by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/04/29 17:10 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/04/29/413553.aspx
(No technical content in this post)
I love Typhoon, a Thai restaurant that has muliple locations, the closest one for me in Redmond about 4 miles away. They have a dish there called General's Noodles with the following description on the dinner menu:
Egg noodles with chicken, shrimp, fried wonton, sprouts, peanuts, sugar and lime.
I just love it. I have been in the habit lately when I eat there to order another one to-go and eating later or the next day. It is awesome food. I don't think it is a genuine Thai dish since I have never seen it in any other Thai restaurant. And believe me, I have looked. I asked them if they had a cookbook, but no such luck.
On the whole I would say it is my second favorite food in all the world (right after stuffed grape leaves, but that is a story for another day!).
Anyway, I was home yesterday, feeling a bit peckish around 5:00pm. And it was sunny out in Redmond. I had just left a foot of April snow in Cleveland. And like I said it is just 4 miles from here. And there is a cool bike trail next to SR 520 that is a straight shot for most of the way. I looked at my fully charged Pride Mobility 3-Wheel Victory Scooter and considered the fact that its 20-25 mile range was almost certainly on flat ground, not on hills. Would I be able to scoot there?
I decided I would.
(People are probably shuddering when they think about where this story may be going, especially in the context of the title of the post. Think of it as FORESHADOWING, a sign of quality literature!)
Now Pride Mobility scooters have a battery guage on them with colored circles on it -- red for empty, moving into yellow for near empty and then up through to green for fully charged. There is one red, one yellow, and then four greens, each one a little darker. The meter is most effective while you are scooting on level ground -- it is how you know if you really are full or not. Going uphill drops the meter down, and downhill makes it look fully charged when it is not.
But I jammed quickly, and I made it there is about 40-45 minutes, no problems at all. They messed up my order a little (one of the only flaws of an otherwise wonderful restaurant is the fact that they are not so good taking to-go orders over the phone). But I was in no hurry. A few minutes later I was off, heading home with my bounty. As I left, then even under load I was in the second highest green circle. I figured I was all set.
Of course that was to change.
Suddenly, just before I made it to the bike trail ( say about 5 miles into this ~8 mile journey), something happened. The power dropped down to between the last and second last green circle.
I realized there might still be enough juice to make it home, though I remembered most of the trip home being uphill a little. I was a little nervous, but I figured I did not have too much choice so I should just go for it.
As I countinued, the meter was poking dangerously in towards the yellow circle, and then suddenly it hit the red and just stopped.
I got up, took a look at the freewheel lever, pulled it up, and started pushig the scooter. It weighs about 150 pounds, but I figured if I was holding on to it I would probably not fall. After about 50 yards I noticed there was a circuitbreaker reset button, and pressing it gave me back the juice. So I gratefully stopped pushing, turned of the freewheel, and started sooting. I carefully avoided making the scooter go fast enough for the meter to head down to the red circle as that seemed like a surefire way to lose power again, and I slowly plodded home (probably closer to 2mph than the scooter's 5mph maximum, at this point). It looked like I would make it back.
Or not. Just before 51st St., it decided any hill was too much, and I had to push it all the way back from then on. Mike tells me that it is 1.3 miles that I pushed it, plus a little bit of the time on 40th St. that I was pushing.
I had a lot of time to think as I was pushing the 150 pound scooter, mostly uphill.
Mostly wondering if I would ever be stupid enough to let this happen again. And then realizing I probably am that stupid. So as a mitigation strategry planning on how I hould get some extra batteries for it to carry with me for next time, like I can with the smaller scooter. And wondering how best to have someone take a look at the scooter and let me know what is wrong with it now (is one of the two batteries in trouble? Or is there another problem?).
At one point a biker stopped and asked if there was anything he could do. But I was almost to 40th St. and it seemed like there was no practical way he could help ithout abandoning his bike. I told him thanks very warmly, but that I was almost there and I would make it. I actually felt really good that someone just saw me having trouble and asked if they could help -- even if there is no practical way to do so, his motivations were purely along the lines of "someone is in trouble, how can I assist?" and that is a great thing about people sometimes.
Anyway, I made it home finally, though I was barely able to walk or even stand for most of the night. I am still a little shaky now but I am mostly recovered. It was probably the most exercise I have had in a while, even more than the show shovelling exercise from last week. I am not anxious to repeat it (and may not make a Typhoon jaunt in the scooter again), but like a time many years ago that extreme circumstances caused me to run on a beach in New Jersey when I was usually having trouble walking, it is good to know that I still have reserves that can be tapped, when needed.
And I still have those General's Noodles to eat! :-)
This post brought to you by "♿" (U+267f, a.k.a. WHEELCHAIR SYMBOL)
# bg on 29 Apr 2005 3:39 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Apr 2005 3:42 PM:
# Jo-Pete Nelson on 29 Apr 2005 3:53 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Apr 2005 3:54 PM:
# bg on 29 Apr 2005 4:39 PM:
# Larry Osterman [MSFT] on 30 Apr 2005 10:25 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Apr 2005 10:30 AM:
# kq on 10 May 2005 3:08 PM:
2005/05/28 Second time's a charm!
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