Where Do My Readers Come From?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Integrity matters?

This morning on the way to work all of the conversation on the radio was of Ted Kennedy and of his death from brain cancer at age 77. Now I know that we live in a world of cynicism and a world where people really feel like nothing is off limits to poke fun at. It made me wonder if someones death makes them off limits because in the half hour long drive I only heard one mention of Chappaquiddick.

It isn't that I feel like one incident from 40 some years ago transcends all the good that a person has done. It just highlights the double standard in America. Had there been any other driver, other then say a Rockefeller or another rich person, that driver would have spent some time in jail for manslaughter at least. But, in the case of Ted Kennedy he experienced none of that. This to me shows, much like what happened in the OJ trial,what being rich allows you to get away with in America.

Now, do not get me wrong I am not advocating punishing the rich. Though it does bother me when the children of the rich are allowed to live a life with out the consequences that the rest of us face on a dauly basis. I do not begrudge their parents wealth because often they worked hard by either stealing it, crime is hard work, or just by doing working like regular folks to gain their wealth.

I just realized that I am rambling a bit and I do not realize where I am going to go. I think I was intending to talk about term limits in Congress and how Kennedy had been in office since 1962. I know there are flaws with term limits and people say that we lose a lot of experience with the turnover that happens. But, I wonder if that is such a bad thing when some of these politicians are in office for so long.

I think that there are politicians on both sides of the aisle who are there to make themselves rich not there to do what is best for the country. I think that even limiting the terms to 10 years would make a big difference. But, until then it is going to be left to the voters to vote people out of office and people like Kennedy and Biden and some Republicans whose names escape me I do not see that happening anytime soon.

Well I guess it is time for me to ramble on. I apologize for the scattershot nature of todays writing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Runaway Train

"Runaway train, never goin back" Bonus points if anyone can tell me what line that song is from.

I am just sitting in the station waiting for the train to move. The sky is cloudy today and there was some drizzle this morning. As I looked outside before I left the house I thought should I grab an umbrella? Then I thought ah I have a rain coat in the trunk. I am an Oregonian I do not need a stinking umbrella. Well I made it to the train and the raincoat is still in the trunk. I am also wearing shorts.

I find it interesting how the body and people react to weather. Most of the time in my case I never think twice about a rain coat or an umbrella. I just never need them. Or, I should say that I might need them I just never take them. In fact the only thing I might do is to wear pants on an extremely cold day. But, I mean really cold like Oregon ice storm cold. If it was left up to me I would wear shorts all year round. But, those of you who know me know that due to my freakishly short legs and my long torso the shorts I wear go down below my knees. So with shoes and socks on there is a only a small expanse of shin exposed.

Oh how naughty my bare skin out there for the world to see! Sometimes on the train I will cross my legs and my exposed shin will wink at the lady commuters. I know they like it. Sure, they avert their eyes and coyly giggle. But, then they smile and fan themselves with their fancy fans. I can tell what they are thinking. Look at that saucy young lad, daring to expose his shin to the world! Oh to have such freedom in my life!!

It is true! I encourage all to join me in the freedom that I find exposing my shins to the air. You will not regret it I promise you. Stop being a slave to the pant. Instead bare you legs free them from the confines of the fascist trouser. Society be damned!! I will rise up the desires of the Secret Society of Pants!! Oh yes they exist!! I will rise above their desires. I will bare my legs and risk all and in so doing I will win all!!

So, stand with me!! Stand tall men and raise those pant legs!! We will all be the better for it!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gun Control is Using Both Hands??

I had an interesting debate yesterday with a gentleman about guns. Not whether or not guns were needed or not needed. But, whether it was appropriate to carry guns to a political townhall meeting.. Undrstand me. I am not anti gun. My wife and I own three guns, one shotgun, and two pistols. So I o wn guns I have fired guns and I understand why people enjoy guns.

I totally understand that people were will within their rights to bring their guns. New Hampshire is an open carry state and it is perfectly legal to carry a gun exposed on your person. I also believe Arizona is as well. But for me the question is what were the reasons behind the gun show. Were they carried as an example of the freedoms that (arguably) the constitution gives us? Was it an example of states rights vs federal control? Or was it just a form of non verbal intimidation?

