Monthly Archives: August 2008

Chicklet and the 27, part II

On Wednesday, as Chicklet and I settled into a seat on our favorite route, an elderly woman I had never seen before sat down next to us, looked at Chicklet like she knew her, and said, “I just saw your uncle over at the University of Washington.”

I was about to tell her that she had us confused with another bus riding mother-daughter team when she said, “I had to get a few x-rays and some work on my crown.”

Aha! She had indeed seen Chicklet’s uncle, my brother Joel, an almost-dentist who sees patients at the UW’s dental clinic. But how did she know that? Good question.

Around this time last year, Joel told me he had a patient who knew me. “I see her on the bus sometimes,” she had told him. “Isn’t she expecting?”

Back then, I wondered briefly how the woman had known Joel and I were related (we don’t look that much alike–do we?) and then forgot about it. Until Wednesday, that is, when I came face to face with this same patient, a bus chick whose powers of observation put my own to shame. (She’s got a few years on me, but still.)

Her name is Ida (I should say Miss Ida, as she is my elder, and I don’t know her last), and she recently returned from a trip to Arkansas to visit family. She rides the 27 and the 48 (among many others) and sees Nerd, Chicklet, and me out and about around the neighborhood. She even knows which church we attend. Miss Ida is enjoying the summer and doesn’t mind the heat at all, especially compared to what she dealt with in Arkansas. Her July Sears bill apparently got lost in the vacation-mail shuffle, so she was headed to the store (off at 3rd and Yesler, transfer to the 21) to pay it in person. She never, ever pays bills late.

Chicklet pulled out all her best tricks to impress our new friend (some of her favorites: clapping like crazy and hitting herself on the head) and was rewarded with an appreciative cheek-pinch as Miss Ida stood to go.

“It was good to finally meet you,” she said to both of us.

Oh, yes. Yes it was.

Not even candy paint and big wheels can compare.

And I thought a ride on the 358 was an adventure…

On our first 358 ride to visit Jeremy, Chicklet and I sat next to a woman who, despite getting off on the wrong foot by asking one of those questions, turned out to be alright. She was on a bus excursion–which had started in Ocean Shores at 10 AM and was going to end in Everett late in the evening (!)– to pick up her two-year old granddaughter. (I think she mentioned why she decided not to opt for Greyhound, but I can’t remember the reason.) By the time our paths crossed on the 358, she was on her fifth bus (1. Ocean Shores to Aberdeen 2. Aberdeen to Olympia 3. Olympia to Tacoma 4. Tacoma to downtown Seattle 5. downtown to Aurora Village), and seven hours in.

In case you’re interested in making the trip (or, like me, awestruck and curious), you can find the itinerary details at Evan Siroky’s regional transit site. (Yes, he’s the same Evan who won the January, 2007 Golden Transfer.) Evan knows a lot about how to get around the northwest using transit, and, like a good transit geek, he’s sharing his knowledge with the rest of us. From Evan:

The web page has the complete schedules for all transit connections possible throughout the region. These range from Seattle-Portland, Seattle-Vancouver, BC, Aberdeen to Tillamook, and Yakima to Walla Walla, to name just a few.

And, as I mentioned, he’s covered Ocean Shores to Seattle. I wonder what would happen if I introduced him to “public transportation adventure” Jim

Speaking of the 545…

At least one rider travels with something other than a laptop:

A Pomeranian in a perambulator

Sorry for the bad phone photo. In case you can’t tell, it’s a dog in a stroller.

This is pretty cute, but I thought ST didn’t allow pets. And anyway, don’t they have to fold those down for the ride, like folks with human babies?

An update on those bus wireless issues

Despite the fact that I’m kind of done talking about bus hackers (ST is aware of–and hopefully working on–the problem, after all) Bus Nerd is making me post this:

A compromised wireless network on the 545

It’s a screen shot of his network connection dialog during a recent ride on the 545. (This time it was coach 9539.) All told, he’s experienced this issue three times in the past few weeks. Just so you know.