Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘America’ Category

You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but on some level Jake is afraid of this man. Who is he? The owner of Gorgeous George’s Mediterranean Restaurant in Greenwood. We had heard good things about this restaurant, and so had planned to go sometime in that way where you say to yourself “we should really try that place sometime.”

Then I read a reader review on some restaurant rating site that said “George doesn’t just cook for you. He sings and dances and comes to your table.” This information I relayed to Jake who was completely horrified. When we passed the restaurant one day on an evening stroll we peeked in and saw George with his signature hat out in the dining room talking to guests. “We are never ever going there,” Jake said.

Dare I make a cultural observation here? Feel free to offer your thoughts too. Is it that Americans really like the gimmick of the stranger who is your best friend? Do we know no boundaries between strangers and ourselves? Are the British just uptight? Why can they not enjoy the company of a dancing and singing chef?

In America, there is always the pretense of extreme friendliness even if that friendliness is so obviously false. Ever been asked by a salesperson how your day was and then you told them something other than it’s going well? Usually, their faces change as if to say “oh how interesting” in a I’m-not-really-interested sort of way. I was once in that same predicament. I was at my service job and I asked a customer how she was. Not so good, she said, I had two toes removed yesterday. I didn’t really know what to do with that information.

In Britain, everyone is extremely polite. I like how when making a request either as provider or consumer, you always end your phrase with please. I’ll have a pint of Guinness please. There you are, two quid please. Yet, and perhaps I’m wrong but I seem to recall, that you are never asked how you are if the person doesn’t really want to know the answer. Is it rude? Well, it’s honest, isn’t it? But I digress.

Here are some more scary tidbits from Gorgeous George’s. And Jake, feel free to weigh in here and tell me if I’m misinterpreting your discomfort.

You’re the only chef I know who sits at customer’s tables. Do you have a fetish for watching people eat your food?

No, it’s just nice. I try to sit at the tables so everyone will feel at home here. But I don’t come out to sit when I’m in a bad mood. I can’t fake my face, I can’t be two-faced. If I’m nervous or mad, I’ll just stay in the back and cook.

What do you learn about people from watching them eat?

Sometimes people just need to put the food in their mouths. Like the baklava can go straight into your mouth, no forks needed. It’s not cake. Sometimes people don’t know what they just ordered. It’s Mediterranean food, with spices from the Holy Land. I say Holy Land, not Israel or Palestine, because I want both Jews and Palestinians to feel comfortable eating here.

Read Full Post »

Via the slog.

Read Full Post »

Although historical reenactments are by no means exclusive to the United States (for example, the Earl of Eglinton in Scotland sponsored a large tournament as early as 1839)[4], the Renaissance Fair is, arguably, a uniquely American variation on the theme, having as much the flavor of an amusement park combined with a shopping mall as of a historical reenactment. European historical fairs, on the other hand, seem more on the living history museum model, where an actual historic site is peopled by re-enactors whose job it is to explain historical life to modern visitors.[5] American Renaissance fair patrons may be as interested in drinking, eating, shopping, and watching farce as they are in an educational experience. Since the mid-1990s, American-style Renaissance fairs have been spreading into Canada.

The first American fair, The Renaissance Pleasure Faire (Agoura, CA) was originally designed by the Living History Center to resemble an actual spring market fair of the period.[6] Many of the original booths were no-charge reenactments of historical activities such as printing presses, and blacksmiths. The first commercial vendors were mostly artisans and food merchants and were required to demonstrate historical accuracy or plausibility for their wares. Whole groups of volunteers were organized into “guilds” to focus on specific reenactment duties (musicians, military, celtic clans, peasants, etc). Both actors and vendors were required to successfully complete workshops in period language/accents, costuming and culture and to stay “in character” while working. Fairs that copied the original frequently did not attempt such historical accuracy and in 1995 new management and economic pressures negatively altered the original fair’s historical quality as well.

More at Wikipedia.

Read Full Post »

This is pretty impressive stuff from our Secretary of State. I can’t help but wonder if the right-wing establishment is going to criticize her for admitting American culpability as they do with any reasonable discussion on what reasons terrorists have for harming America. In their world view, America’s enemies have no motivation because America is infallible.

