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Email sent to Metro King County

This is an email sent to customer.comments@kingcounty.gov:

This morning my partner was trying to catch the 60 bus from S Massachusetts St/14th Ave S northbound (N Beacon Hill).  There have been some issues with the 36 in the past which he normally rides, but he needed to work at an alternate location on Capitol Hill.  So, he needed 60.  One Bus Away reported that ALL of the 60 buses were running 20-30 minutes delays (with 36's on-time).  He said there were many people stranded at the bus stop waiting on the 60 as well.  He ended up needing to take my car to get to work on-time leaving me stranded now when I get home this evening.

Why were there no alerts?  I searched the web site and other communications channels, but there were no alerts that I could find.  I even checked your blog, but there was no information there as well including a late morning update that claims, "Metro’s Friday AM commute has ended with no significant delays or disruptions in transit service to report."

My partner needs to travel to Queen Anne everyday and is constantly frustrated with Metro with their lack of communications, poor service or poor security and disruptions with bus service.

I submitted an inquiry on your website, but was disappointed after I submitted it you notified me it could take up to 15 business days for a response.

When I've tried to call your main number, I've never been able to speak to a person.

I ride the ST 550 daily and I've never seen an alert about major delays (30+ minutes) when they happen.

I know many things happen outside of your control that impact your bus routes. Communications to your riders is under your control and you consistently fail to deliver important information to them over and over again. If we had better communications we could better plan around those incidents to minimize the impact to us.

Is there a plan to mitigate these communication problems? If not, you will continue to alienate the very ridership you depend on.

BMW peed on driveway

I had all of the work done by Strictly BMW whom I've taken my care to numerous times and got excellent service. The work the did was quite a bit and costs much less than dealership.

I picked up the car late yesterday and heard something like a squishing sound as if I had run over a 2L water bottle of pop or something. Looked behind me, saw nothing on the ground. Kept on driving. Made it home and that's when things got worse.

Fluid began leaking from the engine compartment. At first it was a trickle. Then it kept on coming. It was clear, thick and odorless. Yep, transmission fluid. I checked the power steering, but it was still full. This car has a small radiator up front for the transmissions fluid for the automatic transmission. I'm guessing one of the quick disconnects became disconnected and just dumped the fluid out.

Walked to the grocery to get cat litter to stop up the mess. I'll have AAA tow the car over to the shop sometime this weekend. I hope this is a just a simple fix, but it looks like there was an error by the shop here. A failure of this type is extremely rare.

On top of that, the heater core valve (sends hot water to HVAC system) is popping in and out with a thud every three seconds. No idea what's causing that right now.

This is the first time my car has left me stranded after nine years of ownership. Glad I live where I can still get around via bus and light rail.

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Please, no poop in the shower

Laffy left me a lovely present this morning that was discovered when I stepped into the shower this morning.

Yesterday morning when Ian left he realized he forgot this phone. By the time he got back he found two places where Laffy peed on the floor in our bedroom. Grrrrr... I think it was retaliation from yesterday.

Ian and I got some new steps for him to get on the bed to replace the inverted clothes basket we kept there. I'm guessing the steps weren't high enough and too awkward for him to jump on guessing from his apprehension in using them the last few days.

Laundry basket is back in place. Hopefully that cures that issue. I was fuming this morning, but I knew there was nothing I could do to punish him that late after it happened.

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Last repairs for 325xi

I've had my 325xi since 2003. It's got 9 years on it, 120,000 miles and just found out it needs about $3000 worth of work. I took it in this morning for a recall on the taillights and they found much more. Now, granted, they inflate that stuff, but the items they rattled off are all items that are due for a car of this age:
  • Control arm bushings worn out
  • Left ball joint failing (not sure if inner or outer)
  • Inner and outer CV boots torn on left side
  • Oil housing is cracked causing oil leak

I've not had any major repairs in a long time, so it was due. On top of that, I was in the market for getting a new BMW 2013 X3. This is going to eat in to the resale value. Not happy. Not much I can do though. I've called my independent mechanic that I trust and will let them have a crack at it.

In the meantime I'm watching another heavy snow shower move through. Just on and off heavy snow showers today, but it's 35°F so nothing sticking. Pretty to look at though.

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Annoying bus ride

The bus ride home is normally uneventful. Today? Not so much.

Got on the bus around 1800 leaving work in Bellevue and I walk to the back of the bus. In the back there is this woman stretched out across a bench that can seat three passengers. The ST 500 is a busy bus and usually there are more people than seats. You can tell there are passengers who want to sit down, they sort of give her some looks, but decide not to intervene. I mean, if something is being that rude, why do you want to sit next to them?

She then starts blabbing away to people in the back of the bus. You know, typical small talk. First question: has anyone here been in prison? Yeah, it went downhill from there. She ranted on and on about her time in prison, that there is a tunnel underneath Lake Washington, the sound is not polluted..., it went on like this for the entire trip. I almost got up and walked to the front of the bus, but I decided not to give her the satisfaction.

You see, she was playing in game. Match of wits and story telling to get attention. It's like she created a potential confrontation to gain attention for herself. Another person standing next to her finally asked if he could sit down and her response was so melodramatic (I just can't find another word for it) and offering praise for the guy willing to ask to have a seat. Just odd.

I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep all the way to the transit tunnel.

