November '6

11/29

Can I get a spell check?


 

Besides...


 


 

11/23

As I type this, it's 5-something in the morning. While I am thankful to have a job that I like, I am not thankful that when I picked this work, I forgot to indicate that I would like to have today off if I wasn't needed. Um, because if I had done that, I wouldn't be awake right now.

Happy Thanksgiving anyway!


 

11/19

You know when athletes invoke God? And someone always wonders out loud which team God will favor if there are devout players on both teams? Well, for all of you in Minnesota who hope and pray for beautiful weather on Saturdays, I'm the guy hoping and praying against you. Now that I'm driving the 2, all I want to see are cold, miserable Saturdays. At least until 4:00 or so. Just so you know. And for the record, I seem to be on the losing team lately.
____

The southbound bus stop on Nicollet at Franklin is temporarily closed, so there's a temporary stop at 19th/Groveland. When I approach that stop, I make an announcement so my passengers are aware of the situation.

The other day, I made the announcement, but I caught the red light at Franklin, next to all the BUSES DO NOT STOP HERE signs and the yellow tape draped across the entire stop. A young guy listening to his iPod very loudly came up and wondered if I'd let him out. I smiled and said, "You know, if you turned down a little bit, you would have heard my announcement." He said, "If I turned it down, I couldn't hear Jimmy Page play this f***in' awesome guitar solo!" We all laughed as he exited the bus.

____

Yesterday I had a scone that tasted like Franken Berry. Delicious!

____

On my next trip into the place that sells the Franken Berry scones, I ordered a medium chai. The cashier said, "This might sound strange, but I know you. I was lost in St. Paul a long time ago and you helped me. I think we were going to a Wild game and got lost. We got on your bus and you helped us get there. I'm just going to coupon this drink."

I thought, "Cool, a discount."

Nope. Free. Nice.

____

I saw some dude driving an older model Cadillac with the frat boys' dream license plate: SUP BRA. <shudder>


 

11/14

I picked my new work today. Starting December 2, my week will look like this:

Sunday, Monday - off.
Tuesday - 10:36 AM (r) - 2:36 PM (r), 46 line; 4:42 PM - 8:21 PM, 17 line.
Wednesday - 10:02 AM (r) - 5:57 PM, 17 line.
Thursday - 12:33 PM (r) - 8:22 PM, 18/554 lines.
Friday - 12:04 PM (r) - 8:29 PM (r), 6/554/18 lines.
Saturday - 8:09 AM (r) - 4:04 PM (r), 2 line.

As usual, I have mixed feelings about it. I was actually hoping to get more splits, as I like having the middle of the day to take a nap and do computer things. But it's nice to work eight (or so) straight hours and be done. The one split I have will probably be my easiest day. I was hoping to be done earlier more often. Three days at around 8:30 is kind of tough. And Friday night will be my latest night in at least a year. It'll be nice to get done early on Wednesday night, but driving the 17 all day might make it a wash. I'm happy that I got something different every day, and I got some variety in my routes. Also, I avoided the 21. But I try not to pick the 17 and the 21 in the same pick if I can help it. Overall, it'll be fine. It's only for a few months...


 

11/13

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP


 

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP


 

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP


 

Good morning.


 

11/12


 


 


 

11/9

I think I'll take a few minutes and address the comment left by the so-called Master of Disaster in the comments of the previous post. (I say so-called because the fence behind the Uptown Old Chicago has not been burned to the ground yet...)

Though my stated reason for my disappointment with the governor's race was about getting a raise, my vote for Hatch was not all about the money. Sure, the money is a factor, but it's more of an incidental element of what I consider to be one of Pawlenty's main flaws: his lack of respect for the working class and the poor. Yeah, he comes from a working-class background and he played hockey, blah blah blah. His refusal to address Minnesota's issues in an up front or responsible way- raising taxes- has really hurt "the least of these" to borrow a phrase from, you know, Jesus. It's found in, you know, the bible, a book with which Mr. Pawlenty professes to be down with.

The two examples with which I am most familiar are MinnesotaCare and transit.

I'm sure it's hard to calculate these things, and I've heard various numbers regarding how many people have been affected by changes to MinnesotaCare. Pawlenty's budget cuts have thrown thousands of people off MinnesotaCare, which provides health care for working people whose employers do not offer them health care. He essentially told those dropped to go on welfare. He also imposed a $10,000 yearly cap on medical bills. (Good luck if you have to stay in the hospital for a couple days after an accident.)

Kassie is explaining all kinds of things to me right now about the ways Mississippi Tim has destroyed much of the social safety net and screwed the poor. It's a lot of numbers and jargon that I'm not paying very close attention to. I'm bad; I know. But I get the gist of it. It's really pretty bad. If you'd like those details, email her...

The people who use transit cover a wide social and political spectrum, but the working poor are the ones who rely on it the most. When bus routes are cut due to Pawlenty's budget, getting to work for many people becomes a chore at the least and impossible at the worst, forcing them to quit their jobs in the worst instances.

In both those cases, the Gov seems to be ignoring the big picture, a fundamental problem with much of conservative thought.

And how does Tim P. feel about the working class? Well, during the strike, he referred to bus drivers as "unskilled workers" on his radio show. I would never argue that bus drivers are "skilled workers" in the way that phrase is most commonly employed. However, it certainly takes a healthy number of real-life skills to maneuver a 20-ton vehicle through metropolitan traffic while dealing with customers and the issues they bring along with them. Anyway, his statement was condescending and ignorant, and while I can't say for sure, I'd be surprised if that attitude didn't carry over to all you suckers who actually work for a living.

Pawlenty also believes that I should be making considerably less money per hour than I do. It has something to do with Market mumbo-jumbo. Without getting into that whole Market worship thing (Jesus also said something about serving two masters, didn't he?), I will note that I was hired after the last significant pay increase and the instructors commented on the positive impact it had on the quality of the applicants they were getting. So... drivers who would be safer and stick around longer? huh. That means savings, but you'd have to be aware of the big picture to comprehend that, wouldn't you?

So yeah, I'd be happy to get a decent pay raise. I think our largest yearly increase since I started has been 1.5%, but I can't remember for sure. Either way, they haven't come close to keeping up with the cost of living.

So regarding our Gov, I take Pawlenty's attitudes and actions personally, as a Christian (well, I try...) and as a bus driver.

I referred to Mike Hatch as a "turd." I'm pretty sure I don't care for the guy on a personal level. But he has a reputation for siding with labor and he's clearly a fighter, which is something we don't see in enough Democrats.

So yes, I found myself voting for a handful of Democrats. Does it mean I agree with them? No, probably not, although I have always been more willing to vote for the Dems on a local and state level, as I think they act more like Democrats and less like Republicans Lite.

I consider my feelings about how I think things should go in this country. Am I less liberal? I don't know, but I doubt it. Did you see that Norway has been ranked the best place to live in the world? (Oh, but that's from the UN, who can't be trusted because they are clearly running some kind of scam when they make that list... right?) Well, let's just say that I wish we were a little more like Norway and a lot less like AynRandLand.


 

11/8

I had an interesting conversation with a woman who noticed my I VOTED sticker yesterday. She asked me if I was taking votes. I replied that yes, I had voted. The rest of the conversation went approximately like this:

"Oh. For what? Government?"

"Yes."

"How long will you be able to vote?"

"Just today."

"What positions did you vote for?"

"Well, there are a lot of races. Senate, governor, a lot of state and local races."

OK, I guess I'm not going to recount the whole thing. The saddest part was her dismay at learning that a candidate won't be taken seriously unless that person has a lot of money. Welcome to America.

I had that conversation in a Chinese buffet where I get my lunch to go three days a week. Have you picked your jaw up off your keyboard? There was someone in this country who didn't know there were elections being held yesterday. I guess she may not have much use for television, so I can see missing all the commercials. But the lawn signs and people wearing buttons and wandering around with signs, too? Amazing.

So yeah, I see W suddenly thinks it's a good idea to work with his opposition. How's that mandate going, dippy?

Here in Minnesota, we managed to elect the first Islamofascist Muslim to Congress and we're also sending a caricature of the Xian Right. (Note to Baptists: You can't take communion at her church. Because you're wrong.)

I reluctantly voted for Ellison. Naturally, I don't care where he worships. I do care that he seems a bit irresponsible. I like where he stands on the issues and we didn't really have a decent other choice.

I also voted for Robert, of course. It's too bad that he didn't do better, but it's pretty great how Mark Kennedy got royally spanked by Amy Klobuchar.

In other sad news, we're in for four more years of Smilin' Tim as our governor. He barely squeaked by Mike Hatch early this morning. I actually voted for Hatch, even though I think he's a turd. So Mississippi Tim it is. I was kind of hoping to maybe get a reasonable raise one of these years.

I think I have more to say, but I have to go to work now.


 

 

October '6