February '6


My slow changeover to wooden and plastic clothes hangers has left me with a surplus of wire ones. I haven't thrown them away yet. I guess I'll donate them to the people of South Dakota. Looks like they'll be needing them...

Oz walked by my bus on Hennepin the other day. I have been lacking the energy to deal with him. He didn't see me and I didn't honk.

Later that day, a woman hurried to my 554. I waited for her because I saw her coming, but I also recognized her as a regular on the 18. (The 554 follows the same route as the 18 south of Diamond Lake Road.) She asked me, "How'd you know I wanted the bus?" When I said, "I saw you coming," what I wanted to say was, "Lady, you might be the bitchiest, whiniest passenger I've ever met. After two encounters with you, you and your stop were etched into my brain and will be there until the day I die."

Yesterday, a three-year-old boy named Knowledge rode my bus. I quite like that name. It's kind of like naming your daughter Charity, Chastity, Prudence or Hope isn't it?

There's a young guy who I always see at the Uptown Station on Wednesdays. I think he's of some kind of East African descent, and his English is good. The first time we talked, I think he asked me about the frequency of service. He figured M*tro Tr*nsit was pulling in all kinds of money and should use it to improve service. Yeah, well... explain the money situation and the intentions/goals of MT in one minute or less. Then another day, he told me that the heater wasn't working in the enclosed and heated waiting area. Other than that, I've said hello to him in passing. Yesterday, he wanted to ask me something.

He told me that he's been going to (I think) The Grand Hotel for the last few months to try to get a job. He was concerned that they might be getting tired of him showing up. Apparently, the hiring manager has been busy every time he shows up. Someone told him to be there at 2:00 yesterday. He wondered if I thought that perhaps they were setting him up- that the police would be there waiting for him.

The thing is, I had to pry almost all of that information out of him. I was absolutely confused by his story for most of our conversation. I'm still not completely sure I got it right. Anyway, he got on my bus a couple hours later, on his way back to The Grand.

So... tired of reading bloggers and listening to talking heads on the teevee who don't really know what they're talking about when it comes to the "war" on terror? Here's an interview with Michael Scheuer, creator and former chief analyst of the CIA's bin Laden unit. It's from last week's City Pages and I just got around to reading it yesterday. It's pretty scary.



Well, we never got the snow. I saw a few very small, light flakes and that was it.

We did, however, get the cold. It was the below-zero, extremely unpleasant kind of cold that makes me want to hibernate even more than I already do in the winter. Fortunately, it didn't last very long.

I'm watching Duke again, only until Wednesday night. When I watched him a couple of times ago, he was having really gross skin issues, leaving clumps of hair and skin all over the floor. The last time I watched him, he was taking medicine and seemed to be fine. He's still taking the medicine, but now most of the hair on his left hind leg is gone. It's pretty foul.

I think I had bus things to talk about, but my notebook is at Duke's.



My work, 3/11/6 - 6/2/6:

Sunday, Monday- off
Tuesday- 9:54 AM (r) - 12:09 PM (r), 4 line; 2:04 PM - 7:31 PM 17 line
Wednesday- 10:06 AM (r) - 12:06 PM (r), 46 line; 2:23 PM (r) - 8:16 PM, 6 line
Thursday- 12:33 PM (r) - 8:22 PM, 18/554 lines
Friday- same as Wednesday
Saturday- 7:27 AM - 3:33 PM (r), 46 line

(r) = relief. More relief-reliefs this pick. I like those.

The 6 line that I do on Wednesday and Friday afternoons is the same work that I do on Fridays now. The last part of my Thursday work is the last part of what I'm doing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays now. And I didn't think I'd see the 46 for years, but there it was. So I took it. It's early, but I know that my Saturdays will be nice.

We're supposed to get some kind of winter storm today. I wonder how long it'll take to go those six blocks on Lyndale this afternoon...



I had a mildly interesting day.

I answered my phone at 10:00 this morning. It was a dispatcher from work. I had to pull out and wait instead of making relief. Normally I drive to the Uptown Station, which is the relief point, and wait to take over the bus. Today, I took a bus from the garage, drove it to Uptown and met the other bus. The passengers got on my bus and the other driver took that bus back to the garage.

Since I get relieved and I usually have my car a block away, it threw a bit of a kink into my routine. It wasn't too bad, but I lost about fifteen of the forty-five minutes I usually get for lunch.

My second piece of work pulls out of the garage at 3:45. At approximately 3:48, I noticed this noise coming from the blue football:


It drove me insane for about two-and-a-half hours until I figured out that the speakers are right on the front of the footballs. A piece of packing tape made all the difference in the world. Duh.

I pick work tomorrow.



I was driving north up the Nicollet Mall this evening on the 18 and I couldn't figure out why there were so many people out and about. Then it dawned on me: Valentine's Day. Huh. Maybe I should call Kassie or something.

When I worked in restaurants, Valentine's Day was often referred to as an "amateur night." New Year's is the other big one. We were always very busy with people who rarely dined out and who had no idea what they were doing. (Read: they tipped like crap.)

