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Eric: Dead Dogs.

It's twelve sixteen in the morning, Pacific Daylight Time, technically on Tuesday, and my vacation is at an end. I should be asleep, but then there are a lot of shoulds running through my head right now. I just learned a college friend died over the weekend -- any number of shoulds crop up from that, of course. I should have written more during the vacation itself. ("Oh, I'll do Shortbread essays. I'm sure I'll make the time to do one or two of those a night." Yeah, right.) I should have read my mail earlier so I could go down to the bar and have a proper libation to the memory of my friend, but I didn't so it's going to have to be Room Service Tomato Juice. It can't be Room Service Beer, because I can't drink beer. Fermented products produce gas and that's not on the list of approved substances. Wine is all wrong for Charlie, and if I want scotch or the like, I have to buy a full bottle. (Though it will come with glassware and "five mixers," whatever that means.)

So I'm going with tomato juice and an iced tea chaser -- a combination which my friend Russ, who I always go to Baycon with, now officially refers to as a "Bloody Nigel." -- and I'm considering old friends and I'm considering the vacation past. By this time tomorrow I'll be in Maine, and then a few hours later I'll drive the cat home to New Hampshire, and get back to life and preparations for The Visit, of which you'll hear more later.

This is the Dead Dog of the convention -- the time which, according to Weds, takes place between the official end of Con and the point where the very last person leaves the hotel. Walking through the halls, the ineffable presence of reserve has again settled on the Doubletree. Con attendees, fans, fen, call them what you will -- last night they were hooting and hollering, wearing corsets and body paint and Regency Wear. Tonight they're largely in civilian clothes -- perhaps with Genre tee shirts, perhaps in black, even one or two still in corsets -- and they speak in hushes. This is a hotel again, not a Con, Dead Dog or not. The freedom to be as geeky as you like has been replaced with the sense of quiet restraint. The sense that you have to fit to the world of the mundane again.

Sitting in my hotel room, sipping my Bloody Nigel, and considering past friends and past days of the Con, I am in the Dead Dog.

Approximately one hundred and thirty two hours ago, I was in Chicago, Illinois, in the airport. I was on something of a high, as I'd had a milestone that only truly fat people like me will understand. I had risked booking my flight in Economy Class, coming over -- and yes, that was actually a risk. The last time I did Baycon -- two years ago -- I had to fly First Class because I didn't fit in the seats in Economy. Comfortable, in its own way (at that weight, no seat was comfortable for four hours) but a rather expensive hot towel. This time, not only had I been able to sit in Coach for the flight, I hadn't needed a seat belt extender. I haven't flown on a plane without needing a seat belt extender for years.

So I was in a good mood, and a little puzzled at the architecture of this airport. I had landed at concourse A, and my connecting flight was on Concourse C, so to get there I had to descend a stairwell from the well lit and cheerful concourse to a dark undertunnel with peoplemover belts and strange, flashing neon lights and music playing up above. It was like we had to crawl down into the tunnels underneath New York in the old Beauty and the Beast television show to go from one concourse to another.

Ascending the stairs back into the light, I rounded a corner and started heading to my terminal, when I got slammed into bodily and thrown to the floor.

The missile in question was about fourteen years old and running at a full tilt -- headlong, as it were. He wore a white shirt with -- if I remember correctly -- a blue 7 on it. And a hat. He had a hat. He was thin faced, and dark skinned, and kept on his feet even as I went down hard, right on top of my backpack. He froze for a minute, startled, and then spread his hands and gestured -- like he was a conductor moving his orchestra into a decrescendo -- saying "Sorry, guy." And then he took off running again, as fast as he could.

A United Rep yelled after him, then came over to see to me. I was still on the ground, trying to absorb what all had happened. We took the time to do a fast inventory. The backpack was intentionally designed to protect the powerbook inside it, and in that task it succeeded completely. My powerbook was and is completely fine. However, there were sacrifices deeper inside -- a pair of sunglasses that are now dead, A broken set of headphones.

And, more expensively, a wholly destroyed Palm Treo 600 Cell Phone, and a sacrificed iPod.

The United Rep was scandalized. But there wasn't much we could do -- the kid was long gone, and I doubt we could put out an all points bulletin for "Number 7." With the speed he had put on, I had to figure he was already boarded. As it was, I wasn't in (too much) pain, my powerbook was okay, and... well, the iPod was a first generation. Substantially larger than current models. Probably due for retirement (though I would have preferred to "retire" it to my mother or the like). And of course, it had all my audiobooks for the trip on it. The Cell Phone and PDA bothered me more -- it was a nice Treo -- but I'd been kind of wishing I could drop my overly expensive Verizon Wireless service anyway.

If all this sounds like I'm justifying... you're totally right. But what the Hell. It was done. There was nothing left but to board.

By the way -- United doesn't have meals. They have "snack boxes" you can buy. I got one with beef jerky, because at least that has decent protein. Tomorrow, I plan to buy food at the airport to eat while on the flight.

Twelve Forty Eight, and the Dogs are still Dead, and the Bloody Nigel is history too, and I'm thinking about Charlie. Charlie taught me Star Fleet Battles. He worked Dunkin Donuts in Kenmore Square my Freshman year of college, and used to slip my friend Robin and I donuts for free, with a smirk on his face as he did it. He had the best smirk on his face. Four years later, he was in a motorcycle accident that left him in a wheelchair. As far as we know, it was complications from that that led to the infection that cost him his life a few days ago. Knowing Charlie, he was probably hitting on a paramedic as he was being transported to the hospital. And knowing Charlie, he was probably doing it pretty well.

One hundred and nine hours ago, I was discovering the joys of Caltrain at the Palo Alto station. Caltrain is light rail -- I know people who call it heavy rail, but just because heavy rail travels on those same tracks doesn't make Caltrain heavy rail. It was entirely commuter, with two levels of seats -- groups of two seats side by side on the bottom, and a small stair to single seats up above. I was sitting in one of the upper seats, noticing how utterly quiet the train was, watching the adjacent tracks whiz by, as we passed through Redwood City, through San Carlos, through Menlo Park, South San Francisco and San Francisco itself. The architecture of each new suburb and community was uniquely bay area, and very cheerful. There were differences -- we passed by one Honda dealership that was open and inviting. We passed by a BMW dealership that was entirely enclosed by thick cement walls and dual strands of razor wire across the top. But it didn't take long, all told. I was reading a book my father gave me -- The Gunslinger, by Stephen King. The first book of the Dark Tower. I was enjoying it a great deal, and missing my iPod. At the end of the line in San Francisco, Shaenon Garrity was waiting.

Shaenon Garrity is just about what you would expect her to be. She looks not unlike her self portraits on certain Narbonic Sundays. In attitude and appearance, she's more of a brown haired Helen than anything, though something about her hair and bearing practically screams Mell. She walks quickly and she is more fun to be around than put near anyone.

We did the Cartoon Art Museum, which was amazing. It was incredible. They had Will Eisner Spirit pages. They had originals of Windsor McKay's Rarebit Fiend. They had animation cels from "What's Opera Doc." They had a cover from ROM, Spaceknight that I owned when I was younger. It's what a museum like that should be, completely, and I'm utterly glad I'm a member. I got to use my card, too. And I bought the latest Peanuts collection as well as a Windsor McKay collection. And then Shaenon and I went walking, all over. We walked through Chinatown and up hills. We walked down past the Modern Art Museum and later down to Fisherman's Wharf. We saw slacker sea lions -- dude, these were a pile of sea lions lying out on platforms. You totally knew their parents were bitching, too. "When are you going to make something of yourself. Do you want to end up like your father? Lying in the sun being stared at by tourists all day? For this we sent you to college?"

But that wasn't the thing that blew my mind.

Nor was it the fact that we were able to go to the Apple Store... of the Future. An Apple Store... of the Future is just like any other Apple Store, but on two levels (not that they have any more stuff, but they duplicate a bunch of the stuff for the second floor), with lucite stairs leading up. I got a new iPod -- 20 gigs, which is about right for me -- and therefore restored my universal understanding. I also got a car charger but failed to get an iPod case, which it really needed.

No, the thing that blew my mind happened when we were having lunch.

"I have something for you," Shaenon said.

"Oh?" I asked. Grinning, I would add, because she was taking out her sketchbook. I'd seen it once already -- she'd been holding it up with my name written on it in the train station where we met.

"Yup," she said... and proceeded to give me not a sketch, which is what I thought she was preparing to give me. Instead, she proceeded to hand me several pieces of bristol board.

Specifically, comic-strip shaped pieces of bristol board.

With originals of Narbonic comic strips on them.

