I’m really not trying to steal Daisy Fae’s thunder. I really had planned to blog this today. But the quote sure fit. I couldn’t resist.
Yesterday was a nice day in Seattle. And we needed dog food. Friday needs special dog food, she has gotten really sick when I’ve tried to feed her anything else. So a trip to the pet store was necessary. The one I go to is in the University District, about four miles away. Going on the bus is a two bus ordeal, and since the scooter was running, it was a nice day, etc. I decided to ride over there. I’ve done it before, so I sort of knew the way. There are a couple of blips, but I knew I could make it.
I wanted very much to avoid any hills, and sometimes you can do that in Seattle by taking the long way round. So I started out going north by going south. Yeah, it’s crazy. But otherwise there is a really steep hill to conquer. So I went down to Virginia St., where I knew I could get to Fairview without climbing any steep hills. When I got to 7th and Virginia, what should appear before me but a SLUT station. Whoa, here was a way to get to Fairview without even riding.
You have to understand about the South Lake Union Trolley or streetcar, or whatever they are calling it these days. It’s something dreamed up by one of our Microsoft billionaires. Most of the neighborhood didn’t want it. It’s pretty much a streetcar to nowhere. Much like our Monorail left over from the 1962 World’s Fair. It’s pretty much useless and a traffic hazard, but it covered 1.3 miles that otherwise would be uphill. Anyway, I’ve been wanting an excuse to ride the thing since it opened in December.
OK, I love the SLUT. It’s accessible with a capital A. Easy to get my scooter on and off, and I can even park my scooter with my basket on the back. Score!!! Now they’re talking about building more lines of these things. I will be going to meetings to kill it. It’s a stupid plan. The way this thing is built it takes up roadway, and is even slower than cars. We wanted to expand the Monorail, but the fat cats in town killed it. The monorail would have been above the traffic, not contributing to it. And by the way, I want the Waterfront Trolley back. The free buses just don’t do it for me. The Waterfront Trolley used to pay for itself, now we are letting people ride buses down there for free.
OK, once we were off the SLUT, we proceeded up Eastlake St, and over the University Draw Bridge. And ran into our only trouble spot. There is a traffic island, and I knew there was some way off of it, but it’s tricky. It’s a big island with paths and a bus stop. In the course of looking for the way off, I got the scooter high centered, and had to get off and push it. Whereupon it promptly ran away from me, and I fell down. It fortunately runs with a dead-man switch, so as soon as I didn’t have pressure on the throttle it stopped. It took me a couple of minutes to get up, and then I figured out the path, and we were off again. We got the dog food, and had dinner, and proceeded home with no further incidents.
Today, however, we had another mishap with the scooter. We were on our way grocery shopping, and stopped at a burger place to eat. Never grocery shop hungry. For some reason, the throttle broke, and I couldn’t control the scooter. It may occur to the engineers among you that with a dead-man switch, if you can’t control the throttle, you also don’t have any brakes. Or anyway, that’s the way the scooter is set up. It’s not a perfect system. I struggled with it a while until finally somebody suggested I turn it off. And then I sat there shaking. Now how was I going to get home?
So I put an emergency call into The Boyo, who came with his van and rescued me and the scooter. And even took me grocery shopping. He also said his homeless aeronautical engineer friend might be able to fix it. That’s good, because I’m pretty broke right now, and don’t have another economic stimulus check coming to pay for scooter repairs.
I may have mentioned before that my scooter’s name is Epona. Epona is a Celtic horse goddess, and thus the goddess of transportation. She is also associated with dreams, especially nightmares. And this machine, while being a dream for my mobility, has also been a nightmare. I had to have the charger replaced three times in the first year, thankfully at the company’s expense. The brake went out two years ago, and indeed, never really did work properly until it was. It also destroyed a pair of batteries. And now this. So, folks, pray to the horse goddess or whoever you believe in, or cross your fingers that this can be done easily and cheaply.