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Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Driving - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
06.20.2020

Driving


I set out for a drive two days ago.

I woke up in Clarion, Pennsylvania today, its a small college town near the border of Ohio.

Yesterday I woke up in Meyerville, Indiana. I started my trip in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I will be New York City this afternoon.

I am being very cautious, practicing my social distancing, wearing my mask when I get out of the car, talk to hotel staff, go into the gas station, or even if I don’t go in, if I just fill up at the pump, I wash my hands, use wet wipes and try to keep things clean.

I have not seen a lot of people wearing masks.

There have been signs asking for people to practice social distancing, I have seen greater and lesser degrees of compliance with that but in the Holiday Inn’s wear I have stayed the night. The front desk staff were not masked, and I saw guests violating the social distancing rules with them, when they did there was no attempt at correction.

The greatest degree of compliance I have seen has come from people working in national chains, I have been to the drive through at three Star Bucks and one DQ, Masks were in use there, but not at the Holiday Inn’s, the Kwik Trips, or the Marathon gas stations I have been to.

I have seen only a few other people, like me, wearing masks conscientiously.

I took the Interstate from Minneapolis to the Port of Milwaukee, I was thinking of taking the ferry across Lake Michigan, but the timing wasn’t right.

I planned my route from their to avoid highways and toll ways and that took me on a slow drive from Milwaukee through Chicago, to Meryerville, Indiana.

I drove through Waukegan, Illinois past the Naval Station where I went to Boot Camp and attended Hospital Corps School. Then I through the wealthy suburbs North of Chicago, which gave me the feeling like I was in a John Hughes movie.

Pretty quickly after that I was driving through the ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago itself: Puerto Rican, Polish, Italian, and finally the South Side. It was stop and go traffic through the city, and nobody I saw, whether on the street in alongside me in a car was wearing a mask.

I get it, they are uncomfortable, and I wasn’t wearing mine in my car when I was driving, but what is happening here. Wearing a mask is a simple thing. It will work to protect you and protect others from you if you are infected.

It is uncomfortable, but it is easy.

I took back roads all the way through Indiana and Ohio, up until I passed through Akron, and got to Pennsylvania, in those places, which is trump country, I actually did experience hostility from folks because I was wearing a mask.

Dirty looks and sneers is what I was treated to. Nobody said anything to me, I’m too big for that but this is out of hand. Two hundred thousand Americans will have died from the COVID-19 by Labor Day, with no end in sight.

The ridiculous buffoon we have in occupying the oval office, the Fake President, is doing everything he can to undermine public health to fit his own misguided political narrative, and his vanity.

Instead of treating the virus as the enemy and rallying the people to fight it, he has treated public health administrators and science as the enemy and has rallied his base to work against their best advice.

It will have deadly consequences.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Trains - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.23.2019

Trains

I took the Am Track yesterday.

Jennifer and I rode it to Chicago; the Empire Builder, they call it. It was a pleasant ride.

We sat in coach on the lower level of the train, it was an hour late, and we were not able to make up any time, but we were not delayed any further. We left the Twin Cities at 9:15 am, and arrived in Chicago at 5:00 pm. I could have driven there faster, but then I would have had to drive, which I will on the way home because the train schedule for the round trip is not conducive to a weekend getaway. So we will rent a car and take the interstate back.

The Empire Builder is a testimony to the fact that the American Empire is in deep decline. The train was dirty…not filthy, but dirty; un-swept, un-vacuumed, un-washed. There was a griminess to it that made me want a shower as soon as I got into the hotel room.

The bathrooms were not much better than what you can find on an airplane, and once inside I did not want to touch anything. Even the faucet of the sink looked dubious. And before you get the idea that I might just have a problem in public spaces, I don’t. I’m just telling it like it is.

The terminal was nice, Union Depot in Saint Paul. It was elegant, stately, it had the charm that so many public buildings have that were built in the early 20th Century, from the period when the Empire Builder was an aspirational appellation and the railroad was invested in living up to the name.

Despite these complaints it was a pleasant experience. I enjoyed sitting in a comfortable chair, roomy, with Jennifer at my side reading. I spent the day writing, each of occasionally taking time to look out the dingy-filmy-hazy window, to take in the country side. We rolled along the Mississippi, down past the bluffs by Lake Peppin, crossed over at La Crosse and went through the Wisconsin country side to Milwaukee, before turn south to Chicago.

I told my friend John that I was taking the trip by train, he said “trains are such a civilized way to travel.” He is right about that, it is for the civilized proletariat. It was inexpensive, economical, catering to the working class, to people not in a hurry.

Jennifer noted how much the whole system operates on trust. There were no magnetometers, no showing ID before boarding, people just took their seats, in couch it is open seating. Unchecked luggage was stowed in open compartments, the people on the train simply trusted that their belongings would not be disturbed.

I am sure that people occasionally get burned, but not enough so that the system of openness has had to be changed.

That was nice.

I would take the trip again.

My experience has me asking the question again, one that has puzzled me for decades. Why don’t we have a better more reliable rail system in America, fast new high speed trains? If we did, I would take them all the time.

Trains facilitate travel, tourism, commerce. Our railways are the saddest in the modern world.

The new America.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Four, Kathy; Part Twenty-seven, Isolated; Chapter Seven, Travel


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 203, Sunday
July 22nd, 2018

Chapter Seven: Travel

Kathy began to experience a degree of freedom she had never enjoyed before. She knew that it was entirely conditional, at all times her handlers wanted Kathy close to them, under strict observation.

The apparatus they built around her was an amazing thing to behold.

The National Security interests utilized a revolving network of spies to keep an eye on her. Every agent was linked by satellite, it gave them the ability to track her comings and goings in real time and from a distance which they felt was sufficiently safe from her prying mind.

Those agents whose mission it was to keep their eyes on her, they had no idea who she was.

They were junior agents who came and went so quickly from their assignment, that following Kathy was generally viewed as a basic training exercise. Nevertheless, every observation they made was pushed up into the cloud and correlated with the vast data base that her handlers were building to track everything she said and did.

Kathy felt her autonomy increasing.

Every little bit of space they gave her, she took.

The assignments she was given came less and less frequently. She could see the patterns in their behaviors toward her.

She knew that she was both indispensable, and matter of grave concern for the people at the top of the security apparatus.

In time, she even had some freedom to travel. When she did, she went to the places that her ancestors directed her to. 

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Emergence, In Fifty-five Words - Section Four, Kathy; Part Twenty-seven, Isolated, Collected Chapters


Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 197, July 16th, 2017

Chapter One: Art

Kathy journeyed inside herself, reliving lifetimes through memory, in quantum time.

She developed austere habits and disciplines; learning muscle control, discernment, patience. She developed the ability to flesh out the memories she wandered in, to experience them for herself as if she were truly living.

There was no path too remote for her to follow.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 198, July 17th, 2017

Chapter Two: Music

Of all the “normal” things that people occupied themselves with, the little things that filled up their day, music was the most difficult for Kathy.

It changed so little over time.

If she was careless, a melody could cause her to slip, without knowing, into another lifetime

A beating drum told a hundred thousand stories.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 199, July 18th, 2017

Chapter Three: Dance

When Kathy danced she moved without thinking.

She lost herself in the drums and rhythms.

She abandoned time in movement, in the moments flowing from the present fuge into past ages.

She relived the steps of her ancestors, felt their feelings, their fears and their hopes for the future.

Dance was a place of transcendence.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 200, July 19th, 2017

Chapter Four: Diet

Eating was a necessity, she could not avoid the nexus of memories it brought her to.

Flavors and odors haunted her.

Taste and smell transported her instantly to past times, to past ages.

Kathy found solace in the bland, comfort in modern processed foods, foods that were completely new, and entirely foreign to human experience.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 201, July 20th, 2017

Chapter Five: Academic

After years of working with Kathy, her handlers come to appreciate the dangers of interacting with her directly regarding matters of national security.

They determined to engage her at a distance, as a result she was allowed a semblance of a normal life.

She was placed in a small college, she did research and wrote.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 202, July 21st, 2017

Chapter Six: Recluse

Kathy had developed the ability to ward off psychic intrusions.

She built mental walls to ensure her privacy, to keep the thoughts and feelings of other people from seeping into her mental flow.

Those defenses required constant mindfulness, a diligence that stole her energy. And so, in order to rest, she preferred to be alone.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 203, July 22nd, 2017

Chapter Seven: Travel

Her handlers wanted Kathy close to them, under observation at all times.

They utilized a revolving network of spies to keep an eye on her.

Overtime, and with everyone linked by satellite they gained the ability to track her comings and goings in real time.

Her autonomy increased. Every little bit they gave, she took.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
Section Four, Kathy

Part Twenty-seven, Isolated

Collected Chapters
01 Art
02 Music
03 Dance
04 Diet
05 Academic
06 Recluse
07 Travel

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Emergence: Section Four, Kathy; Part Twenty-seven, Isolated, Collected Chapters



Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter One: Art
Pt. 27, Ch. 01
Kathy journeyed inside herself; learning muscle control, and the sense to give life to the memories she wandered in.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Two: Music
Pt. 27, Ch. 02
Music was the most difficult for Kathy; it changed so little over time. The beating drums told thousands of stories.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Three: Dance
Pt. 27, Ch. 03
Kathy danced without thinking; lost in the drum, in a movement, in moments flowing from the present into past ages.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Four: Diet  
Pt. 27, Ch. 04
Flavors and odors haunted her. Kathy found solace in the bland; modern, processed food, foreign to human experience.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Five: Academic
Pt. 27, Ch. 05
In time; Kathy was allowed a semblance of a normal life. She was placed in a small college; did research, and wrote.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Six: Recluse   
Pt. 27, Pt. 06
Even though Kathy had developed the ability to ward off psychic intrusions; nevertheless, she preferred to be alone.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Seven: Travel

Pt. 27, Ch. 07
Her handlers wanted Kathy close to them. Now, with everyone linked by satellite her autonomy increased. She took it.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-seven, Isolated
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 27, Isolated
Chapters
01 Art
02 Music
03 Dance
04 Diet
05 Academic
06 Recluse
07 Travel
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten