Tuesday, April 12, 2016

901TH POST

< blog>

Dear reader:

This blog is now over, but feel free to follow my continued exploits at

yellow401.tumblr.com

Regards,
BUSNINJA

< /blog>

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

900TH POST

(That does lend it rather an air of finality when I don't include a subtitle, doesn't it. < River Song Voice>Spoilers.< /River Song Voice>)

(< /html joke>)

Sometime last year (I wasn't taking notes), I realized that this blog would have 900 posts and be done. Two children, the fact that my work is a significant outlet for my creative energy, the sudden inexplicable onerousness of having to write several posts in a row about specific routes without basing them on recent experiences, all contributed to the frequency of my posts on this blog steadily declining; therefore, they declined. Not wanting to leave the blog out in the wilderness, I decided 900 was a good number to stop at; therefore, I am stopping.

It is pause-inducing to contemplate how much my life has changed since I began writing this blog in 2010. Take a look at this picture of me from that time period:


 I can see him looking out at me accusingly, as if to say, "What have you done with my life?" to which I would put on my best FrontRunner dad glare


and say, "Listen, you, I've done plenty with my life. I've gotten two degrees. I met commutergirl and we dated and I proposed to her in the same spot my grandpa proposed to my grandma and we got married and had two kids. I got my dream job and moved to the city and we're going to buy a house now. Yes, a house; so you can keep your judgey eyes to yourself, mister I-share-a-bunkbed-with-a-stranger-because-I'm-in-college-and-I-make-no-money."

I've written elsewhere that ". . . I was nobody before I was married; I was pointless before I had a family. I have learned to love, and be loved, more than I ever thought possible." My life is full of good things now and if blogging no longer occupies as much of my time, well, maybe it no longer needs to.

I'll always probably be on the internet somewhere






but I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I hope you have as well. I'm keeping the Twitter, for what it's worth. I'll comment on things from time to time, and I'll probably be spotted at the odd public hearing, and even a musical performance here and there. But the best, of course, is if you can find me on a bus. Happy trails!

(< /blog>)

Monday, March 7, 2016

GRATUITOUS PICTURES (6)

Spotted at a train crossing the other morning.


I guess the train took a while.

What I really want to know is, who is the person who carries chalk around with them so they can leave commentary on the sidewalk at sundry times? and why is that person not me?

New goal: figure out an easy way to carry chalk around with me without coating my effects in fine, chalky powder.

GRATUITOUS PICTURES (5)

2007: UTA renumbers Route 89 as Route 389.

2011: UTA cuts Route 389 in conjunction with the opening of the Green Line.

2015: U of U renovates building, rips out old bus stop, builds new bus stop.

2015: UTA reroutes Route 2X; adds route sign down below because there is no room.

2016: Route 389 sign is still up.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

HE FINALLY GOT ME

It quickly became clear after we brought his little sister home from the hospital that we were going to have to pay special attention to Baby so that he could be sure he wasn't forgotten and also not resort to disruption and regression to garner his parents' precious attention. There's nothing particularly revolutionary about this; many other parents of two children before us have had to learn how to balance the obvious immediate physical needs of the newborn with the emotional-social needs of the toddler.

I had a few days off to work with, so I planned outings to the Children's Museum, parks, the haircut place, the library. We caught the bus all over. We crossed at crossings no two-year-old should ever brave alone. We laughed. He cried. He fussed. I sighed. And by the end of the week, he was much happier and no longer felt the need to do crazy things to get my attention.

But there was this one time when we were coming back from the park, that Baby finally got me. He finally achieved what hundreds of toddlers before him had achieved, but he had only dreamed about. He pulled the cord when I wasn't paying attention. He pulled the cord before we needed to get off.

What can I say? I was tired. Having a newborn makes you tired. I had just spent the last couple of hours paying attention to a toddler's every move (having a toddler can also make you tired), so maybe my toddler-paying-attention-to circuits were all burned out for the day. Whatever the cause, my dignity would not be so offended again on that trip--I moved to the window seat and kept very close watch on him for the rest of the trip.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BABY2

Presenting: Baby2!


Isn't she pretty. Also features a 72% reduction in hospital stay time versus her big brother. Much less drama this time around. We are, however, equivalently tired. Baby is reacting about how you might expect him to. Sometimes he's excited about the baby, sometimes it's clear the king is unhappy with being dethroned. But we're doing pretty well.

Baby2 hasn't been on public transportation yet (I drove home from the hospital again). But, in fairness, on this time scale Baby wouldn't even be home yet. That time will come. And you'll hear about it. Hopefully my fellow passengers will find my attempts to manage a baby and a toddler on the bus amusing rather than annoying or alarming.

And with that thought, I need a nap.

Monday, January 18, 2016

PERCATARSE

Shortly after we bought the minivan and shortly before we traded in its predecessor I found myself possessed of the need to move Baby's carseat to the van late on a Saturday night so I wouldn't have to do it early on Sunday morning. While I was wrestling the carseat into the van seat one of our neighbors came up and said, "You got a new van! Congratulations!"

We chatted for a moment about vans and cars, and how we were getting rid of the old car, and then he said:

But you're still gonna keep walking, right?

(So you have noticed)

"Of course!" I said.

I don't often encounter my neighbors on my way to the bus stop, and I'm not a very friendly person. But apparently people do notice, which is encouraging.

SO WE BOUGHT A MINIVAN

I swear I'm not having you on.

We bought a minivan, and then commutergirl took it to Costco, and put the groceries in the back, and I just thought, this is how it ends. Addio bel passato.

We had no great plans to buy a minivan; as Malvolio would say, some have greatness thrust upon them. It just so happened that commutergirl got sideswiped in the Taurus, and the Taurus got dented. This was enough to total it, because the car was worthless. And after some introspection we decided that the car was worthless, and we knew it was worthless for a long time; and our family wasn't getting any smaller, so maybe we should buy a minivan.

So for a day and a half, we perused used cars in Sandy and Draper for the purpose of buying a used car and also judging our surroundings. Once, when we got cut off during a test drive, I barked at the other driver

IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE AN AUTO-DEPENDENT SUBURBANITE,  
BE ONE!

at which the car salesman laughed, nervously, because I'm sure he had no idea what I meant. Poor guy; he was a nice fellow, but I'm afraid we were a little too much for him, what with our continual ragging on the suburbs and our unwillingness to go into debt.

Eventually we found the right van from the right chill salesman, and even though it was still a swindle ($300 for document processing so that we could get a paper that had been typewritered through all the lines to where we can barely read the VIN . . . et al.) it was several thousand less than we could have spent elsewhere. It smells like smoke on the inside. One of the headlights is burnt out (though the other is pretty bright). The radio turns on but doesn't make sound. But we have a car. Are you happy, society?

We returned home triumphantly from our car-buying excursion. Just kidding. We returned home tired and cranky. I'm glad that we have something to drive to the hospital in when the time comes (this was part of our urgency in buying something new). I'm not thrilled that we dipped into our house fund to pay for it. I'm still going to wait for a half-hour for the 209 to come back when I go grocery shopping in the evenings.

(If you're going to be a transit-dependent urbanite, be one, am I right?)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS FOR 2016

Editor's Note: This post was originally meant to be published yesterday, but after yesterday's frightening TRAX accident it was postponed and one of the predictions has been . . . revised. Our sympathy to those who were affected by yesterday's events.

Editor's Second Note: I do realize that these used to come out before the year started. That was when I was childless.

ONE. Shortly after taking office, Mayor Biskupski of Salt Lake City will begin investigating the possibility of creating a municipal transit agency. The prospect will seem exciting at first, but eventually she will realize that that it would be far cheaper to stand back and take some potshots than to start the Salt Lake Municipal Transit Authority (thus we will narrowly avoid having the Salt Lake MT Bus Company).

TWO. Early in the year the driver of a single-occupancy vehicle will t-bone a parked UTA bus while going at least 40 miles an hour. Somehow it will still be UTA's fault.

THREE. The price of gas will fall again, this time to under a dollar per gallon. Strangely, though, transit ridership will not fall this time, because those of us who are still riding UTA clearly aren't doing it for the money.

FOUR. At some point Prop 1 money will begin flowing into the coffers of the Ogden garage and, contrary to the predictions of all 32 Trib commenters, service will actually increase in Weber and Davis counties. Residents of Ogden and Layton and Clearfield and other such places will begin taking the bus en masse as the region enters a new era of Transit Paradise and good will.

FIVE. This will lead Salt Lake County residents to start complaining and asking "Why Ogden? Why not us?" to which UTA will respond


SIX. But wait! The sudden realization on the part of taxpayers that transit could improve in Salt Lake County if it were actually funded, combined with the extensive research done by the Mayor's office on municipal transit will suddenly and magically combine to form the prospect of a vastly better proposed system that almost everybody will enthusiastically vote for. Transit for everybody! I can die in peace.

(Not that I'm planning on it, necessarily.)

SEVEN. The time is fast upon us when Baby Busninja #2 will make her way into the world, kicking and screaming and adorable beyond all description. I'll have to think of a new nickname for Baby, since he really isn't a baby anymore. So I wouldn't expect the punctuality of my posts to go up in the near future. I mean, I love you guys, but . . . babies.

It's a brave new year! Get out there and ride transit!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

TURN YOUR MUSIC . . .

It's the moment everybody (else) on the bus dreads. Somebody's music comes on and annoys you to tears. Pop, rap, classic rock. "Firework." "Carry On, My Wayward Son." "Let It Go." Being a passive-aggressive Utahan, I usually don't do much about it, though I do comfort myself sometimes with the idea of playing Schnittke out loud next to them until they give up.

(Trigger warning: Schnittke)

This week was the first week I ever heard Vivaldi out loud on a bus. I admit I was shocked.

Though now that I come to think of it, since it was Spring, I'm pretty sure it was maybe actually a ringtone.