Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WATCH THOSE UMBRELLAS

The other day it was rainy. And I was on the 830.

It being rainy, many of the bus patrons that day were possessed of umbrellas. And many of them, myself included, didn't completely close them while they were on the bus, the better to air them out (not that this actually does a lot, but it makes you feel better inside).

Most of the time this is accomplished without major mishap. You might get dripped on a little bit, but as long as it's your own umbrella, no harm done.

But the other day on the 830, a man got off the bus, and his not-completely-closed umbrella caught on one of the seats as he was moving to get off the bus. The surprising force of this interaction nearly upended him, and he had to stop and recollect himself briefly before actually getting off the bus.

So, now you know. Watch those umbrellas.

Friday, May 27, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (36)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

I gather, from the fact that you successfully parked, that you are aware of the approximate width of the average parking place around here. I am sure you are also aware that, from time to time, people may pull into the parking spot next to the one you are occupying.

I hope you are also aware that, if your car door is wide open and sticking into the parking spot next to yours, it may get ripped off when another car pulls in next to you. Because we're nice, we didn't take your door off. But next time, shut it just in case, because the next people might not be so charitable.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TAKE THE BUS -- STAY HORCHATA-FREE

A lot of times this blog is about the funny things that happen to you when you take the bus. But this one could only have happened in a car.

Commutergirl and I were visiting our single friends. This is fun, because we can act married in front of them and watch their reactions. After a brief, but fun-filled and action-packed visit, it was time for us to go, because we have, like, work and stuff in the morning.

As we were preparing to leave, my friend got out a glass that I could only describe as gigantesque. This glass could seriously have contained a baby. It was that big. He filled the glass with half a carton of horchata and began imbibing. The glass, along with the person holding it, came out to the third-floor balcony with everyone else to wish us well.

As we prepared to disembark, I suddenly realized that my friend was possessed of a formidable quantity of horchata at a respectable height. I made some joking remark about "don't throw that on our car."

Me and my big mouth.

I'm not sure at this juncture who actually inspired the wrath of commutergirl by dumping the horchata out onto our windshield as we were pulling out, but she blames the redhead. She pulled back into the spot where she was, ran up the stairs, and tackled him on the couch of his apartment, where he had already tried to claim sanctuary, but it wasn't a cathedral, so it didn't count. Following this, commutergirl, being the natural leader that she is, deputized those present to clean up the mess for her.

This was initially accomplished by throwing a pot of water over the balcony to wash off the horchata, then removing the excess with a towel. Having realized that multiple liquids could be thrown off the balcony, those who still had the height advantage threw several more pots worth of water off.

(Except for the time that someone tried to throw a pot of water and ended up dumping it on himself. Hehe.)

Eventually it was established that the car was reasonably clean, everyone was reasonably well behaved, and it was reasonably time for the mature adults in the group to go to bed. So we left.

Kids, there's a lesson from this: Ride the bus -- stay horchata-free.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I CONFUSED AN OLD MAN TODAY

Today I was waiting for the 850, as I often do these days. As I stood there placidly on the sidewalk, an older man was walking down State St. It was inevitable that we cross paths at some point.

As he approached me, he said "Good morning!"

What the heck, I'll bite. "Good morning!"

He asked, "Are you going to school?"

Fair question. "Yes, sir! All the way to Provo!"

At this point the man briefly wrinkled his forehead, then looked down, then gave me a fleeting thumbs-up before continuing on his way without saying a word.

His admittedly unexpected behavior led me to reflect on how I could possibly have confused him so.

Was it that he thought Provo was close enough that "All the way to Provo!" was a silly thing to say? (It kind of was.)

Was it that he just realized that I was a BYU student, and he hates BYU with great fervor?

Was it that he realized that I was standing at a bus stop, he was supposed to have shunned me a while ago?

Maybe I had, like, a booger hanging out of my nose, and he just noticed, and it freaked him out. But then, wouldn't you think the bus driver would say something?

