Sunday, August 31, 2014

Travel Photos

Quartz Valley Road

Oh My God Road  (that little sand berm is the "guard rail")

Looking down at Idaho Springs from Oh My God Road

Abandoned stone building, Oh My God Road

Blasted willow, Lake Creek Road

Abandoned building, Lake Creek Road

Sunrise from my patio, Boulder, 31 August 2014

Driving Country Colorado

I'm very lucky in my job, in that folks allow me to use their vehicles while they are away.  Yesterday, my friend Bea and I went for a road trip, with Tessa in the rear of the van...   I had read that driving on Oh My God Road was a harrowing experience, but that the views were magnificent.  So we decided to drive the old mining road between Central City and Idaho Springs on the last weekend in summer.  Tessa loves to travel, so she loaded up in the rear, with the back seats lying down, and we stopped frequently for photos and to let Tess out to explore.  Most of the time we were in the Arapaho National Forest, or driving along small valleys high in the peaks on unpaved roads that were one- and, sometimes, two lanes wide, with occasional pull-overs for on-coming traffic.  We had a fantastic time.  The photos I took did not do any justice to the stupendous views that we saw all around us.
   First, we drove up Magnolia Road on Magnolia Mountain to avoid all the traffic in Boulder Canyon; then we turned south on the Peak to Peak Highway and had a blast.  We drove through Black Hawk and Central City, and then on Upper Apex Road and back along the Apex Valley Road.  Then we took the Central City Parkway to Idaho Springs, and (I finally) asked for directions to Oh My God Road.  The Colorado Gazetteer lists the road as Oh My God Road, and I found it on-line under that name...  But I never saw any street signs with that name.  One of the local men told me that Oh My God Road was actually named Virginia Canyon Road, and with that important information, we headed back out.  Wow.  It was amazing. Parts of the road are paved, and others are not; there are gradients of 8, 9, and occasionally 12%.  We were in a Lexus van, which I kept in low gear on the grades, and we had absolutely no trouble.  Most of the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, but halfway through the drive, a couple of locals in open Jeeps ran up on my back bumper, and I had to stop taking photos and drive on.  (Rats!)  I couldn't find a pull-over for the young men to pass me by, so I had to keep going....
   We meandered around on more dirt roads near Central City after we completed Oh My God Road, and then we drove through the "town" of Central City.  The last time I was there was in 1974, before casino gambling was approved.  Talk about a change!  Huge casinos and gambling halls were everywhere.  We finally headed back home, the long way.  We drove through Clear Creek Canyon and up to Golden, and then back up 93 to Boulder.  We had planned ahead  and had water, drinks, and snacks for both of us and Tessa, so we did very well.  I was amazed to find that we averaged 26.8 miles per gallon driving on the back roads - but there were few cars and views were fantastic.  It was well worth the time and effort.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Don't You Want to Love Them?

