Monday, July 25, 2016

Riding NFTA Metro - Review

It is a Sunday afternoon and I had some cash I wanted to put into a bank atm. 

Seeing it is almost 90 degrees out and it is clouding up sort of like a thunderstorm prelude, maybe walking is not the best choice.

I have a NFTA Metro monthly bus pass so travel is free on the buses and trains. I figured that it might be interesting to take a ride on an off day.

Which bank to go to. 

Actually there are 4 branches located in the 4 points of the compass. I could take the 5 bus to either Riverside or to the University Plaza. Crosswise from this would to take the 20 bus either to the bank branch by Delaware and Sheridan or take it to Downtown to the Elmwood Village neighborhood near West Ferry.

Actually I was sort of partial to the University Plaza because after I got off to go to the bank the bus just continues to the University Station. It then starts its trip back so I probably would not have a long wait.

I do have the schedules and I also have an app on my smart phone named “Roadify Transit” that I downloaded from the Google Store for free. It gives you the number of minutes until the next bus is due at whatever stop you are at. It is neat. It uses satellite location services so it knows exactly where you are..

I looked at the phone and found there was a bus headed Downtown on the 20 Elmwood route in 6 minutes. 

With Sunday schedules the other waits were up to a half hour. The 20 Elmwood runs every half hour and the 5 Niagara Kenmore is every 40-45 minutes during the daytime on Sunday. No waiting made up my mind.

It was nice on the bus with the air conditioning. 

The bus had quite a few people on it without being overcrowded. A very comfortable, relaxing ride. It is really nice having the driver worrying about all the traffic, including bicyclists, in the Elmwood business section. That area is always a little chaotic with the traffic.

I got off the bus and gave the bank my money. 

All done in no time at all. I was the only person at the atm.

My phone said there were only two minutes before the next bus home. 

It was a little too warm to wander the area a little like I like to do every now and then. I walked to the nearest stop which was only a block away. A lady was waiting so I knew I had not missed the bus.

It was a few minutes before the bus actually came. That part of Elmwood was very congested so a little delay was very understandable. The air conditioning really felt great.

The bus ride was very uneventful except I got a kick out of what happened around Buffalo State. 

It was kind of fun to watch.

A bridge is being replaced over the expressway and Scajaquada Creek. Half is done and all traffic is being funneled over the half that is done. Merging lanes results in very interesting traffic jams.

The bus has to stop at bus stops and so drives along the curb where there is very little traffic.They actually fly past the bumper to bumper jam up in the center lane. The good part comes when the traffic is all merged into the center lane to cross the bridge. You usually picture busses as slow and clumsy and an obstruction to traffic flow. No one blocks a bus from getting into the center lane though when they have a schedule to keep. Especially if it is only bumper to bumper traffic.

When driving, I have been frozen out of lanes at merges like that for all sorts of time. 

But nobody has the nerve or foolishness to block a bus that wants to get in. I am fascinated watching it.

The ride went along smoothly for the rest of the trip. 

You get to see all the construction work with no stress. You can daydream a little going through the park.

Why would a person want to sit on a stuffy city bus on a Sunday afternoon if they did not have to?

It really is a very comfortable experience. 

It is cool on a hot day. It is comfortably warm on a cold day. The seats are actually quite comfortable and very available without the rush hour crowds.

The buses really do run pretty much on schedule. 

As long as you have some way of knowing when busses are due, and you have the flexibility, the waits can be very reasonable.

It is really a great way to see the area. 

I have been all around Erie County and to Niagara Falls basically for free. I need the pass for work and enjoy the added benefits. Did you go to the Canal Fest in the Tonawandas - for free - without the driving hassles this year?

From going to the Galleria or the Boulevard Mall sometimes with no more planning than seeing what time the next bus runs and acting on it.

I have always liked to get around to see what the area has to offer. 

It really does not require a car to take a Sunday drive. Just put your mind to it a little.

