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

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.

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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.

I did something to my foot, some more

Seriously I have injured my foot and can’t account for how I did it. The ball of my left foot is swollen and painful and sensitive to the touch to the point that I can hardly walk today. The fact that it’s on the same leg that got mangled in the wreck leads me to believe there is a connection, but I also believe correlation is not causation.

My working hypothesis for the moment is it might be a cumulative stress injury from all the walking I have been doing the last couple of months, and the fact that I tend to walk digitigrade on my left foot because of the length discrepancy. The heavy callus on the area is ample evidence to that fact. I had Mrs. the Poet take a look at the bottom of my foot and she commented it was hard for her to tell for sure how much was swelling and how much was callus without poking at it, which was painful as hell. But after poking a few times she pronounced it badly swollen and I used a new euphemism for swearing: “Dirty Words”. I mean can you think of a better euphemism for using dirty words than saying “Dirty Words” instead of dirty words?

Anywho, what this means is I am stuck in the house for a while until this gets better. Seriously, I can’t ride my bike until I fix my bike, I can’t fix my bike until I get to the bike store to get a good presta adapter, and I can’t get to the bike store until I can walk about a mile each way to cover the foot trips to and from transit and the bike store. Just getting to transit from Casa de El Poeta is a 0.42 mile trip to the closest stop, and then there is the 0.6 mile trip to the bike store from transit to factor in. Then the same thing all in reverse for the trip home. So I have to recover enough to make one trip to get the part so that I can recover some more. But first I have to recover enough to tolerate about 2 miles of walking. And since at the moment I’m having a hard time walking from my office to the bathroom I think that might be a couple of days.

So I have been spending a lot of time on the bed to keep my foot elevated which keeps the swelling down, reading on my phone. I do the blog from my laptop that requires me to sit up but as much as possible I do in bed. So time to shut this down and hobble off to bed.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I finally got the errand I tried to run on Monday and Tuesday finished, and the Feed

Things did not look good this morning when I went to run the errand I have been trying to get done all week long. I was watching the bus stop as soon as I could see it and saw the bus go by 11 minutes early, somewhat destroying the 5 minute leeway that DART suggests to riders who don’t want to miss the bus. I wouldn’t even have seen the bus except I left a few minutes early because of missing the bus Tuesday. Fortunately I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be tonight unlike Tuesday so I waited for the next schedule and got my transfer an hour later than planned. I stopped for an Angry Whopper meal at the BK next to the bus stop where I caught my next bus (did I mention this was an Epic Bus Ride?) and got my business done in record time and caught the same bus on the return trip. The routing for the return trip was not the same as I came but reversed, I was supposed to take the train instead of the bus as the train would have switched to rush hour frequency and gotten me home sooner. Unfortunately the bus was delayed by a greater than normal number of people that needed to use the lift to get on and off the bus, so I was watching the train pull out from the station as the bus was pulling in. Because of that I missed my connection Downtown and missed again when I got back to the Beautiful suburbs of Hell, so I ended up getting home a little before 1800 tonight. So 5 bus rides, 2 trains, and a lot of waiting later I got home with the stuff I was supposed to get Monday. Epic.

More on that Houston hit-and-run. Another hit-and-run death has cyclists wondering if they’re safe on Houston streets The body was discovered by guys fishing the next day after he was hit the night before.

A new wreck in NM. Bicyclist struck by truck in Alamogordo This appears to be a hit-from-behind wreck on a frontage road. I have a serious dislike for frontage roads as they are frequently the only access for anything that can’t use the adjoining highway, and they get treated like an extension of the highway by people driving on them no matter what the posted speed limit is. I have watched people do 60 MPH in a posted 30 zone while I was riding with them in the car, as an example. The second problem is that usually in order to get around the highway the frontage road is fronting you have to use the frontage road for at least part of the trip, which means riding with people who think the frontage road is part of the high-speed highway… Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A deliberately blind driver who was watching the soybeans grow instead of watching the toad in front of him gets a ticket for killing the cyclist he ran over. Man ticketed for killing bicyclist 3 months ago The report is so suffused with windshield bias and car-head entitlement I could barely keep my dinner down with lines like “(the cyclist) was in (the driver’s) lane.” No the cyclist was in her lane and the driver ran her over, because he was more interested in soybeans than he was in what was in the road in front of him. TANJ!

I keep saying that just because you don’t have lights and a glow-in-the-dark clown suit on that doesn’t mean drivers should get a free pass to hit you on your bike, and someone else agrees. Bicycle Fatality: Cyclist Not To Blame This was the FL hit-from-behind where I asked if the weapon vehicle had headlights. So at least one other person in the world knows about the basic speed law. “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing or under the conditions and having regard to actual and potential hazards. Tran. Code §545.351(a) & (b)” That’s the law here in TX complete with VC citation.

