Thank you one and two

Thats how many people reconized me today at work as "The guy from Forgotten-Roanoke." I must say it is nice to be noticed, but its even nicer to know that people are reading it. I can study the hit counters, and the search word analyzers all I want, but it doesnt mean anyone is actually reading it. Of course, I'll truly know Im having an impact when I get punched in the stomach by some irate citizen, but thats just my idea of success.

So, all in all - it was a good day to open on. We had a nice group of customers, all very appreciative that Eddy saw fit to re-open.

I guess its not a secret anymore - Im working at Howard's Soup Kitchen, and come Tuesday there will be an article in the print edition of the Roanoke Times, along with photos of Jerry and Eddy Howard. The founders of the place. Your humble webmaster does not, as far as I know, appear in any of the photos. I did my best to keep my wonderful face from ruining any of the Brothers Howard photos. And the ambiance of the whole thing.

Hell, I could ruin a brick wall.

But rest assured, your humble servant is still working feverishly on the site, and has thoroughly documented the history of the current Howards Soup Kitchen. And the former Howards location. For further information, see the Ponce De Leon pages. Yes, they were there.

And 102 Franklin Rd.

In all, they are heading into their 26th year in business. Come on out and support them.

And don't come looking for me - Im hiding behind all the steam.


Hey baby, is that a Category 4 or are you just happy to see me?

Yeah, this is cool enough. But it doesnt move me, not the way Im moved by

Oh by no means am I saying tornadoes aren't cool, but hurricanes are much much cooler. Twisters rarely range larger than 1/2 mile across, however - hurricanes - well, look at that thing.

A twister is 20 minutes in hell, a hurricane is 10 hours in hell. A grinding, gnawing, chewing hell at that. Relentless. I havent been through any really destructive hurricanes in my life - just one. But - in the offseason, we up in NY call them Nor'easters. Thats when they can be truly damaging.

Over 100 trees, each at least 50 years old were just flattened by a nor'easter one year. In a highly densely populated area at that. It took 24 hours for the storm to clear.

But the one true hurricane I still remember -
http://www.geocities.com/hurricanene/gloriairct.jpeg Hurricane Gloria. For days we had watched her make a bee-line for the Hudson River, and NYC itself. We heard the warnings, but NYC had not had a direct strike in years - so as usual, no one took them too seriously. But the night before, when we all colletively looked at our tv's and saw the radar - we knew it was happening this time. We all went panic shopping, filled our tubs or bought bottled water (generally unheard of at this time, in the halcyon years before Evian took off). Taped off our windows.

I was 10, sitting in the window of my 2nd floor bedroom, watching and waiting. We awoke to rain - wind, and rain. I was somewhat let down - but then I found out that not only had it not hit yet, but the eye was coming right for my house!

Monitoring situation ensued. I assumed my station - about 2 feet away from my window in my bedroom, with the tv on in the background giving me updates on the whole situation.

The wind began whipping up, and so did my love affair with hurricanes.

Somehow we got lucky - the eyewall split apart just as it passed over, and we only had one tree on the block fall on a house. Gloria hit at low tide, which is lucky, because nearly 3 miles of the south shore of Long Island are considered "flood risk" and do occasionally flood, during high tide and storms. Its happened in Nor'Easters. Had Gloria hit at high tide, there would have been a tide of over 14 feet, as she was running a 6-7 foot storm surge ahead of her.

Ever since, Ive been a man with hurricanes on the mind - so I say to all these weathergeeks, forcasting bad storms this year - just bring it. Storms are nothing to fear, its nature - you cant fear nature - it does what it wills to do.
You just have to survive it. And for me, I'll happily donate my services to any news organization that wants a on-scene reporter when the next Category-5 comes raging into shore. Just provide me enough rope I can tie myself to a lighthouse, and I'll be fine.


I want everyone to come down tomorrow to 24 Church Ave. Have some food, say hi - bring a friend.

The update to the website will go up sometime this weekend, as my schedule allows. Tons o' fun lemmie tell ya.


So Im working in a bus depot.

Well, former bus depot. And bank, as well as former tinsmith, wallpaper, and paper warehouse. Depends on what year you want to travel back to.

Heck, for a while the place was just a lot of weeds and dirt. But when there has been a building on the site - it has retained the same address always.

Rumor has it there used to be a turntable where our kitchen now is. There is a strange ring in the floor. However turntables are less associated with Bus depot's than they are with train roundhouses and trolley depots.

Unless it was a horse-drawn 'bus'. And infact there used to be stables next door. The soup thickens....

Well, I actually want to say a few words about my home (by about 500 feet), Roanoke County. Roanoke County is trying to market itself as well as it possibly can to the upscale. Those who are looking for the 'rural' life without it being actually rural. Which is why we are getting nothing but upscale housing developments, upscale retail developments, and absolutely zero "quality of life" developments.

They are cancelling the county portion of the RADAR bus service. It would cost $200,000 to keep it going, but the county has decided to withdraw it rather then fund it. Now, for those of you who dont know - the county RADAR service ran 2 extremely limited routes. The Orange line went from Tanglewood to Lewis Gale, with a side trip up Brambleton. All in all, not much of a run really. The Yellow line ran from Valley Tech park to Spartan Square. Again, not much of a run really. They labeled these lines as "Feeder service" to feed into Valley Metro's STAR service.

Well isn't that nice of them. Feed into STAR. Make the people who are taking your service due to disability, age, infirmity, whatever TRANSFER BUSES. Valley Metro's STAR service on the other hand - it runs on all the existing bus routes. All you have to do is call, they will even come 3/4ths of a mile off the route to get you.

Yes, the Orange and Yellow lines would do that also, except they only have the 2 routes. And the CORTRAN service (which has no existing routes listed on the radartransit.org website) is $3.50 a pop.. one way.

So, you dont know where they run - when they run, all you really do know is they are expensive. Still not as expensive as a Roanoke Taxi, but expensive none the less.

Roanoke County is trying its hardest to appease its upper-crust citizens who don't want their tax monies going to something they never use. The Orange and Yellow lines were free, totally funded by the taxpayer. Kiss of death if I ever heard of one. And a little birdy told me that Roanoke County has not taken part in ANY public transit program since 1979.

While I do like my little section of Roanoke here, 500 feet from the city line - I personally would prefer to live in a place where the local government made an effort to serve everyone. But thats Roanoke County's perrogitive, they make their choices and will have to live with them.

I consider myself a citizen of the CITY of Roanoke.


"Tres Moderne'" This is the perfect picture for Roanoke as of right now. It makes it look like some sort of Disney attraction. Of course I played with the color a bit, but you get the idea. Not many places in this world could you take a photo like this one. Sometimes Im just happy to wake up here. Other times Im not happy to wake up, period. But thats my issue. Posted by Hello




A quickie slideshow thingy * I heart Picasa*

some photos I took today while preparing for my next major project, which has nothing to do with the website. Or does it?