Another Continent Heard From

Once again, Linda G. Hill is tempting me with magical bonus points. I can’t resist. We’re heading to the bar to work with her Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘T, tea, tee.’ Theme your post around ‘tea’ or ‘tee,’ or find a word that starts with ‘T’ and talk about that. Bonus points if you manage to incorporate all three. Enjoy!”


If we were having a beer, we would have a surprise visitor.

“You’re late, again. Did you come by train or Lime Bike?”

“Funny man. I drove, but I’ve been stripping shingles off my garage, so I left a little late.”

“Forget to set an alarm on your phone?”

“No, but I thought I’d shower before joining you.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear that, Dan. The lingering odor of every beer poured is bad enough, I don’t need to smell sweaty roofers. Now, can I get you something cool to drink?”

“I’ll have a Corona, and whatever my friend wants.”

“His friend will have a glass of Meiomi.”

“With a some seltzer in a snifter?”

“Of course.”

“Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“Sure, and you would be?”

“My name is Sharukh. I’ve here for a visit, trying to promote my Travel blog.”

“It’s nice to meet you Sharukh.”

“Here’s your beer, your wine, and water.”

“Water?”

“I meant seltzer.”

“Thanks Cheryl, and please give our new friend, Sharukh another round on us.”

“Us? How did I become part of your generosity?”

“The royal ‘us’ – don’t worry, I have the tab.”

“Thank you. I was planning to switch to tea, but I’ll have another Heineken.”

“Heineken, coming up.”

“Thank you…your name is Cheryl?”

“Yes.”

“So, what was it you wanted to ask us, Sharukh?”

“You were talking earlier about trains. I was watching a video on Amtrak where the narrator said that Amtrak trains are usually never on time. He said Amtrak has the punctuality rating of just 31%.”

“Ah, you need to talk to Dan about that. I have to say, you’re teeing up his favorite subject.”

“You don’t take the trains?”

“I prefer flying, and my airline has a good on-time rating.”

“Enough already. My experience with Amtrak has been pretty good. And, it’s not fair to compare Amtrak, or any train, to an airline.”

“Why not?”

“Yes, I would be interested in that, also.”

“Planes depart and arrive one time per trip. They can fudge the departure time, by pushing back from the gate, and they can fudge the arrival a bit, by flying faster.”

“How is that not like trains?”

“Trains have multiple departures and arrivals. I take Amtrak to Washington, D.C. and there are eighteen to twenty station stops. And, my last trip was six minutes late. Six minutes on a six-hour ride. I call that on-time.”

“Well, they could go faster.”

“Not by much. Besides, sometimes they’re late because other trains are late. There’s room in the sky for thousands of planes, there are only two tracks between here and New Haven,”

“Can you pull this conversation onto a siding long enough to order some food?”

“I’m still a little full from breakfast, Cheryl, but I might take some wings to go.”

“OK. But you’re thirsty, right…I mean, you want another round.”

“Yes, yes I am, I mean do.”

“Where did you have breakfast?”

“Allegro.”

“Damn, why don’t you ever call me to go there?”

“I met John for breakfast at ten of seven. Would have welcomed that call?”

“No, but call me if you ever meet him at nine o’clock.”

“Can I ask one more question?”

“Sure, Sharukh.”

“Is it about trains?”

“Yes.”

“Well, if you ever have a question about financial management, I can answer it. I’ll hand you off to the conductor.”

“The video also said that after getting off a train one has to take another mode of transport to reach the destination which is why most Americans prefer car or plane over train.”

“This is an easy one. Most Americans don’t want to go to the trouble to figure out a city’s subway or light rail system, let alone its bus routes, but you don’t need a car unless you have a lot of travel to do in your destination city.”

“I’m not sure I agree with that. I don’t want you giving Sharukh bad information.”

“OK, take the Northeast Corridor: Boston, Providence, New York, Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore and DC all have light rail options, and The Hartford Line is real and rolling.”

“Have you used these options?”

“I have Sharukh. I’ve taken the NY Subway, The T in Boston, Metro in DC and the light rail in Baltimore and Philadelphia.”

“So why do people prefer to drive?”

“For the convenience.”

“Now, you’re the one giving bad information. In cities that are served by rail, the convenience of driving is a myth.”

“I know, even if you have to take a Lime Bike to your destination.”

“Yes, that option suits me to a T.”


Today’s gallery has some updates from the garage project, and some photos I borrowed from the Editor’s camera. And, if you want to see some cute short videos, check out Cheryl’s post from Wednesday.

81 thoughts on “Another Continent Heard From

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  1. Yes, I like the ‘new’ profile photo. :-) Being a DIY nerd, I’m wondering if at some point you’ll do a little diagram to show us how the garage is designed. For instance it looks like maybe a shop was added to the back of the garage. The project is looking good, and I applaud your efforts in this weather. I’ve had some gardening projects I’ve been trying to finish up, and that 100% humidity sure takes a toll. The Editor takes some nice shots – beautiful flowers, and I particularly liked ‘up bunny scope.’ Hope you have some work time today and tomorrow, and two ladders is always better than one. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. I might wait for the diagram until I start on the inside. The workshop was added by the previous homeowner (as a garden shed). My goal is to steal 10’ from the back of the garage to combine with that space as a larger shop. The outside has to come first.

