Monday, October 31, 2011

HALLOWEEN

Today on my way home from work, I was sitting on the train, thinking, man, there sure are a lot of weird people on the train tonight.

And then I remembered what day it was.

Oh.

Friday, October 28, 2011

ASIAN INVASION

Tonight we were waiting for a train.  We were coming back from the Temple.

ldschurchnews.com
The Blue Line wasn't coming.  And it wasn't coming.  It didn't come.  Then it didn't come some more.  The Blue Line, and the Green Line, and the Blue Line all came, going the other way.

Then the Blue Line southbound finally came, and we all understood.

It was full of Asians.  And by Asians, I mean they all had nametags that said, "Korea" or "Japan" or "Malaysia" on them.  Apparently they are all here for the NuSkin NuGeneration conference.


nugeneration2011.com

The train pulled up, so full of people that when the doors opened, some people literally fell backward, and had to be pulled back up into the car.  As I peered more closely, I saw that not everyone on the train was from Asia, just almost all of them.  There were a few regulars, looking utterly bewildered at how crowded the train was.

I asked commutergirl, "Where did all these Asians come from?"

She said, "Asia."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

THE 817 LOVES US

The other day I was waiting for the TRAX train to take me down to Sandy so I could catch the 817 to Provo.  It's a long story (and even longer when you're in it).

Now I didn't notice this, but apparently the train before the one I was trying to catch never showed.  Or, at least, was about 15 minutes late, so as to appear to be the train after the one it actually was.  Like I said, I didn't notice, because a train showed up about when I thought it would, but as I made my way southward, I kept hearing people saying things like "FINALLY.  I thought the train would never come!" or "I was waiting out there FOREVER."  This led me to the assumptions I described in the previous sentence.

As we got closer to Sandy, people started getting antsy.  I have a theory about this, which was corroborated by the fact that everyone was suddenly overjoyed when we actually got to Sandy.  My theory is this: everyone thought they were going to miss the 817.  See, there are two 817's fifteen minutes apart, at about 7:45 and 8:00 a.m.  There are also two earlier ones, but no later ones.  If you miss the 817 at about 8:00, you're out of luck.  You have to take the 811, and no human should be required to do this (even though I've done it many times).  Taking the 811 instead of the 817, for example, would most likely make you late to whatever you were taking the 817 to get to.

I assume that all these people were sure they had missed the 817 at about 7:45, because they were getting antsy by the time we got down to Sandy.  People don't usually get antsy and worried like that on the train.  Then, when we got to the station, there was an 817 sitting there.  This is not an unusual occurrence for me; I'm used to getting off the train in Sandy at two or three minutes to 8:00 and seeing an 817 sitting there.  But for all the people that had been intending to catch the bus fifteen minutes earlier, and apparently had forgotten that there was another 817 fifteen minutes later, this was a small miracle.  I could hear their brains thinking, as we got off the train,

THE 817 WAITED FOR US!!! IT WAITED FOR US!!! IT LOVES US!!! THE 817 LOVES US!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!

We all got on.  Then, instead of antsiness, I felt consternation.  It seems everyone was confused because the 817 still sat there for a few minutes, after we got on.  See, it hadn't been waiting especially for us.  It was always supposed to be there.  I just thought it was funny that I was the only one who seemed to know this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THOUGHTS ON UVU

Last Friday, when I was on the 811, we pulled into UVU, and, like, one dude got on.  That was it.  Normally like 60 or 70 people get on.  I tried to think of why this might be.  Did the bus before us get almost an hour behind and pick everyone up?  Did UTA start running a special bus just from UVU (in which case, they really should have notified me)?  Why on earth was nobody there?

It wasn't until we got to Sandy and hadn't seen another 811 that I finally realized -- it was UEA weekend.

Now, I'm a fan of lots and lots of people riding the bus, but . . .

