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Bus Driver by occupation,pro photographer, businessman in the making, wannabe musician, amateur designer/artist/writer/poet, a native of Detroit now living in Suburbia. Here is where I pretty much unwind whatever's on the brain.

Along the Pacific…

As my trip winds down, I took the liberties of walking as well as swimming in the Pacific Ocean, and the wife eventually followed suit. One last hurrah for today was swimming in the pool that had a fountain over it which was parallel to our room, and had a beautiful glow at night. Another thing I accomplished today was that I’ve mastered using my iPhone underwater. Had a blast doing that! So practicing underwater photography for the first time, as well as walking on the beach with sandals on with sand in my toes for the very first time a well as swimming-yes, literally swimming in the Pacific Ocean. And when I realized that I was virtually in non-shallow water, I actually had a ball swimming in an ocean! I’d do it again praying that I don’t encounter hungry crustaceans, or man-eating sharks.

I told my wife that next time we come down here, we gotta stay two weeks instead, one week just wasn’t enough. That being said, the following pics, mostly panorama, should say everything. Including a bonus pic of yours truly posing in front of the Pacific.

Toldja that my documenting this trip was gonna spill over. And I finally finished that pint of Abuelo Rum (took long enough), worth every penny, worth every drop!

Honour and a privilege being here this past week,

Namaste.

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Abuelo, La Segunda Parte!

A second part to this adventure. BTW, this pic was taken when I composed the first part of this subject. Yours truly is just gonna dive into the texture, and flavor of this Panamanian spirit. Its thickness and smokiness you can definitely taste from canes. Sugar cane, that is.

Disclaimer, ladies and gents: if you are a diabetic, make it a rare occasion that you consume this! It’s that heavy, and the sugar content alone (which escapes me at present) is more than enough to do some monumental damage.

The aroma alone is as strong as Colombian coffee. Arouses one’s awareness, clears the nostrils but for a moment! Heck, I’d use this for medicinal purposes. I can only imagine how hearty the locals here can be when this vintage Latin American spirit is served at gatherings. Already I have people asking me to bring home some.

Now comes the meat of the subject, the texture of this beauty! Unlike Barcardi, this is one spirit that you could just milk (or “make love to”) and enjoy it. Case in point, you could compare this to wine-tasting. Just one sip of the rum and you’ll come up with words to describe it. I’ll even go so far to say that the texture is so smooth, you could let it rest on your palate and let it ease down you esophagus drop by drop! It’s that good, people. It’s a very relaxing spirit, if handled correctly.

And as I said previously, this is a one-off for me. When I’m through with this, that’s it for me as far as rum is concerned.

And how on God’s green earth can I forget about rum cake (made with-you guessed it-7-Up)? Now that might be an exception that I’m willing to make. Other than that, I’m done after this!

Adios, amigos.

Namaste.

Panama Nights!

Day Four of our trip to Panama. So far so good, all is well. I’m newly married, on our honeymoon, learning of a different culture, my Spanish is still jacked up, but thanks to my better half whose Espanol is wayyyy better than mine, communication was not too shabby.

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I’ve been filling them up with pics and clips from my iPhone just sharing adventures as I go. Don’t be surprised if I’m still posting about our sojourn here days-perhaps weeks-after we depart. I have so much to share in so little time! I’m still consuming that fine (and strong as on ox, literally) Panamanian Rum by Ron Abuelo Anejo More on that later on.

This resort is one worthy of seeing for oneself. The food, the drinks, the music, the dancing, and the romantic settings are just…

Well, you gotta be here to see it for yourselves, people. That’s the best that I can tell ya for now.

Two famous Panamanians that come to mind at this moment, one of them I grew up on:

Billy Cobham, well-known jazz drummer.

Rod Carew, MLB First and Second Baseman.

More to come as our final days approach,

Namaste.

P.S. more pics as the sun sets!

