Sunday, March 25, 2007


There is an interesting lady that rides route 46 a lot. Actually, I knew of and saw her house long before I met her. Apparently, the city told her to fix up her house because it was falling apart. She got mad and took it out on the house. She put multi-colored tiles where some windows were. She shingled the roof in a geometric pattern. It is the most colorful house I've ever seen. I'm sure the neighbors aren't pleased!! She also had these colorful wire in every color of the rainbow...that it looked like she was going to put along the walkway to the house. I haven't been by there lately, so I don't know what she did with them. If you are from the Minneapolis area you should drive by and check out the house. It is on Penn avenue south between 50th and 51st (or is it 52nd?) streets on the east side of the street. It really is a sight!

When you are coming up to the bus stop...say about a block away...she looks like any other lady waiting for the bus. She is always dressed nicely. Usually, she wears a dress. As you get closer, you can't mistake who it is. She is bow-legged (interesting look in a dress) and has multiple piercings in her nose and face. She has shoulder length blonde hair and is kind of I'm guessing she's probably mid 50's and has had a rough life. I always talk to her. She can be pleasant but sometimes she is in one of those moods where everything is a conspiracy. Her neighbors are usually the ones she sees as against her. (hmmmmm...could it be the house?!?) She told me about her website where she has her artwork on display. I checked it out and some was...interesting. One called "My Barbies" has a picture of some Barbie dolls with the heads taken off and some monster-looking heads in their place. There were a couple pieces of art that I thought were pretty good. I didn't look at ALL of it (there were about 100 pieces). It did kind of gave me a view into her mind...angry and creative are the words that come to mind.

She's just one of the many interesting regular customers that ride the bus every day.


Well, for the first time since I moved to this garage about 5 and a half years ago, I am on what is called the "extra board". I have been doing peoples' vacations all this time and now I am on something different every day. I don't mind that, but you don't know what you are doing tomorrow until 5PM today. That kind of bites. Especially when you get call. Actually, I think I am one of only a handful of drivers that hates to be on call. You sit around in the drivers room and wait for something to happen. If a bus breaks down or gets into an accident, you get sent out to do the work they were doing or bring them a new bus. If someone is running unusually late you go and be an extra bus on the route to help them catch up. If someone calls in or shows up late, you do their work....that kind of thing. I just hate sitting around. It makes time go by so slowly!! I gave in and went out and bought a portable DVD player thinking I can pass time watching movies that I have and have never watched. Now I will probably not get call!! I had it THREE times last week. We'll see how this week goes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


What is wrong with people??? Recently, a guy got shot on the 5 route. Apparently, there was a group of loud, obnoxious teens and he asked them to chill out. That's why he got shot. ????????????????? Being a bus driver, I do that all the time. Some kids ( and I stress SOME) don't know how to act. I often have to ask them to watch their language or tone it down. Am I next? Is there a bullet out there with MY name on it? How stupid. The good news is, the guy is still alive. The bad news is he is in critical condition. The SAD news is that a 15 and a 19 year old are being charged with his shooting. They are in custody. Both turned themselves in after their pictures from the CAMERAS on the bus ( great place to attempt a murder, huh?) showed great pictures of them on the news. Here are two MORE teens that will likely spend a large part of their lives in prison. For what? Because the didn't know how to act in public and when confronted with it chose to try and KILL the person who brought it to their attention. I feel sorry for their families, and the family of the poor guy that tried to bring a little sanity onto a rowdy bus.

There was also a murder just a couple days ago on the 10 route. Seems some 60 year old guy was giving the driver a hard time and some guy in his 40's came to his defense. This was all a verbal confrontation until the older guy took a swing at the other guy. The driver had done as we are trained to do when there may be violence on the bus. He pulled over and opened the doors. This gives people that are scared a chance to leave the situation if they want to so they aren't feeling trapped. It also persuades the people fighting to get off the bus...which is what we want to do to protect all the other people on the bus. After being swung on, the 40-something year old swung back and hit the older guy, who fell down the steps and hit his head on the sidewalk and died. Now the 40ish guy is in jail awaiting charges. Some news reports said alcohol was a factor in this situation. They also pointed out the guy being charged has a record showing more than one arrest per year of his life!! Everything from domestic abuse to not paying his fare on the bus. Sounds like his lack of anger management skills finally caught up with him.

Because these two incidents happened within such a short time, the news media has been having a ball with it. I would like to point out that the last time someone shot someone on a city bus here was about 6 years ago. Not all that bad a record for a major metropolitan area. True, there are a lot of unreported (not shown on the news) incidents of violence on the bus, but that just reflects what is going on in the community as a whole. Don't give the bus, or it's riders, a bad name. Most people riding the bus are good, honest, hard working people just trying to get from point A to point B. It is those people that make my job somewhere I look forward to going every day.
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