Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Train Ride Anyone?

I got new glasses!! Rather, I got the frames for my new glasses and will get the finished product sometime next week. Maybe. They are orange and hot pink, mostly orange though. No surprise there. This particular colorway has been discontinued, and were not easy to find. But if you like way cool glasses, and don't feel like paying an arm, leg, and first-born to get 'em, try eyebobs. That's the brand name, and yes, they're on the net. They're reading glasses and I just get my 'scrip put into them. I saw a pair of Prada glasses that are nearly identical to my current pair and mine were less than a tenth of the price.
Due to my strange affection for travel by train, I am starting to make plans to go to Tuscon for thanksgiving. That shoul come out to around 2 to 3 days on the train. Every time I take a train trip I tell myself that I'll never do it again. And every time a trip presents itself I opt to go by train. I'm sure they make medication for this. But I have gotten better at it. I've learned to streamline my packing, I bought a travel blanket and one of those sleep mask thingies (orange). I have decided to buy a mah-jong AND a solitaire game for my computer. To be installed the day before my train leaves and un-installed the day after I get back. These two games will keep me occupied for 90% of my journey. The other key to travel by train is to bring a cooler. And fill it with beer. Just don't get rowdy, or they'll kick you off god-knows-where. Most of the people on trains are pretty cool. It's rare that theft occurs, and rarer still that some one gets "removed" from the train.* The food by and large sucks, but that's to be expected. Bring your own in that cooler, so it's not JUST beer in there. Also, if your train happens to hit a car, don't worry, it feels like when the train switches tracks. In other words almost nothing. You will be stuck sitting there for at least two hours while they inspect the engine for damage. Yes, that has happened during one of my trips. Seriously, I didn't even know we hit anything untill about an hour into the sitting and waiting when we finaly cornered an attendant and wouldn't let him go 'till he told us what had happened. Seemed he thought we would panic if we knew. Panic? We were surprised, but we all wanted to SEE the wreckage, not panic. The attendant also told us that every train employee experiences an accident like that one at least once. So that might just be more common than you would think. And lest you think this was the conductors fault, the diver of the pickup truck we hit was drunk and trying to "beat the train". The train won. Also, it takes like a mile or more for a train going at normal speed to come to a complete stop. Also? Cars can swerve, trains can't.

* That being said I shoud tell you that on one trip to Colorado no less than three people were "removed". One of them (who incedently stole money from my bag) was loud cursing and just plain nuts. He was asked to stop using profanity and his response was "I'm not fucking using profanity". Maybe he thought profanity was some kind of drug. He said something to the effect of "I dint sleep wit no bich name Linda an I dint give her no disease! I'm not goin to no psych ward, Jerome is, not me." When he said "psych ward" it all became clear. That and when he threatened to "Shank" some guy in the snack car. He also kept following one young woman every time she went down to the ladies room with her three year old daughter. He was removed by the good people of the Denver police force. The other two folks were let off in the middle of no-where and ALSO met by law enforcement officials because they were smoking funny cigarettes in the bathroom. All in all it was a pretty eventfull trip. But again that IS pretty rare. I travel by train at least three or four times a year (for the last four years or so) and that's the only trip with folks getting removed.

---Liitle Bird is onboard

While this sounds like a cautionary tale, I do like and suggest travel by train, you get more of a feel for the distance traveled and a better understanding of the land.

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