1) I still like riding on the train, despite some of the later points here.
2) During the trip, I went back to every bad food habit I have. I ate without planning. I ate because of stress. I ate when I wasn’t hungry to be social. I ate my son’s leftovers because I didn’t want to waste them. Yowch. Bad habits might go but they never go far.
3) This trip was wall-to-wall Pokemon. On Thursday during the train trip he found another player and stayed up until midnight playing in the observation lounge. On Friday he met some other kids in the hotel lobby and he played until after dinner. After the tournament on Saturday he played all evening until midnight again. On Sunday, even though he didn’t make the playoffs, he went right back to the event to hang with is friends and play pick up matches. Then we caught the train on Sunday night and he kept playing late into the night and all the next morning until the other kid’s stop arrived. Who knew there was so much Pokemon to be done?
4) One downside of riding the train is that there is usually one person who’s had too many. It doesn’t normally get too ugly, but sometimes people can be loud and obnoxious. On the way down, for example, I was sitting across the boys while they played a match, and a man walking the aisle fell flat on his face. He was in his 50’s, kinda tattered, and I had the powerful urge to Not Engage.
Someone else in the room asked, reluctantly: “Are you okay?” As the guy tried to get up, he answered “Of course I am. I’m tough.”
Since then, that line has become something of a joke around here, along with (no context) “Trees are made of cells. Your argument is invalid.”
5) The long, long train trip left me with a screwed up back. I’m moving like an old man, stretching my legs and back as much possible, slathering on the Topricin, and gulping acetaminophen. At the moment, it’s mostly better which is good. The bad thing is that I’ve completely lost the thread of the Twenty Palaces short story I was going to write. The POV was supposed to be from a predator instead of Ray Lilly, but with the way I feel I just can’t find the voice.
So it’s shelved for now. EPIC SEQUEL WITH NO DULL PARTS opens with a scene where someone recovers from terrible injuries, and that’s coming along just fine. I just wish I had more places outside my home where I could write while standing.
6) The Coast Starlight offers really beautiful views. Not Oakland, but northern California and southern Oregon were gorgeous: mists blowing through evergreen valleys, stands of dogwood with golden leaves, broad rivers and lakes with pelicans, herons, ducks and even an eagle. Even a rainbow. It’s a lovely country, if you get the chance to see it.