You will find you have been missing an awful lot that is available..

It would be really neat to get some comments from others. This type of traveling can be a lot of fun at times.


Monday, June 20, 2016

do you whistle while you work

Why shouldn't we be happy at our work?

Why not whistle while you work as long as it doesn't bother anyone?

Actually, your boss should be very happy for you.

Couldn't you just imagine the tremendous volume of work that would be put out if everyone was happy? 

There are no limits to how much could be accomplished like this.

Most of us have to make the trek to work every day to make enough money to pay the bills. This is just the reality we face for majority of our good years. You work!

Is there an alternative? 

Of course. Public assistance.Some people make a lifetime practice of this. They get all the benefits a caseworker shows them how to get including foodstamps. Some even try to better their lives by winning the big one with lottery tickets.

Is this a happy way to live? I do not think so although quite a few people choose to live it because they can't seem to figure out anything else.

You may also want to try working on your own. 

There is always the internet. This has a rather harsh learning curve in many cases though. You learn pretty fast that a huge percentage of what is out there is "bright shiny objects" that almost blind us with their promises and then turn out to be nothing but a money pit.

Probably the most satisfying thing is volunteering. 

The only problem is there is no money for those bills so we generally leave it to retired people who have sort of an income already.

Both the military and other governmental type jobs do not really fall into a category where you have a say in the job conditions.

It really would not be good policy for the police, military, school teachers or social workers to even look like they are laughing.

I think though, that for manufacturing and service industry positions 

that there is a lot of room to lighten up. A more relaxed workforce could reduce the stress related errors that creep into everyday work. Not to take them lightly. There could be an improvement in efficiency.

It would be great to get your feelings by leaving a comment below.

Thank you

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our Real Problem - Ask Question Get Answer

Sounds trivial, doesn't it? Just ask a question and get an answer, right?
  • I suppose you should reword it to intelligent question.
  • Or reword it to accurate question.
  • Or just sensible question.
  • What about a dumb question?
The basic thing about questions is they do not come out of a vacuum. We really have to know something before we can even ask a question.

Remember way back in school when you first started on a new course? You didn't even know what questions to ask about. Everything was new. You did not even have the words  you needed.

A person of limited experience really is a cripple when it comes to asking questions as they do not even have the useful words they need. How do you ask a question if the words are not even in your vocabulary? You basically do not know what you do not know.

Let's face it - there are really things we do not want to know. Experiences we do not want to have. Life has a lot of really good things and bad things. Just look at a newspaper.

Unless we are living on a desert island where nothing else is possible, we should really try to broaden ourselves as much as we can. Learning about our world allows us to ask intelligent questions. It gives us more options on what to do with our lives. It makes it so others are more likely to enjoy our company.

There is an excellent article the Readers Digest printed about 10 Rooms in the House of Life. Check it out. I belive it is a gret source for our lives and incidentally will let us question things around us much more effectively.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How About This: life as we know it can change in an instant

Isn't this a philosophical kick?

What brought this on?

An idle, random memory came to me of when I was in my teenage years. A friend of mine was driving along and talking away like he usually did. He kept looking at me like he was prone to do when talking. All of a sudden we came to a construction site and he jammed on his brakes to avoid a barrier that came up all of a sudden. He also swerved and bumped a construction worker. No damage anywhere but a lot of shot nerves.

I was just reading an article about the dangers of texting and use of smartphones while driving. Back in the "good old days" we could do stupid things without needing a phone to help.

We all live in a comfort zone where things are as they are and life goes on. It is difficult and sometimes even painful going outside your comfort zone.

What happens when it is forced on us by unforeseen events. Everything changes. Only it is never going to happen to us. There are too many important things to think about.

Life can be interesting. We can be paralyzed for life or we could win the lottery. Take your pick. Except we really do not get a choice of our own. It just happens.

The best laid schemes of mice and men...

Your feedback would be welcome.