2007 February #1

One of the most annoying things about the BART stations is that there are no trash bins on the level with the trains. So if you want to throw something away, you have to go upstairs, but then you might miss your train. The only other option is to hang onto it, unless you just drop it on the floor, but I can't do that.

They just put these ads on the sidewalk near work. I wonder who they paid to put them there; the city? I'm sure they can't just slap them on without any permission.

The main phone line in our house. I don't know how it works, as it looks like it goes through 2 extra boxes, but I'm not gonna mess with it.

On the way back from soccer on Saturday, I have to drive through the Chinatown section of Oakland. It takes forever because there are always delivery trucks stopped in the side lanes, so even if there are 3 lanes, only 1 is actually usable.

I tried using rechargeable batteries for my MP3 player, but they all die way too fast. So I'm back to just plain old alkalines.

I always take the same BART train to work, but I don't see many familiar faces. You'd think the same people would be on the same one every time. Although this guy with the neon orange hair has been pretty regular the past few weeks.

You have to pay $1 to park in the BART lot, and I hate the machine on the left because it doesn't make sound when you press the buttons, whereas the other two do. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but when you're in a hurry, the verbal cue that you pressed a button really helps.

Arg, someone standing right in the middle of the escalator. Honestly, "walk left, stand right" is known worldwide.

I hate to be racist and sexist, but almost anytime someone is taking up 2 BART seats, it's a black man. Every once in a while someone else will have a huge backpack or something, or if someone has a smaller bag in the seat next to theirs they will usually move it, but some black guys just take up two seats for no reason. Well, I guess there must be a reason; probably trying to look cool and be the alpha male to get women, although I don't know how many gals you're gonna pick up on BART. And if that's not going to happen, you're left with trying to impress me, some random white guy, but all you're really doing is pissing me off and making me think what an embarassment to your race and gender you are.

Um, hello, the cart stall is 15 feet away. How lazy can you be?

I was deep in thought about turning lanes the other day. Either both sides can turn at the same time, then straight traffic both ways goes at the same time, or straight and turning traffic can go in one direction, then both straight, then the other direction straight and turn at the same time again. I didn't see a huge benefit to either, but now I do. If straight and turning traffic from one direction both go while the traffic in the other direction has a red light, it makes it so people who want to turn but are too far back from the turning lane (because they are behind people going straight) can get up to the turning lane and still make it. Otherwise, if both directions have turn signals but no straight traffic, the turn lane is usually only half full before people going straight fill up the lane next to the turning lane. Which is the case here, so I sit, staring at the green turn arrow I need in a totally empty lane, but I can't get to it because of the people in front of me who are going straight. If there weren't trees and poles in the way, I could just drive on the median onto the turn lane.

Rain-X works great in some places, but not in others. In South Dakota, where most of the time I was driving above 35 mph, it was amazing. Here, though, I spend most of the time in town under 35 mph, so there isn't enough wind to make the water bead up, and I have to use the wipers. Which then rub off the Rain-X so I have to use them anyway when I do occasionally drive above 35 mph.

Ah, the nuts with the tinfoil hats are hard at work trying to keep more cell phone towers from being built. I'd love to wander around town putting up goofy signs, but unfortunately, I have to go to work during the day.

Another black guy taking up two seats. I thought at first it was just selective memory, and I was noticing the black guys who took up two seats but forgot about the other people who did it, so I spend a few weeks paying close attention to anybody taking up more than one seat. There were occasionally other people who did so, but they always had bags and would move them if the train started to get full. The black guys without bags almost never offered to move over a bit, although a few did.

Tip jars are all over the place here. I don't remember them being so pervasive in South Dakota. I'm not going to tip someone just for grabbing me some donuts and putting them in a bag.

There's a clock on the walk to work that displays the time and then the temperature in Fahrenheit and Celcius. I've made a game out of figuring out the temp in the other scale when it shows it in one before the clock shows it. The exact conversion is 9/5*C+32, but for most temperatures, 2*C+30 is pretty close, so I just use that, and it's a lot faster. Actually, the short cut is exact at 10C/50F, and it gets a degree off for every 5C/10F away from that (so 15C is 59F, whereas my approximation gives 60F). Once it gets up to 90F the approximation is off by 4 degrees, but that doesn't happen around here. I started doing this when I was in Germany because I could never figure out if a given Celcius temperature was warm or cold or what, so I didn't know what to wear unless I converted it to Fahrenheit.

I hate these little bags with long handles and wheels. They are constantly getting in the way on escalators, on trains, etc. Just get a backpack or carry it; pulling it is just lazy.

Right by the doors is a nice spot on BART to stand because you can lean on the edge of the seat. I never do it if I'm wearing a backpack, though, because as you can see it goes over the edge and almost hits whoever is sitting there.

Another little park on top of a building.

The guy in front of me knocked this candy off the rack and then just left it. I could never do that; I'd be compelled to pick it up and put it back. In fact, I almost did, but then I'd betray my obsessive-compulsiveness to the other shoppers, and we can't have that.

A bum had her little cart in Wal-Greens and was apparently very worried that someone was going to steal something from it, which would never ever happen because everything on it is crap. I guess if it was everything I owned, though, I'd be pretty possessive about it too.