All I’d wanted to do Saturday morning, 7/14/12, was get a new set of tires for Thursday, see about trading my wife’s Electra Townie for a Trek 700 at MOAB, and see about warranty replacing the wankelmütig Blackburn Flea bike lights I bought there last September. Before I left the house, my wife gave me another mission to accomplish at Murfreesboro – go to Hobby Lobby and buy her some scrapbooking paper that looked like a dirty brown covered with soggy Fruity Pebbles kids’ cereal. I asked her to write down what I was supposed to be looking for because I knew I would not retain the instruction-set. She did, and asked me to call her from the paper aisle.
I got out of the house about 7:00 a.m., later than I wanted to leave, but early enough to enjoy a beautify sky on the drive from Stepford to the tire store at Pixley. Also drove past some cornfields that looked a little better for the rain we had the previous week. At the tire-store, I tried to read a book while I waited, but was distracted by the waiting area’s television that’d been tuned to The Rifleman episodes playing back to back on a cable channel, the volume set un-ignorably high. Some of those story-lines are pretty harsh by the standards of today’s programming. My car’s new tires, Yokohama Avid Ascends, are louder than Michelin Harmony’s I’d worn out driving the past four or five years, but grip well, improve handling (over the worn Michelins), and hold air pretty good. Also, I didn’t have to drive an hour to get them like I would have had to have done in order to get a new set of Michelins.
At Murfreesboro, I found Hobby Lobby on Old Fort Parkway was closed when I arrived. Instead of waiting around in the parking lot for the kryptonite store to open, I went over to Northern Tools, which had been open since about seven or eight. I was glad and surprised the store’s bathroom was clean. I looked at some clear 3M metallic safety glasses that don’t look like the safety goggles I had to wear in Seventh Grade shop-class, thinking they’d be good protection from gnats while riding in the evenings. I also looked for a bike repair stand, but they had none in stock. I priced what they could order and ship to my door, so I could compare prices with what M.O.A.B. was selling.
By the time I got done looking around at Northern Tools, Hobby Lobby was open for business. I still got a parking place close to the door because most of the regular Hobby Lobby shoppers were probably still at Starbucks or eating cinnamon rolls or other sweet, baked things at home. I went into the store. I’ve been in this Hobby Lobby store two or three times previously and had each time felt my manly strength quickly sapped away, felt very tired and wanted to lay my head down and sleep for a long time in dreamless oblivion. That can’t be healthy. In the past, I tried to buoy my spirits by imagining the container loads of cheaply made Chinese decorative wares as pistol targets, but that didn’t help for long because what right-thinking man would spend a penny of hard-earned money on any of those gimcracks, much less put them in his car and carry them off to some clean, healthful outdoor place shoot them to bits? Better to leave those horrors in the big-box store and occupy oneself with meaningful pursuits.
Anyway, on Bastille Day I hit upon unintentionally a strategy for coping with effect of kryptonite. It is this, and I share it with you, brother man, because you need to know it – have a mission, a goal. Get in and get out, early in the day and quickly, before the store is filled with patchouli oil miasma of two or more hundred artistic women of all ages meandering slowly through the aisles with looks of alert wonder on their pert dials. At the front desk, I asked a woman in manager’s togs where to find scrapbooking paper. I made my way diagonally and to my right across the store to the far corner in which I’d been told scrapbooking (and, it turns out, stamping) materials had been displayed for purchase. I passed a normal-seeming, trim woman in yellow T-shirt and blue jeans pushing a shopping cart who appeared to be alert, happy, and at peace in an environment clearly to her liking.
In the corner, I only found packages of paper and other packaged items. Ranging back a little more, I found the paper aisle, itself. Along one side, nothing that I can recall beyond racks of paper sold as single sheets. I was able to find something that approximated the dark brown Fruity Pebbles (see that picture, above, that I linked to on somebody else’s blog), but was not exactly what Caution-Lady had shown me earlier on an Internet scrapbooking paper website. I telephoned to her, explaining that, instead of random blobs of color, the sheet of paper before me had colored dots arranged in an orderly, grid-like pattern, and that I couldn’t tell whether the background was dark brown or black. I asked my wife to hold on a second and asked the opinion of the woman in the yellow shirt, who, to my surprise, was also looking at sheets of paper. She thought the background was black. I eventually found and bought between 17 and 25 sheets of different patterned and colored paper. Because it was on sale, it cost maybe $10.37. Having accomplished my mission, I got out and drove to bike store feeling a lot more like myself than at any other time after having been exposed to the Hobby Lobby environment.
M.O.A.B. was closed when I got there, so I parked in front and walked over to the square because I was getting pretty hungry, and I remember the last time I was at the square on a Saturday morning, there’d been a farmers market where I’d been able to sample cooked food and buy a snack. I walked straight on from whatever street M.O.A.B.’s on to the square, then followed the smell of cooking meat so I could get some to eat (that rhyme was unintentional, but the statement so true that I left it even though it annoys). In the photo above, Main Street’s the one that connects with the one I walked in on.
On the way to cooked food, I saw a busker. I don’t think I’ve seen one since Pioneer Square, Portland, Oregon, during my many recreational visits to the downtown area to buy comic books, used books, and just walk about. Noah Flanders, pictured with violin beside his father, Robert Flanders, didn’t know Funny Valentine, but at his father’s suggestion played something as well worth hearing. To the best of my recall, Noah is saving for a trip to Italy in pursuit of his musical interests and studies.
The meat that was cooking came from the Batey Farms booth where a man and woman were cooking bits of pork sausage for samples and selling frozen packages of same. The samples were excellent. On my way back to the car, I bought the last package of Italian sausage they had in stock. Here’s the farmer’s contact information:
5104 Baker Road
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
I took a lot of pictures on the square – a couple of other activities were scheduled: Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) had a reenactment of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid, which is something I know I should look up understand before mentioning it here on my blog, but I haven’t the time this morning; And some kind of Mule Team parade or equestrian show was happening. I know it was SCA because those’re the initials that were printed on the sleeves of the orange t-shirts of the people cordoning off space needed for the reenactment.
While on a recent Indiana vacation, I photographed a huge and elaborate Civil War memorial. While on the square at Murfreesboro, I photographed a humbler monument dedicated to the soldiers of the Confederacy. As with most of the photographs posted here, click on the image in order to view it at full-size. The people seated around the monument’s base were watching the historical reenactment.
Here are a couple of photos from the reenactment – I didn’t get any good pictures of the cavalry – just these tableaux:
Here are a number of photos from the parade of mule teams and equestrians:
The folks at M.O.A.B. were only willing to give me $150.00 in trade for a bike that cost about $375.00 new at the end of last August, 2011, and now has less than a hundred miles on it. I called my wife and we decided to keep the bike. Maybe we’ll sell it someone else for more than M.O.A.B. offered, and maybe we’ll get her a Fuji women’s Absolute (because she prefers the step-through frame). I did leave the Blackburn Flea lights for warranty replacement. When I called the store this week, the employee with whom I spoke said the company would replace them, so this coming Saturday, I’ll have to head up there and pick up the new lights.