Speaking upon arrival in Mexico, Mrs Clinton said: “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.

“Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.

“I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility.”

The BBC’s Stephen Gibbs in Mexico says these points have been repeatedly made by Mexico, which sometimes sees itself as the setting for an American financed and armed war.

Read Full Post »

Like Carhenge for instance in Alliance Nebraska.

Read Full Post »

Layoffs

This week several people were laid off at my work. I was spared. While I would like to think that it is because I am a good skilled worker and that my company would be unable to do without me, I know that that is not entirely true. There was to be certain an element of getting rid of low performers; however, not everyone who was eliminated fit that category. For instance, my closest colleague to be laid off was not a low performer at all.

My father says that he feels for my generation being thrust into the worst job market in decades, but I disagree. In the immediate aftermath the youth, and when I say that I mean under 40, are much better equipped to deal with the situation at hand. Who I worry about are my colleagues that were eliminated that gave 20 plus years to my company. The people whose skills are now almost entirely comprised of institutional knowledge that will do them little good elsewhere. What happens to them if they are too young (as many of them are) to retire? Where do they go? How do they begin again?

H1B Visas

And yet I do worry about the youth. This week I read Andrew Sullivan, a journalist who I suspect has never worked in the corporate world that so many of us are familiar with, talk about how the H1B Visa that allows foreign skilled workers to get green cards to work in the United States should be given out more generously rather than the Obama administration’s slight reduction. He further said that every foreign student who graduates from a American university should automatically be given permission to work in the U.S. Excuse me for saying this, but what an idiot. Here he quotes the Economist.

Chinese and Indian immigrants founded more than half of all high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. Immigrants co-founded Google, Intel, eBay and Yahoo. Immigrants contributed to more than a quarter of US global patent applications. Immigrant-founded companies employed 450,000 workers in 2006 and generated $52 billion in revenue.

Instead of trying to restrict the supply of H1B visas, why not increase it massively, starting by giving any foreigner who graduates from an American university the right to a visa. That might be exactly the long-term stimulus that the economy needs.

This is a rather rose colored view of what is happening. I suspect that these people have never had their jobs in danger of being taken by a foreign worker. If a green card was guaranteed by attendance at an American university I believe we would see a sharp increase in foreign student slots in our universities and foreign workers in our workforce.

The so-called “undesirable” jobs

When George W. Bush brought up immigration reform his speeches were colored with talk of immigrants accepting jobs that Americans did not want. I am sure there are many jobs that a typical American does not want, but I am sure a large element of why the jobs are not desirable is the amount of pay that a corporation is willing to offer. Given the expense of living in the U.S. and purchasing your own health insurance which these “undesirable” jobs no doubt require you to do, it is no wonder that many Americans do not want these jobs.

But while he touted the undesirable jobs, the real meat of his proposal was increasing the skilled H1B visas. These are jobs that Americans do want. These are jobs that a Computer Science college graduate would kill for. These are the jobs that are instead going to foreign workers while our college graduates become baristas at the nearest Starbucks.

I think the H1B visa is largely about keeping wages low. The H1B visa requires that any foreign worker make the same amount as their American citizen counterparts. Yet when you increase your job pool by two-fold the wages are not going to be as high.

The desirability of the foreign tech worker

There is no doubt that foreign workers are highly desirable for a reason. Let’s take the educational system in India and China (the largest recipients of H1B visas). These countries are churning out skilled tech industry workers who are ready to begin on day one. I presume (and I could be wrong) that their education is more practical and less theoretical than an American education in computer science. I once met a computer science major here who didn’t even know that the file extension of the code I was writing was significant.

America should be modeling our educational system on the education found in India and China, at least in technology, so that we can guarantee our youth also will be able to be part of the American dream. That they can become skilled laborers too and share the wealth.

Should we eliminate the H1B visas entirely? I think we all know that the H1B visa workers contribute amazingly to this country. Any mass elimination would be highly detrimental. And yet, I think that reducing the number of skilled foreign workers – especially in a time of mass unemployment – is the right move to make. I think an investment in our educational systems and a focus on boosting the skills of the American worker has to be our priority over increasing limits on H1B visas.

I welcome any respectful opposing arguments to the above. Feel free to tell me your story.

