Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The Moon and Sixblog.

The stuff of my morning commute, as summarized by Metra, the commuter rail authority, was in a little note handed out to commuters this afternoon. That was a first. Usually incidents of this kind are never mentioned again.

"This morning the last half of our rush hour was seriously delayed due to an electrical fire in one of our locomotives," the note says. "At approximately 7 a.m., a fire occurred in the locomotive of the westbound train No. 2203 at Itasca. The Itasca Fire Department was called, and the fire was quickly extinguished. We immediately moved to send a spare locomotive from Elgin to move the disabled train [that] occupied the westbound track.

"Since the Fire Department was concerned that the fire could reignite, they shut down both tracks so that your trains could not move past the disabled train. As a result, you saw delays of as much as an hour or more. We apologize for this inconvenience."

I was on a train behind the burning locomotive, and I got into my office about an hour later than usual. But I'm usually ready for this kind of thing: all I need is a cell phone to call the office, and a book. Yesterday I finished The Razor's Edge, which I liked so much that I put The Moon and Sixpence in my briefcase this morning. I'd read the latter book before, on the trip I took to Korea in 1990. But I thought it merited a re-read, and this morning I was able to get pretty far into it. I was right, it's well worth another go.


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