Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On the road again...

For you that don't know. I moved to California. And am now in Canada for a bit.

Let us recap for a moment... 'us' meaning me. Hmm.. the TV just flashed a strange white light at me. what does this mean? i dont know. moving on...

Got up around 0430 monday. Headed to the airport via Sbux. Realized at the metal detectors that I had retardly packed all my toiletries in my carryon. Why are they called toiletries? My toothpaste has nothing to do with the toilet!

Anyway. So I lost my shaving cream, hair gel, and toothpaste.

But I got to keep my razor.

Hmmmm. Strange rules, these. oh well.

Flight was nice. 1.75 hours. not bad. The lady doing the annoucements inflight was hilarious! I dont think most ppl were paying attention but it was quite funny. Harbuck kind of humor.

I like early morning flights. They're on time. My luggage was already at the baggage claim by the time I got there. sweeeet. I then grabbed a taxi to the Ferry Terminal. I was really hoping for a taxi driver that wasn't middle eastern just so I could say I met one that wasn't. Alas, no luck there.

Made it to the ferry on time. Which was good cuz if i missed it i would have never made it to the final ferry for canada. They even had wireless onboard.

Ferry took about an hour. Then I went looking for the bus. No bus but there were a bunch of people standing around looking bored, so I joined them. Yay, a bus came. Glory be.

Bus #1. not much to tell. At least the driver annouced the stops so I sorta knew were I was... when I could understand him, that is. rode for about 30 min. jumped off. immediately got on next bus.

Bus #2. took about an hour. this driver did not announce ANY stops. So i had no idea where I was. but as it turns out the lady in front of me was going the same place I was... and asked the driver about it. So I found out.

Bus #3. This bus stop was in the middle of nowhere. well not nowhere.. just the middle of backcountry redneckville. I was afraid for my life.

Bus #4. Ah, good times. The man across from me had just gotten out of jail a few minutes before. For beating a man. At this point I was even more afraid for my life. Him and the fellow next to him had a lengthy conversations about their run-ins with the law, time served, and such pleasantries. I attempted to avoid direct eye contact just for good measure. meanwhile, this bus driver also did not announce stops. But luckily the good Lord saw fit to grace me with a keen eye, and I happened to notice the small sign for the black ball ferry line.

Getting on the ferry was quite simple. Guy barely looked at my passport.

I forgot to mention earlier that I was 2 seals in the lake from a bridge we went over earlier. I think thats the first time I'd ever saw a seal. Unless Andy and I saw one on our east coast trip and I've forgotten it.

Anyway. Ferry took about an hour and a half. Now rememeber, that I'm carring a laptop bag, a backpack, and a heavy duffle bag. So anywhere I go, I have to carry all these around. Even the bathroom. I cant set them down and go look around the ferry. I have to lug them around with me. By the end of the day I was quite fatigued. mostly my shoulders. took about 90 minutes to get to Victoria.


good times.

Sooo, I showed my passport. answered the man's questions. why i was here, where i was going and such. Of course I can't tell him I'm coming to work. Then he asks how I know the guy im going to see. Which of course I've never even met the guy and i dont know where he lives. So... i make up something. my brains going at the speed of light here trying to make up something that sounds plausible and halfway true if possible and also remember what i'm not suppose to tell him and try to anticipate what's coming next. He just nods and says ok. Hands me back my passport.

Whew. I'm through.

"Sir, you've been randomly selected by the computer for.... blah blah blah"

Translation: little interrogation room

"Randomly selected" my foot.

*le sigh* (to borrow from the master)

So, I get all my bags searched.. guy's asking me about all my stuff. I really should have prepared for something like this. But who cares. Im winging it.

And the questions just start coming rapid fire. about everything. Who I am. Where I come from. What my job is. Where I'm going. Why I'm going. Who Im going to see. I stupidly put down 21 days as my length of visit. Which is a long time to just visit, i guess. Then he asks me how I know the guy i'm going to see. Truthfully, I DON'T know the guy. never met him and only talked like twice on the phone. But of course I can't say that. So I sorta made up something. It was almost the truth... but not really. Close enough I think. And about halfway through my explanation I realize I told the other guy something totally different about how I knew the guy. Crap. Too late to change now. Let's hope they don't talk to each other. Then he starts asking me how much cash I brought. And how much I could get my hands on. What? why does he need to know how much cash I can get my hands on? I sorta made up something there too. I wasnt gonna tell him how much money i had. Then he starts asking about my credit cards.. debit cards.. blah blah.... meanwhile asking me about all the stuff in my bags.

but eventually I got out. I guess I wasn't suspicious enough.

