November '4

The blank space below is supposed to say "A Holiday Evening with the USF Madrigal Singers." You can still click on the space for a link...


I just got home from . It was at a hotel in Bloomington. Kassie and I sat with my parents, who, like me, are alumni of USFC. Kassie's not so excited about the ancient music, I guess. I wasn't too excited about the electric piano on the last song. But overall, they sounded good and it reminded me of the good old days when I was that flavor of geek.

It took a couple days, but I'm feeling better. Hopefully, the food we ate tonight was OK. The last time my parents ate at that hotel, they got familiar with the Norwalk Virus.

The letter from M*tro Tr*nsit that I received in the mail today starts like this:

Dear Christopher:

Congratulations! This letter is to inform you that you have been selected as a Relief Instructor at Nicollet Garage.

So that's pretty cool. I interviewed last week. Basically, I'll be an extra instructor that they can use when the full-time instructors are busy. I think it means that I'll be doing quite a bit of route training. It also means that I'll actually be (sort of) using one of my degrees.



I woke up with a vaguely unsettled stomach this morning.

By the time I got to the garage, I was pretty sure I was in bad shape. I was nauseous and had a slight chill. Then I heaved Steve.

Now I'm home. I worked the first part of my day, one short trip on the 21, and then left.

The men's room at the Wendy's at 27th Avenue and Lake Street is out of toilet paper.



Some bad news yesterday:

Kassie's condo got broken into. Kassie and Mel lost their computers and Pete lost a bag that he seems particularly sad to see go.

Oz has to move out of the place where he's staying. He's still recovering from his foot surgery and doesn't know where he's going to go. Also, he talked to his mother in Gary, IN. She's in the hospital and he thinks she's dying, so he's going to try to get there in the next few weeks.

The rest of the day wasn't too bad.

I saw Waldo the Can Crusher. He had a pipe in his mouth. I wish I could take a picture of that guy.

I picked up a chapter of AN- Alcoholics Notorious- at Franklin. There were about eight of them. It took them a while to get settled, but they all managed to pay and none of them passed out before their stop.

The blue football () was singing like an Atari 2600 all night. The pitch correlated to bumps in the road and the speed of the bus. It was pretty entertaining.



I forgot I sent this picture to myself. Now that Bobalicious Tea is gone, I guess I can always run over to Falafel King instead and get some...



One of the interesting things about driving the bus is watching new businesses come and, unfortunately, go. Two that I found particularly intriguing from my rolling office- Lucky Girl, a gourmet grocery store, and AnneMarie's, a bakery- recently bit the dust.

One of the places I liked to go was Bobalicious Tea, near Lyndale and Lake. I stopped in there to get bubble tea every chance I got when making relief on the 4, and a few times when I was out and about on my scooter. But it's been closed for a couple weeks. I hoped that the guy who owned it was just coming in later. He told me once that he came in later when the weather wasn't nice.

About two weeks ago, I saw that there was a sign on the window and I feared the worst. I make relief on the 4 on Wednesdays, so last week I decided to see what the sign said. I got close enough to see the pretty-much-expected "Space for Lease" sign. That made me sad, of course, but what made me really sad was what I saw when I peeked in the window to see if there was any sign of his equipment, etc. The owner was there, in the dark, sitting on the couch, presumably watching TV. He mouthed that he was closed, I mouthed that I knew and that I was sorry and I moved on. Bummer.

I had twelve, yes, you read that correctly, TWELVE people on the 46 at one time the other day.

I picked my work for next pick. It's pretty similar to the work I have now, except that not counting the night I'm out until 1:00 AM this pick, the new work's a little later. If I count all my days, I average 12:15-8:15 PM.



Congratulations Kevin and Holly! Madelyn (Maddie) Zakia was born yesterday. Most excellent. I'm sure all of Blaine! is celebrating with us.

I totally swiped this pic from Kev...



Good news! Gwar is coming to town! um, yeah, that's the incidental part of the good news...

(name: transit, password: librarian , if necessary)



Wow. Wow. This article is astonishing. It's about pharmacists refusing to dispense birth control. Given the prevalence of birth-control use, even with women who aren't sexually active, why would someone become a pharmacist in the first place?

