do have to sweep my stairs again after the winds of the last few days.

I’m also hoping that the last, late mowing took care of most of the leaves on the lawn. It looked so good two years ago. Then is wasn’t raked last Fall and that led to lawn damage in the Spring. (Compounded by the leaves being put in black garbage bags and left on the lawn. ) Follow that with a brutal summer and… well the the lawn is probably toast anyway.

Today was nice. The sun was shining and with the furnace blasting I can’t even feel the cold that I know is outside. I was out fo bed at 2:30. That’s pretty good. Two and a half hours ’til dinner.

It’s never enough time. I caught the end to a bunch of football games, some sports recaps, then settled on a rerun of “Shark Tank” as I got in shower.

Out the door about 5pm, I felt the bitter cold. (It was about freezing temp.) Somehow I didn’t feel the heated seat. (I know it works, because it got accidentally turned on several weeks ago and I was wondering why my back felt like it was burning up. It took me a few seconds to figure it out.)

I get a block away from home, and THAT’S WHEN I REMEMBER… The pile of grocery bags. Too late now. I’m already late. Oh well, it’s not like they’re going anywhere. There’s always next week.

It sure seemed quite at my parent’s house tonight. “Don’t jinx it”, my mom said. My oldest nephew was in a pouty mood. It looked like he was busy doing homework at the dining room table. (The table I remember not only eating at, but doing homework as well. They’ve had that green Formica table for as long as I can remember. .. Even before there was a dining room.)

Dinner was simple. Some sort of roast beef that I could tell had been cooked in a crock pot. There were buns, barbeque sauce and mashed potatoes. I made a sandwich and took some extra to mix with the potatoes.

I told the story about the bat. That was my excitement for the past week. Everybody else seemed kinda drained. This is a super busy time of year. (I’ve noticed this on a few blogs too.) The holidays are approaching. School in in full gear. This coming week is the last ‘normal’ week before the “holiday season” begins. And everyone has a busy one planned.

Little sis is gonna be off for her monthly trip to NYC, that was delayed by ‘Sandy’. She’s gonna break “company policy” by leaving at 2pm on Wed or Thur. (She’s supposed to work until at least then.) That’s just the way the flights worked out. she says that they can just “deal with it” because she wasn’t able to get out of her December trip, like she’d hoped to do.

I can tell that my dad thinks that she’s overly concerned with his health. He’s fine. (Or at least that’s what he’s telling everybody.) But she still wants to know every little detail. … I guess I can see where their both coming from. But really…. Let the man be.

It didn’t run late tonight. There was a football game still on as we were leaving. My mom asked if she had heard that my VCR had died. “No, but it’s on it’s last leg. (Has been for some time now.) It should be recording this, instead of the cartoons that were supposed to be on.” .. She called me as I was parking at Wal*Mart, to tell me that “Homer” was on the TV now, and that Family Guy (which she’s told me she “doesn’t get”) would be shown in it’s entirety, if I knew what that meant. (I did.) “Thanks.” That was the only reason she’d called. Silly mom. lol

Burr, it was cold! I didn’t want to leave the car to run to the door. (Should have worn a jacket.) But I made it in. First stop, after picking out a cart is the blood pressure station. Time for my weekly check. .. I think the running threw it off and I had to run it twice. (Eh, the numbers weren’t the best. One side improved and the other went the wrong direction. ) Maybe I should run just a few feet every day. (It would be a start and would get my heart rate (which is too high already ) up for just a bit. Makes sense to me! I could just run to and from my mail box every day. It would be a start.

What to buy? The usual staples, of course. But I’ll need something to eat later. I tell myself that money and “healthiness” shouldn’t be an issue. (Sunday has always been my “cheat day”. Not that I’ve been focusing too much on my diet lately.) I wanted some cheddar-jalapeno poppers. I’ve been craving them for a while. I used to get then in a $1 box. those haven’t been stocked in a while.

