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Busy day

My day started early and lasted a long time. My friend kengr and I were planning to go to Fry's Electronics anyway (we would've taken gngr too, but she never responded to the email we sent her about it days and days ago), but left earlier than we'd planned today. Seems Brooke (kengr) was up already and checking things, and found it would be better to leave at 12:30 (a mere half hour after I'd awoken) than the 1 we'd been planning on. So we did. For breakfast I had several Combos crackers and a bite of egg muffin sandwich which was still frozen in the middle, before getting on the bus.

Took the Trimet bus line 12 to get to Barbur Transit Center for the first half of the trip. Then we had to wait for the bus that would take us to Fry's. It's a good thing we both had cash and change on us, because I had not been aware that we'd be taking a bus associated with an entirely different bus system, and Brooke didn't know that the SMART (South Metro Area Regional Transit) Bus would charge their own fare. Luckily, SMART honors Trimet's Honored Citizen Card, so while Brooke paid $1.25 to get on, I only had to pay 60 cents.

SMART buses are quite different from Trimet's buses. The first one we were on was laid out very differently. Trimet buses have a front section with sideways-facing seating that can lift up so people in wheelchairs and scooters can ride the bus. Then the middle and back sections face forward; all Trimet buses (normal ones anyway) have hard plastic seats. The line 2X SMART Bus didn't have the sideways-facing seats in front. All that bus's seats faced forward, and were soft and comfy. Also, while it said it was accessable to those with disabilities, I don't see how it could be; the seats don't look like they can be moved at all, there were tall steps to get on anyway, and I didn't see anything resembling a wheelchair lift or anywhere to put a wheelchair.

We waited a while on the bus before leaving. Once we got going, we did something I'd never experienced on a bus before, and went onto what I think was an Interstate. Went on the Interstate to Tualatin, then on to Wilsonville (where Fry's is). Missed the stop for Fry's, since neither of us had been there by bus, and I had never been there at all. We took SMART line 4 back, since it would get us closer to Fry's, and told the bus driver where we needed off at. Finally got there... at 3 PM. We had left, remember, at 12:30. Oh, and the line 4 bus looked a LOT more like a Trimet bus than the 2X had; it had the same basic layout, except in green, despite being made by an entirely different company. (At least, I don't think I've ever seen that bird logo on any Trimet buses. Yes, I forgot the name of the company with the bird logo. Blue Bird, maybe? Gah, damn memory. I recognized it, though, as the company that makes the school buses they used in Iowa.)

Wandered around, found Fry's. Now, if you don't know, Fry's is a HUUUUUGE electronics store. Seriously, I could explore that place for days before I saw it all. Imagine the biggest Wal-Mart Supercenter you can, and make it at least 2 or 3 times bigger, and you're close to the size of Fry's. (If I'm exaggerating, it's only a by a little.) They have anything you would ever expect to find in an electronics store and much, much more. I would have liked to have had more time. As it was, we spent almost 3 hours there and only saw maybe half the store. We only stopped because of hunger and tired feet. And good thing, too. I spent over $100 there.

What I got there was:
* Some of these little extension cord things meant for plugging wall warts (AC adapters, etc) into power strips without blocking half the outlets in the strip.
* A whole bunch of CD cases (100 pack, various colors).
* A whole bunch of DVD-R disks (100 pack, was on sale for $13.99).
* A wireless door chime, since my apartment doesn't have its own doorbell.
* New optical mouse
* A UFO-shaped USB hub (orange, 4 ports, light in the middle alternates among 4 colors).
* A thing for reading different kinds of cards, like xD and SD cards.
* This nifty set of 40 interlocking containers in different sizes called "WOW Containers".
* A mouse pad with a picture of sunflowers on it.

Some things I would liked to have had the money for, but didn't get, included:

* Rolling, foldable keyboard. Seriously awesome!
* Network Attached Storage (like a server almost, stick a bunch of hard drives in it to have extra storage for your data).
* Security cameras that send the picture to your computer.
* Doorstop alarm.
* Custom computer builds, including some cases with like 10 slots for adding drives to it
* Media thingies similar to Brooke's MVIX unit; but all your movies, music, etc on the hard drive of one of these things and plug it into your TV, watch things like downloaded internet porn or saved YouTube videos on your TV. :-D
* Things to turn an IDE computer into a SATA computer.
* External hard drives.
* Software to turn PDFs into editable files.
* Wireless keyboard with built-in scroll wheel, trackball, and mouse buttons.

Anyway, I bought Brooke a sandwich when we got hungry and I ate the sandwich I had gotten earlier, since it was no longer frozen. Then we checked out and headed back. Took the 2X back to Barbur TC and the Trimet line 12 back to our stomping grounds, and of course the 71 for the last 10 or 20 blocks of the trip. I don't remember exactly when we left Fry's, but it was around 7:30 when we got back to our respective homes. And that was with very little wait time for the 2X and the 12.

Oh, and by the way, the SMART buses are interesting in another way: apparently one of their lines will take one all the way to frakking Salem, Oregon (the capital {capitol???} city of Oregon), which is 36 miles away from Wilsonville. And when Brooke first told me this, I had an utter brain fart and completely forgot that Salem was even in Oregon, let alone that it's the capitol! For some reason I thought Portland was the capitol.

Another thing... I'd been noticing for the past week or so that Portland tends to have a predictable architecture, and a predictable pattern of types of buildings. A certain number and type of houses, businesses of certain types, etc, that got especially monotonous when I was traveling the line 75 a couple weekends ago to get to the pirate festival thing. Oh sure, there are parts of Portland that defy the pattern,1 but the architecture is still fairly similar all over Portland. As pretty as Portland is, it tends to get fairly boring having such similar buildings and architecture all the time (especially odd in a city with the official slogan of "Keep Portland Weird!"). So I was pleasantly surprised by Wilsonville's uniqueness. The architecture there is not only different from that of Portland, but pleasantly different from other parts of Wilsonville, with lots of large grassy areas. It was also a lot more open, like it has room to grow and breathe, unlike Portland which, while pretty and full of trees, tends to cram as much stuff into as little an area as it can get away with.

I finish up with this: it was a fun trip, and it made me appreciate that in the right kinds of big cities, like Portland, you don't even need a car to go on a fun adventure.2 :-) And hey, now I know that if I ever want to see Salem, I know how to get there. :-D

1 = Last Sunday I was astonished by this one part of town that was nothing but houses for a fuckton of blocks and not a single convenience store or any other kind of business to be found in the area, so completely defying the usual pattern that I wonder even now how they can manage without any convenience stores. Seriously, I've lived in towns smaller than that contiguous block of houses, which made it especially weird.

2 = And oh gods there are soooo many places in Portland I've never even SEEN, let alone been to. Like, I wonder how one would get up those mountains you can see from downtown, the ones with buildings on them. Gods, I still haven't been along the entirety of the MAX lines, even. Which is something I plan to do soon. Such a huge metro area. And what is it now making me so explorey? I never had urges to explore Des Moines when I lived in Ankeny. Maybe it's because Iowa is so dull, in most places.

This was cross-posted from https://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/818483.html
You can comment either here or there.

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