29 December 2006


Couple of bus tales today. For openers, Dave's daughter, Sarah, visiting from Kansas City on her way to Seattle, accompanied him to school. She supports public transportation and wanted to experience Valley Metro's finest, the 6am66. Dave sat in his usual back bench seat location and noted that a loose panel behind the seat exposed the motor compartment, filling the BTA with fumes and noise. In his best "Tim the Tool Man" mode, Dave resourcefully stuffed two bus route schedule books between the seat and the panel - problem abated. After his efforts, Dana, our dear regular driver, gave Dave a towelette to clean the bus grime from his hands. Images today are the book wedges and Dave's hands and dirty wiper, taken with my phone camera. The quality suffers, but the event was not lost.

Sadly, coat guy did not make an appearance and I missed my last opportunity to go tactile and test the faux vs. leather of his jacket. Wish there had been more time with coat guy - so many questions. For example, those coats are quite bulky and I keep trying to picture the closet where those bad boys are housed. It has to be exceptionally large to accommodate the 26+ coats. Perhaps he turned an entire bedroom into a hanging shrine of sorts? No end to the speculative possibilities coat guy enabled - not to mention the game. Sigh . . .

28 December 2006


Geezleweez - absolutely can't remember to look at the bus number. And to think I once considered a series of charts and graphs with bus number info - ha!

Ridership has slipped to the poverty level. Wondering why I didn't take vacation days this week - it appears everyone else did. NG and BG are conspicuously absent - bright boys. Bad news for the guess-the-jacket game - the coat guy told Dave that tomorrow is his last day on our bus. Seems his apartment was purchased and is going condo so he has to buy or move and he's moving. Probably can't buy as his money is all tied up in coats. Kidding, I'm really just kidding.

There's a lot of this apartment-go-condo happening and it really sucks for people who can't afford to buy. The real estate market went ballistic and now most people can't afford to sell and buy back the house they currently own. People get excited because their property value is up, but they seem to forget that if they sell their house and make the big profit, they have to go buy something equally inflated in value from someone who also wants a big profit - good luck with that! How on earth did I go from bus blog to real estate whining? Apologies.

27 December 2006


Missed a few days for the holiday vacation. For years, ASU closed down for the two weeks surrounding the winter holidays - an alleged money savings move. A couple of years ago the then-new university president declared the savings a myth and now the university is "open" - business as usual except for the four specific holiday observance days. The bus ride belies the "open"ness of the situation as Dave and I owned the craft until the ride was well half over. Most ASU employees schedule additional vacation days to fill in and create an extended holiday, so I felt no surprise at the paucity of riders. Dave told me he used the bus on christmas day and it was quite empty. Dave said all bus rides are free that day and despite the freebie, he rode solo most of the time. The drivers are probably compensated with double time and a half pay that day and no revenue is generated. Nice gesture for the bus company.

The coat guy got on today but not wearing a football jacket. He had a Cleveland Cavaliers cap and his jacket said "hockey" on the front and four Warner Brothers cartoon characters filled the back. Without direct touching, not sure if I can find out if these jackets are real leather. They look a bit vinyl and I can't figure out how to get tactile with his sleeve in any subtle way to check out the real vs. faux situation. He never comes up to the BTA, just stays on the seat near the back door since he only rides about two stops worth. I'll figure something out.

Image today is a new quilt block I'm trying to design. I like the rotation - wish I could do some screen printing to catch the effect of multiples of the inner square. Sure do miss the big print tables in the fiber studio.

21 December 2006

#41 yada yada yada

Totally forgot to look at the number today. Still not in a good bus habit. Stayed home yesterday as I overdid on Tuesday. Guess you can't be extremely inactive for six weeks and expect to leap immediately back into the jaws of full activity. Sigh . . .

We're having a bit of a cold spell - Weather Channel said it was 28 degree wind chill this morning. I believe it was every bit of 28 degrees and possibly lower. I sported full winter coat and gloves - usually wear them two or three times during the winter season. Arizona's nice, but you can't toss away the winter woolies - they are necessary, especially while waiting at the bus stop.