The person I was debating with was contending that upwards of thirty shots a night are fired in places like New York and St Louis and other major cities. Because of that it is appropriate for people to walk around armed. I do not have that much of a problem with that my problem is the need to carry a gun to a political event. Even more so an event that the President of the United States is at. I am not sure that I would have brought my gun even if I was well within my rights to do so. I am not saying I would forbid someone to bring theirs I just think that it was a poor choice,

I think it was done more out of an attempt to intimidate then to have or cause a reasonable conversation about the health care issue. Thoughts? Lets talk about it. But, please leave your guns with the bartender. I am at the table by the piano player.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flo"Train"tion Device

It was an interesting drive this morning. Normally I drive along listening to NPR and trying to not get forced off the road by the cars around me. But, today I decided to listen to KNRK as I was driving. They do a morning show that is mostly music and that works for me. It does not consist of Skippy the Incontinent Boy and Dr Heckle. Which works for me.

But, it was odd today I almost found my self just kind of sailing along in the car. Almost stuck in a bubble of calm. Stuck is not the right word because I did not mind being there. I was just there. A car would come up on me to fast and I would hit my blinker and move over. There would be a merging lane and I would hit my blinker and move back to let that person in. About halfway through the drive a motorcycle cop came cruising up to the left of me and I did not even realize he was there until he was almost past me.

It wasn't that I was unaware of the things going on around me because in my car the road noise make you aware of things around you. But, it was like my brain or psyche was processing the things that I should be aware of and disregarding the things that did not matter. All that seemed to matter was the trip itself and the music that was playing. Though, the only song I can remember them playing was a Beck song and I can not even remember the name of it.

It was almost a zen like sense of calm or emptiness within me that is odd for me because anyone who knows me will tell you that I am always thinking of something. Lately what has been on my mind is the Health Care debate and the incredible (to me) anger that people are showing at the town hall meetings. Now, I am not here to defend the idea of Government run health care. That is not the point I am trying to make.

I am just shocked at how people are treating each other. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by it. People are mean and often dehumanize each other so that they can feel free to pick on them. Though the person doing the picking would of course deny that they are dehumanizing the other one. I think what blows my mind is that people on both sides of this issue and numerous other issues both want what (they believe) is the best for the country. But, we get so caught up in the emotion of the issue and begin to throw around heavily weighted words like Socialism, Communism, and Nazism that we lose touch of peoples basic humanity.

hmmm, I did not intend to climb upon the soap box. This blog took an odd turn today but I doubt that is a surprise to those who read me regularly since I tend to touch on many subjects that in no way relate to each other. Maybe that is what my subconscious was doing on the drive. It was processing what was bothering me about the behaviors of fellow Americans at these town hall meetings.

My way, or the highway! What if I choose neither? What if I choose not to choose? Have I still made a choice? Do I have to choose? Must I pick a hill and stand upon it live or die? Must I fight to the death for my ideals, the ideals that are really just a construct of my upbringing and society around me. phewwww

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

International Train Trip

I heard something interesting on the radio this morning as I was driving to the train station in Wilsonville. It seems that Amtrak has added another train up the I-5 to Vancouver BC. I am pretty excited about this. One reason is that I would like to take a trip on the train to Vancouver but the other is that the Winter Olympics are in 2010. I am hoping that my wife and I can make it to just one thing up there.

I remember as a child in the early 80's when the Olympics were in Los Angles and running around that summer wth my brother and two friend reenacting the events. The torch actually came through Salem and one of my friends who was the Boy and Girls Club boy of the year actually got to carry the torch for a short distance. I rode my bike along with him for awhile. In the days of pre 9-11 security was pretty lax.

I rarely dwell on the past. It has happened it is over and we are living in the present. Sure there are things to remember and it is good to know why things were done the way they were. But, it is nice at times to think back about those summers and the bike rides and the crawdad hunts.

I think I led a pretty idealic life style spending a fair amount of time alone reading and riding my bike to the library to devour the latest book. I still read a fair amount to this day. I had been reading beyond my grade level for several years and I really begin to love fiction and Sci-fi and Fantasy. Along with that I also really enjoyed Louis La'mour westerns. I have read and reread many of his books over the years my favorite being the Sackett Chronciles. I just really enjoy those books.

