July '4


Sometimes I whine about the rich who don't want to pay their taxes. I usually say something to the effect of, "...as if they got rich in a vacuum..." This report says what I am trying to say, but it's much more articulate and complete. Definitely worth the read.

A drunk guy got on my bus at 1:00 yesterday. It wasn't long before some people were telling him to shut up. When he got off, one guy spouted off about how that guy is an "embarrassment to humanity." I don't know if the people on my buses the last couple of days were unusual or if the riders in general are getting fed up with the drunks.

I was sitting at Uptown Station when a lady poked her head in the door. "I found this pen." Um, thanks.

your basic Paper Mate, with a chewed end and no cap

We got some hail a little while ago. It wasn't baseball-sized or anything, but it was loud. I think it's much less impressive here than it was at the time.


I forgot to mention that I saw Tommy Stinson do a few songs at the Electric Fetus the other day. I'm listening to his new record and I like it pretty well.

I seem to remember that his solo stuff (Bash & Pop, Perfect) got shredded by the critics. I always thought it was interesting. I haven't seen anything about this one, but he said that Playboy rated it three out of four bunnies.

You can almost see him...


My bus just about went Bernie Goetz on a drunk guy today. Well, OK, it wasn't that bad. The drunk guy's hair was a huge mess and he was wearing a sweet powder blue t-shirt that said EVERYONE LOVES HANDBELLS, featuring a cartoon of a handbell choir. Apparently, before long, he was bothering a young woman in the back and pretty soon, a few people were yelling at him. One guy brought the drunk guy's stuff to the front of the bus and handed it to me while the vocal people demanded that he get off the bus and that I call the cops. He came up to retrieve his stuff and I asked him to sit down and shut up, which he agreed to do. Instead, he sat down next to the guy who had taken his stuff and "threatened" him. Then he got off. I didn't call the cops. Honestly, I thought a couple of those folks were overreacting.

Here's a fairly interesting story that my brother sent me. He got it from a guy whose real last name is Rambo. You know, I was in high school from 1985-87 and I never saw that one. I don't really feel like I missed much, to be quite honest. Similarly, have I ever told you that I've never seen more than the first twenty minutes of Top Gun? B-o-o-o-ring...

ANYWAY, I listened to a few minutes of Kerry's speech this evening. What I heard sounded pretty good; he was talking about some domestic issues where I think W is particularly horrid: taxes, jobs, etc. However, if our recent experience with the donkeys holds true, old John probably doesn't mean any of it. Lots of bark, no bite, I'm sure. Stupid Democrats.


So I walked around hungry all week, and for what? I lost a whopping 1.8 pounds. Nice.


A guy got on my bus and said, "I know you and your friends have been talking about me!" Then he mumbled a little bit more.

I said, "What's that?"

He said, "You heard me! You know exactly what I said!"

He spent the rest of the trip conversing with the voices in his head. It was mildly discomforting, as much of it seemed vaguely threatening. But he got off without incident.

Later in the day, a guy on a bicycle ran a red light, crossing in front of me. I had to hit the brakes, so I gave him a nice earful of my horn. Naturally, he responded with a "F*ck you!"

Damn red-light-running, 5-mph-riding, always-in-my-way bicyclists. (Not counting Pete, Mike, or uh, any other bicyclist reading this...)

Wyatt and I went golfing yesterday. I continued my miserable play, but I played better than the last time we went out.


John Randle passed out on my bus today! It's kind of sad, though. It looks like he's lost some weight and I don't think he's getting enough sun...


The reigning University of Minnesota Morris homecoming queen rode my bus the other day. He's a friend of Kassie's; I met him at Grand Old Day. From what I understand, UMM discontinued the practice of electing a homecoming king and queen after that year. ha.

I finally saw Driver Operator 2165 driving a train the other day! He did a fine job of accelerating through the intersection.

I learned a couple things last week:
1) If I pack a salad to take with me for lunch, it's helpful to also pack a fork.
2) My scooter can make it to work even if I forget to turn the fuel cock to ON.


For some reason, I was hungry almost all day. Kassie and I went grocery shopping and I spent a lot more money than I usually do. Hopefully, those groceries will last a couple weeks.

In what looked like something out of a music video or an Animal House rip-off, I saw a young woman whose bicycle had ripped off her skirt. Fortunately for her, she was wearing sensible cotton underwear.


I've been trying to think of the last time I scheduled an appointment for and went to the doctor, not counting (job-related) DOT physicals and my broken ankle. I think it was when I lived in Sioux Falls, about eleven years ago.

I went to the doctor today for a comprehensive physical. I'm in pretty good health. (Except for the 218 part; I start Weight Watchers this evening.)

And I was a Dr. Jellyfinger virgin until today. I'm a little traumatized, but I think I'll be OK.


I rode the light rail for the first time today. I think it's pretty nice, really. I took it from downtown to the VA Hospital, which is as far as it goes right now.

I took my scooter out most of the day, running errands. It was great, even though it felt like it was about 130 degrees.

I got my nephew Cayden a belated birthday outfit. He turned 1 last week.


Ben and Nora are engaged! Congratulations!

I saw two red Stellas within five minutes of each other the other day. Hey, I guess if you want to give Wendy's your money, you might win one. That would be cool.

A couple days later, a young black guy got on with a U (of MN) pass. It caught my eye. I asked him to show it to me and amazingly, he did. Sure enough, according to the photo on it, it belonged to a young blonde Caucasian woman. He said it was his fiancee's. I told him it didn't matter (they're nontransferable) and I sort of tried to get it from him, as we're supposed to do, but I settled for him getting off the bus.

Speaking of that, two guys got on my bus yesterday. The first guy on told me that he lost his pass with both of their transfers on it. That is impossible, as none of our passes will do that (except maybe the Go-To Card, but good luck getting that to work and there's no way they had one of those...) Then, after the terrible lie, one of them had the gall to ask me for transfers on their way off the bus.

So today when they got on my bus at Southtown, I kicked them off. Geez, I seem to be the badass these days.

The Driver Groupie found me today. She has two phones and phone numbers now. One is for her friends (drivers) and one is mostly for her mom.

It's Aquatennial time!

And today I saw a ten-week-old aborted fetus. Twice. Once, it was on the side of a truck downtown and once it was flying behind an airplane over downtown. I hope all the little kids who were downtown got to see it.


I forgot one. Maybe you expect to come across clowns on motorcycles on a random road in northern Minnesota, but we didn't.


We had a nice, relaxing weekend. Have a little look:

the view from the cabin; the view from the lake; American girl

we saw a lot of loons; Kassie's fish; afternoon nap

my fish; wet-wood fire (it took an hour+ to get it going); hot chick


I had a pretty lousy day on the 17 today. I ran late most of the day. That gets old.

I'm going to Kassie's family's cabin tomorrow for a couple days. I really need to get out of town.

I went to da Mons' house last night after work. Mary is in town from Colorado. Andy and Amy showed up. I worked with all of them at Camp Ojibway on Lake Mudhen in my college years. We watched a video I made one of the years I was there. I miss C.O.

post-tornado C.O.


I have often wondered why cars pull up behind a bus with its 4-way flashers on. No one sits behind a UPS truck that's pulled over with the hazards on. Yeah, yeah, I know there are a couple good reasons to wait behind a bus, but sometimes it's pretty silly. For instance, in this photo, the bus has pulled over about 100 feet from the corner. The engine is not running and the flashers are on.

I drove the 28 today. It's a nice route, kind of a sister to the 6.

It's Basilica Block Party weekend. Um... sweet. Check out the bands this year. Ugh, not counting The Honeydogs, who I really like, and Dan Wilson, who I slammed a little bit here a couple months ago. But I think (hope) he still has some good music in him.

Of course, Hennepin Avenue near the Basilica gets crazy. I only had to drive through the madness twice. Admittedly, being that it's a warm summer night, I had difficulty keeping my eyes on the road. (I mean, check out that list of bands again. The ladies were out in full force.)

I got to the end of my day and ran into stopped traffic from an accident on 35W on the way back to the garage. So I got off the freeway early and called Control to let them know. They asked me if I could fill in on the 6, just from 36th and Hennepin to downtown. We were giving free rides to the BBP and apparently the Hennepin buses were getting spanked.

So I had a choice: They Might Be Giants at First Avenue, an hour or so on the scooter, or fill in on the 6. Somehow, I chose the 6.

It was fun. And very loud. Check it out:

A very lovely (almost as lovely as Kassie...) passenger offered to take a photo for me.
Hmm... something illegal going on there in the middle...

Speaking of Kassie, she's wastin' away again in Margaritaville this weekend. heh.



Kassie and I went to Wyatt and Tina's house last night for food and games.

This is the fireworks show we saw, courtesy of their neighbors:

I went to work on time today. It was really, really slow.


I'm a yankee doodle idiot.

For whatever reason, and I had a couple bad ones, I failed to go to work on time today. I was getting ready to go at the time I thought I was supposed to be there when I noticed the phone message from the dispatcher wondering where I was. Nice. I'm going to go in for a couple hours and finish the work I was supposed to be doing so it won't be as bad for my work record.

Kassie and I went to church this morning. We sang This is My Song at the end of the service. Lloyd Stone wrote the lyrics. I liked how the third and fourth lines sneaked up on me in the second stanza:

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.


Thursday and Friday were pretty uneventful days on the bus. Our radios were in fallback mode, which means that we could hear everything that everyone said on them. It was kind of like listening to a scanner all day. I can almost see the appeal for people who have nothing better to do.

I guess Thursday night wasn't completely uneventful. I picked up The Daff. He was on his way to Cheapo to buy some records.

I was on the 46 today. It was really quiet, as expected.

Last week, when Light Rail opened, it was painfully obvious how little attention people pay to signs. I don't think 95% of our passengers would even notice if we took the overhead destination signs off the buses. Today, two people loaded up their bicycles on the front bicycle rack then realized that they had the wrong bus.

Speaking of bicycles, one guy loaded his up and rode with me for four blocks. He could have ridden further in the time it took him to load it, ride with me and unload it. Hey, whatever...

It rained most of today. Late in my day, a guy got on my bus. The first thing I noticed was the Q-Tip sticking out of his right ear. The second thing I noticed was that he needed to bathe. He said, "It's wet out there!" Thirty seconds later he said, "Won't need a shower tonight!" Funny.

He got off my bus at the second-to-last stop before my layover. The Q-Tip was still in his ear. And there was one on the seat where he had been sitting. It had globs of earwax on both ends. So I mentally started to gear up for Q-Tip removal at the end of the line. I know I've mentioned my active gag reflex.

But at the very next stop, a lady got on my bus. She was going to sit at my layover and go back toward Minneapolis with me. The bus was empty, but she sat right on the Q-Tip. Unfortunately for me and fortunately for her, when she got up, it was still there. Unfortunately for her, there was a greasy spot on her white shorts where one of the ends had been. (Yeah, I looked. Like I wasn't going to?)

I know I should have just thrown it away right then, but I didn't. Sure enough, a couple stops later, another lady got on and sat on the Q-Tip. But when she got off the bus, the Q-Tip was gone.


June '4