Monday, 29 May 2017

It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S., the day set aside to remember those who sacrificed themselves to protect our freedom. Although the official purpose of Memorial Day is to remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country, let’s also remember all of those brave men and women, living and dead, who through the years have put their lives on the line to protect all of us. As we have our cookouts and family get-togethers today, let’s all take a moment to think about our troops in the Middle East and elsewhere, who can’t be with their families. And let’s have a thought, not just today but every day of the year, for them and the sacrifices they are making and have made.

08:59 – It was 64.5F (18C) when I took Colin out around 0645 this morning, bright and breezy. With Barbara gone, Colin’s a bit at odds. He was a good dog yesterday. He pestered me pretty constantly, but he does that when Barbara’s at home. He actually deals better with her absence than any of other other dogs have, probably because Colin actually likes me while the others were all about Barbara. Oh, well. Only five more days until Barbara returns.

This morning I read Fred Reed’s latest column, followed by Kurt Schlichter’s. The two in juxtaposition are interesting. Fred writes about the Eloi class of so-called journalists, who don’t mix at all with us Morlocks. Kurt writes that the Eloi are shocked that we Morlocks are starting to hate them right back.

I’ve always read a lot of history. My dad really got me started when I was in sixth grade. One day he brought a bunch of large books into my room and stuck them on the bookshelf. One group was a complete set of Gibbons’ The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The other was a then-complete set of Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization. He suggested I read the Durant volumes first and then if I wanted to know more about Rome to read the Gibbons. As it turned out, I read Durant through Caesar and Christ and then temporarily abandoned Durant to read the Gibbons set. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by Roman history but also interested in the rest of what the Durants covered.

And reading history is probably one of the major reasons I’ve always been a prepper. Over and over, one reads about people whose lives were going along swimmingly well. All of them thought nothing bad could happen because nothing bad had happened before. Until something bad happened. Often something disastrously bad. History is basically a long string of disastrously bad situations interspersed with infrequent and short periods of things going well. But people rapidly get used to the latter and come to regard it as normal when in fact it’s anything but normal.

We’ve had Eloi and Morlocks since the dawn of civilizations, and the progression is always the same, anywhere and anywhen. The Eloi rule with an iron fist inside an iron glove, until at some point the Morlocks just stop putting up with it. And I think we’re on the cusp of such an event. And, just as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette or Nicholas and Alexandra, if they thought about it all, thought their privileged lives would continue just as they were, today’s Eloi have no clue that the rumbling among their Morlocks presages something very unpleasant on the near horizon.

When this dam finally breaks, the consequences are going to be disastrous for everyone. The Morlocks, certainly, but even more so for the Eloi.

 

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61 Responses to Monday, 29 May 2017

  1. SteveF says:

    Nice to see you putting it that way, identifying with the morlocks. The eloi are always presented as the good ones — that is, always presented by English teachers and other learned commenters on the story.

    I was a kid when I first read The Time Machine, and accepted the view that the eloi were the good guys and the nasty morlocks were nasty cannibals blah blah blah. The next time I thought about the story, as an adult supporting myself and probably three bureaucrats and other welfare drones, it occurred to me that the eloi were parasites on the morlocks and deserved whatever happened to them. Expressing this opinion is not popular with teenagers and college students, but that’s ok; maintaining their good opinion of me is not high on my priorities.

  2. OFD says:

    There it is.

    65 here and bright overcast, breezy, with rain showers expected, plus t-storms through Wednesday.

    Off to the airport in a couple of hours so Mrs. OFD can get down to Wilmington, Delaware for the week. I have beaucoups tasks and projects underway inside and out regardless of weather.

    This Memorial Day I remember the two Marines who were killed by a mortar round on either side of me in Cambodia and the Vietnamese soldiers killed a few yards aways from me by rocket shrapnel in South Vietnam.

    Requiescant in pace, fratres…

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, well, I understand that Wells originally intended to call the Morlocks “Irredeemable Deplorables” but thought better of it.

  4. nick flandrey says:

    Interesting pictures coming up on my ‘random’ screensaver.

