31 January 2007


Another rainy day in the Valley of the Alleged Sun. Cloudy, cold and damp - I thought this was the desert? Guess good weather needs a vacation, too. Oh well, how fun to wear snuggy clothes and full shoes AND socks! Put those flipflops to bed for awhile.

We enjoyed a full busload today - another mix of unusual non-regulars. Apparently, we need to redefine the meaning of "regulars". In the last six months, two consecutive rides equals regular - not like when I first joined the 6am66 team. Ridership varies like the speed of a roller coaster - don't get too comfortable cuz it's gonna change.

We had a full crew in the BTA and a new guy got on at Rural and Baseline, placing himself right smack in the middle of us all. Bill gave him a smile and an official welcome and our conversation resumed. We were all talking back and forth and I would bend forward to talk past the new guy to Dave, then sit back to converse with Mark or Bill. The middle man wore a grim, scowly face - not sure if it resulted from the early hour, life issues, or just a personal desire to look fierce. Eventually, he moved across the aisle to the little seat next to Mark, twisting his body to the side, facing away from the BTA. I want to think he moved to accommodate the logistics of our conversation pit; however, his somewhat surly demeanor contradicted the idea of a thoughtful gesture. Some people just don't want to interact with others and I respect that. Glad everyone's not that way, though.

30 January 2007


Whew! Survived another mad dash across Guadalupe this AM. Rain added an element of terror since Arizona drivers become even bigger idiots when moisture mixes with asphalt. Perhaps the rain/road mix exudes a potent brain numbing agent? Something happens cuz these people suck at driving on a good day with worse effects during the rain. Ask anyone, Arizona drivers are hideous.

Neither Bill nor Mark graced us with their presence today, so Dave and I owned the BTA. When we got on, a man sat in one of the middle side seats. He was hung over (literally) as he sagged sideways in the seat, barely upright. He re-arranged himself as we walked by and then seemed to sleep throughout the rest of the ride. He appeared well groomed, as if a shower and shave were part of his recent past, but sleep definitely occupied his mind. It made me sleepy to look at him. An odd collection of people filled the bus &ndash until the Broadmoor lady got on, only one couple seemed familiar. As if reading my mind, Dave commented how some days on the 66 could seem like a different world. Maybe the rain/road mix was affecting us, too?

29 January 2007

the eyes have it

Thanks to all for concerns about my eyes. I am healing nicely and back at work, earlier than the last eye. The pressure still needs to go lower, but the paralyzed muscle is loosening and, since this weekend, every day seems to find added mobility. I guess a nerve, knicked by the anesthetic needle, caused the problem and it takes time for the nerve to re-build. Healing appears to be in progress and my stiff eye will soon be but a side item in a bus blog.

Crossing Guadalupe to get to the bus stop provided a bit of a challenge. The sun wasn't up and my depth perception remains somewhat compromised - not sure which is scarier, my inability to judge the speed of the cars or the unseen vehicle without headlights. I contemplated going later, after sunrise, but by then the traffic is much heavier and crossing becomes a game of Frogger - splat! Such choices for a visually impaired bus rider, eh?

Today's craft was #4107 with a new driver. Dave said this guy started off being 10 minutes late every day. Apparently the man had a different time schedule in his head than the one published in the bus book. I appreciate the intricacies of timing while driving a bus, but we all need to be on the same time at the starting gate. Not sure why the GPS on the bus didn't alert the dispatch to the time conflict? I thought they could tell exact bus locations at all times? Another technology myth, I suppose. The 6am66 arrived at 6:08 - new activity for me to blog log.

21 January 2007

trabeculectomy #2

been a week or so - had second eye surgery on thursday and just didn't have time earlier in the week to post about the bus. needed to get all the work ducks lined up before the post-op leave.

as good as my first surgery went, this second surgery has gone bad. one of the nerve block shots paralyzed a medial muscle in the operated eye and I have double vision when looking to the right. a "clarence the cross eyed lion" kind of thing. my surgeon didn't see me on friday (day after surg), I had a stand-in who was more interested in the problems with my pressure and surgical site (pressure high, bleb not open, bleeding - fubar indeed) he generally dismissed my newly developed "lazy eye", so am assuming that it's not an unusual consequence and will rectify. going to see the surgeon tomorrow afternoon and hope the news will be better than it was on friday. to say that i am a bit distressed is quite the understatement. my first surgery was the cover story for successful eye events - i fear this second one could become a journal article about how many things can go wrong with a trabeculectomy.

hoped for much quicker return to work with this surgery, and not sure what the future now holds. will post if things get interesting, but fear the bus is stuck in the terminal for now.

ever the optimist (ha!), i did manage to find an art opportunity buried in the post-op mess and the image posted is an eye patch i knitted and embroidered for myself. decided i didn't want to sport the traditional black pirate patch (deepest apologies to J Depp), so developed this faux eye patch. the lashes are somewhat thicker than my own, but the basic eyedea is there. a close look reveals a few knitting flaws, but not bad work considering i did it with one dilated, half-crossed eye. can't keep a good fiber artist down.

10 January 2007


Nice day on the bus. The BTA was full of regulars: NG, Dave, BG and one of the Steves. I realized we had the "Back Seat Boys" plus me - could shorten it to the BS Boys, although in all fairness, not too much BS flows in the BTA.

