Friday, December 31, 2010

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS FOR 2011

In honor of it being, well, New Year's, I decided to post some fearless predictions:

ONE. There is a chance that BYU will, in fact, not discontinue the discounted student bus pass.  There is a similar chance that the moon will simultaneously turn to jello, plummet to the earth, and fall into little cups, thus ridding commutergirl and I of the difficult responsibility of figuring out what to serve at our wedding reception.
TWO.With the discontinuation of the BYU student bus pass, the number of students riding the bus will also turn to jello, plummet to the earth, and fall into little cups.  Anyone else getting married soon?
THREE.Since no one will be riding the bus through BYU anymore, UTA will consider rerouting the 831, 832, and 833.  Then, two weeks before Change Day, they will decide to cancel them altogether.  The 862, which will still be carrying less than any of them, will incongruously continue running every half-hour.
FOUR.With fewer buses going through BYU, UTA will discontinue the bus stop at the Wilkinson Center.  Buses will, instead, start stopping at the Creamery on Ninth, and only for a few seconds, with UTA instructing passengers that, if they want to get off there, they will have to "take a running jump, it's good for you."
FIVE.Passengers will, surprisingly, take UTA at its word, and the resulting injuries caused by, in technical terms, "bones hitting concrete", will result in numerous lawsuits that, once the financial damages are added up, result in UTA's being forced to close their doors forever.
SIX.After all this, and realizing that no one, including the Busninja, has ridden the 232 for seventeen years, UTA will officially cancel it, just to rub it in.
p.s. Commutergirl has just informed me that, even if the moon were to simultaneously turn to jello, plummet to the earth, and fall into little cups, under no circumstances will we be having jello at our wedding reception.  So there.

Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS

In honor of it being, well, Christmas, I wanted to share some holiday joy with you.





All the best to you and yours.
Regards,
BUSNINJA

Thursday, December 23, 2010

DEAR STUPID PROVO PEDESTRIAN (12)

Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

You cannot be unaware of the fact that Provo is icy and snowy sometimes in the winter. Obviously this is not all the time, but I'm sure you can tell the difference. This leads me to my question:

HEELY'S ON THE SIDEWALK?

People WALKING on the ice and snow sometimes slip and fall. Do you think that this experience will be more fun if you are ROLLING down the sidewalk?

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NATIONAL MISS THE BUS DAY

(11/29/2010)

Every year there is a miss the bus day. It's different every year. But I officially declare November 29, 2010 to be National Miss the Bus Day this year.

I realized this morning that I wasn't going to catch the 831 in time to go to school on time. So I resolved to catch the next closest bus that goes to BYU from my house, which happens to be the 830. But, of course, I started walking toward the 831 bus stop as soon as I went out my front door, so I had to turn around and head back to the 830 stop.

The delay caused by initially going the wrong direction, combined with the delay caused by walking on an icy sidewalk resulted in my seeing the 830 passing by just when I was out of reach of it. I also didn't want to start running down an icy sidewalk. I have my tailbone to think of.

So I glumly continued walking to the next closest bus, which was the 833. By this time I was in downtown Provo, and had I walked in the opposite direction, I would be at the southern end of BYU campus instead of in downtown Provo, but, dang it, I was taking the bus, and I was going to take it, even if I had to walk five blocks in the wrong direction.

I dutifully took up my post at Center and University to wait for the 833. I was there in plenty of time, but of course, as I was waiting, I saw the next 830 go by. Of course.

I was mildly vindicated by the fact that, when the 833 finally got to BYU, it was still ahead of the 830 I had seen go by. I was unvindicated by the fact that when the 833 got to BYU, the next 831 was pulling in on the opposite side of the street. I could have stayed home . . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HANDOFF

On the 830 the other day, I was just sitting there, enjoying the sensation of riding the bus, when I noticed that the girl in front of me was apparently prepping to get off the bus, even though she hadn't pulled the cord. I was concerned for her; was she not aware of the lettering just inches from her head that said "Pull cord to signal/Jale el cordón para pedir parada"?

I thought to myself, she's lucky that someone is waiting at this bus stop, otherwise she wouldn't even be able to get off. But the joke was on me.

