Friday, December 20, 2013

FROZEN IN MY LAP

After my adventure propping the bus stop against a light pole, I got on the bus and calmly prepared myself for a long ride to work.  All was well until, a few stops later, a large man in a large coat got on the bus and sat directly in front of me.

It only took a moment after he sat down for the snow that had been perched on the hood of his coat to gracefully descend into my lap.  Onto my pants.  Onto the screen of my phone, where it made pretty rainbow patterns until I brushed it off.

I looked at the man like this


but he took no notice.

I decided it was best to get over it.

And then I got over it.

See, that's the difference between deciding to do something and actually doing it.  I read that in Reader's Digest once.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

FROZEN TO THE GROUND

This morning, having heard yesterday the prophecies of doom regarding the weather, I girt my loins and headed to my habitual bus stop, where, to my consternation, I discovered the bus stop sign was lying flat on the ground.

I would have taken a picture, but it was too cold, and I didn't want to take my gloves off.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

I glanced around--it was not yet fully light out, and I considered my options for being noticed by a bus driver despite not having a blue sign and a green sign directly above my head.

Imagine there is only one green sign on the pole, and that it says "200."  And that the sign is lying on the ground.  And that it is snowy and foggy and dark and cold and wet and solstitial outside.
I decided that I could prop the sign up on a nearby light pole (pretend there's a nearby light pole in the picture above).  Since I could do this without taking off my gloves, I reached down to lift up the sign.

Then I realized the sign was frozen to the ground.

The oft-mentioned-yesterday freezing rain had apparently arrived after the sign had fallen to the ground, because the signpost was encapsulated in the layer of ice that covered the sidewalk.  It took several tries, and several grunts, to get it out of the ice, but I managed it.

The next challenge was to balance the sign on the light pole so that it would stay upright.  The signpost was heavier than I thought it was, and it wasn't as though my footing were exactly firm and unchanging, but I eventually got the sign lined up the way I wanted.  I let go, and for one tantalizing second the sign stayed upright . . . but then it started tilting to the right, clearly intent on returning to its icy slumber from which I had so rudely disturbed it.

I grabbed the sign again, placed it on the pole with more feeling, and the second time it stayed.  I planted myself next to it more assertively than usual and fixed my piercing glance on the theoretically approaching bus.  It came a few moments later, and my plan mostly worked--the bus driver didn't realize I was waiting at a stop until she was almost on top of me, but she did stop a little bit in front of me, and I was able to board the bus without undue aggravation.

What do you know, I even made it to work this morning.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TREASURES FROM THE INTERNET (9)

Got a few for you tonight.

Our first treasure comes from a Trib (gasp!) article about how UTA is being used as a model for other transit agencies--which, frankly, it is--to which was appended the following extremely astute comment:


(I think I may have completely weirded out one of my co-workers at a meeting recently when she took something I said seriously.  My sarcasm is only getting drier as I get older.)

  • You are entitled to your opinion about the bonuses; however, you are objectively wrong about the "do nothing" part.
wikipedia
  •  Nothing.
sltrib (gasp!), from an article shockingly titled "Flying Red Eye?  TRAX No Help"
  •  Nothing.
dailyutahchronicle
  • Also, nothing.

  • I am standing in front of . . . nothing.
UTA
  • Whole lotta nothing up in here.
  • Maybe you should get your eyes checked.  Or your frontal lobe.
 Then there was the time that your local state senator got sideswiped by a UTA bus and tweeted them about it.  Our lovely online commenters had some choice things to say about it




Finally, we have this:

fox13now.com
I haven't had much good to say on this blog about Provo, but my respects to Mayor Curtis and the city council for tackling this painful, unglamorous, and extremely important issue.  In honor of this ordinance being passed, I would like to share this:


This is a picture of me eating my hat.  I never thought something like that would happen in Provo.

Good night!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

GRATUITOUS PICTURES (4)

Last week in my Sugar House-ing I discovered a sign filled out by someone who cares about grammar:

AN
My question is, why couldn't you just fudge a little?  "It's a 9 minute walk to Sugarhouse Park."  Then everyone's happy when they get there a minute early, if they're even keeping track . . .


Monday, December 9, 2013

ESS

Last Saturday, as you statistically already know, the ESS line opened in South Salt Lake/Sugar House.  I decided to brave the crowds and the cold, despite my aversion to cold -- and happy people* -- since this would be the last grand opening UTA would have for the foreseeable future.

I got on the ESS line at Central Pointe.  I was concerned that not that many people would be on the train, since it's harder to get there in a car than the other lines that opened recently, which rules out the crowd that thinks that trains are cool but cars are still for getting around most of the time.**  There were quite a lot of people on the train, though.

dedicated streetcar ridErS Stand all the way to fairmont
It looked like a good time was had by all, even though it was cold.

dedicated christmas carolErS Stand by the heater
dedicated dietErS Stay away from maplebacon donuts
Fairmont Station is next to Fairmont Park, which looks pleasant enough; the aquatic center is also right there, and numberous places to eat and otherwise spend money nearby (the shops east of 1100 East are one of our favorite places to hang on a summer's evening before the last 21 leaves at 8:59 p.m.***).  So we'll definitely visit from time to time--who knows, we may eventually live over there.

I think the streetcar corridor has the potential to become quite pleasant (temperatures above 30 will definitely help . . .) and I'm excited to watch the area grow and develop.  I'm okay with a modest beginning, both to the ESS Line and to the streetcar network I am confident will eventually return to Salt Lake, etc.  And I'm okay with no more grand openings for a while.  We move slowly, we stumble, but we are making steps toward a truly marvelous transit system.

I think we'll get there sooner than we think.

*I don't have an aversion to happy people.  Mostly.
**I realize that most of my friends, as well as and including most of my blog readership, fall into this category--all I'm saying is that you were less likely to visit the ESS line last Saturday, not that you're bad people.
***I was going to say "just after 9:00 p.m."  Then I looked at the new schedule and realized I had to correct myself.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

LOOKING FOR REASONS NOT TO DRIVE?

I've got 4.  All of which broke in the last 24 hours or so.

ksl.com

twitter.com

kutv.com

desnews.com

Links to these articles here, here, here, and here.

Also, this:


desnews.com
 Link here.

Monday, December 2, 2013

BEATEN TO IT

Recently one of my cousins Facebooked me



There are 39 pages of definitions for "Facebook" on UD.  I could keep going . . .
about going to the Airport on FrontRunner.

I can't say it's unusual--this happens to me through one communication channel or other about once a week.  But when one of my first cousins contacts me

there are still 69 others

so I guess it's no surprise that I was beaten to the punch this time by another cousin.  The conversation isn't really amusing in and of itself, except that it was my cousin who answered the question and touted the benefits of FrontRunner, not me:

I basically just showed up for a few minutes and left

This leads me to wonder if my philoprogenitive attitude toward transit is not all acquired; some of it may be inherited.

Go ahead, cousins
tell me all about it

I know you're out there