Sam Carter; Pet-Sitting Troubles

I am upset.  Sam Carter, the ex-Boulder policeman who killed the Mapleton neighborhood elk, got off lightly.  He pled "Not Guilty"  to all charges stemming from his murder of a trophy elk that regularly wintered in a small neighborhood in Boulder.  On 1 January 2013, the on-duty policeman approached the elk and shot it in the chest with his service shotgun.  He did not report discharging his weapon within city limits to the police department, and he had previously prepared an "injured wildlife" kill tag.  This past June, after a week-long trial, Carter was convicted on the following charges: (1) attempting to influence a public official, a Class 4 felony; (2) one count of forgery, a Class 5 felony; (3 & 4) two counts of tampering with evidence, both Class 6 felonies; (5) first degree official misconduct; (6) illegal possession of a trophy elk with a Samson Law surcharge; (7) conspiracy to commit illegal possession of wildlife; (8) unlawful taking of a big game animal out of season; and (9) unlawful use of an electronic communication device to unlawfully take wildlife. Yesterday, Sam Carter heard his sentence - four years of probation, 200 hours of community service, 30 days service on a work crew, and a fine of $10,200.00.
  I am upset because this man, hired to protect and defend the residents of the City of Boulder, used his service weapon in a residential neighborhood and lied about it to his superiors, in order to gain a trophy head of a relatively tame animal.  He planned in advance to kill the elk, and to have a friend, also in the police department, to slaughter and mount the elk.  It's disgusting.  I know that Sam Carter would have a tough time in jail or prison due to his previous employment - but he shot and killed a defenseless animal, in a residential neighborhood, for his own pleasure.  He deserves more than a light slap on the wrist by authorities.
  Taking care of pets/animals/critters/"kids" of other people is sometimes difficult.  At Tessa's, I'm taking care of a dog, two cats, six koi, two hives of honeybees, an organic garden, and multiple flowering plants.  Tessa, the dog, is still suffering from dermatitis - her neck is finally healing, but now she is chewing on her left hind hock and her right flank.  The owner insists that it's a reaction to her rabies vaccination, which was 9 weeks ago.  All I know is that poor Tessa is wearing a blue Elizabethan collar to keep her from eating herself alive.  Tessa gets fed a specific frozen food - Northwest Naturals Chicken Dinner Bar - which is defrosted prior to each meal.  Yesterday morning, when there was no more food in the kitchen freezer, I walked out to the garage freezer and opened the door, expecting to see 3 to 5 cases of frozen dog food.  Other than a couple of bags of frozen berries, the freezer was empty.
   This happened on top of discovering that Lyra, the brown tabby, has a urinary tract infection.  Lyra's owner has moved to New York City, and taken 90% of her possessions; but Lyra was left at home.  Lyra had peed on my bed earlier Thursday morning, and I thought it was a case of pique, because she had been left behind.  Thursday night, she leapt onto the foot of the bed and immediately squatted - I thumped her head with my forefinger, but she had already started to relieve herself.  I grabbed a handful of tissue and mopped it up....  realizing, as I did so, that her urine was the color of raspberry lemonade.  So, as soon as the veterinarian's office opened on Friday morning, I called and made an appointment to take Lyra in.  Once I got her there, of course, they needed a urine sample and I had to leave her.
  So I called the home-owner in New York City, with her daughter, and left a voice message.  "Lyra has a UTI and is at the vet's being evaluated.  There's no food for Tessa in the garage, which was a surprise.  Do you have some on order at PC's Pantry?  Call me and let me know."  I didn't get a return call from her.
  At 4:45, I picked Lyra up from the vet's, full of antibiotics, and with Clavamox pills to administer for the next 7 days.  I was also instructed to stop at The Natural Pet shop and get a bottle of Animals' Apawthecary "Tinkle Tonic", an herbal additive to help clear up Lyra's infection.  I grabbed Lyra, had the owner billed, purchased the Tinkle Tonic, and then stopped at PC's Pantry to see if they had a order from Lynn on hold.  The wonderful ladies at PC's Pantry didn't have anything on order, but they had some extra inventory, so I was able to pick up three cases of food for Tessa and have them bill the owner...
   Thank goodness Boulder is a laid-back town that is totally crazy about their four-footed companions!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ghost Towns