I went over to my parents' house yesterday. My mom is cleaning out my old room and wanted me to consolidate (or let's be honest- throw away) the stuff I still have there. Yeah, I'm 37 and I still have stuff at my parents' house. If I had done "what I was supposed to," I guess I'd be married with a house and all that, but since I've, uh, sort of resisted that, I'm relatively transient and it's a hassle to move the stuff I already have with me. So some of my junk is at my parents' house. However, I did throw quite a bit away and I got it consolidated to what you see here:


But there was no way I was going to throw away Star Wars action figures, baseball cards, Hot Wheels cars, etc. (And I should point out that much of it is half Corey's.) Corey and I have a collection of fourteen bottles like this one:


They all say something different. We got those bottles at Camp Ojibway for years, but we only decided to hang on to some of them in our last couple of summers there. I think Filled by Ed and Gene was the most common one we saw. It looks like they're going for anywhere between $3.99 and $17.50 on eBay right now. And then there's the one that's up to $117.50, but it looks slightly different.



Excellent! Here are the latest search engine queries that brought people to this site:

#2 rules!



Ha ha! Sometimes typos are funny. Or kind of funny. Or kind of amusing at first, then not quite as amusing as the minutes go by. But that won't stop me from sharing...


It snowed yesterday, but not much. I think we may have gotten an inch or two. I was driving the 4. I was able to keep my first couple of trips on time. Then, on my second northbound trip, it took us 35 minutes to go about six (long) blocks, from between 27th and 28th Streets to Franklin Avenue.

I saw a nursing home van almost run over a little old lady. She was crossing the street with the walk sign and the van was taking a left. The lady was able to pick up the pace just enough to avoid being hit; by the time the van stopped it was next to her.

I also watched a courier van slam into an SUV. The van was coming from the other direction; the SUV was right in front of me. It sort of looked like the van was trying to do a u-turn, but I think he was just out of control. The SUV and I were the only vehicles around, so when the van hit the SUV, it almost looked like he was aiming for him. No one appeared to be hurt.



Satan is lacing up his skates! I happened to enjoy this piece by Paul Mulshine, a conservative. I especially enjoyed the bits of pedantry concerning the words pundit and media.

A guy got on my bus for a block downtown last night. He told me he delivered some of our buses from California, where they are manufactured. He was on his way to the Amtrak station in St. Paul. His next job is with New Flyer. I forgot where he said he was going.

I sight-impaired guy got on my bus tonight with his dog, a smallish yellow lab. He sat behind me and the dog sat next to him. A couple stops later, I watched a teenaged-girl's face as she stepped on the bus, then jumped back and out of the bus. "There's a dog on the bus!" She wouldn't come in through the front door. Fortunately, her friend, who was apparently not terrified of dogs, paid for her. The scared girl came in through the back door.

On my last trip this evening, I picked up a guy at Lake and Nicollet who was clearly perturbed about something. I didn't get far when he started in another guy who'd also gotten on there. I'm going to make an assumption here. I think it's safe to say the bus was treated to some kind of a one-way lovers' spat. He wasn't terribly loud, and I was driving a very noisy bus and Nicollet is a very bumpy road. The only noise I could hear for fifteen minutes, besides the racket made by the bus hitting bumps and pot holes, was one lispy S after another.



I hate shaving. I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment.

If it were economically feasible for me to have all the hair north of my collarbones and south of my ears and nose permanently (surgically) removed, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Eric and I were sitting in a golf cart last summer (?) being not very funny and amusing ourselves talking about a fictional five-bladed razor.

I started shaving with Bic disposable razors. Gillette came out with the first incarnation of its Sensor razor about the time I decided to find a razor and stick with it. I shaved with a Sensor or SensorExcel for a long time. When the Mach3 (three blades!) debuted in the late '90s, I thought it sounded a bit ridiculous. What could three blades do that two couldn't? I tried it. I did not get a better shave and the blades seemed to wear out sooner than the Sensor blades. Back to the Sensor. I decided that there was no way I would fall for that crap again.

Then Schick raised the stakes and released the Quattro. Four blades. Ho hum. At some point, razors got batteries to make the blades pulse (or something).

Now Gillette has released the Fusion. Five blades on the front, one on the back, a battery model and a website.

I'm back to shaving with Bic disposables.

So have any of you tried battery-powered razors? Four- or five-bladed razors? Anyone? Is there an advantage that I should know about?



I got to see almost half of the Super Bowl live when Kassie was making herself a pineapple upside-down birthday cake. I don't feel the need to watch the whole thing. Boooorrrring.

Yesterday was also my dad's birthday, and today is Tina's birthday. Happy birthday, everyone!

For a while there, I was getting a lot of hits on this site from people looking for a clip of Doug Flutie's drop kick.

For the last week or so, I've doubled my hits from people looking for a clip of Peter Griffin singing "Shipoopi" on Family Guy.

I wonder what happens if I say that I saw women in the JCPenney catalog who looked like Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Michelle Kwan, and Jessica Simpson modeling nude pantyhose? And then what if I write additional words like sex, naked, and girls and make the text white?



I'm having another good week, for the most part.

I was waiting at the corner of Lake and Lyndale to make relief yesterday, when a youngish 1979-style punk guy sitting in the far back seat of a minivan sitting at the light pointed at me and waved. He yelled something. Twice. I thought he was saying, "I got the Force today!" I smiled and nodded. "You got the Force!" Then he cracked the window. "I GOT DIVORCED TODAY!" Oh. Um, congrats?!?

My bus broke down yesterday. It was leaking coolant. So I got a 45-minute break while I waited for a new bus.

I was supposed to get paid last night/today, but I got overlooked or something and they didn't cut me a check. I called and it'll show up at Nicollet soon enough.

My dad's birthday is Sunday, but he's in Oregon.

Kassie's birthday is also Sunday. So's the Super Bowl. I'm warming up the VCR...



January '6