Positive Train Control

Most of us were horrified to hear about this morning’s New Jersey Transit accident at Hoboken Station.  We should hope all of the survivors are guaranteed the best treatment and the right support from loved ones. This tragedy deserves an impartial investigation.  There has already been one report that a “bumper,” intended to stop a derailed train from jumping the platform, failed, possibly because the train was moving too quickly when it arrived.  The first commuter to be confirmed dead was standing on the platform, according to CBS News. A new technology called Positive Train Control might have prevented this … Continue reading Positive Train Control

NYC Losing Its Character

My most recent visit to New York City was in 2012.  It was disappointing to see Midtown taken over by Subway Sandwiches, Starbucks and 7-Eleven, and I knew it could get worse. Here’s a link to a DNA Info article with a photo of a beautiful storefront on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  The building is expected to be demolished so a modern residential building can replace it. https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160926/flatiron/262-fifth-ave-new-building Continue reading NYC Losing Its Character

Excellent Katha Pollitt Column

If you can buy or borrow a print copy of The Nation’s Sept. 26/Oct. 3, 2016 issue, I recommend the column titled Fatal Births by Katha Pollitt. Ms. Pollitt explores pregnancy-related deaths of mothers in Texas, where the so-called pro-life movement has made progress in carrying out its agenda while actually putting lives at risk.  She points out that some of these fatalities are due to things we don’t ordinarily think of when we use the narrow expression “dying in childbirth”. I wish I could include a link to this column, but it isn’t available online to the general public. If you have a … Continue reading Excellent Katha Pollitt Column

Random, Worthless Thoughts

Late yesterday afternoon, I got crazy and decided to withdraw twenty dollars from my checking account. It was okay.  The account still has enough to pay the remaining bills. My bank has locked booths for nearly every ATM it controls.  That can be reassuring, and I choose to feel assured there’s a ventilation system for keeping the air fresh. I’m not a smoker, so it isn’t always easy to distinguish between odors caused by cigars and pipes.  Conventional wisdom states that cigars are worse, but without firsthand experience I can’t say. I can identify cigarette tobacco and marijuana.  They’re both gross, … Continue reading Random, Worthless Thoughts

Waking Up To Jazz Music

The title of this blog post isn’t literal.  I didn’t set the alarm to music. Actually, no music was played until I popped a CD into the Walkman and, thanks to the AUX IN feature, listened through nearly-obsolete radio speakers. Call it the Fred Flintstone approach, but the music was great.  The speakers are just okay, but I’m used to them. I’m hesitating to review the CD because I’m not familiar enough with Vince Guaraldi’s music to compare this Essential Standards collection with his other work.  However, it helped me rebound after spending most of the night with insomnia, so it’ll … Continue reading Waking Up To Jazz Music