Tuesday, August 31, 2010

unrelated things

my ginger ale came out and it is AWESOME. you can find the recipe for it here. i used the actual brewed method.

yesterday and today i made four dozen teeny little quiches. they are also awesome and if you are very nice to me, i will tell you about them later.

today i ran across a cool site that tracks annual migrations (wildlife, not my dad and his tribe from here to florida every year). it's mostly geared for students, but it has some awesome maps and you should go there, especially if you like monarch butterflies, which i do.

and last on my list (cleaning off my desk), here is an awesome image. be sure to zoom and scroll to really see it. go ahead and look at the blog entry if you want, but it's the image i'm wild about.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

ginger ale

i'm making ginger ale.

i've never done it before; i'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

i just can't keep up

last night on my run i couldn't keep up with a seven-year-old girl. to the good, i managed to run the whole thing in under fifty minutes, that while not fast by any standard in the world of runners, makes it on average sixteen minute miles, which for me is blazing fast.

i was in some fancy pain, too; not the worst pain i've ever experienced, but definitely top five. but pain or not, i at least felt strong, which counts for a lot.

for today i'd like to leave you with a really cool interactive infographic regarding relative ranking of the world's countries. last week a friend asked me if i couldn't live here in the US, where would i live? without skipping a beat, i said "canada". and then maybe two seconds later, "maybe finland."

so i feel kind of vindicated on that, as if picking right somehow makes me a star.

and now that i'm done tossing unrelated stuff into a blog post (a thing i've never done, right?), here's the thing i was actually going to tell you about today, so i can get it off my desktop: this is possibly the best rant on the use of the apostrophe that i've ever read. ok, ok, so i don't use capital letters and all that, but otherwise i'm all about grammar and i really wish i could tell you that i've never interrupted a moment of passion to comment on the proper use of the semicolon, and maybe i have some unorthodox sentence structure but i assure you it's a style choice and that the words "pronoun referent" come up in my social interactions, so i've read quite a few things about the apostrophe.

so what are you still doing here? go read it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


yesterday afternoon i went out to my favorite mountain bike venue to ride a little and to use the big open field to practice my throwing (i have mentioned that i have taken up disc golf, but i have not officially talked about it here, which i will, i guess, at some point...)

i was going to ride the new course, but as i was getting my bike ready i saw a little forty-ish woman get her bike out of her honda pilot and ride off.

that was suspicious to me, because typically people get their bikes down and then go into the shop to get their trail pass. granted, sometimes they walk over first and THEN get their bikes down, but this woman has "poacher" written all over her.

and i am the queen of the poacher catchers. i just like to say it: poacher catcher. poacher catcher.

so i rode off after her, after getting my trail pass.

actually, it IS my business. i don't pay for my membership; in return i do miscellaneous light trail work, i ride the trails in the uniform of the place, giving friendly directions, and i check for trail passes.

while i don't ride as fast as a lot of people and can't chase poachers, i know where all of the trails come out, and i know where they pass close to one another. i also know where to go stand in order to hear the sounds of riders echo.

in short, i can pretty much find anyone there.

except this woman. much to my shame, with all my skill in tracking and my knowledge of those trails, she was a phantom. i am in disgrace.

i have no tolerance for poachers, though, because that venue is somebody's bread and butter. if anyone cares to make the argument that things are rough for them and they can't afford the $6 to ride, my response is that there are four other trail networks within a fifteen minute drive that are free to ride.

go there.

Monday, August 23, 2010

why don't my neighbors look more hungover?

i don't like my neighbors.

that's a pretty strong statement, since in the fifteen years or so i've lived here, neighbors have come and go and although i loved the first ones (ed and wendy) the rest have mostly made so little impression on me that i couldn't recognize them on the street or even in the driveway.

one or two sets of neighbors ago a woman from the NSA came to ask me questions about my neighbors for a background check because apparently one was applying for a government job that requires such things.

