September 12th, 2012

NCC-1701 Regula

Not As Far

I can be slow. Sometimes slow-ish. Both slow to pick up on stuff and, more to the point this time, slow in the "can have trouble getting myself moving" sense.

So. Slow. Which meant that this morning, a morning to myself (I decided not to take a shift today at the current temp job, because reasons), I had a grand plan. I got maybe 40% of that plan done. I could've made it to 100% had I left my apartment half an hour earlier.

The plan (OK, not that huge actually) was to see parts of the westside Portland area I don't usually get to, this time via TriMet. The transit system upped its fares last week and ended the zone system it used to use, and if I'm going to pay more for riding the buses and trains I'm going to try to ride a) more and b) farther. My pass, which is now the equivalent of an all-zone pass, allows me (this month, at least) to go to the ends of any route (like Forest Grove to the west, Troutdale to the east) and on each train system, including the Westside Express Service or the WES. The WES is a commuter line, so it runs mornings and afternoons/evenings. Okay, so I can take its trains as late as a certain time in the morning from Beaverton so I'd need to get to that station in Beaverton by that time - at least a minute, and I could've done that just fine had I left here by 7:00. I got out at about 7:30. Still doable if nothing else happens.

And then it was like cars fell from the sky between me and my first milestone on that trip, delaying the buses that could have gotten me to the MAX light rail in time to get to the right WES train. Leaving one minute earlier than I did should've been enough to avoid that jam (I just missed one bus that should've been ahead of that traffic crunch). But here came another, eventually, inching (well, footing (yarding?)) along Milwaukie Ave., so I started moving closer. Got to Pioneer Courthouse Square, got onto the westbound MAX, got off at Beaverton Transit Center.

Part of the plan was still doable, which was "at least ride the WES for the first time." But my plan had been to go all the way down to Wilsonville, the farthest south you can go on Trimet, and maybe wander around for half an hour near there before heading north again. Yes, sometimes I plan just to wander. Either of the trains I could've taken would've gotten me to Wilsonville, but would not take me back north until about six hours later. I'm not going to kill THAT much time at Fry's Electronics.

So. "Adopt, adapt, and improve: Motto of the Round Table," to quote Monty Python, and I moved to another part of my plan, which was to get off the WES at the SW Hall/Nimbus stop near Washington Square Mall in Beaverton. At this I was utterly successful. (Easily achieved goals for the win! Woo hoo!) That's just one stop south, so no big whoop, but I had no burning interest to get off at Tigard or Tualatin, my other options that also would've provided me TriMet-based ways to get home, instead of either the long wait or the long walk that Wilsonville would've required. (And at least none of this requires me being in The Long Walk. Good novel, but still.) Beaverton is not the walker-friendliest town, but I knew that going in. It's also not all that driver-friendly either, I think, but I digress; that's its own rant. So I rode for one stop, got out, walked one way, found that the way I'd gone took me to Scholls Ferry Road right before it goes over Hwy. 217, and where Scholls Ferry Road doesn't have a sidewalk. I wasn't braving that, so I retraced several blocks of steps to the next bridge north, which did have a sidewalk. Some wandering around Target and the mall -- sometimes I go into malls mainly to remind myself why I usually don't go into malls -- with a book in my hand, as often happens, plus some general walking outside in the sun. Vitamin D, people, it helps. Get it while you can, especially before it gets rainy. And after a bit of that, to a bus stop where I had at least two bus options for getting back to the center of Portland and home. There. Some success. (Riding BOTH buses like Antonio Banderas standing astride two horses in The Mask of Zorro was not the goal, because there'd be no way to do that, wouldn't it?)

This has been several paragraphs of "Chris? You get stuff done. Getting started earlier lets you get MORE STUFF DONE."
Blow My Mind

In which the Mallrats line "This is not the food court" becomes damn near existential

Observed while in the wild environs of Beaverton, specifically Washington Square Mall:

1) Sadly, what I think was the sole remaining non-airport location of Good Dog/Bad Dog, a place for sausages I liked to go to years ago when they had a downtown Portland location, is no longer there. And if I remember correctly, the one in the airport is near the gates and thus on the other side of security. NOTE TO SELF: find a reason/the means to fly somewhere!

2) On the plus side, the Washington Square food court does now have a Sonic, but one you don't drive up to seems somehow slightly wrong. (I am not going to try to drive up THERE. No Blues Brothers shenanigans for me!)

3) The sign next to the escalator up to said food court doesn't call it a food court. It's called "Summit Food Collection."




JUST CALL IT A FOOD COURT. YOU'RE A MALL, YOU'RE NOT AN WEATHER-EVADING INTERIOR SHOP-A-PALOOZA EMPORIUM. Seriously, malls trying to be fancy are almost always going to be somehow embarrassing.