De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


It Pays To Advertise

OK, so after weeks of thumbing it to and from work, the light finally went on and I remembered my own saying that there's almost always a better way. You've no doubt seen those poor bedraggled wretches on the side of the road, holding up a sign saying something like "Las Vegas and/or bust". But since I don't have the luxury of just standing there, hoping someone picks me up in time to make it to work on time (or, better yet, a bit early), I had to improvise.

Since I hitchhike European style* (walking with traffic, facing forward), I printed out a two-sided sign to hang on the back of my backpack. One side says "Komatsu" (where I work); the other side says "Downtown" (soon to be modified to say "Downtown/Brainerd"). I put it into a document protector with a piece of light cardboard and pinned it to the back of my backpack.

On Monday, I think I made it two blocks from the Market Street Bridge (i.e. a quarter-mile or so from the bus stop) and some old geezer in a nice SUV picked me up. My boss was at work, doing some stuff and left the same time I did, so he gave me a ride to the bus stop. Today, I made it a few blocks farther on and some other guy picked me up and took me the rest of the way to work. After work, I think I had made it about half a mile from work and some guy picked me up and took me to the bus stop, getting there about 3 minutes before the bus.

By this coming weekend, I should have a functioning bicycle, but the rest of this week should be interesting.

Update (12 May 2010): OK, it gets better. Today, I had to climb that whole stupid hill, but then got picked up at the usual spot ~50 yards from the tunnel. (Better than nothing, eh?) This time, the driver turned out to be a second-shift worker from Komatsu. So, I get to work ~20 minutes early; enough time to rest up a bit before starting.

The way home was even better. I had modified my sign to say "Downtown/Brainerd", but I still wound up walking about a mile before some guy picked me up. I noticed he had a Georgia license plate, and wondered what his planned route would be. Turns out, he was headed for I-75 (which runs near my apartment) to go home. There was enough time that he dropped me off near Aldi and I was able to duck in, buy some vittles, and walk home in time to catch all but the very beginning of Jeopardy.

Once I get a working bicycle under me, I think I'm going to miss these adventures.


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