Got out. Met Dave. Went to Red Robins for a burger. DELICIOUS. Left my bags and laptop in the back of his truck to see if anyone would take them. I actually remembered shortly after we went in. And I thought about for at least 10 minutes. And finally I decided not to go back out there. If all my stuff gets stolen.... well then maybe I'm not supposed to have it.

Yes I know its weird. But I was strangely ok with it.

No one stole anything. So I guess I'm supposed to have my stuff for awhile longer.

Drove around the city a bit. sorta took the scenic route to Dave's place. really nice place. tons of people out walking and biking. everywhere.

Got to the house. met the peeps. went to walmart. replaced my toiletries. and pickup up a webcam so i can talk to the folks back home. As using my cell phone up here is like 80cent/minute. Which is RETARDED.

Not much else. Worked today. I'm exhausted.

Canada's cool. I give it a thumbs up. May have to stay if US's economy crashes.

here's to new adventures.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Street Rider

A few days ago, someone walked up to me on the street and asked me this question: "What's the sexiest mode of transportation?" I told him and I'll tell you. Scooter. I think I know a little bit about this. In march of this year, I moved back from Austin to Lufkin, and since that time, I've traveled almost exclusively by scooter. sure, every once in a while I borrow a car from Philip or Sam, and run downtown to go to the bank or something. However, it's rare. I work 5-6 days of the week, (still at Blockbuster, just a different store) and I get there and back riding a scooter. Check out me in action.

Try to tell me that's not sexy. actually, don't. if you don't think that scooter is sexy, just stop reading. never come back to this blog. I have logged your IP address, and if you ever come back here I will know. Not only will I know, I will tell other people, so everyone knows, and we will share a hearty laugh at your expense. so yeah... probably best if you didn't come back....
Back to the topic. scooting saves me quite a bit of time. I've walked to work, and scootered to work. scootering gets me there in anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3rd the time it takes to walk. it's quite fast, and that time adds up. I do get stopped on a fairly regular basis by "fans" who want to ask me questions about scootering. often they try to sell me a bicycle. It's my impression these people actually believe that I have never considered a bike before. While it's thoughtful of them to try and help, I have considered a bike. it's impractical for 2 reasons. #1. I don't have a convenient place to keep it at home. I could, in theory, carry it up the stairs every day, and through the apartment, and on to the balcony. however, that reeks of effort. I routinely sling my scooter on my back, and it will fit in the corner of the room and not bother anyone. Reason #2. I have no place to put a bike at work. there's no place to chain it outside, and I'd have to wheel it through the entire store to get it back to the storage room. Reason #3, the bonus reason, is that scootering is just so damn sexy. biking is just nerdy.
Now of course, scootering isn't for everyone. Indeed, it can be quite dangerous at times. in the past 2 weeks, I've had eggs thrown at me, water balloons hit me, run off the road by a car trying to hit me, and pulled over. by the cops. real cops. with uniforms and badges and everything. all of these events happened on the way home from work, scooting at 12:30 am, in the middle of the night. so maybe it's understandable. none of them bothered me too much. the getting pulled over actually amused me quite a bit. the cops were fairly friendly, just stopped the car, and when I went by, got out and asked me to come over. I was worried for a minute, as I'm slightly unsure of which roads I can legally scoot on. Fortunately, this wasn't why they were pulling me over. they said "we see you around this time of night a lot, and we just wanted to make sure you don't have any murder warrants out." I swear, that is an exact quote the senior of the two officers made. murder warrant. as I said, the whole episode was quite amusing to me.
Anyway, I'll leave you with that. if anyone is up to the challenge, borrow some kids scooter and scoot around for the day. let me know how it goes.
When I was looking for a blog title, I googled "street rider", and came across this picture. it's perfect.

Friday, June 20, 2008


hey guys, I know I posted about this here, when it first happened, but I figured I'd do a recap. Here's Matt's new video, which I participated in when he stopped in Santa Monica, CA.

and afterwards, just Matt and I.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

final days

today was my last day at work. and tomorrow is my last day in austin. for a while anyway. here's a summary of my time here.

I arrived in Austin mid-November. Ben W, a friend of the family had offered to let me live with him in his apartment for a few months, and I have a very hard time turning down any place that doesn't charge me rent. :D

my place of residence was North Austin, on Hwy 183. I had/have no transportation.

I've worked at Blockbuster, specifically located at the intersection of 183 and Anderson Mill Rd. it was a great job. very relaxed, and pretty easy. I avoid having jobs because I find I have to spend part of my time at them, instead of out doing what I'd want. maybe you've noticed a similar effect in your job. or maybe it's just me.
this one paid well, and the store manager, Ed, was pretty laid back. the best part of all, it was less then a 5 minute walk from home. I can honestly say right now, if I come back to N Austin, I'll reapply for this job.

speaking of no transportation, I spent some time on the bus system here, and my opinion has slowly changed of it. as far as public transportation goes, I much prefer trains any day. everyone does. trains and subways. often cheaper, always faster, and many times more convenient then buses. Austin does have have a train line starting operations later in 2008, or early 2009, but I don't know if the one line would have been useful to me or not.
back to the bus system, when I first rode it I hated it. I rode it on a crowded weekend, and I wasn't quite sure of where I was going. this was complicated as the Austin bus system does not announce bus stops. (I'm not sure if bus systems usually do or not, my only experience with public transportation before now has always been trains, subways, trolleys and the like.) this proved to be a problem, as I had no idea where I was. with as crowded as the bus was, I couldn't ask the driver either. I ended up getting off the bus 1 stop too late, and walking back. obviously this first trip caused me to dislike taking the bus.
however, there are many cool things going on in Austin, and I wasn't going to give up. so back on the bus I went, this time with my stops written down, and the number of stops between them memorized. this trip went much better, and I now have no problem with the Austin bus system. it's a pretty good way to see the city, especially without a car. my only complaint is often the last bus is around 11, and with Austin, the things you want to do are never over by that time.

things I recommend about Austin:

Kerby Lane Cafe.
Kerby Lane has 4 locations around Austin, so it shouldn't be too hard to find one if you're passing through. it's a 24/7 cafe with pretty good food, and great prices. also it shows you an.... interesting side of Austin. the people working at Kerby Lane are most often pretty odd looking, whether it be the hats, tattoos, piercings, hair styles, clothes, or any number of other factors that are often... different on the staff there. plus they have a bar as well. for those that were wondering.

UT, 4-6pm, on a weekday.
take the bus or drive, and explore Austin. I've done it multiple times, and have usually had a good time. it's kinda fun to be on the UT campus in the evening when everyone gets out of classes.

Alamo Drafthouse Theater.
they have one or two of these in Houston, and maybe one in San Antonio as well, but of course they started in Austin. it's a theater, with tables, and waiters, and pretty good food, tho overpriced of course. even of you're not planning on eating, (not required,) I suggest going to one. I realize many cities have such theaters, but the Alamo Drafthouse has a pretty cool vibe going with it. the only theater I liked as much as the Alamos was the small theater in McMinnville, OR. that one had couches, and a pizza parlor in the lobby.

things I wish I could recommend:

the bats. Austin is well known for its bat population, which swarm out at dusk, and are apparently pretty incredible to see. somehow, I never got around to seeing them, though I am interested in doing it. next time for sure.

as far as my explorations of downtown went, here's how I saw it.
*North-East downtown: UT. the boring side. not much to see in the North-East part of downtown Austin. I walked it, and can't think of anything worth seeing there.

*North-West: the interesting side of UT. this side is the edge of campus, and has interesting bookstores, and shops, and housing projects, etc. right between the North-East and South-East parts of downtown there's a theater, on edge of campus, called the Dobie Theatre, in the Dobie Mall. it's obviously a campus theater, with very small room, holding maybe 50-75 people. if you think about theaters, that's pretty small. the screen is small as well. the tickets aren't cheaper then normal theater tickets, but the awesome part is the movies they show. usually mostly independent films, and fairly interesting ones. this is the theater where I saw "I'm not there" the movie about Bob Dylan. at the time I went, they were also showing "Into the Wild," and "Juno."

back on topic, South-West is an odd part of town, and I don't really have much to say one it. shops, places to eat. a mix.

*South-East: in the day time, this part of town is pretty dead. but at night, this is what everyone talks about. bars, clubs, restaurants, everything.

now that's what I saw downtown, but it's good to remember that many people love the south parts of Austin, and I never crossed the river. I saw downtown, and North Austin, that's all.

anyways, tomorrow I'm off to San Antonio for a few days, and then back home to Lufkin.