Take Ruthie Home

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina Blog Relief Day

Click on the post headline above to go to Glenn's roundup post that lists various charities where YOU can send your donation.

September 1 is "Katrina Blog Relief Day." Go for it! Let's Get United...States!

Mother Nature:Terrorist!



The fourth anniversary of 9/11 will be here soon.





But our Country has sustained a hit that is not the result of any terrorist. The horrible instigator known as Hurricane Katrina has created a catastrophe that no human being has ever unleashed on North America.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So Much For Spokane

I am in Spokane, Washington today. And I made the mistake of going to a clinic to see if they could help me do something about my painful right knee.

Oh they did something, alright. Because I have no permanent address and no medical insurance in the State of Washington, the nurse asked me the following questions:

"Do you have tattoos?"

"Are you sexually active?"

And it all went downhill from there.

The condescension and stereotypical thinking is so thick in the Spokane air today that it's seriously making me sick.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Tour

Click on the post headline above and you will go to the "Bring Them Home Now" tour website.

This amazing endeavor has evolved, in part, through the efforts of Cindy Sheehan.

I heard on the radio today [a very right-wing biased report, by the way] that Cindy Sheehan supports abortion. I don't.

But that is not the point here.

Cindy is against the conflict and rising American death toll in the Middle East. So am I.

So I sent Cindy an email and I plan to send her several more. I want to meet with her in Washington DC if not before that.

The bus tour, which will include, according to the website: "...military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars... will travel different routes across the country, converging in Washington, DC on September 21, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization September 24th-26th."

I will talk a great deal more about Cindy in the very near future.

It's about time we all did this.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Lousy Library

I am at another branch of the Multnomah County Library system in the Portland, Oregon area.

The librarians here are very nice and helpful.

However, the librarians in the Central downtown library were NOT!

I sent the main branch a terse email but I doubt that I will get any sort of response.

That would be too much to ask for.

[shaking my head in disgust]

I had trouble getting my name in the electronic line-up to use the internet. I asked for help. Instead I got five minutes of snide remarks and insulting behavior.

I will update you about this in detail within the next few days.

That's a promise.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Just in case any of my buddies from the "America's Most Wanted" website forums are wondering...Here's the scoop:

The library in this town won't allow me to access the message that was posted to me in the forums.

Therefore, I have not read it nor have I been able to access any part of the forums yet.

I will try to do that in another town tomorrow.

Just so you know, you AMW people are high on my interest list.

And I'll be pulling out of here in a bit and will bring you an update from another area.

I am happy to see that Dwight Gooden finally turned himself in.

Perhaps this will be the first step in turning himself around.

An INTELligent Blond

So Ms. "Blondie" is into military intel. Gee whiz.

Judging by my trackers, she has been checking out my blog for some time now.

I wondered who was doing it.

And I wonder why she seems so interested in what I have to say.

And where was she on September 10, 2001?

We could have used some good, solid intuition on the anniversary of my birth.

Perhaps if Ms. Blondie would have been up to it, September 11, 2001 would have ended up being just another day.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update cont'd.

I started walking along the shoulder of I-86 West and amazingly enough, was picked up by two different drivers.

But after the last lady dropped me off, I was out in the high-desert country, in the dark and definitely on my own.

I walked for a long time. Finally I reached the Massacre Rocks rest area and sat down on a stone bench outside the building.

I stayed there, throwing pieces of chocolate doughnut to the local field mice, for the next five hours.

Finally, at 5 am, I grabbed my pack and started walking down the shoulder of the interstate...Again.

I tried and tried and tried to get a ride. Nobody would stop.

Finally, after almost an hour, somebody did.

And the man brought me into a small town called Burley, Idaho. This is where I am now.

I met a man who made sure that I got a motel for the night and who is now working on getting me a bus ticket out of here.

He called the State of Idaho yesterday and asked them about hitchhiking. He was told that I can walk, like I was doing, but I cannot hitchhike or fly a sign.