I kind of wish it could be UEA weekend forever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I WIN

The other day on the 218, we had a rather uncomfortable situation.  See, when the driver pulled into the Central Station he was pretty sure the brakes were about to give out, so he traded out that bus for another one.  Unfortunately, this put him about twenty minutes behind schedule.  Doubly unfortunately, the bus he traded out for did not have a functioning wheelchair lift.  Triply unfortunately, there was a wheelchair passenger wanting to board at the very first stop.  It was a bad day for everyone.

The man in the wheelchair did not take the news that he would be unable to ride very well at all.  He was visibly upset.  The bus driver initially pulled away, but then called maintenance and they told him to return to the station.  Of course, the lift worked as soon as the maintenance guy showed up.  Doesn't it always work that way?

The man in the wheelchair was able to board, but he was no happier, at least to the naked eye.  He loudly complained that the bus driver was incompetent, that he needed to be taught how to use the wheelchair lift, etc.  A woman who was sitting near him tried several attempts at calming him down.  He didn't.  I wouldn't have been terribly happy about the situation either, to be honest.  But trust me, UTA does actually train their drivers.

Finally she said to him, "You know what?  People have been trying to ruin my day all day today, but I haven't let them.  If I don't let them, I win."

I think that was probably why I was supposed to ride that bus that day (even though, after the man in the wheelchair got off, far from any transfer points, the lift stopped working altogether and we had to get out and wait for the next bus to come anyway).  Lately commutergirl and I have felt a little ganged-up-on.  I am not confined to a wheelchair, nor do I have to deal with half the problems most of the people I share the bus with do (I'm not even technically transit dependent, though you'd never know the difference).  But it is good to remember that if you don't let people ruin your day, you win.  Everybody in this story was having  a fairly lousy day (almost everyone got put behind at least an hour, for example), but sometimes silly things happen, and you just have to smile.  That's enough depth for tonight.  I'll try to think of something snarkier tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE SAD, BRUSH YOUR TEETH

So, the 205 was late.  It happens.

Shortly after I got on, so did somebody else.  He sat right behind me.  This also happens.

He was quite sad about something.  Maybe because the bus was late.  Some people really do get sad about that.  Maybe it was about something else.  I'll never know.  I know he was sad because of his agitated manner when boarding the bus, and also because, after he sat down right behind me, he began to sigh.  Deep, profound sighs.  The kind of sighs that start at the bottom of your diaphragm and travel out with such force that they expel putrid air throughout the . . .

Yeah, he hadn't brushed his teeth.

He sighed several more times, and each time the wave was redoubled.  I eventually started leaning all the way forward, so as to be able to inhale the ostensibly cleaner air that had previously been occupied by whomever had been sitting directly in front of me.

Now, I don't mean to make light of whatever was making him sad, but it made me promise myself that the next time I feel like sighing, I'll be sure to brush.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FARMINGTON STATION

Another short post today.  I was taking some pictures of train stations today for my term paper, and I liked these:






I'm going to talk about the pedestrian bridge over the tracks, which is why most of the pictures show it from one angle or another.  I thought I should also take a picture of the elevator, since not everyone can make it up all those stairs.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

TRAX CONFUSES CHILDREN

Apparently, TRAX confuses children.

Today, as I was going to work, a family got on the train and rode it all the way to the end.  Interestingly, at the second-to-last stop, one of their sons got off the train, unaccompanied by any of his multiple family members.  They all started calling his name (since it wasn't my name, I didn't respond), and he scrambled back onto the train before it pulled away.  He had to endure a good deal of friendly ribbing from his relatives once he was back on.

Then, on my way home from work, another group of children got on, in the care of who I assume was their grandmother (though you should never assume).  At one point, one of them said "This bus isn't moving very fast."  Which is all well and good, as long as you're on a bus.

As they were getting off, I saw a mother lunge across the platform after her small child, shouting, "Not that one! Not that one!"  She was apparently successful in corning said small child, because neither small child nor frantic mother made it onto the train.  It's understandable that a small child could get confused; three different train lines stop at that station.

