There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, May 21, 2007

Making lemonade from whine

Whine should age with a cork jammed in its throat, bottled. Then, when the whine's time is right, it can be transformed into lemonade and sipped on the porch.

Consider this post from back on April 9. Whine, whine, whine. I had to get in my car and drive to the Watt/I-80 light rail station because Sacramento Regional Transit couldn't get me to 20th and J streets at 9 a.m. Whine, whine, whine.

Put a cork in it!

This weekend I expected to pour more whine into that bottle when I started exploring options for getting to 12th and K streets before 10 a.m. tomorrow. I even started with a little test Sunday to see how long it would take to walk from my house to Auburn Boulevard, where I could catch the No. 1 bus to the Watt/I-80 station. I figured I'd have to give myself about 30 minutes for the 1 mile walk to be on the safe side.

So then I checked, RT's trip planning Web service, and discovered that I didn't have to walk any farther than the bus stops on either side of the street in front of my house. In fact, I had a choice of leaving at 8:26 on the No. 82 bus going to American River College, transferring to the No. 1 bus and arriving at the station in 21 minutes, or I could take the No. 82 bus at 8:39 in the other direction and transfer at Watt to the No. 84 bus, arriving at the light rail station in 23 minutes. The train trip to Cathedral Square takes about 20 minutes. And if that wasn't enough, I could take the 8:39 No. 82 bus to Sac State, get on the No. 30 bus and arrive at 12th and L streets at 9:42 a.m.

Now I had more options than I knew what to do with. If I were commuting daily to this destination, I'd use the 82 to 30 combination and walk the block to 12th and K streets. But tomorrow I need to find an office in a building I've never been in before and so I need some extra time.

Today I tried out the 8:26 departure route. I was out at my bus stop at 8:21, unsure whether the No. 82 would be early or late. It turned out to be three minutes late. I was on the 82 at 8:29 and at American River College at 8:35 a.m. The No. 1 bus was scheduled to arrive at 8:39, but I didn't board until 8:46. The bus arrived at the light rail station 8:56 a.m., eight minutes late, but still in time for me to make it down the stairs and to the station before the 8:59 a.m. train departed. The train passed through Cathedral Square at 9:20 a.m., which means that even if I missed the 8:59 train I'd still have plenty of time to walk from 11 and K streets back to 12th Street and find the office where I have my appointment.

Pour me some lemonade.

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