Go figure.

Meanwhile, President "Maggot-In-Man-Form" Bush talked to troop families in Boise yesterday.

He made sure that he was far away from Texas when he did.

Do you have any idea why, Campers?

Duh.

PRIVATE MESSAGE: I know what you did and why you did it. Be Warned. I am now your enemy.

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I thought I saw Dwight Gooden the day before yesterday. I honestly thought I did. In, of all places, Pocatello, Idaho.

The guy was waiting to cross the main street in that city and appeared to be very nervous. He kept looking around and walked very fast.

But nahhhh...It couldn't be!

I left Pocatello and headed down the ramp toward the evening sun. I put out my thumb and planned to hitchhike through the night to Boise, Idaho.

Suddenly a cop cruiser rolled up and stopped. A cop, who took an unusual amount of time talking into his radio, finally climbed out of the car.

"You can't hitchhike anywhere in the State of Idaho" he declared.

"Holy How-Could-That-Be, Batman?" I exclaimed.

The cop tried to stare me down. He was not amused by my humor.

I gave him my identification card and after he realized that I am not a criminal, he asked for my Social Security card, too.

After scrutinizing them and making sure that both of the signatures matched, he handed my cards back.

"So what do you expect me to do...Just walk down this dark highway with my flashlight?" I asked.

"Yeah, and you can't hitchhike...No thumb, no sign, nothing. If I see you with your thumb out or holding a sign, I will arrest you for disobeying a lawful order." He replied.

"Just how do you expect me to make it through the dark tonight without getting flattened by a truck?" I asked, glaring at his Dudley Do-Wrong face.

"Very carefully" he replied.

I now know that the law enforcement in the State of Idaho includes one big ass.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Kerry Clamps Down

A new petition crafted by John Kerry. He's fed up with the war. So am I.

I "signed" it and left this comment:

I think that every man and woman who catches a bullet or gets torn apart by a
bomb in the Middle East is one less American who will have a chance to
make our Country better than it is now.

I think that President Bush is a fraud. I think that he and others in
the Federal Government and in the private sector have a hidden
agenda that will end up hurting us all.

I think that the time has come for the American people to get the
chance to vote on whether our Country remains in this terrible war.

Nothing Good About Dwight Gooden

[Click on the post headline above to go to the "America's Most Wanted" website and its coverage of the now-fugitive ballplayer, Dwight "Run-Away-From-Myself" Gooden.]

I read the story about Dwight Gooden, who gave up his chance to become a legend in Major League Baseball, and thought about Rob Deer.

For some reason, I always thought that the face I'd see on the "America's Most Wanted" website would belong to former Major Leaguer Rob Deer. NOT to Dwight Gooden!

I don't know where you are Rob...but I know you're not hiding. And I'm happy to hear that.

As for you, Dwight Gooden, YOU need to stop, turn around, be a man [for once in your life] and turn yourself in.

You're an idiot, Dwight, plain and simple.

And your life isn't going to get any better if you keep on trying to fix it by yourself.

Rob's Brother is many things, but he's not wanted by the law.

Not yet, anyway.

[UPDATE 2008: Dwight Gooden turned himself in to Tampa authorities on August 25, 2005, two days after I posted this message.]

The Biggest Loser In 2005


Dennis Rader


Here is the High Technology Crime Investigation Association's write-up about the HTCIA Most Significant Case for 2005:the BTK homicide case:

[MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- HTCIA (High Technology Crime
Investigation Association), the world's largest organization for high
technology crime investigators, today announced it named the BTK homicide case
the "HTCIA Most Significant Case for 2005" during the HTCIA 2005 International
Conference & Expo being held August 29-31, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey
Resort in Monterey, California.
With more than 650 government and corporate computer investigators in
attendance, Detective Robert Stone and his team at the Wichita Police were
recognized for their work in helping to locate BTK through computer forensics.
The HTCIA International Conference & Expo offers law enforcement, corporate
security investigators and homeland security administrators a unique
opportunity to address issues surrounding investigations, apprehension and
preventative methodologies associated with the newest breed of high technology
criminals.
The conference is considered one of the premier training opportunities for
members of law enforcement and private industry involved in the field of high
tech investigations. The conference features three days of lectures and
break-out sessions where attendees have the opportunity to select from many
topics of general and special interests such as: Internet Crime / Cybercrime,
Legal Updates, Network Security, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
"On behalf of the HTCIA membership, it is an honor to recognize Detective
Stone and his colleagues for their work in the BTK case, as it serves as a
clear illustration of the significant role computer investigations play in
solving criminal cases," said Warren Kruse, International President of HTCIA.
"It is our mission to bring together computer investigators from around the
globe to share their expertise and knowledge, keeping pace with the latest
investigative methods and technologies available today."

More information on the HTCIA event is available online at
Here .

HTCIA (High Technology Crime Investigation Association) is designed to
encourage, promote, aid and affect the voluntary interchange of data,
information, experience, ideas and knowledge about methods, processes, and
techniques relating to investigations and security in advanced technologies
among its membership. Based in Amissville, Virginia, HTCIA includes 37 active
local chapters.]

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bad Box Of Toys

I anticipated a problem yesterday morning. And I am no longer with the guy who owns the trucking company in Reno.

I asked him about why he has the words "J.D.'s Toy Boxx" written on
the side of his truck. He got nervous when I asked him about it. Real
defensive. And I could see by his demeanor that he was very uptight
about my line of questioning.

Maybe the guy is a pedophile. He has stuffed monkeys and bean bag
snakes in his truck. Maybe he is a serial killer. Maybe he likes to
play with his prey for awhile before he kills it.

He got obnoxious when we pulled out of Reno and I left him about 20 miles outside of Reno.

I got a ride, by the grace of God, from a nice man who took me to Battle
Mountain, Nevada which is located near
Elko.

I then got another ride from a group of women who are putting me on a
Greyhound bus. I am planning on getting over the Idaho border and then
getting a motel room for some solid sleep before I move on.

Before the ladies showed up outside Battle Mountain, J.D. showed up in
his truck again.

But there were hours between when I'd left him and when he passed me again. I don't know where he was during that time. But there he was again.

He stopped the truck a ways back and just watched me for a minute. I
didn't budge. Then he pulled the truck forward and I gave him the
finger. Clearly.

He took off then and I have not seen him since. I don't trust him, either.

But I do know that before things went sour, I took a photograph of him and his truck.

Heh-heh-heh.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bad Guy Billboards

Click on the post headline above to read about "America's Most Wanted" and its new Bad Guy Billboard. AMW is sponsoring an actual billboard that displays a photo and information about a criminal that police believe is hiding out in the New Jersey area.

I think the Bad Guy Billboard is a great idea. And I hope that more billboards like that one pop-up all over the Country. Exposure is everything when trying to catch criminals.

[UPDATE 2008: The first bad guy featured on a billboard is now in custody.]

Ruthie On The Road, Update

We're going back on the road again today in a big rig, Campers. We'll be pulling out of Reno,Nevada and heading for the great State of Utah.

My friend, his dog "Cuddles" and I will be taking a BIG load of pipe to its final destination.

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I am staying with the man here in Reno, Nevada tonight. His home is amazing!

The house is located on top of a hill and the view of the mountains, the stars and the moon is beautiful.

He took me to Peppermill Casino today. We sat on a couch by a pool [with a flaming torch in it], drank fancy cocktails and watched music videos.

He also took me to a popular biker hang-out called Big Ed's.

Tomorrow we are going back out on the road in his big rig.

All is well here in the Northern Nevada desert.

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I left Dillon a couple of days ago and was picked up by a trucker who said that he was going to California. He told me that he would take me down to California, drop and pick up a load, and then bring me back to Twin Falls, Idaho.