I found those in a more expensive TGI-Fridays box. Too much I tried to tell myself. ($5) There’s also a TGI-Fridays chicken fingers that looked good. (also $5) Not wanting to settle on a TV Dinner, I broke down and figured I’d split the boxes into to meals. (I should have read the cooking directions first. lol)

And hey, what’s this? (Near a cooler that had both boxes in it.) Wine samplers! For a buck and a quarter, this might be a way to find out what kind of wine I really like. (Instead of just looking for sweetness and alcohol content, which usually go against each other.)

Well darn it. I knew this would complicate my checkout experience. I had more than 20 items. (30 actually) I tried to find a cashier that looked old enough to ring it up, but didn’t happen. The cashier looked at the bottles and asked if they were “alcohol”. .. “Yes.” She pressed the “help” button and rang up the rest.

The manager that came asked for ID without even looking at me. (Ok, it’s procedure. I understand.) Then she looked at my license and looked back at me. She said it didn’t look like me! .. Ok, the picture was taken in January 2008. My hair was much shorter and I had a goatee instead of a full (now graying) beard. I’ve also gained 40-60 pounds since then.

She still didn’t seem to believe it and it was starting to get the attention of others. COME ON! I’M 40 YEARS OLD! She handed my ID back and someone who seemed to be coming up with an item already purchased just had to have a look at it.

At least they all agreed that I looked “in person” than the picture. (I just wish my face wasn’t so much ’rounder’ nowadays. I don’t miss the goatee.) I also appear pretty pale in the picture.

The funny thing is that people tell me that I looked better in my “work ID photo” than I do now. It was taken about three weeks after I got my drivers license. I guess nobody’s photogenic in a DMV pic.

This reminds me that I need to renew my license in the next few months. It will expire in May. There’s supposed to be a way to do it my mail, but I think that I’ll want to have a new picture taken.

I made it home before the cartoon were over. Then, after putting my groceries away (more of a chore in my mind that in actually is) I settled in to watch Dallas beat Philly. (Neither are my favorite team.)

The news comes on and I soon figured out what I was dealing with when it came to my late dinner. I figured I’d make half the chicken and half the jalapeno poppers at the same time. In the end, it kinda worked. I can do without the BBQ sauce and wish I could just get the nuggets plain. (Much like how I wish I could just get the ‘beer battered chicken fingers’ in a bag without having to buy the whole TV dinner. ) .. And of course the “poppers” don’t have ‘microwave directions’. (They’re best deep fried, but that’s beyond my capability.) … I made it work.

Then Dateline comes on, and that means it’s time to watch “The Simpsons” and “Bob’s Burger’s”. All the while catching up on this weekend’s blogs. .. “Family Guy” starts, and that my cue to stop the VCR and watch an edited version of “Meet the Press”. Then an episode of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”. That’s my Sunday routine.

I’d started writing this by now(then), and caught up with what I’d missed from “Family Guy”, before switching over to the “Up All Night”/”Up To The Minute” overnight news, as I wrap this up. (All a part of what is currently my “Sunday routine”.)

Now it’s time to look at the week ahead. .. .. Although “Veteran’s Day” (Remembrance Day) was ‘officially’ on Sunday, it is being celebrated on Monday here. For me, that means that the bank(s) will be closed and business may be slow. … The weather looks good, with temps moderating just a bit, but this will be the coldest week of the season to date.

I do expect mbc to give me the usual Monday wake-up-call at noon, but can’t be sure. He was pretty wasted the last time I saw him, and he did bring beer home with him. (Not all of those bottles could have broken.) We’ll see.

I do hope to get to a thrift store sometime this week. I was thinking Tuesday, but if Monday is slow then that will be a better time. .. I’m also hoping to ask someone out this week.

Here’s wishing everybody a happy and productive week ahead!
And as always, I………
Thank you for reading.

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A Sudden Change Of Season Nov 11, 2012 6:00 am
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A pretty picture

for some Sunday inspiration.

