adrian_turtle: (Default)
I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon. I'm very pleased about this. It's in Newton, and I could get there by T in less than 90 minutes, with only a few blocks of walking. In the past, I've driven to job interviews. I thought it was like wearing a suit--even though it's uncomfortable, and might not be necessary for the daily performance of the job itself, it was worth doing once to show one was approaching the interview with proper seriousness. But perhaps I read too much into it.

Since the acute unpleasantness of Tuesday's steroid injection, my shoulder has been about 30% less painful. I'm not sure if this means I can use it for driving and similar exertions, or if I have a choice between reduced pain and increased exertion. The doctor advised me to wait a week before starting physical therapy. It would probably be sensible not to drive. But I feel more capable of it than I did last week, so I dither about it. There is never a shortage of things to dither about before a job interview. (Should I alert my references before the interview, or wait until I get a positive response? Should I wear the shirt with the cufflinks?)
adrian_turtle: (Default)
There have been a bunch of news reports lately about security flaws in the MBTA's paper CharlieTickets. I've seen commentary to the effect that "everybody knows" the paper tickets are not secure. (I had no idea, but I've never pretended to be part of everybody.) When I bought my commuter rail pass for August, I resented having to carry the fragile and inconvenient paper ticket, after getting accustomed to the electronic CharlieCard I could tap without taking it out of my wallet. But conductors on the commuter rail don't have card readers, so rail passes always need to be issued as printed paper tickets.

A monthly pass for the commuter rail is supposed to be good for "unlimited travel on Local Bus, Subway, Express Bus, Inner Harbor Ferries, and Commuter Boat." When I bought the August commuter rail pass, I expected I would mostly use it for the train to Lowell. Yet on the days when I have to run around and deal with medical nonsense, I'm mostly running around taking buses and subways. Late Saturday afternoon, my CharlieCard stopped working with the readers in bus and subways. It had worked early Saturday afternoon.

This paper ticket stopped working after it had been through a reader 25-30 times, and been rained on 4 times. I paid $223 for it, and it is supposed to be valid through August 31. My CharlieCard has tapped a reader thousands of times, and been rained on hundreds of times. (It's not unusual for a round trip to involve 6 or 8 interactions with cardreaders.) Bus drivers look at the ticket, make me put it through the reader again, and then conclude there is something wrong with the reader and let me on the bus. In subway stations, I have to find somebody who works for the MBTA, which is always a challenge. Some of them let me in. Some argue that my pass is not good for the subway, because it does not have "subway" printed on it. One said I had to go to the Government Center station to get a new pass (why Government Center?) because he could not help me. So far, nobody has accused me of attempting any kind of fraud. But I am more and more inclined to take buses, where I can.
adrian_turtle: (Default)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a towel is a massively useful thing for a hitchhiker to carry. However, one medium-sized towel cannot be all things to all mammals. Your traveling companion this evening was not a particularly hoopy frood, but rather a young kitten. Kittens cannot read, no matter how large and friendly the letters might be. Thus, the panic that might better have been contained by an actual cat carrier.


Jul. 30th, 2008 12:17 am
adrian_turtle: (Dracomir)
I was hurrying through the T station in Government Center, in hope of connecting to the Red Line and getting to Central Square in time for a 6pm appointment. A family was having some trouble with the stairs. The mother was taking the baby down the steps in an umbrella stroller, halfway between carrying it and bumping it down one step at a time. The toddler (walking well, but short, she had to reach waa-aay up to touch the railing) was trying to walk down the stairs facing forwards. That stairway is divided, with a little fence thingee supporting the central railing. The mother and stroller were on one side, and the toddler was on the other. A muscular teenager offered to help the mother, but he was also on the wrong side of the stairway. I saw them start to recognize the problem, but didn't see how they resolved it.

As I got to the foot of the stairs, at the beginning of that long corridor, I heard the rumble of the train in the distance, and saw a child of 4 or 5 running towards the woman with the stroller. "Mama! Mama! The train's coming!" The mother was struggling with stroller and railing and toddler, and she snapped something I didn't understand. The child was in tears, running partway up the steps, then back down to look at the tracks. "The TRAIN! You have to hurry, Mama!"

I stopped and took a breath. I looked the child in the eye and said, "Don't worry. There will be another train in a few minutes." He or she stopped crying, and went back towards the steps. I took 3 steps fairly calmly, then ran for the train and caught it just before it left.


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