Since it was really getting late and rainy by the time that we got to Twin Falls, I agreed to the deal.

But I told him that I didn't want to be left in California. I told him that the only way that I would go to California with him was if he did what he offered: take me back out of California and back to Idaho.

Then yesterday he brought us to a Flying J located outside Lodi, California. He got us both a shower with his shower card. He told me to meet him back out at the truck when I was done.

When I did, I discovered that he had taken the truck and left.

I was very fortunate that I was picked-up by a lady who drove me to another Flying J truck stop in Sacramento, California.

There I met a nice man who owns a trucking company. He is keeping me at his home overnight and I am using his computer to type out this post.

He has a beautiful home in Reno, Nevada.

And the bad trucker who left me in Lodi, California has a big problem that is about to stare him right in the face.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Take On Big Tobacco

Click on the post headline above to go to the American Lung Association's Take Action initiative page.

They are fighting back the monster known as Big Tobacco.

Take several minutes and do the same thing.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I stayed several days with my friend Jeremy Lee at his apartment in Mandan, North Dakota located seven miles outside of Bismarck.

I ate, slept and recovered after my tough journey from Fargo.

Jeremy took me to see a nice lady who got me a bus ticket from Bismarck to Billings, Montana.

I left Bismarck at 3:30 this morning. I am now in a small town called Dillon which is located off of Interstate 15 in South-Central Montana.

I made a sign when I got to Billings and it caught the attention of a man in a big pickup truck. He is a "biochemist" of sorts who works in "Design and Consulation Biooxidation/Remediation Processes" according to his business card.

It turns out that he has traveled to Africa and other places worldwide. And right now he is using microscopic biofeeders to rid the local gold mines of cyanide. The man explained that the mines use cyanide to process gold. And the little bio-critters literally eat the cyanide and live to chow another day.

I meet the most incredible people on the road!

Tomorrow I will head back out on the road again. I hope to bypass Idaho Falls and Pocatello before stopping in Boise, Idaho for another rest.

Goodnight and sweet dreams, Campers.

Ruthie's Smoke-Free Promise

The Kansas City Star published the following article on the internet recently. The article includes some comments that I made:
_____________



"Motivation is key to kicking habit"

By ERIC ADLER

The Kansas City Star


Kate Walsh of Kansas City has tried to quit smoking for 15 years.

The 47-year-old St. Luke’s Hospital nurse has tried nicotine patches, nicotine gum and quitting cold turkey. She once paid $3,000 to attend a smoking cessation clinic in Minnesota where she ended up surrounded by smoking drug addicts and alcoholics.

“I got a refund,” said Walsh, who also tried paying a chiropractor to put an acupressure staple through her ear.

Nothing worked.

“Put it down to willpower,” Walsh conceded. “You really, truly have to want to quit. On some level, I obviously don’t.”

Motivation: It’s got to be powerful.

On Tuesday — two days after ABC’s longtime news anchor Peter Jennings, a smoker, died of lung cancer at age 67 — actress Dana Reeve, a nonsmoker and wife of the late “Superman” actor Christopher Reeve, revealed that she also has lung cancer.

In response, hits in Kansas City on the American Cancer Society’s Web site have risen nearly 20 percent. Stop-smoking counselors at the society have been inundated with calls. ABC News continues to receive condolences from smokers who say Jennings’ death will change their habits. At the American Lung Association, a Web log of tributes to Peter Jennings runs more than 11 pages, with many writers vowing to quit.

“I started smoking at age 16 and now I am 30. I will quit because Peter Jennings died of lung cancer,” wrote TruAsia Parks of Brooklyn.

***“I watched the re-broadcast of Peter Jennings’ final farewell on TV last night … I’m gonna quit, people. That’s it,” wrote Ruth Rader, address withheld.***

“I am a 35-year-old wife and mom and thank God for Peter Jennings’ message of mercy this past April. When he announced he had lung cancer, I started to get serious about quitting,” wrote Mickey Gorrell of Yukon, Okla.

