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  • Waiting for a ride

Wednesday & Thursday, July 21 & 22 and Carpool, the series!

More of the same on WEDNESDAY morning (gray skies, chilly wind) except that there’s a very long lineup of cars, about 20, waiting. Few riders. I’m in the front seat of an Infinity with a pleasant young guy at the wheel. I tuck a dollar into the cup holder. He thanks me and says, “Gotta pay for those budgets.” He sounds dubious about how the money is spent, and I agree with him when he comments,”Those bridges bring in a lot of money.” I’m about 30 minutes later than usual which may account for the very heavy traffic. This lovely car has a compass which tells us we’re going East, Southwest, and an outside thermometer that reads 55 degrees.

THURSDAY morning’s ride is a Honda CR-V. A no-nonsense red-haired lady is driving. The passenger in the rear meekly offers her $1.25, which the driver sternly inspects and tucks away. I put $1 in the cup holder. No comment. This weather will never change. It is like a time loop that keeps repeating – cold – gray – the 80 freeway. We slog along toward the city, covered in a gray flannel blanket of fog. The driver slips her transponder out of a silver envelope as we approach the toll plaza. I ask her if it is new and she says, “Yes, I didn’t want one before the carpool toll started. I had one 10 years ago and they charged me for toll during the time I was out of town on vacation for 2 weeks. Took 6 months to get the credit.” She says you have to check your FasTrak bills on a regular basis to be sure you are being charged correctly. There’s some advice from the world of no-nonsense to you.

Now here’s some very good stuff and nonsense, too. And something fun for you to check out while we’re waiting for the weather to warm up – a British weekly internet TV show called CARPOOL. Yes, it’s true, and it’s a very clever idea created by British actor Robert Llewellyn. Each segment is a half-hour interview, done in a car, with a well-known personality or celebrity (well, well-known in the U.K., anyway) from the fields of science, theater, tv or technology. Llewellyn produces the show and interviews the guest celebrity while he drives them somewhere in his car. The information is fascinating and as a carpooler you will find it a very familiar setting. Besides the novelty of watching someone driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the car and road!

You can view the series on this link: http://www.llewtube.com

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