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Archive for the ‘Metro’ Category

Metro

Metro in DC is having some serious problems. I went to CUA yesterday morning; on my way back home, my trip on the train was about forty-five minutes for what should have been a ten minute ride. Apparently (from what the announce at the station said), there was some sort of emergency situation: a crack had been found on the track, and Metro was fixing it.  This caused them to single track the line between three stations. Several people on the train were annoyed, but I was surprised that no one was actually doing any cussing. They were calmer about it than one would have expected. And I saw several people helping each other out throughout the ordeal. For example, a few people didn’t have cell phones, but needed to make a call to let someone know they will be late. I saw the people next to them would lend them theirs. One guy, who I think was foreign, even had the person make them call for him and tell the person on the other line what was happening. I was surprised — but also pleased — to see how people were dealing with the situation.

Interestingly enough, Metro was telling people on the news, later that day, that they are going to have to deal with track repairs soon, and what happened to me was going to have to become a more common occurance when they do so. It made me wonder if the track work which delayed me was really an emergency, or a test to see what they can get away with.

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Yesterday, I was planning on going down to CUA for a few hours, then to come back home and go see The Incredible Hulk (I had a coupon which would get me in to see it for free). When I arrived at metro, I found out there were delays because there had been a power outage earlier at Metro Center. I was there for a few minutes in a train which wasn’t moving, and figured out there were going to be significant problems all morning and I had no idea how long it would take for the trip. So I decided to leave and go to see the first showing of the Hulk at 9:40. I had about forty minutes to wait before the the theatre would be open, so I decided to get some coffee, and read from the book I had with me.

When I got to the theatre, the girl at the ticket booth didn’t know what she was doing. She was telling me the only times for the Hulk were at 10:20; 1:00; etc. Right above her in flashing lights there were many many more showings; she was only getting the times for one of the screens inside showing the film, not all of them. She didn’t go ask for help, she was insistent. And she had already taken my coupon and printed out a 10:20 ticket. After trying to argue wit her and she would do nothing and insist I was wrong, she told me to take it to the manager and exchange it. So I did. But it shouldn’t be that way. It should be the girl’s job to call a manager and get it straightened out: how many showings of the Hulk will not get people at it because of some sort of computer glitch and a worker who is unwilling to do their job?

When I got home, I found out that there had been another power outage on the Metro and in DC, and some fires in DC, and I was right to leave when I did.

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Slow Metro Service

Metro is slow this morning; the trains are being told to go about 1/2 the speed of normal because the tracks are filled up with wet leaves, causing problems to the service.

That is understandable (although one wonders why metro does not hire people to remove the leaves at night); what is perplexing is how it was managed aboard the train I was on. Silver Spring was fine; I got on and the train moved on; Takoma was fine: train stopped, let people on, and then moved on. But when we got to Fort Totten, everything seemed to break down. The train stopped; the doors remained closed; a few minutes later, the trained edged forward, stopped, and the doors remained closed. People outside got restless: one guy pounded on the doors. Finally, after maybe five minutes (or more, I did not time it), they opened and let the people in.

I have no idea why it was done like this, but I found it more than a little irritating. Luckily I was inside with all the heat, but I would have been more than a little angry if I were one of the people outside waiting to get in, not knowing if the train will even open up.

At the library, I was able to talk to Jonathan this morning and ask him about his wedding; he said it went well, but there was a lot of stress involved with it: three days before, he had to turn in sixty pages of his dissertation, then afterwards, they had their honeymoon, but at the end, they had to go separate ways since he had to go to a conference for several days before returning to DC. He said he felt bad having to do it, but when he was at the conference, he heard all kinds of people from Oxford, whom he studied with, complaining about the job market in Early Christian Studies: too many people, too few positions.

Thankfully my specialization is in more than one field, and that will help me when the time comes for job hunting (all so soon).

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Have Camera, Will Snap

While at my my morning coffee run and Balthasar reading at Caribou Coffee, there was a man sitting on the couch next to my chair who suddenly got up, brought out a camera, and snapped a picture (I think of the fireplace). He saw me watching him take the picture and said that I should not worry, I was not in the picture. I told him I would not mind it — but just thought how nice it was to know I was not the only one who took my camera with me all over the place, taking pictures wherever I go.

There is something wrong with the Washington D.C. metro system. Every few months they decide to raise prices. Currently they are thinking about doing so again, with a rate increase of forty-five cents per round trip. While a large number of its users are government employees, and another sector are travellers on vacation, those who live in the DC area are the ones who have to take the blunt of its financial mismangement. The government be funding it; the metro is a very important aid to those living in an otherwise overcroweded roadscape. Moreover, metro should consider bulk-rate passes. This way those who live in the area would buy the pass and use it, while those who come here on vacation would then have to deal with the non-discounted price. I know such a pass works well over in Europe.

I bought a Toshiba laptop computer which I will be using for research — I will be collecting my notes and writing out my dissertation on it. The keyboard will take some time getting used to, but at least I will not have to deal with the finger-based mouse system that laptops have since I bought an optical mouse for it.  I wonder if I would have less problems with the finger-pad mouse if I were right handed.

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