I kept a list of funny or interesting things I saw or overheard on the back page of my notebook while I bused and trolleyed around the county this week.

  • First of all, I think I chose perhaps the windiest day in memory to conduct my little adventure. At one point yesterday, I was standing at the top of a hill in Rancho Bernardo, as the wind whipped my hair in my face and made me wish for another jacket, like that guy I met Monday at the trolley station.
  • One thing I noticed right off the bat was that I could see residential construction no matter where I was. Condos and condo conversions and single-family detached homes were going up everywhere. Perhaps smart-growth advocates would be heartened to know I could see the new homes from the trolley and the bus.
  • I heard people speaking English, Italian, Indian and Spanish.
  • The trolley ride when I met that lost guy proved one of the most interesting rides of the whole adventure. Another woman on that car was playing with her cell phone, clicking through and listening, loudly, to all of the dozens of ringtones she’d downloaded. Whenever she found one with a good beat, she held it up to her ear like an old-school ghetto blaster and started to dance. This went on for about 25 minutes.
  • One woman was reading a book called “Miles from Nowhere.”
  • Later, I was on the trolley with Michelle Wise on our way downtown when a piercing popping sound startled everyone on our car. It sounded like a much louder version of the potato gun my childhood neighbor used to shoot me in the leg with once when I was riding my bike. Childhood association aside, it was a scary sound, one loud enough that the driver stopped the train and came out of his little compartment at the front of the car to see if everyone was OK. It turned out to be just a guy’s front bicycle tire popping. I don’t know how he got where he was going with the blown tire.
  • We then rode the bus with a guy later that afternoon who was reading aloud — and I mean loud — from his copy of the Union-Tribune. Later I went on the newspaper’s site to find the article he’d been reading from, just to give you a taste of what we were all subjected to. He started here:

Bay Fishing: Capt. John Grim of the Salty Doc reported good fishing in San Diego Bay for fly-fishing clients last week. Larry and Paul Wayne, James Vickers and Dino Richardson, caught and released a mix of 55 spotted bay bass and sand bass along with 4 yellowfin croaker, 2 bonefish and 1 bonito. Grim said all were first-time fly fishers.

And then he moved on to the comics — it’s an unusual experience to hear, not read, Dagwood and Family Circle and Fred Bassett.


Wednesday, March 28 — 2:42 p.m.

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