Monday, November 26, 2012

On the buses

I wrote something yesterday about being forced out of the car and on to the buses ...

To be honest, I didn't like yesterday's post. Too much whinging.

And to be honest again, this isn't the first time I've been forced out of the car for an extended period. There was a period a couple of years ago where broken bits on my last car led to 3 weeks on the bus. Oh - if you're in the market for another car, don't go to Carcraft. As well as insanely high interest rates, I got suckered into buying one of those warranties that doesn't actually cover anything. That 3 weeks was due to Carcraft incompetence at fixing the poorly car.

So - bus this morning saw me getting out of the house a little earlier (10 minutes or so) than usual, although I'd like to be a little earlier than that still. After a little wait for the bus, I was in work at about usual time (my pattern is 9 to 5, although I can vary that as need be). So I didn't actually lose much time.

I object to the cost though, £4 for an all day ticket, which works out to just over 50p a mile (3.6miles door to office by the bus route). That's only slightly less than my current car costs to run all in and that car is almost new. It's a ridiculous amount of money and that's before you think of the lack of freedom and convenience that comes with being tied to the bus.

The affordability question goes further with public transport in general. Not only does that bus trip cost 4x per mile than my (admittedly economical) car does on petrol alone, other public transport is also excessive on cost. The last time I took the train for a London work trip, it cost the organisation £200. We have to get clearance from team leaders for that level of travel expense. In my car, it costs the organisation £60 on 25p a mile. Incidentally, we've been on 25p a mile for the past 15 years with no consideration for exponentially rising petrol/diesel cost but that's another point entirely.

So yeah - my main objection to public transport is the excessive cost.

The convenience for me isn't too bad. I live very close to one of the bus routes which has 3 buses I can use. And they come reasonably often.

I thought on the way back that a Kindle or similar device could be handy, although the trip isn't actually that long. That thought came from seeing someone else use a Kindle for the entire 5 minutes he was on the bus. (There was worse, another couple were on the bus for precisely 2 stops - why not walk ?)

Home time trip was good - After clocking out from work at just about 5.05, I was home just before 6pm. And that's with a Sainsburys and chippie run on the way back.

Just in time to have the "will I, won't I ?" temptation again for the Total War games !

Steam Sale at the moment. Which means lots of games with lots of insane discounts.

I've been reasonably reserved so far. I've not bought as many games as I could have done. The latest games are :

Endless Space - space grand strategy. Early look = promising but big learning curve
Star Wars KOTOR 2 - loved KOTOR 1, avoided KOTOR 2 due to bugs. But those have been sorted out by fans.
Transformers War For Cybertron - curious about this one, courtesy of Totalbiscuit videos. I was also a Transformers nut before the Michael Bay abominations came out.
Trine - which I'm a little annoyed about because it advertised a soundtrack with it. It does have the soundtrack ... but it's awkward to get to.
F1 2012 arrived before the sale. I had a look last night and ... my joystick isn't really suited to it. The stiffness around the centre point is a bit too high and the flightstick configuration doesn't have the precision of a wheel.

I have been fairly restrained :-) Other games on the list were : Borderlands 2, Total War series (I'm wary due to the developer not really finishing any of their games), Torchlight 2 and a couple of others.

But - I'm not playing games nearly as much as I used to, so getting them on speculation or because they have a reputation for being an awesome game is a bit of a waste.

Closing time ! Spotted this story on BBC : "Seeing someone scratch an itch makes you itchy too". That puts me in trouble if I see anyone scratching !

PS The bus will have hidden benefits. I benefit from natural fitness which sees me get away with not much preparation for cricket. But the walking to and from the bus will have great benefit in getting my legs conditioned again.

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