    Wife’s aunties at a flag ceremony at the cemetery at Normandy.

    Trees tipped over in one of our hurricanes.

    On a stormy Memorial day, they seem particularly appropriate.

    n

  5. ech says:

    There was a silent update to MSFT’s Malicious Software Removal Tool for Windows that targets the Wanna Cry ransomware. Go here for details.

  6. MrAtoz says:

    Movie reviews:

    Alien: Covenant – I saw this last Tuesday. I believe Ridley Scott was drunk when he wrote/approved the script. Too many unanswered questions from the last film. Too many unresolved new plot lines in the new film. Who funds a XXX trillion dollar mission to another planet staffed with the worst military and civilian crew you could find. Who tramps around on a new planet with no bio-protection. Won’t give anymore away. If you like the “Aliens” genre, there are a few new things. The evil android storyline is old, tired and dead.

    Pirates DMTNT – I saw this Saturday night in 3D at the Imax. The graphics and 3D were great. The storyline was old, tired, repeated and dead. Think Johnny Depp was actually drunk during his performances and didn’t have to act. Terrible delivery. Guest shot by Paul McCartney was a WTF, over, shot that contributed nothing. Whatever they paid Depp was too much. I liked the “Pirates” movies, not this one.

  7. lynn says:

    I never knew that I was a Morlock. I always envisioned myself as an Eloi. But, the differences are too great.

    It is always interesting to watch the first reaction of people to my water stash in the garage. About half of them says “Hurricane ?” and nod knowingly. The other half laugh and immediately identify themselves as Eloi.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Who tramps around on a new planet with no bio-protection.

    Prometheus. “Hey little fella.”

    Sir Ridley lost all credibility at our house with that single line. We rewound it twice to make sure we heard the line correctly. Two words: space cobra.

    The only Summer movie I have hope will deliver is “Baby Driver”. It was huge at SXSW here a few months ago, inspiring Sony to move up the release date. I dig Edgar Wright, even his “bad” flicks (“Scott Pilgrim”).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR8cerFfWZo

    The kid was a finalist for the lead in the “Young Han Solo” movie. You’ll probably get a better ‘Harrison Ford’ movie experience out of “Baby Driver” than the “Blade Runner” sequel.

    If you want sci fi/fantasy, “American Gods” and, believe it or not, “Doctor Who” are currently cranking out better quality material than the movie studios IMHO.

  9. ech says:

    Don’t forget that season 5 of Orphan Black kicks off on June 10 on BBC America.

    My brother’s latest flick in the can is set for next summer (Alita: Battle Angel). Nothing on the big screen from him this summer, alas. Rumors of two additional films coming up to film in Austin, but nothing firm.

    He did a web series for the Rooster Teeth people, the ones that did the “Red vs. Blue” web series. They have a bunch of streaming shows and web series. Low budget, but well done for the money they spend. I saw a few episodes of one called “Crunch Time” at the Austin Film Festival last year.

  10. lynn says:

    There was a silent update to MSFT’s Malicious Software Removal Tool for Windows that targets the Wanna Cry ransomware. Go here for details.
    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3198652/windows-pcs/the-windows-malicious-software-removal-tool-has-been-updated-for-wannacry.html?google_editors_picks=true

    Thanks !

  11. Greg Norton says:

    It is always interesting to watch the first reaction of people to my water stash in the garage.

    The other day in Costco, when I grabbed an 8-pack of low sodium Spam for our “hurricane” food stash, a guy looking at the pallette remarked, “Need Spam for life?”

    “Nah, but the kids love Spam fried rice,” I responded.

    He still looked at me like I was nuts. Austin.

  12. paul says:

    “Need Spam for life?”

    I don’t get it.

    I buy regular or HEB equivalent. The texture of the low salt and other flavors seems off to me. We like it sliced and fried. I usually make a box of mac and cheese.

    DAK canned ham is pretty good, too.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    “Need Spam for life?”

    I don’t get it.

    Butt-in-ski-ism. I saw a lot more of it on the West Coast, but it is showing up here with the CA transplants. Smoke all the weed you want, but God forbid you enjoy a little processed meat or … worse … Diet Coke. “Don’t you know that’s bad for you?”

