Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Mar 30th 2012 4:09PM I tend to be amused by articles about retirement places that emphasize golf. Although I am a middle-class white male in the 65+ age bracket, the only places where I have swung a club had small castles and windmills, and there were no concerns about club selection. My ideal retirement area would have a railway museum, live theater and live music within its range, and I already live in such a place. Access to "cow pasture pool" (also known as "A walk in the country, spoiled") has no interest for me.
Jan 6th 2011 9:00PM My take on the "no playoffs in NCAA top level football" is that it's a matter of logistics. Playoffs work in college basketball because there are only 15 or so players, a small (if any) band, and a lot less equipment. Trying to move all the people and supplies on a few days' notice, and having young people who are considered to be students miss a lot of class time is almost an order of magnitude larger in football.
Dec 24th 2010 10:28PM A backyard roller coaster? Sounds like fun. Just don't try to charge for rides; that opens up a big can of legal worms. I used to have neighbors who had a backyard railroad; not a model train line (like I have room for) but several hundred feet of three-foot gauge track and a steam locomotive to run on it. They are no longer with us, and the train is now at a railway museum, but it certainly was exciting to be out in our front yard and hear the steam whistle when they fired up the old wood-burner.
Dec 24th 2010 10:14PM It's just about as bad on the highways--all the folks who normally drive the same "commute" every day and/or run errands in a relatively limited area are on unfamiliar freeways, possibly with a carload of excited children. If the weather is nasty, that adds another dimension of confusion. A word to the business traveler: don't forget, these clueless, infrequent travelers may buy your product or service; if you think of them as the customers that keep your business going, it may be a little easier to tolerate them.
Sep 4th 2010 3:03AM When I worked for the Santa Fe Railway (pre Amtrak) my work sometimes took me into the baggage cars of trains that had just arrived at Los Angeles Union Station. If I saw a kitty in a carrier, I'd try to make friends with it and assure Puss that its humans would be picking it up shortly.
Jul 21st 2010 9:45PM Hotels that remember that guests are important will be remembered. My wife and I stayed at New Hampshire Suites when visiting Washington DC in the 1990's, and we still recall how the staff "bent over backwards" to deal with a discrepancy in the room. On the other hand, back in 1990, there was a motel in Ohio where the desk clerk seemed to have a "burr under her saddle blanket" (she may have been a "last minute substitution"); last time I looked, this place wasn't in the AAA Tour Book.
Jul 20th 2010 7:54PM I had to look twice to see which end was which on the Lamborghini (made me think of a 1948 Studebaker in that respect.) I'm sure some travelers would jump at the chance to drive one of these, but my driving experience quests are different: I've driven an electric railway car on the Isle of Man, a couple of tramcars in Australia, and quite a few cars and locomotives in the US. My wife took a photo of me at the controls of an electric train in Brighton, England, but the driver kept the controller key in his posession.
Jul 20th 2010 5:54PM Back in July 1977, I traveled by Greyhound from El Monte (Southern California) to Boston and back. They had a $75 for one way travel to anywhere in the US, so I got my money's worth (comes to about 2.5 cents a mile). This was during a period in which I had more time than money. It was quite an adventure; the irony was that the purpose was to visit as many railway museums and rapid-transit systems as possible. My next cross-country journey was in 1981, and that was on Amtrak--one "Dog Tired Tour" was enough.
Feb 27th 2010 5:48PM One of the keys to successful parenting is knowing when the child is tired enough to go to bed, but not overtired and cranky. There is a "golden period" between the two states that varies with the age of the child and prevailing conditions, and if the parents do not (or cannot) take advantage of it, it's not a fun time.