Podcasts and Blogs

Thoughts on Denver RTD MyRide Program

myride-card

 

 

 

The start of 2016 marks many changes for the mode of transportation I use for work for over the last 20 years. Four new rail lines will go-live later this year, which may allow me to leave my car at home for commuting to work.  But eh first change for me happened the first of the year with the introduction of the Flatiron Flyer.  This route replace many of the express and regional routes between Boulder and Denver. Also for me, the change in fare structure has reduced my cost of commuting by about one third.

Late last year, I signed up for and was accepted to a pilot program called “The My Ride Stored Value Card”. This is basically a prepaid ride card where the fare is deducted from the card when it is tapped on a card reader. Using the card gives me a $.25 per ride discount on the regular fare.  The card also allows for a three hour window to use a transfer onto another bus route. Outside of a rough start, I think this program will be a keeper.

Experiences over the first two weeks:

January 4 – Today was the first day of the new Flatiron Flyer route.  These are buses that run between downtown Denver and Boulder on 15 minute intervals.  The rides on this route were free today!!  I brought my voucher to the customer service desk to obtain my new MyRide card.

This is where the fun begins.

Clerk #1 (as I hand her the voucher) – What is this?

Me – a voucher to participate in your new My Ride program.

Clerk # 2 talks to Clerk #1 and points to boxes on the back table. Clerk #1 grabs items from boxes and returns to station.  She starts typing.

Clerk #1 – What is your name.

Clerk #2 -everything you need is written on the voucher.

Me – rolls eyes

After another 10 minutes, I had a card with an initial deposit of $100. Ready to go for Tuesday.

January 5 – I boarded the bus to go downtown.  The card reader read “Regional”. I asked the driver to downgrade the fare to local.

<sound of crickets> The driver stares at his console, not sure of what to do. As the line to board grows impatient in front of me, the driver waves me in. Card balance $100. I wrote an email to RTD and was told not all the drivers had been trained on the My Ride card program.

Evening ride – card reader is broken. Card balance $100

January 6 – morning ride – card reader broken $100 balance. Evening ride – card reader broken $100 balance.

I’m starting to think I may never pay for a bus ride again.

January 7 – Finally. a working card reader, withe the correct local fare showing. Card Balance $97.65

Evening ride – no issues. Card balance $95.30

January 8 – no issues on either trip Card Balance at end of week $90.60

January 11 –  no issues. Balance $85.90

January 12 – no issues. Balance $81.20

January 13 – no issues inbound. Balance $78.85 Outbound – driver did not know how to downgrade fare (still?) Balance $78.85

January 14 – inbound – no issues Balance $76.50 Outbound  -card reader broken

January 15 – no issues either trip. Card balance $71.80

Thoughts: The kinks of the first two weeks will work themselves out.   The ‘pay as I use’ will actually cost me less then the monthly passes ($99 for a local pass).  I would like to see enhancements such as self-service through the website, as the only time I know my remaining balance is after I scan the card. Also a way for the bus to calculate the fare based on route and location would be helpful and could reduce boarding delays as the program goes wide.

 

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E10 – Reborn

The EndWe reached the finish line, and the writers chose to play it safe.  No Mason’s were killed in the making of this series, even though the producers promised us ‘significant deaths’.  Should Ben have died as he was part Esphani? Did Pope get a proper sent off?  Was Jeff Fahey properly used as a guest star?  Once again, Cochise fails to mention something important. The whole ending appears to have been rushed.  We blame less then antiquate writing. News on Sara Carter (Maggie).  What is up with the pins everyone was wearing at the end.  Should the queen have had better protection.  This week we borrow from Aliens, Starship Troopers, and Independence Day. We announce our next podcast to succeed this one.  Stay tuned. Thank you to all the loyal listeners of our podcast over the last five years.

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E9 – Reunion

doriaInterview with Carl the Skitter (Now we know where the effects budget went)

Nazca Lines from Wikipedia (Will this be another plot device, or will we get a real answer?)

Two different reunions this week with different outcomes.  Is Pope really dead.  The odds are NO!!  Who dies in the next episode? Twitter has Tom getting it at the end. We discuss how this season has dragged on a bit too long, leaving us with a lot of story to resolve in 44 minutes.  What is the Doria prime motivation? Can the world be saved with a suppository? We learn that Marty really does have a purpose.

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E8 – Stalag 14th Virginia

FallingSkiesAlien QueenTwo episode left, and we spend the last two on filler.  We did get music back on the podcast. Art calls it that Marshall was an alien. Noah Wyle direct this episode.  His first in a directors chair. Another new alien (see picture). Is this alien and the Rebecca alien the same? Cochise needs to stop holding out on the 2nd Mass. We discuss who will hookup with who.  We also discuss who dies.  POPE RETURNS!!!  Will episode nine be his last?

