In a Meeting

I am in a meeting.

I am only needed for 1% of this meeting.

In Japanese, this is a haiku.

Busking at Madison Farmer's Market Today

This morning, I cruised to Madison WI and I busked a few songs for the Farmer's Market patrons. I played "The Idiots Are Taking Over" by NOFX, next to a guy who was promoting Russ Feingold for Governor. See picture. I might try to post this on Russ Feingold's FB page.

Then I walked around the Capitol Square and picked up a few items - squeaky cheese curds, frozen ground bison and emu, some chemical free (although not organic) vine ripened tomatoes, and also a cherry tomato seedling for my garden, which I am going to plant here soon.

I met my friends Stephen and Lindsay, with their son Ash. I don't know if he is named after the character from Evil Dead II, but I hope so.

A guy at the farmer's market had a pimped out Radio Flyer wagon, that was awesome with its fat tires. There are a lot of red wagons at the farmer's market.

That is good thinking, if you are going to buy a lot of stuff.

Sponsor: The Business Card Printers

End of the Line

I am back at my car. The bus ride took a wopping 70 minutes, or an hour and 10 minutes. I read. I blogged. I ogled the Metro Bus GPS app on my Android, which I can now say I highly endorse.

I saved my car 30 miles of driving, which equates to about $15 of savings, according to the IRS mileage conversion factor of $0.50 cents per mile. It's an actuarial estimate based on average fuel and maintenance costs for cars driven by Americans. You might think because I drive a Prius, it is a bit less than that. But actually, maintenance costs for hybrid vehicles tend to be higher than gas only cars, as evidenced by the $1K repair bill I had last winter.

A More Energized Ride Home

There are a couple of guys talking really loud with the bus driver at the front of the bus. One of them is violating his own HIPAA protections by broadcasting his hypercholesterolemia to everyone, along with the doctor mandated dietary reforms he must undergo. If I was a more obsequious person, I might loudly recommend that he eat more raw nuts, known to naturally reduce cholesterol. But I'm not.

He is also talking about fatty food and how much he loves it. I am not sure if he has connected the dots yet, but I expect that to happen soon.

On the Bus


The GPS thing worked great, with a minor caveat that it briefly frightened me by saying there were no more busses coming past my work bus stop. But the glitch in the system cleared up and all was well.

The map showed me that the bus was near and I looked up and there it was. I am on it. Technology rules and I do not know what I will do without it when the zombie apocalypse comes.

Bus Trip Home

OK, so I am prepped and ready for my bus trip home. I am at the bus stop right outside of work that will take me all the way across town, west to east, to where my car is (hopefully still) parked.

I got to the stop a good few minutes early to guarantee no F ups, although there is supposed to be another bus yet still, if I would happen to miss this one.

Bus is Expeditious

The bus is fairly expedient and it is meeting my expectations for this expedition. So I thought "expeditious" was a good word to describe it.

The bus moves along at a good clip and neither the bus driver nor the passengers dick around.

The trip has exceeded my expectations in terms of parking options at my starting bus stop and the number of people on the bus. It was standing room only for just a couple of stops near downtown and even then it was only 1 or 2 people standing.

I have had my seat since we started. I feel like royalty.

I have to go use the Metro Bus app now because my stop will be soon and I want to see how good it does at alerting me. More in a bit.


Bus vs. Car

The Madison Metro bus costs $2.00 each way, for a total of $4 round trip.

With gas at (recently) $4 per gallon, this makes for an easy comparison. My commute by car (a Toyota Prius) is 66 miles, round trip. I have been averaging about 50 mpg with the Prius lately, but for math's sake let's say I am getting 44 mpg. That means I can get 2/3 of the way to work and back for $4 in my car vs. all the way there on the bus, not factoring in my freedom to read, blog, etc., on the bus.

But there is a confound. To catch the bus at it's closest point to my home in Cambridge WI, I have to drive 18 miles round trip and for math's sake, let's just round that to 22 miles or half a gallon of gas or $2.

Thus my bus ride is closer to $6 round trip. And based on the mpg above, $6 gets me all the way to work by car as well. So at first analysis, it seems like a wash.

But that's where the subjective quality of life benefits come in. I can't blog or read in the car without serious risk to life and limb. So in a way, I am getting back about 90 minutes of my day previously lost to driving.

Although I will be on a bus for over 2.5 hours today, my freedom quotient is significantly higher. I have choices. Americans are more free when they have choices, although many still think fighting rush hour traffic is freedom.

The environment thanks me too.

I apologize if this post took more than 2 minutes to read because of the math involved. I know many of my right wing friends struggle with math.



The bus is noisy, but it is pretty cool letting someone else do the driving. It has an automated intercom that announces the stops, although I can barely hear it over the noise.

I was just looking at the Madison Metro Bus app on the Android and the GPS actually tracks the location of the busses for each route on the map, in real time (delayed by a couple probably updates at periodic intervals).

When it said my 15 bus (my route) was about to pass another 15 coming the other way, I looked up and there it was. This is kickass.

On the Bus

Well, the bus arrived more or less on schedule, perhaps 2 minutes late. It was relatively empty, most likely because I got on at the east end of the line.

It has picked up a few people since I started writing this. I expect it will get rather full as it approaches downtown Madison. But I have a primo seat, so it should be a comfy ride.

Taking the Madison Metro Bus Today

I am standing at a bus stop for the first time in a long time. It's kind of an adventure I am doing today out of boredom, mostly. I discovered, via a newspaper article, that the Madison WI Metro Bus service has a bus schedule app for Android.

I like public transport, both the concept and the activity itself. So I downloaded the app just to see what it is all about. It basically uses the Android's GPS to show you all the bus routes.

I live on the east side of Madison, actually a town east of the east side of Madison. Using the app, I was able to find a Metro bus route that goes east to west, all the way across town, and it drops off right outside my workplace.

So I did a little research and here I stand, about to test this bus system. More to come.

Phoebe Cates Movies

I remember Phoebe Cates movies in the 80s. I suppose I am something of a "child of the 80s." Not that that is any kind of claim to fame.


I remember New Wave music. And Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It is hard to believe Sean Penn was ever that young or cool.

Phoebe Cates was a total babe in "Fast Times." Many an adolescent boy desired her.

Where is Phoebe Cates now?

It turns out she left the film industry voluntarily, not from going insane or anything, but to start her own business.

I guess if you want to catch a glimpse of her today, you can visit her NYC boutique, Blue Tree. I am sure she probably hangs out there from time to time. I will definitely make it a stop on my trip if I ever go to New York.

Medicare Will Crush Republicans in 2012

It is really good to know that "Medicare will be the defining issue in 2012." Republicans have really only two choices. They can chicken out and back away from their desire to steal Medicare from the people who are entitled to it. Or they can lose elections. Either way, it's a good thing for Americans. The nerve of these people.

Republican Marketing 101

The scraping of the bottom of the republican presidential candidate barrel going on right now is diabolical marketing genius on the part of the Republican Party and their media propaganda arm, Fox News.

This is my working theory, and the only thing I could come up with to give the republicans the benefit of the doubt they are not a party of degenerate, bigoted, morally bankrupt freaks.

They are not planning to nominate any of the losers we have seen so far. But they are encouraging them to jump in because the candidate they do plan to run is mediocre at best. When this chosen one declares, he or she will, by comparison to the rest, seem like a messiah.

It's simple marketing and persuasion. When you offer someone a bad deal and then modify it to make the terms better, people often agree to it, even though in an absolute sense the new deal is pretty weak as well. Just better than the alternative.

Republicans are skilled at building themselves up by tearing down others, because they have nothing to offer and can't govern.

It's a strategy that seems to work with the fearful, largely xenophobic American masses.

Rapture "For Real" Next Time

That Rapture predicting preacher says not to worry. Although he was wrong last Saturday, he will be right in October.

It kind of makes you wonder if the Bible is open to interpretation?

Maybe the Earth isn't 6000 years old. Maybe is is 7680 years old. Maybe a few billion years old.

We just don't know. All we know is that Harold Camping will be right "next time."

And then the zombie apocalypse will start in earnest.


Do You Have Goals?

Do you have goals?

What are they?

Do you have a vision for your life?

What is it?

Do you ever feel like you ought to have a vision for your life?

How do you set goals if you don't have a vision to tell you where you are going?

If you don't have a vision for yourself, doesn't it make you feel like your goals are kind of random?

Can goals have meaning without vision?

Do even short term goals require short term vision?

For example, is the short term goal to win high score at a video game based on the vision to become better at the video game?

Or is it just to alleviate boredom?

And is that a vision?

Zombies, Rapture, and Geological Time

Maybe the Rapture is happening, only way more slowly than the Bible prophecies.

I mean, the Bible has some real fundamental time biases.

Take Genesis. God supposedly created the Earth in seven (7) days.

But we know from science that it took millions of years.

So extrapolate that out. If the Rapture is supposed to take a couple of minutes, then multiply by say, 10 million.

10 million minutes is, I think, about 650 days, or a little under two years. So if I am right we can expect all manner of disasters over the next two years or so, and everybody dies, except for a handful of fugitives trying to make it to Area 51 (long story).

On the other hand, some people in the Bible are said to have lived 700 to 900 years. Personally, I think they just missed a decimal point. But if you extrapolate this to a normal human life, of say 70 to 90 years, then that is a power of magnitude less time.

So that blows my whole time dilation theory out of the water.

Keywords: zombie apocalypse, the rapture, biblical time.

Work Day

I just got done with work. It was a productive day, but I still had too much to do.

It is going to bleed over into tomorrow.

Luckily, I love what I do. I write for a medical device company.

It's a win-win. I love to write and my writing, albeit dry technical engineering type stuff, saves lives.

This 2 Minute Reader stuff is just my creative outlet, since you can't be too creative writing documentation about the inner workings of 3-D cancer radiation treatment machines.

I did take a break to make a doctor's appointment.

A decent Monday. Time to go work out.

Hey. Read This.

I know you like to read.

But you don't have time.

Well, what if it only took you two minutes or less to read something?

I started the 2 Minute Reader so you could do just that.

Everything on here takes under 2 minutes to read.

Optimally it will take me less than 2 minutes to write.

So why don't you subscribe to this blog?

It's free and you know it will never take more than 2 minutes of your time to check out what's on there.

I write to serve you fast paced, multitasking types.