"good morning, " she said, flashing her badge. "how well do you know your neighbors?"
"not at all", i said. "i wouldn't recognize them if i saw them.
"can i ask you some questions anyway?"

she had a lot of questions i couldn't answer, but some i could, i guess.

how many people live there?
i don't know. probably two, but since i don't recognize them when i see them, i can't say for sure.
what cars do they drive?
i don't know. i think one is red.
any disturbances? ever heard yelling?
no. they're very quiet.
a lot of visitors?
i don't know. since i don't recognize them, it's hard to tell if they have visitors.
is there anything you know about them?
they grill a lot. and everything they cook smells good.
yes. their grill is like nine feet from my back door, so i smell whatever they're cooking.
any pets?
maybe. none that i know of.
would you call them "good neighbors"?
yes. they're quiet.

it was about an hour's worth of interview. if being practically invisible to your neighbors is a good quality for security screens, the guy is a shoe-in.

i first decided i didn't like my new neighbors when one of them got a puppy. the kind of puppy that they leave alone all day and the poor thing barks and howls for about ten hours in a row and then when they get home it barks and howls and you hear a lot of yelling "NO!"

and then i decided i really didn't like the neighbors when they subsequently got a second puppy that also howled during all their hours away from home, which were ten or eleven at a stretch.

the people with the first dog moved out, but since i didn't recognize the people, i can't be sure. there was a moving truck, and then only one howling dog.

and i started noticing that the friend who seemed to have charge of coming to let the puppy out would show up about a half hour before the resident and get out quickly, as if he had been putting it off all day and i couldn't be certain (because while i spend a lot of time here at my desk, my primary purpose here is desk-y things, and not neighbor surveillance) but i think some days he didn't come at all.

and then i noticed that when the neighbor was home she would just tie the dog up to the porch. since it was winter, it was easy to see that this animal was peeing primarily on my front walk, another thing not to like.

since i had a lot of snow, i just kept piling it up to make a tall wall between my clean walk and her disaster area, but it was only partly effective. i began a program of dominance-staring the dog anytime she was on MY side of the lawn and being friendly to the dog anytime she was in her own space. that works pretty well in terms of keeping my walk clean.

but the neighbor! this dog is a lanky lab mix! those things need exercise! the dog stays inside while the neighbor works. the dog gets tied to the porch for a lot of the time the neighbor is home. IF the neighbor walks the dog at all (and that's a big "if") they only go as far as the dumpster, about 200 feet away. the dog keeps hoping they're going to play or something, but they don't.

the neighbor looks like she could use to go for a walk now and then too, and since she is often wearing army fatigues, i cannot imagine how it is that she passes her PT requirements.

she drives a red car the front fender panel of which has never been repaired.

all this has been but one level of annoyance.

lately she and someone else not permitted to smoke inside HER house are smoking outside MY window, which means i get to smell that stink from my bed.

she and her friends often hang out on their desk pontificating in what must seem to them an interesting way about how bad everyone in their jobs suck.

last friday night she and some friends treated me to a conversation they seemed to think was very clever.

"you're two shots behind us. go in and drink"
"i'm already drunk. i don't want to drink more"
"you're not drunk enough", one of them sang in a way that indicated she thought herself funny, or alluring, or something.
"if i'm not drunk, i should drive home."
"no! you're just two shots behind us. go catch up."
"i don't need to catch up."
"if you'd have drunk enough, we wouldn't behaving this conversation."

there was a lot more to this conversation. it was pretty much the same thing for about ninety minutes, except the words "pontificating" and "self-righteous" got used, and there was a side discussion of why smoking is cool.

i wouldn't have stayed to listen to the conversation, but i was in bed, trying to sleep. listening to my ipod.

i was hoping they would all look very hung over in the morning, but no. and by evening they were at it again.

i imagined how happily i would describe THEM to the NSA interviewer lady if given the opportunity

but then two nights ago (once again, in bed, listening to my ipod) i heard the happy sounds of my neighbor having sex.

