Vital Statistics

It has been wicked cold her since I got back from San Francisco. Last night, as I attempted to hurry home in order to make last-second dinner plans, I discovered that I had not dressed warm enough for the biting cold wind. The cold weather had caused some of the tracks on the Max line to freeze over which resulted in delays and cancellation of the entire Red Line for the night. That cut the number of trains that I could catch in half. I discovered this after watching two Yellow Line trains go by as I waited in the whipping wind at Pioneer Courthouse Square. A TriMet guy was walking around telling people the scoop and informed me that the Blue Line was delayed because it was “hung up” for some reason.

Crowded Japanese SubwayWhen the next Yellow Line train (which follows the same route as the Red and Blue lines for a time) arrived again, I hopped on to warm up. I stayed on as long as I could before hopping off at the last stop before the Yellow line veers north from the route the Blue and Red Lines follow. I stood there shivering in the cold wind for another 20 minutes or so before a Blue Line train rolled up. My hope started to fade when I saw that the train was completely packed (although not as much as the picture on the right). There was another train waiting at the stop behind it, but the headlights on the Max trains are so bright you can’t tell the color of the placard on the front until it’s almost upon you. Not wishing to spend another second in the freezing cold, I apologized and pushed my way onto the train.

Two stops later it was still just as crowded when the driver announced that the train would be stopped for a bit to deal with a medical emergency. Since I was standing in the doorway, I got off to see what was going on. I found a girl in the back car had fainted and suspected it was because she was pregnant. Nevertheless, medical personnel were called and we had to wait until they arrived. I noticed that the train behind us was still behind us, which meant that it was another Blue Line train (i.e. it had not veered North). I asked the driver if I had enough time to run to the other train and she replied that I did.

So I raced down the block to find a Blue Line train that was not even half full. I sat in my favorite spot when I am without bike (middle of the car), and settled in to read my book. By now I knew I was horribly late to meet Tina at Gateway Transit Center but also completely unable to do anything about it. A few stops later, the driver came on to tell us there would be another delay. Evidently, a fight had broken out on the crowded train in front of us and they were waiting for the police to arrive. Everybody on my new train had a good laugh over that. The delay wasn’t long, though, and we made it to Gateway soon after that.

Current reading: Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles
McCartney Trivia: Paul’s mother Mary (yes, that Mother Mary) died of breast cancer when he was 14. 42 years later, his wife Linda died of the same thing.
Recent listening: Coverville, Zoe’s Radio Show, DrugMusic
Recent viewing: Olympics: Snowboardcross, Short Track Skating, Curling, Speed Skating
Recent playing: Halo
Imperative To Do: Pinewood Derby: Sand and repaint, rebates