 

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E7 – Everybody Has Their Reasons

beefaroniWhat?? No  mourning for the loss of Col. Weaver’s pony tail?? Just when you though you could march straight into Washington, an overlord throws a wrench in the works. Did Tom avoid a possession by swatting a bug from his neck in the first episode? It looks like we will not have a Hal/Maggie/Isabella triangle. Why has Weaver not pulled rank and taken over leadership at the base?  Tom should learn about his right to remain silent. At last… History lessons. Who will be the person that will be able to work the communicator? Our bet is Tom. Excellent listener feedback this week.  We discuss why it is possible that you could stay isolated from the war. The job of continuity director must be tough for scenes involving food.  Mmmmmmm…. Beefaroni.

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E6 – Respite

halladiesmanTom gets a taste of paradise this week as he is taken in by a family who have managed to remain isolated from the war.  The practical side of prepping is shown as the family has ?  But at least they have found the enigma code. power, running water, food, and ICE!!   In five seasons of this show, has the second mass not learned to touch Esphini technology. Do we now have a Hal/Maggie/Isabella love triangle?  We discuss the case of the disappearing/reappearing cornbread.  Will the 2nd Mass win the war with a collection of classic cars?  Will How will Weaver handle the fawning by Marty.  We found an interesting article on Moviepilot.com titled “Seven things we will miss about Falling Skies”.  Four episodes left.

Share

Centennial State Geocaching #56 – Mingo Happy 15th Birthday to Geocaching

The Podcast returns with a weekend trip to Mingo Kansas for a 15th anniversary celebration (GCQRXE) .  Art violated the number one rule of video recording, always have a fully charged camera. As a backup, we are linking to a YouTube presentation of the event.  In a big announcement at the end of May 2015, Geowoodstock was awarded to Denver.  The next episode will feature a video of the announcement.

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E5 – Non-Essential Personnel

popefleshwoundPope gathers a few flesh wounds in this episode.  Once again, Art incorrectly calls the fate of Pope. Were we introduced to the end of the Ben/Hal/Maggie triangle? (We hope so!!!)  Is a muscle car a good tactical weapon? Will it be sacrificed for the greater good?  Is Tom going to be the Mason that dies at the end?  Will Cochise understand American slang before the series end? How is there still bottled water in this universe? Don’t dead bodies smell after a while and shouldn’t Weaver have noticed? The show has lost something not having a weekly history lesson or movie references. We have not talked about ratings, but the average audience is about one-fifth of the series premiere.

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E4 – Pope Breaks Bad

baldpopePope loses it in this episode.  We focus on grief as the main theme and how it effects several characters this week.  Some have closure and other go off the deep end.   Karen and Art disagree if Pope makes it beyond the next episode?  Is Collin Cunningham glad he doesn’t have to wear that wig.  Who is more mentally imbalanced? Pope or Tom.  Why can the new alien occupy the same space as Tom?  Who else will die next week?

Feedback line 720-279-4365

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E3 – Hatchlings

sarawithlegsWe say goodbye to three characters in this episode.  Sara was the surprise, but we were promised that there would be major character deaths this season.  The major setups for the balance of the season will be the conflict between Pope and Tom, the trip to Fayetteville, and the trip to Washington, DC.  Will the final scene be an overlord sitting in the Oval Office.  I guess if Tom failed to slap the insect in the first episode, He would be eaten alive?  Again, we see the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.  Borrowed a bit from the movie “Aliens” and the nursery. If Pope carried appropriate backpack essentials, He would have had a fire starter, just sayin’.

Feedback: 720-279-4365

Share

Falling Skies Podcast S5E2 – Hunger Pains

skitterchickenIn this episode, Art and Karen learn that skitters do not taste like chicken.  Why is it the person who could go the longest without eating always in the front of the food line? Will the new problem for the 2nd Mass be something small.  Matt has a girlfriend, will he have a better outcome? Why is Anne talking about having a baby when the whole compound may not live another day? Pope knows how to cook a gourmet dinner.   Anthony blows up the food pantry, but suffers no punishment.  NO cats were harmed in the making of this episode.  Tonight’s episode was brought to you by Pringles and Hostess Ding Dongs.

Mrs. Beasley Omnimedia Hotline – 720-279-4365

Share

The Falling Skies Podcast S5E1 – Find Your Warrior

findyourwarriorSeason 5 starts with the rehash of same themes from prior seasons.  Have the new showrunners not looked at prior work?  We have been promised a few things this season. 1) Why was there an invasion?  There will be major character deaths.  Is the Hal, Ben,and Maggie triangle run its course? What is now replacing the eye worms from prior seasons.  Do we have a new alien species?  Is Matt becoming a ‘ladies man’? Will all heck break loose when Tom and Anne have a fight? Stay tuned as we review the final episodes of this series.  Will the ending be up to out standards?

Share

First Vlog

A New Year and a new medium. I have started Vlogging. My first video went up on You Tube this morning. I hope that you will check it out. It speaks of some of my favorite things.

First up is a favorite Christmas mug. This Snowman tea mug was purchased at Macy’s for Christmas 2013. It is a Susan Wingert design by Certified International. I like the mug for its size and the little extras. It has a lid that helps keep my tea warm.  It also has a tea ball for steeping loose tea with an attached snowman.

Tea Time

Inside the cup for most of this season has been Bigelow Tea in the flavor Orange & Spice. I like this tea because it is herbal and has no caffeine. It is a nice morning flavor, sometimes I add a bit of locally sourced honey to it.