Which is another reason for me to enjoy the train. In the mornings I blog and share my thought with my glorius five readers and thank you for your support by the way. But in the afternoon on my way home I read. I really like the time of just reading and not having to worry about traffic or anything else. The chair is comfortable and the temp is nice. I just hope it continues for awhile.

Today is a first I have been writing steadliy all the way into Tualitin. This is the first time I have ever done that. There are less people in Tualitin today. I think only three people got on. Last night on the was home there were about 60 people on the train. So that was kind of neat. It really seems like the ridership is picking up. I am hoping I can ride it during the winter time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The weather talk has already begun. It is supposed to be in the high 90's today. Since I have been riding the train and the air conditioning has been fixed in my car I do not worry to much about the weather. I am able to relax and feel the cold air blow upon and that is really all I need.

Today there is a new person sitting in one of the regulars seats. He is youngish probably early twenties or late teens. He is wearing mustard color cargo shorts with a pair of white adidas and a black black zip up top. What I am finding amusing is that I do not know him. I have never seen him before and I probably will never see him again. But, he has a Boston Redsox hat on and I want to punch him in the face for wearing it.

Is that so wrong? Should I be so upset about someones choice of clothing? He may not even be a baseball fan. If he were wearing a Yankees hat I would not be as upset. In fact it isn't the team that bothers me. I think it is the people in Boston. The strange thing is that I have never met anyone from Boston. My only impression of them is from movies and televison and I really liked "Cheers". That was set in Boston wasn't it? Oh! Maybe it is due to "Good Will Hunting"?

I hated that movie. The sad thing is I like Matt Damon but I dislike Ben Affleck. Again for no reason. But since I feel that way and nothing that I do is irrational in fact I do everything based on logic and reason. There must be good valid reason for my dislike of Boston I have just not discovered it.

I mean those who know me know that I am a calm and rational person not controlled by my emotion. In fact I control my emotion. I am truly a being of logic and reason. I am Spock like in my rigid self control

I am like a leaf on the wind.
Watch how I fly.

I still think people from Boston and the city of Boston are dumb!! How bout them apples!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

All TerRAIN Vehicle

Bear with me gentle readers because I am feeling pretty foggy today. It was a pretty mild weekend I played some games with good friends on Friday night and worked on Saturday and part of Sunday. I also managed to find some time in there to read and to play a little X-box. But I probably should have slept more. I went to bed last night around 10 pm but that seems to have not been enough sleep.

While the drive up was uneventful it was not without its little annoyances that is for sure. My first annoyance was the grey 15 seat passenger van that blew by me doing about 75. It is will within there rights to go 75 but all I could see in my mind was the van tipping over and sliding into a ditch. The next annoyance came just after the rest area before Wilsonville as a lady decided that she needed to drive 50 in a 65 and the traffic begun to stack up around her because she was in the middle lane. These two events and a few minor ones all make me realize how much I enjoy riding the train.

I am sitting her typing this and listening to the hum of the rails. The low murmur of the passengers around me serve to as almost a hypnotic device. A sonar sleep machine. I feel the calm sweep over me as I look at the countryside. The evergreens all green the rolling brown hills dotted here and there with houses and powerlines. There are different industries that we pass and we roll along. I am unable to describe them because I am not sure what they do. Nevertheless I do find them interesting.

There are ponds that we pass and some almost swampy areas. All in all it makes for a relaxing morning. Our first stop is Tualatin and more of the regulars get on. But, there is a twist today because a new girl is sitting in one the regulars normal seats. I am looking forward to the regulars double take as they enter the train. It will be interesting to see if they stutter step or if they smoothly move to a new seat. Here we go...............Oh will the regulars are not here!! I hate when I am surprised. But that is the way it goes sometimes.

Maybe tomorrow there will be some excitement. I can only hope.

Two Tracks.
Multiple Stops.
Various Destinations.
Forward we roll. Ever onward.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

sTRAINing to be heard!!