you know what i learned? when i inadvertently hear sex noises from someone i like, i'm happy for them. i am even happy for strangers i happen to hear, say, in a full-up motel. it's not their fault the soundproofing is bad and they're in the reasonable range.

i have discovered that when i hear sex noises from the neighbor of whom i already so heartily disapprove, it's just icky.

and then when i hear her on her phone - and i do hear her on her phone, because apparently what she's talking about is sensitive enough that she doesn't want her housemates to eavesdrop, so she sits either just outside my bedroom window during my sleeping hours or just under my desk window while i am here- when i hear her on the phone most of her conversations have to do with the inherent unfairness of the world because school districts just aren't hiring her to fill positions.

if she brings the same level of care to her work that she does to her home life, i hope she never gets hired.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

clocking in

well, here's july.  if you're susan, you may notice that i was at your blog, which you know i read, but here's proof.

it's still weird, this snapshot life. it does document what i was doing every thirteen hours, but it does not necessarily represent what i did in a day. maybe there's a really cool shot of me on a mountaintop or i was at a really beautiful place, but if it didn't happen when the alarm went off, it's not in the video. in terms of the project, it does not matter one bit if i just walked in the door from something cool and i am now checking my email; if that's what i'm doing at thirteen hours, that's what i'm doing.

july was a hard month for me. if you're following along you already know that i spent time in a sort of halfway house, so you can see that if you look closely. you can't see much of my vacation, because the shots happened to come up mostly during times i was in my motel room.

there's one shot i couldn't figure out what it was, until i tried to figure it out by what day it was taken.

....oh. i remember that day. i cried for hours, so hard i couldn't sit in a chair, so hard my nose bled.

and my alarm went off to take a picture and where was i?

under my desk. i couldn't talk, but somehow i managed to take a picture.

so. have look, if you like.

Friday, August 20, 2010

zucchini bread

ok, ok, so i was reading a kitchen blog and found a fabulous recipe for a savory zucchini bread with olives and goat cheese. i have made it twice and it is a whole bunch of good. you can find the recipe here.

this is what it looks like in my kitchen.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

end of an era

i know you've heard me say that i hold the all time record for most consecutive last place finishes in this trail run series, but what i think i've never mentioned is that i also hold the all-time second place record for most consecutive starts in this mountain biking series, which is held on the same course. the all-time first place record for most consecutive starts belongs to crashco.

crashco has taken a start in every race in that series since 1998.

...until last night.

last night he was on vacation. this time he decided that after 25 years of marriage he was finally going to take a vacation when mrs. crashco wants to go on vacation, and nevermind the race schedule. God bless him.

this means, of course, that next year a week from now i will have passed him and the record will belong to me. although it will be cool to hold that record, it was cooler for some reason to be second to him in it. it was cooler that we were both deadlocked on a streak that nobody else was ever going to touch.

in nearly unrelated news, last friday i bought a present for crashco. we do not celebrate each other's birthdays, nor do we exchange gifts at the usual times. it's not that we're not close (we are very close), but that we prefer to make presents to each other "because it's tuesday" or "i saw something you'd like."

this is a very pleasing way to exchange gifts over the years, as it sets up no expectations and sure livens up a tuesday or whatever odd day you get the present.

so i was out last friday and saw a vendor selling a maple liqueur and although it got my attention i wouldn't have given it two thoughts but one of the women working the ALS association booth bought a bottle and i tasted a little from cr's cup and it was very fine stuff and that brings us back to crashco, because if it's real maple, he's all over it.

so i bought him a bottle.  i'll probably give it to him next tuesday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

my internet meme

i think i've mentioned that i read a lot of blogs. and i have feeds from a lot of sites that aren't strictly blogs. one little piece of dreck i've noticed is the thirty day blogging program and i can't possibly figure what the benefit to this is, or why this is interesting, but there are a lot of these little programs out there.