Read Full Post »

My previous Homeland Security post was a hit, so why not post this.

A Canadian who asked a U.S. border inspector to say please got a face full of pepper spray instead.

The 54-year-old resident of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Desiderio Fortunato, says he thought the guard who told him to turn off his engine was rude and asked him to say please.

Fortunato told The Bellingham Herald he was stunned and blinded Monday as he was sprayed, pulled out of the car and handcuffed. He was detained about 3 hours.

THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.

Read Full Post »

On the one hand this video is freaking hilarious. On the other hand it is absolutely infuriating that I live in a country like this.  Thank you Defamer:

I had the good fortune to mistakenly watch this show last night, so let me just describe for you two instances of drama and intrigue, accompanied by copious dramatic music and editing, that went down in this one episode, and which were broadcast out to the world, by choice, to illustrate the dramatic perils the Homeland Security department faces while keeping us safe:

  • A dude coming into America claimed to be an American. Turned out to be true.
  • Somebody attempted to bring a sandwich into the USA.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Television: Homeland Security Thwarts…“, posted with vodpod

Read Full Post »

Germany, Britain, China, and India, Spain, South Korea.

Read Full Post »

Via Americablog.

Read Full Post »

Many of you have read about my conversations with my mother regarding Barack Obama and the state of our country here and here. In particular I have spoken about how it pains me to hear my mother, a Thai woman once married to a white American man, talk about her doubts about Barack Obama because of the color of his skin. While it pains me to hear her words, I applaud her for her honesty. We can’t get beyond where we are now without honestly reflecting on our prejudices.

In the days before the election, I thought that I was gaining ground with her. I thought that I may be able to convince her to vote for Barack Obama to “give it a try” as I said. If she wasn’t satisfied she could vote for someone else in 2012. She admitted to me that she could not vote for John McCain given the last 8 years of Republican rule, and so I naively thought that the step to vote for Obama would not be that big of one. I thought to myself that if I couldn’t get my mother, an intelligent woman greatly disillusioned with the Republicans, to vote for Obama, what hope did I have that anyone would vote for him? In the end, she didn’t vote for President at all.

After four days of knocking on doors for the Obama campaign in Colorado, I was in the ballroom of the Sheraton hotel on election night along with thousands of people as we all heard the election declared for Obama. At that moment, I still had hope that my mother had voted for Obama and I briefly contemplated giving her a call in my happiness. The noise in the room prevented me from doing so.

The next day I flew back to Seattle and I called my mother as soon as I got back. I was elated after my hard week of working for the campaign. When I got her on the phone, her voice was bitter. “You may think that this person will solve all your problems, but you are wrong. And it doesn’t matter that everyone likes him in the rest of the world. The world loved Kennedy, but in America he was not well liked.” The conversation was not what I expected.

This past week, these wounds have been reopened. I spoke to my dad who was bemoaning the stimulus package talking about how this was debt I would be paying for the rest of my life. Don’t I know it, I thought.  But I told him that he and every Republican lacked any credibility whatsoever in this argument. The Republicans were responsible for needlessly increasing the debt which he somehow never cared about before, and they themselves were responsible for the removal of the regulations that would have prevented a collapse in the financial industry that resulted in the need for a bailout in the first place. My mom has been making comments about how Democrats love to spend. That’s what they are all about, she says.

It struck me this morning as I woke up, that even they cannot ruin this day for me. I am sure they must be completely flabbergasted at the spectacle that is this inauguration. This inauguration is surely unprecedented in its national importance not just in my life but in theirs. The crowds, how can they be this big, they may be thinking. I suppose when your confidence and respect for your country has been systematically chipped away at for the last eight years, you will be elated at the possibility of restoring its image. And this is the thing that the Republicans seem not to understand. People want Obama to succeed. People want to hope that there is something better around the corner. Any obstruction the Republicans create will be taken badly. It’s a difficult position that they are in though I can’t feel sorry for them considering it is one of their own creation.

It’s a changing of the guards. We are weary of bitterness and division. We want to hope. We want to have something to believe in. We want Obama to succeed. I don’t know what the next four years will bring. Despite my hope, I am a realist and I know that there is the potential for Obama to fail in my estimation. I worry about my job and my life and what this recession will bring. Nonetheless I hope for the best, and I have faith in the man who will lead our country in the next four years.

