Take the A-Train

Yesterday, we took Amtrak to Chicago. Now, these photos are from last year’s trip to NYC. Where we did take Amtrak, from NYC to Boston, but that was Penn Station, not Grand Central. Fortunately, we discovered that we were at the wrong terminal, the day before we had to leave. I had a great pic for this post, but I used it. We were pulling out of the Lou, the conductor had a great tip and I got the shot. Unlike our previous train trip, which went well, this last one didn’t.

We were scheduled to leave at 8 AM. The alarm was set for 5:30. It went off and already awake, I ejected from bed. Checking my phone, I got the bad news. Our train wouldn’t arrive until noon. I cancelled our cab and rescheduled a new one. The cancelled cab showed up anyway and I had to go out to tell the driver that he was not needed. Our painters showed up late, but we were still home when they arrived. Eventually, the second cab showed and we were off.

It was closer to a five-hour delay, when we boarded. The car was fantastic. Being short of stature, we never really needed all of the leg room that we had, even fully reclined. We ate our bag lunch and snoozed. Still the hours ticked by. Half-a-dozen coeds sitting behind us displayed their bad girls personas, but their unending narcissism eventually became entertaining. Then there was the gang of small boys, whose unending energy, wore everyone else out, as they ceaselessly ran up-and-down the aisle.

Taking some responsibility for the delay, Amtrak offered all a free dinner. The service was an interesting experience and the food was free, but it was worth it. Most annoying were the irregular stops that the train made. Sometimes the crew got out to checkout their train. Sometimes a southbound freight screamed by us.

We made it though, six hours late. We had been on Amtrak time. The coeds were at their wit’s end, but plans for drinking seemed to offer a solution. The boys were still going screaming strong. We took a cab to the Palmer House and ate a light supper in. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better one too. 

Extra Dynamite

Extra Dynamite

The pictured crate of dynamite is at the NYC Transportation Museum. It is part of an exhibit that describes the digging of the subway system. It makes a nice visual, but what intrigued me more it the title of its contents. What is “extra” dynamite? It’s a different formulation that is less explosive than regular dynamite (40% strength), but can be more safely handled. But why is it called extra?

Is it because you would need more of it than regular dynamite or is it just a marketing ploy, making more out of less? That’s not the only mystery. Why is it also affiliated with the Red Cross? That doesn’t make any sense at all. As near as I can tell, Red Cross Extra is DuPont’s brand name for this type of explosive. I found a 1916 company catalog that listed this product and described it as a low freezing insensitive explosive, suitable for situations without water troubles. 


Last night, we celebrated Christmas in February, with Joanie. Why the delay? A gift that Anne had bought was on backorder and just arrived. I fixed shrimp and zucchini pasta in an alfredo sauce, with garlic bread. It turned out pretty good. We exchanged gifts and had rum bunt cake that Joanie had brought for dessert. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed our very little Christmas together.