Thoughts & Prayers

We’ve really been enjoying the RETROvan lately, especially with the new oil-filled space heater keeping things at a cozy 69°.

Olivia found a cool mini retro Christmas tree and Mazy loves the rubber floors. I’ve been working in Xcode on my 5K iMac, updating some of my smaller apps in the App Store. I even rewrote one older Objective-C app in Swift. I’m ramping up to take a new gig somewhere in January, all part of the plan.

Shows flashes of brilliance. Works well with others.

Today, the 501 Amtrak Cascades derailed near DuPont, Washington killing at least three people and wounding up to a hundred. Tomorrow, Steven and Shannon were booked on the same train from Seattle to Portland.

Let that sink in, parents…

I-5 southbound will be closed up to 48 hours while WSDOT deals with the carnage and the NTSB conducts its investigation. So we got refunds and booked the kids on flights instead. Anxious to see them tomorrow and spend some quality time over the Winter Solstice.

This was the 501’s inaugural run and the route was new. The tracks, however, were built for freight and military trains. Not passenger trains. Amtrak calls that a high-speed train, which is ridiculous if you’ve ever ridden an actual bullet train. The 501 has a top speed of 79 MPH — on a straightaway. But for some reason, it tried to take a 30 MPH curve at 78 MPH, over a freeway overpass. The criminal negligence in that scenario is off the charts and I’m sure the victims’ families will show no mercy to Amtrak.

Some would be spouting “thoughts & prayers” at such a tragedy. Others know those are empty platitudes. Thoughts and prayers don’t keep trains on tracks, folks. That is a job for physics, engineers and lawyers.

Safe travels, everyone.

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