Old Town Trail, Cody, Wyoming

Kirwin, Wyoming

Piedmont, Wyoming

Spokane, South Dakota

Rhyolite, Nevada

Kirwin, Wyoming

Football - College and Pro

Wow.  The SEC Network kicked off the season with live coverage of the South Carolina Gamecocks hosting Texas A & M; and with a pre-game, half-time, and post-game analysis that included new sportscaster Timmy Tebow.  The Gamecocks were ranked 9th in the nation in pre-season polls, and, under Head Coach Steve Spurrier (whom I have loved for 50 years), it seemed about right.  Texas A & M, having lost Johnny Football at quarterback, was ranked 21st.  I watched to the bitter end....  Texas A & M beat the Gamecocks 52 to 28.  The South Carolina defense had no counter for the Aggie's offense.  Dylan Thompson, the 5th year SC quarterback, was a steadying influence for the Gamecocks, but Texas ran over the home team.  The quiet in the stadium was very strange.  And SC has a hard schedule coming up, too.  I hope the Ol' Ball Coach can regroup and win the rest of his games this season!
  The Broncos won their last pre-season game last night, without putting many starters on the field. The Dallas Cowboys fell 27 to 3 at home.  With Matt Prater out for the first four games, the Bronco tried out McManus  - he managed to make 2 of 4 field goals from beyond 50 yards.  Broncos fans are used to Matt making everything under 63 yards...
  And I had to laugh.  How does the NFL decide the amount that they fine someone?  Last week, Peyton Manning got up in D J Swearinger's face and "taunted" him, after Swearinger had tackled Wes Welker and given him a third concussion.  I imagine that Peyton said a few choice, nasty words, but neither he nor Swearinger repeated what was said.  The reason I had to laugh yesterday, was seeing that the NFL had fined Peyton  $8,428 for his "taunting" (or, dressing down) of Swearinger.  I don't think that amount will hurt Peyton's wallet too much, and it was probably a great relief to give Swearinger a vocal piece of his mind.
  The other NFL announcement made me cheer and pump my fists.  The league is finally shutting down on players (and, I hope, coaches) who abuse their spouses.  Ray Rice of the Ravens was given a two-game suspension after punching his then fiance (now wife) in the face.   Now, any player who is found guilty of domestic abuse will be suspended for 6 weeks and six games without pay for the first offense; a second offense will result in a lifetime ban from the NFL.  Finally, some protection for the spouses!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Assorted Photos

Savernake Forest, Wiltshire, England

Palisades State Park in South Dakota

Respect comes in all sizes

Organ Mountains abandoned mine shaft

Colorado Bend State Park, Texas, abandoned mine entrance

Unicorn squirrel and elf

Why Are You In Such a Hurry?

This, sort of, is a follow-up to yesterday's Electronic Things post...  As I wrote yesterday, the usage of computers was forecast to give humans more free time to spend with their families in recreational pursuits.  I really don't think this has happened; or, if it has, mankind has twisted this available time...  My parents raised me to believe that I should be at any and all appointments on time; whether the "appointment" was to see a friend, have lunch, see a doctor, meet a teacher,or just arrive at work.  "On time" meant that I arrived 5 to 10 minutes early, so I would be in place and ready to see the person I was meeting, or so I would be ready to begin my work, at the designated time.  I was taught to make allowances for traffic jams, for breakdowns in transportation, or any other emergencies, and still arrive before the appointed time - and, of course, all this was before cell phone technology was discovered and embraced.
  Why are people in such a hurry today?  Is there an expiration date on time?  I frequently shake my head in disbelief at folks who weave in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic just to be one car-length ahead of me.  I was trained, in driving a vehicle, to accelerate and decelerate smoothly, to save fuel.  I was taught to look ahead and see traffic lights ahead of me, and to try to tailor my speed so I wouldn't be stopped at each one.  Of course, I did grow up during times when gasoline was, occasionally, in short supply; when it depended on your license plate number as to whether you could, legally, put gas in your car on a certain day, and when 55 miles per hour was the highest speed limit allowed, so you and your vehicle wouldn't waste fuel.  I admit that when I'm on a highway, here in the west, I can see why the speed limit is 75 mph - wide open spaces, huge sight lines, and mostly flat country help  a great deal; but I still question why people speed in city limits, where there are children and pets at risk.
  I can understand an occasional need to hurry - but I have a friend who is always running late to go to work, and I don't understand it.  I don't even try to talk to her until after her work time is finished because I've been greeted, for the past 10 years, with, "Hi!  Running late, as usual!  Hope I get to work on time!"  She claims that "things always take three or four times longer to do than I count on..."  She'll tell me to meet her at a certain place at a certain time; I'm on time, and always carry a book to read because I know I'll have a 5 to 50 minute wait for her.  It's frustrating - but at least I have a good idea of who is going to be late in my life.
  Why do people not give themselves enough time to do something?  Why do people charge up to red traffic lights and stomp on their brakes?  Why do people speed away from a traffic light that turns green, when they can see that other cars are already stopped at the next traffic light in front of them?  Why do people over-plan and over-schedule and then zoom dangerously in and out of traffic to be somewhere at 20 minutes past the time appointed?
  Is this about entitlement?  Is this about the Me generation? Is this about poor planning?  Is this about planning to do too much with too little time?  I try NOT to be in a hurry - it causes indigestion, bad feelings about other travelers, and unresolvable anger.  What use is it?  I'd much rather relax and be in a good mood.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Photo Mish-Mash

