Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Decision Time for The Earbud Avenger

Somewhere in the cold depths of a winter evening, a train bullets through the darkness. Well, maybe it reluctantly chugs through the darkness. The crowded space is filled with the tinny sounds of a playlist from earbuds nearby. Surely this is a case for the Earbud Avenger.

This time it was a tough decision whether to act. The villain actually had ....wait for it... Musical Taste.

Is the role of The Earbud Avenger to stop those who blast loud music from their devices, even if the music itself isn't annoying? Is merely being rude enough to assume others want to hear it worthy of superhero action? Our hero wrestles with this dilemma while her foot taps absently to Al Greene and then "You Shook Me All Night Long". Then, just after the first chorus, the villain fast forwards to the next tune. 30 seconds in, she does it again. The villain is an incessant mid-tune flipper. The decision has been made. She must be stopped.

Chalk up another victory for the Earbud Avenger!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

To sit or to die?

It all started so well. The bus driver didn't have any sleeves for my weekly pass, so he let me on for free. I had a full loyalty card, so my coffee was free. There were more people than usual walking around this morning, and everyone was very cheerful. Complete strangers were smiling and saying hello, forming a happy little community of early risers braving the cold. And then there was the train.

I was 15 minutes early, so I was first on the platform. The trains didn't run at all last week and when it rocked up today, it only had two carriages. Somehow, I got jostled out of the way and because I was in such a good mood from the journey in, I didn't jostle back. So, I was left with the decision of taking a jumpseat in the unheated bit between carriages or standing in the aisle in the relative warmth. I had visions of my blue hand outstretched, frozen for eternity, season pass open for inspection. Now here I stand, swaying with the motion of the train, my backside jammed into a guy who was lucky enough to get a seat (but unlucky to get the one where my ass is), while the conductor inexplicably tries to shimmy past all of us in the aisle every 46 seconds to check tickets.

Next time, I think I'll risk frostbite.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Blizzardy goodness

Earlier in the year, I learned my lesson about trying to commute in the snow: If the buses aren't running, go back to bed. I had several days where I battled to walk 3 miles along roads that hadn't been gritted only to find that the trains were canceled.

So this time, when we were doused with the largest snowfall in our area's recorded history (about 18 inches, much to the amusement of my Canadian friends), I just made arrangements to conduct everything via the web, including lectures.

Train Buddy, on the other hand, took the snow as an epic challenge. I last heard from him two days ago as he was battling his way across the Penines, probably pushing the train himself. Good for you, my friend. Now where did I set that mug of cocoa?