15 December 2005

Pitfalls of Public Transportation, Part V

Winter's chill can really make you appreciate the planning and coordination that goes into scheduling mass transit and the feeder systems like local business-to-transit shuttle systems. For it is when the timing is thrown off by factors outside the transit system's control, such as traffic problems, that you have people standing around waiting for buses and trains.

Both of the last two days were pretty chilly evenings, with some ice on the MAX platform out at Hillsboro, and both of the last two evening shuttle rides from work to MAX were late enough that I missed the train and had to wait 10 or 15 minutes. Wednesday was so close that the people on the front of the shuttle actually made the train, but those of us in the back were held up by the westbound train's arrival - we couldn't cross the track to get to our eastbound train until the westbounder stopped. Thursday was one of those times that the shuttle pulled to a stop just as the train doors closed - 30 seconds too late. On top of that, the next scheduled eastbound train was out-of-service, so we had to wait almost 20 minutes.

I don't mind the cold much at all - I'm smart enough to dress properly for it, and I happen to look pretty good in my mid-weight Steelers jacket, so I've got that going for me (see below).

New Year's Eve Day, 2003

Even with the recent cold snap, I've been able to keep with a ball cap in the evenings, but having to stay outside for more than 10 minutes, I decided the fleece hat was the way to go. My ears were certainly pleased about that decision, and thus I was quite comfortable waiting the extra time for the next train.

The only issue that comes up once you've boarded the train is again temperature-related. It's nice that the trains are heated, let's be clear about that. My problem is really self-induced, and correlates directly to my seating choice. The seats I tend to favor are right above the heating vents along the wall of the train, so you can imagine it gets pretty toasty. I have to hope nobody sits down and tries to cram me against the window right away, so I have the chance to unzip the jacket a little, ditch the gloves and the fleece hat, and settle in to play a game or watch a movie or read a book.

This morning, another self-induced problem arose - my PSP battery dying. Oh, the suckitude. Yeah, Ghost Dog - that's what happens when you forget to charge it. Dumbass.
But did I take out my earbuds? No way. Never let 'em see you sweat. Keep tapping the right foot in time with an imaginary bass drum, and hum something to yourself in your head. Yep, got them suckers all fooled.


rebecca marie said...

warning, the following comment has nothing to do with your post -

"my lady, she went down town.
she bought some broc oh lay.
she brought it hoe ohm.
now she's choppin' broc oh lay.
she's choppin' brock oh lay.
she's chop, UH!
she's choppin' brock oh lay hay hay hay eeeeeee!!!"

thanks for that memory... hooray for it.

tabitha jane said...

i love that you said suckitude! great word!

my hands always get swollen and itchy when i start warming up after being cold . . . that's what i don't like about being cold. and the wind makes my teeth hurt.

i am proud of you for being so brave in this weather and just being outside! im. pressed.

Major Clanger said...

I was reading this on my little Pocket PC on the train this morning (AvantGo now supports RSS). I particularly liked the part about keeping the ear buds in, nicely written, Mr. Dog. (IMHO).

PseudoIntellect said...


Mister Jinxy said...

Nice goatee.


PseudoIntellect said...

That's why I go with the chin beard...half goatee; half beard; typically unadorned....except by freaks like me that get a Magnum, P.I. complex when the mustache portion of facial hair is involved.

Youch! Tom Selleck...

Ghost Dog said...

RM: One of the best sketches of the '90s, to be sure.

TJ: Heh...it's not as much of a choice as you make it sound...

MC: Cool! The PSP now supports RSS as well. I was testing it out by listening to a ska podcast. Sweet.

Jinxy: I've seen that monstrosity that adorns your chin, in that MySpace photo on your blog. To call mine a copycat does yours no justice. That thing is noteworthy.

PI: Now there was another good TV theme. Now, if T.C. had Airwolf, that show would have been legendary.