Farm scene in Germany

Marmot in Colorado

Rodnei Mountains in Romania

 "Tube to Work Day'" on Boulder Creek

Electronic Things

As a child, I remember the basement of Williamson Hall at the University of Florida being cram-packed with huge computer components - mainframes from IBM.  I was fascinated by them, and I remember Dad telling me that computers were the way of the future - that the computers would give humans more time to relax and be with their families.  I remember hearing the same thing in the news reports on television, and being taught that maxim in school.  I grew up thinking that, as computers grew more sophisticated and smaller in size, they would "take over" doing mundane human tasks and that people would have more time to spend with their families, doing fun things.
  Now I'm 58 and am using my personal computer to blog on the wide wide web.Times have changed, computers have changed, but I don't see people relaxing and spending more time with friends and family.  What has happened to the utopia that was promised back in the early 1960s?  Of course I realize that computers can only do what they are programmed to do - and that takes human programmers.  With cell phones, cameras built into cell phones, SmartPhones, i-phones, i-Pads, i-Pods, and all of the other new miniaturized gadgets (Dick Tracey and Star Trek come to life), it seems that humans are more tightly attached to their electronic gadgets than they are to each other.
  I thoroughly enjoy watching a few programs on my television, and I usually have the local news on in both the morning and evening to be certain I'm aware of local events; but I am not sitting directly in front of the monitor, staring at it, and it alone.  Currently, I'm at my desk, with the television turned on - I've watched the local news and 30 minutes of the national news, while checking my e-mail and my usual electronic news.  I usually check the local newspaper two or three times a day, to see if there is any "breaking" news that affects me.  I use my personal computer to do research, to blog, and to stay in contact with distant friends.  I use my land line telephone to speak with friends at a distance.  I do own a cell phone, but it is only for business use - for people who need to contact me while I'm caring for their houses and pets.  The cell phone can take and make telephone calls, and take and make text calls - nothing else.
  The other day, while a friend was visiting, my home phone rang; I glanced at the caller ID, saw it was an 800 number, and ignored it.  My friend was almost literally twitching with each ring, and was amazed that I didn't answer it.  I told him that I paid for the phone service, and I owned the instrument itself; since I owned it, I was not a slave to it - the same with my cell phone.  I have the choice of answering, or not answering, the device.  It is NOT alive; I do not "owe" it an answer; it is a tool to be used, as I desire.
  Some people have declared that I am against technology and against using technology.  I don't think that I am against technology at all - but I refuse to make myself a slave to electronic gadgets.  Being able to look something up on the internet in minutes is fantastic- instead of having to go to the library and look up the information in an encyclopedia.  Being able to watch a movie from a DVD on my television is much superior than having to pay to see the movie in a theater, with loud obnoxious people that I don't know kicking the back of my seat.  Listening to my favorite music, whether it's recorded on vinyl, tape, or CD, is marvelous.
-  But I am the master and owner of these devices.  They do NOT own me, nor do they govern my actions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rainy Days

