OK (beginning this amid a long rumbling train of thought), I just read recent research indicating train travel leaves smaller carbon footprints than the transportation modes I use nowadays, while visiting and running errands for shut-ins -- (anything but taxies: airplanes, buses, shuttles and autos (so far, only shared Zipcars - BTW without any of the so-called "hidden charges" Zipcar was sued over in 2009 and 2011, a controversy covered under Fees in the article, which otherwise appears thorough).
Some days my colleague Tortoise Cat and I dream of prowling the country perpetually. But we would need a camping vehicle to shift to that lifestyle because cats cannot ride the rails freely. Though train rides take much longer than plane rides, possibly much much longer, rail fares still cost hundreds of bucks, according to my research.
Traveling by Amtrak from the Milwaukee airport to Chicago, then to Davis, California and back on the Hiawatha and Zephyr would cost $572.00 for just one coach seat. Coach-class airfare could cost less or more, depending on how far ahead I book, whether special deals apply and other complicated factors I barely understand, despite my years working for airlines. But coach class train seats appear as roomy as First- or Business-class plane seats, and I could hike between cars on the way.
How much smaller are apartment dwellers' (than vagabonds') carbon footprints, I wonder? Well, that's a new topic for further research. For now, we'll live here one day at a time simply with our bags perpetually packed, just in case.
Uh oh, worst case scenarios happen with trains and planes, the daily news reminded me!
Well, every day, day after day, mayhem unleashes dismay, agony and anger all around this world, spoiling, harming and destroying relentlessly. Three to eight periods a day I attend to the latest terrible stories that draw my attention, seeking meaning and visualizing relief (as shamanic shifting meditation-prayers). But I rarely comment, after reading what others opine and conclude. Because usually I feel there's been enough said already, so I hope for better and best in silence.
Tweets about the plane crash fell into five categories in my reckoning: Prayers, scoffs (critical to hateful), information (correct and/or not, with even a few conspiracies), personal drama grabs -- like "WOW, #SoScary, I flew (or was gonna fly or made plans to fly) there (or on that airline) five (or some other number of) days (or months or years) ago (or hence)..." -- and, of course, most outrageously uselessly, last and perhaps least helpful, the self-proclaimed experts' (mostly ignorance-based) explanations of anything related to the event, the news coverage, folks' reactions, and (sadly) more, on and on.
But, social networking is fun for me, still. Maybe I will ramp up and expand my participation, now that I'm retiring from Cloud-based freelance writing.
Freelance writing online reminds me of those independent-cuss dumpster-diving aluminum can and scap metal collectors I'd notice toiling long (longer, longest) hours in any freezing to steaming weather along the east side and downtown Milwaukee, stuffing worn contractor bags as full (and heavy) as possible with smelly pop and beer cans stomped flat and/or rolling temporary, rusting modern sculptures on discarded baby-carriages, then clanking their drippy or awkward loads to a recycling center on the south side to exchange all for a few bucks. True, these folks avoid punching a time-card, but I wonder how the major sweaty trouble they go to could be worth it. Still, it must be.
When I was content producing, I stuffed recycled words for long hours, then exchanged my throw-away (anonymous) articles for a few bucks and the end of each day. I made this repetitive task fun and educational for a year or so and made a relatively hassle-free shortchange-living off it, but the fun kept wearing off. There are many other tasks I could do for money, brokered by Internet startups that facilitate connections and handle the financials, so I'm reassured I could always fall-back on earning a seriously fun-deficient emergency living among the many Cloud temp-agencies and content-farms as an information superhighway plodder (while retaining enough freelancing freedom and everyday flexibility to keep my nose a few inches off anyone's particular grindstone).
But I have retired, that is detoured, from independent contracting along the I-bahn's slow lanes, because my space-time here on earth as LIFE is ultra-precious, as my singular YOLO sacred FUN, and I don't want to exchange any of my being and living fun energy (and matter that matters) for any span or remuneration. Mass producing web content for easy (lesser amounts of) money per piece didn't discourage me as much as finding increasingly annoying that repetitive tap, tap tapping of hundreds of "just OK" articles per month, mostly used in link-building to boost blah websites, mostly selling unnecessary services and stuff.
But "in real life" many physical tasks that others readily pay others to do (as too mundane or menial or taxing or whatever) are really exhilaratingly fun for me naturally -- gardening, painting, moving, cleaning, many more (including many repetitive tasks, so long as the work is worth while) -- so IRL odd-jobbing is the perfect profession for me, though free exercise is the only perk.
Why this is true for me is merely another quirky mystery, probably connected to many un-fun early childhood experiences: Family life revolved around one especially esteemed member's apparently highly stressful "publish or perish" academic career, and Young-Me probably reacted to this, and all related domestic dysfunctions, by turning and tumbling, through momentary micro-decisions, towards this and away from that and so forth, eventually creating Adult-Me's complex and weird personality preferences and aversions.
Analysis wasn't any fun, I concluded after years of it, but flowing with what I want today yields the best and the most fun, and generates more and more, so that's what I do (between shrugs) -- indulge my weird complexity.
Well, I've rambled more than enough for now so now I'll recycle and re-purpose earlier sayings (by me and others, with permission) into a link-poem.
Again, what were those mottoes that helped?
Wonders never cease...
The stories of everyone's lives are changing...
The Universe rattles, drums, sings and dances until...
Always, ALL WAYS...
Blessings in disguise shift to gifts with laugh-medicines, revealing the fun of it ALL.
ZAP, ALOHA, YOLO...Be and live the FUN -- Don't believe,..
BE LIVE, with extras...
FUN ≧ Freedom (and/or Flexibility) Unfolding (Universally New) Now!