I guess I'll never know.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (35)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

There's a funny thing about leaving service stations to turn onto highways. You have to
cross a sidewalk. I know you don't know what a sidewalk is and have never walked on one, because, hey, why walk when you can drive?

Nevertheless, I was walking down the sidewalk on State St. the other day, and you almost crossed me as you were crossing the sidewalk. I don't like being crossed over by a car. It's never actually happened to me, but I don't imagine it's very pleasant. So the next time you're pulling out of the gas station, don't just look at the traffic, make sure you look at the sidewalk, because there might be human beings on it. Like me.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Sunday, May 22, 2011

WHERE THERE IS NO PUBLIC TRANSIT

I just got back from Idaho. Idaho is very nice. If you get bored on your way home from Idaho, here's a fun game for you to try. It goes like this:

1. Turn your car stereo on.
2. Hit the seek button (either direction).
3. Count how many times the display cycles through the entire FM radio bandwidth before finding an actual radio station.
4. Repeat, if the station is country.

P.S. Happy day after the rapture!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I DIDN'T

The other day I was enjoying a pleasant ride on the 833, when one of my friends got on. He had a mild misunderstanding with the driver, which I found somewhat amusing.

After the misunderstanding was amicably resolved, my friend proceeded to walk down the aisle, looking for a seat. He saw me, and I grinned at him, and he said, "Don't blog about this!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

PSST

The other day, I was at the Transit Center, and I noticed that the 811 was a '10 bus. It's usually an '09, but I don't find the change nearly as disturbing as if it were, say, a '99.

When I saw that it was a '10 bus, I thought to myself that, if the 811 is a '10 bus, and it's going up (or down) State St. in Sandy, there is a brief moment when the serial number of the bus will, in fact, be its address. That is to say, bus #10067 will, for just an instant, be at 10067 South State St. Just outside the TRAX station.

These are the kind of things I don't say out loud to people anymore. That's why I have a blog.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

UTA'S IN THE TOP TEN . . . TWICE

Yesterday a friend shared a link with me, about the top ten best places to commute to work on public transportation. I was pleased to see that Salt Lake City was number three out of 100 metropolitan areas throughout United States:

time.com

But I was shocked to learn that Provo-Orem was No. 9:

time.com

Yes, if you look closely, you will see that Provo-Orem was No. 9 on the best list; I didn't doctor this image. Why did these cities rank so highly? Well, read the article and compare them to the other cities.

I know UTA doesn't fill everyone's needs. It doesn't fill all of mine. But maybe, just maybe, we don't have it so bad.

Monday, May 16, 2011

PLACE OF THE MONTH: GURU'S

May's place of the month may already be well known to you. But did you know that you could take the bus there? (I'm guessing you gathered that by now)

If you're not already familiar with the setup, Guru's is a nice little restaurant on Center St. renowned for its sweet potato fries. The rest of the menu is good, too, though, as evidenced by the fact that commutergirl and I have never, not once, ordered the sweet potato fries on our many trips there. They have wraps, salads, pasta, and other assorted eats, and their menu contains a larger than usual vegetarian/vegan section (they have plenty of things with meat in them, too).

Also, if you're going on an awkward blind date, this is a fine place to go, because, as you're eating, you will look around and realize that you aren't the most awkward couple on a first date there. It's very reassuring. And if you're already married you can just look at each other and smile as you slurp up noodles.


Guru's is half a block from the intersection of University Ave. and Center St. in Provo, which is reached by routes 811, 830, 833, and 850. So, get on any random local bus in Utah County and you have a 50% chance of going past Guru's eventually. But if you want to make a more efficient trip, exact schedules and maps can be found at rideuta.com.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

MAYBE IF I SAY IT ENOUGH TIMES

Recently the 831 stopped at BYU. This often happens, but this time I was on it. I did not get off at BYU, because I was going to the gym. A couple, with baby, got on at BYU, and proceeded to diligently search for a transfer. They sat down while doing so, which is not all that unusual, but the bus driver waited patiently for them to search before proceeding. They produced no less than three transfers that were from other days. Obviously such are not valid. But the woman appeared determined to convince herself and anyone around her that at least one of them was.

If my life were scripted, it would have run something like this:

RANDOM LADY: But that's the one we used on the bus we just got off. We just got off the other bus. That's the one we used. We paid on the other bus and that's the one she gave us. We just got off the other bus. We just got off the other bus. That's what she gave us. We paid on the other bus and that's what she gave us. We just got off the other bus, we just got off the other bus, we just got off the other bus, we just got off the other bus, we just got off the other bus, we

The bus driver finally just pulled away in exasperation. But she continued to say it. She said it to the bus driver. She said it to her baby. She said it to herself. She said it to no one in particular. She did not say it directly to me, because I have my talker glare down pat. For all I know, she's still saying it.

So, consider yourself warned, random very repetitive lady (since you obviously read my blog). You better not try to pull that stunt again if the busninja is around.

Friday, May 13, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (34)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

Costco. It has a huge parking lot. Huge.

There were two cars in it. Two. Yours. And ours. More. One. Or two. Word. Sentences.

There were only two cars in the vast expanse that is the Costco parking lot. And you had to back up right as we were driving past you? Really?

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Monday, May 9, 2011

YODA

Sometimes the bus is boring. And sometimes someone gets on the bus wearing a yoda backpack.

www.thinkgeek.com

Saturday, May 7, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (33)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

You and the last two people I've politely written to must be blind. A bus is 45 feet long and about 8 feet wide. It's big. It's red on the front. It makes a lot of noise. It has flashing lights. And yet you still tried to merge right into it. Did you think that this large bus-looking thing to your left was actually made of marshmallow and would just yield when your car hit it? Or did you not see it coming?

HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE A BUS COMING?

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Friday, May 6, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (32)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

I give you points back for probably being unfamiliar with the terrain. I'm guessing that's why you were going so slowly. And I'm sorry BYU has a lot of confusing turning lanes and parking lots. It's a big place, and a lot of non-bus-riders have to park there.

However, when you realize you are accidentally in a right-hand turning lane when you wanted to go straight, you really shouldn't suddenly swerve back into traffic, especially when a bus is right behind you. Could you not see that a bus was coming? Next time, just sit tight for a few seconds, and you can get back into traffic without endangering yours and others' lives.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

HEY, SOME PEOPLE GET OFF WORK AT 6

So, some of us live in Orem. We have to take two buses to get to BYU. That shouldn't be news, if you read this blog.

Some people get off work at oh, say, five. Or four. Or seven. Or eight. Or any time but six. For these people, getting home is a simple matter. Catch the 830 to the Transit Center. Wait about one minute. Or two. Or five. But never more than ten. Catch the 850. Go home. Rejoice.

But some of us get off work at six. We have several options:

1. Catch the 830 at 6:03. Miss the 850 at the Transit Center by 3 minutes. Walk home. Have to walk in the street because the SIDEWALK IS CLOSED ON OREM BLVD.

2. Catch the 830 at 6:03. Notice when you get to State St. that the 850 hasn't come yet. Get off and wait for the 850. Wait forever because the 850 is 29 minutes late. Watch the 850 AFTER the one you're on pull into the Transit Center as you pull out. Question the originally seemingly obvious wisdom of your unconventional transfer.

3. Catch the 830 at 6:18. This means you have waited for 28 minutes after work got out. Get off at the Transit Center at 6:35. Get on the 850 at 6:57. This means waiting for 22 minutes. That means spending 50 minutes of your commute time sitting around waiting . . .

4. Do homework for an hour and act like you got off work at 7:00. See second paragraph above.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ONLY IN PROVO

Thanks, Peaches, for this.

You can see this sign on the 811, 830, 832, or 833. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (31)

Dear stupid Provo driver:


You know, there's a funny thing about four-way stops. We don't all get to go at the same time. I know it probably feels like we're repressing your free spirit when you have to wait for us to go through first, but it's just because we, actually, got there first.


I assume that that's why you didn't stop until you almost hit the bus. Otherwise, that would mean that you missed seeing a BUS. And that would truly be embarrassing.


Regards,

BUSNINJA