    Austin wants to be Portland. God only knows why.

    I buy regular or HEB equivalent. The texture of the low salt and other flavors seems off to me. We like it sliced and fried. I usually make a box of mac and cheese.

    We make fried rice with soy sauce which has plenty of sodium. Stir fried, the texture ends up okay.

    We haven’t tried the HEB Spam equivalent, but their Mac and Cheese is much better than Kraft Dinner.

  14. ech says:

    The chorizo spam is really good for breakfast. The bacon spam is OK. Haven’t tried jalapeno, smoke flavor, or teriyaki. From what I heard, there are quite a few other flavors out there, especially in Hawaii. It’s the state dish there.

  15. ech says:

    Sounds like my external backup drive is dying. Looking at what is out there, the choices are Toshiba, WD, and Seagate. Any recommendations? Also, any recommendations for backup software for Windows 10?

  16. Bill F. says:

    I drove by the Spam museum (located in an very different Austin than the one in Texas) yesterday. Austin Minnesota. I need to stop in some day.

    The Spam website has some fun recipes if you are in the mood for some Spam goodness.

    How did this name get corrupted to also mean the email problem?

  17. SteveF says:

    Shortly after email became more widespread than a few academics, it became mostly junk. Something like “Spam, spam, spam, eggs, and spam”.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    How did this name get corrupted to also mean the email problem?

    I blame the Monty Python sketch.

  19. paul says:

    Ah, got it with the Butt-in-ski-ism. I’m getting crabby enough to want to punch them in the throat but also getting too old to do so.

    We haven’t tried the HEB Spam equivalent, but their Mac and Cheese is much better than Kraft Dinner.

    If your HEB is downscale enough, try the Economax Mac and Cheese. Blue box. It’s almost like Kraft 20 years ago.

    Economax is HEB’s bottom of the line and all of it I have tried is just fine.

    Economax > Hill Country Fare > HEB > Central Market.

  20. pcb_duffer says:

    I’ve got one each WD & Seagate external drives, each 3 terrabytes nominal. each USB 3 compatible. The Seagate is NTFS formatted, and used for various WinBoxes and when I have to help un-fubar some outsider’s machine. The WD is Reiserfs formatted, for the various Linux boxes in the house. Both have been rock solid, in no at all hard usage; the WD is faster at large transfers but I’m fairly sure that’s the file system.

    I had heard nothing re: a Blade Runner sequel. When is its scheduled release? And is it supposed to be any good?

  21. DadCooks says:

    @ech WRT backup Hard Drives and backup software:

    I am totally WD now since all my Seagates (6 less tha 5-years old) died in the past year. Each of my computers/laptops backs up to its own WD HD, its own HD in an NAS, and to iDrive.

    For backup software I use EaseUS Todo (http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm) and Macrium Reflect (https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree). I started out using the free products and have now bought the paid versions. I also use iDrive for cloud backup. I do also use Windows 10 built in file and folder backup.

    I have used Carbonite in the past, but after it failed me twice I give it my most negative do not buy even if they pay you to use it.

  22. lynn says:

    Sounds like my external backup drive is dying. Looking at what is out there, the choices are Toshiba, WD, and Seagate. Any recommendations? Also, any recommendations for backup software for Windows 10?

    My first rule of backups is one backup, one device. As soon as the backup comes close to the size of the device then those devices(s) must be replaced.

    I use WD internal and external drives for backup exclusively at home and the office. Our LAN backup is 3.5 TB between a dozen PCs at the office. The home backup is 500 GB. At the office I use three internal drives, all 4 TB that I am getting ready to replace with 8 TB drives as soon as the price drops below $200 each. I also have seven external USB drives that I rotate weekly that are from 4 TB to 8 TB. I will transition that last 4 TB to an 8 TB external on June 30th as I archive those drives semiannually.
    https://www.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-External-Drive-WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN/dp/B01LQQHLGC/

    My second rule of backups is exact images only. I believe that I should be able to mount the device and read it at any place without using any special software.