It's good for me to see this now.  So I can take mental notes.  For my children's sake.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'M NOT YOUR SON

This morning, I was walking to my usual bus stop.  This involves walking down the same street for two-and-a-half blocks.  I'm generally equal to the task.

As I was walking, a car drove by, honking.  I first thought, who on earth is this woman honking at, at 7:10 in the morning?  I looked and saw another car in the intersection, but it seemed to be following traffic rules.  I shrugged and continued walking.

The car in question pulled up to the curb at the corner about 200 feet behind me, and the woman driving it honked again, rolled down her window and shouted

TYLER!!! TYLER!!!

Now, I've been called many things in my life, but Tyler isn't one of them.  I kept walking.

Then she made a U-turn and started driving toward me, still honking.  As she pulled up to me and started rolling down her window again, I turned toward her and fixed her with one of my best icy stares.

It was quite effective.  She apologized profusely.  Apparently, she mistakenly thought I was her son.  For the record, I'm not.  I decided I should say something nice to make her feel better, because I've been in similar situations before (not that I have a son, or ever drive, but I do sometimes mistake people from a distance and call out their name loudly, which is eventually quite embarrassing.  However, I was rather annoyed at this lady for driving around honking and mistaking me for someone else when all I was trying to do was walk to the bus stop like a good boy.  All that came out was, "Just wanted to make sure everything was okay . . ."  What does that even mean, I don't know.  But it was better than "I'm not your son!" which is all I really wanted to say.

She drove off.  I walked on.  Hopefully she found her son.  I found the bus stop, for what it's worth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'VE GOT AN IDEA

Hopefully, when I get home tonight, there will be internets.  I'm currently at school.

I'm sorry I didn't post all last week; I know this makes some of you feel sad, and some of you feel less obligated to read my blog.  But just in case the internets haven't come to me this night, I've got an idea.

You could catch up on all the old posts you haven't read.  That way it could be like you're reading new posts again while you're waiting for an actual new post.  And, it would do wonders for my hit counter, which has been suffering lately.

It's win-win, I think. ;)

I'll be back to posting regularly soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SORRY FOR THE ABSENCE

Those of you who faithfully read this blog (and believe me, I appreciate it) may have noticed that I haven't been able to keep up my goal of posting every day except Sunday for the past few days.  This is because my wife and I have been without the internets at home.  We may be without them for the rest of the week.

So I will have to resort to skulduggery.  I'm currently posting this from a computer I don't normally have access to, in a lab whose door code I don't know, at an hour I'm not usually on campus.  But they have the internet here, so, what the heck.

If I do get the chance to post more stuffs this week, I will.  Things that tickle me continue to happen on public transportation, and, given the amount of time I generally spend on public transportation, enough things will happen this week, I won't be able to remember them all.  But I'll do my best.  For all of you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (41)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

You know that lane on the left-hand side of the freeway?  It's called a carpool lane.  Not a "I can whiz past you and cut you off by crossing two white lines illegally" lane.  Not a "I thought I could go twenty-two miles per hour faster in this lane and these people in front of me are still driving the speed limit so I'm going to honk at them and tailgate them so closely they can't see my headlights in their rearview mirror" lane.

A carpool lane.

If you're having trouble remembering what this lane is for, because you didn't pay attention in drivers' ed, I have courteously provided this link for you:


Read it; it could change your life.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Friday, October 7, 2011

DEAR 817 RIDERS

Dear 817 riders:

Just because the next stop is in American Fork

google.com

does not mean  you can pull the cord

also google.com

 in Draper.  Don't do it.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MY BAD

So, it finally got cold today.  It's my fault.

I control the weather, because the weather and I don't get along.  I don't know why we don't, but we never have.  The weather likes to contradict me.