In fact... the originals of every weekday Narbonic I've ever Snarked excepting one with Zeta (which had already been given elsewhere).

Holy shit.

Holy shit.

Later, she showed me the editorial and layout offices at Viz, and that was also cool. And we talked for hours. We talked about cartooning and comic strips and things that have nothing to do with either. I had it reinforced that Shaenon Garrity is one of the coolest human beings on the planet. And she gave me comic strips. Of the stuff I snarked.

Jon Rosenberg didn't give me comic strips. I'm just saying.

One ten am. Russ has gone to bed. We've set a wakeup call. I should be in bed too, but I can't. Not yet. I can sleep on the plane anyhow. It's no big deal. I just have to be largely mobile enough to pack up art and Narbonic strips at a FedEx Kinko's in the morning, to be shipped separately. I need to keep writing. I'm not ready to face sleep. I'm not ready to let the dog fully die. I'm not ready to face dreams just yet.

Seriously -- what kind of hotel doesn't have sample bottles of vodka for easy purchase? Or a fucking minibar?

I got back late, back on Thursday. I was supposed to meet Russ so we could make it to Redwood City for a show for 7. But I missed my train going back and had to take a later one. But, as it worked out, he was told 7 but the show started at 8, so we were among the first people there. The show was the 5th anniversary for Hookslide, which is an a capella group. Jon Pilat, the group's phenomenal bass and beatbox, is a friend of Russ's. And I am still in awe of this man (and the whole group) days later. I will own their album. Oh yes, I will.

One-eighteen. I'm still not asleep. I'm still not writing fucking shortbreads. I'm on vacation. So long as I avoid that bed, I'm on vacation. It's still Monday. It's a day off, not a travel day or a travel recovery day.

So long as I'm still up, and still writing, I don't have to go to sleep knowing my friend is dead. I don't have to think about how many years it's been since I called him.

I got the message from Andrew, as I said. I passed it along to other folks I knew, as I said. That's what you can do when you hear news like this. Because in a way, it's remote. Charlie and I haven't spoken for years. We weren't in each other's lives any more. That's not as true for some of the others. Every twelve or eighteen months I speak to Matt. I trade e-mail somewhat more often with Ernestine. I actually saw Andy (not Andrew) just a couple of months ago, and Robin not too long before that.

Only it is too long.

There are others I had even less contact with. Erin just got married -- she left a voicemail to that effect... last Summer, I want to say? I got it too late, sadly. Abbe I spoke to something like four years ago. In ways, that whole clique of friends took the place in my head of what most people consider "high school friends." Of my high school friends from actual high school, one of them died before graduation, one I've completely lost touch with, and the last (Andrew) came with me to Boston University, and so he crossed over into that other group.

My "college friends" list, on the other hand... that's almost more Frank and Bankert and Christy and Becki and Karen and John G. and the Rose and Seanna and so forth and sundry (and now Lisa's added into that). Many of them are actively in my life. I saw them not too long ago, in fact. So even though I didn't go to college with them, they're my college friends, my actual college friends are like my high school friends, my high school friends are completely out of my life otherwise....

One-twenty-six, and the Dead Dog continues. A Dead Dog party of one, now that Russ is asleep. Maybe I'm the last person awake in this hotel, the last person keeping Baycon 2005 alive.

It was an excellent convention. It really was. The Art Show was better than I'd ever seen. The panels were excellent. The "Con Suite" was a tearoom of exceptional skill and taste. We arrived eighty four and a half hours ago, more or less. And then it became a whirlwind.

Baycon is a "whole hotel" kind of con. They do things like project genre films and looney tunes cartoons up onto one whole outdoor wall of the hotel, overlooking the pool. Some people float in the pool and watch Flash Gordon. And there are beautiful women in bodices and corsets and miniskirts and bikinis. And some men too, because... well, that's what happens. There are stormtroopers and jedi knights, and a few Battlestar Galactica (new variety) officers, and "gratuitously torn bodysuit Padm»" and all the rest. There are beautiful women who are convinced that they're not, because they don't match up to the traditional ideal of beautiful women, so they hide and cover up and stay quiet until they get to a Convention, when they are surrounded by their own people, and then they lean far forward in corsets and tease and taunt and are saucy. Here, they are with their kind, and they know they are beautiful, and they revel in it, and so do I, because I get to see them.