We've been having cool nights (lower- to mid-50s) and highs in the 80s.  Yesterday, our high was 74.  Supposed to be in the 70s until the weekend, and then in the 80s.  We have tons and tons of green tomatoes on the vine, but since it's going down into the 50s at night, the garden masters are saying we'll need to cut the 'maters (on the vine) and allow them to ripen in the windowsill, or in a box covered with newspaper... sigh....  We've been having thunderstorms almost every afternoon, and had a fantastic lightning show last night.  I usually have internet access at Tessa's house, but the Mac keeps saying the WiFi is on and connecting, but there's no internet access....  Grrrrr.  That's going to curtail my posting...  Will continue trying to get the Mac to access the web.  This is a pain in the patootie!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fun Shots

Homeboy don't carrot you say!

Catching Up

I'm finally checking back in...  David Gregory has left NBC and Meet the Press.  There's been a 6.0 earthquake in Napa Valley, California early this morning.  The Pro Cycling Challenge will end today with a ride from the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder to downtown Denver, after a trip up and down lookout Mountain.
At 8 am this morning, I had taken care of four houses full of pets and had taken a client to the Denver Airport and had returned home.  I'm tired again.
  I've been loving Lovey and Nedi like mad - they both are demanding attention, and I don't blame them.  I'll return home on Tuesday night, the second of September to sleep in my own bed.  Then I'm taking the following week off - no dog walks, no house sitting, no nothing - except being at home with my kits.  And that Saturday I'll be home is the first CU home game here in Boulder - so things will work out nicely.  And all of the local cable and satellite companies are carrying the SEC Network, so I can get my fill of good college football.
  Let's see, what else is going on...  I turned on the TV yesterday in time to see the post parade for the Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga yesterday afternoon, and I chose the filly that led the line - # 1 - Artemis Agrotera, as my winner.  And she won.  Then I watched the lead-in and the post parade for the Travers Stakes, also known as the Midsummer Derby; the colts people were talking about were considered the "Big 3" - Bayern, Tonalist and Wicked Strong.  I thought Wicked Strong looked the best of those three, but I chose V. E. Day as my winner...  And he won, with Wicked Strong in second.  Tonalist finished third, and Bayern, after a very fast first mile, was last.  I haven't lost my eye, yet.
   ISIS has beheaded an American journalist, after the US refused to pay a $132 million ransom demand.  They are threatening to kill another innocent American soon, and are also mouthing off about attacking cities and sites in our country.  I feel very badly for the family of the man killed, and the family of the man being threatened; but I cannot condone paying ransom to a militant jihadist group. I feel that our country is correct in refusing to pay ransom for citizens.
   The Broncos beat the Seahawks in their first pre-season game; they blanked the 49ers at their new stadium for the 49er's home opener.  Last night, the Broncos were rocked by a last minute touchdown and 2 point conversion by the Texans - after they had injured Wes Welker in the last minutes of the first half.  This caused the usually quiet and even-tempered Peyton Manning to go face-to-face with a defensive player, and the Broncos were penalized 15 yards for "taunting."  The final score was Texas 18, Broncos 17.
  Starting Tuesday (in 2 days), I'll be staying at one house and taking care of the critters there, walking Rosie as usual, and visiting my kits as much as possible.  Then I have four days of walking Rosie, and then I have 8 full days and nights of freedom...  and I plan on spending most of that time with my kits, at home.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

One Week Off

Taking a week off from the blog - Hope the next seven days are full of love, laughter, and fun for each of you!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Assorted Photos