    I use a software program that Microsoft wrote quite a few years ago called robocopy.exe. It works great for me using this version (other versions have issues for me):
    04/18/2003 06:06 PM 79,872 robocopy.exe
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145(v=ws.11).aspx

    One of the features that I use is that I never delete any files from the backup device. That way if someone deletes a file then we have a fighting chance of getting that file back using the internal backups or the offsite backup rotation.

  23. Ray Thompson says:

    I have used Backup for Workgroups in the corporate environment.

    https://www.backup-for-workgroups.com

    I used it to backup multiple servers onto a single hard USB hard drive. Duplicate files are not duplicated but are instead linked thus saving space. Generations of files are stored along with deleted files. You can set the number days in the past to keep of generations of files. This allowed me to recover a file that was three versions back with ease because one individual thought they knew Excel. You can also mirror the backup thus enabling redudancy.

    I highly recommend this product for backing up multiple machines.

  24. OFD says:

    WRT to the “Blade Runner 2049” sequel; the plot ostensibly has the FNG looking for the missing Deckard; do they plan to stick Harrison Ford into this mix, too?

    “I guess that’s a woman.”

    Yeah, yet another hottie from the fugly leftist pantheon of pigs. Do they have any decent-, hell, even plain-looking womyn at all??? Yeah, yeah, I know, the horrific “male gaze,” again; but c’mon, have a haht. A very long parade now of disgusting, fugly pigs over decades; there has to be some correlation, amirite??

  25. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Seriously? That thing is XX? No wonder it hates the world.

  26. CowboySlim says:

    “Sounds like my external backup drive is dying. Looking at what is out there, the choices are T oshiba, WD, and Seagate. Any recommendations? Also, any recommendations for backup software for Windows 10?”

    Hey, this is how I got started here 15 years ago, or so. Anyway, I use the WDC MyCloud for backup.

  27. OFD says:

    “No wonder it hates the world.”

    All of that type apparently hate the world and everyone else in it not exactly like them. The sad thing is that many of them could have made something good of themselves, including their appearance, but they chose not to; they chose hate and then they accuse us Normals of hating. We didn’t really hate them but felt kinda sorry for them; but they’re driving us to hate.

  28. ech says:

    do they plan to stick Harrison Ford into this mix, too?

    He’s in it. Watch the trailer.

    Saw this trailer, about a Marine dog explosives dog handler the other day. Looks interesting. Based on a true story. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4899370/?ref_=nv_sr_2

    The summer film I’m waiting for is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, made by Luc Besson who did The Fifth Element. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2239822/?ref_=vi_tr_mp_l_7

  29. SteveF says:

    If Keesha-YahI’mHotta Taylor wishes to identify as female, you should respect that.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    WRT to the “Blade Runner 2049” sequel; the plot ostensibly has the FNG looking for the missing Deckard; do they plan to stick Harrison Ford into this mix, too?

    Yup. And another Indiana Jones movie is in the works. Harrison Ford will be 78 when filming begins.

    IMHO, Ford’s been sleepwalking through flicks since “Presumed Innocent”, and even that movie is hard to watch when the late Raul Julia isn’t on screen.

  31. RickH says:

    Regarding backup software: I used to use Carbonite. Laptop to desktop via SyncToy, desktop had the copy of Carbonite. But that desktop drive got full, so started to need an external drive on the desktop for laptop backup. And Carbonite wanted to charge me an extra $30/yr for external drive backup.

    So, switched to CrashPlan. Unlimited, automatic backup, external drives too, and more. Works just fine, and close enough to the cost that Carbonite was charging me for just the internal desktop backup. Cheaper than what they wanted to charge me.

    So, all laptops here (three) SyncToy to desktop, and the desktop runs CrashPlan to the cloud. Recommended by me.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    If your HEB is downscale enough, try the Economax Mac and Cheese. Blue box. It’s almost like Kraft 20 years ago.

    Economax is HEB’s bottom of the line and all of it I have tried is just fine.

    Our HEB is a former Albertsons. Kinda dingy, but the staff works hard at making it a nice store. It is similar to the Publix we had in FL — an old building but way too busy to consider closing for renovations.

