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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.

Month

February 2017

New Flyer XD40 1408 (Tame The Beast, Baby)!

Having been a bus driver for two years, I’ve got quite a story to tell, from SMART to Durham/Trinity to D-DOT.  I’ve driven some of the best and worst of the fleet.  What you’re about to see is an example of some of the best we’ve got…

A 2014 New Flyer XD40 1408, Cummins Diesel I-6 engine, very smooth, palatial, and fast, to say the least.

All the bells and whistles!  Retractable shades, adjustable air seat, well-illuminated dashboard, a descendant of the previous D40LF models, if I’m not mistaken, power mirrors (a definite must to avoid collisions).

Nice and spacious inside, immaculate heat for the winter, AC for the summer, the HVAC is stupendous for these models.  The A.D.A. (Americans w/ Disabilities Act) seating is real easy to comprehend, not to mention self-explanatory for most A.D.A. passengers. This coach sits over 40 people (operaton included) 60 seated and standing simultaneously.

One thing I love about these newer coaches is that because Detroit has a huge bicycle populace, this particular vehicle has a three-slot bike rack, and believe me, driving this thing is both fun and challenging when the rack has three bikes on it.  Sometimes it serves as a guide to avoid tailgating other motorists.  Took me a minute, but I got used to that real quick!

Another shot of the cockpit with all the functions. Not to mention the windshield wipers have a one-function mode unlike some of our older models where one side of the dual windshield had its own wiper blade, whereas one switch operates both blades on both sides at the same time.

And the VIN Number/registration giving you all the stats.  Notice the coat hook right above the cockpit.  And now my most favorite feature…

On the drivers side, there is from left to right, the power dial (barely noticeable) that has both a day run (dash panel lights off), and a night run (dash panel light on, and recommended at all times), the silver handle that opens the front and back doors, power mirror remote controls, the top for left, the bottom for the right.  The brake release as well as parking brake, a wire cupholder (also barely noticeable), tilt/telescopic steering, and HVAC floor control for the operator as well.  I don’t get to drive these vehicles often, but I cherish each and every opportunity that comes my way to drive one of these bad boys.

And BTW, that silver handle you saw just now, now you know who closes the door when the driver get off.

Most of the time, anyway.

Tame the beast, baby!

Namaste

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Breakfast @ IHOP!

During my stay in The Queen City, me and my mother and lady friend had hit the International House of Pancakes in Kenwood, Cincinnati.  To say the least, we had appetites that were unmatched!  My mom had the Chicken Fajita Omelette along w/ a side order of pancakes with Butter Pecan Syrup.  Whereas my girl and I [both] had a Steak Omelette with a side order of cakes to go with it.

With shredded cheese and mushrooms on top, filled with (crunchy) hash browns, steak, spinach, and diced tomatoes.  Man, I have died and went to heaven.   We were given two different hot suaces, Cholua and Tobasco.  The former had won, to the tune where my girlfriend and I both agreed upon it.

Buttermilk pancakes with Butter Pecan Syrup.  Never had that particular version of syrup before, but after that day, I’ll be having on my pancakes more often, that’s for sure.  The scoop of whipped butter melted right on the hot surface of the pancakes like ice cubes on the sidewalk in 90-degree weather.  Tasty!

And of course, had to wash it down with something…

Raspberry Ice Tea with a splash of Cranberry Juice.  I hate to say it, but already I’m thinking of what spirits to go with this.  No guarantee that I’ll do it, but should I have a gathering one day, then I’ll more than likely seize the opportunity.

More adventures to come, either way.

Namaste.

And BTW, since I couldn’t finish it that morning, here’s what I had the following morning.

Skyline Chili in Cincinnati!

On the last leg of my trip in Cincinnati, my girlfriend had introduced me to one of Cincy’s popular chili joints, Skyline.  And to say the very least, it was very, very unique.  Allow me to embellish further.

First of all, the wait staff serves oyster crackers as an appetizer, but there’s more…

My lady told me that the way they have their oyster crackers there is that they put a drop of hot sauce on each oyster.  But I took it a step further…

My girlfriend had also informed me that you hit paydirt when you come across an open oyster and put hot sauce in the opening.  Delicious to say the least…

But get this…

A Chili Coney Dog.  Because I don’t eat pork, I had to settle without.  But it was good!  Again, topped with an oyster cracker.  Even though Cincy had their touch on Coney Island Restaurants, I made it very known, and very clear that Detroit had Coney first!  More than likely it was a family business that spreaded throughout the Midwest.

