"Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."

Train

12:53 Monday, 22 July 2024
Current Wx: Temp: 90.14°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 73% Wind: 10.36mph
Words: 266

Selfie of me in front of the Auto Train

We're all checked in. Boarding isn't until 3:30, but figured I'd kill some time here in the marmot.

I'm kind of impressed by the number of people here, and we got here right when they started admitting cars. It's a Monday, not near a federal holiday, mid-summer and still a lot of people, and their cars, take this expensive trip down to Florida.

Not a lot of kids and families. Probably skewed toward the older age demographic, as one might expect.

As an aside, my Quartiles streak continues, I think it's up to 72 days making Expert. I've never gotten all the words, but I usually get it down to something between two and six. It's the first thing I do in the morning, when I wake up and don't necessarily want to get right out of bed. I stay with it until I finish it, which doesn't take very long. It's not a hard game, but it does reward persistence.

I've got a bunch of pictures I still need to upload. Not exactly looking forward to that. Plus culling the hundreds I've already added to Photos. I could work on that today. We'll see.

Anyway, last time I did this was in 2019 and I didn't bring a laptop. I was using my new to me 10.5" iPad Pro with the attached keyboard cover, which doesn't run Tinderbox. I've got the iPad mini with me on this trip for Kindle and Books.

Anyway, that's it for now.

"All aboard!"

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Headed South

06:54 Monday, 22 July 2024
Current Wx: Temp: 75.2°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 0mph
Words: 259

Our vacation is nearly over. This afternoon we'll board the Auto Train for the ride down to Florida, avoiding a drive through most of Virginia, all of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Apart from saving mileage on the car, it'll preserve my sanity. I hate driving through South Carolina.

This is also the part of the trip that is utterly devoid of scenery. Driving through New York and Pennsylvania was beautiful. Traffic wasn't bad either. It was also relatively cool.

Having been away from the Finger Lakes for two years, the feeling of enchantment was very strong. Toward the end of our visit, I could somewhat place myself in my adolescent mind that lived in Upstate New York and took the landscape largely for granted.

But I could also recall my Dad, who never seemed to tire of the views of the hills and the fields and the trees. I don't think I will ever tire of them again, or take them for granted. It is a stunningly beautiful landscape.

To be sure, the region suffers economically and there are stark reminders of that everywhere. But there are also signs of renewal.

Apart from the landscape, there is so much history there. Not all of it is great, General Sullivan driving the indigenous people from the Finger Lakes under orders from George Washington in 1789 is a shameful legacy. But abolition and women's rights are two progressive movements that owe much to the region.

We'll be going back. Mitzi is as enthralled as I am.

I ❤️ NY.

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Service Before Self

06:39 Monday, 22 July 2024
Current Wx: Temp: 75.24°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 0mph
Words: 169

We were in the car, in Pennsylvania, when Mitzi's sister-in-law texted us, "Biden is out." We turned on the radio and listened to coverage from NPR.

Since we arrived at the hotel yesterday evening, I've read much of the coverage. Right now, it looks like the Democratic Party isn't going to form a circular firing squad, and is closing ranks behind Harris. That's the best news.

There have been many tributes to Joe Biden, and they are all well earned and richly deserved. For too many Americans, the contrast between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is a perverse one. Joe Biden is a decent man, a statesman, a compassionate human being, a competent leader. Donald Trump is none of these things, yet the Republican Party elevates him as their candidate. It's a bizarre trait in human nature. Some sort of self-loathing, self-destructive desire born out of fear and anger, and bad leadership.

For the first time since the debate, I feel more confident, more hopeful.

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