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Green Doc Marten Season

We got real snow last night! Enough to make things interesting as far as commuting is concerned. I'm really grateful to [personal profile] scrottie for getting right to work on shoveling. (though I also suspect he appreciates the obligatory exercise)

When I went away to college, my mom gave me a pair of snow boots, but they were huge and heavy and uncomfortable. I kept them up until I moved to Lincoln, "just in case." But when I got to Lincoln, I realized I really wasn't inclined to wear them at all, so I gave them away. Instead I'm back to the boots I used during most snowy weather in Boston: my apple-green Doc Martens. They're over 20 years old by now and pretty scuffed up, but they're fantastic for snowy weather. My students are going to be amused (again). Now I need to see if they're compatible with YakTracks. I almost had my first FDGB* of the season.

I am a little saddened by comparing this place to what it was like when it snowed in Lincoln. In many cases, the bike paths would actually get cleared before the roadways, because the bike path network was managed by the Parks and Rec department. There isn't an equivalent out here, unfortunately: no one out clearing all the sidewalks and paths through the parks. And neither place is anywhere close to the meccas of winter bicycling. Ah well. I'm just going to keep dreaming of a world where someone goes out and applies some nice sand and gravel for me to texturize things.

Last evening, as I sat at the bus stop waiting for the bus to come, watching the huge line of single-occupant vehicles backed up in the opposite direction, I realized: while taking the bus has been making me grumpy, there are still far worse ways to have to commute. I think that most people who drive to work don't realize what kinds of things they're missing out on - they just get used to doing things one way and then it becomes hard to change. As for me, I just can't even. When bicycling I'm usually on a back road so I hadn't realized how badly the traffic backs up on a regular basis on the highway road that runs past the front of campus. It does make a person wonder: if the buses ran more frequently and were thus more convenient, would more people switch to taking them? Digging out a car and dealing with parking in the snow just sounds so terrible, not to mention the stress and tedium of white-knuckle driving/etc..

As for me, I can at least get some knitting done while I'm on the bus, and at least the walk to and from the bus stop is still a little bit of exercise and fresh air, no matter what. Yesterday I got one row of knitting done on each bus trip. This morning I managed to get almost 1.5 rows done.

Oh, also, bus stories. I mean, this is an extremely tame route as far as bus stories go, but we did have someone get on this morning and pay his fare entirely in pennies (as best I could tell). He apologized to everyone but I was so glad he did it, because I had been worried that the fareboxes wouldn't take pennies and now I know they do.

That also got me thinking: yesterday a panhandler came by at the bus stop on my way to work, asking people for change. Maybe what I could do instead is pick up a couple more Navigator cards, load them up with $20 in bus fare, and hand them to people. Hmm.

*Fall Down Go Boom. (thanks, Peter White!)

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