The usual start for a Saturday. Noon. I’m in bed, half asleep and waiting for it. “Ring” — It takes a ring or three for me to find the green ‘answer’ button. “Can (or will) you come get me at 2:45?” .. “Sure thing!” .. “Click” .. 12 seconds … And it’s back to sleep for two more hours.

The alarm goes off. I get up. Feed the cat. Turn on the laptop. (Goog1e tells me it’s in the mid 70’s. No flannel for now.) Skip the coffee today. I get dressed watching the beginning of the game. Grab some fruit bars and the leftover (from yesterday, flat and watered down) soda cup plus the rest of my necessary gear (sans tablet for this trip) and make it out the door at 2:45. (I had watched Penn State score a touchdown on their first drive.) Late already, as usual.

Mbc doesn’t mind. He’s used to it. (He started it years ago, when he used to ask to be picked up between 2:45 and 3:00. ) He got in the cab and asks how the game is going? “Well, we just got held to a field goal and are behind 7-3.” But it’s just started.

We make our usual stop at Walgreens. I see that the ‘bell ringers’ are out already. (I guess there is less than two weeks left until Thanksgiving.) I went in to buy the newspaper that I’ll read for the next week. (It stays in the cab.) Good thing too, because my pre-election paper is old news. … The game goes on.

Before dropping him off, he tells me that his girl may want to come over. So I take it slow as I drive away and wait for the call. It came before I was downtown again, so i made a U-turn and went to bring her to his house.

She asks to be picked back up between 8:30 and 8:45. (That drives mbc nuts and he makes it 8:30.) (He asked was was best for me, but it doesn’t matter.) She often decides to leave early anyway and today would be no exception.

I grabbed another “cheddar/bacon/onion” from McD’s (for breakfast) on the way home. Sitting in the drive-thru, looking at the gas station across the street, I thought I should have stopped for gas first. Oh well. I wasn’t “pushing it” yet.

Back home I end up focused on the game as I was responding to comments. At Halftime it didn’t look good. Penn State was on a roll. … The next thing I know, I look outside and see that the sky is dimming! It’s 5pm already. .. I dropped everything and grabbed a lawn bag and put on some garden gloves.

I’d swear I felt a few rain drops falling from the clear sky above. The winds were high, and I didn’t have a full view of the sky. It didn’t take long to tear up my garden. I went a step farther than last year and took the leaves out of the garden too. (I’d left them last year, in the hopes that they’d mulch and keep out the weeds. Well, they did keep out the weeds, but made spring planting a more difficult.)

Back inside, I watched as we somehow pulled off yet another second half comeback. .. Ok, there was a crucial “bad call” in our favor, but there’s no telling if that made the game.

I signed into work about 6pm, but it wasn’t long before my phone rang. Mbc‘s girl wasn’t feeling well and was ready to go home. “I’ll be right there”.

After dropping her off, I had to ‘reject’ an order, because it came in much sooner that expected. I was back in and did get another one well before I got home.

After that I filled up. The receipt didn’t print at the pump so I had to go in for a duplicate and of course I gotta get a hot dog. .. Perfect timing (sort of). I got my next order just as I was getting back to the cab.

This was taking a party from a house to the Slowdown lounge. (A B-circuit music venue.) They were fun! We stopped so one of them could hit up an ATM on the way. He gave me a twenty (big tip ) and took my number.

Sometime later, mbc called again. The DJ had called him and asked him to come out at sing at the bar. (They call him “____ Elvis” there.) .. Giving in to ‘peer pressure’? lol .. He said “no”, but that he would have stayed home if he hadn’t been called. He asked for a 1pm pick-up.

I was on another run (and it had just started to rain for real) when the party called me from the Slowdown. I said I’d be 20-30 minutes, and he said he’d call back after calling dispatch.

He called back right away and said to come. (I took it that he didn’t want to wait “on hold” for dispatch to answer, he called back so fast.) … I showed up 22 minutes after the original call.

Now they almost wanted to stay! A new band had started to play and they thought they might like it. But we were on our way. Stops requested at Taco Bell and Quick Trip. … Taco Bell was slooooow. (I started to worry that I’d left my converter box on the wrong channel to record SNL. . I hadn’t.)

They asked if I wanted anything, and I said I could go for a soft taco. The girl in the front seat said “make it two!”. I ate the first one (it was kinda small) at the Quick Trip, and the other on the way home. (I think that one was a chicken soft taco.) The whole time they were all jamming to the radio. My favorite weekly show had started (House of Hair) and they planned to continue listening at the house! Not only did I get tacos, but another good tip.

I watched the first part of SNL waiting for my next order. It came from a block away and was just a trip to the Old Market. To get out of traffic, so I could run his card, I pulled onto the sidewalk. (Hey, it’s raining, I can’t tell. )

Before I could pull away I was approached by a guy in uniform. He asked how much it would be to go somewhere? I gave a high estimate, and he gave a counter offer. (We’re not supposed to to things this way, but hey.. He’s a serviceman. I accepted.) … Well, the trip wasn’t quite as far as I thought, but would have been about what his offer was.

I made it home again before SNL was over. At least I’d missed “Weekend Update”, so I’d have something to look forward to later.

Then I think the computers went down for about 25 minutes. It was about 12:25 when I got an order that should have been sent out at midnight. Taking a regular home from work. It’s a decent trip, but now I was going to be late picking up mbc. (No big deal, really. It beats taking myself off-line just so I’ll be ‘on-time’.)

He was in rare form tonight. 14 shots, he said. He also had two six packs, and he dropped them and I saw a ton spilling out of the bags. I had to wait for him, because he insisted he wait for him to go inside and get a ten dollar bill.

After that, I trolled around the Old Market for a while, but wasn’t getting anybody. Closing time was approaching and I did take a few more orders from my ‘home zone’.

I was on my way home for the night, when I saw orders in a nearby zone. I kinda didn’t wanna, but didn’t have an excuse. I took a final order. Not a great trip, but successful. He paid with a card then wanted to add a tip after I’d handed him the receipt. I had him put the carbons back together and he added it. When he handed me MY copy, it was upside down! (Oh well, at least his copy is right and it can’t be questioned.) … I really can’t wait until they get the card readers up and running again.

Well, that was pretty much my day. In the books it’s about the same as yesterday, which wasn’t bad. Not as great as last weekend, but oh well. … The outside temperature display on my rear-view mirror displayed the word “ice” for a moment. (Even though it was still reading 37 degrees.) That’s new. Is it trying to scare me? lol

The rain has stopped but it’s below freezing now. I only saw one flash of lightning and thunder. ( I was kinda hoping for something more exciting.) It’s going to be cold for the next few days. (Well, it is almost winter.)

I’m so glad it’s my day off. My big chore, that I’ve been putting off for too long, to accomplish today: Taking the wall full of plastic grocery bags to the recycling box at Wal*Mart.
That’s a “reminder” to myself.

Thanks for reading.

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Driven Bat-Sh*t Crazy! Nov 10, 2012 6:23 am
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Those don’t look so scary.

I only slept until just after noon. I awoke from the second of at least two vivid dreams that I know were inspired by the TV show “Revolution”. (Not the first time that’s happened.) There must be something about that show. And to think, I wasn’t even going to start watching it, because I didn’t believe in the premise.

As usual I took more time than necessary getting ready for work. There’s always one more clip to watch, etc… I do enjoy my Friday afternoons, and I like to be as ready as I can be for a possibly long night.

After a full breakfast I signing into work as Jeopardy was starting at 4:30. “Teacher’s Tournament” It was a mixed surprise that I got to watch it all. On one hand, I don’t mind sitting back and watching my show; and on the other, I’d really like to get out and start making money.

My first call was from none other than coffee guy. Stepping outside at dusk, the air had an ominous feel. Temps were in the mid 60’s and would stay there all night. Clouds would come and go and the humidity was choking. I was getting hot in my flannel. (This isn’t what November should feel like. )

After taking coffee guy home, I made it back home where I got to watch most of the Evening News. … My next order came from a guy I’ve given rides to a couple of times before. This time it was a ‘wait and return’ to Walgreens. On the way there he was on the phone with a friend. (Lots of bitching and moaning. )

At Walgreens, another driver pulled up next to me as he waited on his customer. A short friendly chat. He said he hasn’t taken a day off since February, he likes driving so much. (I thought about asking if that was when he started. I remember being pretty gun-ho for the several when I started. Dang, that seems like a lifetime ago.) He said he was expecting a slow night and a busy one tomorrow. I kinda agreed. Things were off to a slow start, but I was sure that the warm night would bring people out.

On the way taking him home, he kinda unloaded on me. Ex-wife won’t let him see the kids, and shut off all but his electricity. He’s going broke, even resorting to selling plasma when just a few months ago he was a successful bar owner. (Kind of a bit much for me to take in. I remember the first time I saw him. I pulled into his driveway and he came out and gave me a five and said that the “old lady” had finally decided to give him a ride.) I did kinda feel for the guy. There are still kids bikes in his driveway.

He paid me with all ones. He said they came from the bar and he gave me a few extra, because they were all covered with permanent marker!

I got home and that’s where the title of this post comes from. …. I was unlocking my door when I heard something near me. It sounded something like a locust, but louder. I turned on the porch light and jumped back when I saw it! What is that!?! It looked like a strand of yarn twirling itself around.

The light got brighter and I finally recognized it. It was a bat. (The cat was inside, so it wasn’t a “present” from him.) It seemed to be injured. How did it get there? … It’s kinda late in the season, although they do fly over the house every evening in the summer. A whole group/colony/cloud of them every night. Bats are cool! Until they get too close. (For unknown reasons.)

I saw it’s teeth and freaked out like a little girl. I texted Siren_dipity and she said I was being “whiny”. I tried to take a picture, to punctuate what I was dealing with, but my phone camera didn’t work so well in the low light.

I wanted to go inside. I soon figured out that the bat had no intention of getting into my apartment. I unlocked to door and made a break for it.

Once in, I heard my tablet chirp with a message. Dang, I’d left it outside. The cat was standing near the door, obviously curious about the creature just outside the door. Seconds later I heard my tablet make a different chime. I had an order. I dashed back out, and pressed “accept”. But now I’d left my soda cup inside!

I jumped back in, and tried to toss the cat on the couch. Bad idea. Now he knows that I want him inside for some reason, so the next time I open the door, he runs out in a flash. (Actually, I wasn’t too worried about the cat. He’s had his shots. Me? I don’t want rabies shots, thankyouverymuch.)

Um, I’d had my next ignorant passengers before, and didn’t want to have them again, but now I did. It wasn’t a terrible trip, but …. Well, I don’t even feel like giving “skinheads” a place in my blog.

Less than an hour later, I’m home again. The cat’s in the driveway. I’m first up for an order and still might have a bat to deal with. I did. I don’t think the cat had gone back down the steps to check on the critter. (I was kinda hoping he’d put it out of it’s misery, but also feared for my kitty. Not sure what kind of claws this bat has. It did have a mouth full of small, sharp teeth. Those are what freaked me out the most.)

Guapo went to give the bat a sniff and it started shrieking again. The cat took off running to the top of the stairs! (Not sure if he was hearing the ultra-sonic sounds?) The cat ran past it when I opened the door.

Now what should I do about this? My neighbor told me a story about calling animal control for a bat that was in the hallway, but this one was still outside. Injured or sick. (I couldn’t tell.) …. I finally grabbed a shovel and gave it a high toss into the yard next door. It didn’t even come close to flying like many a bird I’ve sent on similar trips using a dustpan.

