Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Big Adventure

Gorgeous day. Cool June day with a mixture of clouds and sun and a soft breeze, enough to wear a sweatshirt. Strap on the gloves and helmet, adjust the sunglasses, and take a deep breath for today will be an adventure.
My normal route will vary to unknown lands and far off places for I’m decided to enjoy the weather before the heat and check off some more ‘to-do’ list items.
Turn east and check the changes in the neighborhood on streets and houses I know so well but are constantly changing. There is a new fence or a nice brick wall and a wonderful garden in the yard. There is a new paint job and some major renovations with lots of heavy equipment. Still it feels familiar as I cross the bridge. 
Looky there, seems the Carytown Crossing apartments are about done. Still a hardhat area but much fancier than the plain brick barrack style ones across the street built in the 40’s. A turn to the left and ride by the old neighborhood with no new construction due to lack of space to squeeze another building in. A new paint job but mostly the same old same old. The deli hasn’t opened yet and the little corner grocery surrounded by bikes.
Safely crossing by the Matthew Fontaine Maury statue and wonder if they will take him out too with Jackson/Lee/Stuart? A faithful turn to the right and a bumpy ride down old, old cobblestones until I can find a route to get through the construction for a speedy bus route.
Entering the area that all the local rags have been hailing I slowly wander seeing old warehouses turned to chic dining establishments and pubs. There are still plenty ‘for rent’ or ‘vacant’ signs but not every building is abandoned. I don’t look for the old Coke-a-Cola factory for I am on a quest for a tee-shirt shop.
I’ve thought for a few years about putting my logo….er, ‘brand’ as the hipsters would say, on a t-shirt. Why? I have no idea because I avoid wearing items of clothing with advertisements on them.
I couldn’t find the shop so I moved on to my next destination. Over more bumpy roads and trying to avoid the graduation traffic happening a block away I lock my trusty steed and look for a small basket.
Entering the gigantic toy store so popular to former ventures I start my search. It will be a long journey on a hard cement floor so I take my time overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ I either have bought before or would probably be putting in a cart now.
First on the list: Fly Swatter. Do you know how hard it is to find a simple fly swatter? There are loads of chemicals, aerosols, electrical zappers and other gizmos to eradicate the simple flying pest but NO fly swatter. I stop a fine young lad pushing a heavy chart and asked assistance. He more than graciously halted his task and went above and beyond to find the item stuffed away on a shelf. I should have gotten his name for he was a prime example of fine customer service.
Next was onto paint section to get some swatches. No, too busy so I moved on to the locks and latches. I found my four handles for the new fence and with some more pleasant and informative assistance found the magnetic locks and ring key hooks.
Back to the paint area and just choose a couple of books for ideas. No painting today, but what about that socket kit?
I never knew anything about sockets until I found a kit in my wife’s garage. It was her father’s and since he had passed and her mother didn’t mind I took it home. Not being a big construction person at the time I did find it very useful on some bike repairs. Then metrics came out and all the sockets had to be replaced. I had boxes full of sockets but never seemed to have the right size. A few years ago in the same toy store I bought some more sockets thinking they would be really swell. Sockets are great tools for mechanics but since I don’t own a car and I get my bikes repaired at a shop that does have the correct tools, they have sat in a drawer for years. So here I was back at the toy store thinking about that original socket wrench set and how neat and tidy it was (it is a guy thing) so I bought another set in a little case. Doesn’t that feel good? 
The last item on the list was a pick. I found several and pondered if I could strap one to my bike to get it home. There was a lightweight but appropriate tool that might do the job but might also not be durable. There was another with a heavy duty iron blade that would definitely do the task I was looking for but watching the guys who put in the fence swinging that heavy tool over and over again, I decided to try out the light one first. If the first one doesn’t work, I can always go back and get the monster version.
An adventurous travel back home trying not to scrap the parked cars with my spear bungeed to my bike frame (this in not my first rodeo) and seeing all the young Benedictine cadets getting pictures taken at the museum (or they could have been police recruits) I may my way back home safely to unload my purchases but the venture was not over.
Next stop, the Tummy Temple. I had no need to previous the food stuffiest but to restock the critter chow and then travel to the fast food place (for the fruit I had at 6am was wearing off with my exercise).
Somehow I timed it just wrong and got there at lunchtime. The line was too bad and the service wasn’t anymore than expected and upon return home I remember (as I do every year) why it is called junk food.
Stuffed to the gills with salty starch I need more exercise to work this off. I return to a similar path to find the tee-shirt shop. This is my quest.
This time with the address and another review of Google maps I retrace my earlier searches but still not site of a desired location. I stop and ask in one shop that said cleaning if they were “Action Shirts”. Behind her bulletproof glass and locked doors against soliciting she pointed me down the block where I had just come from. Her key clue was a parking lot out front of the building.
I slowly walked down the sidewalk getting out of the way of two huge yet very pleasant guys until I found “Action Shirts”.  I locked up my steed across the street and walked into a building with several options for separate business but I was in luck. “Action Shirts” was on the first floor and after ringing a doorbell to be allowed entrance (this is a dangerous place) stated my intentions and was given the options they offered.
I had used this company many years ago and could not remember what the project was but they provided good service and were friendly. Today seems to be everyone is in a friendly mood. Must be the weather.
Back to the traffic and trying not to be run over with all the construction and huge trucks I find my way back to my old high school and a path back to the Tummy Temple for I forgot to get soft drinks. I’m going to have 12-more t-shirts and have stuffed my belly with junk food but I needed (Wanted? Desired? Required?) Soft drinks.
Soda pop in plastic bottle had been on the list since I got two yesterday and they were very refreshing so I decided to test different versions of sugary drinks as the heat rises. I had thought about this tasting last year but never did it so now I can compare the original (not really but close enough) Coke to Mountain Dew to 7-Up to Canada Dry.
After all this I’ll make a cup of warm dirty water and rock on the porch for awhile but knowing I’ll sleep good tonight and have many projects before the heat becomes stifling.
Good night.

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