  33. lynn says:

    The movie that I want to see now is “Gifted”. I am hoping that Captain America takes out his shield and beheads the evil grandmother.
    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gifted_2017/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gifted_(film)

  34. paul says:

    Our HEB is a former Albertsons.

    We may be talking about the same store. Is the store on your right as you drive into Austin? White building? That was the first grocery store in Austin to have scanners.

    I shopped at the Tom Thumb and the Skaggs Alpha-Beta at 183 and Ohlen Road. Wrote my shopping list by the floor plans…. Sometimes we went to the Tom Thumb at Airport and Lamar… after chowing down at Airport Haven.

    We rarely went to the HEB at Lamar and Rundburg. Yeah, it was closer to the house but, nah, trashy, crowded, and understaffed.

  35. nick flandrey says:

    Had a nice long day out today. Weather cleared and stayed overcast but nice for the afternoon. Spent the day at our rec association as this is our opening weekend for the summer swim season.

    Chatted with a bunch of folks, cooked some burgers and dogs, drank some sodas, participated in the belly flop contest, and a good time was had by all.

    Most of the folks I talk to about it want the pool and rec association to be for our kids, like it was back in the day for them. It’s a nice old fashioned sentiment and very comfortable. The faces are different than ‘back in the day’ but most seem like good people. It’s a very wide range of people, social and economic status, and jobs, with having a good time at the pool as a common denominator.

    Now to relax a bit and get ready for bed.

    n

  36. lynn says:

    Today was much nicer than yesterday with the two hour flash-bang show that we had at 1 am in the morning with 2 inches of rain. Our two mile walk last night was 80 F at 80% RH. Today’s two mile walk was 82 F at 50% RH. Much better. Our 14 year old Cocker Spaniel rode half of the way each time and walked a mile each time. She likes her sag wagon a lot now.

  37. OFD says:

    OFD shops at all three supermarkets in this AO; the Food City three miles up the road near downtown Saint Albans, a.k.a. “Rail City;” the Price Chopper, another couple of miles north on Route 7 (ancient road and pathway from Quebec down through Maffachufetts); and the Hannaford, sorta upscale and near the Swanton line (don’t pronounce the “t” in Swanton). Food City has my pretzels, but nobody seems to sell Moxie in the 2-liter bottles anymore. WTF, over?

    All three stores are pretty clean with helpful and friendly locals staffing and managing them. Of course I make an effort to be friendly and a nice big ol’ teddy bear who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

    Wife called from Wilmington, DE, and sez it’s 80 and very muggy and Dulles was even worse, being in Mordor-on-the-Swamp. We’ve had rain all day here and temps in the 50s now with strong wind gusts. “Feels like” early April or September again.

  38. medium wave says:

    “TEXAS POLITICS IS NEVER BORING.”

    (Scroll up to see original link.)

  39. lynn says:

    Forgot to mention that the wife and I jumped in the concrete pond in the backyard after our walk last night. The water is only 83 F and cooled me off instantly. I vastly prefer 87 F or something thereabout.

  40. lynn says:

    “TEXAS POLITICS IS NEVER BORING.”
    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/266132/#respond

    Living in The Great State of Texas is never boring.

    Fixed that for you.

  41. pcb_duffer says:

    Thanks, SteveF. I hadn’t heard anything about this; I guess I’ll have to wait until October. IMDB says that Olmos is in it, but doesn’t indicate Sean Young’s presence.

  42. brad says:

    Austin – was still a nice city, when I lived there – geez – almost 30 years ago. I haven’t heard good things about the changes since: Too many Californians bringing their prog-values with them. I read an interview with one such woman: She was sooo glad to be out of California, with it’s high taxes, but she was campaigning for Austin to put in a “light rail” system. Really, just amazing…

    – – – – –

    Backups – for anyone who runs Linux, I have been using StoreBackup for ages. Its claim to fame is that it uses hard-links to avoid duplication. So you can keep lots of versions of your data, each of which looks complete, and they’ll all fit on a single disk. I have it set up to keep daily backups for the last month, weekly for the last (iirc) 6 months, and monthly backups basically forever.

