Tag Archives: DART

I was busy yesterday

I went and did stuff yesterday in the heat. By Texas standards it was a bit on the warm side as we hit 101°F while I was out walking around. I did some banking for Mrs. the Poet, got a haircut from someone who knows how to do a flat top, and then got a good massage from a little slip of a woman.

Anyway, I got started on doing stuff about 1530 and got home about 1930. Now part of that is because it takes time to get places even if you go by Lyft, and part of that is because it takes time to do things. Banking took a while because I had to deposit a paper check, get cash, and check balances. That took a bit of time, because it just does.

The next thing I did was walk to the barbershop in the 101° heat, as one does in TX. That was a few minutes to walk the 0.85 miles to the barbershop because I was too cheap to pay a Lyft and didn’t feel like waiting for the bus that may or might not stop at the bus stop. The closest stop to the bank is right in front of the Community College and for some reason the bus route I needed tends to go right by that stop. Anywho after walking most of a mile in 100+° heat I was hot and thirsty when I got to the barbershop and needed to take a break before I got covered by the barber’s apron. So after I cooled off enough I got the haircut, which included an eyebrow trim, all the way down my nose. I think I mentioned I have a monobrow that goes all the way down my nose and ends right above the tip, and also my eyebrows above my eyes were bushy and needed a trim.

Next part of the trip was via Lyft to the massage place. I found a new place closer to home and only a couple of miles from the barbershop, which was too far to walk, and the Lyft driver was initially sent to the wrong side of the strip mall that went in next to the barber’s, and it took a few minutes to guide him to the place to pick me up. Then it took a few minutes to find the massage place in another strip mall. Strip malls appear to be this guy’s Achilles heel, especially if they go around a corner like both of the ones at either end of this trip. The massage tech at this place was a slip of a woman who looked like a tween girl, but was actually a full-grown woman and managed to give a decent massage despite her minimal mass. My hips haven’t felt this good in ages. Usually a massage doesn’t last long in the hip area because of the nature of what the muscles do, but this one has managed to feel good-ish for almost than 24 hours and still feels not-bad.

I got a summary of my expenditures for Lyft for the day and it came out just under $30, which is a big chunk of my transportation budget. But $30 for 3 trips is not too bad, and I wouldn’t have even been able to do it on the bus because of the uncertainty of having a trip home. DART is so short of drivers that if someone gets sick their bus doesn’t go. And they don’t put out a notification that the bus isn’t running on their app. That’s what really annoys me, they have an app to take fares and alert riders, and they don’t alert riders when a bus isn’t running because of a sick driver. They give notices when the bus isn’t running because of no AC, or other mechanical issue, but staffing issues that shut a bus down don’t get notices on the app. This is stupid, and DART needs to fix it. Anything that interrupts bus service needs to be shown on the app. They don’t need to say why a bus is out of service, but they do need to let people know a bus is out of service. Especially if it’s a route that is last mile on the return to home. Transportation rant over.

AC is back again because the humidity is back down, so at least Casa de El Poeta is comfortable.


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.

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 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.

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.

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 tried to go to the State Fair today, Wreck-Free Sunday on a Monday

Notice I didn’t post “I went…” in that headline. There is a really good reason for that, because I didn’t go to the fair. This morning I was supposed to mow the lawn but we had another frog strangler thunderstorm in the pre-dawn darkness that turned the lawn into a lake, making mowing impossible again. This is like the third time in a row that this has happened, the lawn is almost dry enough to run the lawnmower and we get rained on in the night turning the lawn into a swamp or worse. That thunderstorm is important later in the story.

So Mrs. the Poet and I were planning on getting up early so I could mow the lawn, which turned out about like you would expect it would with standing water over a sea of mud. We were smart enough that this time we didn’t even try to do it. So I went back to bed to catch up on sleep deprivation (see later in the blog post) and Mrs. the Poet took advantage of my being unconscious to get an early shower and dressed. I finally awoke on my own and got newsed, showered, and dressed for myself and we left for the fair. The first part of the trip was uneventful as we bought a lottery ticket to break a $20 bill and caught the bus to the transit center. We got to the transit center and the sign that usually tells when the next train is due is putting up an announcement that the Orange Line is only running between DFW Airport and Bachman Station, which I found odd as they didn’t say anything about the Green Line, which shares track and stations between Bachman Station and Pearl Street Station. After we got on the train going to Downtown Dallas the conductor announced that the tracks were blocked at Cityplace Station and there was a “bus bridge” to Pearl Station where we would catch our train. That was the plan, anyway. We get on the shuttle and as we are getting close to Pearl Station we see a train dead on the tracks blocking a street crossing and when we get to Pearl Station we discover that our train isn’t running but there is a shuttle to get to the Fair. We walk over to the line for the shuttle to the Fair and I hear people complaining about how long it has been since they got in line and discover the line for the bus to the fair is about an hour long, compared to the bus that goes back to the Blue Line at Mockingbird Station having a 10 minute wait. Mrs. the Poet decided that she no longer wanted to do all that standing around waiting for a bus to do all that walking at the Fair and about that time she gets hit by a gust funneled between the buildings downtown and gets blown about 5 feet sideways. We decided that sampling cars and deep-fried foods in these conditions was probably NOT a Good Idea but that procuring sustenance probably would be, so we set out to walk to one of the many eateries within walking distance from the corner of Pearl and Bryan, when another gust came through that almost knocked her off her feet. This one was even worse than the one that caused her to stagger about 5 feet sideways. There is “enough” and then there is “too much” and that line had just been crossed with Mrs. the Poet as what should have been a simple 30 minute (+/-) trip to the State Fair of Texas had turned into an episode of Extreme Weather. We went arm-in-arm so that Mrs. the Poet did not get injured by another rogue gust (my problem was mainly keeping my cane under control when I wasn’t putting weight on it) to the closest place selling food and beverage, the Peet’s Tea and Coffee at the Sheraton Hotel (formerly Adam’s Mark). As we entered the lobby another gust grabbed the revolving door and collapsed it onto a very frightened little girl, fortunately without shattering the glass. She had the poop scared out of her, but appeared to be otherwise unharmed. Mrs. the Poet was Not Very Happy at this point, but as we were finally indoors and out of the wind she decided to go ahead and have a hot beverage. We ordered coffee and muffins as I had not had much to eat in anticipation of Deep-Fried Fair Food and it was well past lunch at that point, costing us $20 before another “senior discount” took it to just over $15 >sigh< Mrs. the Poet and I discussed my getting unrequested "senior discounts" since I was 37 YO and working compressed night shifts.