      It was so hot on the roof yesterday. I hope I get a shot today to knock off the last bit on this side. I’d call that a successful weekend.

      I’m glad you like her photos, she has a pretty good eye.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d love to figure out a subway or light rail system, but we have none here. Zilch. The places I’d go if I didn’t have to drive + pay for parking when I got there… Interesting comparison between air travel and train travel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ally. My friend in Hartford lives in a condo complex that has no visitors parking. Driving down to meet him for lunch would cost more in parking fees than food. I look forward to taking the train after I retire.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pam. Santa hasn’t asked for help, but I think I could handle it. The Editor loves that bunny (don’t know if you can tell 😏).

      Maddie is not happy with the way I’ve messed up her yard.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the ‘up bunny scope’ and the morning glory pics. Never saw double Rose of Sharon before. Beautiful.

    I also like the idea of two ladders. Makes sense. Weird things happen to you Dan so kudos to The Editor for thinking ahead.

    Perhaps your new lamppost should have a guardrail around it. Just sayin!!

    Torrential rain last night, but dry right now. Hope weather cooperates long enough for you to finish stripping shingles, leaving some cuddle time with Maddie. Apparently MiMi and Maddie will be very happy when this project is done. I don’t think they understand that there will always be another project! Cheers to MuMu…..he couldn’t care less about any of it.

    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I’m afraid a guard rail wouldn’t help. I took out the first lamp post with a chuck of ice flying out of my snow blower. These things aren’t cheap, but they break like they are.

      I did NOT want to put the second ladder up. The worst times are when she says stuff that I know makes sense, but I don’t want to admit it,

      The bunnies are just so darn cute, and she’s captures them in some great poses.

      I’m going out in a little bit to try and finish that side of the roof. I think I can get it done before the rain. One thing’s for sure – MiMi doesn’t care.

      Like

  4. Such great photos, Dan! I like the new profile pic–reminds me of Tool Time with Tim Allen. The bunny is adorable. How did Sammy know there were nuts in that package? Is he having all his mail shipped to your place? MiMi and Maddie are so cute….they know how to chill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. I’m not sure Sammy can read. I’m also not sure he hasn’t tapped into my Internet feed and placed the order himself. He was pretty cute waiting for the Editor to open that box.

      Looks like a lot of support for the profile pic. I’ll have to see what it looks like cropped a bunch.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Loving the bunny pics that popped up like a fluffy surprise in there. Also enjoyed the train discussion because I’ve never – for the life of me – understood how a plane is allowed to fudge their timely departure by pushing off and sitting on the tarmac for 45 minutes. Sheesh!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a grat post, Dan! Nicely done. 👏🏻And so good to see Sharukh here. Sorry about the rain but you are getting it done so quickly. I’m glad you have a backup ladder too. I love those photos of you on the roof! The photos are all great. I love her image of the flowers though. That squirrel is hilarious. Hubby gave up the heavy work after this last move. Trying to keep his knees from completely throwing in the towel. That breakfast looked like something good to me! Have a productive and sunny weekend. At least you won’t have to deal with the public at large up on your roof. We can talk about those beckup trailer skills another time….poor lamp. 😏😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Cheryl. The Editor is pretty good behind the camera. All of those nuts aren’t for the squirrels – sorry Sammy!

      The backup ladder is a sore subject – she’s right, I know it, but grrrrr.

      This will be my last time dealing with shingles on a grand scale. I want this done, and I want it done right. I’m hoping to beat the rain today and get the rest of this side done.

      I knew you’d like seeing Sharukh at the bar. He had asked me those questions (I think on FB) and I asked if I could answer them at the bar. He’s a good sport.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You sure look like you know what you’re doing on that roof – very well organized! Meanwhile, it looks like the squirrel is enticed by all the writing on the box. Great bunny close ups!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A few years ago, I rode the Amtrak Empire Builder to Montana to visit my brother. Loved the trip but it annoyed me that passenger trains have to wait on the sidings while Warren Buffet’s oil and coal carrying trains get to whiz by non-stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It felt like I was at the bar with you. Thanks for the link to the travel blog. We’re trying to decide what to do in December for the kiddo’s 21st b-day Might get some trip ideas there.

    Love the bunny pictures too.

