Tag Archives: DART is not built to actually do things in a timely manner

When saving $30 on a Lyft means 3 hours longer transit time

The shortcomings of Dallas Area Rapid Transit were displayed again today after I finished jumping through the hoops to get the exact same medication I tried to get my regular doctor to prescribe 3 weeks ago. That would be Gabapentin 300 mg, take one before going to bed. It took less than a half-hour to get that done because that’s literally the first thing doctors go to when dealing with pain from neuropathy…

But that was just the beginning of the fun. I decided to spend $3 on a day pass and walk to the closest bus stop. Google Maps claimed it was just over a mile away. They lied. After hobbling around for almost a mile and a quarter because of having to detour around missing sidewalks and cross a major stroad 3 times (yes that’s a real word, look it up) that had 3 lanes of travel in both directions and multiple turn lanes (seriously, one intersection had 2 left turn lanes and a right turn lane, another had the same number but swap left and right), plus deal with one intersection that did not have crosswalks between any of the corners I would have taken (seriously, no crosswalk of any kind between corners located in different towns so nobody is responsible for one).

Then after finally staggering to the bus stop it was a 25 minute wait for the bus that was actually on time (I was shocked, too) and 3 buses and 3 hours later I staggered to Casa de El Poeta just shy of 4 hours after I left the doctor’s office. I pondered stopping at Harbor Freight and getting a box of nitrile gloves for working with the epoxy to repair the broken mug I showed earlier, but by that time I was on the road for over 2 hours and would have had to tack on another hour of travel time to catch the next bus to make it 5 hours from the doc’s office. I was tired, and more than a little hungry by this time.

When I got home I was dealing with swollen feet and left leg plus the balance issues I get when my legs get tired, but I managed to not fall down this time until I got to the couch, so it didn’t count. If I don’t hit the ground or the floor, it doesn’t count as an actual fall.🙃🤕

Addendum: I heard there is some research on gabapentin for relief of tinnitus that might explain why I didn’t have the tinitus until about a year after the wreck which was a few months after they stopped using Neurontin because I had seizures right after the wreck (in the ambulance and in the ER).

I am getting so tired of this

Seriously, it happened again. I tried to catch a bus that never came again, which I think makes at least 4 times so far this year. I was there 10 minutes early, waited until the Lyft got there almost 20 minutes after the bus was scheduled to be there. Seriously, I was eyes on the stop by 1801 on a 1811 schedule and summoned the Lyft at 1816, and it got there about 1828. The time I hit the “Summon” button was when the bus was officially “late” by being five or more minutes behind schedule.

Seriously, this s#!+ has got to stop. If I can’t depend on the bus being there after a certain time of night even when scheduled then I’m stuck at home after dark.

It happened again, but I managed to get something done

We didn’t have bus service again this evening, this time just after 1800. I only traveled a bit over a mile to get my toes done and a haircut, but I was also supposed to deposit a check and get some cash to pay the lawn guy, which I could have done if the bus had come so I could use the ATM at the bank. Now my toes are great, and my hairs are cut, but I had to walk almost a mile to get home because I walked for almost 40 minutes just to get to the bus stop I would have gotten off at. This was about 2/3 of a mile from the nail place and barbershop and another 0.4 mile from home. This makes either 2 or 3 times I tried to catch the 513 after 1800 and no bus. And also no bus coming for the next schedule, because I would have seen it coming before I got off the main road for the 0.4 mile trip to the house.

And I should say that by the time this gets posted “this evening” will be “last evening”.

Today was just the worst

Today was multiple DART SNAFU scenarios, repeated. Pretty much all from the same route, there were three missing buses on the 513. The first one is the usual The First Bus Is A Lie where the bus I wanted to catch was a fantasy. I did manage to catch the next one, and cash the check that was the primary reason for the trip. That went well, then I summoned a Lyft to get to my favorite massage place and got a really good massage that relaxed me so much I couldn’t move for a few minutes. Seriously that good.

Then a small victory, I caught the bus back to Garland after only a few minutes’ wait the bus was there. I basically walked up to the stop and into the bus, just like that. And when I got to the transfer station what appeared to be another small victory, the next bus home was due in about 15 minutes, but no bus came in the 15 minutes to the next schedule. The next schedule after was about 45 minutes away, and there wasn’t anything to do except wait for it. And almost exactly an hour after I got to the transfer center, no bus.

