Month: August 2014

Trying to reach Newport

So I took a ride down to Newport. All the ITS display boards warned there was an accident on the Pell bridge. 

Put it this way, the 40MPH speed limit on that bridge is a joke. As are the narrow yellow markers down the middle of the bridge. 

So about 1,000 feet from the toll station we’re stuck. The side bound toward Newport is wall to wall cars. People are putting on the old emergency brake and setting the cars in park and getting out for a stretch. We do see a blue SUV with flashing lights and a meat wagon (aka rescue truck) with lights flashing and sirens blaring go by. So whoever it was, they scraped them out alive. 

In front of me is a black Toyota RAV4 with MA plates on it. I start looking at those yellow uprights and think to myself, “Hey, this FIesta is narrow enough it’d fit right through.”. 

I see the reverse lights on the RAV4 light up. Then back to brake lights. The woman gets out and admonishes me that they’re not going to hit the Fiesta, they’re just trying to get out. I responded that i had the exact same thought. 

So right after them I made the U turn and went back the other way. 

Hopefully it will be all cleared up by the time I have to head down there again. 



For everything there is a first time: A ride on Acela Express

So today I get to the Central Square Red Line station and see it’s almost 10 minutes before the next train going toward South Station. What the hell! 

Needless to say the Red line gets in at 4:07:40 – leaving me 20 seconds to get up several flights of stairs and out to the MBTA commuter that leaves at 4:08PM. 

Next train isn’t until 4:35PM. So I went over to the Amtrak kiosk in South Station, plugged my credit card in and bought a $35 business class ticket on train 2173 to D.C. which stops in Providence. 

The train reminds me very much of an airliner more than a train. 




The seats are nice and wide, and they recline quite a ways. 

The Amtrak people are very nice, respectful and courteous. 

The ride itself was a lot smoother than the MBTA commuter. And the entire trip took 45 minutes, saving 25 minutes on what the commuter would take. 

I’d say it was worth the $35 bucks Boston to Providence. I may just do this every Friday, I’ll try out coach it is appointed similarly but tighter seating because that’s only $21. 

All in all I like it. Not stopping at EVERY station is nice. It goes South Station, Back Bay, Rte 128 Station and then Providence. Skips Ruggles, Hyde Park, Sharon, Mansfield, Attleboro and South Attleboro entirely. 

So if you ever get the chance to city hop on the Acela Express I highly recommend it. Very speedy and comfy way to go. 

And for those of you around the U.S. who aren’t served by Acela – all I can say is lobby, lobby, lobby your elected representatives to get electric trains everywhere in the United States. 



Goodbye Radio Shack

Sad news for Radio Shack. Oh I’ll likely swoop in and buy the parts section that still remains in my local stores. But beyond that I haven’t been in a Radio Shack in years. 

I think it came back a while ago – when they’d constantly hawk batteries, or want your phone number, address, etc for a simple cash sale. I used to say when they asked “C-A-S-H

They had the heyday – when they introduced the TRS-80 Model I for example – and they continued that line for a while. But then they had the Tandy 1000 series – PC Clones and they just couldn’t keep with that. 

Then of course there’s the parts – that section of the stores dwindled to the point where you now can get bags of ten or more of a component on Amazon for a dollar. 

They essentially made a bad move. They could have embraced the maker movement, their roots, the Tandy part was a leather craft place. In fact the the TRS part of TRS-80 stood for Tandy Radio Shack. 

But in this new world where the innovation on the net has killed yet another retail chain I can’t say I’m sad to see it go. I will swoop in and buy liquidation items. That’s about the extent.