Registration took forever. Every time there was some sort of Baycon Queue, it took forever. For all that Baycon goes really really well, any time they actually go out and take money or do any kind of organized activity, it takes forever. But everyone is pleasant enough, so you just go with it.

I bought two Bob the Angry Flower compilations and a DVD of three -- count them, three -- Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials.

I also bought Chase Masterson's music CD. Chase Masterson, for those who don't recognize the name, played Leeta on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Her presence was startling, to say the least. We don't get media guests at Baycon. To my knowledge, they don't want media guests at Baycon. But Ms. Masterson was extraordinarily nice to fans, cheerful, friendly... and staffed her own table in the dealer room. Which didn't get nearly the traffic I would have expected. I mean, she was on the best of the Star Trek series (and now the hate mail starts), she has really begun to fill the female Bruce Campbell/B-Movie Science Fiction niche (she's in Manticore for Christ's sake), and... well, she's a very attractive woman with red hair. These are usually monumental magnets for at least male fen.

So I bought a CD from her. Jazz standards -- big band era. Nicely done, I would add. So I have no regrets. Besides, I'm male fen too.

Fifty-six hours ago, more or less, I was interviewed by Sumana Harihareswara. This was the only real point during the weekend that I had my Websnark hat on. Ms. Harihareswara is an enthusiastic and insightful interviewer, who knows Webcomics well. When I know where the results of said interview will appear, I will let you know. That's my promise. As we talked and she recorded, I also had a glass of Scotch. So I don't entirely promise that I don't sound overly enunciative on her tape. I might also have advocated that New England secede from the United States. I'm not saying I did advocate that, but it was very good Scotch, so we really can't rule that out.

Don't you imagine New England seceding -- maybe with New York and Jersey and Pennsylvania thrown in for good measure -- would be a profound relief to the Southeast and Midwest? Well, Illinois (Chicago, anyhow) would probably want to come along with us. And maybe Wisconsin and Michigan.

But I digress.

One-thirty-nine. I wish I had more tomato juice. I don't want to call for more though. Russ is sleeping. And he needs to be somewhat awake in the morning. I just need to show up and haul crap. I don't want to go to sleep, damn it. I knew I wouldn't, even though I didn't know how complex my feelings would be, tonight. This is one reason why I have Wednesday off from work too -- so I can recover from the jetlag and travel. The other reason is my flight lands at eight minutes after midnight. (Which means I need to put up Gossamer Commons for tomorrow night before I go to bed too. Good. Yet more ways of putting off sleep.)

Thirty-four hours ago, I met up with my friend Carol. I always hang out with Carol for a while on these trips to the bay. A lovely and intelligent girl, who has the lapse in judgement necessary to hang out with me, Carol took me out for driving, for food, and for errands. Multitasking.

While we were out, I hit Best Buy and got a case for my new iPod. It's translucent white silicone, and looks like a condom. It's even ribbed.

"Twenty dollars for a piece of plastic?" Carol asked.

"Now now," I said. "It's silicone. Which means it cost even less to produce."

Russ later on made reference of the fact that I've put breast implant technology to new and better use, protecting my iPod from scratches.

The new iPod is significantly better than the last one, by the by. Lighter, smaller, better sound quality. I would walk around the con listening to it, letting it form a soundtrack. Giving me a chance to up my pace. Which I needed to do, because remember back earlier in this essay when I was tromping all over San Francisco, up and down hills and through Chinatown and Viz and the Apple Store... of the Future? Well, back when I was 160 lbs heavier I could never have done any of that. It would have killed me. Shaenon would have done a lot of sitting around watching me wheeze. This time, I could. I mostly kept up with her (or she managed to make me think I did, anyway).

And for three days after, I was sore. I was powertaking ibuprofin and generally trying to get over my muscles being on strike. It wasn't really until today that the last shin splints faded. As a result, I feel like I can walk for miles. And the iPod helped lengthen my stride even when it hurt. Which is why I needed the condom case.

While I was out with Carol, I also grabbed a pair of shorts, as this is California and I was warm. And some socks. The shorts told me I'd lost another four inches off my pants size. The socks told me "it's good to have new socks."

One-fifty-three. I'm dragging now. I'm tired. I want to go to bed. But I don't want to go to bed. It's like I was nineteen again, fighting through fatigue to stay up a few more minutes, to conquer the night.

I'm not nineteen. I'm thirty-seven. And I've had several friends die now. And each one seems so odd to me. Like it just shouldn't happen.

Thirteen hours ago, I learned I'd won four pieces in the Art Show Auction. All angels, because that's the kind of thing I bid on. All absolutely beautiful, drawn by Lawrence Allen Williams (a "Lawrence" whose name spells out LAW.... my In Nomine senses are tingling).

And it's easiest to describe my pieces in terms of In Nomine. Penance is clearly a Mercurian. (Admittedly, a naked one, and vaguely NSFW if you work is uptight). Solaris is clearly Gabriel. Penumbra is clearly Blandine. And the truly remarkable and beautiful The Ascendent (which is also just barely NSFW) is one of the best conceptual designs for a Bright Lilim as I've seen. I like my art.

It's after two in the morning. Russ just woke up briefly. I've stretched it as long as I could. And it's all right there and yet there's so much unsaid. I haven't talked about the shouldercat, or the goth jewelry girl. I haven't talked about sword shopping or Shaenon's theory of Green Lantern Acid Tests or the night we ate sushi by tradition or room service. I haven't talked about the lack of a fridge despite our request, or the difficulties in finding appropriate food as a result, or all the fucking melon I've eaten. I haven't talked about coffee or lattes or the lack of sugar free syrup or explaining lamination or being more or less bathed in chocolate fondue I couldn't even eat.

I haven't said anything, but I've said too much.

The dog is dead.

And I need to go to bed. Five minutes to upload to Gossamer Commons, and then the oblivion of sleep.

Goodbye, Charlie.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at May 31, 2005 5:16 AM


Comment from: egometry posted at May 31, 2005 5:25 AM

And each of those is worth $50 apiece, too. You made out like a bandit.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at May 31, 2005 5:28 AM

More than that, actually. They're all matted, and Penance is in a very very good frame to boot.

Comment from: AndrewWade posted at May 31, 2005 6:15 AM

I currently am that 19-year-old boy fighting through fatigue to conquer the night without reason, and I just want to say, dang, you can write. Every time you get autobiographical I myself feel the weight, strength, lucidity, and poise of those years which separate us. I don't mean to come off sounding like I'm a gawking tourist-kid saying 'gee, you're old', or to seem like an idoling young'un who wants to be just like you when he's older, because that's not it at all. You just express yourself so eloquently.

Right, it's now 3:14am. Time to get to bed earlier than usual. Even I can't figure out why I don't get myself to bed sooner.

Comment from: LurkerWithout posted at May 31, 2005 6:31 AM

After reading all that I only got one thing to say...

You are SO right about DS9 being the best Trek show...

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at May 31, 2005 8:49 AM

And all I can say is:

I hope you liked The Gunslinger. if not, don't give up on The Dark Tower, most people say it gets its voice in book two (though I tend to dissagree, I love the first volume.)

Comment from: Wednesday posted at May 31, 2005 8:54 AM


Comment from: djcoffman posted at May 31, 2005 8:56 AM

*thunderous applause.*

Comment from: Alexander Danner posted at May 31, 2005 10:12 AM

Y'know, reading a webcomics blog isn't supposed to leave you feeling sad and contemplative. Damn you, Eric. That said, I really do...well, "enjoy" is probably the wrong word...let's say I "appreciate" your more poignant posts.

That aside...well, I usually keep this opinion to myself since so few share it, but...yeah, DS9, totally.

Comment from: Jonathan Rosenberg posted at May 31, 2005 10:50 AM

You're requiring bribes now? Damn. Must have missed the memo.

You're mean.

Comment from: kirabug posted at May 31, 2005 11:34 AM

In the tradition of the friends I've lost, a candle is burning here for Charlie.

Comment from: Tangent posted at May 31, 2005 11:42 AM

*pulls out a bottle of Glenfiddich*

*pours Eric a double-shot*

*pours self a shot*

Here's to old friends, forgotten, passed on, or otherwise. And here's to those of us who still remember and who regret letting those friendships fade.

Robert A. Howard

Comment from: quiller posted at May 31, 2005 2:50 PM

I have to agree that DS9 was the best of the treks. I think it suffered a bit in being up against real SF competition in B5, but they managed to tell some really good original tales on DS9.

Be thankful you didn't come in the summer to the Bay area, then you wouldn't be able to wear those shorts! (Says the So Cal resident who can't be bothered to travel up north anymore...)

Comment from: Shaenon posted at May 31, 2005 5:59 PM

Oh, you're just angling for Goats art.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at May 31, 2005 6:29 PM

Not really related to anything else, but...