So, I had used a Lyft already that day I figured I could use it again because I still had 20% charge on my phone, but somehow that 20% charge was 0 about the time I hit the “summon” button on the phone. I tried doing the “leave it off for a bit for the battery to recover” trick. And I got enough charge recovery to complete my summons, but not enough to get the make of car picking me up. So I’m walking up and down the passenger pickup queue on the other side of the bus queue and a car with a lighted Lyft sign pulls up and asks if I’m (realname), and I say I am, but I need to get a breath of charge on my phone so I can pay him. Fortunately he had a charge cord that fit my phone so I could pay him when I got home, yay! day saved.

And now I have a sore butt from the benches at the bus station, so bed for me.

Technically it was yesterday for this post, but since I haven’t been to bed yet today sucked

And as usual most of the suckage came from our transit system. I got there way early. The bus got there way late. I had a 1330 appointment for getting my taxes done, the bus schedule said the bus would be there 1307, I got there 1259, the bus got there 1325. Just a touch late, but I got to the tax preparer office at 1331. And because of the tax forms that went with the dissolving the trust I’ll have to go back next week to sign the documents. But next year we can use the EZ form, because I will just have incomes, taxes withheld, and standard deductions to deal with instead of endless itemization. Seriously there were like two dozen sources of income that had to be accounted for, and taxes that were withheld from them, and that meant two lines of data entered on the form, one each in two different areas.

As for the rest of the stuff I usually write about, I had too much else on my plate to even think about it. Besides the endless waiting for the bus, I also had reminders of why I haven’t had a steady job outside the house in nineteen years. Seriously, I had to lie down and let my leg resume normal size and shape for a couple of hours. It took almost as much time for the swelling to go down as it took to get that way. I did manage to spend too much money getting a fountain drink from the restaurant next to the tax place. That’s something I haven’t done much since this time last year. At first that was because Mrs. the Poet was sick and we couldn’t leave the house

It’s true! I honestly didn’t think about any vehicles, much less the Sprint-T, all day during the preparations and trek. I had taxes on my mind for the trip out when I wasn’t cursing DART for being so unreliable, and I still had taxes and DART unreliability on my mind along with how much my leg was hurting from having to stand and wait for the bus. Then I had the mail, and taking care of some social media stuff. I took care of some of the social media stuff while I was letting the swelling go down in my legs, then we had dinner. Then I got caught up on web comics and blogs, started going through my e-mail from the last few days, and posted this blog post.

And now everybody is up to speed and I’m ready to get back to bed.

This was a bad day

Combination of needing to beat bad weather and bad memory turned this into an “Ugh!” day.

OK it started out with looking at the weather forecast and deciding if I wanted to get my phone paid for before it got shut down I needed to do it today. But after buying a bus pass on my phone and activating it so it had to be used today (Thursday 2021-02-25) or lost forever.

For some reason I keep forgetting to bring my mask when I leave the house by myself, which means I can’t ride the bus. I realized this before I got to the bus so I had time to go home and catch the next bus but not before the rain hit. That’s when I rediscovered that the rain hood was designed to work with a brimmed hat like a baseball cap or similar, because the hood would droop until my face was covered while my mask rose until it covered my eyes. I could do something about the mask because I was used to dealing with rising mask syndrome from everyday use. But the hood covering my face at the same time at a faster rate than the mask crept up threw me off. I finally decided to just let my head get wet rather than constantly fidget with the hood and the mask.

Then I got to the phone store and did the thing with the new debit card. I was all tired out when I got there because I walked as fast as I could which actually uses more energy than running but is still slower than running because I can’t run. Seriously if I could have run I would have, but I haven’t been able to run since the wreck. But I did the thing with the new debit card, so “Yay!” for me.

I managed to get to the bus stop by the phone store in time to catch the next bus, which was good because by this time my head was soaked. I managed to get home without problems that I was already dealing with getting any worse. I even managed to get my step tracker and fitness tracker working for the trip from the bus stop to the house.