I could have just as easily killed it with the shovel. Either by smashing or beheading. But that seems so cruel. I’m just too squeamish for that. I did feel like I should put it out of it’s misery. (But I didn’t. That’s not my place.)

Later, I’d do a little research. It was likely a “Big Brown Bat”, or possible a “Little Brown Bat”, and well it was brown, so it probably wasn’t a “Red Bat”. The Big Brown Bat is five inches long, and although it’s the most common, it didn’t seem to be quite that long. (Not that I was going to get close enough to measure it with a ruler. )

My research also told me that rabies isn’t as common in bats as it is in possums and racoons. (I like racoons. Possums, not so much. Although they’re both fascinating.) Yes, my REAL fear was rabies. I wasn’t going to examine the bat to see if it had a broken wing. It had both of them, so that was all I needed to know.

I was also concerned about my cat, but he’s protected against rabies. He did have an unexplained wound that has just healed on his chin. I wasn’t sure where that came from, and now I know that a “bat” is something he likely hasn’t encountered before. (Their paths shouldn’t normally cross.)

It took a while for my heart to stop racing again, and the night went on like a typical Friday. Business was steady , but not overwhelming, and I was familiar with about half of my passengers.

So, Siren_dipity asked me to “say high to all the masses”. lol .. BTW, we’ve been the top two bloggers in the “eastern Nebraska” region for quite some time. … We haven’t actually met yet, but now that we’ve exchanged numbers, I do believe that that will be happening soon. — To be continued…..

But for me, for right now, it’s time for bed. Mbc will be needing to be picked up all too soon. Then there’s the Husker game, during which I should take down my garden before the storm hits.

This could be a massive storm. (or nothing) The ground was wet this evening, but there were no signs of rain. The humidity was that high. With near record high (lows and) highs forecast for today and freezing temps in store for later tonight, anything could happen.

Thanks for reading.

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An Epic (for mid summer) Friday night

Epic, Awesome, Super … It was a great day. I only have a few hours until bedtime, so I’ll try to get as much of it in as I can.

I did go to bed early last night. Probably a very good thing, considering that if I would have stayed up just a bit longer, I would have been kept up by news of the horrible tragedy in Colorado. (I caught part of it on the midday news, but it didn’t really hit home until I saw the evening national news.)

I slept 10 hours and got out of bed just after noon. I check my horoscopes early and one of them totally went with part of an unusual dream I’d had. (spooky)

I broke out of my normal Friday routine by eating breakfast before my shower. After getting dressed, I checked the zones. Lots of orders sitting there. I went out to pre-cool the cab before pouring my Mountain Dew and making the final preps so I’d be ready to accept an order as soon as I booked in.

Seconds before I booked in, a message came across asking for help and my zone one one of many that needed it. I booked in and ended up second in line. After having another cig, I went out to the cab to run a card that I’d forgotten to yesterday. I was about to shut the cab down, because I wasn’t getting an order and didn’t want to waste fuel, when I finally got one.

I’ve forgotten what exactly it was, but it was just a short cash run. I made it home before getting what looked like a lame grocery run. It said he needed help. (No problem.) I’m not even sure where the trunk release was in this cab, but was told it was missing. The keyhole is also damaged, but opens with the ignition key. (It might open with a screwdriver, but I tried my house keys on it when we got to the guys apartments, and they were too big.) So I have to shut the cab off to open the trunk.

But the guy said that he’d throw in an extra $15 for help carrying his groceries inside! (Up only a half flight of stairs.) It only took two trips. $20 total. Easy money and the day is off to a good start already.

I immediately got another order, but it was a delayed pick-up. On a medical account, it was also short and lame. Time for an unwanted pit stop before I pick them up at the psyche place.