“I am quitting smoking, and my spouse will be soon to follow,” wrote Maria Littlefield, also of Oklahoma. “We are doing this for our son. I will never forget the look on his face when he told me about Peter. He stared at me with that knowing look. At that moment, I made up my mind that I had smoked for the last time.”

Although quitting smoking is extremely difficult, for some requiring the better part of a lifetime, experts agree that most of the methods designed to help smokers quit — from gum and patches to counseling to hypnotherapy — do help. But a big key is motivation.

Although for some people, high-profile cases such as Jennings’ and Reeve’s may provide that motivation, for most other people, the motivation generally is much more deeply personal.

In January, Tricia Snow, a project director at the University of Kansas Medical Center, finished the second of two stop-smoking projects at Swope Parkway Health Center. The $1 million Kick It at Swope I and Kick It at Swope II projects, funded by the National Institutes of Health, were designed to evaluate ways to help African-Americans who were either heavy or light smokers to quit.

Kick It at Swope I involved 650 heavy smokers, defined as smokers who smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day.

Test subjects were given either a combination of counseling and the anti-smoking drug Zyban, or counseling and placebo. Results showed that of those who took the drug and underwent counseling, the success rate was 25 percent over six months.

In Kick It at Swope II, 755 light smokers (fewer than 10 cigarettes a day) were tested using counseling and nicotine gum. The success rate over six months was 20 percent.

For both groups, personal motivation was a key.

“For some people, hearing about a loved one or someone they cared about being diagnosed with lung cancer can be enough right there,” Snow said. “That can make some people quit. But for other people it doesn’t make a difference. They have to find their own motivation. It may be a son, or a grandchild. Everyone has to have their own reason, and they have to have it 100 percent.”

Often the motivation is a health scare such as a heart attack or high blood pressure, emphysema or out-of-control cholesterol, said Renee Kelley, spokeswoman for the Kansas City-based Heartland Division of the American Cancer Society, which covers Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

For others, it’s simpler.

“To be honest,” she said, “it is usually a loved one telling them they want them to quit. It is usually someone who loves them telling them, ‘I don’t like you smoking. I want you healthy. I want you to quit.’ ”

James Biggs, 54, said he has smoked since age 17. His adult children, ages 23 and 25, also smoke. A two-pack-a-day smoker, Biggs was part of the Kick-It at Swope I study. As much as he wants to quit, he wasn’t able.

“I really don’t like it,” he said of smoking. “Half the time, it’s just sticking out of my mouth.”

His motivation was money, age and health. He said he’d simply smoked too long. His habit cost him about $250 a month.

But that wasn’t enough.

“I think mostly you have to be self-motivated,” he said. “You have to make up your mind. I’m still working on it real hard. I’m still trying to make up my mind.”

Gary Charles, 55, of Independence, also was part of the study and managed to quit. He smoked for 32 years. He believes that while the death of individuals like Jennings might motivate some people, he thinks it’s few.

“My father died of lung cancer, and I continued smoking after that,” he said.

His motivation: “I was getting ready to be a grandparent. I want to be around for my grandson. That is very important to me,” he said.

Kevin Fernholz, 25, who was not part of the study, also stopped smoking. He started smoking at 15 and quit three years ago for his health, vanity and to not waste energy. Fernholz, who became a Lenexa firefighter six months ago, started lifting weights and exercising in earnest.

“To be completely healthy, you have to do the cardio,” he said. “It was pointless and ridiculous to work out and then go have a cigarette.”

“It’s got to be your own kind of motivation,” Fernholz continued. “You have to be completely fed up with what you’re doing and want to change.”

He agrees that high-profile cases such as Jennings’ “make you aware that smoking will kill you.”

“But I don’t think that’s what motivates you to quit,” Fernholz said. “Everyone knows that smoking will kill you. That’s not some hidden secret. You have to have you own motivations.”