Sunrise over a barge on the Chesapeake Bay

Cozmic One on the track at Saratoga Springs, New York

A baby fox in a hunt cap

My newest granddaughter, London Noelle

A piebald fawn

Samuel, my second cousin, at the Swim Back to Assateague

Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday was my sister and brother-in-law's 33rd wedding anniversary - and I remember their ceremony and reception very well.  We celebrated by having supper at the Cheesecake Factory - and we arrived before the end of Happy Hour, so all of the appetizers were half price.  Other than having to ask to see the Happy Hour menu, we all had a great time and super food - so much so that everyone took home leftovers.
  I am able to relax a bit, since I'm currently caring for Cyrano de Biggercat and Pounce de Leon, and walking Rosie, only.  I was able to spend 5 hours with my own kits yesterday, and I'm hoping for six hours today.  I was surprised to find a boxed book inside my mailbox this morning; I had to dismantle the cardboard box inside the mailbox to be able to remove the book.  Then I was able to fold the box enough to withdraw it from the mailbox - I wonder how much force the mailman had to use to get the package to go into the box?  It took me 5 minutes to get it out....
  Kathy is beginning to get excited about next year's family reunion on Chincoteague during Pony Penning.  Our first cousins Aleda and Kathy Ann live on the island, along with their spouses, kids an grandkids; first cousins Nancy, Peter and Johnny live nearby with their spouses and kids and grandkids...  Kathy and her Snow clan will be there, and I'm hoping I can get a couple of my step-children and grandkids to also attend (they're in the DC area)...   It will be grand!  I might have to change our reservations and get a larger house for the week.
   I am still upset with the suicide of  Robin Williams.  This morning I heard that he had been recently diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, according to his wife.  I wish that he had been able to contact Michael J Fox and speak with him about the effects of Parkinson's...  I know that it's an uncomfortable disease and diagnosis; my Mother had it, as well as Alzheimer's.  Perhaps that diagnosis was what put Robin "over the edge" to the point that he felt suicide was better than survival.  All I know is that I am still melancholy due to his passing.
   Thoroughbred horse racing...  Both the son of Zenyatta, Cozmic One, and the son of Rachel Alexandra, Jess's Dream, are continuing their training at Saratoga Springs.  I hope to see these two colts race against each other next year.  What I have to admit is that I don't like Rachel's eyes; so I have always preferred Zenyatta to RA.  I think I'm favoring Cozmic One over Jess's Dream already.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Still Reeling

I have been treated for suicidal depression since I was in high school - that's forty years of counseling and medication.  I am still reeling from the suicide of Robin Williams.  I have been as deeply affected by despair as he apparently was.  And I have to admit that it was never a person who kept me from killing myself.  It was my animals that stopped me.  Animals.  Cats, dogs, horses, rabbits.  Not one single person, except myself,could stop me.  But I always had a fur-covered child that I found I could not abandon.  I write, I draw, I paint, and I sew for my creative release.  I read books avidly for learning, and as a type of escape.  I have decided many times to take my own life - but them I've met the eyes of my furry family and realize  that I need to be here, alive, to take care of them.
  I am devastated that Robin Williams, a truly great actor and comedian, reached such depths of despair himself.  I know that he had both an alcohol and drug problems;  I know that a few years ago, he suffered a heart attack.  Perhaps he felt over-whelmed - perhaps he felt that the public wanted him to give more and more of himself - perhaps he felt that his ensemble comedy show's failure was his, personally - there are so many reasons that a gifted entertainer might do away with himself….  I am just very sad that a man who had such a gift for giving laughter ended his life, alone, and by his own hands.
  The Mork & Mindy house here in Boulder, at 1619 Pine Street, became a memorial to the genius of Robin Williams as soon as his death was announced.  I was in school while the show was on, and my parents and I enjoyed it immensely - especially since my sister was living in Boulder at the same time.  I have seen photos of all the gifts left at his gate in Tiburon, California, and at his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
   Depression and mental health will probably be "buzz words" for the next few months, and then will be hidden away in the closet or swept under the carpet again.  I have had so many people - including family - tell me, to "just shake it off," "go out and do something," or "it's all in your mind…"  Hell, yes, it is all in my mind.  You can't just shake it off like a dirty dust mop; you are so depressed that it's a great accomplishment just to get dressed - go out and do something? - you don't have the energy to even feed yourself…  I was usually identified as the quiet one, or the shy one, or the one who didn't want to participate; few realized that it was all I could do just to be in a room full of people - let alone go in front of a class and deliver a speech.
   There are so many kinds of mental illness in the world.  Please don't judge others harshly; they are probably doing the very best that they can.

