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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.

Chris Benoit… Ten Years Later

NOTE: Image not mine (obviously)

This is just my personal opinion on this subject. Those who know me know that I have been a pro wrestling fan since my childhood. This individual pictured-Christopher Michael Benoit-was one of the newcomers in the late 80s that I’d see in passing, but it wasn’t until the 90s that his career really shot off.

On June 24, 2007, Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their son Daniel was found dead in their suburban Atlanta home. To this very day, there remains speculation as to his longtime steroid abuse which led to a possible premature demented state, was he murdered, and the public was led to believe that it was a murder-suicide, his marriage to another wrestler’s wife which later caused strife in his personal life, who knows?

It’s sad. Such raw talent this man had, wasted! Hard to believe a decade has passed since then, and folks-myself included-wants to believe that it was a setup, but the reality is that if Benoit did do this, he really blew any possible chance of a reconciliation with God.

Again, this is my opinion, people!

But the signs are there. WWE at the time had RAW, and SmackDown, and ECW (in its final run), Benoit was working his way down despite the pops (cheers from the crowd), he just didn’t measure up to the success he had in WCW as well as his earlier runs in WWF during the WCW invasion. His marriage was in trouble, his career was at a standstill, and he was still coming to grips-or struggling to-dealing with the death of his friend Eddie Guerrero. I think that was the straw that had broken the camel’s back.

His childhood hero growing up was British wrestler Tom Billington (AKA The Dynamite Kid, one half of The British Bulldogs), and he even said that Benoit was an idiot for those senseless murders, to this day, many wrestlers and entertainers have mixed emotions. And think about this; one of the biggest taboos in this business, in life period, is to get involved with another man’s wife. Long story short, Kevin Sullivan had written a story where his then-wife Nancy and Benoit (who was either married or divorced at the time from his first wife) ended up having a real-life affair. I really think that was the beginning of the end for him.

Which also showed poor judgment on Sullivan’s part knowing that a compromise was about to happen.

You then start at the top and work your way down to a former Indy corporation that was virtually a sinking ship. Again, the signs are there. Sid Eudy (AKA Sid Vicious) even linked depression to the issues he was facing.

I could only imagine how Eddie would feel knowing this man had done the things that he did. To this day, I don’t wanna accept that this man would kill his wife, his son (who had Down Syndrome), and himself. But if it did happen, my opinion is the same as the others.

Unacceptable, ungodly, unforgivable.

Kinda like O. J.

Yes, I think he’s guilty, and even he would say that Benoit was an idiot!

Roman Polanski would probably say likewise as well!

And now, here’s an excerpt from WikiPedia:

“…After the double-murder suicide, former wrestler Christopher Nowinski contacted Michael Benoit, father of Chris Benoit, suggesting that years of trauma to his son’s brain may have led to his actions. Tests were conducted on Benoit’s brain by Julian Bailes, the head of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, and results showed that “Benoit’s brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient.”[119] He was reported to have had an advanced form of dementia, similar to the brains of four retired NFL players who had suffered multiple concussions, sank into depression, and harmed themselves or others. Bailes and his colleagues concluded that repeated concussions can lead to dementia, which can contribute to severe behavioural problems.[119] Benoit’s father suggests that brain damage may have been the leading cause of the crime.[120] He confirmed that his son was quietly cremated, but what was done with the ashes is not public knowledge.[121]”

I still want to think otherwise about Chris Benoit, but it is what it is.

Till next time,

Namaste.

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Marcel @ La Boheme!

That’s the name of the entree served with Pain Brioche bread, smoked salmon, tomato, dill lemon creme, basil with a side order of various greens soaked in olive oil.

My first time eating at La Boheme Cafe in Detroit’s West Village. Affordable, reasonable, and healthy as well. It’s like a touch of Paris in Detroit. Ironically, Detroit was at one time dubbed “The Paris of the Midwest”!

Before my time, obviously.

I’ve met one of owners of La Boheme, Jean Jeannot, a native Parisian, and despite the fact that I haven’t spoken any French in decades, in recent years I greet any French speaking person with “Bienvenue a’ de ‘toit” (Welcome to Detroit). He was very down to earth.

But back to this nice humble cafe that I finally seized the opportunity to feast in. Quiet, hip, scenic, and located in a section of Detroit that nearly resembles Grosse Pointe Park (an annexing suburb). The sandwich was to die for! Anything dealing with smoked salmon and chive cremes, I am sold! You could savour each and every bite. I was served with two halves, and this “sammich” had me full for hours.

Mouth-watering deliciousness from across the Atlantic. The tomatoes definitely complemented the salmon and dill creme. You could taste both the individual layers of ingredients at the beginning of each bite while they simultaneously melt in your mouth.

You gotta be there, people. That’s all I can tell ya!

And now, something appropriate to wash it down with…

Apricot Nectar. As always, I request that I have my beverage when my meal is served!

Loved this drink! Only thing missing was a shot (or two) of vodka!

Don’t judge me, people.

Perhaps next time I come here, I will have more in-depth photos and trivia about this nice abode in the West Village.

Vive la Boheme,

Namaste

Apple Sage Gouda

Apple Sage Gouda. Only available during the Autumn Season at Sister Pie. An organic bakery that has opened in recent years in Detroit’s West Village.

In this pastry, if you can see it in the image, there apples, sage, a crisp flaky crust, but where is the Gouda Cheese? Get this, it’s in the crust! Yes, you read that right. In the crust! Layered in the flaky, crunchy crust is soft and chewy Gouda.

I had reservations at first about trying it out, but seeing that Sister Pie only made this for this time of year alone, this was my only opportunity. Worth every bite, worth every penny, paid a little over four bucks for it. I was told that an entire Pie costs between 30 and 35 bucks, despite the steep price, I’d get one. It’s by far the healthiest apple pie I’ve had yet!

You can taste everything both individually and simultaneously in each and every bite! After the first bite, the first thing you might taste is the cheese. I’ll confess, as much as I love apples and cheese separately, this was my first time having the two together. The sage gives it a somewhat wild flavour and darkens the texture of the apples. The lattice design atop the pastry just caves in when you dig in for one more bite.

Again, worth every dime!

If you’re ever in the Detroit area, check these guys out in the West Village.

Namaste

It’s Been A Minute, But….

I don’t remember the exact last time I blogged, but it’s some months. A lot has been happening since this year began.

First of all, I’ve gotten engaged earlier this year, so going back and forth between Detroit and Cincy and occasionally to Convington, KY, that’s where most of my time has gone.

I’m still plugging along with D-DOT, driving the bus, dealing with the public as usual (more on that later).

I’ve gotten into handmade wines, more high-end brands of Scotch, and both IPA and double IPA beers.

I’ve attended the Kroger (Beer and) Wine Festival in Rochester Hills, MI. First one in nearly five years, last time it was just wine alone.

Been doing some major overhauling on my condo, getting rid of stuff I no longer need making room my the future missus so when she moves in, she’ll do so with a clean slate!

I recently rejoined Verizon, and bought my second iPhone. I’ve always said years ago that if the iPhone ever made its way to Verizon, I would get one. Mission accomplished!

My condo got a new fence and gate, and I fixed up my patio.

I turned 42 in July, so I’m feeling the need to seize as many opportunities as possible-esp. the ones that come subtly-including ones I’ve missed previously.

And I still blog on my phone! Especially now that I once again have an iPhone in my possession.

Feels good to once again be back!

More adventures to come. Many more if the will of God wishes it.

Namaste

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

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

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