typically they go like this: "i saw this cute little thirty day blogging challenge over at (insert cute blog name here) and thought it sounded like tons of fun. so here goes..."

invariably the thirty items are all the same questions or tasks as every other "challenge", and of course they all want you to link back to them. apparently three things are in operation: there are a lot of people with nothing to say, a lot of people who want you to link to them saying nothing, and a lot of people who want advice on how to do those two things.

so here's my handy thirty-day blogging challenge:

day 1: introduce the challenge. link to MEEEEEEE!
day 2: it's your blog. write what you want. include a picture if you like. that'll look nice.
day 3: that was a good start. now do it again.
day 4: see where i'm going with this?

don't forget to link to MEEEEEEEEEE!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

if you're susan

this is the rock i picked for susan.
if you're susan, you will understand why you're mentioned here. if you're cr, you understand why we were at this place, but you're probably mystified and too polite to ask: "who's susan?"
this is where we went to throw the rocks in.
this is the view upstream.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

everybody loves saturday night

well, it's saturday.

i kind of have some things i'm working on, but don't have the energy to write about them. and if you're paying attention (close attention), you know that i am unlikely to post on sundays. sundays i go to church and sometimes hang out with friends or family. sometimes i cook a good meal, sometimes not. often i don't even ride my bike on a sunday, because on sundays i don't do anything that smacks of work.

i was going to maybe tell you that i'm taking up disc golf, or i was maybe going to tell you about a present i bought yesterday for crashco, or complain about my neighbors (who did not seem to me to be hung over enough this morning), or tell you about a past or present project or even give you an update on the projects for which i am behind, like august is half over and i haven't even clocked my july photos.

what i am pointedly NOT telling you is that it's that time of year again. i am NOT telling you that monday it will have been three years and although i thought i was going to feel better about it, i don't. what i am not telling you is that monday i'll go and put on my reds and go ride the fourcross course and then i'll meet up with cr and i'll talk and cry and maybe we'll go down to the richmond church to pray and maybe we'll go throw some rocks off a cliff and maybe we'll watch a silly movie and i'll cry some more or maybe i won't but next week i'll feel better and the week after that i'll go out to play and the week after that i'll go on a vacation and then there will be only two weeks left before i go out on the road and the next thing i know it will be christmas.

then it will be ski season and i'll build a snowfort and it will melt and then i'll hit the road again and before i know it four years will have passed and i'll be sitting here on a monday night telling you that i thought i'd feel better about it but i don't.

and then one year i will look up and realize that i do.

i hope.

Friday, August 13, 2010

things i love but can't afford

today i was at the lake champlain maritime festival and i went to look for something else and came across the most AWESOME vendor booth; this woman named lisa does these incredible charts carved in wood. these things are amazing and the first thing i had to do was drag cr along to see them.

these things are stunningly gorgeous and you really have to see them for yourself, but you can at least go over to lisa's website and get an idea of the thing.

i have not met lisa and i do not represent her in any way, but if there's one thing i love, it's a map. i'm naturally predisposed to like things carved outta wood and i also like pretty things. so you show me a pretty map carved outta wood and i just stand there with my mouth open.

even though you can't possibly see how gorgeous these things are from this picture or any picture, you should go over to lisa's site and look at her slideshow.

you know, if you like maps. or things carved outta wood.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


two days ago i was coming down college street in burlington and there was a guy with a trailer blocking the intersection. he had a red light, so now nobody can go down college street. his light turned green and he still went nowhere, but one might have hoped it was just a delay as sometimes happens, so i, as the first driver in line waiting at the opposing right, entered the intersection along with the drivers behind me, expecting him to move.

he did not. now we are three cars blocking the intersection from the opposing direction.

two light cycles later, the trailer is still no farther along, and college street is still completely blocked off.  now battery street is blocked, too. nobody is going either direction along battery or lake for a block either way.

