Friday, March 20, 2009

A pictorial week in review

I thought I'd share some images from the "My pictures" page of my cell phone. Most of these shots were taken in the past week:

This is Noah (at least I think that's what his name is) and he's a real rail aficionado. Each week his mother brings him to Grand Central to see the choo choos. The jar in his hand is filled with seat checks that he collects from all the conductors. He knows that each conductor has their own punch design and he likes to see all the different shapes they create.

This was the scene outside Grand Central on Tuesday as high school bands and The Orange County Ancient Order of Hibernians lined up on Vanderbilt Avenue, getting ready to march down 5th Avenue.

This is a video I shot of the Westchester County Fire Department's Emerald Society bagpipe band. Sorry for the poor quality, but they were standing outside Grand Central in what used to be the taxi stand. There wasn't much natural light there.

Fairfield, CT- (AP)March 17, 2009
Tragically, "Lucky" the Lucky Charm's leprechaun mascot, was struck and killed by a Metro North train today. MTA police pieced a suicide note together from multi-colored marhsmallow bits found at the scene. Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers, were strewn across the tracks. According to General Mills, Lucky had been despondent and suffering from paranoia. He was recently overheard complaining: "They're always after me Lucky Charms...ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS!"
An MTA police sergeant claimed the suicide note was "magically delicious."

I found this fedora in the luggage rack on one of my trains yesterday. I noticed it was my size, so I thought I'd try it on before turning it in to Lost&Found. I'm bald, so there's no chance of cootie transferal. A name was embossed on the leather head band, so if it's yours...and you can prove it, you can pick it up in Grand Central.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mea Culpa

Sorry folks...It seems that I owe my loyal readers an apology for neglecting this blog. You see, a few months back I decided to switch my work schedule from late nights (think drunk...yet entertaining passengers) to early mornings (think sober, curmudgeony passengers). This was quite a difficult transition for me, especially since my body was more accustomed to climbing into bed at 5AM, not climbing out. Add to this that I'm now working 11 hour days-5 days a week, and then usually one (sometimes two) 8 hour shifts on the weekend...
Oh! and the gym...did I mention the gym? My New Year's resolution was to drop 20lbs, so January 1st I joined the New York Sports Club gym in the MetLife building in Manhattan. Every morning I spend the entirety of my swing time on a treadmill or an elliptical machine, headphones plugged in, whilst I pretend that I'm on The Biggest Loser and that Jillian is screaming in my face and telling me to pick up the pace. It must be working, cause I'm down 16 lbs so far. Two weeks ago, I pulled a muscle in my back and I'm beginning to to backslide...maybe I should switch to Bob's team.

At any rate, by the time I get home from work... I'm exhausted. There have been times when I've sat down at the computer, wanting to share a story with you, but inevitably, one or both of my daughters ask for a ride to one of their many high school activities. I've spent so much time chauffeuring these two around, that I now know all the words to latest Taylor Swift CD.

No wonder I'm exhausted.

In early April, we conductors pick new schedule assignments. I'm hoping to go back to the night trains, where the passengers really know how to put on a show. When they do...I'll be sure to write about it.