I took a seat in front of a man who was eating his breakfast in his seat. I immediately thought of the recording that plays as the bus turns from Hillsborough Street onto Beryl Road on the outbound route: "There's no eating, drinking, or smoking on the CAT bus." However, I'm already the Grammar Police and the No-Smoking-at-Flex Police, so I can't take on another precinct.
On Gorman Street our bus got behind a school bus, and my mind entertained itself with thoughts like:
- Is a bus behind a bus "redundant?"
- It's as annoying being behind a school bus in a bus as it is being behind one in a car.
- Is there an extra penalty if a bus passes another bus—a tsk-tsk, you-of-all-people-should-know-better surtax, if you will.
At the next stop, a young kid got on wearing a striking parka, which was black with shiny silver outlines of bottles all over it. And I mean shiny. It wasn't clear what the bottles were of, but they suggested liquor, as they had a big "100" on them with something underneath it that I couldn't read, but suspect might have said "Proof." It had a very thick—at least 3-4 inches wide—fur-lined hood on it, which for a part of the ride, he had pulled up over his head and down across his face giving him the appearance of some kind of large part Yeti and part closed-clam combo.
The two people who got on at the next stop fumbled with their coins, one of which fell on the floor, trying to put them into the fare machine coin slot. People! Take off the gloves to pay your fare if you're using coins.
Walking the block from the bus stop to my office, I neared my building to see an open manhole in the middle of the sidewalk. In these days of political correctness, are those things called peopleholes instead of manholes now? But I digress...
A man was standing next to the open hole and holding onto a hose that was stuck down in it. The hose was attached to what looked like one of those shopvacs used to suck up water. And next to the shopvac was a truck that had some company's name on it that I don't recall, but after which said, "Mobile Broadband Service." Now this is not the kind of scene that someone who works in IT likes to come across first thing in the morning, right next door to their office building.
This had me looking down when I walked, and crossing the street I noticed two manholes in the sidewalk with covers on them, and I noticed that one of them said, "Sewer" as one might expect, but that etched into the other one was the word, "Fiberoptics." A sign of the times, I guess. Also, quite the smoke signal for a mischievously ne'er-do-well, I would think.
Up in my office, I was happy to find my "broadband service" (and therefore NC State's) working just fine.
My new friend Patrick passed on this "remote" affirmation, which he heard from a mutual friend of ours:
|OH! i meant to tell you... I mentioned your name to my friend Art the other night, and he had nothing but great things to say about you. He was very genuine in his description of you being a really great person :-)|
I very much appreciated that. Thanks, Patrick.
On the bus ride home, I took a seat behind a lady with a huge ponytail, which was tied up with a tightly wound, bright red, knitted band. It made me laugh out loud having just read this article, a link to which was sent to me by my officemate: Oregon man accused of snipping bus passenger's hair.
Also, I wondered after reading that article if I'm not metaphorically "snipping passenger's hair," by featuring them as characters in my blog.
At home, I threw everything down, grabbed my gym stuff and headed to Planet Fitness. My work colleague and friend, Jen, was going to be there at 5:00. She wasn't there when I arrived at about 5:15, so I just got to work.
I did 60 minutes on the elliptical machine in the Hill mode on Level 4, eventually burning off 922 calories.
I listened to the most philosophically and psychologically interesting episode of This American Life that I've listened to in a while. Act Two was the one that really, really fascinated me, and I wonder what others think particularly with regards to the incident involving the Ghost of Pasha, and specifically with regards to the philosophical debate over whether Ghost of Pasha "received a gift" or "was the butt of a cruel joke." Act Two is a 25-minute commitment, and if you want to listen to just that one, you can slide the progress indicator to 18:22 after click here.
Stories of people who try simple mind games on others, and then find themselves way in over their heads.
Prologue and Act One.
Host Ira Glass interviews Lori Gottlieb about the time she sent a letter to a writer in a magazine, a letter packed with white lies. One complication led to another and before long, the writer seemed to be lying to her. Or maybe he wasn't. It was hard to tell. Years later, she still isn't sure what happened. Gottlieb is the author of Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self and other books. (12 minutes)
A group called Improv Everywhere decides that an unknown band, Ghosts of Pasha, playing their first ever tour in New York, ought to think they're a smash hit. So they study the band's music and then crowd the performance, pretending to be hard-core fans. Improv Everywhere just wants to make the band happy—to give them the best day of their lives. But the band doesn't see it that way. Nor does another subject of one of Improv Everywhere's "missions." (32 minutes)
Scott Carrier and his family live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood as Elizabeth Smart, the fourteen-year-old whose kidnapping made international news in 2002. Though pictures of Smart were everywhere in Salt Lake City, and thousands of volunteers searched for her, her captors brought her back to the neighborhood she was taken from, and they walked freely through the streets with her. But no one recognized her. Scott talks with his neighbors and with his son Milo (who attended grade school with Smart) about what was happening in their heads that they didn't recognize her, when she was there in plain sight. Scott is the author of Running After Antelope. His story received support from hearingvoices.com, which gets support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (12 minutes)
For what it's worth, I found Act One highly entertaining, if not less compelling than Act Two, and I found Act Three just meh.
On the topic of the importance of punctuation—\O/—imagine my surprise when I opened my box of Orlando brand frozen garlic bread, which on the box says, "4 Cheese & Garlic," only to find two mini-loaves of bread instead of four.
The two loaves were not snugly in the box, and I thought, "They forgot to put two of the loaves in this box." I took them out and put them in more orderly to see if four loaves would fit in the box, only to find out that maybe three, yes, but definitely not four.
"WTF?" I thought.
Then, it occurred to me that what they meant was "4-Cheese & Garlic." Each of the two loaves had four cheeses on them: Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano. Oh the difference a hyphen makes. Use 'em!