Quitting is nonetheless arduous.

Walsh, the nurse, said she would still love to quit. Her motivation is her son, Louie, now 9. Walsh has begun taking Wellbutrin XL, an anti-depression medication also shown to help cut cigarette cravings. She is down to about 9 cigarettes each day, a record, having never gone below a pack a day.

“I’m planning on giving it a try again,” she said.
_________________________

It will be a battle but I will win the war! Congratulations to everyone who is putting down the smokes!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update

The reason why I didn't stay at the Fargo YWCA is because I was the target of total ignorance.

There are many Native Americans living in North Dakota and some of them are just plain hateful. In fact, they are about as bad as the people that I met in Cass Lake, Minnesota.

A Native American woman who decided that she didn't like me [because I wouldn't let her badger me around in the kitchen] went to the workers there and told them that I had made negative racial remarks to her.

Oh yeah freaking right...NOT!!!

So the next thing I know, the workers are climbing all over my case and I finally told them to stuff it.

I packed my bag and walked miles to a point where highways 17 north and south split off of Interstate 94.

It was there, as I was trudging along, that a kind driver from Canada stopped his motorhome and picked me up.

He drove me from there to Bismarck where [yup, you're right] two Native American women stopped and picked me up.

They were headed for Mandan, about seven miles down the road.

I didn't realize until I climbed into the backseat of their car that they were both high as kites.

When we got into Mandan [by the grace of God] I told the driver that I wanted to get out of the car. She told me that she'd let me out when she was ready to let me out.

I grabbed my cell phone and when she heard it beep she asked me what that sound came from.

"I just turned on my cell phone and I'm reaching 911." I replied.

She brought the car to the curb and I got out. When I did the passenger got out and started grabbing in my pockets [probably for the phone] and pushing me around.

In the end, she got my Walkman [yup, AGAIN, PEOPLE!!!]hopped back in the car and the driver scooted the car down the street.

I didn't lose my cell phone because I keep it where I keep it. 'Nuff said.

The Walkman...Well...Here we go again.

I'm gonna have to get myself a secure something to keep it in when I buy the next one AGAIN!

I'm not real happy with the Natives these days.

Screw Bismarck Library!

I am at the public library in downtown Bismarck, North Dakota and am paying a quarter every fifteen-minutes to use the computer.

If I choose to use the internet without accessing my email accounts or posting in my blog, then I can use the computer for free.

How do you like these big bad apples?

SCREW BISMARCK!

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I am now in Bismarck, North Dakota and will be leaving on a bus tonight, hopefully. The bus won't come through until around 3 am or so and then I will take off for Billings, Montana.

I am heading for Butte and then the State of Idaho after that.

It was rather easy getting to Fargo but hell getting out again.

I stood on a ramp to I-94 outside of Fargo for the longest time the other night and nobody stopped. They didn't even slow down.

I finally walked up to a lonely Conoco station that was closed for the night and sat down at a picnic table.

The next morning I got with the West Fargo cops who hooked me up with an overnight stay at the Fargo YWCA.

It was supposed to be a chance for me to rest and regroup. But it never happened. I never did stay there overnight.

My next post will tell you why.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update

The Sisters offered me the chance to stay at the shelter until I saved up enough money for an apartment. Or so they said.

But yesterday, Sister Karen pointed out apartments in the classified ads and I hadn't even officially moved into the room at the shelter yet!

She told me "This is not the place for someone to stay who's writing a book."

My question is: Why not?

There are recovering drinkers and drug addicts living at the shelter and it appears that some of them have been there for some time.

Why can't I stay at the shelter [providing that I pay my rent] just like those people are...For an extended period of time?

Maybe I just want to have a little SRO to live in for a year.

If I pay my rent, keep the room clean and follow the rules...Why can't I stay for six months or more?

I don't know.

And this afternoon when I take off...I guess I never will know why.

