Monday, February 23, 2009

On Early Morning F Train, Daily News Doomsday Predictions: Creatures From Sea to Test Earth’s ‘Protectors’ in Epic End Days Battle

WHAT IS IT ABOUT RONALD REAGAN that sparks space conspiracy theorists? Back in college, my freshman year random-pick roommate ended up being involved in the state chapter of the Mars Society and at one point, I remember him saying there was some crazy Reagan administration conspiracy to thwart efforts to send Americans to Mars.

And now, earlier this morning while riding the F train into Midtown Manhattan from Brooklyn for a 6 o'clock Acela Express en route Washington, D.C., came more maniacal Reagan-fueled space program machinations.

This chatter, uttered by a man who sounded (and looked) like Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny initially caught my attention somewhere between Delancey Street and Broadway-Lafayette:
Earth, wind and fire, I’m telling you. … The forces of the world. … They aren’t telling us. … They aren’t telling us!
Whoa! What aren’t they telling us?

So out came a nice Doomsday scenario from Vinny, who was talking to a guy who could have been Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone. I suppose this could have been a refashioning of some Xenophonian myth a la The Warriors or a History Channel special on Nostradamus or a Captain Planet episode involving Wheeler, Gi, Kwame, Linka and Ma-Ti battling evil toxic waste peddlers.

But the Gipper in conjunction with sea creatures and space missiles make it such a better tale.

And Vinny happened to be wearing a black jacket with the Daily News logo emblazoned on the back! So this has to be true. No?

So, did you know … ?
  • That all those missiles Ronald Reagan put in orbit as part of the Star Wars program against the Soviets are going to come back to haunt us?
  • “They” aren’t telling us that Earth’s orbit will come too close to the sun?
  • “They” intervened in the 1980s to stop Reagan from putting more missiles in space?
  • That there are still too many out there?
  • That those missiles will explode because of they’re getting too close to the sun?
  • That the toxic material from the missiles will change the chemistry of the world’s oceans?
  • That there are thousands and thousands of sea creatures we haven’t discovered yet?
  • That the change in oceanic chemistry will cause the sea creatures to come to the surface and attack our cities?
  • That “they” are here to protect us?
  • That if you aren’t trained as a Navy SEAL, “you aren’t gonna be ready” to battle the sea creatures in the end times?
  • That “you can’t do anything about it” … ?
  • Oh well. We must be in the end times. Happy Monday morning to you all.

    Creative Commons photo via dorywithserifs/flickr

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    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    METRO: A 42 Limited Stop? A Palisades-Bound Bus No. 3855?

    MANY METRO OFFICIALS don’t use public transportation regularly. Lena H. Sun’s story in The Washington Post is one that gets written every few years checking in on how in-touch Metro’s decision makers are with the average commuter. (Then-General Manager Richard White was criticized for driving an SUV in from his Fairfax home and avoiding the daily pains of the Orange Line crush.) These days, according to The Post, only half of Metro’s board members ride public transit regularly and several haven’t paid their parking fees at Metro headquarters. C’est la vie.

    Sun interviews an average commuter who is “actually stunned” with the news.

    It’s understandable for some officials who represent some suburban jurisdictions to skip public transit and in some cases, those who are from more urban areas, too. In any regard, a balance should be struck.

    But it might do D.C. Council member Jim Graham some good if he rode the bus a little more as his ward is one of the best places in the entire Washington, D.C., region served by transit. And Ward One is generally within a 30-minute bus ride from places Graham needs to go regularly, like the Wilson Building and Metro headquarters downtown.

    AS A REGULAR BUS RIDER over the years, I’ve found that you get a better chance to observe your surroundings while riding the bus. And notice problems that need fixing.

    Here’s my list from the past week riding the D6 and 42 buses and the Red Line in Northwest Washington:

    1. For those who may be unfamiliar with the 42 bus line which runs from Mount Pleasant to downtown via Columbia Road and Connecticut Avenue, it serves Adams Morgan, a top destination for locals and visitors alike. Adding “via Adams Morgan” to the “Mount Pleasant” destination signs is very nice, an update made sometime in the past year or so when I was living in Brooklyn.

    But what is the “42 Limited Stop?” Isn’t that the newish 43 bus, which runs only in the peak direction to and from Farragut Square, skipping stops in Dupont Circle? I’ve also recalled, though many months ago, seeing a “D6 Limited Stop” bus on MacArthur Boulevard. Wouldn’t it be nice if that actually existed and skipped Foxhall Village?

    2. Hmmm, the No. 3855 bus doesn’t seem to match Metrobus’ route numbering conventions. But on three occasions, the 3855 bus was making D6 stops along MacArthur Boulevard in the Palisades.

    3. Wednesday morning of last week, there was a bus with the directional sign reading “D6/Stadium-Armory.” However, the bus operator told people as they tried to enter that it was a D5 bus going to Farragut Square.

    4. The Metro Trip Planner seems to be a few minutes off from posted bus schedules, at least along MacArthur Boulevard (at Cathedral Avenue and Newark Street), when compared twice last week. The buses arrived at the time posted at the bus stop, not the Trip Planner. (I will try to keep an eye on this to better document the discrepancies.)

    5. Twice last week, D6 buses had a malfunctioning fare card machine and I rode for free, along with many others.

    6. Friday evening heading from Gallery Place to Dupont Circle, there was a train bound for “Twinbrook.” heading in the direction of Glenmont. (I think I can diagnose that one fairly easy: Refer to my 2007 Express piece on how even though the Metrorail extension to Dulles extension does not yet exist, train operators can (accidentally) punch in the wrong destination code and still have the train go to “Dulles.”
    Oh details ... I should add though that I've had great bus service thus far. The devil's in the details.


    Lest I Forget ...

    Here’s the new job.