    Once it’s set up, it just quietly does its job. I do peek in occasionally, just to make sure that it really is still working, but I haven’t had to actually touch anything for literally years.

    The danger, of course, is that there really is only one copy of any particular file, even if it shows up in many different backups. For that reason, the backups go onto a RAID-array, and I make regular copies of the whole array onto external hard-disks, which then become my offsite backups.

    – – – – –

    Finally, I ran across this quote, which sums up exactly how I feel about people who want to be addressed with special pronouns, or feel the need to broadcast their particular sexual preferences to the uncaring world:

    “I support anyone’s right to be who they want to be. My question is: to what extent do I have to participate in your self-image?” – David Chappelle

  43. Roger Ritter says:

    Austin – there was an article in the local paper a couple of years ago quoting a progressive who was saying that she had voted for all of the good progressive projects to make Austin a better city, but was upset that she had to leave because she could no longer afford the taxes. Didn’t seem to have any conception that those two things are related.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that if I run into anyone who wants me to use special pronouns to refer to them, I’ll just say, “I do have a preferred pronoun for people like you. It’s ‘schnee’. It comes from the German word for snow, as in snowflake, and after all if you’re special enough that normal pronouns don’t apply then I don’t see what it matters whether I use your pronoun or mine.”

  44. lynn says:

    Austin – was still a nice city, when I lived there – geez – almost 30 years ago. I haven’t heard good things about the changes since: Too many Californians bringing their prog-values with them. I read an interview with one such woman: She was sooo glad to be out of California, with it’s high taxes, but she was campaigning for Austin to put in a “light rail” system. Really, just amazing…

    Actually, it is a proven fact that buses are cheaper than light rail or heavy rail. And light rail sucks, they ran the light rail in Houston directly over the Braes Bayou. When the Braes bayou comes out, the light rail has to cease operations when there is one inch of water on the track ties (still six inches below the rails). There have also been several hundred wrecks between the light rail cars and vehicles now. Who could have predicted that ? “sarcasm”

    The heavy rail in Dallas works so much better as it does not run in the streets and uses the train tracks. I have ridden it several times from Carrollton into downtown Dallas now and proclaim to work well. It is just expensive, very expensive as it is elevated in many areas.

  45. nick flandrey says:

    It’s a bit shocking that there is no commuter rail link from Houston to Dallas. I guess Southwest Airline has the money to keep it that way.

    And yeah, light rail sucks. AFAIK there is only one in the whole world that pays its own way and it links to the casinos in Macau from Hong Kong.

    That might be out of date now.

    n

  46. dkreck says:

    Yes the triangle of Texas cities seems a much more logical place for HSR than California. Wonder why Obummer didn’t push for it there. Or did he?

  47. lynn says:

    Yes the triangle of Texas cities seems a much more logical place for HSR than California. Wonder why Obummer didn’t push for it there. Or did he?

    Its Texas.

    And the Texas legislature is trying very hard to build a high speed train from Houston to Dallas to Austin to Houston. The money involved is simply breathtaking. And, the train is not going to the downtown, they are going to dump you out in a cow pasture somewhere “near” the city.
    http://www.texascentral.com/

  48. dkreck says:

    The money involved is simply breathtaking. And, the train is not going to the downtown, they are going to dump you out in a cow pasture somewhere “near” the city.

    Well that does sound like California. Current build is from Madera to Bakersfield only stopping north of Bakersfield.
    Oh and the money. Probably well over $100B if it ever gets built.

  49. SteveF says:

    I’ll just say, “I do have a preferred pronoun for people like you. It’s ‘schnee’ fuckhead”.

    Or fartface or shitforbrains. I’m willing to work around their preferences.

  50. OFD says:

    “I’m willing to work around their preferences.”

    Gee, that’s mighty white of you.

    WHOOPS!

    Another micro-aggression!

    And then still another one for sarcastically belittling the concept!

  51. SteveF says:

    Meh, it’s alright. If they want to self-identify as a shitforbrains, who am I to tell them otherwise?