Just as they’re getting in, my phone is ringing. It’s the main office number. (I was thinking MY cab was ready. Nope.) They were calling to change the destination. (The passenger can’t do that on accounts.) I was kinda busy getting signatures from the passenger(s) so I barely noticed that I thought he called me by the wrong cab number. This would sink in later.

At first the thought of that sent up HUGE red flags. They don’t even know I have this cab. Then on another ride I drove past a cop and thought “What if they report it stolen?” .. No, upon further thought, if they were really going to look for this cab, they’d check it’s ‘paperwork’ and see that I signed it out.

I had more thoughts (fears) later. I haven’t had to call dispatch to see if I really am listed under the wrong cab number. Maybe the shop guy forgot to switch me, like he said he was going to. (He was supposed to.) Or, maybe he tried, and since someone else is already assigned this cab, the computer wouldn’t let him. … Whatever. For now, it’s not MY problem. I’ll just be sure to not have a full tank on Monday morning. .. (There are some other “technical/legal” reasons this could be a problem, but once again, it’s not really my problem. yet)

I was watching the evening news when I got an order from the lady with too many kids. I wanted to watch the whole story on the news, but it just kept going on and on. I figure it will be the main story for a while. …. After dropping her off, a guy was waving at me. Could I take him to the Old Market? I said “sure” right away, then thought about it. “Did you order a cab?” (I don’t want to steal another driver’s order. ) He had but he’d called ‘City Cab’. (Our new competitor.) Fuck it. I don’t know how they operate and he’d obviously been waiting out in the heat for a while, so I loaded him, his roommate, and their groceries.

Half way to their condo, the City Cab driver called him. He said he’d been waiting in the parking lot for them. (Yeah, right.) Long story short, bummer for him. Talking to my passengers, they said something very unusual for Omaha residents. They said that giving up their cars was the best thing that every happened to them. Of course they live downtown where every bus leads, they work from home (near the Old Market, where there’s plenty to do) and they have bimonthly access to one of their sister’s cars. …
Omaha has a new “master plan” that’s been proposed that includes a subway. Discussing this with a later (talkative) passenger it sounds great. She thought it might take business away from the cabs, but by the time this “proposed” multi-billion dollar project could be built, it wouldn’t be a problem. … It’s not going to happen. The local government is stuck on a streetcar project that they’ve spent millions studying, and it just doesn’t work.

Shifting into evening mode:

I ended up with an order taking a couple from the Element Hotel to the Ballpark (where the Red Sky Music Festival is is full swing). I showed up before they’d even checked in. I said I’d wait. Time for a smoke break in the courtyard. They took longer than what they said and I had to turn down some other potential passengers while I waited. They ended up going to the Old Mattress Factory, which was going to be packed tonight. (Knowing that would come in handy later.)

I was getting hungry, and I’d given my last five dollar bill to the lady with too many kids, so I went to McD’s. I ordered a sandwich and asked for three 5’s for change. (I wouldn’t have needed them anyway, but I might have. Best to be prepared.) In the mean-time I my tablet was chiming with an order. I took it.

It was a good ER voucher order. Ok. My apartment’s on the way home. Gotta eat this burger while it’s fresh. 5 minutes. (wishful thinking) My teeth came loose when I was three quarters done. So I had to fix that, finish the sandwich, and refill my soda. It took just over 10 minutes. Oh well.

After helping her load her baby’s stroller in the trunk I “loaded” the order on my tablet after ’23 minutes’. (They’re timed now, and that’s the longest I’ve ever taken. ) Oh well. … A long drive to NW Omaha and I was suddenly first up again! … “Take a deep breath. Don’t get excited. You’re only a mile and a half away from where you can take an order, and you’ll make it.” … I did. Barely.

The order wasn’t great, but it was right on my way. Then it led to another personal call later! She was using a corporate card, and she was tipping $10 on each trip. (The first one was just over $10 on the meter. The second was only $7, but with the tip it was a very profitable trip.)

