December '6


I hope my mom didn't see this article.

A lady got on my 18 today with her young son in tow. I asked how she was doing. She sighed. "That's my little bundle of energy! I'm tired. Guess that's what happens when you get old!" She sat down. Then I noticed that her son was drinking Mountain Dew MDX. Good choice, lady.

On my last trip up the Nicollet Mall this evening, I found myself behind a big black SUV. The Nicollet Mall is primarily a pedestrian mall, but buses, taxis, cops and commercial vehicles servicing the businesses on the mall are allowed.

My animosity toward SUVs is pretty well-known, but I was in a good mood so I thought I'd save the driver some hassle and warn him/her to get off the mall. Tourists and other visitors often get pulled over and warned. I got behind them briefly at 11th and honked my horn. Their brakes flashed, but they continued on. I caught up again at 10th. I honked again. Brakes again. Pause. LIGHTS AND SIREN.

Oops! A cop. My passengers laughed. "CHECKMATE!"

I laughed, waved at the driver of the SUV. Nice.



Yeah, it's my birthday. And I'm celebrating it the way I've wanted to celebrate it since I was 21 (not counting my 33-and-a-third). That is, I'm not celebrating it. I appreciate the greetings I've gotten in the mail, verbally and online, of course; it's nice to be remembered.

But I am ever so happy that I don't have to have a party or other gathering. I'm working today. I'll come home this evening and eat something- maybe leftovers, maybe watch a little TV or an episode of "Carnivale" and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Sucks to be 38, but nice to get a birthday I like.






I know you were following the NAIA football playoffs- the road to The Rumble on the River. But if, uh, you weren't paying attention, I'll tell you what happened.

My alma mater, The University of Sioux Falls College, won! Sweet. Here's a pic that I swiped from their site.



My new work is pretty decent.

The 2 on Saturday is still spotty. I get killed on a couple trips every week, but it's not the same trips from week to week. For the most part, I can keep it on time, though.

I got destroyed a couple Fridays ago. I was a little concerned that those days might be miserable, but last Friday went really well.


I got to the east terminal of the 2 and there were two cars parked in the bus stop. I couldn't get the bus alongside the curb; the back end stuck out a few feet.

I called control, then headed to the coffee shop. I noticed a guy walking toward the bus stop, and sure enough, one of the vehicles was his. I yelled, "No parking! Except for you, right?!?" He glanced at me, but decided to otherwise ignore me. I went in to the coffee shop and got a delicious apple cinnamon scone.

When I came out, I left a note on the car: No parking... except for you! Did you beat the squad?

As I pulled away, I saw the transit cop on Central Avenue. But alas, I also saw the owner of the car find my note, get in his car, and drive away before the cop arrived. Too bad...



I got my hair cut a few days before our wedding at the end of September. As a young guy got on my bus, he asked, "Do you know what time it is, ma'am... I mean, sir?" Maybe I should give Dina a call.


I have a lot of things to get done today. I suspect I will not get them done.






It's my day off. I was up at 5:?? Guess why?

When we put Jeff to bed in his kennel Saturday night, he whined and cried for at least an hour before he settled down and went to sleep. We figured it might take a few nights before he gets used to being here. Last night, he whined for a few minutes, then we didn't hear from him. Until about 2:00. Then he whined and cried for an hour. Kassie and I both heard him and we both assumed the same thing- he must have woken up and gotten nervous or whatever.

I got up early this morning to use the bathroom. When I opened our bedroom door, I was met with the delightful smell of... oh, sh*t! Yep, the poor guy had tried to tell us that he had to go, but we completely misunderstood. He had dumped quite a bit and it was all over his kennel. It was also all over his ear and all over his haunches and all over his feet.

Awesome. Is this some kind of karmic thing for all the cool pics I have of dogs pooping?

Kassie, who it turns out was having some personal difficulties of her own (but not the same kind), started cleaning the kennel while I got Jeff into the shower. Fortunately, we kept the shower head-on-the-hose thing. (Kassie likes it; I don't.) So I hosed him down and shampooed him. I think I only gagged once.

Meanwhile, Kassie realized that if she wanted to get the kennel completely clean, she'd have to climb inside. And I think I mentioned that the crap was everywhere. So we decided that I should take it outside and hose it down. I went to the basement and turned on the water again and dragged the hose back upstairs and outside.

We had to collapse the kennel to get it out of the room it's in. As we carried it downstairs, my famous gag reflex really kicked in. I was heaving all the way down, but fortunately, there wasn't anything immediately ready to come up, so I did not compound the mess.

We got it outside. I was feeling pretty lucky that the temperature was not unbearable. I hosed the kennel down while Kassie cleaned up the floors and everything else upstairs.

It took about an hour-and-a-half. Jeff spent the rest of the night in our room.

Lessons learned:
1) He'll need to dump after every meal, even if he acts like he doesn't when we take him out.
2) He might be crying wolf, but it's worth it to assume he's not.
3) His kennel will stay downstairs for a while and he'll sleep in our room for a while.

I still haven't seen Jeff dump, but I have my camera handy every time I take him outside...

Tomorrow we visit the vet and get a license.



Happy Birthday, Mom!


I was recently deemed healthy enough to drive a bus. The doctor was totally impressed with my bad-assitude.



And it is my pleasure to introduce

Jeffrey Marie Church Camp, a very nice dog.



Yeah. Get a walkie-talkie phone. Nothing makes this bus driver want to reach for his hammer faster...

I spent a few days last week as an instructor. It was a nice break, as usual. I did some route training on Thursday and Friday. The new pick started Saturday. I spent the day at the garage answering questions for people about their new work.

According to the banner hanging on the side of the building, there are some European Condos for sale on Lyndale Avenue. I swear I saw them being built...

As I headed downtown last evening on 35W, one of my bus's tires exploded. That's always kind of... how do you say in America?... scary. Very loud noise, dust/whatever from the side of the bus, more noise as the loose pieces of tire flop around.

I heard, but did not see, a woman in a big, blue SUV pull out in front of a cop today on Minnetonka Boulevard. After it got hit, the cop's car came within inches of my bus.

My work is good so far. Friday is the only day that I still don't know about.

I have a four-day weekend next week. I always have vacation days left over at the end of the year, and I always have to use them whenever I can, as most of the available days off in December get claimed before I start to pay attention. I assume there are a lot of people in the same boat as me. This year is a little different, though. I usually get my birthday off, but I wasn't paying close enough attention to some rule changes and I already used up the days that I could have used to take my birthday off. So I guess I'll be working on my birthday this year. I kind of like that.

Kassie and I are going to visit a dog on Saturday. We might adopt him.




November '6