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~Monday~  I couldn't have been more pleased to see a heavy, male driver of the 8:15 city bus pull up to my stop this morning. With that I thought: "There's a chance the air will be on because: 1) It's not the regular lady driver who keeps it turned off, and 2) Since the driver's heavy, he probably gets hot more easily and will have it on." Stereotypical or not, presumptuous or not, accurate or not, fair or not, that's what I thought. It was deliciously freezing on the bus.

Along Gorman street, which the Wolfline also serves, a lot of students got on this morning, probably because the Wolfline isn't running for a week now.

A guy sitting in the center-facing seat on the right side, had a large plastic bag with him that he set on the first front-facing seat across from me. From its shape, it looked like it contained one of those large foil roasting pans. An ad about recycling was on the bag and it pointed to the URL of a company I've never heard of before: www.aldi.us.

In an astonishing—at least to me—turn of events this morning, the students pushed the stop tape for what I thought was the stop in front of Sakura Express. But when I looked up I saw that we'd already passed Sakura Express, and we'd already passed the Brooks Street intersection, where the infamous non-marked stops are. By the time I could process what was happening, the students had all gotten off and the bus continued on down Hillsborough Street!

That's when it dawned on me that the route had been switched back to the old route. "Thank god," I thought, pushing the tape to get off at my old stop right across from my work building at the intersection of Gardner and Hillsborough. Imagine my surprise as the bus plowed right past that intersection to the next stop, because obviously from that last stop, they've also made some changes while switching back to the original route. The next stop, at which I got off, was two blocks past my building. Bastards!

That's the bad news. The good news is that: 1) Tomorrow I know to get off at the stop where all the students got off, which is not at the intersection of my building, but is still closer than the walk was on the detoured route—from either the Brooks/Hillsborough stop or the Clark/Gardner stop, and 2) I did note that the stop for the outbound route that I take home, is back in the same place, which is on the corner right by my building.

Here's how it all played out graphically. The navy blue line is the return to the original route. The turquoise line is the old detoured route.

With regards to this entire re-routing for a year, and in a pastiche of a line from Gerald Ford's Oath of Office speech, "My fellow Americans, our long, local nightmare is over." What will I bitch about now?

Today, I was introduced to the concept of a "Silent Disco," which I'd never heard of before. Wikipedia describes it this way, and notes that it shouldn't be confused with a Quiet PartyThis youtube.com video attempts to show one, but I don't think it's the most effective video. Who knew such a thing even existed?

Also today, I learned of the tragic death of a young lady who I know from hanging out at Helios coffee shop and The Borough restaurant and bar. Yesterday, in the classic "permanent solution to a temporary problem," she took her own life at age 23. I wasn't a friend of hers—just an acquaintance, but it doesn't make it any less tragic and sad. R.I.P., Courtney.

I had a productive work day today, with a concentrated hour or so spent completing the minutes of last Wednesday's Student E-mail meeting. It felt good to have them done before the night before, or morning of, the next meeting.

I was delighted to pick up the bus for my ride home pretty much right outside my building. Sweet.

I was only home long enough to woof down some dinner, and then I met Anna at DH Hill, the university library, where we brainstormed about a paper on social media that we'd like to publish together.

The topic of social media is huge, and we talked about a ton of different aspects of it, and left the meeting with two action items:

  1. We're each going to secure a copy of social media policy in our workplace. That means Anna will get RTI's, and I'll get both NC State University's, as well as the State of North Carolina's.

  2. I'm going to create and share a Google Doc with her with the main topics from our brainstorming to which we're each going to enumerate what we could contribute to each topic.

Since I was halfway downtown—that's my story and I'm sticking to it—I zipped by Flex for some cheap ($2.25, normally $3.75) well drinks and where Karaoke was going on. They had a new emcee tonight, and although he was fairly cute, he was young and not experienced enough with the equipment to be running the show tonight. There were a lot of "dead air" moments, which got a lot annoying in a little amont of time.

There was also some aspect of "not knowing your audience" going on, as he started off by reading—a too long, in my opinion—list of various celebreties' reactions about the overturning of Proposition 8 in California recently. I'll be the first to admit, however, that this may have been "a flop" more so to me as I couldn't care one iota less about what a celebrity thinks about current events.

Somewhat bored with that, I checked Twitter on my BlackBerry, where I saw a tweet saying that @wiggitywack and @dtraleigh were over at the Flying Saucer, a bar just around the corner from Flex, for "Pint Night," and I walked over there to say hello.

I had one beer, the same kind I had when I was there a week or so ago with Jen and her friends for Trivia Night—some summer ale—and as I started to walk away from the bar, a blond girl with a skirt on so short that if her pubic hair were a beard it would have been hanging out, tapped me on the shoulder and pointing to the floor said, "You dropped some money."

There on the floor were two twenty dollar bills that had slipped out of my wallet when I was putting it back into my pocket. I thanked her profusely, and I immediately thought of the debacle at the Krispy Kreme in Fayetteville in which a clerk handed to a drivethru customer a doughnut box used to conceal $5,000 worth of the store's receipts for the day. Oops. I hate it when that happens.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
If you haven't been to Aldi before you'll have to go. A cut rate small warehouse style grocery store. Limited items, odd brands, but sometimes good buys. They make you put in a quarter deposit to get a cart and you need to bring your own bags/boxes. The nearest one I know of is on Wake Forest Rd past 440. You can hit Trader Joe's on the same trip and compare them as its on Wake Forest but ITB. Phil
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Aldi

Interesting. I've been to that Trader Joes a few times, in fact did the bulk of my Christmas shopping there. I'll have to check out that Aldi's the next time. I do own some of those reusable grocery bags, although I almost always forget to bring them into the store with me! :-)

Thanks for reading and commenting, Phil!
Aug. 12th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Greenville has an Aldi. I buy some items there for T-giving and X-mas dinner! Vivian
Aug. 12th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC)
Re: Aldi

Ha! So in a sense, I have shopped there. Well at least some of my money has. ;-) Thanks for always doing the shopping AND cooking!

And thanks for reading and commenting on my blawg, sis! xxoo
Aug. 13th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
"The Nightmare" LOL
Geez, you got caught out just like I did with Wolfline--move the stops around without saying anything!

I cannot wait to move back to the 'real' stop. The temp stop @ Brooks is positively infested with red ants--a Very Bad Thing in summer with all the open toed shoes about :-( Chiggers too, so don't you dare sit down on the edge of the dirt embankment. Talk about a total Bus Stop Fail.

On Monday the TT bus I was riding stopped at the 'old' stop at Hillsborough @ Gorman. I had pushed the tape for the detour stop up at Brooks, so I asked if they were back to serving the stop. The driver said no, but she stopped because someone was standing there. I'm not sure what the difference is between 'stopping because someone is there' and 'serving the stop' is but I guess it's one of the top secrets for bus operators.

I just wish they would tell US what the hell they are doing out there. Random transit service is really rotten on the user end.

But hey, starting next week we'll have the annual circus: classes start AND new bus schedules/routes. Yay! (<<ironic) Ann
Aug. 13th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: "The Nightmare" LOL

There is so much that had me laughing in this comment: "Talk about a total Bus Stop Fail," "I'm not sure what the difference is between 'stopping because someone is there' and 'serving the stop' is but I guess it's one of the top secrets for bus operators," and "Random transit service is really rotten on the user end."

Speaking of the upcoming circus and "new bus schedules/route," I'll have a comment in my Thursday entry about throwing new drivers into that mix, too! :-)

As always, Ann, thanks for reading and for your enjoyable comments! I'm so glad you "came out" to me "on a street corner" no less! :-)

Edited at 2010-08-13 05:41 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
Re: "The Nightmare" LOL
Can't wait! New drivers definitely challenge riders' transit skills!

Aug. 13th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
Social media
Wanted to mention that this a huge topic in my 'industry'. If you are looking for other venues for your work and are interested in exploring social media for public agencies, hit me up ;-) I think some perspectives from the people who understand the medium (not just the message) would be great.

Aug. 13th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Social media

Thanks, Ann. I run the Twitter feed for my organization @ncsu_oit and Anna is a central figure in RTI's foray into social media. Are you running an account for your public agency?

Edited at 2010-08-13 05:33 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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