Peter Jennings' Ashes



I smoke off-and-on and I shouldn't. I've been trying to permanently kick that rotten habit for years.

Last night when I watched the re-broadcast of Peter Jennings' farewell...I put the damned things down again.

His voice and appearance shook me to the core.

I grew up watching that guy. I thought he was one of those invincible media guys that would live forever.

Peter Jennings died from a terrible disease.

I will remember that the next time I get the urge to light up.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ruthie In The Eye

I checked-out my trackers today. And I actually found a listing for [are you ready for this?] "echelon." I've also been scrutinized by a .mil domain.

So, in the spirit of disclosure, I declare the following:

The war is a sin. Our president is a fraud. And the only saving grace we can possibly hope for is to get Bin Laden and George W. Bush one-way tickets on the next space mission.

I hate what's happening to the United [NOT!] States Government and I refuse to pledge allegiance to anything other than myself and God.

There.

I said it once before and now I've said it again.

Please log this. You damn fools.

Ruthie On The Road, Update

In the end the answer is no. They just don't want to deal with it.

So back I go on the road...tomorrow.

"Feeling Good In The Neighborhood"

From the "Now We'll All Know" Department: Click on the post headline above and grab the latest about 9/11. Honest.

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I am now in Crookston, Minnesota. Alive, well and feeling blessed.

I got rides as far as Bagley [the last ride to "Bags" was via a cop] and sat out Friday night on my pack under a light pole.

At 5:30 am Saturday morning, I got up and started walking down the highway again.

A nice elderly gentleman picked me up and drove me to the shelter in Crookston.

I stayed the weekend in a great room there. Right now both Sister Amanda and Sister Karen are deciding whether or not to rent to me for the winter.

Sister Karen really wants me to stay and I am hoping that Sister Amanda does, too.

If I get to stay, I will take photos of my room, the Sisters, and the town of Crookston.

I am hoping to stay and begin serious work on my novel. This is my dream and I want it to end up on a best seller shelf in a highbrow bookstore.

Next month I will turn fifty. And by now, I have earned the right to turn that dream into reality.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update cont'd.

I spent the rest of the night on a bench by a bus stop downtown. I thought about everything that had happened that day.

The cops circled around in their cruisers off-and-on, but they never stopped.

I forced myself to stay awake and at 5:30 am I went down to the local coffee shop and waited for it to open. Then I went to Burger King. Then I went down a park, sat down at a table, put my head on my pack and fell asleep.

Two hours later a drunk woke me up and I left the park.

I decided to locate the United Way office and am now very glad that I did. They helped me. So did the folks that they sent me to.

Yesterday afternoon I finally tucked myself into bed at a local mom-and-pop motel.

I didn't wake up again until 6:20 am this morning.

Ruthie On The Road, Update cont'd

I was exhausted. Tired down to my toenails.

When I located the shelter I noticed a sign on the door. It directed anyone who came after hours to contact the local police department. It also told me not to knock on the door.

I had already talked to the cops.

So I slung my bag onto the grass and sat down on the porch.

Several moments later a "woman" with a short hair cut and the personality of a pit bull, opened up the door.

"What are you doing here?" she asked. No...demanded.

"I just hitchhiked in to Cass Lake and the cops there drove me to the Holiday station and I just walked down here." I replied.

"You can't stay here." she said.

"I just want to sit on the porch until daylight." I explained.

"You can't do that." she said.

"Well, why not and where am I supposed to go at three in the morning?"

"We have a rule here that you can't sit on the porch and I don't know where you should go."

It was obvious that the femi-Nazi didn't care where I went, either.

"Well, geez loueez, lady, I already stopped a cop car here in Bemidji and they themselves gave me the directions to here."

She looked at me with a combination of impatience and disbelief.

"You can't stay here and that's final. Now leave!"

Once again, I got up, slung my bag over my shoulders and headed back down the sidewalk into the night.

Ruthie On The Road, Update cont'd.

After flicking on my flashlight, I walked along the dark highway to a poorly lit intersection. I stopped.

A few minutes later a tribal cop cruiser pulled up. An officer got out and asked me what I was doing. I explained what had happened and told him that the drunk guy was still down at the rest area.

Several cop cars went down to the rest area where the cops had "a talk" with the drunk guy.

Meanwhile, I was still standing at the intersection when a different car pulled up.

The passenger, a Native American woman, glared at me with hateful eyes.

"Your people...All your people...Cheated us...I'm gonna go get [A semi truck roared past and I didn't hear the next few words]...And beat you up!"

It sure sounded like a physical threat to me.

I sighed and when the cops came back around I followed their cars back to a parking lot.

After discussing the situation for a couple of minutes, a cop drove me fourteen miles to the Holiday gas station in Bemidji.

On the way, he told me that Cass Lake not only has the highest crime rate in Minnesota but is near the top of the list Nationwide.

He said that on any given night there are as many as twenty-officers dealing with violent crimes in Cass Lake.

"You were definitely where you didn't belong" he declared.

He explained that because I am Caucasian, I am an automatic target in Cass Lake.

"Whatever happened to Minnesota nice?" I asked.

When the officer dropped me off at the gas station, I checked the yellow pages for a shelter.

I located one called "Hospitality House" and asked the store clerk for directions.

She showed me a map and I headed out the door.

When I got close to the shelter, I spotted a Bemidji PD car. I flagged it down.

Two officers [polite and friendly] sat beside in each other in the front seat.

"I'm looking for the Hospitality shelter and I'm a little turned around."

"Could you please tell me how to get there from here?"

One of the officers pointed and gave me clear directions. I thanked him and smiled at his partner. He smiled back.

"Nice place, Bemidji." I thought.

Then I trudged down to the House of Hospitality and discovered that, in this case, "hospitality" is a misnomer.

Ruthie On The Road, Update

"...Severe Weather Warning:
TORNADO WARNING DULUTH MN - KDLH 444 PM CDT WED AUG 3 2005..."
The weather turned ugly first. [The ugly people came later]

According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes threw tantrums across Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin a few days ago.

This happened shortly after I left Duluth and took a city bus to the nearby town of Proctor, Minnesota.

When I stepped off the bus in Proctor, I had no idea that the bad weather was going to hit. I ate dinner at a place called the Railway Cafe. When I walked out of the restaurant, a siren began its eerie wail.

I stopped and looked up in the sky. The heavens had transformed from a peaceful blue to a churning mass of gray and black. I turned on my Walkman and a voice announced: "The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Duluth and the surrounding area in St. Louis County. Then I watched in stunned amazement as a piece of cloud began to drop down from the sky.

"Uffdah!" I yelled and started running back the other way.

When I got back to the cafe, I told the nice lady that worked there that very serious weather was about to hit.

The lights went out and the heavy rain splashed across the windows.

Meanwhile, more travelers came into the cafe and waited for the storm to pass.

Twenty-minutes later, the storm subsided and I headed to the highway once again.

I got two good rides and then a man from Illinois picked me up.

He played jazz tapes in his old truck and talked with me all the way to a rest area outside Cass Lake, Minnesota.

After he pulled in there, he started drinking...One beer after another. Fast.

Then he told me to give him a neck massage or get out of his truck. I grabbed my bag and left.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Take That, Ingrate!

People really tick me off sometimes! After doing an inventory of my possessions, I realize that more than my Walkman was stolen recently.

I have also lost my $16.00 clip-on shades from a Wal-Mart in Indiana and my $20.00 LED flashlight that I purchased in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Yeah, when I was tired and counting on integrity, the most worthless people in Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin just helped themselves to what belonged to me.

I have been feeling rather sick the past few days and have been holed-up in a Motel 6 in Duluth.

Tomorrow I will go back on the road. But before I go, I plan to put a much, much longer post in my blog.

Talk to you tomorrow, Campers.