About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

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Past Postings:

New York, New York

Made it to SXSW in Austin

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Big and Little Beirut

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Race to Witch Mountain

Christmas Fire

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but itís bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

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On the Rails
2006-10-08 08:00:00

I'm sitting on the Amtrak Cascades train on my way to Seattle. After all the flying I've been doing this year, it's really a night and day experience.

First off, I decided this morning that I'd rather take the train than drive up the freeway, again. It's a couple hundred miles each way and my patience for stupid drivers is steadily wearing thinner. Add the fact it's about two tanks of gas at 40 bucks a tank, plus wear and tear, and it just makes sense to take the train.

Choosing Sunday morning to book my travel would have been impossible with the airlines. But, I was able to get online, buy my ticket for a 3:00 train at 10 this morning.

Hell, with a plane, I'd practically have to be leaving for the airport at 10. Not so with the train; I got to the station with about 10 minutes to spare (which, really was cutting it close even for the train). I checked in, got my ticket in hand and walked on board.

The train is pretty full, but I've got a decent seat, a place to plug in my laptop, and I can drink my own beer (I had a couple beers in the car from a potluck last night). Granted, I still have to pack in my own Internet using the cell modem in my laptop, but I can use my cell modem! Hell, I can use my cell phone!

And, compared to the plane, it's quiet. The train tracks make a little rumbling noise, but nothing like the engines or the air whipping around a jet. And the view is really amazing -- serene, bucolic views of forests and pastureland, and (coming up in a bit) the Puget Sound. It's practically a spa day.

Oh, and the bathroom is HUGE. Well, at least the one in my car is. It's a handicap bathroom, but it's amazingly large. I had forgotten that I've actually changed my clothes in one of those (bike ride to the train, get out of spandex in the handicap toilet...). That's where they could set up the massage table if they wanted to complete the spa experience...

So, why, oh, why, do we not have more rail?

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