When I got home things got weird. I had been carrying around my phone in the pocket of the raincoat and when I took my phone out there was something else in the pocket, my old debit card that I lost. I wouldn’t have had to report the missing card if I had checked the pocket of the raincoat, which would have prevented having to “borrow” Mrs. the Poet’s card to pay a couple of online payments that came due before the new card came in.

So, that was my day Thursday. How was your day?

This has been a week

Like seriously. 

Monday I went to go get a massage from this one place because they will work on glutes and my limp is causing pain in the lower part of my right glutes. Like serious aching pains that need deep tissue massage, and the place that does deep tissue work will NOT do glutes and act insulted if you ask. Well the place that does glutes does them like they are the bestest doggy, not like you need a massage for making things work. In fact the whole massage was like that, rubbing like I just needed the muscles to know they were part of the world and part of me.

Getting to the massage was a fustercluck. The bus I was going to catch the first time was a couple of minutes early, the next bus never came and two schedules after the bus I left the house to catch I finally got on a bus. Then I got to the transit center for my part of town, and the bus I was going to transfer to also didn’t show up. I mean I got there 9 minutes before the scheduled departure, but no bus, until the schedule after the bus I should have been on. So I was over an hour behind when I should have been there for my massage, and I only had a 30 minute window for my massage, which I previously described.

Then I had to go pay my phone bill. Since there were two routes serving the place where I got my massage I actually didn’t have to wait too long for a bus to show up, because both of them were late for the previous schedules that should have been there while I was getting my massage. Things had actually worked out in my favor for a change. Then I caught the bus towards the house which was also the bus to the phone store, and I paid the phone bill and also bought a Coke Zero, and lottery tickets and got money out to pay the guy who mows the lawn. Then I got to wait for the next bus home instead of walking the 0.8 mile home, which was late again. There should have been two buses running that route to cover the rush schedules, but there was only the one that I saw covering every other schedule, so it was very late by the time I got home, almost 2000 instead of 1915 or thereabouts. Mrs. the Poet had already eaten her dinner while mine waited for me in the microwave, so I had to wait until everything got warm and it was almost 2030 by the time I got around to getting things done, and I was, not starved but peckish doesn’t describe it either. More than ready for solid food after missing lunch  is the best descriptor I can place on it.

Anyway, had the buses been on the right schedules, I would have finished running around by 1830 or even 1800, instead of 2015. I would have gotten a good massage instead of getting stuffed into the recovery window from my scheduled massage before the next appointment, and getting a crappy one because of that.

And that was just Monday, and everything was about that good for the rest of the week. Flat sodas, things in my sandwiches that hurt my mouth, salty snacks that weren’t as much as I thought they were by volume, just that kinda thing. I mean there was something in my PB&J that hurt my mouth, what could there be in a PB&J to hurt my mouth? Creamy peanut butter, bread, and jelly, what is there that is hard or sharp to bite down on? But there was. Apparently there were seeds of some description in the bread I didn’t know about. And then when I was catching up on the e-mails I missed out on because I was away from the house all day Monday I timeshifted myself again to Vampire hours and basically slept through Friday, which put me behind on e-mails again today, so I’m timeshifting back from a nocturnal schedule to diurnal tonight/today. I got my 8 hours of sleep in by 1800 ignoring the interruptions because I was in bed by 0800 and my sleep was interrupted several times.

To add to the turmoil and frustrations of the week I got a text notice I had a package out for delivery Thursday that also never showed up that day, but did arrive some time during the day on Friday. This was a special cup and pair of colorful socks from Hoonigan Industries basically just a little something for me to feel good for myself, AKA retail therapy.

I did something today

Well it’s today as I compose this, but it will be yesterday before I can finish it.

There has been some speculation that stores will no longer allow customers without masks here in Dallas County to protect their workers so I went on an expedition to buy some, just in case. To save time I will just cut to the chase And let you know all I found were signs saying all masks and gloves were donated to local first responders (Lowe’s), or local hospitals (Harbor Freight). This presents me with a quandary: I might need to have a mask to shop, but all the places that sell masks were out, and places that sell stuff to make masks are closed as non-essential. The only thing I have is a scarf that wraps several times around my face but doesn’t do that good a job of keeping things in or out.