Read Full Post »

Check out TDLphoto’s photostream on Flickr.com. He’s a pro so I can’t show a sample. So instead below is an image from WhippedBakeshop.

From CNN:

Read Full Post »

State Mottos

Via StrangeMaps:

I can’t belive “Don’t mess with Texas” is really friendship.

Read Full Post »

What I love about David Horsey is the attention to detail.

See the original in full here.

Read Full Post »

Every year at trivia we have questions about the Christmas Price Index.

The festive season has never been a cheap affair but this year anyone seeking to earn the title “True Love” by showering their partner with gifts based on The 12 Days of Christmas, will have to stump up a whopping $21,080 (£14,071).

Every year since 1984, American investment group PNC Wealth Management has compiled a Christmas Price Index (CPI – geddit?) by pricing all the items in the song from the partridge right up to 12 drummers drumming.

While mainly just a bit of harmless fun, PNC also believes the index does have something to say about the wider American economy.

This year, PNC estimates the index has leapt 8.1% to $21,080, its second highest ever increase. That compares with the US government’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) which has risen 3.7% this year.

But the bulk of the dramatic rise in the Christmas version is due to the cost of the seven swans-a-swimming which have risen by 33.33% to $5,600. The scarcity of swans has always made them one of the most volatile elements of the index.

Read more on the Guardian. Or, click here for CPI’s web site.

Read Full Post »

Anytime I start getting too cocky about how great America is the Department of Homeland Security brings me down:

U.S. officials say Europeans and others who travel visa-free to the United States must start registering their trips electronically as part of a new online security screening process which takes effect Jan. 12, 2009.

Jackie Bednarz, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says the new security measure replaces current paper forms that visitors from the 27 countries participating in the U.S. visa waiver program fill out when entering at airports and seaports.

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, will enable travelers to notify the department about their travel plans via a Web site, http://www.CBP.gov/esta, before they purchase their plane tickets.

U.S. officials, announcing the updated plans Friday, say some 300,000 people from eligible countries, which include Britain, France, Germany, Australia and Japan, have already used the system during its testing phase, which started in August.

Welcome.

Read Full Post »

Damn, Oregon beat Washington. Then again they do make fine tasty beers. If I had to name my top favorites I’d say:

1. Scuttlebutt Blonde Ale – Everett, Washington

2. Manny’s Pale Ale – Seattle, Washington (Georgetown neighborhood)

3. Mirror Pond Pale Ale – Bend, Oregon

Via wikipedia.

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Here’s an interesting article about a Seattle software executive who killed 32 of his neighbor’s buffalo on his ranch in Colorado.

Keep your bison off my property or risk having them hunted, software executive Jeff Hawn warned his neighbor outside this old Colorado mining town. In a lawsuit he said the animals knocked his satellite television dishes off line and left dung, tracks and hair on “pristine pasture on rolling hills.”

Nine days after the suit was filed, shots rang out.

The remains of 32 bison were strewn across Hawn’s property and nearby land. Deputies learned that 14 hunters received a letter from Hawn giving them permission to hunt bison on his property.

It sounds like a bad collision between two worlds. One of property rights and lawyers, the other the open range.

It’s hard to find anyone sympathetic to Hawn in South Park. Downare’s family is well-established, and people in Fairplay, the county seat, and tiny Hartsel, the closest town to his ranch, are quick to defend him. They bemoan the waste of so much bison meat and talk about one of the feud’s central issues — fences.

Miles of barbed-wire fences line area roads and property boundaries. Unlike rural areas in other parts of the country, Colorado and most other Western states are “open range,” meaning livestock can roam wherever they wish. If land owners don’t want animals on their property they are urged to build a fence to keep them out. Ranchers don’t have to fence their animals.

We noticed while we were in Montana that there were a lot of cattle that were not contained by fences roaming around the highway. It’s nice to see that this rich CEO will at the very least be inconvenienced by his rash behavior.

Photo via RumSoakedShreddie on Now Public.

Read Full Post »

What is sacrifice?

