Hot in Hawai'i issue 2 0 1 5

Spring snow blog #2

Drafted Thursday Night on the Lake Shore Limited 21:30 Chicago Union Station Spring 2015 blog two

i forgot that this is spring break week .  The train is full of college students .   Here are two young ladies trying to take up six seats .  They seem to be Chinese .  The car attendant is scolding them .  " You must sit with each other .  It will be a full train . " People load up seats with their bags .  No .  It won't work here .  This isn't China or Russia .  It's the East Coast !  HAhahAhHAhah !  Gas is $2.25 a gallon everywhere

The cellphone phenomena is startling .  It seems that everyone has a cellphone buddy they can call and talk to and do just that until all hours .  Why go anywhere if all you want to do is talk with someone from where you are from anyway ?  And in different languages .  L O U D L Y ! Long Distance ! SHOUT !  HAhahahaHAHah  .  i do not understand Mandarin but i do remember some Chinese people as being boisterous from prior encounters overseas .  They are like ourTexans : loud and they do everything in a B I G way .  This other one's from Africa .  She's black and proud ( as it should be ) . Loudness counts on a train or in an elevator .  " Is that your phone vibrating or mine ?"  HAhah !  i just unplugged my cheap ( free ) United Airlines ® headphones and am playing musical accompaniment to their four different convos on four different phones from four different directions and cultures .   The elderly couple next to me in their seats shares that cute familiarity that comes from having lived together for 50 years .  Retired folk and college kids ride the train back East here .  It's cheap and gets you there .  No rush .  i have to get some real headphones at Reny's ® in Maine .  Forgot mine

Pahoa was in the USA Today again yesterday .  Malama Market reopened .  It made National by State news .  Last fall on the mainland it was in the news because of the lava and hurricane Iselle .  Weird .  Also weird , it has been snowing since Buffalo NY and I am in Albany , the State capital listening to Christmas music on my iWatch ® ( the old one - an Apple ®  Shuffle ® ) .  The new iWatch ® comes out o/a April 24th .  Don't buy it .  It's a waste of money .  Get a cheap one from here -->  <--  .  Watches are like sunglasses .  You'll only break or lose them any way .  Ever seen an old watch or a pair of sunglasses ?  Neither have i

i am the only Hawai'ian on the train .  Sitting in front of me are a female Indian from India and an African young lady , both college students .  Behind me are two Asian Americans student ( the guy is gay ) and i knew it earlier just from listening to their conversation

This winter weather has a dampening effect on every one on the train . No one is talking and the incessant phone chatter has now stopped .  It's about 4 pm and people know it will be getting dark soon .  Everyone is thinking , " More snow. "   New York has a different vibe than New England .  It's more Germanic and Eastern European here than charming New England with it's quant English thing going on .  NY has it's own brand of poor Appalacia with shacks and all .  Talking with a woman at breakfast she said the winter had been very cold and continues to be .  Not so snowy here in NY .  Just bitter cold .   Contrast all that with the Valley Girl , Mexicali , and Amerasian thing out west with cowboys and cowgirls , homeles at he side of the tracks and all .  You can't help those who do not want to be helped , sad but true

i am also watching a DVD entitled ' The Book Thief ' which is rather slow moving but beautifully photographed .   It is a European movie about Nazis and Jews in WWII and it looks like they filmed it in Hungary or Czechoslovakia , mostly during the winter .  How appropriate .  It's unfolding like a slow Brahms symphony but the character development and story line is okay , just slow  .  The worl dlook slnice all covered with a fresh coat of white

Train blog 15.03.19

Thursday ‘ fast forward in time ‘ blog 37º & snowing Chicago

Since Hawai’i i have lost 4 hours of time on my watch .  They have simply disappeared .  Vanished .  i don’t know where they went to .  i keep jumping forward in time .  i am using headphones from the airplane .  Forgot mine .  Cell phones are still big on the train .  Everyone likes talking to someone somewhere else

On this train , the Empire Builder , one spends the whole day in Montana (MT) from sun up to sundown . That's how big the State is . Twelve hours travel from one side to the other  .  AMTRAK ® speeds along at 70-80 mph but it still takes you the whole day to get through the place

Montana FM radio music ; " Love Me Like You Mean It " (not bad - country)
" Paula Dean's recipes are like a suicide note ," (a comedy show)
" Little Bit of Left , Little Bit of Right ." (truck driver music)  American Indian , Country & Western , Christian and Oldies . That's what they play .  88.1 FM Havre MT is a good station (tribal US Indian)

I've met nice people including a couple from England , Vivian and Mr. Powell and an individual by the name of Tom Dennis who is 65 .   His family is in the news up here on the radio .  He has 16 brothers and sisters .  They populate South Dakota .  Something about embezzlement and one of his brothers just died , too .  That’s why he’s here from Los Angeles  

People tell you everything about themselves on the train                

The National Public Radio (NPR) FM station 100.7 is trying to sell stuff on the radio to fund their station  .  It’s funny to listen to . Red Cow tags , big rain cup , Native American Indian ear-rings (US$5.00) , a high back chair (US$125) , Call now !  There’s one guy on the microphone (the DJ) and one guy on the phone taking the calls and reporting  the bids (the audio engineer) . Funny ! 

The cows live in abandonded school buses out here .  It’s cattle country . Ducks . Wolves .  The deer and the Antelope play .  Wide open spaces . There are many abondonded farms & train lines , cars and ghost towns , too .   The weather here is simply too harsh for us mere humans .  My on-line video shows this part of the US on 9.11 last year and on this date right now and it looks the same .  Snow and cold . That’s six months straight

The train is empty . It’s not like during the summertime when the kids are on vacation . We have the ‘ kiddie corner , ‘ where all the moms are congregating in one train car .  It smells like diapers . Tom and I are in the lounge / sight-seeing car where liquor can be purchased downstairs .  He imbibes .  We are at 2,500 ft traveling at about 70 mph . The overcast clouds are very low and have just coated the hills with a dusting of snow .  He’s enjoying his favorite liquor , Jack Daniels , so now i am simply babysittting a happy drunk .  The freight trains are speeding past with the oil and natural gas from the Baaken oil fields of North Dakota .  Fracking .  Our train  are running a bit late because of them .  AMTRAK ® doesn’t own the tracks we ride on . Burlington Northern Santa Fe ( BNSF ) does .  Oil is worth more than people and that’s why passenger trains run late .  Tom is first cousin to Lawrence Welk .  People will tell you everything about themselves if you give tham a chance    

Dinner was with Mark and Irene from Iowaand a Cheyenne Indian guy by the name of Mike .  Very interesting converstion that ranged from Africa to Guatemala to the American West and Micronesia and all our kids .  Fascinating .  Americans do travel a lot .  With only one notable yet very interesting exception i can think of in all my years of riding trains it seems like Americans have been everywhere

Thursday Minneapolis St. Paul  09:00 am

The radio is good here . The weather sux ( all gray and cold ) but the people are nice .  Everyone’s friendly and haolie .  Spring hs not sprung yet .  No snow here .  i am expecting snow in the shadows back further East .  This is the time of year when they start sweeiping up all the sand they put on the roads over the winter and many forests , fields  and farms from the train

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