Another thing I was looking for was some place to get my neck rubbed. The last time I got a massage was 3/4, and life has been a huge pain in the neck since then. But one of the categories of businesses deemed “non-essential” is massage places. And every one I passed going to or from the places I was looking for masks was closed with the lights off. So right now I’m holding my head at an odd angle because I have muscles in my neck that are spasming and won’t let me hold my neck straight, courtesy of my tumor Chris Christy and Arthur Dent that was left after, and also the fact that I’m almost 62 years old. I understand that being old is also a major pain in the neck. Some humor implied there.

One of the Not Good things about the Social Distancing order is in order to buy ready to eat food you have to be in a car. Drive throughs are open but most places you can’t go inside to place an order to go, which is rather annoying to people Not Wearing A Car. Most places have online ordering that requires an app on your phone for every restaurant you want to buy food from, which can quickly result in a phone that basically won’t work because it has no free resources because you have too many apps on it. Which is also a bummer. For both of us, because the restaurant loses a sale, and I’m walking around hangry.

Another annoying thing is DART has made Doing Things By Transit even worse, by changing the headway on all routes. Basically it’s like they are punishing people for not driving, even though people are supposed to be Not Driving during the pandemic. It’s annoying and counter-productive for trying to maintain social distancing. The worst part is they have changed headways and schedules so that you have the maximum amount of delay between routes, twice I just missed the 402 after completing my business at one store and going to another store on the route, with an extra hour to wait between buses. One of the things I had to do was see if our Stimulus Check had been deposited, which I couldn’t because I didn’t have Mrs. the Poet’s ATM card to check her balance. I thought we had left it in my wallet after the grocery run, but I didn’t.

Long very hot day getting stuff done

And it would have been less hot and not as long had I not been using DART. OK it was still nearly 100°F no matter what mode of transportation I was using to get around and I would have been just as hot outside of an air-conditioned space, but my exposure time would have been a lot less if DART had decent headways.

The sad part is I never got more than a mile away from Casa de El Poeta all day. If the temperature had been a little less I would have spent less time getting from A to B and been more comfortable doing it, except that over 2 mile slog from the phone store to the nail salon. Today’s itinerary was walk to the phone store, catch the bus after paying my mobile bill and ride to the nail place to get my toes done, then catch the bus back to the stop closest to home. Where it began to go south was missing the bus by a few minutes at the phone store, resulting in over 40 minutes waiting in the heat for the next bus, and watching the bus go by as I left the nail salon, resulting in almost a mile walk back to the house. I maxed out Sweatcoin collection, but I also maxed out sweat in the heat.

Now for those wondering why I don’t cut my own toenails, part of the annoying cocktail of nerve and muscle damage I got from the wreck is the piggies that had no roast beef and went “Wee, wee” all the way home curl up under my foot when I need to trim them. I can’t stay in the position needed to pull them out from under my foot and hold them where I can cut the nails before I pass out from lack of oxygen. I’m literally laying out against my thigh with my knee under my chin to be able to get hands where they need to be to get hold of the toes and get the clippers on the nails, which compresses my abdomen such that I can’t draw breath. So rather than struggle against hypoxia I pay to get my toes done by a professional, about every 3 months. And I think I write a similar sentence every time I write about having to get my toes done.

Sunday’s early post was an extreme example

Of what happens when I can’t work on my designs. They get changed, “improved”, made different just to fool myself into the illusion that I’m actually doing something to make progress. If the hands can’t work on it I either drop it completely or completely change it. In this case I think the combined floor/splitter is such an improvement over the previous kluges that I will keep that part. But the rest I will keep in a brain folder marked “do not open until stinking rich”. Seriously 9 plies of Kevlar are both much lighter and more resistant to penetration than the 0.25″ steel plate I had been considering, so that’s an actual improvement.

On other fronts, my feet still hurt, but not as bad as before. I think I might be getting better. I still don’t want to go for my walk tonight, but I might be up to it by the end of the week. The axle is getting closer to being done and the spindles are up next. I want to go work on honing the boss to size but my feet are screaming “NOOOOO!!!!!” at just the thought of standing on concrete again.

And since I have to go run errands in Carrollton tomorrow, I’m having another lie down to give my feet more time to recover before spending the day on the bus.