I’ve always been a bit of a romantic. As I’ve said in earlier posts, I really bought into the idealism of the founding of the U.S. You know the checks and balances that have been withered away over so many presidents who cared more about power than they did about the idea of America. Anyway my point is that I am a romantic.

And my idea of sacrifice, the title of this post, is very romantic also. If you want something bad enough, sometimes you have to give something up in order to get that. And sometimes making a sacrifice is essential in order to get what you want. In Christianity, sometimes you make a sacrifice and get nothing in return, but you do that because you love God. Abraham lucked out a bit in that he didn’t really have to sacrifice Isaac to show his love for God.

In Twenty-First Century America (and I can only guess in other places as well) the idea of sacrifice is disappearing. People want to have their cake and eat it too. Let’s take climate change. Most everyone knows it’s happening, but rather than give up something to mildly avert it we say “I have a right to drive a single-occupant vehicle. Technology will save me.”

In Seattle right now, they are considering imposing a 20 cent bag fee for plastic bags at the supermarket. Many people are upset.

Them: It will drive up grocery costs.

Me: By $1.00?

Them: $1.00 is a lot to poor people.

Me: Everyone can bring reusable bags. Even poor people. The reusable bags will pay for themselves.

Them: I can’t remember to bring a bag with me every time.

Me: Yeah life stinks doesn’t it. Remembering things and all that.

I really don’t get it. If we know that plastic bags pollute our environment, how could a small inconvenience like bringing a cloth bag be so awful?

Convenience, convenience. We all need convenience.

Going back to gas prices. We know oil is polluting our environment, but rather than sustain an inconvenience like (gasp!) filling our tires correctly or (gasp!)  taking the bus, we say drill drill drill. Meanwhile our actions cause wars in the Middle East where real men and women make the very real sacrifice of their lives for us. For our convenience. It’s really quite twisted.

Read Full Post »

I’ve just discovered “Mad Men” in its second season. What a great show. The show reveals the lives of the employees of an advertising firm in the early 1960’s. What I really like about this show is that it shows an earlier part of American history without the rose-colored nostalgia that we are so used to. It’s gritty, real and sometimes very depressing.

Because the characters work for an advertising firm, there is a lot of insight into the cultural norms of the time which I find fascinating. It also allows the show to have “Mad Men” intros to the actual commercials for the show. So this week it had a little intro into a pharmaceutical commercial that told us drug companies were not permitted to advertise on television until 1997. Normally that sort of connection between a show and its advertisers would be annoying, but since it’s not subliminal product placement it’s actually very interesting. And of course back in the 60’s they were much more open about what advertisers sponsored what shows.

Speaking of nostalgia, here’s a clip from the show.

Read Full Post »

A few months ago I gave up my subsidized bus pass. Since we are living fairly close to downtown I’ve been walking to work. I’ve gotten a lot of accolades from colleagues about my walk even from those who live in the same neighborhood as me. “That’s so great that you walk; you must stay fit from all the exercise.” For the record, it’s about a mile walk. That’s America for you.

This week I’m house sitting at a friends. With no bus pass, I thought I’d start bicycle commuting again and so far it’s been really great. I was a little worried about the cycling climate given the Critical Mass incidents (here or here) and then yesterday there was a tragic and freak accident in Seattle involving a pedicab. My condolences go out to the family.

But so far the commute has been relatively uneventful. For those who have commuted via bicycle, you know that most days are a constant gauntlet where you dodge cars, buses and trucks. This morning a car with a rather clueless driver drove too close to the center island causing his hub cap to fling up in the air. It wasn’t that close to the cyclist in front of me, but if it had been it would have been bad. The driver then pulled over quickly to the side of the road and opened his car door right into the bike lane. Luckily we were all expecting it.

Read Full Post »

I’m not sure why I thought of this memory. Something triggered it from the news.

I remember when I visited my relatives in Thailand a comment that my cousin made that made me uneasy. My relatives wanted so much from me. They wanted me to find a husband for my cousin, a good one they specified; they wanted me to help them out financially, etc. It was extremely overwhelming and I wanted to help them too.

I just agreed to whatever they said as is the American tradition of not being able to say no and just hoping everyone will forget. At one point, my cousin looked at me and said “Daranee is Santa Claus.” Ouch, I’ll never forget it. What a burden and a farce. If I was supposed to be their last hope, I knew I was incapable of doing that.