BTW, the service there was lightning fast, literally!  Case in point…

The name of this dish escapes me at the moment, but I have never in 40 plus years of living on God’s green earth have had chili in the form of layers.  This dish was layered with spaghetti, chili, and shredded cheddar cheese, in that order from bottom to top!

After all that good eatin’, you have got to wash it down with something…

Half-and-half lemonade and iced tea.  Can’t go wrong with that.  

Still scarfin’ down this good stuff, I added some oyster crackers to my dish, and took it just little bit further…

Had to add the hot sauce to “spice it up” a little bit.  It was delicious, to make an understatement…

All gone now, and another round of half-and-half…

Same pic as before (obviously), it didn’t occur to me to take a picture of a second drink…

BTW, a disposable bib is optional, or in this case, highly recommended.  This was a messy, yet tasty dish.

My lady treated, and I tipped…

If you’re ever in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and you’re a chili buff, Skyline is one of the places to check out.

BTW, the service was impeccable, and the cleanliness of the joint was past par!

Till next time,

Namaste

Double Denali @ Buckhead Mountain Grill

I am in Bellevue, KY with my girlfriend, my mother, and my girlfriend’s best friend.  At the recommendation of my lady friend, we had a choice between Joe’s Crab Shack and Buckhead. Sufficient to say the latter won.

Today, I did something that in some cultures that’s rare here in the States, I had dessert first, peach cobbler a-la-mode, delicious, delicious, delicious!   I’ll  just show you and you can drool at your own leisure…

Piping hot, and the ice cream was like a giant M&M.  Melts in your mouth, you know the rest of that cliché. 

The Double-Denali!  Nice, juicy, delicious, crispy.  Golden cooked fries with sea salt.  I knew the minute I bit into this nice succulent burger, that I was into Southern heaven.  Medium well-done (I prefer medium-rare, but beggars can’t be choosers, I guess).

After a few good bites, it was a wrap! Reminds me some of the “greasy spoons” that my relatives tell me about to this day.  We don’t have that many in Detroit like we used to, but I cherish the remaining ones we have.

Till next time, for now I’m enjoying my time here in Cincy. 

Namaste. 

Lentil Salad

Another scrumptious concoction courtesy of Trader Joe’s, a mix consisting of lentils, and chopped vegetables along with a special dressing called “Goddess”. Just whip up the lentils and salad together, and top it off with Goddess, and you got a quick meal to go.  

And everything you see is organic.

And now, something to wash it down with…

For those who prefer the teetotal lifestyle, this is definitely an alternative to say the least.  Blackberry Spritzer, nice and crisp, a little on the watery side, but flavourful nonetheless.  Perhaps a splash of apple, orange, or even cranberry juice to sweeten it even further?  Just a thought.

Namaste

Pepperwood Grove Pinot Grigio 

It’s been awhile since I’ve last had a nice Pinot Grigio.  There are many brands of this sweet, crisp wine, and this one was no different.  Granted I’ve never had Pepperwood Grove, let alone hear of them until recently.

Now those who know me know that I like my vino chilled most times, very seldom will I have it at room temperature, not knocking it, cause some wines tastes better at room temp, but just like I like my beer cold, I like my wine just the same.  So I put a wine glass in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes until it was nice and frosty which, of course, added the “chill factor”, as it were.

Having been to wine festivals, and wine tasting parties over the years, I did the traditional twirl-of-the-glass, gargle-and-swish, and sometimes spit out (like mouthwash), let-it-sit-and slowly trickle down your throat (kinda like tasting Scotch for the first time), and of course using a variety of words to describe the taste, temperature, texture of the wine that can only define [borderline] sexual references  (I don’t know how that originated, but I can always Google it).

Like I said in the outset, there are many brands of Pinot Grigio being made as we speak, and one major thing wine and spirits (liquor, for those who may not know), have in common is the more they cost, the better the product.  Despite my never knowing of Pepperwood Grove before, I can see why they’ve won so many awards.  I wouldn’t doubt if this was hand-made.  

Btw, this bottle was about 60% off price, so I jumped at the opportunity immediately!  Can’t beat a good sale, that’s for sure.

If I am able to make the Kroger Wine Festival Uptown this Summer, I hope to see this vino again.  More than likely it’ll be there.

More to come, God willing.

Namaste 

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