What I See When I Go For A Walk

“Don’t you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don’t you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?

No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.

One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out “Don’t you believe in anything?”

Yes”, I said. “I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.”

― Isaac Asimov

Over break, I’m working on an addition to my exercise regime. In addition to ten miles a day on the bike (which is usually on my spin bike indoors) I added a minimum two mile walk outside. I increase that a little every day. Sometimes I take my dog with me, sometimes I go alone (the dog is very good on a leash, but holding the thing and not being able to swing my arms cramps my rhythm a bit).

I look for odd things on my walks – here is a strange and wonderful sign I saw today along the paved hike/bike trail.

Mark Twain Park, Richardson, Texas


“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.”
― Charles Dickens

Near Main Street Garden Park, Dallas, Texas

I was starting off on my drive to work, having made one turn… my drive crossed the walking path that runs along the creek behind my house. This trail is crowded at dawn, mostly dog-walkers but quite a few exercisers, some wanderers, skateboards, unicycles, cyclists, and stray coyotes returning to their lairs. All are out trying to get in some perambulation in the relative cool of the morning before the killer Texas sun rises too high in the sky.

A little bit past the trail crossing I slowed to let a man cross in front of me. He had a leash in one hand and a plastic poop bag in the other – the bag swung to and fro, indicating its possession of a cargo of (presumably canine) shit.

But he had no dog. A leash and a bag of poop, but no pet. What the hell?

Maybe his long term pet had passed away and he still went out every morning for a walk, carrying a leash and a precious, saved crappy souvenir to remind him of his dear departed pooch. Maybe not.

I didn’t stop and ask.

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, Monte by The Abject Muse

To Monte, it looked good enough to eat, so he ate it. Come to find out that The Guy had had other plans for that hunk of meat. The fact that he’d left him the bone (albeit scored with tooth marks) didn’t seem to make much difference.

—- The Abject Muse, Monte

Isaak in the pond at NorthBark Park, Dallas, Texas

I always wonder what my dog is thinking as I take him for a walk. He acts like he really likes to play fetch, though (and he is very good at it).

Read it here:

Monte by The Abject Muse

from The Abject Muse (Susan Marie Shuman)


Walking Along the Levee

“One who knows the Mississippi will promptly aver—not aloud, but to himself—that ten thousand River Commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or confine it, cannot say to it, Go here, or Go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at.”
― Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Walking on the levee
New Orleans

Two and a half miles

One problem when the kids are home from school is that we do not have enough cars. It’s especially a problem on the days that Candy, Lee, and I are all working – there simply are not enough vehicles to get all of us to our places of gainful employment. That means I end up taking the train and the bus.

The other day was cold and wet. It rained hard most of the day but by the time I was able to leave work it was only a light mist. Then I discovered I had screwed up. I didn’t have any cash. I can buy a train ticket with my credit card but when I arrived at the Arapaho station I didn’t have any change for the bus… plus, when I checked the schedule, it would be over an hour before a bus arrived.

So I decided to hoof it. It’s about two and a half miles from the station to my house… not very far under ideal conditions, but it was dark, cold, muddy, and I was worn out from a day at work. Still, I gathered myself and strode confidently across the parking lot into the darkness.

Most of the distance between the Arapaho station and my neighborhood is made of of light industrial buildings. These are gridded out streets lined with rows of small offices, warehouses, small companies leasing space in industrial parks, and a few larger establishments with parking lots and multi-story buildings.

It’s actually sort of interesting stuff to walk through. Everyone sees these places from their car – but it is rare to take the time to see them slowly and up close.

I’m fascinated by the hundreds of mysterious names of these companies – it’s the poor suburb of the nearby high-tech telecom corridor – Greenfield, Polytronix, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pizarro, Exteris… along with some more mundane small businesses – The Jalepeno Ketchup Company, Cameron Machine Shop, Granite World. I like to walk along and look at those signs, think about the work that goes on within, imagine what it would be like to start up one of these.

Of course, there are quite a few FOR LEASE signs too. I walked up to a couple of these and peered into the darkness as best as I could, looked at the layout posters taped to the front doors, and imagined what I could do with the space. I couldn’t come up with anything concrete.

There were very few other people out and about in this awful weather and prematurely darkened night. One woman working late scurried by on the way to her car, obviously skittered at seeing me walking along unexpectedly. One odd guy cruised by slowly and unevenly on a bicycle – either drunk or worn out or both.

Before I knew it I was at the park at the end of my block and almost home. It went by very quickly and I wasn’t as tired as I thought I was.

Maybe I should do this walk more often. Maybe when the weather isn’t so nasty.