31 July 2006


Been a few days - got a bout of vertigo - weird stuff. Still dizzy and confused, but some would say that's my normal state . . .

Today's a bits and bobs kind of day on the bus. Newspaper guy is off on Monday so I had the BTA to myself for a few. There's a new guy at the bus stop - he smokes, so he lingers away from the actual stop area until the bus arrives. He seems nice enough and he got up in the BTA, too. There was a young man already on the bus who had a golf bag. He got off at Rural and Guadalupe - probably taking the 72 up Scottsdale Road to Karsten or one of the 3 million other golf courses in the Valley. Then a guy got on with an oversized razr scooter - he got off at my stop at ASU. It must have been equipment day on the bus - golf clubs, scooter and then a woman who has ridden 3 or 4 other times. She has a wheelchair that she sits in and when the bus comes, she gets up, folds the chair up, carries it on the bus, rides a few stops, gets herself and the wheelchair off the bus, sits back down and wheel-walks her way down the sidewalk. She has a nice quilt folded on the wheelchair and a pillow seat. She seems well-equipped and I'm ever so curious why she has the chair. She seems fit enough to get it on and off the bus - I know there are probably a million physical reasons why someone needs a wheelchair and they don't have to be obvious. She just seems so capable and I don't think she'd use the chair if it was for someone else. Oh well, ours is not to question why or whatever.

I'm obsessed with knitting right now, so thought I'd bring the current project on the bus - it's just going in circles at the moment, so easy to knit without a pattern on the bus. Scanned it and let it have its little corner of fame in today's blog.

26 July 2006


Geez, it's been a week since I posted on the blog. Work has been wicked and then I don't ride the bus on the weekend . . . guess seven days can slide by quickly.

Our regular driver, Steve, is on a different route now. He told me they switch routes so they don't burn out. I sure will miss him. He's been the best of the drivers I've experienced in the last year. Newspaper guy told me the new driver might have time issues. I knew Steve wasn't driving, so this morning I made sure and got to the stop with time to spare. I didn't notice the time the 66 arrived, but NG told me later that he technically "missed" the bus yesterday as it was pulling away when he arrived at the stop. He had his wife drive him to the next available stop and he finished the ride on the 66. Today was OK, but apparently timing could be an issue. Maybe it's just newness on the route? Gotta keep us riders on our toes.

Today's bus was full! People got on at virtually every stop and no one was getting off. When the Broadmoor lady got on, the seat at the very back next to NG was the only one left and she came back to the BTA. At Broadway and Mill, a young man in blue hospital scrubs got on and had to stand. I figured he'd get off at Tempe St. Luke's Hospital, but not so. Two more people ended up standing with the scrub guy. It was a full house, standing room only. Wonder what makes that happen some days?

19 July 2006


Calling today's bus the #41Steve is no typo. Our regular driver's name is Steve, so what could be more appropos? Then, yesterday, I met a new Steve who is a part-time regular on the 66. We all know Steve the Mechanic, who still shows up on occasion. And today, NG introduced me to another Steve, a regular who, for reasons unexplained, hasn't been with us for awhile. I assume he's back now and I'm surrounded with Steves. I have known the occasional Steve over the years, but to have so many circling about in the same microcosm of my life - I'm thinking some kind of "other meaning" is in progress - like crop circles or Stonehenge. If we were in Sedona, I'd swear a vortex had taken over the 66. Whatever, it's fodder for blog posts.

The bus was quite full today, equally balanced between regulars and irregulars. One oddity - Broadmoor lady got on at the Broadway and Mill stop - a good half mile south of her usual boarding point. If she didn't walk or drive, she needed to take the earlier 66 in order to get there to catch the 6am 66 (there we go with the 6's again...). Maybe she walked down to Walgreen's for something, planning to catch the bus at the corner? Whatever, she was out of place and that gets my OCD clanging. She still remained Broad, however - Broadway/Broadmoor - sheesh!

18 July 2006


Yes, we are double posting today. Tonight's ride home had several oddities I just couldn't ignore. To begin, I was 10 minutes early to the bus stop, and the bus never showed up. It was 111 degrees, no breeze and I had no water. The stop is in the shade, but the building that provides the shade is in sun all day and heat pulses off of it for hours after the sun has passed. To compound the frustration, a road closure re-routed all buses down Mill so bus after bus after bus passed by - just none of them was the 66. Finally, after 50 minutes waiting, the 66 arrived. A lady on the bus told me the previous bus broke down, explaining the delay. It was 5:10 PM, high rush hour, and the ride took forever. There was a bad accident on Mill, just past Southern although it managed to only block one lane. Rush hour and traffic reduced to one lane really drags out the ride.

There was a man in the front seat, opposite the driver, who was either loaded on drugs or suffering from some kind of neurological disorder. He would sway around in the seat, get a big huge grin on his face and then laugh. He'd straighten up, lean against the post for awhile and then repeat the whole thing again. It was weird. He was on the bus when I got on, so don't know how long he'd been riding. At Alameda a young man got on and sat a couple seats away from the front. The bus was approaching Southern and the front seat guy suddenly got up and started asking everyone if they had a cigarette. He got no response until he asked the young man who asked if he was getting off soon. The man said yes and the young man said hold on, I can help you. He stood up, got out a pouch of tobacco and a paper, and proceeded to roll a cigarette. It was amazing to watch him and I was torn at his generosity and yet it was a cigarette for godsakes! A paradoxical act of charity, I believe. He gave the man the cigarette and they both sat down. The bus continued on, stopping as usual and the man didn't get off. The young man departed at Southern and Mill and the front seat guy still was riding. I didn't see what happened to the cigarette, but I will never forget its creation. What a night on the bus.