Good morning again my loyal readers. It is my Friday and I am glad to be on the train to be moving away from yesterdays topic. It is a very pretty morning. The sun is shining and the sky is blue there are some white puffy clouds in the sky and I am looking forward to seeing some ducks and other wildlife as I travel along.

I had lunch yesterday, as gentlemen do, with a good friend from high school days. Actually farther back then that as this particular friend and I have known each other since grade school. It was nice to see him and to talk a little bit about what we both are doing now. It is nice to sit and converse like adults with people. It is nice to be able to share ideas in a civil manner and even if you disagree to be able to disagree like adults,

That seems to be getting lost in America. It seems like more and more as I look at people like Keith Olberman and Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow and Bill O'rReilly, that it is about abusing and poking fun at the other person and not about the sharing of ideas. I wonder at times what the founding fathers would have thought if they were trying to put things together now but they had to contend with these people having daily colummns in the papers of the day.

I know that Ben Franklin wrote letters under a psuedonym. Maybe, he was an early blogger of his day. I just wish we could move back to a time or maybe forward to a time where we can communicate in such a way that we can reach a common ground with people. Where we can use our humanity to join us together. Oh well. Now where is my bong?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I need to take a step back today from chronicling the adventures of a gentleman on a train and mention something that is starting to drive me a little crazy.

That is the whole idea that President Obama was/is somehow not a natural born American citizen. This idea that he is actually Kenyan with a fake birth certificate just blows my mind. I am all for a good conspiracy theory. There are several websites that I go to that I really enjoy who speculate about conspiracy's all of the time.

But this one seems so far out side of the realm of even possible truth. I am amazed that people are even considering it in the slightest. This is just one quote that I feel really hits the nail on the head for me.
"In any event, even if you were of a mind to indulge the Kenyan-birth fantasy, stop, count to ten, and think: Hillary Clinton. Is there any chance on God’s green earth that, if Obama were not qualified to be president, the Clinton machine would have failed to get that information out?"
-Andrew McCarthy (Thanks to Word Around The Net)

To me that makes sense I also can not imagine that the McCain/Palin machine would have allowed this to pass under the radar. I know people are upset about President Obama and worried that he is turning us into a socialist nation. But in reality we are going to be nothing like Sweden or any other socialist nation. Government in America has grown bigger and bigger under each successive president since Roosevelt and Obama is doing what each president has done before him. Either conservative or liberal. It is fine to be upset. It is fine to protest and to Tea Bag and to write letters. But to indulge in the type of conspiricy fantasy that the birthers are doing is just silly. I think it demeans the Presidincy as well as the people doing the contemplating. It just makes them look foolish.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Col"Trane"

The sky is grey this morning. I like it. I am able to see my computer screen better. Is that sad? Should I be mourning the loss of the Sun today? I am sure the Sun will return and it will most likely return later this morning. I can see some blue sky peaking out over the horizon to the east so I am sure it will make an appearance.

I like a cold morning. I like a cold grey morning actually with a slight breeze. To me this says morning, this says that the weather cooled down last night and is starting fresh. I absolutly hate waking up to the same tempreture as it was when i went to bed. There is nothing refreshing about that to me. I would sleep with the window open year round if I could. I should say all winter if I could. In the summer I would rather have the air conditioning running.

Two winters ago I was in Vancouver B.C. for a model united nations conference. The conference itself was particularly uneventful other then the fact that we were there in Jan and that there was still snow on the ground in Vancouver. I was sharing the room with two fellas and I requested to sleep in front of the sliding glass door. Well sure that was fine with them.

But, the joke was on them. I slid open the door and slept blissfully in the freezing breeze that blew through the door. At one point I woke up and looked over at the fellow in the next bed. He was sleeping in a full sweatsuit with his hood tied up around his head. Haha It was one of the best sleeps I had ever had.

I love the cold.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Well I had a bit of a surprise this morning as I showed up for the train. There were some mechanical problems and every third train was a bus. I decided to just wait for the train after that because I had no desire to sit in a bus on I-5 and highway 217. I am glad that work is flexible about arrival time.