You can thank wwcitizen for the nudge to get me posting again, and that's all I'm sayin' for now. :)

Back on the diet wagon

Weight finally creeped back up to 180. Remember when I got down to 160? Yeah, totally destroyed that over the past 8 months. I strapped on my calorie burn monitor Sunday morning from BodyMedia (several people from here have been asking lately) and now tracking what I'm eating and how much I'm burning. After just a day or two of looking at the calories I'm eating during the day (and what I've been eating in the past), it's no wonder how I put all that weight back on.

So much to catch up on here on LJ..., baby steps.

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New Years Eve Space Needle fireworks

I took a quick video with my pocket Canon of the fireworks from the Space Needle with . It was more impressive than I thought it would be. Quite chilly with temps in the 20's, but I was bundled up. This was taken in HD mode so crank up the resolution when it starts, but the low light brings down the quality bit due to noise.

Seattle winter wonderland pictures

Got geared up to brave the snow, wind and cold temperatures (pretty much my snowboard outfit minus the helmet and boots). Tricky thing getting good pictures when the weather is so bad. Most came out better than planned. I don't like how sodium vapor lights cast orange color, but I left the color balance alone. It's still hard to catch falling snow at night though. If the weather wasn't so bad and I had some shelter I would have tried some long exposure pictures.

DSC_0072 30

Seattle winter wonderland

It has been quite a day, but it's been one of the best because of one simple thing--snow!

Day started off with just a Winter Weather Advisory. It was snowing this morning, but only wet streets. I just had my cube moved and reorganized (along with the entire floor) and wanted to sort things out. Bus was fine, but there were definitely more people boarding than usual. Trip took a little longer since the entire bus fleet was fitted with chains limiting their speed--smart move.

Snow was on and off again and finally decided to head home around 3:00pm. Bus was packed. At the next stop, we had to leave about a dozen people behind and I'm sure they were not pleased. Traffic was pretty bad, but moving. Those chains on the bus? They came in handy on the ramp at one of the exits. It was about this time all of the light slushy roads turned to ice very quickly. By the time I got off the boss in downtown Seattle tunnel, the place was a mess. Most intersections were packed with cars stopped. Wheels were spinning all over the place. Many hills became sledding hills..., for cars! Even walking across the street was a little tricky.

Many of the major hills were blocked off, but several people really misjudged the capabilities of their cars and skills on even minor hills. They ended up getting stuck going up a hill and snarling traffic as they figured out how to back themselves out of that mess. Capitol Hill was pretty much at a standstill. So glad I'm walking to my apartment and I have all my necessities around me. Definitely a good day to be living in the city.

I-5 and the viaduct became parking lots within hours. There were so many little accidents that at times all lanes were blocked. Some people who were stuck for 2-3 hours eventually abandoned their cars. This one is going down in the books.

The snow is still coming down pretty heavy with a strong wind from the north. Lots of blowing snow with an occasional, but brief, whiteout. My apartment is right on the street level with the street lights, so it's really easy to see how hard it's snowing. I took several pictures (camera still acclimating to indoor temp/humidity (thanks for that tip, ljtourist!)) along Broadway E. Just wanted to capture the falling snow. I'll get more pictures I'm sure tomorrow morning.

While I was out taking pictures, a stranger approached me and asked me to delete the pictures of him. I was stunned and explained they were just scenic pictures and there was nothing to identify. He asked me to show him and to make him happy I did. You could not make out if the people in the picture were even humans! He stil wanted them deleted. I refused. As he walked away he said I had no business taking pictures of people in public. Hello? What part of "public" in that sentence do you not understand? If I had a photographic memory should I have my mind erased? Sheesh! Big city means more strange people.

Temperature is still running at 24°F/-4°C, heavy snow and lots of wind. Not sure how much longer this will keep up. Definitely going to be a work from home day tomorrow.

Seattle update

It's been ages since posting, but I find it hard to get back on the computer in evening after a full day of work. I guess that does not explain why not getting online on the weekends, but it's the best excuse I can come up with right now. I know I'm missing out on other updates from my friends around the world and I'm going to work more on reading them over the coming days.

While the iPad is nice for the bus ride from Seattle, loading up LJ on the iPad in the morning is rather frustrating. My guess is the AT&T network is just saturated. About 10 minutes of my commute on the bus is in the tunnels and there is not AT&T signal there (no Verizon either come to think of it). The I-90 tunnels offer Verizon service, but no AT&T that I can tell. So, it's a bit frustrating trying to load up LJ. I'll tinker with some other settings to reduce the photos and stuff and see if that helps (but I hate not seeing them too). Wish there was a way I could just download chunk of LJ and read it offline in the morning on the iPad.

Apartment is shaping up and I need to get some pictures out. No doubt, I have been lazy and that needs to change. I got so tired of unpacking and sorting that I just gave up for awhile and forgot about it. I need to move forward again, but I also need furniture (desk and bookshelves) to sort things out.

I still have a great deal of stuff in storage that has to go, but much of is damaged and I need to file a claim, so I'm sort of stuck with it. Really pisses me off that United did such a crappy job in taking care of my furniture and now I'm also stuck with photographing, documenting, having to find old purchases to prove value..., it's exhausting.

In other news the apartment above me is still a problem. There is still pouding going on upstairs as the kiddies stomp their way back and forth on their floor. It's so bad at times that even the lights in my ceiling rattle. I've called security several times, but they never answer the door. Apartment management has read them the riot act, but the message never seems to sink in. So, it's time to stand in the managers doorway and ask him what's next because this is tiring and aggravating. I've logged numerous complaints and I'm not feeling much love right now.

There is a lot more to update folks on, but this is a start. I'm amazed how I just want to give a quick update here only to find out I've typed several paragraphs! Off to bed with me..., g'night.

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