two more light cycles later, the trailer moves JUST enough to permit traffic coming down college to squeeze around him, allowing the traffic on battery to move in one lane, at least. the people coming up college were out of luck, but i don't know how it all came out.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

two things

last night just before we ran the blue course a monster storm hit. it didn't last long, but let's just say it made things moist. and blow-y. kind of uncomfortable, but i ran my fastest time on it, at four minutes better than any other run. that's kind of cool.

no, it's very cool.

and speaking of cool, if you do not know karen, you can find her here. i found her there by accident and started following along (i do that) and hers is among my favorite blogs to read. yesterday was her birthday, so i took a photo of a thing i know she likes and made a little digital gift to send her.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

mount washington

i believe i told you that when i had processed my mt. washington pictures i'd post them so you can look.

at the end of last month my mom sent me on a short vacation to gorham, nh, which turned out to be just the thing. my first full day there i thought maybe i'd do some touristy things and decided to make my way (via some geocaches) over to the mt. washington auto road.

the fee you pay to drive that road seemed rather expensive to me, but in the end it was worth every penny. the road itself is fun to drive and the scenery is stunning and it gave me a chance to go up there and hang out on the mountain without having to walk all the way up, which was fine with me.

once i was up there i walked about a half mile down the tuckerman ravine trail, and that took me a couple of hours. it's slow going with my knees, and a half mile was plenty for me, thanks. going up was much easier and took less time and it's the kind of terrain where you can tell by how people move who has good knees and who hasn't.

back up at the top i had time to wander around and look at stuff and in general just have a good time, achy feet and knees and all.

the pictures are posted over in their usual place, so you can go look at them there if you like.

Monday, August 09, 2010

new word cloud

i'm pretty sure that i said that periodically i'd make another word cloud from my blog feed and post it here. today seemed like as good a day as any to post the update.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

'bout honkin' time

i have been promising to tell you about the bead project for so long now that you have probably begun to doubt its very existence if you cared enough to think about it at all.

in -what was it?- april i had this dream that i was supposed to make a set of prayer beads for a friend of mine. it was supposed to have fourteen beads, and designs based on the number fourteen.

 the cord had to be lavender, and it had to do with fourteen somehow, i thought. i tried different weight flosses and threads ans a couple of different patterns on a couple of different disc looms, but in the end i settled on seven strands of heavy two-ply thread that made a very nice cord.

i didn't know much about bead making, but jumped right in anyway, learning to make canes and to stretch them and to cut and recombine them. once i'd baked the beads i picked the best one from each of the fourteen designs for the prayer string, drilled a hole big enough for the cord, sanded them smooth, and buffed them with a dremel tool.

i left them loose to slide on the cord, each bead and the strands themselves carrying my prayers for this friend. they're heavy and smooth and feel good in your hand.

Friday, August 06, 2010

color challenge

i'm clearing off my desktop and another thing i have here is a fun color acuity challenge in which the object is to place the little color chips in order by hue, a thing that i found difficult, but i scored pretty well, so i guess i was more uncertain of my ability to distinguish hue than anything else.

here's my score:

ok, now i can get that off my desk. thanks for your patience.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


ok, a woman who writes a blog i read keeps one of those lists of things she wants to do in a set amount of time. that's not irritating in itself; it's a quiet little meme that does nobody any harm and some of the lists are very amusing.

what's annoying about this particular list (and no, i will not link you to it) is that one of her items reads "learn to use my camera in manual mode" and another reads "get my photography business up and running."

this latter item she has emended to read that this is already accomplished since she has ten "bookings" for photo shoots.

there seem to be a lot of people out there who fancy themselves professional photographers just because they have nice cameras and indulgent friends.

i'm sorry, but if you cannot use your camera in manual mode, you are not a professional photographer, no matter how many of your friends agree to give you money to shoot portraits of their families.

every bozo with a new DSLR camera and a good eye for composition is not a professional photographer, even if they have friends willing to pay to have them take pictures.