Abuelo Anejo

First of all, I’d sworn off rum when I was in my early to mid 30s. Ten plus years later, I’m drinking it again. A product of Panama, El Ron Abuelo Anejo will give Barcardi a major run for its money!

Like the entry that I posted about my light display on my patio fence, this too, is a one-off for me. Bought a pint for myself and the missus, and another one for a family member who will remain anonymous until we return to the States.

But I’m just gonna dive right into this. Seeing that I’m vacationing between three well-known waters, this was my first time having rum from its indigenous nation, and the sweetness, as well as its strong punch (no pun intended, this spirit packs a huge punch)!

And since I’ve also swore off pop as well, I can only imagine how this spirit goes well with 7-Up or Coca-Cola, or even a Long Island Iced Tea!

Ain’t had one of those in many moons.

More to come, amigos!

Namaste

Relaxation @ Last!

Me and the new bride at Dreams Delight Playa Bonita, Panama on the outskirts of Panama City. Haven’t even used my new Canon yet (the one I’ve had for over a year now), but my new iPhone has made up for it. The scenery, the food, the time spent with my wife was worth all the stress and effort put into our engagement and eventual wedding.

You have got to be here one of these days! We’ve only been here a day, and we’ve spent the first day here at the resort. More to come soon, God willing.

Namaste

It’s Official!

Yours truly is officially and permanently off the list!

Now my real adventures begin. And as of today, I am also a world-traveler for the very first time.

Never woulda known how much stressful, yet fun this would be. My singleness is now a thing of the past, and I couldn’t be happier.

Namaste

The Life Of a Bus Driver…, Part II

Yesterday I’ve talked about a small snippet of the bad part of this job, now I’m gonna talk about some good points. Most times a job like this is very rewarding. Nothing like getting people where they need to be, and if the operator is uber-focused, the passengers get to their destinations on time.

I eventually worked my way up driving the coach and blocking distractions, they still creep up on occasion, but our main focus is making every transfer point on time, period! And again, on occasion sometimes due to circumstances-one of them is encountering heavy foot traffic-we may be a minute (or two) ahead of schedule (which is taboo for bus drivers-the maximum is 59 seconds), and sometimes that to our advantage. No worse thing than reaching your final destination and you gotta hit the road with no layover, and worse yet, your passengers miss their next bus.

But most days, especially if you got your mind right, as stressful as this job is, it can be fun sometimes-esp. if you got a gravy route, and I’ve had a bunch of ‘em in recent months.

More than likely there’s gonna be a Part 3 to this…

One of the fun parts is whether you do a swing, or a full shift, if you got a run where you get relieved at a transfer point, your relief driver either has a pickup, shuttle, or a relief coach, you grab your stuff and dead-head back to the Terminal, drop off your paperwork, and the rest of the day is yours!

Yep, there’s gonna be a third installment…

Namaste

The Life of A Bus Driver…, Part I

Man, the stories that I could tell about the company I drive for. Formerly the Department of Street Railways (DSR), now the Detroit Department of Transportation (D-DOT). As I’ve said many times before on previous entries, Detroit and its transportation counterparts i.e. the auto industry, and public transportation have a rich and vivid history. A lot of things that-dare I say it-“made America “great”” came from Detroit.

More on that later (I anticipate a future debate on the subject)!

Now let’s dive into the nitty gritty of what’s to be discussed now!

If anyone remembers the 50s sitcom “The Honeymooners”, most observers would connect us operators to Ralph Kramden who was a wisecracking, no-nonsense, take no prisoners individual who occasionally took some flak for things both within and out of his control.

I sympathize and empathize on every level imaginable.

It is both safe and realistic to say that as the decades came and went bus drivers and their passengers have always had a mixed chemistry/love hate relationship with one another.

Now having rode the bus in my younger days, I recall that if you rubbed an operator the wrong way, you were dealt with in a manner where the cops would turn the other way and pick up the trash later.