And, then, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89 yesterday.  It's reported she died from a stroke, at home.  She lived so much longer than Bogey - and I dearly loved her in Key West.

Rest in peace, Robin and Betty.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Assateague and Chincoteague Views (Photos)

Summer rental home on Chincoteague

Chincoteague pony mares

What makes Assateague famous?  The lighthouse, the annual Pony Swim, and the gorgeous beach

Surfer's Riptide and Copper Moose - copyright JMS Photography, 2013

And a last look at the old Chincoteague Inn; a new restaurant has been built in it's place

Accident Witness

Saw an auto accident yesterday that shook me up, a bit.  Well, technically, I didn't see the actual accident - but I saw the motorcycle rider fly through the air....  I stopped at a large intersection yesterday due to a red traffic light.  The intersection at Iris Avenue and 28th Street (aka US 36), has two lanes going straight in each direction, two left turn lanes in each direction, and a median-bordered right turn lane - so, counting lanes across the road from sidewalk to sidewalk, there are ten lanes on each side.  I was turning west, or left, off 28th Street and onto Iris.  A car pulled up beside me in the turn lane, and also stopped for the red light.  Two cars were stopped opposite us, also in the left turn lane.  The light changed, giving us a yellow blinking caution arrow, and two full greens to go ahead and to turn right.  Vehicles were approaching the intersection toward me, but there was plenty of time for one car in each lane to turn.  I turned left as the car beside me also turned left.  I was straightening my wheels when I heard a loud bang and crash noise. I looked into my rear-view mirror and saw a blue Toyota, that had been in line to turn left behind me at the red light, coming to a halt  - but my eyes were mostly caught by the sight of a helmeted person doing a spinning cannon-ball over the rear of the Toyota.  Then my mind took in the crunched motorcycle and debris field.  I pulled to the side of the road and called 911; while talking to the operator, I pulled into a parking lot for the shopping center on the corner.  The 911 operator told me that multiple people were on the lines about the accident, but no one knew the condition of the motorcyclist. I parked the car and ran back to the accident, still on the line with the 911 operator.
   There were five people standing at the rear of the car and to the driver's side - the motorcycle ride was lying on his back, and his feet were moving.  So I could tell the operator that the rider was alive - but she wanted to know if he was conscious and speaking.  So I finished running up to the median turn divider and yelled that question.  I was answered verbally, "Yes!" by one person; a man at the edge of the group shot me a finger (!?!).  No one was kneeling beside the victim, who by that time had drawn his knees up, and while keeping his back flat on the pavement, was moving his legs from side to side.  I relayed all that information to the 911 operator and was thanked.  She hung up immediately.  While talking to the operator, I could hear the sound of sirens approaching, so I was assured help was on the way.  What amazed me was that, as I walked away, one of the people at the end of the car yelled, "Nosy bitch!" at me.  I just shook my head and continued to my car.  The other folks there, in the meantime, were kicking the debris field closer to the car, so other vehicles could pass by them safely.  No one took any photos of the original scene that I saw.  I would have, if I had had a camera with me, or a cell phone that takes photos. (Yes, I have a cell phone; but it only takes and makes phone calls...)
   I have no idea about the condition of the rider of the motorcycle.  There was no write-up about the accident in the local newspaper, and there was no TV coverage, so I am assuming the man's injuries were not critical. But it left me with an uncertain feeling all day, and dreams of vehicular accidents last night.  So I'm trying to decide why seeing this accident has bothered me so much....

Sunday, August 10, 2014