30 May 2008


What a nice bus ride, today. Took the 7:57am 81N and claimed title to first passenger. I got the right front seat, propped my feet on the tire well and began knitting. At Baseline and McClintock, a young man got on - rookie rider. He only had a $5 bill and, of course, the fare boxes don't give change. He wanted an all day pass, so the driver told him to get change and buy the pass on the next bus - nice driver! Some won't let people on without the correct change, but the 7:57 guy always finds empathy. A half block later, a regular guy got on and took the left front seat, propped his feet on the tire well and began reading a book. At Southern and McClintock, a man and young woman got on the bus, sat down and the rookie rider started talking. He asked about bagel shops along the route, looking for an Einstein's. We all chipped in with information and returned to our relaxation. At Apache and McClintock a regular lady rider got on and that was the full complement for the rest of the ride. It was so congenial and pleasant - no loud cell phone conversations, no questionable aromas - just a nice, comfortable ride. What's not to like about public transportation?

As a side note: I walked to the stop and the gas price sign showed 3.87/gal. I walked past the sign, got to the bus shelter and when I turned around and looked, the girl from the gas station just finished changing the price to 3.91/gal -- a 4-cent increase in 30 seconds! Sure glad I have my bus pass.

27 May 2008


Back to work after a lovely, weatherwise, Memorial Day weekend. I think 3-day weekends should become the standard and let holidays create 4-day weekends - very recuperative.

Took the 6:57AM 81N this morning. As I stood at the bus stop, working on posture improvement, up walks the OCD bus time guy! Last I saw him on Guadalupe at the 66/92 stop when he talked me into riding the 92 to Rural and catching the 72N. If you recall, he talked non-stop about bus times while constantly opening his cell phone to check the hour. Today he kept stepping into the street to peer south, looking for the bus. He came over to me and asked if I took this bus regularly. I advised him I flexed my bus riding times and he asked if we'd ridden together before. I said we had indeed ridden a 92/72 combo together.

He wanted to catch the 521 express bus that goes across Southshore and ends up on *-10 into downtown Phoenix. He explained he usually catches it on Rural but only had a pass for local, not express and needed change and got a paper and etc., etc., etc. He then launched into a discussion of times related to the 521 coinciding with the 81N and he had a few minutes of play, IF the 6:57 arrived on time. He showered me with a blizzard of bus times and route information; however, today he only checked his cell phone one time. He saw the bus coming and seemed quite pleased that the public transportation gods smiled on him today. We got on the bus, he sat in the seat behind me and, as he departed, he leaned forward and commented on the lovely weather! No mention of time, bus connections - just the weather.

While, as a fellow bus rider, I completely understand the time obsession, I thought his particular brand of time watching could be the tip of a freaky iceberg. However, since he shared a normal, non-bus related remark, perhaps he just likes to talk bus?

23 May 2008


Hard to believe I completely missed posting in the month of April and came close to missing May. Work continues to press, leaving thoughts of blogs behind. Riding a regular bus at a regular time with regular riders made writing easier - rhythm - regular writing requires regular rhythms.

Oh well, once again I proceed. Today's ride (7:12am 81N) lacked interest, but the bus stop had a moment. The bus stops seem to serve as collection points for shopping carts/trolleys. I don't understand the procedure - if I purchased so many items I needed assistance to transport them to the bus stop, what happens when I get off the bus at my destination? What guarantees a cart waits at the other end to help me continue my journey with my plethora of purchases? Since I have never removed a cart from the property to which it belongs, a full understanding of the cart moving mindset escapes me.

Today's cart situation spawned an interesting mental dialogue. Three carts rested next to the stop, one from Walgreen's, one from Fry's and one from Basha's. The Fry's and Walgreen's carts made sense. The stop sits on the northeast corner of the Guadalupe/McClintock intersection. Walgreen's sits on the southwest corner and Fry's occupies the southeast. The nearest Basha's, however, lives two miles south on the southwest corner of Warner and McClintock -- not exactly across the street or just down the block. Did the cart arrive in small trips over time or did someone push it, non-stop, the full two miles? It made me ponder the migratory habits of these carts and I thought about a tagging system - preferably GPS enabled - that would permit tracking of the carts as they move from place to place. Imagine learning the journey of a rogue shopping cart . . .

Amazing the mental processes that spring from a trip on the bus.