Thursday, May 10, 2007

Walking in Waterbury

Up after 8:00 again. Not wishing to deal with Matt and Kellie’s schedule, I went out to find some breakfast. Many houses being painted. Walked to the depot, checking out "Green Mountain Roasters’" wares. Their new interactive exhibit in the neighboring room reverberated with overblown sound effects, music and voice-overs. Disney-esque, and not befitting this sleepy town.

A strange shop. Walked over to their nearby factory outlet store. It's simpler, less pretentious, but also less interesting. Walked on to "KC’s" for a bagel. (For me, it's a novel concept to be able to walk all around town. It feels so...healthy!) I wish "K.C.'s" was a little less dreary - it's so dark inside. It doesn't invite you to linger. Wandered back down to the depot.

Ordered a double cappuccino and chocolate croissant. The staff was quite friendly, if not very busy. Took my food to one of the three tables lining the north wall. Whoever designed this shop did not think of guests actually sitting down with their beverages.

The table tops are chest-level when one sits in the chairs. There is barely room to pull out the chair, so crowded with merchandising displays is the floor. And seated at one of these tables, displays tower over you, blocking any view of the activity in the store (one reason for sitting with a drink.)

The southbound Amtrak arrived. I went out to have a look. Few passengers to be seen. The rail cars looked dirty and poorly maintained. It's unfortunate this isn't a more economical and popular mode of travel. The infrastructure is all there. I watched it disappear down the track, cars bobbing and rolling side to side.

Worked on the computer, attempting to reconcile my bank account. Numerous transactions from the last week of April are not accounted for on-line.

A 1:00 p.m. appointment at "Frank’s" in Essex Junction for an oil change. Very warm, and somewhat humid. Storm clouds beginning to build. Dave was seemingly indifferent as I arrived. He said he was busy and suggested I leave the bike and get lunch at “Hoagie’s” (which recommendation I followed once before.) I didn’t really want to have lunch here, but the options are few in this mostly residential area. Asked him about brake disk warping problems with the GS.

"Do you see this often?"

“Yep.”

No answers as to "why" though. And apparently, there are no after-market disks that are better.

Joined a half-dozen police officers at "Hoagies". I had a pastrami sandwich with potato chips. Nothing special. The oil change cost me an incredible $84! (A filter, 4 quarts and an o-ring.) Outrageous. Before leaving, I chatted with Lester about the new R1200GS "Adventure" luggage. A much better design than the "Vario" bags offered when my bike was new. If I can ever afford new gear, I’d go this direction.

Searched for a route to Burlington, stumbling upon a party shop along the way. Bought a card for Jeff. Looked at the gag gifts, since we never give meaningful presents. Roaming the aisles, it struck me that I have really been out of a gift-giving frame of mind for a long time. Sad in a way, but it is simply the way things are right now.

Searched for the lamp shop that Jeff and I had visited once. Found it in Shelbourne. Purchased a couple replacement bulbs for his computer desk lamp (since one burned out during "my watch".)

Dropped in on Kellie. She was preparing for the store’s official “grand opening’ tomorrow. Her voice really carries and she's not one to conceal things that bother her. Some times I cringe a bit. Some things the customers (and her managers) should not hear. But I always get a kick out of her. Bought a few groceries for the house.

Checked the Fellowship of Friends blog for the first time in a while. I can’t keep up with it. There are already thousands of posts. I spent hours reading. A reunion of sorts is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend.

Storms threatened, but amounted to little.

Jeff called from Levi, Quebec. A while back, he had found a house out in Ste. Flavie, along the Saint Lawrence River, that really appeals to him. It’s back on the market again. About $175k American. “Sell the Worcester property, rent out the Waterbury house!”

Late in the evening, I started watching The Motorcycle Diaries once again. I enjoyed it even more the second time around, though I couldn't remain awake to the end.

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