here are two items from professional photographers that i find interesting, though:


the iphone fashion shoot

the camera i use, by the way, is a little canon powershot. it takes very nice pictures, is lightweight and can be used one-handed.

granted, sometimes i wish i could set it for a longer exposure than two minutes, or that it had a cable release, or that i had a little more control with it at the far ends of its performance range, but on the whole i'm very happy with it, for three reasons:

1) i can get some really nice pictures out of it.
2) it's easy to use, even in manual mode.
3) it's lightweight, sturdy, and inexpensive, so i can take it everywhere with me without worrying. this includes long road trips, winter hikes, boating days, rough weather, and rough terrain.

i am not a professional photographer. i just take nice pictures.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

queen of the desert

my roommate looks dead when she's asleep. by day she smiles easily and smokes heavily and has all the wrinkle lines to prove it but while asleep her skin is smooth and waxy, yellow like jaundice.

suddenly her eyes snap open.

"you have to go get the head nurse!" she shouts. "you have to tell her to call 911 and go outside because tim is swinging from a pole!"

this is a fine how-do-you-do.

i'm still sleeping when she wakes up, and by the time i wake up, she is just coming in from downtown. this is a little disorienting to me. for starters, when i am this messed up i am accustomed to being in places where the inmates aren't allowed to take a bus downtown.

and my roommate, as bizarre as she is, has almost undoubtedly just come back from downtown. it is one of the few things she says that when fact-checked a little turn out to be true.

the room is covered with her stuff. there is furniture enough for two people, but she has filled all the drawers and every flat surface (including the real estate at the foot of my bed) with her clothing, her shoes, her books, her personal dishes, her seemingly endless collection of purses, her immense selection of costume jewelry, and goodness knows what-all else.

she offers to empty out a drawer for my things, but i'm happy living out of my bag.

the social worker offers to have her move her stuff from the foot of my bed, but really there's no place else to put it, except the middle of the floor.

my roommate seems to change clothes every hour. i think (although i may be wrong) that she has on a different outfit every time i see her, which is a lot. if what she is wearing is not predominantly animal-skin prints or gold lamé, it is almost certainly something in hot pink or lavender, sometimes both at once. her costume jewlelry (a pound or two at a time) is not entirely balanced by one each from her collection of once-fashionable sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.

she is unsteady on her feet, and her voice is gravelly from years of heavy smoking. she keeps her right hand poised in the air as if she is the queen or the pope and may be called upon to wave from the motorcade or bestow a blessing on the crowd.

she is very elegant, or wishes to appear to be very elegant, as if this place is just a stopping point between polo matches or that her condo in west palm (as she calls it) is being painted.

she is fluent, she will tell you, in french, spanish, italian, russian, latin, and sunni.

"sunni?" the social worker asks.
"you know, the language they speak in ahghanistan." she says dismissively.
"yeah, that."

nevermind that latin is not spoken conversationally anywhere anymore, even though my roommate insists that it is the primary dialect of her favorite city, rome.

i am not fluent in any language except english, but i have studied enough of the others to know that she speaks none of them. she wishes to converse with me in french, but her command of the language does not go beyond "comment allez-vous?" and "n'est-ce pas?", which you can pick up easily enough if you only watch enough tv.

her ex-husbands, which number four, are all rich and famous, and two of them left her all of their money, which is why when her disability check comes every month she gives it all away to important-sounding charities that either do not exist, or do not exist as she imagines them.

much of her money goes to the revlon foundation; joseph revlon, the cosmetics company founder, invented the pink breast cancer ribbon. he is a good friend of hers.

go ahead, google it all.

she will tell you the street addresses of her many elegant homes and the famous people who frequent them.