(Oh, I’ve shifted into nighttime mode. The next real test for the Grand Prix.) The headlight seem a bit high to me, but the high beams are definitely higher. (I’d prove this later on another ride even farther out to the Northwest.)

Everything seems to work. This cab really is too good to be true. Except for the computer readout which went dark yesterday. I think it’s supposed to be back-lit. It was always dim until I thumped it with my finger. Well yesterday , the thumping didn’t work, so I used the back of a lighter. It came on, but I hit it one too many times and it went dark again. It still works, but I can barely see it. (One less distraction. lol)

Skipping to midnight….

I ended up sitting at home for a half hour before getting what looked like an awesome order. From a Dundee bar to WAY OUT in NW Omaha. But the passenger changed her mind and ended up just hopping to another nearby bar. **sigh** (Her “friend” who paid did give a 60% tip on the min trip.) .. I instantly had another order from the same bar. Even shorter. This guy’s friend helped load him into the cab. He was bombed.

The poor guy thought I’d passed his place. I backed up, and I hadn’t. He must have wanted to save face and said I was ok right where I was. He gave me $12 which came to a 140% tip! He seemed to make it in the right direction and I pulled away.

Back home again. For another half hour. Kinda hard to sit still while the adrenaline is running so high, but that’s the way it goes in my zone. I maybe should gone scouting for fares, but I had some blogs to catch up on. Then the order came.

The same lady that had changed her mind earlier finally wanted to go home. (WAY out Northwest.) It said it was going to be paid by credit, but her “friend” had cash. (They had a friendly argument about it.) Yes, cash is preferred, especially since that finally put me in the black for the week.

Now I’m out West at closing time. I’m expecting a personal call from downtown, but know better that to count on it. (It didn’t come.) I kept checking the zones, and got one from ‘zone 20’. (btw, my “home zone” is 22) It worked out perfectly. (Maybe one too many passengers, but I didn’t see anything. )

From a bar to the Marriott Regency. Just $7.50 on the meter. It was also going to be credit, but I took a twenty and gave ten back and called it good. Friendly party, and that’s still a 33% tip.

Surprisingly, the board was almost clear and 2:10am. Maybe I’ll get that call from the lady who’d called me back earlier. (Nope, but I headed that way. ie. Towards the Old Market.)

I ended up getting flagged down by a server from Upstream Brewery. She was eating a sandwich (it didn’t look like a sandwich) that came from a taco truck. (Roach Coach. lol) She said it was great!

She was headed to my neighborhood. As I was trying to settle up with her I was approached on by a car on one side, and a drunk pedestrian on the other. Hang on!

The car wanted directions to the nearest gas station. The pedestrian (I thought) wanted a ride home. (I didn’t quite understand his address.) Give me a second, ok?

I settled up with my passenger, and she tipped me over 50%. (She’s server, so that’s not really surprising. We’d had a good conversation too.)

I gave the car directions the best I could. It’s not really that hard to find a gas station. Then the pedestrian guy was just standing there. My former passenger told me that he didn’t really need anything. I heard him yell “HEY” as I rolled up my window and pulled away. I wanted to go home. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with another super drunk.

I had a thought on the way home. “Wow, I really enjoyed that last conversation.” She was a sweet girl, and we were just two people chatting at the end of our shifts. I got a good look at her as she was standing next to the drunk pedestrian (who I made sure wasn’t a threat before she got out of my cab). She wasn’t “hot”, but she was decent. … I know it’s not “professional” to hit on passengers, but dang; why haven’t I printed up any business cards yet? That way I could have at least given her my number with her change.

I was close to home where I instantly began to write this EPIC post. lmao …. The adrenaline is finally starting to wear off. Bed time will come soon. I’m ahead of (or actually right on) schedule. 6am is “bedtime”. … I’m sure mbc will be calling at noon for his usual 2:45pm pick-up from work. (He always keeps me ‘on schedule’. )

Thanks for reading.