Saturday, November 15, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

It is a matter of constant frustration that it is almost never cheaper to take a train, compared to driving or flying between cities separated by a couple of hundred miles. It is lovely to sit on board rather than drive, and less hassle to negotiate even Penn Station in Manhattan than an airport security line. Yet when one is obliged (as I am) to take into consideration the cheapest option of travel, the train is left aside time and again. So the thrill of alighting the train (with such romantic names as the Empire Service, Maple Leaf, Vermonter or the Pennsylvanian) is harder to come by these days for a minister who would love to trade the road for the rails. Alas!

Reflecting on our years in England, it was probably a combination of private ownership of passenger railway lines, high fuel taxes and size of the country, but we found it was much better to travel from Yorkshire to London by train (see photo) than by car. This is about the same distance as Boston to New York, but for about 1/3 the price. See the title of the post for a wonderful snow plow mounted on a train, incidentally.

What about you, how much more would you pay for a train rather than driving, parking, etc.?


On rainy days, the sport of choice in our household has been wrestling. It was quickly discovered (many anguished tears) that a "no holds barred" match wouldn't work. So some of the rules for wrestling are:

All wrestling on the rug only; no kicking; no hitting; no squishing tummies; if someone says, get off, you have to get off; if they can't speak and seem like they are panicking and would say get off if they could, you have to get off; no standing; no using gear (like pillows or dinosaurs); no showing your mouth (inside your mouth, that's gross); no licking or biting, no teeth in fact; no sitting on anybody's legs; no jumping on people. Gross infractions will result in the referee issuing a penalty, usually one minute in the chair. After I unwisely described the thrills of early 80's wrestling of my youth, it proved necessary to make a rule against the Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka trademark move. Other than that, it's "no holds barred".

So far that's it, but we seem to come up with new rules as the worst of the injuries come about.

On a possibly related note, the neighbours in the adjoining apartment are moving.