An injured IL cyclist gets some civil justice when the person initially accused of hitting her brings video to the case. Video Identifies Cause of Crash That Injured Bicyclist On Milwaukee Avenue It seems that someone could also be charged with interfering with a police investigation as well, which is a serious felony.

Same city is much hand-wringing about people riding bicycles in the street without helmets! >swoon< Divvy Bike Accidents A Growing Threat I’m not sure what a bike share bike is a threat to, but it MUST be a threat to something. People are having fun and getting cheap transportation, quick, do something…

Moving out west to CA a woman on a bicycle and a person on a motorcycle had a meeting of the minds when they misjudged speeds. FRENCH VALLEY: Bicyclist injured in collision with motorcycle (UPDATED) The cyclist was getting ready for a left turn and did not allow the motorcycle enough space. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid and infrastructure to prevent.

Still in CA a 70 YO cyclist ran a red light? Really? Vehicle Fatally Strikes 70-Year-Old Cyclist IF this is as reported then intersection protocols to avoid and infrastructure to prevent. Since there were no pictures of the wrecked bicycle posted to the web I have no idea if this is accurate, but it didn’t pass the smell test the first time I read it and it still stinks.

Another driver gets a gentle caress to the wrist from Jolly Olde. Suspended sentence for driver after cyclist killed TANJ!

He probably won’t. Lorry driver could be jailed after admitting causing cyclist’s death

A little Infrastructure! news from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Cyclists want Miami-Dade mayor to see dangers on Bear Cut Bridge Two words about drivers driving in the bike lanes Solid Bollards. Install 4″ dia 0.5″ wall steel tubing filled with concrete about 5 feet apart set a couple of feet into the road surface and welded to the rebar in Portland concrete surfaced roads, and cars will stop driving in the bike lane. I admit picking up the pieces from cars that try driving in the bike lane will be time consuming at first, but if the messes are sufficiently publicized on the news and in internet videos (“Wrecked car swept into small garbage bags after crossing into bike lane” would be a good headline) the problem will eventually go away.

National infrastructure news. Secretary Foxx Pledges to Make Bike/Ped Safety a Priority I think the traditional response to statements like this is “I’m from Missouri,” or “show me.”

A big problem with bike/ped infrastructure and safety is antipathy from the car-heads. Park Slope Woman Decides Family Of Slain Boy Has “Mourned Enough,” Tries To Take Down Memorial

PSA on motor vehicle danger. Cars don’t kill people, irresponsible drivers do

And last link sometimes you need to get off that bike. Wheels of Truth

And those were all the links that gave me fits after I got home.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Feeling like I got hit again on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m starting this post after 2200 Sunday because Mrs. the Poet threatened to throw all my parts bikes into the street if I didn’t do some cutting on the tree in the back yard, and then I had to leave early for evening services at church, from which I got home late and then had to eat dinner that I couldn’t eat before I left because it wasn’t finished cooking. So busy day and a long one and I’m just getting started on the post…

I’m still trying to figure out how the lab rat gig meshes with the ACA, aka Obamacare. I don’t make enough money to even consider using the exchange, and because I live in “get sick and die” TX I don’t have the option of applying for Medicare as I have more than $100 in the bank. Had Gov. Goodhair decided to allow expanding access to Medicare only my income would have been taken into account, not the pittance I have squirreled away for genuine emergencies like the combination water heater and A/C failure we suffered through this summer (nearly a $2K hit in less than 30 days). The people I have communicated with don’t know either, and they are supposedly “experts” on the subject.

Oh, that headline? I’m having neck and back “issues” from working on the tree and reading web comics on the laptop. I really need to get that huge monitor I got with my Dad’s computer hooked up so I don’t have to look down all the time to read web sites. Also I woke up the last two mornings with a pain in my left hip, I think from a hard spot in the futon mattress I sleep on. After a few years they tend to collapse and let the heavy parts fall down into the support structure, which in my case is about as forgiving as a concrete bench at the bus station. I prefer a firm sleeping surface, but there is “firm” and then there is “short length of 2 by 4 next to several other short lengths of 2 by 4”. The latter phrase is an accurate description of the futon base I’m sleeping on. When the futon is collapsed that is what I sleep on. A new futon is in the pipeline for later this year after the annuity check from my Dad’s estate comes through.

And because using this laptop is currently such a physical pain, I’m cutting this post short. Be prepared for tomorrow’s post to be late as well, because I have to go refill a prescription from the pharmacy that is a 3 hour, 4 bus trip each way. So basically I get to get up early to ride 6 hours on the bus to do one thing and then go home to do the blog post. Peachy, huh?

