Archive for April, 2007

New Rules 4.13

April 17th, 2007 3 comments

A brilliant rant by Bill Maher from Friday the 13th last week, on things like vinyl records (Bill actually gets this one wrong – funny, but wrong smile), Rudy Giuliani and the price of milk, Keith Richards, and closes with a wonderful piece on Presidential appointments from Pat Robertson’s law school for christians which he nails perfectly, with Scott Mclellan sitting right next to him.

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Game 2 at Wrigley

April 10th, 2007 3 comments

The girls and I went over to Wrigley today to watch the second home game of the year. We were going to go yesterday for the home opener, but didn’t as there were snow flurries and pretty cold temps. Today was tolerable, at 47f or so. We’ll try it again tomorrow if the rain and snow stay away. We of course lost to the Astros. On the way to Wrigley the El train conductor, when making the announcement to the train packed with Cub fans that Addison was approaching said: “Addison is the next stop. Addison is the next stop. If you want to see your beloved Cubbies lose again, get off at Addison.” Damn Sox fan. Here are a few photos I took today –

The girls enjoying their first Wrigley hot dog of the year –


Then it got a bit cold in the 4th inning, and they took shelter –


The new advertising. At 1.3 million per sign X2, we can afford Soriano –


Derreck Lee about to strike out –


A great new Miller Lite sign –


The girls back home on our street sporting new Cubs shirts –


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Very fast French trains

April 3rd, 2007 3 comments

We were driving from Paris to London 5 years or so ago in a rented Renault Laguna – the Autoroute through that part of the French countryside ran alongside a high speed rail line and a train passed us as if we were standing still, even though I was going an indicated 120 mph. I marveled at how quick the train seemed to be – it had to be going at least 180-200 mph to pass us that dramatically. What a way to get from A/B – sit back and enjoy a book or some champagne, as you whisk around France at 200 mph.

The French, in their obsession with high speed rail, have just set a speed record for trains on traditional tracks. The train went 574.8 km/h – that’s 357 mph. Chicago to Milwaukee in 26 minutes. Chicago to STL in around 50 minutes. Chicago to NYC in just over two hours. All without having to deal with traffic or the airports.

Click here for video of the event. There is a scene when the train blasts under an overpass full of photo-journalists that is quite impressive. And check out the smile on the train operators face at the end.

Here in Chicago, the CTA is wrought with slow zones – they apparently bought railroad ties from a company 20 years ago that were supposed to last 50 years, and these ties ended up only lasting 20. These defective ties are starting to crack, so there are quite a few spots on Chicago’s El system that can only handle speeds up to 10 mph – with the slow zones and other organizational and bureaucratic hell – in the hour it takes the red line to get from Evanston to the Loop, the French train would be in Cleveland.

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