Trip vignettes

Preaching to the choir

Friday night’s venue was the Altar Bar, a recycled church. The balcony was probably once the choir loft. With the band on the altar, and we fans singing along in the choir loft, preaching to the choir best describes the night.

Pittsburgh cycling

Here in R-Town, I’m one of the few cyclists I see with fenders. As a transportation cyclist, they’re absolutely necessary. The majority of bikes I saw in Pittsburgh had fenders. Very cool.

I also got to see a separated two-way bike lane on a one-way street. And signs that said things like , “No right turns, except bikes”.

I’m hopelessly old-school

  • The hotel delivered our bill under the door overnight. All we had to do for check-out was walk out the door. It didn’t feel right. Understanding it’s no longer required, it still felt much better to return the keycards to the desk.
  • Waiting outside the club, it was not lost on me that I was taking notes (my “prosthetic memory”) with a pencil in a pocket-sized notebook. Everyone else was thumbing and swiping their phones. One benefit of old-school, I’m able to write while I look around.
  • Driving the car, after the novelty of volume controls on the steering wheel wore off, I found myself reaching for the volume knob on the dash.

Hey, I’m that guy

You know that guy in the EZ-Pass lane with cash? I followed a semi into the tollbooths and didn’t see the sign until too late. Well, I was able to bail at the last second, then reverse down the shoulder, advertising my mistake.

Losing my keycard, losing my mind

A major frustration was that I lost my keycard every time I used it. I’d put it in the pants I was going to change into, rather than the ones I was wearing. I’d forget that I had six pockets and check only four. Most frustrating is that it was always in the “wrong” pocket.

At first I attributed it to the fact it has nearly no mass and little volume. I couldn’t feel it in my pockets. But no. It wasn’t until this morning that I understood why.

I always keep my keys in the outer right pocket. The keycard always wound up in my inner left pocket, which is where I keep money. Again, hopelessly old-school, after I’d use it, it no longer registered in my mind as a key. Rectangular plastic is equivalent to money, so I’d subconsciously shift it to my left hand and put it in the “money” pocket.


When I met the band (see: Starstruck), I asked if I spoke their names correctly. They confirmed it. So at least my pronunciation is passable even if my vocabulary and grammar (and manners if you want to get picky) went right out the window.

For my part, I introduced myself using the Japanese pronunciation of my name, ブルース or in roumaji, Buruusu.