PSA, Opus

Happy Veteran’s Day to my fellow Vets, and the Feed

I spent today the same way I spend just about every day I don’t spend at home, on the bus for several hours to spend a few minutes getting something done. I left home about 1145 to go to the storage center to pay the rent on the storage unit, then got on the first bus of the day to go meet my wife at the school she works to go with her to a doctor’s appointment we had made consecutive so we could get it all done at once and me pay for it. I returned to Casa de El Poeta at 1945. Time spent riding on a bus or train or waiting on a bus or train 6:50, time actually doing something :50, time eating that caused us to not catch the next train :20. Number of meals eaten while on the road: 2 for me and 1 for Mrs. the Poet. Number of trains not caught 1 for an extra 10 minutes of waiting that would have been canceled out anyway by waiting on the bus we caught anyway even after we stopped to eat. The biggest problem with this was the time spent standing around waiting for the next bus, which was literally over half the total transit time. The DART system does not mesh well with transfers sometimes taking almost an hour depending on the desired direction at the transfer point. The frequency of the bus routes during mid-day travel makes what would be a 1 hour bike trip a 3 hour bus ride after transfers and routing out of the way. Our doctor’s appointment was a block off Walnut Hill Lane, but to get there we had to take a bus from the school to Walnut Hill Station, then a train about 7 miles south and more than halfway to downtown Dallas to catch a bus that meandered back to Walnut Hill Lane and to Walnut Hill/Denton Rd station after waiting a few minutes to catch the bus. Time to go most of the way downtown on the train and back on the bus was just under an hour, but even taking the faster train ride to the Walnut Hill/Denton Rd Station would have netted only waiting for the same bus we would have been riding from the other train station nearly downtown. The problem is frequency of connecting routes and the circuitous routing required to get from one side of town to the other. Unless you get lucky and your starting point and all destinations lie on the same bus or train route most of your transit time is going to be eaten up by transfers and out-of-the-way routing.

Now had I not needed to pay the storage unit rent I could have saved some time and left at 1245 instead of 1145, so the walk and catching the other buses only added an hour to my day, or I should say subtracted about :45 from Doing Something Else.

Up first isn’t a wreck but 2 lots of links asking the same question, one that I keep asking over and over again in this blog. Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists? and No, it’s never Ok First one from the well-respected NYT, the second from some guy in Oz in response. And this from BikeSnobNYC Shafted Again. And the Economist in the UK The American right-of-way and Treehugger says Is it OK to kill cyclists? You would think so, from the number of drivers who get charged for it.

Cyclists in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike want that changed. Cyclist group pushes for change after deadly hit and run If hit-and-run was treated like the real crime it is, then there might be fewer of them.

Cyclists in CO are working to the same ends as FL cyclists. Fort Collins Looks To Reduce Hit & Run Bike Accidents

A drunk driver runs down one cyclist of a pair, leading to the driver’s arrest. 12-year-old Wagoner boy killed by suspected drunk driver and 12-year-old boy riding bike killed in Wagoner Seriously, the only thing keeping WoaB from being on an archipelago in the Gulf of Mexico is how much OK sucks. Nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid the wreck in this case, maybe infrastructure could prevent a similar wreck. Like placing breathalyzer interlocks on ignition switches to keep drunks from becoming drunk drivers, thereby preventing drunk drivers from becoming killers. Chain the driver to the steering wheel of his vehicle as it gets fed to a car shredder.

A CA cyclist gets squished by a multi-ton weapon of mass destruction and all cyclists are blamed for it (go back and read the first paragraph of links again). Bike safety emphasized by Chico police after recent accidents

A cyclist is hit while riding wearing clothes in the Great White North. Cyclist hit by pickup truck in Woodstock Hit-from-behind wreck, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. The narrative makes me angry for blaming the cyclist for wearing clothing and arriving on the scene before the pickup truck. Was the truck not equipped with headlights?

Another wreck in the GWN. Cyclist injured after collision with police car The cyclist “lost control”? Well it is already winter up there so there may have been a temperature-related loss of traction incident. Or the cyclist got buzzed by the police vehicle and the driver was looking for a way to deflect blame. Hit from behind wreck so protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A UK driver is blamed for hitting a cyclist from behind. Lorry driver in court accused of killing cyclist on A19 near Hartlepool Go back to that first paragraph of links again…

Infrastructure! news from the UK. Fresh calls for HGV safety measures as cyclist death toll rises – but are stickers and lenses enough?

And those were all the bicycle-related links that gave me fits after I finally got home this evening.

Billed @€0.02, Opus