"of course," she says, "money is never a problem", but in the next sentence she is trying to sort out the bus schedule so she can get on the proper bus to go to the salvation army thrift store in order to buy winter clothing (she has never wintered anywhere but florida and hawaii) using the voucher they gave her for free clothing.

the bottom line is that she is homeless and all that stuff piled in that room she shares with me is all her stuff in the world. she is desperately trying to be a gracious lady of some means and a gentle life but the truth is she's looking for some cheap rathole that she can afford to live in on her small disability check.

the fictions she composes are the remains of a broken mind trying to hang on to some shred of dignity and grace and the gulf between who she is and who she wants to be is far too wide and her delusions go spinning out of control, her mind trying to attach to any detail that seems rooted in reality but maybe not the harsh reality of her broken-down life and she can't actually tell the difference between what's real and what's not.

so she reinvents herself out of whole cloth and wraps herself in this other life that she cannot possibly sustain. she is not well enough to see who she is, and the paradox is that if she could see her life as it is, the pain of it might break her open like a sack of flour on the railroad tracks.

are you who you want to be? how great is the gap between who you are and the person you want to think you are? if you had to face the truth, would you break open? are you better off not knowing?

my roommate is afraid people will see through her. she is afraid that if she asks the bus driver how to get to the thrift store that he will announce for all the world to hear that she is too poor to buy her own clothes.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

another time waster!

maybe i should blog about something current, but it turns out i have a backlog of things i keep meaning to write about and if i just tell you this one thing i can get it off of my desktop and make room for something else.

it's a fun little online toy that illustrates fun mathematical concepts that can be applied to the growth of an organic population.


there. now i can clear it from my desktop.

have fun.

Monday, August 02, 2010

signs of trouble

on my way home today i saw two signs that were to me vaguely disturbing.

one was a plain black and white that said simply:


i have no idea what this was a reference to, nor any clue about its context.

and then i was passing through a town and i'm pretty sure there was a sign outside a church listing the time of the sunday service as being at 10:01.



Sunday, August 01, 2010

drive-thru of DOOM

it wasn't actually the drive-thru that was deadly; that was moving smoothly. but "in-store ordering corral line of doom" just doesn't sound catchy, you know?

so this morning i was still pretty tired out from yesterday (read: still tired from the whole honkin' month of july) and i got up and went to church at the congregational church here in gorham.

after church i came back to the motel and had a little nap and then went out in bike clothes thinking that i might find some geocaches by bike and then drove down hogan road (get your own map) looking for some kind of connection with the rail trail but even as the road became more and more remote and in one place crossed the rail trail on the back of the river, i was unable to find anything that looked like a regular and public access to the rail trail.

so i never did ride, but i got to drive an awesome back road and i got to see and incredible view of which i have beautiful pictures. i'd share them with you, but i still can't upload.

so it was late in the day and i was tired. i went back to my room, changed clothes and then went out to get some dinner. i like the BK A1 steakhouse burger (not an endorsement but more of a confession), but i do not want that gigantic meat patty that comes on the XT. since this is a special order that sometimes baffles the counter help, i always go inside.

it was not the special order that caused the clustertangle. the woman at the counter, while very pleasant, just kept taking orders but did nothing to actually put the food in bags and get it out to people. i watched the drive-thru customers come and go and the line pile up inside.

still she took orders.

at BK they have this cool little computer screen on which orders show up and are filled as the people in the kitchen make the food. and it has a spiffy clock counter on which you can see how long each customer has been waiting.

the average wait time this evening was fifteen minutes and then some. the kitchen crew was fully competent; they kept the food rolling out of the kitchen and stuff was just piling up. the drive-thru orders kept going out and the drive thru guy respectfully suggested (absolute truth) that the counter lady stop taking orders and start filling bags and she would not or could not tear herself away from it until there was nobody left in her line.

it wasn't like she had an attitude problem; she simply seemed unable to cope. she really seemed to want to make things work, but even when she stopped taking orders she was unable to start pushing them out until she had wiped down some trays and put in fresh liners while people who had been waiting fifteen minutes for sandwiches that were already made watched and boiled over quietly.

i do not think she's going to last very long at the BK in gorham.


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