When I was in library school, I knew a fellow student or two who believed in denying full access to information, even to adults, in the form of Internet filtering. I just don't get it.

If you want to be the morality police, go work for the Church. Or get a job with the current and future administration. I hear there's an opening. Do you think we can take the drapes off the art now?



I think that I've mentioned that my dad (and mom) directed our church's camp, Camp Ojibway, for the first eighteen summers of my life. A few years ago, a tornado went through and destroyed it.

makes me sad...

Today, my parents and I drove out to see the new Camp Ojibway. The church has owned it for at least a year, but I hadn't seen it yet. My dad's been helping work on it. They've built new cabins, bathrooms and a pole barn. Now they're clearing an area in preparation for a new dining hall. It's really nice.

my dad and mom; view from the shore

Then I weighed in (success) and picked up Tina on the way to Tria to watch the Vikings on Monday Night Football. I usually eat a little more for dinner after I weigh in, and it's not always the usual healthy fare. Tonight I started pretty well with a cup of split pea soup. But then I really caved in and got the chicken and lobster pot pie. It was soooo good. And it was very rich. Very, very rich. I missed most of the second half of the game...

I think I'm OK now.



The 46 was more exciting than usual today, though it doesn't take much.

A guy totally janklowed a red light today right next to me. I'm quite sure he was paying more attention to getting around me than he was the light. Fortunately, there weren't any cars (or motorcycles) going through the intersection at the time.

Later, a guy got on the bus and put his pass into the reader. It charged him, and he claimed it shouldn't have. He pulled out a rail-only transfer showing that he had, in fact, gotten on a bus about half an hour earlier. So I restored the money it had taken off and he was happy about that. But he said that this happens fairly frequently to him.

As a senior, he's eligible to ride for $.50 any time except rush hour. There is no rush hour on weekends, of course. For someone to ride at the reduced rate, I have to push the number 1 on the keypad on the farebox. The rate for downtown is also $.50. To do that, I push the 2 button. Unlike the reduced rate, the downtown rate doesn't leave a transfer on the card.

So the driver on the bus downtown most likely pushed the 2 and not the 1. The guy on my bus wasn't done though. As he came back up to the front of the bus, he said, "I know what the problem is." Then he leaned in close and said, "They're all black males. All of them."

I laughed and told him I wondered why he thought that, but I really didn't want to know. He said it was because they are getting back at him. Uh, OK, dude.



Last night I went to a party at Ben and Nora's. The theme: Canada. heh.



Well, it's not looking good for Kerry as I write this. No big surprise there. Whatever.

What I'm upset about this evening is that First Avenue closed today. (Although actually, it doesn't look too bad, as the two guys who ran the place will probably reopen it under a new name.)



As you can plainly see, I voted.

I waited in this line to do it.

It only took an hour, though. I was ballot number 980. If you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul and I know you, you might be expecting a phone call or letter. You will need to know how to assume your new position as judge or soil and water conservation district supervisor, because you got my vote. I first voted for Hard Rockin' Don Bakken, my high school guidance counselor, when I was 18. (That's not really him in Milwaukee, of course, but I was happy to find that guy.) Anyway, Don got my vote again today. I also voted for "Jumpin'" Jim Brunzell and Aldo Nova. Oh yeah, and Alan Page. Oh wait, Page is the real deal...



I was just telling Kassie that when it comes right down to it, I don't care if my vote for Cobb will somehow make a difference and get W reelected. Sure, I think W is a bad president and that Kerry would do a better job, but I honestly don't think he'd be all that much better. I was saying that we (mostly) made it through the Reagan years OK, did just fine under Clinton and that whoever gets elected will do the usual amount of damage and the usual amount of good and things will keep rolling along. (Of course, I'd like to see things roll along in a more positive way, but depending on the day, I've pretty much given up on that...)

I guess I don't buy the "this is the most important election of our lifetime" thing. Then Kassie sent me this story this afternoon. (name: transit, password: librarian - if necessary)

So go vote tomorrow. It won't really matter, but do it anyway. You might feel better, and some of you will get to take some time off work to do it, which is nice.


October '4