After our snack we set about returning to WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, after making the trip to Downtown Hell. And yes, I "went there" with the joke. And the other joke, too. And very shortly you're going to laugh… Getting on the shuttle back to Mockingbird Station was no problem as a steady stream were passing the temporary stop on the corner, disgorging passengers at one location and moving a few feet down to pick up at another. Things were crowded but moved fairly quickly and another bus full of people were moved to Mockingbird. At Mockingbird things started to get kerfuffled, because they were limited to how many trains they had when things went south inside the tunnel at Cityplace Station, and the wind had been bringing trees down on the catenary all day, slowing things even more. So there were not enough train cars to carry the number of people that needed to get somewhere, particularly on the Red/Orange side of the station, which normally had about 3 times as many cars heading North out of the station as they had available, normal operations included both Red and Orange line trains going all the way to Parker Road Station with the maximum number of cars they can stuff into a stop, 3. But all they had were a few Red Line trains with only the mid-day set of 2 cars each. During rush hour on the line that runs to Plano they have trains running every 5 minutes with 3 cars each, but what they had was enough every 10 minutes for half of the line and 20 minutes headway the rest of the trip, with 2/3 of the load capacity of normal. And that is assuming the maximum number of trains possible was trapped north of the incident that blocked the tunnel and none were involved in that incident that I still haven’t heard about. So to say that the platform at Mockingbird Station was crowded would be a gross understatement.

After all that we got home and had dinner and I started to compose this post.

Saturday was “fun” for variable values of “fun”. I got a late start on the post Friday and was planning on wrapping up on the bus and train on the way to the RPG group, but was stymied in that for some reason I could not create links while off line between something in the WP composing page and the Chrome OS on my laptop. So after the adventures of the RPG and the adventure of getting home I had to finish posting the Friday post on Sunday.

Speaking of RPG we had a good session, playing some Heroes for a while until that session played out as far as the GM had planned when one of the players did something totally unexpected and completely blew away the planned course of the game. His character decided to work for a mercenary as a possible mole, which caused the GM to invoke his “go to work for the Bad Guys makes your character an NPC if you’re playing a Hero” house rule. We thought he was going to be a mole, not removed from the game.

So we shifted to our Palladium game with my mage running around with a paranormal investigator/psychic, and a guy that talks to animals and sometimes takes over their bodies. We were back outside the portal where the people responsible for opening the portal and possibly what was on the other side of the portal were coming back to finish what they had started and bringing whatever it was they were trying to bring over to our world. They came in three waves because of the different speeds of the boats they had managed to rent, with the first wave being wiped out completely by our booby-trapping the dock, and the second wave getting decimated by the animal guy’s 90 foot snake with the head the size of an original VW Beetle, then wiped out by a few grenades and a few thousand piranha. About that time the bomb that was set to spray Holy Water in the evil temple went off and punched a hole in the jungle on the far side of the river from all the psychic energy released through the portal. The guy who had his chest split open and bleeding into the pool was staggering back up the path from the temple on the other side of the portal and we couldn’t touch him with any of our weapons because nothing remained in contact with the path and was sent to someplace else, but all the stuff we blew up around the portal trying to keep it on the ground eventually caused the portal to collapse and cut the vivisected guy off on the other side of the portal from our world.

It was at this point we discovered that we had missed the last train back to home for half of the group, and decided to play for a little while longer but I don’t remember much of this part of the session as I was in various stages of mental exhaustion and shut down progressively through the rest of the session. I remember we were going to a “haunted” house, and I remembered there being a square courtyard in the middle of the house and some kind of grass that was not grass but the tops of long. bamboo-like plants/creatures (where the cutoff between “magical plants” and creatures is, is something beyond the scope of this blog). Then some dumbass decided to throw an incendiary grenade into the bamboo things which let loose whatever the bamboo things were trapping down there with their magic absorption (that I only discovered because I got woke up during this bit) and caused an effect similar to the portal collapse in the jungle. It was decided at this point that playing Role Playing Games was pointless when a major player in the party is only semi-conscious and I was also starting to suffer the effects of not having my damaged leg elevated as it was starting to swell to the point that circulation to my foot was getting cut off by my shoe I was only laid down for about 40 minutes when antsy boy decided we had to catch the very first train out…

And that is enough writing for one night, as the swelling I mentioned in the last paragraph is starting to bother me again.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet