“I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots in case they try anything.”
I skipped ahead of about 10 people waiting in line to use the Amtrak ticket machines by going to the window with a person, which had no line at all. And so the subtle robot enslaving of humanity begins…
I’ll be taking Amtrak to get home for Thanksgiving as I have for the past few years. It’s the easiest way to get home, especially with all the traffic there will be on the roads this week. People get really critical of Amtrak and how they always lose money, but the way I see I, it’s infrastructure, just like roads. No one ever expects roads to make money. The reason you build infrastructure is for the second order effects. I think it’s hardly a coincidence that Boston’s poorest area coincides with the biggest gap in MBTA rail service (Dorchester and Roxbury, between the Red Line and Orange Line), or that Davis Square is a whole lot nicer than the rest of Somerville, or that the cities with good public transportation are exactly the same ones with thriving downtown areas.
Additionally, there’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem. Our only high speed rail line in this country has a maximum speed of 150 mph, and averages only 80 mph. The French high speed rail system averages 173 mph, including stops. If people could get between Boston and New York 1-2 hours without going through airport security, I’m pretty sure that there would be a huge market for that. But Amtrak loses money so we don’t want to invest in it.
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, so I’ll just go over some things that have been going on with me since my last post. No excuses about not posting this time, I just got out of the habbit. I’m going to try to be be better bout this.
Camping – I went camping with some friends. We stayed at a campsite in New Hampshire with a tipi. It’s a really cool setup and they include lots of stuff you’ll need and is a good atmosphere for sitting around a campfire. I definitely recommend bringing tents to sleep in though. We slept in it (I wanted to bring a tent but oh, well) and even if you keep a fire going it gets pretty cold around the edges (and sleeping to close to the fire can be hazardous) because there’s a big whole in the top for smoke to escape through. A tent doesn’t have a fire going in it (hopefully…) but actually holds your body heat in. On the way back we went to the Littleton Diner, which is a really top notch diner. And I’m from NJ, and we know diners there. We also did a really good hike on our way back.
Learning to play bass – I’ve borrowed Brandon’s bass and I’ve been learning to play it over the past few weeks. Jeff and Brandon both have basses and I don’t even though I’m going to be the bass player in our band. I’ve been meaning to fix that but I haven’t had a bass setup jump out as clearly what I want and have a hard time spending hundreds of dollars on something if that hasn’t happened. Anyway I developed a nice blister on my right index finger, it’s calloused over so I’m over that hump now. Any suggestions for interesting but relatively easy to play bass lines would appreciated.
Biking to work – I wasn’t feeling up to this for a while but I started again last week. I love to go out and exercise in the cold fall air. It makes you feel alive. I’ll probably change my tune a bit when winter comes around. When it’s cold enought that it stings your skin, it’s too cold. Up until that point I actually like it.
Work – The Raytheon deal went through and they official own us now. No changes in the day to day as of now and I don’t expect any for a while. I’ve been doing a lot of integration work, which isn’t much fun, but I do like my team and I’ll hopefully move on to more interesting work in the future.