Monday, May 26, 2008

The New M-8's

The good folks over at "" (see link at right) have produced a great video on the new, New Haven Line M-8 prototype. Check it out here:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Innovations on the 6:12

I have to give the passengers on the 6:12 PM train to Bridgeport a lot of credit; they're an innovative lot. Take these two fellows for example:

With the high price of gasoline, our trains are more crowded than ever. Commuters are lucky to find seats on our off-peak trains, never mind during the rush hour. This is why this gentleman's idea is brilliant:

My friend here knows that if he arrives late, he'll never get a seat, so...he brings his own. He told me that toting this chair through the city is a drag, but it's better than standing up or squishing between two smelly commuters. When his ride is over, he simply folds the chair back up and slides it back into the canvas bag. He throws the bag over his shoulder and away he goes.

I like this idea. I'm thinking of carrying a bunch of these chairs around with me and possibly renting them out. I could start a squad of train cabana boys. Maybe we could even branch out and sell drinks with little umbrellas in them.

My next passenger's innovation is more high tech:

No, this is not LeVar Burton on Star Trek, it's just one of my passengers wearing a pair of EZVision eyewear glasses, and though they're not "virtual reality"...they're pretty darn close. My friend here showed me how they work. The glasses and earphones are plugged into an iPod that is placed in his lap. A strap pulls the glasses tight to the head so all outside light is blocked out. This gives the viewer the sensation of sitting in a movie theater, stereo sound and all. Hey, maybe me and the cabana boys can sell $10 buckets of popcorn.

What will they think of next?

*I'd like to thank these gentlemen for allowing me to use their images for this post.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A day at Yankee Stadium with my family...Priceless

Today my wife and I took our daughters to the Bronx for their first New York Yankees' game. Recently, I'd been given two free tickets from a friend and all I had to do was shell out $95 (plus shipping and commission) for two additional tickets from StubHub (believe it or not, my wife was able to buy two tickets for seats next to our original two). This, coupled with the fact that my family gets free train rides on Metro North, made me feel like I was getting a real bargain. The weather was picture perfect...this was adding up to be a great day.

Then, I got to the stadium...

Outside the ballpark, I noticed a street vendor selling hot dogs. I suggested that we buy our franks here instead of paying exorbitant prices inside the stadium. My wife gently reminded me that this was our daughters' first time at Yankee Stadium and buying hot dogs from a stadium vendor was part of the whole experience.

Four hot dogs bought from stadium vendor= $20 + tip

Sometime around the third inning, the people sitting in front of us came back to their seats with a big cup of french fries. "Dad," my younger daughter said, "will you take me to get french fries?"

Large fries (add cheese) = $8.50

Three sodas in souvenir cups = $18

One pretzel = $5

As is baseball tradition, we sang "Take Me Out to The Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch. This made me hungry:

Bag of Cracker Jacks = $6 (It was really $5.75, but being a big spender, I let him keep the change.)

I started to mentally add up what I'd spent and it was beginning to affect my enjoyment of the game. Then, someone walked by with "Dippin' Dots" in a little souvenir Yankee helmet. "Bob," my wife said. "should we get the girls ice cream?"

Two cups of "Dippin' Dots" in little souvenir Yankee helmets = $13

Like most teenage girls, my daughters are crazy about Derek Jeter. After the game, as we were leaving the stadium...

"Dad, can we get Derek Jeter T-shirts?"

Yeah, I know I could have just said "No" but I've been putting in a lot of hours at work lately and I'm suffering from overtime guilt. Besides, the Yankees just won...

Two Derek Jeter T-shirts=$45

Oh yeah....then there was the newspaper, magazines, Dunkin' Donuts run and beverages for the train ride. You can add it all up if you like, I just don't have the courage.

The next time someone offers me "free" Yankee tickets, I just might have to decline... I don't think I can afford it!