January 19th, 2006


Odds and ends and replacement post

Yesterday it was springlike, today it's snowing. We woke this morning to the sight of three bunnies bounding around on the back lawn outside our window.

Discovered this site for folks who really want to
know what spaceflight feels like
... I gather this is an expensive process, you betcha.

A pretty nasty windstorm in Maine has cut us off from direct access to files at home. I wonder if I should get a satellite connection and give up cable... Update – so many power outages across the state (and in particular in our part of the state!) that the governor of Maine has declared a state of emergency so the Canadians can send in help...

Random thoughts... these paraphrasing a post that didn't get to LJ for some reason...

Among the features I like about long distance train travel is knowing where I'll be eating dinner. You might like it too. If you've snagged first class tickets – that's sleeper class on a cross-country train – you can eat in the diner car. This feature is also a challenge for some, because you have to decide well ahead of time when you'll eat... and once you do go to dinner or breakfast you'll probably find yourself sharing your compact breakfast table with random fellow travelers.

In the last few trips we've had meals with a young man who'd discovered several new species of peppers, with a guy whose son has spent 10 years as a professional bike racer, several bookstore workers, a minister, several farmers, and a retired railroad worker....

Had several really good meals on the train on the way out, and one not so good – I had to trade my baked potato for a dish of mashed because the spud was simply impenetrable with anything less aggressive than a fire ax – and of the two cod fillets one was excellent and the other way too dry.

Another feature/bug of train travel is that at times you'll get a lot of exercise going by train. Let's suppose you're on a cross country train with three sleepers and you want to go to the lounge car for bottle of wine before they close down for the night. The travel path in a sleeper is not straight line; I'd guess you walk about a hundred feet to travel the 85' car. If you were in the last berth you could thus walk 300 feet to get to the diner, 85 feet to get to the lounge car, 50 feet to get to the stairs down to the lounge, and 15 feet or so once downstairs.... Of course if there are, say, 3 coach cars you could walk to the far end and get yourself more than a quarter mile in a round trip.

That's not the only exercise available, of course. This trip we arrived at Chicago's Union station from Albany, took a walk outside for a few blocks (it was a nice day and we had several hours before the train out) had lunch at 65 (in Union Station) and retired to the Amtrak Metropolitan lounge...from whence we were led, carrying our on-board luggage, about a half-hour before departure time. We probably closed in on a fifth of mile getting to our car.... On the other hand we didn't have our luggage x-rayed, weren't patted down, didn't have to show photo ID on board (our number didn't match the lucky number)...

Tomorrow, COSine starts... we're looking forward to seeing some of you at the con!
  • Current Music
    JJ Cale 13 Days...
Lord Black Cat

Cat help` weather comments

Quick note ...

if you're driving to COSine please check weather conditions, since the little bit of snow they were calling for is starting to look like a somewhat respectable 4 inches plus...

elsewise, I have failed to mention that we've been much enjoying the company of Sappho The White, a cat with a mean hook when it comes to dealing with flying string. She's also willing to curl on toes, which is very much a sleep-aid for those of us who are used to having cat-comfort at night.

Also on the COSine front, we have seen the name badges and the program book, and are pleased. Tomorrow, the con!
  • Current Music
    Jordin Kare -- Parody Violation -- Psi Nought