Anyone else see the irony of Eric posting this just after Wednesday posts a piece titled "Brevity"?

Comment from: SeanH posted at May 31, 2005 6:33 PM

Ah, Jesus, Eric. Know how you feel. I lost a friend the year before last, which, fuck, shouldn't happen when you're sixteen. It shouldn't happen at all, man, but when it happens to you when you're sixteen, that's just a punch in the gut.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at May 31, 2005 6:36 PM

There are beautiful women who are convinced that they're not, because they don't match up to the traditional ideal of beautiful women, so they hide and cover up and stay quiet until they get to a Convention, when they are surrounded by their own people, and then they lean far forward in corsets and tease and taunt and are saucy. Here, they are with their kind, and they know they are beautiful, and they revel in it, and so do I, because I get to see them.
Bless you, Eric. Curses on Brent Sienna and all those whose narrow minds permit them no definition of human beauty outside the classical convention.

(What does it mean, this Earth "best" of all Treks? Are there not only two Treks: the Roddenberrian - including the Bennett/Meyer variations - and the Bermanese?)

Comment from: Tarrsk posted at May 31, 2005 8:07 PM

On the contrary, there is the oft-neglected middle child of the franchise, the Ira Steven Behr variation of Trek.

(And yes, DS9 *is* the best Trek. ;)

Comment from: Michael21 posted at May 31, 2005 9:42 PM

DS9 is the... whaaaat??? Well, you're tired.

This post ranks up there with your story of the journey to the webcomic signing. Excellent writing, sir.

And Wisconsin stands ready to secede at your order. Or at least my cat and I do. Safe journey.

Comment from: Sundre posted at May 31, 2005 10:05 PM

Ditto to you and Paul on human beauty. There's nothing as beautiful as one who has something to be passionate about. And being among your own makes it so much easier to accept that this might maybe possibly apply to you as well.

(Went to my first con in April. So very good.)

Comment from: Factitious posted at June 1, 2005 12:58 AM

Are you sure the DVD is of three Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials? I ask because I also got a Flash Gordon DVD at Baycon, but it has three episodes of the 1950s version with Steve Holland.

Comment from: Suzanne posted at June 1, 2005 1:33 AM

This popped up on BlogLines after midnight...

Thank you for starting off my 20th year the best way possible. You are amazing, Eric.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at June 1, 2005 12:49 PM

Happy birthday, Suzanne. And thank you.

Jon -- bribes aren't required, per se... ;)

And I made it on the ground, guys. Something up later today.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at June 1, 2005 3:30 PM

The Flash Gordon TV show DVD is a dollar store staple. And it's SOOOO MST'able.

Comment from: gwalla posted at June 1, 2005 4:12 PM

That's got to be the best description of the end of a con ever. Very evocative. It's always a bit of a downer, because even if you were getting kind of bored by the end of the con, you always want to stretch it out indefinitely, but it's already too late. The booths are abandoned, the littered paper on the floor is no longer obscured by crowds of people, and you have to return to the real world in a matter of hours.

Comment from: Minivet posted at June 2, 2005 1:11 AM

Minor nitpick -- light rail and commuter rail are not coterminous. Light rail is the category of things like trolleys and streetcars, as opposed to what we usually call "trains."

Tokyo, for example, has dozens of commuter rail lines snaking out to the suburbs in every direction, but light rail is negligible these days.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at June 2, 2005 1:50 AM

I realized I wasn't planning to say anything in response to this post and was sort of shocked. The rich thoughts just left me so content that I felt no particular need to speak back. I just thought you should know that readers like me aren't necessarily taking posts like this for granted, we're just no longer suprised when you write something powerful.

Thank you for sharing all of that with us.

Comment from: Chris Anthony posted at June 2, 2005 7:39 AM

Minivet, I think you're being overly strict in your segregation of "light rail" and "commuter rail". Some commuter rail is light rail (such as Baltimore, MD's Light Rail system), but not all. The distinction is, unfortunately, rather fuzzy.

Comment from: Minivet posted at June 2, 2005 9:59 AM

Oh, no fear, I didn't mean otherwise. But Eric seemed to be saying that if it's for commuters, that makes it light rail. The definition, albeit fuzzy, is based more on technology than intended use. Possibly he wasn't saying that; at any rate, I think Caltrain is in the category of commuter rail that is not light rail.

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