[435/441] Rhombus

I will apologize ahead of time, but even though “rhombus” is a term in geometry, I am going to put it, in some sense, as an Overly Long Gag.  You probably know where this is going, but please. Play along!

In Saturday’s blog post, there was a lot of positivity toward buses and Interstate highways. Interestingly, this weekend has had some of the annoyances of it toward me, and it also brings up a bit of a story from my Dad. I’ll preface it with the moral of Dad’s story with buses.

Dad has distrusted buses ever since his college years. He was going to a party on a bus, and said bus broke down. I don’t recall whether he walked there or ended up missing the party, but that experience set a Garcia effect on him. Then again, on the other hand he has admitted many times, “I don’t travel well.”  That experience may have been the Trope Namer for him.

Buses have rarely caused problems for me, but sometimes first impressions can be very strong. Therefore, I have a few examples of first impressions that were sweet, or as I’ll punnily call them: Omnibus-Positive situations. These are not necessarily in order:

  • One of my first times on a chartered bus was on Good Life Coaches, when my fifth-grade class went to the Groundwater Festival in Grand Island. I enjoyed the bus ride, and got an opportunity for one-on-one conversation with one of my classmates–finding it so much easier than being in a large group.
  • Earlier in that academic year, the AAFP convention’s kids program used chartered buses to transport us to museums around Chicago. The sight lines were really cool, and we got to watch movies on the bus–Space Jam was one of them. (For reference: this was in September 1997.)
  • In 2001-02, I took the “Short Bus” from Pound to Southeast for my Algebra II class. It was super convenient, and the driver and attendant were talkative and fun.
  • My first Fastbreakers bus trip was to Kansas State during my freshman year at UNL. I enjoyed it a lot, and now that I think about it, would have a good #TBT post for the last Thursday of Mission 441. Hooray!

Of course, for every good, there may be a bad, and for every to, there is a fro.  Here are a few cases of “Rhombus” situations:

  • In 2008, I had gotten a Dahon foldable bike. Part of my intention for having one was to carry it on the bus in Lincoln, which didn’t have bus racks at the time. My first attempt at carrying the folded bike onto the bus was on July 21 of that year, and it worked!
    • But then the following week, I tried to carry my folded bike on the bus, and my entry was denied. I sent off an angry e-mail to StarTran about it, and it lowered my impression of them.  They didn’t get bike racks until a few years after I had left Lincoln.
  • On my first commute to League in Chicago in 2009, I used Google Maps, which suggested taking Route 62 from Roosevelt all the way to League. I did this, and the full commute ended up being more than 2.5 hours, due to a reroute and several delays. This was not a good first impression, until the return trip when I realized that I could just use the Orange Line instead of the bus on the way back.  Glad I didn’t fall for the fundamental attribution error here.
  • And the story which motivated this post: On Friday, a bus from Chicago Classic Coach (yes, I’m violating my own rule about avoiding negative comments toward specifics) was in the Ryan Field parking lot, ready to take us to Hoffman Estates for the Northwestern women’s basketball game. This trip went without a hitch…
    • But on Saturday, when I arrived at 15:40 (departure slated for 16:00), there was no bus! One of the marketing representatives was on a phone call with the bus company, and the bus would only show up from downtown Chicago. Evidently, the lines of communication had been FUBAR. Therefore, it wasn’t a “Rhombus” situation, but a “Rhombbus” (wronged by bus) situation! I still got to the game by carpooling with a few other fans, but if I hadn’t, this probably would have turned me into Dad.

Still, the Rhombus situations you have to eventually forgive when it prevents your transportation to a “non-essential” event. In the long run, missing a party or a sporting event is not the end of the world.  And grudges are the worst things to hold.


Today is the four-hundred and thirty-fifth day of Mission 441. Six days remain.


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