I drove down to Eugene last night for my meeting for work. The more I actually drive through Eugene as opposed to sailing past it on the freeway. I realize it is a pretty little town. It seems to be spaced out nicely and there are some cool stores that Salem doesn't have. But boy is it a crappy drive down there. Long, and straight and slow. Traffic wasn't horrible but it is just blah.

Not much to talk about today. Just the typical case of the Mondays. HaHa! I love "Office Space"

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Ahhh I am back on the train. I had to drive yesterday because I had some running around to do after work and I really missed the train. I missed being able to relax as well as being able to write for a little bit. So, I am glad to be back sitting on the train and blogging about my feelings.

Today is going to be a little different. It is cloudy outside and they have the lights on in the train. They may have had them on before but it was so sunny I didn't really notice. I am noticing today. It is bright in here. The heat also seems to be on which is new as well. The lights and the heat and the wireless all just add credence to my opinion that only ladies and gentleman ride the train.

How and why would anyone other then a gentleman or a lady choose to relax in such splendor. In fact the only way to make this be a more gentlemanly experience would be for there to be a domed smoking car. Or perhaps a car with a rooftop deck so that we could shoot buffalo as we sailed down the tracks. Ahh the fading pleasures of a more civilized time.

I can picture my self standing atop the train car sipping my scotch and soda and smoking my pipe as my man servant loads my springfield. "Thank you Chesterfield." I say as I take my weapon of choice from him and brace myself for the shot. I sway slightly feeling the motion of the car and take that into account as one must when shooting from atop a train car. There is a slight pressure on my shoulder as I tighten my grip and begun to squeaze the trigger *snick* the springfield bucks as the bufallo in my sights falls. "Ah, another falls before me." With a grin I hand Chesterfield my rifle and head down to the dining car as the other gentleman around me congratulate me on my amazing shot. "It was nothing."

That my friends that is how a gentleman lives.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"Tea stRAINed"

I mentioned yesterday that I have been drinking green tea with lemon. Do not get me wrong. I still love coffee. The smell of the beans in the grocery store is enough to give me goosebumps. But, the heat wave last week made it impossible for me to have coffee in the mornings. It was just to hot. So I moved to a instant green tea with lemon that I could drink cold.

I have found in very refreshing. I now start the day with a cup of black tea and then continue with green tea for the rest of the day. I do not know if there are any health benefits other then the antioxidants that the hated Tea lobby insists are contained with in. All I know is that I enjoy the taste and so far I haven't had the head aches that I used to have when I tried to get off of coffee. Now I know that there is caffeine in tea it is just far less then in coffee. So hopefully this monkey will soon be off of my back.

Maybe I can trade the addiction in for one of apples or grapes. Why is it that I am not dependent upon somthing healthy for me? Though since I started this job I have been eating one or two apples a day. I am enjoying that. I feel healthier but that may be just because I am not sitting at home in front of the x-box but out moving around.

The windows clear
Fields brown and burned
Sun gives life and takes it as well.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Well it is Monday morning and a good morning to mt faithful readers. I believe there may be as many as three of you who read this regularly. I hope that I am able to keep you interested for a little while each day as I ramble on about what ever seems interesting to me at the time.

Traffic was odd today as I cruised up the I-5. It was busy as usual but people seemed to be more aggressive then normal. Now I am not sure perhaps I was feeling less aggressive today and therefore I was just noticing it more then usual. I do not think I have made a change in my driving style other then that I move over, if possible, when I see that a policemen has pulled someone over. Today there was a motorcycle policemen who had a pickup pulled over. Not a pleasant way to start the day to be sure.

But I made it safely to my destination and now I sit and wait. Soon the train will begin to move and I will be carried gracefully to my destination as a gentlemen should be. No fuss and no muss. Just rolling along the tracks like in my carriage. Now some of you may ask what make you a gentleman Lance? Well, isn't it obvious ? I ride the train to work therefor I am a gentleman. Why, a mere common man could no more sail along the rails as he could fly in the air in some great winged metallic beast. Mere common man are forced to move along rubber wheels surrounded by a cage made of metal as others of their ilk sail all around them. Not for me I tell you!

I will continue to roll along the rails as benefits one such as myself. Sipping my iced green tea and lemon and reflecting upon life and the loftier pursuits.