I pick work on 1/14/03. sacrifice a small animal for me, and hope my future work doesn't suck.
Where was I...?
3/1a coach 4159
I'm heading up the hill on James, and a guy gets on at the jail. He says "This is the bus to Federal Way, right?" I think he's joking, and I'm about to pull out and he's giving me a funny look. So I ask him if he's serious. He is, so I send him down to the tunnel. (It's a standing joke among operators to ask if the bus is going somewhere improbable, just to be "funny" and annoying. Northgate is a popular destination for drivers who are heading back to the base. So, when this guy gets on a #3 at a stop that is only served by #3 and #4 and wants to go to Federal Way, either he's really out of it, or he's making a joke. Get it now? Oh, never mind...)
Spotted a green VW Bug, license plate APHID.
The "no smoking" lady got on my bus. She wears a 4-inch square iconic no smoking sign stuck to her dress like a slogan button:
I don't disagree with her message, but I think her delivery would be enhanced if she took a bath
I was expecting that most people would go home early today and that downtown would be deserted like it was on Xmas eve. This was wishful thinking on my part and this time the wish didn't come true. I had to keep myself from running early most of the day, but when I got down to 3rd avenue, all was chaos. oh, well...
3/5 (sunday schedule) coach 4145
Had fewer homeless people going through the free ride area this trip. That's the good news. The bad news is that all the Queen Anne coffee shops have conspired to stay closed until 8 am. (Hey, if I can get up, you can get up.)
At 3/Union, while I'm laying over, a gentleman walks up to the door of hte bus and tells me that homelessness will be stopped and everyone will get a free place to live. And that land ownership is illegal, with the implication that communalizing property will solve homelessness. Well, maybe it will. Shrug. He's going to take care of Seattle first and make it a model. He tells me he's working out of a shelter on 3 Ave and tells me the address which I won't repeat here.
A young man gets on at MLK/Massachusetts. He has a "NO IRAQ WAR" sign. He's also eating cold cereal out of a bowl. It's a real crockery bowl, too, not tupperware or anything that might be costrued as portable. His spoon clinks against the bowl for the next 5 minutes or so until he's done.
Personally, I think if you're going to be a protestor, your general appearance and demeanor should be the best you can make them. Eating on the bus isn't going to impress me and I'll be resistant to your message. Even if I agree with it.
Unfortuantely, eating on the bus seems to be considered rude at the very worst. I haven't seen anything like a "no food or drink" sign in years now. That's a fine example of a social 'downward slope' for you. First it's covered paper coffee cups; now it's open containers of rice krispies. I wouldn't be surprised if the coordinator called me up and told me to wait for the caterers to board at 3/Union someday.
2:30 pm, Madrona Deli. I go to the bathroom, come out to see counterguy in a dispute with a customer. Customer bought a small package of Advil, left the store, opened it and returned it for replacement as it was empty. I guess it could happen. He was very insistant and maintained his story. I watch this openly. Counterguy eventually replaces the package and the customer leaves and drives off in a blue pickup. License and description are noted in my little notebook, pages 53-54.
2/5vt coach 4141
There's a very loud street preacher that works 3 Ave. You've probably seen him. Somali, Eritrean or Ethiopian black male, 5' 4", 140 lbs, full and long curly beard, wearing a billed cap and leather duster, carrying a Bible and some leaflets in his hands, and more are in a satchel on his shoulder. He usually struts up and down the block yelling something about Jesus in the ancient brimstone-and-fire style. Today, though, he was getting into it with a lady at the bus stop. He was calling her the Devil and she was defending herself verbally with verve if not with a very advanced vocabulary. She gets on my bus. I call into the coordinator. Yes, he has a First Amendment right to walk up and down the street screaming. No, he does not have the right to get into a Metro costomer's face while she's waiting for the bus in the bus zone.
2/1vt coach 4138 (I think)
Usually, this part of the day is a drag, but today it was pretty quiet.
Jan 5: I took a day off to have a quiet day with my sweety.
3/5 coach 4172
Heavy heavy fog this morning, I have to drive at about 20 mph to keep my stopping distance within my seeing distance.
There's an auto stage loading a vehicle on Judkins St just before 26 Ave. Judkins is very narrow, there is parking on only one side, and it's a stupid street to run a bus on. Usually, with a little care, an oncoming car can squeeze through. There's no way I'm going to get past this truck, though. I wait, and the other guy tries to hurry it up. Eats up 12 of the 25 minutes I have coming at the end of the trip. Heavy traffic today puts me down by 10 minutes back up on QA Hill. I eat lunch standing up.
My first non-rush-hour trip down QA Hill, I have a standing load and one wheelchair. My follower catches me up at 3/James. Sigh.
At 21/James, there is a class of supervisors-in-training practicing the ancient art of trolley jumping. Mathemaqtically speaking, they are learning how to violate the geometry of a directed graph. It is sometimes necessary to get a trolley past an insurmountable obstruction to have the driver slam on the power pedal while some poor sucker runs along behind and pulls the poles off the wire while the trolley goes around. I hang out with them for 10 minutes or so, and make wisecracks with the instructor.
3/12vt coach 4134
Not particularly busy; I was expecting to be driving the Vienna Sausage Special again, but the pace was above average, and there were a lot of people who took a long time getting fares out and so forth. Even food bank traffic was light. *shrug*
2/8vt coach 4113
I was pretty hopping in the afternoon, though. Lots of people, and that heavy car traffic again. My last trip there was a woman with a chair and a bunch of stuff. Took her two trips to get it on the bus. I was actually on time, so I let her do that, but told her to try to keep the stuff under one trip in the future.