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Driving at the mercy of the radio

The cassette deck on my 1990 Buick Century recently shorted out and I have been forced to endure the radio for the past month or so. It's brutal. Few things in life are as taxing on the human spirit as being stuck in gridlock listening to repetitive ads and grating DJ's. At this point At this point, I can't distinguish a difference between Rob Williams' suffocating self-importance and those kids from the commercials for Paul Blanco's.

It's all blather, and I'm stuck listening to it like a jackass.

With no money to spend on luxuries, there is no way to remedy my situation. All I want is to fix the damn tape deck so I can listen to my iPod again.

I've tried riding with my window down, but all I hear is my clunking motor and all I breathe is polluted air.

Until my finances improve, you can look forward to my constant and prolific insights on radio in Sacramento. Continue Reading>>


What is this, a phone booth on wheels?

Just when I thought I was going to have a quiet commute home, I stepped on Bus No. 87 from Sac State this evening.

I typically get picked up from school but the traffic coming to the university is perpetually bad-- especially after 4 p.m. I was already having a bad afternoon and just wanted to head home and complete my homework. The buses were running kinda late because Facilities Management was installing new signs. It would not have been a problem except they parked their truck in the middle of the bus terminal exit, meaning any bus leaving would have to back out before continuing on its way. I watched this happen for 10 minutes before growing bored with the whole affair.

If having to deal with that annoyance was bad enough, once my bus was actually on the road, four people hopped on their cell phones and yakked away. One girl sitting near the front was laughing and talking so loudly, I though she lost her mind. Another person in the back of the bus was also talking away on her phone-- though not as obnoxiously. Yet another person in the back of the bus was talking loudly on HIS cell phone. And to top it off, one more person just two seats ahead of me was on her phone as well. I could hear what all four of them were talking about, yet I have no idea what they were talking about. Something along the lines of:

"I'm on the bus now, heading to the train station... what are you doing?"

"Yeah, I saw that last night, it was funny...(laughs hysterically)"

"No I didn't... you did! You're so crazy, fool..."

Four conversations, four loud voices, and a rumbling bus made for a very unpleasant ride to the 65th Street light rail station. I finally had enough and put on my headphones and turned up the volume.

The last time I had this much fun on the bus ride home, a woman threatened to kill the bus driver because he sped past her bus stop one day...
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Light rail is unhealthy transportation

When I started planning for my first year as a transfer student to Sac State last year, I decided, instead of driving to school, I would take light rail.

I knew light rail was part of my tuition fees and both my youngest daughter and my niece said the parking is awful at Sac State, so my decision seemed easy and logical.
Also, I consider myself to be conscious of ways to keep from doing too much harm to the earth and thought having one less driver on the road is helping our planet.
What I didn’t realize was how unhealthy riding light rail can be.

Waiting for the train, people are smoking and smashing their butts into the sidewalk. Not a pretty sight. I try to find a spot where I’m not inhaling smoke, hard to do. Then after I board the train, I get to sit next to someone that reeks of cigarette smoke. By the time I get to my destination my lungs are burning and my nose is completely stuffed up.

Getting off the train, I once again have to try and dodge the smoke. And, of course, walking from 65th Street to the campus, I get to inhale exhaust fumes from the hundreds of cars driving by.

To be continued…
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