Archive for July, 2005

Eminent Domania

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Intrepid New Hampshire residents are after the residence of another of our black-robed masters:

Justice Stephen Breyer has joined his high-court colleague David Souter in feeling the wrath of the public, specifically the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, which wants the city of Plainfield, N.H., to seize Breyer’s 167-acre vacation retreat by eminent domain.

Read all about eminent domania.


Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

I haven’t looked at the comment spam in a while, so about a thousand of them had piled up in moderation, and a bunch also got through the filters. I’ve adjusted the filters to handle most of the new crafty spam, but I recommend against discussing gambling, drugs, or mortgages in the comments.

Out the Escape Hatch

Friday, July 8th, 2005

The Globe has a collision follow-up story with a pretty picture of a Green Line escape hatch. They say the second train wasn’t a Breda, which leads me to wonder what would have happened if it had been a Breda. It might still be wedged into the tunnel now.

The President of the Carmen’s Union says “I find it highly unlikely that it’s operator error.” In the real world it’s always your fault when you rear-end someone. Working for the T doesn’t change the laws of physics.

I discount the rumors of a body on the tracks. There was no time for the conspiracy to move it before we rolled on to Arlington, squishing nothing.

When Trains Collide

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

I got on a three-car train this morning. I thought it was a little late (that is, past rush hour) for a three-car trolley, but the Ways of the T are Mysterious and Not to be Questioned. Maybe because my train was unexpectedly long, it was rear-ended by another train in the tunnel between Copley and Arlington stations at around 9:30 am. (We were not in Arlington station yet, as has been reported in the media.)

Fortunately for yours truly, I was in the first car out of three, and it was an old train. It felt like we ran over something. Our hardy train continued on to Arlington where we stood for a while. Then the police and the firemen started coming down into the station, and the conductor tossed us all out with a vague promise of buses upstairs. (I didn’t start riding the T yesterday, lady!)

More firemen were swarming upstairs and on the street, and they treated one conductor, who seemed shaken but unhurt. I hung around for a bit eavesdropping on the firemen to figure out what happened, even though I was worried about being so close to the T entrance and whatever smelled like it was burning down there. Once I heard it was a collision (and not a squishing or a bomb or smallpox) and the TV cameras showed up, I started walking to Park Street.

On the way, I met a passenger from the other train. It wasn’t so lucky. The other train derailed (which means it was a Breda), and its passengers came out at Copley and had even further to walk to Park Street and continuing service.

When we got to Park, the whole place was swarming with T personnel, T vehicles, cops, cop cars, and Green Line replacement buses. A cop wouldn’t let us down to the outbound (westbound) Green Line platform, so I thought I’d be walking to Cambridge. But I asked one of the many swarming T personnel, and he said I could go into the inbound (eastbound) entrance. I told my sob story to the poor T babe in the booth, and she let me in for free. (I only have a bus pass, so I can’t board the subway at underground stops.)

Note that if all the trains involved had been hardy old Kinki Sharyos like mine, we could have kept going to Park Street in the trolley–we made it to Arlington fine–and I’d still be wondering now who we squished down there.

The MBTA, of course, is describing the collision and derailment as “operational difficulties,” but Channel 5 tells the ugly truth.

Fun with the Fourth

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Late link, but it’s never too late for humor: The Declaration of Independence in American.