You want to help so much in this world, but sometimes you can’t.

Read Full Post »

For all that’s been written about the ”disastrous” Clinton campaign it certainly was miles ahead of the McCain one. The strategy appears to be same – that is the kitchen sink strategy, but McCain’s execution is terrible. If John McCain is trying to dispel the idea that he is a crotchety old man he’s not doing a very good job. Obama’s message doesn’t require the existence of McCain; he rarely brings him up, but McCain’s message is “don’t choose Obama.” I can’t help but think of Statler and Waldorf, the old muppets in the theatre boxes.

Look at this last week:

Michael Goldfarb: Today he says ‘never again.’ A year ago stopping genocide wasn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. Doesn’t that strike you as inconsistent?”

McCain: “I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Sen. Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.”

“If he had his way … we would have had defeat. And my friends that would have been a catastrophe for the United States of America. He was wrong then, he’s wrong now and he still failed to acknowledge … that the surge succeeded.”

I also note the ever-changing message as to why we can’t leave Iraq. No matter the success of Obama, and I would say having the Iraqi Prime Minister agree with your withdrawal plan is a success, McCain wants to somehow twist it into a failure. But again, the lack of consistency makes me think of those dang Muppets.

Al-Maliki appeared to back the idea of a timetable in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel over the weekend, but an Iraqi government spokesman said later the prime minister’s comments were “misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.” (The magazine has said it “stands by its version of this interview.”)

The Bush administration has opposed timetables for troop withdrawals, but al-Maliki and President Bush last week agreed to a “general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals” on troop cuts.

McCain shrugged off the suggestion that Obama’s talks with al-Maliki undercut his message.

“It doesn’t in the slightest undercut the fact that it’s based on the conditions on the ground,” he said.

McCain pointed to comments made by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Sunday that the consequences of Obama’s withdrawal plan could be “dangerous.”

“I hope [Obama] will pay attention to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, particularly someone who has no military experience whatsoever,” McCain said.

It just gets worse.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it really hard to follow or get enthused with anything McCain says. He’s the guy who’s resentful when he doesn’t think of an idea first and so he needs to trash anyone and everyone else’s opinions in order to feel important. How do you get inspired by that?

What’s more interesting is that that is the exact obstinacy that has led to George W. Bush’s abysmal approval ratings. The people don’t want a person that has no ideas of their own, but only seeks to trash everything else. People want leadership. The people want a person who is open to new ideas and resilient. Obstinacy is a fatal flaw of the current administration and I don’t think voters want to return there.

I thought the Republican primary voters had done a good job in choosing McCain. He was the one person I thought that could seem like he wasn’t a Republican while still being one. Sadly (or happily since I support Obama) he’s been an utter disappointment.

Image via http://www.blazesoftball.com.

Read Full Post »

No I haven’t yet gone to Glacier National Park on Amtrak, but I did just notice some interesting details on Amtrak’s site.

First of all my accommodation is much better than I had originally thought. Apparently getting a roomette means I’m traveling first class. Having never traveled first class on a plane, this is very exciting.

On this page you can take a virtual tour of the roomette. Weary plane travelers, get a load of this:

Two-Piece Limit: Each passenger may bring aboard no more than two pieces of carry-on baggage. Not included in this limit are personal items such as briefcases, purses, laptops, and infant paraphernalia such as strollers, diaper bags and car seats.

50-Pound Limit: Each carry-on bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs.

Three-Piece Limit: Each ticketed passenger may check up to three pieces of luggage at no charge. Up to three additional pieces may be checked upon payment of $10.00 per piece.

50-Pound Limit: Each checked bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs. We will not accept heavier pieces.

Ski equipment, snowboards, golf clubs and bicycles may generally only be handled as checked baggage on Amtrak trains, and not as carry-ons. Items are permitted onboard when they can be safely stowed in the exterior lockers of Superliner equipment, or onboard equipment that is specifically designed to safely and securely accommodate the storage of the items.

Just at time where the airlines are starting to charge for each checked bag, Amtrak lets you have three checked bags and you can even bring your bicycle and put it on their bicycle rack. Perhaps I currently have a rosy outlook. Part III in late August will tell all.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »