Commuter Chronicles #10: Signs You Should Hail a Taxi


As discovered while waiting for local route 8 at the Old Town Transit Center in San Diego.


  1. The bus driver has been sitting idle inside the bus with the doors closed for about 5 minutes.
  2. When the driver does open the doors and you try to board, he flips out and chastises you because he still has 5 minutes left of his smoke break and he needs to de-board to do this.
  3. The bus should have actually left the bus station about 3 minutes ago.
  4. It’s starting to get dark and the tourist to native ratio at the station is rapidly dwindling.
  5. You have two teens with you, that you’ve been entrusted to watch on vacation.
  6. The guy standing next to you in line with unidentifiable stains on his clothes keeps hanging up his phone that won’t stop ringing and-
  7. This same guy is telling the passenger next to him about how some guys keep calling him because they want to kill him.
My sincerest apologies to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) who otherwise have done a wonderful job transporting me around San Diego County over the years.

Commuter Chronicles #9: MetroBench

This installment of Commuter Chronicles is a little different in that it isn’t about an actual experience I’ve had using public transit.  Rather, I wanted to share an interesting article I came across while reading my twitter feed over the weekend.

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Commuter Chronicles #8: License Plate Scrabble


Arizona and California both allow drivers, for a fee, to customize their license plate numbers.  As a result, I can’t go more than 30 seconds without seeing a personalized license plate number on the road.

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Commuter Chronicles #6: Top 3

This installment of Commuter Chronicles is a short series of Top 3 lists related to commuting via public transportation.  Two of these items are from my experiences using public transportation in SoCal.  Can you guess which two those are?



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Commuter Chronicles #5: Those Crazy Drivers

So far, my posts related to commuting have primarily dealt with public transportation.  For this post, I’d like to highlight some of the bizarre things I’ve seen in the past year or so while either driving or carpooling to/from work.  I’m not talking about crazy illegal lane changes, people flipping the bird at other drivers, speeding or running red lights.  That – sadly is standing fare that I see practically everyday.

This list describes unusual scenarios I’ve encountered on the road in the past 12 months. I really didn’t want to traumatize myself by going back any further. Continue reading

Commuter Chronicles #4: Plane Crash

Today’s commute was a bit more eventful than usual.  While carpooling towards the freeway, I noticed about four aircraft circling above the vicinity of Falcon Field Airport.

I thought it seemed odd that there would be a backup of air traffic as Falcon Field is a small airport.  However, from about a 1/2 mile away, it became apparent that the aircraft in question were news helicopters as several emergency vehicles were parked on the side of the road across the street from the airport.

Several areas of the lot were sectioned off with police caution tape.  At this point I didn’t know what was going on.  I figured there had to be a dead body or bodies in the lot based on how the lot was sectioned off and the number of police and fire vehicles on site.  There were news vans of 2 local stations already on-site and I could see another getting ready to approach the scene. Continue reading

Commuter Chronicles #3 Update: Rest in Peace Burt Sugar

Earlier this week I uploaded a “Commuter Chronicles” post about a how a fellow light rail passenger thought he spotted Bert Sugar waiting for the next train. I didn’t even know who Bert Sugar was until this encounter at the light rail in July 2011, and I thought it was an interesting enough encounter to blog about. I just logged on about 30 minutes and saw the news that Bert Sugar died today after going into cardiac arrest.

I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the news.  Based on what I’ve read about Bert, he was a larger than life character.  I think a personality like Bert serves as a good reminder that we should all try to live life to its  fullest. Continue reading

Commuter Chronicles #3: Bert Sugar

Sometime around mid- July, the All Star Major League Baseball event came to downtown Phoenix.  Although the downtown area sees a good amount of people on any given day, an event such as this makes any given day look like a ghost town.  People were everywhere, cars were everywhere and the light rail seemed to be the easiest way to get the hell out of there. Continue reading

Commuter Chronicles #1: The Wonderful World of Public Transportation

One idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile is to weave together some of my experiences as a commuter who uses public transportation (it’s not as common here in Phoenix as it is in other major metropolitan cities).  I’m not sure if it would use these pieces as a personal narrative or if I should  use some nuggets as fodder in a fictional story.

During college, I was lucky enough to live near one of the hubs of the bus system. I often took one of the local routes from to campus and back. The savings in parking fees alone was worth it. However, local routes are slow as there are frequent stops, and there are definitely “interesting” characters along the way. I had been using the bus system off and on since grade school, but it wasn’t until college that I utilized the bus system daily. Continue reading