I have Celiac Spruce disease which means that I am allergic to Gluten. Finding great baked goods is difficult. Last summer I discovered Cookies and Brownies from the WOW Baking Company. This season has been full of White Chocolate Cranberry as well as Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies. They also have Oatmeal Raisin and a Sugar cookie. They are soft cookies that freeze well. I have found them at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. They are about $7-8 a box. They can be ordered on line at WOWBaking .com.

Hooks by Clover

I love to crochet, but long spans of time crocheting can make my hand ache. I found that Clover has a great set of crochet hooks. These standard sized hooks have a comfortable rubber-like grip on them. The set is available on Amazon. Recently I found that they are available at my local Joann Fabric store in both the standard aluminium sizes and in the steel hook sizes. They run about $8 each there. I figure that I will acquire them a few at a time with my 40% off coupons. The nice thing about them is that they are standardized by color, for instance the brown hook will always be a J size.

This season’s favorite new cookbook is Mark Bittman’s, How To Cook Everything Fast. I picked it up at Costco for about $22. It is a large tome of wonderful recipes and great illustrations. The recipes are augmented by suggested variations. It has been a lot of fun to cook from it.

I love to read but do not always have the time I would like to enjoy it. Over the past decade I have found that Audible Books has been a great addition to my life. I have just finished Dan Brown’s Inferno. It is a 17+ hour book that captured me from the first chapter. It is one of those books that has been on my to read list for too long. I enjoy Dan Brown’s books. If you check out Audible through this link I’ll get a free book to read!

Share

70 Days of Geocaching – Days 69 & 70

TEAM_CSG’s quest to fill in month/day combinations where we have never found a geocache. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

Made it to the finish line.  Although day 69 was harder then it should have been

Coming to the concert tonight? – This was the fifth cache we tried to find.  We were rapidly losing daylight.  Found this as the sun set.  Video here.

You Muche Come Meet Me On The Corner – After the day 69 fiasco, this find was quick.  Video here.

 

Trackables Visited

One-Eyed Willie Loves The Broncos

Founder’s Pirate Tag – Art’s Key Ring

Girl Power

Finds for Each Day of the Year

You’ve found caches on 366 of 366 days of the year.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan 1 1 2 1 3 5 1 2 1 4 5 2 1 2 1 1 8 1 1 2 1 1 12 3 2 1 1 5 1 4 1 77
Feb 1 4 4 2 1 1 9 4 3 1 3 1 2 3 2 1 9 26 2 2 7 1 1 8 1 1 1 1 1 X X 103
Mar 2 4 1 2 2 3 1 2 1 4 4 14 5 3 2 4 3 11 3 12 4 12 1 8 6 5 8 2 4 3 2 138
Apr 1 13 2 1 6 2 1 1 1 2 2 6 1 8 1 7 1 3 1 12 5 1 4 2 9 1 3 2 7 10 X 116
May 3 13 1 2 4 12 3 2 2 2 5 1 5 1 1 1 7 2 3 11 3 11 2 5 3 12 2 1 4 4 9 137
Jun 16 1 6 2 4 6 12 4 5 3 2 6 15 18 10 1 2 9 6 2 8 5 5 1 5 2 5 48 3 5 X 217
Jul 3 4 38 3 11 2 1 16 7 3 2 2 1 1 4 1 13 6 1 8 1 2 4 4 8 12 8 1 1 6 1 175
Aug 4 7 4 2 3 2 7 2 1 1 2 1 3 1 2 5 4 2 4 8 3 1 1 4 7 7 12 8 4 14 10 136
Sep 9 1 14 9 2 1 10 3 5 2 4 5 19 8 1 1 1 2 9 4 4 15 1 1 6 6 3 1 1 6 X 154
Oct 1 4 1 5 4 5 4 4 1 1 1 2 7 6 1 8 1 1 7 3 1 1 1 4 3 7 4 4 2 2 4 100
Nov 3 1 1 7 2 1 4 4 1 4 2 3 1 1 1 3 5 6 2 11 2 8 4 1 1 1 3 3 2 3 X 91
Dec 3 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 7 4 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 2 3 63
47 54 75 39 43 41 54 45 29 28 34 50 64 53 27 35 55 72 41 77 40 59 37 42 52 56 51 77 41 59 30 1507
Share

70 Days of Geocaching – Day 68 – Perez’s Last Hurrah #3

TEAM_CSG’s quest to fill in month/day combinations where we have never found a geocache. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

Perez’s Last Hurrah #3 –  After the ground blizzards we experienced last night coming back from dinner, we were concerned that it would be a stuck in the house day.  But the road crews did a great job in plowing the roads, and we were able to find this cache after a bit of a search.  I have documented our find using a GoPro camera that Santa brought me for Christmas. The edit is rough as I’m learning to works with the companion software.  The joy of the hunt can be found here.   Two days to go!!!

Trackables Visited

One-Eyed Willie Loves The Broncos

Founder’s Pirate Tag – Art’s Key Ring

Girl Power

Next geocaching days December  27, & 28 2014

Share