Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 29 - No Cars

Jason's tips for public transportation number 3:

Check the volume on your headphones. Every so often, hold your headphones 12 inches from your nose, if you can hear music, they are too loud. You only get one set of ears. Take it from me when your hearing starts to fail, it sucks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 23 - No Cars

My office sits at the corner of the Old Town/Chinatown MAX stop. It almost feels like I am cheating to have such easy access to frequent trains. It has also blinded me to the bus stop just one block away.

See, I usually catch an Eastbound train and ride it to 82nd where I transfer to a bus for the rest of the trip. If I work past 7, the busses are less frequent and I end up waiting in the rain for a bus.

It turns out that the bus I'm waiting for at 82nd also stops right outside my office. So for the last two nights, I've eschewed the siren song of the train and just ridden the bus.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 22 - No Cars

Transcript from an IM conversation we had yesterday:

9:28 AM Christa: this morning when I got to my bus stop at RQ, I was checking my transit tracker and i realized - I smell poop! I thought, "Great, I stepped in poop." I check my shoes - no poop. What the heck?! I still smell it...then I looked in to the corner of the bus shelter. Yep, poop. And I don't think it was left by a dog. I can still smell it. Ugh.
9:29 AM me: ewww.
Christa: Big time ewww.
9:30 AM after you left on the blue, I walked to the east end of the platform and sat in one of the shelters. After a minute my nose got my attention: I smell pee. Looking around, did I sit in pee?
9:31 AM I was thinking my morning was more odoriferous than yours, but I guess I was wrong.
Christa: oh man. At least you didn't sit in pee.
9:32 AM no kidding.
9:35 AM Christa: When you gotta go, you gotta go. I guess. This morning I figured someone clearly had a bathroom emergency. I suppose squatting in the bushes in the median wasn't a good option.
too exposed.
9:40 AM me:
and waiting till you get off the bus is *always* a good option.
Christa: most definately
me: even if it means you only make it to the bus stop shelter.
9:44 AM Christa: Tri-Met's "stay alert" safety message has a much broader meaning to me after this morning.
me: words of wisdom.
9:45 AM Christa: right up there with "never turn your back to the ocean"
me: and safety never takes a vacation

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 21 - No Cars

Today's condensation word is: sprinkle. It's heavier than a mist, but not really rain. It feels like your kid brother is flicking the water from his freshly washed hands in your face. It doesn't really fall from the sky and its not quite enough to motivate an umbrella. But, it does make me feel like chasing someone down to give them a noogie.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 18 - No Cars

I ride mainly during commuter hours, so I don't usually see anything of note. But, every now and then...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 17 - No Cars

Might see the sun today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 16 - No Cars

Jason's tips for successful public transportation:

3. A smartphone. I know there was a time before smartphones when people looked at bus schedules and checked their watches to know when the bus would arrive. But, for my money, transit directions and arrival predictions are killer apps for your phone.

For trip planning nothing beats pure Google Maps. You already love it for driving directions. Now flip the switch to transit and you've got the power of the Goog planning your arrivals, departures, and transfers. Google knows the bus schedules and does an excellent job of planning trips. It does not, however, integrate with Tri-Met's real-time tracking.

For that you need an Android app called AnyStop (I don't know what you need on any other phone OS). I've tried every app in the Android market claiming to do real-time Tri-Met predictions, and AnyStop is the best. I've found it to be extremely accurate. It has map integration which, while a little clunky, does a decent job of finding stops that are your key to getting predictions. It claims to let you look up predictions based on bus lines instead of stops, but that feature has always given me an error. (I know it sounds like I'm not impressed with AnyStop, but it is by far the best app out there.)

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