That might be last night's number, but I'm pretty sure it's this mornings, too. I looked, but the ride was so interesting, the number left my head almost immediately. Maybe 4123? Oh well, we know it started with 41.

Today was interesting because on old "regular" was on the bus - Steve. Not Steve the Mechanic, but a man named Steve who sits in the BTA with Newspaper Guy. We were all properly introduced and it turns out Steve works for Amercia West/US Air and his shifts rotate. That's why he's a part time regular on the 6AM bus. I remember in early blog posts that I thought someone in the BTA worked for America West and I later learned that neither NG nor BG was an airline employee. Now that I've met Steve, I bet I heard him talking and assumed one of the others was the airline guy. I said something about my curiosity at why people come and go and he said he'd wondered that himself. I know BG is currently working a different shift and won't be back on the 6am 66 (wow, that's almost a 666 thing ...) until late August. I guess Steve will be with us for awhile and then gone again when his shift changes. It feels good to have a little order and reason behind these comings and goings. Sometimes I feel like Monk -- just need the ducks to line up.

17 July 2006


Another morning on the Valley Metro - low key pretty much says it all. Wonder if the heat is starting to take its toll. One evening ride last week I witnessed a near-fisticuff incident. A seriously intoxicated man got on the bus at Southern and Mill. He barely made it up the steps and kind of swung around, falling onto the front seat, next to the door. He was swaying so badly and his eyes were so red and bloodshot - I almost felt hungover just looking at him - yowser! Anyway, at Baseline and Mill, a young man got up to leave and stood in front of the drunk, waiting for the bus to stop. Suddenly there were words and the young man turned, faced the older man and took a fighting stance. You could feel the tension; however, the young man took the high road and turned away, walking off the bus. The driver conversed with the older man and in a couple of seconds, he got off, too. Figure the driver told him to leave. Probably not good to let him loose on the street, but can't have him on the bus harassing other riders. No good solution to that problem. Guess I can't blame the heat for that event - alcohol was the major player.

Bus this morning was freezing. We can shuttle back and forth in space and have quantum physics, string theory, fast food - why is heating and air conditioning so difficult to manage? I realize the variables are constantly changing, making accuracy difficult, but I'm on a bus in Arizona summer, wishing I had a winter scarf and coat. What is that about? Image-inspiring, I guess.

13 July 2006

I forgot . . .

Today was such a fun day, I completely failed to note the number. Let's make something up, let's say it was 4141 - OK?

The ride started out as usual - Newspaper Guy in the BTA, along with me and Dave. Thursday must be a big paper day as there were tons of sections and NG was sharing stories with us left and right. I just learned we have two serial killers and a serial rapist at large in Phoenix! I never watch local news and only read international press online, so it is difficult to keep up with who is doing what to whom. Anyway, we were reading and chatting and discussing and Goatee Guy got on and it just got chattier. Then, at Broadway and Mill, Engineering Guy boarded the bus! Long time gone and he was a welcome sight. He nestled right into the BTA with everyone and said he felt like he was coming into a family. Isn't that nice? Public transportation really does have a nice side.

10 July 2006


Missed posting on Friday - lots to do and not much time to do it. We had a great bus ride - it went to SRO! Summer has been such light ridership - it was amazing to see so many people. All the serious regulars were perched in the brain trust area and the bottom of the bus was full of newbies - standing, sitting - they were everywhere. Oddly, it was fairly quiet for such a crowd. No one knows anyone else, so silence prevails. Today, there were lots of people, but we didn't get to SRO. I have noticed that cat lady and Broadmoor lady haven't ridden lately. Gosh, you give a girl a crown and she calls it quits. Hate to lose good regulars.

The other thing that happened Friday, or maybe it was Thursday . . . the days do run together when it's hot. Anyway, it rained! A lovely event which prompted me to buzz around outside my building and take pictures of the remnants. I've built a rain quilt picture and included it in this post. I'm particularly fond of the little seat raincoat on the bicycle. Nothing worse than a wet butt when riding home.

05 July 2006


Whew! Been awhile since the last post. Took some time away from work and no work means no bus. The 4th of July holiday is always good for extending the long weekend and I just took it a few days longer. Back to the grind and I am not finding it easy to return.

Return is the name of the game for the bus - today, Mark (AKA bicycle guy) came back for a visit. He changed to a later work schedule and we haven't seen him on the 66 for quite a while. He said today was only temporary riding status, but we'll see him around occasionally. Goatee Guy sat in the BTA with us all and we had an interesting discussion about an uncle of his who built a basement, after the fact, under his house. Guess the uncle collected lots and lots of guns and wanted a safe place to store and otherwise take care of his ordnance. Never know what you're going to talk about on the bus. Neither cat lady nor the Broadmoor lady got on today. They had been so regular, hope this means vacation time, just like me.

Made an image for commemorating the 4th of July. Went to Flo and only saw what fireworks were shooting up in the various towns between Flo and Tempe. That's one of the nice things about desert living - you can see for miles, including fireworks displays.