19 September 2008

The Articulate Hobo

I met a hobo on Wednesday.

He came up to me and asked if I had lived in Minneapolis for long. I replied and he began to tell me this story of how he and his wife had just landed. Refugees from Milwaukee. She has an illness. They needed money to get a room at a YMCA shelter. He was a professional chef looking for work. His story was a concise 20 second description of his situation and his needs.

I usually pass by all those bearing a "homeless, will work for food" sign. This guy was in my face, looking me in the eye. Not downcast but optimistic. Call me a sucker for a well prepared sales presentation. Before he could finish I handed him a twenty and wished him well.

13 September 2008

Helena, Montana - Tim's Exxon, bad coffee, mountain biking

If my Cafe Du Monde trip is among my best coffee experiences, the cup I had at Gate 2 at the Helena, Montana airport has to be the opposite. Cold, expensive, smelly, old. Otherwise a great trip. My Dad once said there's no such thing as a bad cup of coffee. He was wrong.

One of the most memorable things about this trip was my stop at Tim's Exxon at 1721 Cedar St.

Filled my tank there yesterday morning, using a credit card to pay at the pump. I did not go inside, just a quck stop to fill the rental car on my way to the airport. But that did not stop the attendant from stepping outside as I was getting into my car and saying "Thanks for coming by sir, have a good day!"

That may not seem like a big deal but it was so surprising. I don't think I've ever had that happen before at a gas station, certainly never when paying at the pump. Great way to start the day. If I lived in Helena I would never buy gas anywhere else. Looked the station up on Yahoo yellow pages and found out I was not the first person to experience the great service from these folks.

Prior day, September 11th, was my first attempt at mountain biking, also in Helena with Dave Roberts. Took a bike path uphill for about a half hour. I run every day but the steepness, the elevation and the use of muscles long dormant made me feel like the most out of shape lardass on the planet. Once at the top of the trail it was a great trail gradually downward. Expect that I pushed the bike about two thirds of the uphill portion, just could not get the coordination/rhythym/strength and balance right. Would definitely give it a try again.

10 September 2008

Hey Sanna Ho Sanna

Can Sarah Palin heal the sick? Can Barack Obama calm the storms at sea? Can they unbreak our homes or feed the hungry? Can they forgive me for my sins?

Many find this pair worthy of adulation. For some it comes close to worship.

This parade is a reminder of the God shaped vacumn in each of us and and the silliness in trying to fill it with a human.

02 September 2008

Labor Day Weekend 2008

When you can't decide whether to go back for another serving of chocolate cake or of cole slaw, you know you have found America's finest summer cookout.

Also - if you ever find yourself at gate A6 at the Charlotte Airport, dealing with a large african-american woman with a big smile and a streak of grey hair across her forehead.... give up. She is the worst gate attendant in the Northwest Airlines system. It's not that she doesn't know the procedures for her job, it's that rather than admit incompetence, she makes it up. Wish I could remember her name.