It was a nice ride with commentary shared on eye surgery, health care, overzealous lawyers and our litigious society, the hideous BCS game, the Phoenix Suns winning ways, the Godfather II and Robert DeNiro, libraries that might carry Godfather II, and possible illegal downloading of movies. We had a nice discussion about making coffee and donuts available on the bus. Options included taking turns bringing the coffee/donuts or installing vending machines on the buses with coffee and donuts for purchase. Bus attendants to serve coffee and donuts was also suggested, but we determined that bus fares would increase to pay the attendants, so we returned to the vending machine plan. Can you imagine the poor drivers if they installed vending machines on the buses? As if they don't have enough to deal with - I can hear the requests to make change, complaints about the food and drink, the spills, the smell. Bad, bad, bad idea.

A nice bus ride.

08 January 2007

forgot to look

Completely ignored today's bus number - apparently some old habits die very easily.

Cold/flu has abated and hope that's the end for this season. Seems everyone is down with some version of it and I'm not the only one to suffer a recurrence. Guess we just run around infecting each other, over and over and over. Can't even blame the bus as ridership is way down. Had an interesting guy riding today. He sat in the BTA, back bench seat, Bill's usual area. Bill doesn't ride on Monday, so that space is unreserved until Dave stakes his daily claim. The odd thing about this guy was his dress. He sported a head-to-toe quilted camo suit with a knit cap and boots. An oversized duffle bag and backpack occupied the seat next to him. Dave commented that a hunter was riding today and the guy laughed and said yeah, deer hunting. He actually looked like he was going or coming from some outdoor expedition, but camping via public transport? It was very odd. He got off at Southern so figure he meant to transfer for a long ride east or west. Deer hunting??? I think not.

Today's image is in memory of my lunch bag which I forgot to grab from the bench at the bus stop. It had my breakfast bar, my vitamins and a plastic tub of lovely crab and corn chowder that I really looked forward to enjoying for lunch. I bet that chowder's gonna be a little rank later today - whew! Oh well, c'est la vie. Speaking of food, check out this website: http://www.cheddarvision.tv/ - you can watch cheddar cheese ripen - simply amazing.

04 January 2007


This flu thing got seriously unfun yesterday with fever, chills, headache, etc., so no work for me today. Yesterday's ride home, however, included enough interesting elements to provide bus blog ramblings for a post today.

I took the 81southbound which meant a ride in one of the larger, newer 6400 class buses. The ride began uneventfully - my weakened condition making me grateful for smooth, quick passage - just wanna get home. All that changed at Broadway and McClintock when we picked up a wheelchair rider. The maneuvers to get him on the bus went without hitch; however, when the driver went to leave the stop, a warning light on the dash said the wheelchair ramp was disengaged and the bus wouldn't move. Clearly, the ramp was up and in place, but apparently the bus brains didn't know that. The driver reversed the procedure, opening out the ramp, but the bus didn't "kneel" - the hydraulics that lower the bus toward the curb failed to do their thing. She brought the ramp back up, closed the door but no-go, the bus still claimed the ramp was down. She then shut the bus down, waited a few, re-started the bus and the warning light returned. Looked like we were in for a bit of a wait.

The driver got on the radio with her superiors and the smokers on the bus all piled off to take advantage of the momentary lapse in travel. A couple of knuckle-draggers in the back cretinously shouted at the driver, "what's going on, man?", "can't be late for work, dude" charming group, eh? The driver got off the radio and proceeded to put the little orange safety triangles outside the back of the bus. Past experience told me it might be prudent to get off and be ready to get on the next bus, due in about 20 minutes. It meant standing in the middle of the gaggle of smokers, but I wanted to get home and knew the next bus would only pick up people waiting at the stop - not sitting on the broken bus. I did what I could to stay out of the smoke drifts and was happy it was sunny and 70 degrees - great bus breakdown weather. The driver turned the bus off again, waited several minutes, re-started and the warning light was gone. She tested the wheelchair system and this time the kneelers worked. She put the bus in gear and it moved, so we all re-boarded the bus and continued on our way. There was a bit of breath-holding when the wheelchair guy got off, but all systems functioned properly. The usual 25 minute ride took an hour to complete - no complaints, it gave me a blog post!

03 January 2007


Back to business as usual - always such a letdown after the holidays and, yet, kind of nice to return to order out of the chaos. NG was in full BTA repose and Dave and I rounded out the set. Mark (BG) hasn't been on in awhile, but I think his schedule moves around school. When classes are in, he's an early rider. Both he and Dave graduate in May - do need to arrange a bus celebration.

A guy got on in front of Marcos de Niza who seemed to know Bill but I'd never seen before. Nice guy, happy to have him along for the ride. I wonder, though, he had an MP3 player and I could hear the music coming out of the earpieces. Now, if I could hear it sitting across from him on a not-so-quiet bus, what is it doing to his hearing? Is he playing it loud because he has a hearing situation or did he develop a hearing situation from playing it too loud? One wonders . . .

Image today is in honor of the lousy, friggin' head cold that has returned to haunt me. I have a cough, although nothing like the killer croups of my previous sojourn. This time, my nose is completely stuffed up. I sound like a caricature of a person with a cold - "By dame is ebb febber add I have a code id by dose" - central casting, where are you???? Hot toddy, tonight - I have no choice.