  52. brad says:

    Yeah, the problem with the idea of rail in Texas is: what do you do when you get there? They’re all typical sprawling American cities. Even if the rail took you to downtown, likely the place you want to visit is miles away. Best bet would be to put a car rental place right by the rail station, but that’s not a very satisfactory solution.

    The reason trains work in Europe is because (a) the train stations and tracks have “always” been here, and cities grew up around them, (b) European cities are smaller and denser than American cities, and (c) the cities have working public transport that people actually use. Some few American cities have (c), but essentially none of them have (a) or (b).

    Regarding (c): I’m reminded of when my wife first visited Austin. Being the naive European, she took the bus to get somewhere. The bus schedule said that the bus ran every 45 minutes, yet somehow she waited an hour for it to arrive. When she got to her destination, people were just horrified: “you took the bus?!?!” – because apparently only lower life forms (with plenty of time to wait) would ever do so.

  53. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, every American I know who’s visited Europe for the first time had exactly the same reaction: how incredibly densely populated it was. I forget who was who said that German towns were one kiloton apart. Rail works somewhere like that. In the US, not so well.

  54. Nick Flandrey says:

    The train as a car ferry is the only way it would really work in the US, and the cost would probably be too high. Also, the .gov would make it so miserable with safety regs, training requirements, security checks, etc that it would be faster to drive…

    When I was traveling for work, I did many projects in San Antonio and Austin and Dallas where I flew from houston and rented a car locally. It was actually cheaper for the company to pay for that than for the mileage reimbursement for my personal vehicle. Add in me falling asleep at the wheel after a long week and then driving home, and I’d rather fly. ‘Course that was then. NOW, I’d drive. I just wouldn’t drive after working all day. And Dallas is still a bit too far for me.

    The wife’s old company often would rent a car and have her drive to one of those cities rather than reimburse mileage, esp if more than one employee was traveling.

    Her current company puts them on a plane and rents locally.

    n

  55. Nick Flandrey says:

    “you took the bus?!?!” – because apparently only lower life forms (with plenty of time to wait) would ever do so.”

    yep, or drunks who’ve lost their license to drive…

    It’s part of the way the world is stacked against the poor. Everything a bus rider does takes longer and costs more of their lives. Dr appt? Half day vs a couple hours off work. Shopping? Local and higher cost convenience stores instead of costco. Get to work? Most employers out here say “reliable vehicle a must” because they know what happens when you ‘miss your bus.”

    nick

    BTW, Disney does transportation VERY well at Walt Disney Resort in Florida and even then it’s often faster to drive and park when moving around the property. If you are lucky you just walk on to a waiting vehicle and go, but if you are UNlucky you will spend a lot of time waiting.

  56. Ray Thompson says:

    When I was traveling for work, I did many projects in San Antonio and Austin and Dallas

    When I worked for EDS, office in San Antonio, in 1980 I used to make a couple trips a week to the Dallas HQ. Had a book of tickets. Would show up at the Southwest terminal (no security lines then), hand the agent a ticket, and get on the plane, no luggage. Planes ran once an hour starting at 5:00 AM until 11:00 PM. Same coming back from Dallas. Really easy and quick to get to my destination. Basically a flying bus.

  57. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yeah, those were the days. I did that in Cali for a while. There have even been times when you could buy an unlimited flights ticket, and just show up at the airport and decide which plane to get on for a whole year.

    I talked to a guy on a plane who was commuting from TX to Chicago daily. He was a radio DJ and his shows were far enough apart he could fly back and forth every day. Not my idea of a good life, but when they’re feeding you, you eat….

    n

  58. ech says:

    I talked to a guy on a plane who was commuting from TX to Chicago daily.

    Why commute? He should be able to do his show from one place. I know that some of the big chains do that. Heck, they have small market towns where the same DJ is on multiple stations at the same time. Every once in a while the DJ does a town-specific insert based on something sent in by a local staffer. “Great time was had by all at the VFW BBQ last night!”

  59. SteveF says:

    European cities subjects are smaller and denser than American cities citizens

    Though a large fraction of the American electorate (including the deceased, felons, and non-citizens) favored Obama and then either Clinton or Sanders, so “denser” is debatable.

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