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Posts Tagged ‘train’

Train Travel: A Very Moving Experience

In America there is no Orient Express. I call it the Occidental Express. That’s Occidental, not Accidental – if you’re oriented properly.

Nowadays they just call me crazy to my face. And why? Maybe it’s because I enthusiastically purchased a $480 one-way AMTRAK ticket for me and my wife on a scheduled 26 hour 36 minute journey from Reno to Denver – a ticket that would cost half as much and take 24 fewer hours if we were to travel by air. You remember AMTRAK don’t you? They’re the ones that use those bright and shiny, parallel metal thingies we all drive over at railroad crossings. Oh, how quickly we forget. For 100 years these track-borne conveyances (often referred to as “trains” if I remember correctly) were this country’s life blood – connecting people and businesses in a generative web of travel and commerce. It was the original World Wide Web. The World Wide Web of wailwoading. Railroading’s antique charms beguile me. Though you may have relegated train travel to the dust bin of history, I have elevated train travel to the must spin of this-story.  

If life is about the journey, this is a journey I long to take. Think of it as the road less traveled. The rail road less traveled. As Robert Frost wrote with such evocative homespun eloquence in his poem The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

And I am eager to take that road less traveled – the railroad. Read the rest of this entry »

“This is not happening. This is not happening.”


In 1967 I believed our family of 4 would bunk in these palatial billets while being wisked to Florida in unsurpassed comfort. I was thunderstruck when I discovered the actual accommodations.

In 1967 I believed our family of 4 would bunk in these palatial billets while being whisked to Florida in unsurpassed comfort. I felt railroaded when I discovered the actual accommodations were less welcoming.

I’m told that in order to activate the App known as “Life” you have to accept the terms and conditions of its 900+ page User Agreement, otherwise you’re not granted the privilege of playing it. And while I have no recollection of agreeing to anything, apparently I did. Life is such a “killer app.” Literally. At the end of the App the game is over – for all time. Seems self-defeating, but apparently this App is so much fun to play you don’t mind the abrupt ending. And while I don’t recall agreeing to its terms and conditions, I do recall selecting my User Defined Pref Sets at about age 4 when I checked those boxes that make me appear as the man I am today – a guy who has been in Airplane Mode since 1965.


And to this day my hopes and fears, likes and dislikes haven’t changed that much. Like a tiger, I can’t change my stripes unless I go back into Settings, select the User Defined Pref Sets tab and change my preferences. And that would be great except it’ll never happen – I forgot my password. Damn it! So typical of modern man. Now I’m locked out of my own hard drive like a guy who wants to change the channel but lost the remote. So I’m stuck with my so-called preferences until God activates his “killer app” and zaps me home using his universal remote. And I agreed to all this? Read the rest of this entry »