On Monday, I wore a sweater to school, and I didn't take it off.  The sun beat down and it was warm.  Everybody stared at me for being so bundled up.  Today I wore shorts (and a hoodie, but shorts), and it started out cold and got colder.  I forgot my umbrella, so of course it rained all day (I'm pretty sure I brought it on Monday).  My bad.

I realize that "with great power, comes great responsibility," and I should be more careful; I should think about all the innocent people I made cold today before I decide what to wear tomorrow.

irishcentral.com
I'm planning on bundling up tomorrow, in the vain hope that it will warm up.  But I think I may have already offended the weather too much.  It might be winter soon . . .

If it makes you feel any better, I stand outside at bus stops all winter, so it's not like I impose the weather on all of you and sit at home warm and laughing.  I, too must bear the consequences of my reckless shorts-wearing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I CAN'T GRIPE AT YOU, BECAUSE YOU'RE, LIKE, SIX, BUT I CAN GIVE YOU THE EVIL EYE

One time on the 811, I was seated in front of a mother and daughter.  The daughter, I'm sure, is adorable once you get to know her.  My first exposure to her was slightly less than adorable, however.

The mother, wisely knowing that it takes the 811 a while to get anywhere, decided to allow her daughter to occupy herself by listening to Taylor Swift.

thegloss.com

Now, I have no problem with Taylor Swift, as long as someone else is listening to her, and they have headphones in, and I can't hear it.  I start getting uncomfortable when she's piped over the PA.  I get a little more uncomfortable when she's on the car stereo.  From this continuum you may extrapolate how I feel when someone is listening to Taylor Swift on headphones and starts singing along, in monotone, directly behind me.


Her mother, of course, was used to it, and so gave no indication that anything was wrong.  I, however, am not her mother.

She was, like, six.  I couldn't yell at her!  That would be absurd.  But I was being driven out of my classical-music-snob mind . . . so I resorted to giving her the evil eye.

Each time I gave her the evil eye, she stopped singing along.  For about five seconds.  Then she would start again, very softly at first, but gradually work her way back up to full volume.  Because that way I wouldn't notice.

I just want you to know (especially in light of yesterday's post) that I didn't say anything.  I just gave her the evil eye a few times, ineffective though it turned out to be.

The happy ending to this story is that mother and daughter got off relatively soon, before we even got on the freeway.  At which point a man got on who was WHISTLING to the music in his headphones . . .


Monday, October 3, 2011

JUST LET IT GO

The other day, something happened on the bus that made me sad.

Now,  if you're about to click out of this page because you saw the word "sad," remember that your visit has already been recorded in my stats, which is mainly what I care about.  So you might as well stick around and read it.

One of the things I enjoy about the bus is that it gives me an opportunity to be a good neighbor.  I'm not always in the mood to be, but I at least get to practice my good-neighboring skills.  Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way.

On the day in question, I was placidly riding the 21.  I like the 21.  It's one of my favorite routes.  I would compare it to a route in Utah County that I like, but none of the routes in Utah County are like the 21, and even if there were, none of you would get the comparison, so I won't even try.  But I like the 21.

An elderly woman in a motorized wheelchair got on a few blocks after I did.  She had a little trouble maneuvering into the wheelchair spot (which is, if you haven't heard, usually on the right side, at the front of the bus).  Apparently the basket on the back of her wheelchair ran into a woman who was sitting in the seat on the left side, who said

"HEY! HEY! HEY!"

This was my first indication as to her character.

See, most people, when being run into by an elderly woman's wheelchair, would probably not shout at her, I think.  I hope.  They could say something like "Oh, watch out there!" or "Let me get out of your way first," all of which could be said in a normal tone of voice.

She actually stood up, clambered up onto the seat, then said, in a sarcastic tone of voice, "Be my guest."  She remained standing on the seat, holding onto the overhead bar, until

Really?  Lady, do you eat cockroaches for breakfast or something?

The elderly woman having at last situated herself, westward travel down 2100 South continued.  Everything was calm.