    Like

    1. It felt like I was at the bar with you. Thanks for the link to the travel blog. We’re trying to decide what to do in December for the kiddo’s 21st b-day Might get some trip ideas there.
      Lulu is all really mom?!? To India! Guess we’ll just have to travel in our minds.
      Love the bunny pictures too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m impressed with your bonus points…very good!! Love the shots of the bunny in the grass!! Don’t envy your roofing task. I miss Amtrak….use to take it from San Diego to LA for work all of the time…wish they had Amtrak between Phoenix and LA….beats that 5+ hour drive through the desert….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s nice to see Sharukh here :)
    Since we’ve had so many comment convos about trains, you know where I stand.
    About that bee balm though — OOH AHH, that’s one thing I’ve cut out to be in my front garden and I’m delighted to see you have some.
    Nice cuddles with Maddie, I’m sure. She’s such a sweet doll in her photos <3

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I suspected, now I know, you’re definitely spoiled rotten. The life you write about, the pictures you post, all so great; you are definitely a lucky man. I like all the photos, the squirrel eyeing the package was very cool. And those liquid refreshment, meal photos? I could gain weight by just looking at them. Of course some drooling is involved….tmi?😎

    Liked by 3 people

  13. you write really well and from this line “Did you come by train or Lime Bike?”I was hooked on….

    and nice job covering the “t’s” and my fav takeaway is learning that airlines can fudge the times – that makes sense. I also suspect some delays are to combine flights rather than fly a plane only 1/10th full (something like that) – eh?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Yvette.

      Airlines can fudge the whole thing by setting the arrival time to be a little later. The fact that they can push back and sit for 15 minutes and still have it count as on-time departure makes me shake my head.

      I do think they mess with the schedule to keep those planes full.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Those critter shots are absolutely adorable, Dan! I FINLLY GOT IN TO YOUR BLOG! Unreal! Anyways …. love the shot of the squirrel looking at the NUTS box. OMGOSH too funny!! And how about that roofing job! Now that is one really hard job and to contend with thunderstorms on top of it all? Now that is downright nasty. I hope your knees and back are holding up OK. I know mine would not be. I give you so much credit for what you are doing. Honestly. We shingled our barn and I know how hard that was. In fact, hubby fell off the roof and had to be rushed to the hospital … he had hit his head and was looping in conversation. Very scary!! Please stay safe. I don’t want to read a post from the editor notifying all of us you are in the hospital. LOVED those pics and your gravatar is perfect!!! And oh, yeah, good job on the T’s. You are so talented. I could not write like that, at least I don’t think I could. Whew. Nite, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Amy. I’m glad the WP gremlins let you in.

      I am being safe, and I am not allowed up on the roof if the Editor is not here. Roofing is the hardest job, but this will be my last time stripping shingles, carrying shingles of nailing shingles (and I’m using tools for most of that). I like the fact that I know this job is being done right, it’s being done the way I want it to be done and I’m saving a ton of money.

      I love the SoCS prompts. I look at the prompt, I know the story I want to tell, and I do my best. I’m always happy when it works (I have several that didn’t, in a trash bin).

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Had forgotten that you also post on Stream of consciousness:)
    My complaint is not enough trains! In Holland they give out a yearly book with train times, and to figure out to destinations if you have to go on several, to reach one’s destination. For many, bus and train is the only way of transportation and do not have a car!
    Came here actually to reply to your comment about the Camellia being the favorite flower of your mother. I realized then that I didn’t know the Camellia in Holland, but learned about it in Southern California. Maybe where you live is too much North, like Holland?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Neither Pittsburgh, PA or anywhere in Iowa are good for growing camellia. She knew of them from relatives we visited in Virginia.

      I second your complaint. There are not enough trains in this country.

      Like

  16. First of all, a huge thank you to you for adding me to this conversation and posting my link. I like the line that says I’m here to promote my travel blog because that is what I do these days. Although, honestly, I cannot give my 100% time to it due to client work. I had no clue you are going to put my question here but glad that you did. Also, my name is immensely popular in India due to a popular actor called Shah Rukh Khan a.k.a. SRK. However, it is not very common. So far, I have met just 5-6 people in the real world scenario that share the same name. Just in case you want to know what it means the name means a king’s face or majestic. Okay back to the rail topic. I also found that Amtrak doesn’t own a large portion of the tracks. The Chicago to Emeryville route a.k.a California Zephyr Route is dominated by Union Pacific that owns half the track and BNSF owns the other half. Amtrak also runs trains on this route. So, Union Pacific usually gives preferences to their own trains running on this route rather than Amtrak which usually leads to delays. Also, the Northeast Corridor where Amtrak operates has very less space to lay more tracks for Amtrak. That’s what I found. Any comment?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, Amtrak doesn’t own a lot of rail, and passenger trains get sided to let freight pass (a big issue in the west). But, Amtrak was created from a collection of failing passenger railroads, in the 1970s so it’s hard to blame this railroad. Plus, if Congress funded Amtrak better, it could be a first class operation.

      The NE corridor is tight. They are constantly laying new track, but to replace aging track with rail that will support higher speeds.

      Our railroads have their problems, but they are worth investing in and worth riding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, managing a railroad is challenging. In India, the challenge is we are 4 times smaller than the USA geographically, but have 4 times the population. So, the network must be efficient, fast and cheap. If the railway ministry hikes up even a minor amount in the budget the opposition and the people are going to tear the ministry into pieces. I believe Indian Railways is the best in the world, although, not the best in terms of luxury, but it helps you reach your destination at dirt cheap prices. I believe right now the cost for 622 mile (1000 kms) ride is $29 for AC class.

        Like

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