Bus Driver Jim has been an eclectic computer programmer and photographer since the early seventies. A recent twenty year stint in the transportation industry has earned him the handle and this blog is a documentary of his life and travels.
I’ve been really hyper-sensitive to names lately. The presidential candidates for example: Newt and Mitt, what kind of names are these? And Barack? I challenge anyone reading this post to recall someone they’ve known named Newt, Mitt or Barack!
We’ve seen what happens when you get a President with a weird first name. Bring back the Bills, Georges and Ricks, and forget that fool with two first names as a name!
In the last two days I’ve gotten mail from AARP and Aflac, both wanting me to join their clubs. No thanks people! Take me off your list. I have no health insurance, or old people insurance, and I’m fine with that. A terminal illness is just my excuse to head to Vegas for one last fling.
I was telling one of my hitch-hiking stories from back in the sixties, to Steph the other day. Turned out she’d heard it before (perhaps multiple times), but she let me finish it. She said something later that was very interesting: my stories never change in specifics, but sometimes are embellished with more information.
I realized that if the experience you’re trying to recreate was good on a human level in the first place, why embellish it? It would then become not real, thus invalid.
The story? Two hot New York school teachers were on summer vacation driving cross-country with a heroin dealer they’d met in a bar who agreed to be their driver just to get himself to Los Angeles to score a big drug deal. They picked me up in El Paso, Texas because they thought my badass longhaired self was cute. I stepped into a party car that didn’t stop until the next morning when the girls asked me if I wanted to be their driver down into Mexico because the dealer guy had scored, and split. I declined, went North, they went South, story over… Embellishments are available if you e-mail me. :-)
I wrote a great little app today and inserted it into the blog as this days post. It’s function is to grab random Flickr images and present them in a 640×480 frame. This turned out to be too much action for a static blog post, so I’ve moved it.
The app itself is pretty trick. It grabs the twenty most recent Flickr uploads and then selects a random photo from that set. Thus, a piece of candy from the box of chocolates.
Look up at the menu, on the right side, and click on Life. Enjoy! :-)
I suspect that a lot of visitors to this site don’t take advantage of the tools I’m providing in the menu area above. Even Steph says, No, I don’t click up there… Come on, Click!
I’ve recently revamped the Weather option to be an everything you need to know about the current weather and conditions in Teton Valley, summary. If you live here, you should save this link.
Here’s a snapshot of our weather today, Saturday 1/28/12, at 11:15am:
The first thing you see is the current weather conditions plus forecast summaries for today and tomorrow. The links below this layout allow for more extensive weather analysis, plus a look at the local road conditions.
The Northwest Radar image shows the weather systems headed our way across the Northwest. It updates often and it’s very accurate. You don’t need local TV weather…
Local Radar is a closer look at what’s over us at the moment.
If you’re in the unfortunate position of having to commute over the pass, or you like to ski up there, here’s the looking back towards Victor view…
And looking towards Jackson…
So, there you go. This has become my personal favorite link for checking weather here, I hope it becomes yours!
I’m getting concerned. This feeling of just going through the motions while driving here is growing stronger. This is my sixth winter operating a bus on icy, snow covered treacherous roads, and lately it just doesn’t faze me. I have this attitude that it is what it is and I find myself driving in the zone. My defensive driving functions are working well, it’s just that I have no passion for it.
I’m also experiencing a permeating sense of operational futility. It’s the same old stuff, different day, different month, different year. The company expects us to follow the route presented by our on-board computers, but most of the time it’s nonsense so we just do what needs to be done and move on to the next day. Requests to dispatch for corrections are arduous and ineffectual, so now we don’t even bother.
As a seasoned professional driver for many years now, and a former transit supervisor, I’m well aware of the dangers of complacency while driving. That’s not what I’m suffering from as I care very much for the safety of my passengers. It’s just called going through the motions…
I have four vehicles that I use regularly, Jack, my 79 lifted Silverado, Lucy, my 87 Mazda 626 with tons of finely aged miles on her, and two buses that I obviously don’t own, but use to accomplish my job.
It all depends on the weather as to which vehicles get used, and when. The commute between the house and base is 2.3 miles and I frequently park my bus and go home for lunch and breaks. Lucy gets 40+ mpg and is the obvious choice here but sometimes a foot of snow on the road requires a four-wheeled drive tank like Jack, at 10 mpg.
My regular bus, #845, is a 12 passenger sweetheart with a great turning radius. For most weather conditions she does fine, but sometimes the weather turns absolutely crazy and then it’s time to crank up the Stud, #801. This is a 16 passenger bus with four brand new Firestone studded snow tires sitting on the rear. The only thing that would stop this thing, is to bottom out.
Vehicle management is my game. Today was a Lucy/845 combo…