But she just couldn't let it go.  "You shouldn't have that basket on the back of your wheelchair."  Honey, nobody asked you to say that.  Who are you to tell someone who can't walk how they can and can't carry their stuff?  If you haven't noticed, I was somewhat incensed by her rudeness.  I thought about saying something on the order of, "Ma'am, just let it go."  But I was sitting all the way in the back (which is an indication of how loud she was talking), and I didn't want to shout at her, as a full-on shouting match might have ensued.  I held my tongue.

A rather snappish conversation ensued, but I must say the woman in the wheelchair was much more polite about it than her opponent.  She said things like, "Well, you can always sit somewhere else if you don't want it to be a problem."  I mean, there's a sticker at the front of the bus that says

PLEASE YIELD THESE SEATS TO THE ELDERLY AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
FAVOR DE OFRECER ESTOS ASIENTOS A LOS MAYORES DE EDAD Y DESCAPACITADOS

A few blocks later, it was time for the wronged lady and her party to get off the bus.  As she got off, she said something else, which I didn't catch, but it was long, and the tone was unmistakeable.  The elderly woman finally lost her composure.  "Yeah, I'll bet you would!  Fatso!" she shouted as the other woman headed off down the sidewalk.

A few blocks after that, it was time for the elderly woman in the wheelchair to get off.  As the bus driver undid the restraining belts around the wheelchair, she apologized to him for having lost her temper and for having caused problems.  The bus driver told her she was fine.  I think you know by now whose side of the argument I was on.

I have never seen something like that happen on the bus.  I was surprised that two people couldn't coexist for six blocks on a city bus.  There are days, I admit, that I feel rather picked on.  How long did it take YOU to go to work today?  But, as I ride the bus, as I walk around town, as I talk to my fellow humans, I realize often that I really have it pretty good.  Who am I to treat someone so poorly?  Why am I special?

The next time you're on a bus, or walking down the street, or waiting in line, and someone you've never met mildly inconveniences you:

Let it go.

Please.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

. . . AND OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS

For those of you that were watching LDS General Conference today, I'm sure you were caught just as off-guard as I was about President Monson's announcement that the Provo Tabernacle (which was burned to an empty shell last year) would be converted into a temple.  He set that up beforehand, I just know it.

ldschurchnews.com
Anyway, we were all pretty excited about it.  When the Tabernacle burned, it felt like one of my old friends had died.  I played the organ for many a Stake Conference there.  Even though I don't officially play the organ.  That never really stopped them from asking me.

Of course, all the people I was with started speculating on what we're going to call the new temple, since the other one is already called "The Provo Temple."  The winner was Christian, who dubbed it "The Templenacle."  Sorry if you thought you made that up; he probably beat you to it.

Artist's rendering of the new Templenacle.  From newsroom.lds.org.

This explains why the Church recently bought the block south of the Tabernacle.  You'll also notice that the Templenacle will have the old center spire back on it.  The original spire was structurally unsound, but considering that actual engineers will probably be employed in the rebuilding of the old Tabernacle, the new spire will probably be much safer.  The restored building and its environs will be a great asset to downtown Provo.  If you've seen what the Church has been doing with the City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake, you'll know this can only be a good thing.

Even as I celebrated the restoration of the Tabernacle and the advent of a second temple in Provo, however, I couldn't help letting one little weaselly thought in: "The new temple will be so much easier to get to on the bus . . ."

Actually, commutergirl said it too, which made me feel a lot better about thinking it.  And it is true.  The Tabernacle is easily accessible by the 830 and 850 (six times per hour, each way) versus Provo Temple I, which is only reached by the 833 (once per hour, each way).  And, when the train to Provo is done, the Templenacle will be only a few short minutes away from the Provo Station by bus, rather than about 25 minutes for Provo Temple I.

I'm excited about the new temple.  But I'm also excited about how easy it will be to reach.  Transportation is a very serious matter, you know.