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Estate Records (Exert from my memoir #4)

The night air was chilly as I made my way home alone, but I did not feel it.  My phone rang as I walked into my apartment.  He was making sure I was going to his band practice the following day.  I smiled as I hung up the phone.

The summer night was warm.  I made my way down 12th street on Capitol Hill.  As I approached the small building the sound of electric guitars got louder. I entered a large white room where the band was playing on an old wooden stage.  I stood in the back and watched them for a while.  Scotty had a guitar strapped over his shoulder and was singing into a microphone.  Upon seeing me the band took a break.  Scotty came down off the stage and kissed me hello.  The other band members made their way  off the stage and made their way to where we were standing.  He introduced me as “Weenie.”  I looked at him in confusion and he said he just made up the nickname.  That is what he called me from then on.

After band practice we walked hand in hand down Broadway, turning on Denny, then on Belmont to my brick apartment from the 1920’s.   

Estate Records (Exert from my memoir #3)

As he spoke I noticed the tattoo on his shoulder that read, “I scream therefore I bleed.”  On his other arm was a tattoo of the sun.  I was curious as to why he chose those two items to be permanently placed on his arm, but forgot to ask as I was listening to him tell me he was going to be Peter Frampton or die.  I told him he had better be Peter Frampton.  


That is where he ended the story of his life.  He must have sensed that I was nervous.  I watched him get up and walk over to  my side of the table.  Bending down he gave me a kiss and returned to his side.  Stealing a move from a Woody Allen movie he then said something like, “there, now we got that out of the way.”  Reaching across the table he took my hand in his and held it there as we continued our conversation.  I no longer felt uncomfortable or awkward.  We sat at our table at the far end of the room until closing.  As I listened to him talk I stared into his eyes.  I wanted to see if he was genuine or not.  I could tell he was being his real self, but that maybe not everything he was saying was true.  Men who seem to have a lot of charm are usually compensating for something.  I wondered what insecurities he as covering up.  His mysteriousness kept me interested.  When the bar closed we stood outside saying good -bye.  He drew me into him with his hands.  My body melted as his lips touched mine.  

Estate Records (Exert from my memoir #2)

He stood up to make his way to the bar to get us drinks touching my shoulder as he passed by. A few minutes later a glass of cold beer was sitting in front of me.  We were not strangers.  I had met him a year before through Jay who I was dating at the time and we had run into each other occasionally.  One night he asked me out and at first I reluctantly agreed.  It made me uncomfortable that he was friends with my ex.  He assured me he had not seen him in over a year.  There was one thing Scotty was good at, making women feel important.  He had used this skill to get me to agree to go out with him.  He was charming, good looking and other women wanted to date him.  So the night he asked me out I gave him my phone number.  He called me as soon as I got home to make sure I had given him the correct number.  I wondered how much of his charm was an act and how much was real.  I decided not to care.


The room around us was filled with smoke from cheap cigarettes and the smell of cheap beer permeated everything.  That night I didn’t notice, all I saw was the man sitting in front of me telling me his life story.

Estate Records (Exert from my memoir)

I unzipped the black purse hanging on my shoulder.  My hand rummaged through wallet, combs, coins and keys until I found my lipstick. Taking the top off  I quickly ran the stick across my lips.  It was a first date and I wanted him to be interested.  When I walked into the room I saw him sitting alone at a small table.  He was ruggedly handsome with long curly blond hair which he wore pulled back into a ponytail.  I was nervous as always on a first date.  I wondered why he was interested in me.  I had met his previous girlfriend and there was no way I was anywhere near as beautiful as she.  Moving to Japan to pursue a career as a model, she was breathtakingly beautiful and a blonde.  I was a secretary in a medical office.  He had however been persistent in getting me to agree to go out with him.  So there I was, approaching the man still wearing his black leather jacket.  A smile spread across his face as he saw me walking towards the table..  Butterflies danced in my stomach.  As I approached the table he motioned for me to sit down.  

Community Outreach at Starbucks

On a rainy morning in San Bernardino, a group of California Highway Patrol Officers came to a local Starbucks to reach out and talk with the community.  Offering coffee to the cafe’s patrons, they introduced themselves to people and allowed them to voice their concerns or ask questions.

I spoke with Inland Division Public Information Officer Ramon Duran and his partner Steve Carapia.  Officer Duran told me that this is an ongoing project to build a relationship between the California Highway Patrol and the local community.  The coffee drinkers at Starbucks looked like they enjoyed meeting the officers and were eager to speak with them.

I asked officer Duran what types of problems they were seeing on the highways and local streets.  As one might expect drunk driving is an ongoing problem.  He also stated that they have seen an increase in motorists under the influence of marijuana.

It’s not every morning that one receives coffee from the California Highway Patrol, but the patrons at the Starbucks in San Bernardino were happy they were there on this unusually rainy morning.  You can follow them on their Facebook page  

Danger on the Tracks

On July 5, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada, a train with 63 cars full of crude oil from the Balkan oil fields in North Dakota experienced brake failure sending the train into the center of town at 65 miles per hour.  When it had reached the center of town the train derailed.  The subsequent explosions and fires detroyed 40 buildings, 53 vehicles and contaminated the nearby river and lake.  47 people lost their lives.  The accident happened in the middle of the night, possibly saving several lives had the town been full of people during the day.  Much of the main part of  town was destroyed.

This accident should be a wake up call for all communities that have oil trains traveling through their cities and towns.  The oil obtained from fracking in North Dakota has a flash point equivalent to gasoline.  One train may have 100 plus tanks carrying the crude oil making it a possible traveling bomb.  The feature photo for this article is a train loaded with tanks carrying crude oil from fracking traveling through downtown Columbus, Ohio.  The train is about to enter a tunnel which travels underground through the center of town.  Many cities and towns have train tracks in highly populated areas.  If one of these trains were to derail and the tanks exploded, are the cities and towns prepared for such a disaster?  Who would oversee the rescue efforts?  Who would be responsible for the cost?  Is the danger posed worth  accessibility to the oil?

I sat in on a hearing in Olympia, Washington where governor Jay Inslee was proposing a fund to have on hand in case of such an emergency.  Executives from BSNF railroad were in attendance.  They stated that in case of a derailment they are the first responders.  They also stated  they can usually have a representative onsite within 24 hours.  Their comment left me with many more questions such as is 24 hours soon enough?  The fund that Jay Inslee created would be helpful if a train were to derail, but it would not cover the enormous expense if the derailment happened in downtown Seattle where the oil trains travel along the waterfront, past football and baseball stadiums and the busy downtown area.  Beside being a danger to the people such an accident might harm, the environmental cleanup would also be a great expense in monetary terms as well as to the local ecosystem.

The Seattle City council came up with a plan after an oil train derailed under a bridge near the downtown area.  That time the city was lucky that no explosions or fires ensued.  The council then realized the city was not prepared for such an accident and came up with a plan.  What the plan does not contain is who would be responsible for paying for damages and clean up.

What can be done to prevent train derailment and accidents involving trains with oil tank cars?  According to the executives from BSNF they have improved the brakes on the trains and are experiencing fewer derailments.  In Lac-Megantic it is thought that having only one employee who had been on the job for a longer than normal work day might have been a large contributor to the brake failure as it was not set correctly by the employee.  Even if safe guards are improved, the danger from the oil produced from fracking remains a great.  Communities with these trains traveling through their cities and towns should prepare an emergency response plan in case of a derailment which would set in motion an organized plan possibly reducing the loss to structures and human life.

A New Way of Training

When I lived in Seattle I would run outdoors unless it was pouring rain.  Many a day I ran in the rain, wind, sun and snow.  Now that I live in the desert running outdoors becomes harder in the summer as it is just too hot.  Preparing for a half marathon is even more challenging.  I am now doing something I did not do in my previous two races, I am training on a treadmill.

The treadmill does have some advantages as it forces me to keep a certain pace.  When running on my own I can slow down as I get tired.  The treadmill keeps me going at a steady pace.  I will incorporate one or two runs in the early morning or at night so that on race day I am prepared to run on the hard surface.

It will be interesting to see if working on the treadmill increases my pace or not.  I will time my runs once my program has me run 3,2 miles as I have run that distance often and know what my general pace is.

Cross training is also an important part of preparing for a race.  Cross training prevents injuries by working muscles in a different way than your normal activity.  For my cross training I will be riding my bicycle and swimming laps.  Both of those activities are easy on the joints as opposed to running.  I will be taking today off to allow my muscles to recover.  Have a great weekend!