Thursday, April 11, 2013

New blog address

This blog has been exported into Wordpress and can now be followed at


Thursday, April 11, 2013

This is the 4th day in a row I've walked to work, and it will be the 3rd day this week I walk home. Yesterday, R. picked me up because we had an appointment at 4:30 to get to. The walk is about a mile and rather pleasant.

Last night big storms swept through the area, which left the sidewalks full of puddles and worms and the temperature in the mid-40s. Once I start busing it again, I have two possible buses to take to work, both of which arrive in the same area around the same time. Both passed me this morning. But as I walked down Skinker, I caught up to and passed both of them. My first thought was it was just the normal weekday morning Skinker traffic until I realized that the traffic light was out at Forest Park Parkway. = massive backup and four-way stops for all. Also not fun for me because I had to cross four lanes of traffic (plus left-turn lanes) twice. I crossed to one side early at an intersection with a functioning light.

The four-way stop sign system wasn't working out ideally as I think one direction kept getting skipped, and I "let" the buses pass me as I waited at the corner watching the traffic. Then played a slight game of Frogger at the larger intersection trying to coordinate my crossing with the cars going the same direction, the downside being the cars can cross much faster than I can. I made it! But I hope the lights are working this afternoon or that there's someone to direct the traffic.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A New Beginning

Monday, April 8, 2013

Today I walked home from work, and, no, it wasn't a 10-mile walk from my new job. It was a 2-mile walk from my newer job! Beautiful weather and it took me about 30 minutes.

With my new job, I can ride the bus for free. Previously, I just had to show my university ID--pretty easy to do! The system is different here: first, I have to request a transit bus. It took about a week before I showed up in the system as eligible. I just submitted the request; now I have to wait to find out it's been processed. When it's ready, I can have it mailed to my campus address or I can pick it up--between 8:30 and 5 on a campus different than the one where I work, also from 8:30-5. So I'll have to figure out how to get there first thing in the morning or make it out early to pick it up after work. Then the pass will expire at the end of June, and I'll have to do the whole thing again. The pick-up campus is even closer to where I live, so that is a benefit. But they certainly don't make it easy for employees to embrace public transit!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another relatively uneventful morning in the car. It's hard to find good car-commuting stories because everyone's hidden in their separate vehicles. Last week I was stopped behind a vehicle with the personalized plate LVGRT. I first read it as Live Great but then decided it was probably Living Right. It was a Mercedes SUV, so the driver must have been doing something "right."

This morning I walked with R. to his bus stop. It's about 3/4 of a mile. The bus has a stop before making a left turn, drives a block, then turns right and has a stop. The other week a driver stopped along that middle block at a stop and picked R up. He tried it again this morning, but, apparently, it's not technically a stop for that route and this driver kept going. R. started running towards the next stop. I turned around and started walking home, but we checked in by phone and he had made it. This morning I admit it was my fault he was late because he was waiting for me to walk with him. I will only admit to this morning, however.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the way home from work, I saw three* Audis in about two minutes. And I was not driving past an Audi dealership.

*It's possible it was two and I saw one of them twice, but I can't figure out how the Audi that passed me on the highway would have then ended up behind me after I took my exit without some really fancy driving.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Hiatus over?

I'm still not riding the bus but thought I'd try out general transit stories and see how that goes.

- Yesterday morning R. called me from the bus -- he had been running down the sidewalk on Delmar towards the bus stop when the woman he was approaching stopped, turned, and "put her dukes up." I guess the idea is someone running down the sidewalk this early is up to no good, he told me. This morning he tried out his new Razor-type scooter to get to the stop faster. Still missed the bus he planned on taking, but it was a fun ride, he says.

- One of the benefits of working in and driving to the county is I was able to stop at Trader Joe's on the way home from work yesterday. In Louisville, the TJs was out in the 'burbs and I never went out that way. This one is also in the 'burbs but it was on the way home if I took I-64 (i.e. "40".) Much nicer than the Sad Kroger but surprisingly crowded for 3 o'clock on a weekday.

- A couple weeks ago, I posted this on Facebook: On my drive to work, I take an exit ramp with a yield sign -- approaching traffic is coming over a hill and has the option to use my merge lane to take their own ramp. Many people stop at the Yield sign, including the car in front of me this morning (and me), but one of the cars behind us didn't like that and honked. Even though there was no place to merge. Too bad you're late for work at Monsanto (both of the possible cars turned into that campus), but deal with it. I thought people were nicer in the Midwest?
This morning, there was an accident at that ramp. Two cars, two drivers waiting for the police. I should point out that the speed limit on the road to merge onto is only 40 mph. I have also decided Missouri drivers are mean. And I used to live in the DC area.

- I have yet to ride the bus here yet, but I plan on taking it downtown Friday to get the paperwork I need to register my car. I decided it's cheaper to take the bus than pay for parking. Even though I just moved here, I have to get a form that says I don't owe property taxes here. You have to pick it up in person and the office is only open Monday-Friday.

- Yesterday afternoon I walked to the YMCA to meet R. when he finished work. On the way I passed two men sharing a large can of beer in a paper bag. One of them said, "Hey baby," as I passed, and I could smell the beer even from a few feet away. I have this instinct to say hello back, even when I'm being called baby by a man drinking beer on the sidewalk at 4:30 in the afternoon. Over the weekend we went for a walk, and a man asked R. for a quarter and then asked if I had a sister for him. I have 3 sisters -- anyone interested?

- On our walk home, there was a car slowing down at a red light and making strange noises. The intersection was clear and the car drove through the light. I laughed and pointed it out to R. He noticed the car had its flashers on. Maybe if they stop, the car won't re-start -- it did sound weird, I said. Maybe they're taking it to the shop. R. said, That's a nice story.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Post 200 / Hiatus

I moved to St. Louis from Louisville three weeks ago and have not ridden the bus since. Thus, this blog is on indefinite hiatus. I considered a variation with Today's Commuting Story, but nothing interesting happens in the car except for people driving without headlights or cutting across four lanes of traffic to take an exit. There's no personality on a driving commute.

I also asked R. if he wanted to take over since he is riding the bus regularly to work. He said he didn't have any stories. And then told me about a man with a flashy cape and a cane. But he reads on the bus or talks on the phone and told me he might be the bus story.

My drive to my new job is about 10 miles, which is the farthest I have ever driven for work. I took the interstate the first two days and was dismayed by the random traffic jams, especially since I thought I was driving "against" traffic -- heading west into the county instead of east towards the city. I found a new route, which is less stressful. I did investigate taking the bus to my new job -- there is a bus stop right outside the building. However, the trip requires two buses and would take a minimum of 70 minutes. And that's assuming everything runs on time. The bus stop outside my office runs north-south, but I need to go west first and the stop is not at a cross street. I checked a variety of departure/arrival times using Google Maps and did find one possibility that was still 2 buses but that was only 60 minutes. However, the last 20 minutes is a 1.2 mile walk from the bus stop to my office. Which would not be a lot of fun in January, February, June-August, or any day it's raining. I also can't remember if the street even has sidewalks the entire time. Then the ride home would take 80-90 minutes.

I liked using public transportation. It took me longer, but I saved on gas and mileage, and when the weather was nice, I could choose to walk part or all of the way, or I could bike. But I have a car, and now I'm using it pretty much every day. It's worth it to me to drive and only travel around 20 miles.

I leave (for now?) with a final image, this of the ad at the bus stop outside my office.

Yucko's -- who knew there was a market for poop scooping?