NG, BG, Dave and I had full command of the BTA today. The professor has ridden a couple of times lately - odd since classes are out and teaching types don't need to be at school. There's a new regular who started during my absence. What makes him especially interesting is his choice of outerwear. Every day he dons the ball cap and jacket of a different NFL team. The new BTA bus sport is guessing which team will grace his cloak-of-the-day. He said he has a jacket for every team (26, I believe) which is a substantial financial investment. If these are real leather and not WalMart faux, the coats must be $200+ for each. Very impressive.

Image today is in honor of the freezingass cold of this morning's bus wait.

18 December 2006


Missed on Friday - daughter drove me to work and I never pass up a chance to visit with my offspring. Ridership is way down. School is out for the winter break, but I never felt the 6am66 was awash with students. Students don't usually break the bond with their blankets until the last possible minute and the earliest classes don't begin until 7:40 AM - only the most industrious would get to school an hour early. It is dark, dark, dark right now and maybe people forget to wake up? That's assuming they don't use alarm clocks. I find I don't want to crawl out of bed in the dark and I'm easy to rise. Oh well, guess I don't care how many are riding as long as the bus continues to arrive. Mark and Dave are foggy with colds - glad I got mine out of the way before the surgery. They don't seem to have the cough, just lots of nasal maneuvers.

Since I can't wear glasses yet, my distance vision is a blur (ho, ho, ho) and it makes for interesting viewing out the window with the dark sky and city lights. While looking for a night light picture for the blog, I found the "Earth at Night" map in jpg format. If you haven't seen this, click on the picture for the larger view. If you think we don't share this space called earth, this picture will help you re-visit that thought. Amazing considering the first electric light bulb wasn't invented until 1880 and the bright, long-lasting tungsten filament didn't get into the bulb until 1910 - if you go back just 100 years, this map would not be so bold. Not bus talk, but one thing leads to another and etc., etc., etc.

14 December 2006


Brrrrrrrrr...... forgot how cold it could be waiting for the bus. The extremes of Arizona's winter temps always confound me. How does one dress for 38 degrees (no humidity!) in the morning followed by 76 degrees in the afternoon? Layers, my friends, lots of light-weight layers. The true layering master can combine the right pieces that enable morning warmth, yet shed simply and lightly for portage as temps climb later in the day. Ah, an entire blog might be devoted to desert dressing. I digress.

Today's ride was interesting - when Dave and I boarded, Dana, our current regular driver, handed us Christmas cards which even included personal notes! How nice is that? Both NG and BG failed to appear and ridership was generally light. Dana sat in the front passenger seat, directing a rookie who had control of the craft. This rookie appeared to be learning to drive the bus as well as learning the route. Cautious approaches and halting stops prevailed as we jerked along. Dana kept telling the neophyte to not run over the curb. I don't believe we ever ran over one, but wonder if a bad curb cut occurred before we got on the bus. We safely arrived at ASU - good luck to the new driver.

Found a nice image of a saguaro cactus decorated with holiday lights. These are everywhere in the Valley of the Sun and thought it made a nice companion to Dana's cards.

13 December 2006

She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack ............

Time to explain the unexplained absence. On November 1, I had eye surgery for glaucoma - a trabeculectomy, to be exact. It's a procedure that creates a drain site in the eye to aid in reducing intraocular pressure. We all have drains in our eyes and mine don't work well enough to keep internal pressure down. Drops, the standard glaucoma treatment, weren't working and I was losing vision, so the next alternative is this surgery. It's done as an outpatient and not painful; however, it requires limited activity until the eye stabilizes. Thus, I've been home for the last few weeks, taking it easy while my eye gets it together. At first blush it seemed like a dream-come-true. Stay home on sick leave while not feeling sick - how great is that? Au contraire . . . it's all fine if you can lead a normal life, but the restricted activity got to be seriously boring. I would have blogged, but life and times were so drab, there was nothing happening worth the write time. Anyway, I returned to work and the bus (#4135) today. The BTA was just as I left it - Newspaper Guy in situ and later Bicycle Guy sans bike - it's cold in the morning! It's good to be back in action - let the blogging resume.