Sunday, July 22, 2018

Public Transit - Sunday Five

I try to use public transit, living in the Washington DC area, with the traffic we have, transit makes my life tolerable.  I think the USA should have more public transit.  Hence the Sunday Five.

1: Given a choice do you take a taxi or a subway train from the airport to the city? 
2: Which is better, a city bus, or a streetcar? 
3: Have you ridden on a cable car? (Several US airports have them.) 
4: Should cities build more expressways or subway lines? 
5: When will you be willing to ride in a self driving car? 

My answers: 
1: Given a choice do you take a taxi or a subway train from the airport to the city?  The train, almost always.
2: Which is better, a city bus, or a streetcar? I like streetcars better than buses 
3: Have you ridden on a cable car? (Several US airports have them.) Yes, several. The thing that sets a cable car apart from a streetcar is the moving cable that propels them.  The Cincinnati and Detroit airports have cable car systems.  
4: Should cities build more expressways or subway lines? Subways! 
5: When will you be willing to ride in a self driving car?  Today! 

Your answers in the comments,

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Multiple Meanings!

Could be a poor choice of sexual partners.  My grandmother once said, "it is not the sleeping with that we are concerned about, it is what happens before or after that can get you in trouble." Could be someone whose dog is needy.  Could be a very cold night.  

Who should you send this hat to? 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Your Fortune Says - 50-cents please

We went for a wander and a nice lunch in China Town in San Francisco.  We stumbled across the cities oldest fortune cookie factory.  I had seen video of the place in action, if you are a TV celebrity they will let you take a stab at folding fortune cookies,  an exercise in silliness the first few times.  They will custom make cookies with your message.  Everyone gets a free sample, for 50-cents you can take pictures.  

It was in the kind of alley, you might not walk down. You might not feel safe - or comfortable - in reality it was filled with simple delights and warm welcoming people.  I bet at some point someone said, "if I had 50-cents for every picture someone took I could retire someday." 

Have you ever paid to take a picture? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

Born Mary Louise Broadhurst in Swansea, Wales, she married George Wood, a tunnel digger in London, and immigrated to the United States.  She died in 1977 at age of 89.  She was my father's, mother's mother, my great grandmother.  I took this picture in about 1975 in the dinning room of the old farmhouse on the farm in Michigan. 

For most of the last decade of her life she lived with my grandparents, on the farm in Michigan in the summer, and several winters in their second home in Istachatta, Florida (google it.)   

I didn't know she was Welsh, until 1990, when I was planning my first trip to England and my mother gave me a photocopy of her birth certificate. She had always said she was English, if we were taking her to Canada for lunch or tea, she would tell immigration that she was born in Toledo, Ohio - they always believed her.  I have been to Swansea, been to the place that she was born.  I remember her once, on a dare from my grandmother, speaking Welsh. It would have been nice to know more about her history. 

Spending time with her in my teens shaped who I am today.  Hearing her story of immigration, good times and challenges.  

She was the only one of my great grandparents that I have memories of. Her husband died the year I was born. My paternal great-grandparents died within a couple of years of my birth.  My mother's grandmother died of tuberculosis when my grandmother was an infant.  The other three great grandparents on my mother's side were gone before I was born. 

Did you know any of your great-grandparents? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Seen Recently on Metro

I have had three experiences recently in the heart of the Washington DC subway system, the Metro, that have caused me to pause and go, Huh? 

First was a nice young man carrying a large trophy.  The trophy was at least two feet tall, with blue columns with an icon on of achievement at the top.  Now it is rare to see someone carrying a trophy, any trophy on the subway in the middle of a major city, but the thing that stopped me in my tracks was the icon on the trophy, a Tractor, as in a major piece of farm equipment.  At least 20 miles and a couple of million people from the nearest farm, he was proudly carrying a trophy with a tractor on top. How did that end up there?  

Shortly after that I was on the lower platform at Gallery Place, waiting for my train home.  A Green line train was boarding and I noticed a nice tight pair of skinny jeans boarding.  As I am prone to do, I looked down to see what kind of shoes he was wearing (remember I sold shoes in a department store of 9 months one time, I will never be the same) and I noticed the ankle bracelet.  I am not talking gold, or silver, or diamonds, I am talk home confinement, GPS tracking black box ankle bracelet.  As he walked away the jeans slid half way down his ass and I couldn't help but think, he better get home in time, he is going to be very popular in ways he is unlikely to enjoy if he is late getting home and they lock him up tonight.  

The following day, I was getting off a Red line train at Gallery Place, heading down to the lower platform to catch my Yellow line home.  An enormous person stepped in front of me as I was exiting the train.  I slowed down and let her go.  I didn't have a lot of choice, she was a good 6 inches taller than me and at least a 100 pounds heaver. She was very fast, and no one, I mean no one, stepped in her way or impeded her movement.  I followed along in her wake, sucked along like a race car in the draft.  The easiest time I have had in that station in days.  The next time a see a fast moving fat person, I am giving way and following along for the fast ride. 

What has stopped you in your tracks recently?  

Monday, July 16, 2018

Better to Be Late

My Uncle Dick was a test track driver in the research and development department at Ford.  He spent the last 20 years of his time in the emissions certification lab, but for the first decade he drove thousands of hours, and thousands of test miles for Ford.  They would drive a car 100,000 miles in a couple of months, and take apart every nut and bolt to see how things stood up. When I was a little hamster, he took us on a tour and I vividly remember the car disassembled into thousands of pieces carefully arranged on the floor in a room the size of an airplane hanger. They drove the cars lots of miles, as long as someone didn't crash the car before then.  And that happened.  After one of Dick's "incidents" his colleagues gave him a plaque that read "It Is Better To Be Late To The Golden Gate, Than To Arrive In Hell On Time."  The plaque was on the fireplace mantel in their house on the lake.  It is one of my early memories.  When we studied California geography in the 4th grade, I recited that little rhyme to my teacher, she didn't think it was cute - but it was memorable, here I am 50-odd years later and I still remember it.  I remember making the connection between the rhyme on the plaque in Dick's basement, with the story of the bridge that couldn't be built. 

Do you recall saying anything that shocked your teachers?