It turned out that the girl in front of me was not, in fact, trying to get off the bus. When the other girl got on the bus that was waiting at the stop, the girl who was already on the bus got up and handed her two dollars, so that she could pay her bus fare.

Still a risky maneuver, but not as risky as trying to get off the bus without pulling the cord.

Monday, December 20, 2010

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (26)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

I'm going to assume that you're not from around here. Because it'll make you look better.

If you aren't from here, you might not realize that although Orem Main St. is called "Main St.", it is actually a very minor two-lane road. One going either way. You also might not know that there's a bus (we call it "the 831" that goes down it every half-hour from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. You also might not know it was a weekday, but that might be pushing it.

Anyway, regardless of whether you know these things, if you can't see a 45-foot bus coming down Main Street when you're pulling out onto it, you either weren't looking or you need new glasses. In either case, you shouldn't have been driving at all.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Friday, December 17, 2010

SMELLY!

I sometimes react strongly to people calling the bus smelly. It's generally not.

But two days ago on the 833, when I got on it smelled like a human being, or possibly a wildebeest, had gotten on and sat there for three months without bathing, then died, then continued to sit there for another three months, and then got off.

That was smelly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (25)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

Things so often seem to come in two's on this blog. Like stupid driving errors.

Like #24, you seemed to think it appropriate to suddenly leave a turning lane and speed off down the through lane next to it. Unlike #24, however, you were unlucky enough to have someone else in the intersection as you were trying to speed through it.

I could see the exasperated look on your face. I hope you were exasperated about yourself, because the other driver was just calmly turning left when you almost ran into him. He felt it was okay to turn left because when he checked the intersection, as he is supposed to do, there was no one coming. He certainly wasn't counting on you darting out from behind the car in front of you in the turning lane.

If he hadn't been driving defensively, you would have collided. Be more like him next time, okay?

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DAYENU, PART 2

(11/22/10)

Remember that time I said it would have been enough to get new buses, even if they were never on the 831?

Last Saturday, I got on the 831. It was a '10 bus.

Cool.

Monday, December 13, 2010

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (24)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

In the first place, it's your fault for going out to eat right after a BYU football game. Traffic is atrocious. Next time, don't do it.

If you can't resist the urge to do it, though, please at least consider that turning lanes are TURNING LANES, i.e. you can't change lanes into and out of them at a traffic light to get around traffic.

You succeeded, because there were no cop cars around. You got away with it this time, but you still have no soul.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Saturday, December 11, 2010

WHAT AM I, CHOPPED LIVER?

The other day I was coming back from the gym. It being Saturday, this was a somewhat convoluted operation. I had to first get on the 832, then on the 830 (I could have also walked, but it was cold).

The 832 picked me up, as it usually does when I am waiting for it. All was well until we got to BYU, when I stood in front of the back door expecting it to open. It didn't. I briefly considered whether I should say anything, since BYU is a mandatory stop and I didn't have to pull the cord, but I decided to speak up before the bus started pulling away. "Can I get the back door, please? Thanks."

Then I got on the 830. I didn't pull the cord to get off the 830 either, but the person who beat me to it had excellent cord-pulling skills. The other person got off, and there I was standing in front of the back door again. "Can I get the back door, please? Thanks."

I couldn't help wondering: can the bus driver sometimes not see a 6'3" 210 lb. man standing in the aisle? I really should work on being more noticeable.

Friday, December 10, 2010

LOOKING FUNNY

People sometimes wear funny things to the gym. Things they wouldn't wear anywhere else. I hope. There are even man laws about this; some things are apparently okay to wear inside a gym that would normally call your man-status into question. When you run into someone wearing something a little odd at the gym, you don't usually make much of it. It often happens that the guy in the spandex full bodysuit is bigger than you.

But most people that wear funny things to the gym drive cars.

It's not that I wear anything too strange to the gym. I will admit that my sleeveless "BYU Football" shirt is a little odd, since it's BYU, and not all of my gym shorts go down to my knees. Cut me a break, I'm 6'3".

But apparently it's weird to see someone in gym clothes waiting at a prominent bus stop in the middle of Provo. Because I get a lot of stares . . .

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PARKING? WE DON'T NEED NO STUPID PARKING!

(11/18/10)

I'm going to a concert tomorrow!

Actually, two.

And an art show. It's going to be quite the cultural experience.

I got an email today from BYUArts. They asked me, since there are several events going on in the same evening, to come early so I can find a parking spot, and to park judiciously. When I opened the email, I couldn't help thinking

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don't need your stupid parking.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

REFLECTIONS ON THE LATEST ROUND OF SERVICE REDUCTIONS

On December 12, UTA will enact their latest round of "Service Changes", as they are euphemistically known around here. Service reductions often rub a lot of people the wrong way. My feelings about the latest ones are mostly positive, however:

Cancellation of Early-morning and Late-night 831's:
I am actually in support of this one, despite being an eight-thirty-wunner; I don't generally hold with being the only person on a bus, and if they're running that bus at 9:17 p.m. just for me, they can get rid of it.

Cancellation of Earliest Northbound 830:
I've never taken it. And I'm the Busninja. So get rid of it.

Cancellation of Evening 820's:
This one I actually don't like so much, if only because it leaves a two-hour in bus service for everyone south of Provo. I feel like the 820 carries more people than the 831 at the same time of day; but maybe they both didn't make the cut.

Ending the 850 in downtown Provo instead of at East Bay:
I can personally attest that nobody rides the 850 south of downtown. And that service is all doubled by the 830, which comes twice as often, anyway. Get rid of it.

Cancellation of 811 Saturday Evening Trips:
I fail to see the purpose (though I recognize that other considerations than ridership alone go into how often a bus runs) of running the 811 every hour all day Saturday, then suddenly sticking in a few trips twenty minutes apart in the evening. I have ridden the second of these buses several times. One time there were seven people between Sandy and downtown Provo. A bus ran for over an hour to carry seven people. Get rid of it.

Cancellation of 850 service to U.S.D.C.
This one has been coming for a while. Now that the F868 services the U.S.D.C. regularly, and sort of all day long, I feel like the 850 service is rather superfluous.

There you have it. I don't have the final say, but that's my bit.

Monday, December 6, 2010

POINT!

(11/18/10)

Today when I was waiting for the 831, as I was standing there peacefully studying my differential equations for the test tomorrow, an old lady drove past in a nice car. As she drove past, she pointed at me from inside the car.

I am confused as to why she did this. She didn't seem angry, and I'm pretty sure I'm not on any old ladies' bad lists right now. She didn't know me personally, as far as I know, unless I reminded her of her nephew/grandson/son/son-in-law (I get this more than you might think). I wasn't doing anything to violate the law, or even social norms (unless you count riding the bus as violating the social norm). I wasn't wearing anything weird, and my fly was not undone. I checked.

I still don't know why she pointed at me. Whatever.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WE MEET AGAIN

(11/18/10)

Today when I got on the 831 for the third time (there's nothing inherently unusual about this), the bus driver said, "Hello." (There's nothing inherently unusual about this).

I said, "Hello."

Then he said, "We meet again."

I said, "Yes," because I couldn't think of anything better to say.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

SKATEBOARD!!!

(11/18/10)

Today when I was on the 831, we stopped at the Tanner Building on BYU Campus. I noticed a skateboarder was coming down the sidewalk full speed (it's downhill), but didn't really register anything unusual.

Until the back door of the bus opened and a woman got off. I suddenly realized that she and the skateboarder were within inches of each other, and was validated by the fact that as she was getting off the bus, she said,

AAAAAHHH!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

THE PERILS OF BOARDING AT UVU (PART 2)

(11/17/10)

I was at the UVU bus stop again tonight; once again, there's nothing inherently unusual about this. Whenever I am at UVU I check on the status of the hole in the ground that will someday be a pedestrian tunnel. I am pleased to report that the hole in the ground looks rather large these days.

When I was coming up to the bus stop, I thought, gee, it looks like they've opened up the grass for us to sit on again. Then I realized that all that had happened was the fence had tipped over.

And speaking of bus patrons putting their lives in peril at the UVU bus stop, I saw someone listening to music with his feet in the road today. It's a natural place to put your feet, I suppose, when the only place to sit is on the sidewalk, but I'm still glad he stood up when he saw the bus approaching. Otherwise he might not have feet at all anymore . . .