Tag Archives: Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, October 9, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

I’m on the 8:30AM into the City. This blog is coming full circle.
I started this travelogue two years ago, on advise from two dear friends of mine. One was a literary magazine editor in am past life; the other is a financial reporter. They both saw my original Facebook posts about my train rides as “Studs Terkel-ish, everyman observations” and convinced me, at a college homecoming in 2012, to move the effort to the blogosphere.

Now, I’m on a commuter train inbound to Union Station to catch a connecting Amtrak train to my Alma Mater. One of the realizations of that 2012 visit was that my wife and kids noticed a new energy from me. A spring in my step. So, since 2012, I’ve been taking a four night, three day “constitutional” every October. Today is the first day of this year’s annual pilgrimage.

I can’t help but notice that this is an off-peak, “cattle car” train, which makes more stops (every stop?) along this line. I am used to the constancy of the express trains, where once you are on, you can’t get off until the end of the line.

Sitting two seats in front of me is Conan O’Brian of talkshow fame, except that this fellow is 92 years young. His once Scotch-Irish jawline is now jowled. He didn’t shaved today, so there’s a rugged look about the wrinkles around his mouth. He is aurally fixated with his iCrackerBot, in that he is connected to the device via ear buds. He does not look inspired by the media feeding his eyes and ears, as it is evident he is watching a video.

Behind him, there is an Indo-American fellow who looks EXACTLY like Luther Vandross from the 1970’s, complete with a jet black coif of hair, a trimmed mustache and a good watch. He’s wearing a brown leather jacket. Luther Singh is asleep, his bejeweled hand in a fist so as to balance that tired, but gorgeously groomed, head in rhythmic slumber.

I will blog some more from the Amtrak. Also here are a Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Reese Witherspoon and Lou Ferrigno. All are armed.

Happy Thursday. Safe Travels.

March 6, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago

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Good morning. On the SRO 7:50AM and I am caught in SRO! My thoughts were elsewhere when I boarded and found myself in tbe wrong car! I am now standing in the foyer-well of the car for the exit doors.

This allows for the opportunity to do some explaining about this whole #trainspotting phenomenon – for the twelve of you reading this blog.

Originally, I was a lowly Facebooker, posting my immediate thoughts and feelings in a homage to Pavlov. The best time to do this was on the train ride home from work. I’d fire off a quick quip and get back to my reading.

There were a few times during this phase that I started really noticing my fellow commuters. I took note of regular co-riders and observing their general behavior. Armchair psychology or sociology. I’d make a one off comment on Facebook.

Those observations got more detailed. A dear college friend of  mine suggested I highlight these particular FB posts by expanding into Twitter. I used the hashtag #trainspotting for the content (and a humerous pop-culture cross reference) and a subsequent hasbtag #Chicago for the locality that I was travelling.

These became very popular amongst my friend-set. I went to a family friend’s baby shower. The father to be, whom I’ve known since we were little children, mostly talked about how I should write a book about my posts from the train. I presumed he was being polite.

Cut to October 2012, when I went to a College Homecoming. I ended up surrounding myself with literary friends of times gone by. Two women, one a journalist and the other an activist/mother/former editor both insisted I should expand the commute chatter to the blogosphere.

I started this project in Late October 2012. So far there have been 140 posts with 2400+ visitors, plenty of typos and spelling mistakes, but some real stand out bits of the written word that I like.

Please note that all of the content is generated within the time of boarding the train to leaving the train – a roughly forty-five minute train ride. I pull down photos from the internet – thank you media sources and Pavanatzi’s for your voyeurism to help me get my passably comedic style out to my twelve dedicated fans.

You too can be a #trainspotting#YourCity urban sociologist. Try it for yourself sometime. People can be fun!

FYI- in SRO with me is Margaret Thatcher, Sir Ken Richardson, John Slattery with a killer hip goatee, and a petite Rosario Dawson. All are armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe travels.