Erik (eriktrips) wrote,

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the train was two hours late until we got to Auburn and encountered a broken switch which took half an hour to determine that it was not fixable and that we needed to switch tracks and go around it but first we had to wait for a freight train to pass to altogether that took another hour.

I was like "ho-hum" but there were frantic calls from train car attendants asking for a conductor to come to their car so I think maybe the other passengers were not as sanguine about this final delay as I was. of course I was stopping in Seattle; the poor slobs going to Vancouver BC had another two hours on a bus to look forward to once we got to the station.

the main problem was that no one told us what was going on until we'd been sitting there for about twenty minutes. a seasoned train rider will take this in stride: if they're not evacuating the train or on the intercom talking about the busses we will all be herded onto shortly everything is ok. slow, perhaps, but ok. but on every trip you will find passengers who think that a three to four hour delay is outrageous on a 1300-mile passenger train route. which perhaps it would be if we were in Europe where people actually pay to keep passenger rail running, but we don't do that here, so Amtrak gets by on the scraps of "service" it can scrape together from the goodwill of the freight companies that own the tracks.

one thing about soaring gasonline costs is that alternative transportation just might begin to look worth some shifts in spending philosophy. maybe one day we'll have a national passenger rail network that runs on time and with less flaky customer service.

I spent most of the trip either sleeping or plurking. see this is what's cool about plurk: you can have threaded conversations with your buddies in real time on your cell phone. multi-person conversations. it's like IRC with just the slightest delay and without servers that split off the network so that you are suddenly talking to yourself. so after my post-lunch nap I conversed with zyrc and a number of other people whom I don't know from adam but whom zyrc apparently knows.

so now I am here and it is not raining although it rained a little yesterday they tell me and of course that was my fault. because not only can I keep disasters from happening if I stay at home in San Francisco, but I can make it rain in Seattle simply by traveling here. I'm telling you it's stressful having so much power.

ok. the pills are done melting under my tongue so I think that lisagail and I are going to have a real life conversation! I know. weird.

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