Thursday, September 11, 2003

I’m writing this entry from the 7:00 train from Framingham to Boston. People regularly bash the MBTA, but overall I’d have to say I’m pretty happy with it. Sure, once in a while the trains are late or there is some other annoyance, but I’m satisfied with the service at least 95% of the time. Not only do I get a reasonably quick, comfortable ride into the city each day, but instead of having to deal with traffic I can read, grab a quick snooze, do some work on the iBook or even watch a DVD. All those things would be difficult to do in traffic!

Taking the T instead of driving is good for the environment as well. I’ve been taking the T regularly for the last 21 years, since I started at Northeastern in the fall of 1982, and I figure I’ve traveled at least 100,000 miles on the system. I don’t know how much pollution I would have thrown into the air if I drove all those miles, but it has to be a lot.

Finally, the T saves me money. I pay about $200 a month for my T Pass, parking in downtown Framingham near the train station and gas to drive the 8-mile round trip from my house to the station. Driving my car and parking at my office would cost over $450, including gas for the 40 mile round trip each day, the outrageous monthly parking fee to bring your car into Boston and tolls on the Mass. Turnpike. This doesn’t even include the wear and tear on my car driving all those extra miles.

OK, I’m back after a 10-hour break (had to go to work).

To wrap up my thoughts on the T, it may have some problems, but it usually works for me.

Here’s a bit of trivia I learned the other day about one of my favorite all-time movies. Donald Sutherland was the only real movie star who appeared in Animal House at the time it was filmed. The producers offered him a percentage of the profits in the film to appear. Sutherland thought that the film would be a bomb, so he opted for an upfront payment of $40,000 instead. Apparently, if Sutherland had gone for the profit percentage instead, he would have made $30 MILLION. Sorry, Donald!

Saw my first new show of the Fall TV season last night. It was called Jake 2.0, which came on after Enterprise on UPN. It’s sort of a 21st century version of The Six Million Dollar Man. To give you the short version of the story, a computer tech for the National Security Agency is accidentally infected with nanoprobes which give him enhanced strength, hearing and vision, plus the ability to remotely control electronic devices (sort of a built-in clicker). The lead actor, who’s name I forget, does a nice job. A couple of the characters need some work, primarily the annoying roommate and the cute girl from his college days, but the show has some potential. I thought it was a reasonably entertaining hour.

I was putting the kids to bed while Enterprise was on last night, so I won’t watch the season premiere until tonight. I’ll give you my thoughts on that some other time.

Today is, of course, the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the thwarted attack that ended with the plane crash in Pennsylvania. I was trying to think of something deep and meaningful to say, but so much has been said already, anything I might say would pale in comparison. So, I’ll just send out my thoughts to the families and friends of the victims and my wishes for the safety of our troops fighting far away from home today.


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