You won’t be seeing that today-especially with cameras on the coach. Nowadays if a passenger ticks off an operator, it’s like Jesus admonished his followers to “turn the other cheek”.

Easy to say, hard to do, but we live to fight another day!

Bluntly, but tactfully speaking, unlike the 80s and 90s, you can’t always fire back at knuckleheads all the time. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em as one wise man said. But having to deal with the public, and babysit them simultaneously, it’s a strain. Think about it, you’re driving a 40-foot long, 10.5 feet tall, and 8-feet wide beast of a machine that functions on air and diesel fuel, handling money, issuing transfers, having to deal with A.D.A. passengers, which slows down our timetable, that I can deal with, but God forbid I have a bus full of irate passengers who are already pressed for time because yours truly is doing his (underpaid and unappreciated-by the public, that is) job trying to accommodate as many people as possible, and wants to cut up on the bus!

And the passengers! God have mercy, this group of people is cut from a generic cloth compared to how the public handles themselves 20, 30 years ago. I remember the times if a passenger used abusive language, smoked, cut up, smelled really bad, even ate on the bus, he had to go! And if you didn’t have fare back then, tough luck.

Try doing that today!

Now on occasion as a driver you have to stand your ground, and put a passenger in his/her place. I mean, we can only tolerate so much from the public, there were-and will be- occasions where we will check you if you get out of pocket with us.

But the public aren’t stupid either, they know the new drivers when they see them, and man, they know how and when play you, when to push your buttons. But I eventually caught onto it. A job like this will make a man/woman out of you, that’s for sure!

Well, I’ve said more than anticipated for one night, there is gonna be a Part 2 to this.

Namaste

Wine Cask Blend

A new Blender’s Batch from Johnnie Walker. Smooth, fruity, and oozes with a nice thick layer as you twirl it around the glass.

You’ve noticed the wine glass, right? Well, there’s a reason for that! This particular Scotch is an experimental blend of grain and malts matured in wine casks. I’ve had whiskey and wine in recent years, but like this? No!

First time for everything, they say!

Normally I like my Scotch as is, but I’d be willing to make an exception in this case. I very seldom blend Scotch with anything most times.

This is a Limited Edition 2017 Blender’s Batch. Obviously, I’ve never heard of it, and even all the more so, I was totally unaware that Johnnie Walker had Annual batches.

Again, a first time for everything!

Little did I know that this tradition of the Walker family dates back to last year (2016). But I caught wind of it this year. I am definitely gonna share this with friends and family-esp. my mother-she turned me on to whisky, but I didn’t quite “feel the vibes” just yet (I was in my 20s at the time).

Okay, I slightly went off-topic there, so back to brass tacks here. I mentioned the fruitiness of this spirit. According to the tag attached to the bottle “…Light and vibrant with notes of orchard fruit and red berries.”.

For those who have had this, you can taste the orchard (I’m assuming apples here-the only fruit that I know of that has an orchard-if there exist another fruit that has them, it escapes me at present). And you can definitely taste the berries. And since most spirits are made from fruits, this would be very, very apropos for Johnnie Walker to come up with this!

Now already an hour has passed, and I haven’t even finished this glass yet.

And the fact that I’m blogging about this on my iPhone is somewhat slowing down my progress, but I’ve no complaints yet.

This wine cask blend is one for the ages to be talked about. No guarantee that I’ll involve myself with next year’s blend, this was just a “one-off” for yours truly.

But I enjoyed this nice blend of Scotch. Very smooth, very delicious, and even very sweet! And as promised, I will share this.

And as always, drink responsibly, my friends.

Life’s too short as it is!

Namaste.

P.S. On the back of the tag, there’s a recipe for a cocktail featuring this beautiful blended spirit. But unfortunately, for me, it involves Ginger Ale, and I’ve sworn off drinking pop in recent years. But to those who tried it, let me know how you liked it, I’d like to hear from ya!

BTW, I finally finished this glass, and you can definitely taste the berries and malts in this blend, it’s pretty darn good!

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