Oh Lord, stuck in Big D again

Yep, I’m on my way home from the nationals in Washington DC, my plane was late out of Reagan National this morning so I missed my connection and here I sit for a couple of extra hours.

I’ve been incommunicado the last 4 days because the Omni Shoreham hotel in DC has the lousiest wi-fi system in the universe.  I could have stayed at the Motel 6 (if there was one in Washington) and had better connectivity.  Rarely do I bother to actually check out of a hotel, but this morning I made of point of making damn sure they didn’t charge me for the wi-fi they didn’t provide.  Didn’t forget to mention the balcony covered in cigarette butts that I had to yell at the front desk to get cleaned, either.  I’m not a fan of the Omni Shoreham.

The tournament went decently.  Mike, Frank Lowenthal, Jerry Weitzner and I placed 31st overall in the Truscott Senior Swiss teams.  Mike and I did not qualify for the second day of the Wehrner Open pairs, but then we had a decent day in a regional event, taking 12th overall after a great first session and a weak second session.

There is plenty for me to catch up on from our New York trip.  I think I’ll begin at the end and talk about the train ride to Washington.

There is a fast train, the Acela.  There is a slower, regional train that makes more stops and costs quite a bit less.  I thought this was the best plan because I wanted to look out the window and see everything I could–sometimes slower is better.

The trains leave from Penn Station, about 10  blocks south of Times Square.  It’s a pleasure to just go in without bothering about the security theater of the TSA.  You look on the big chattering board, find your train and wait to see where it boards.

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Notice that every train is on time. The crowds are waiting to see what track their train is on.

The train station is otherwise much like the airport–souvenir stands and places to eat.  Train announcements like Mel Blanc on the Jack Benny show calling out Anaheim, Azuza and Cucamonga.

Here is the security:

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One cop wandering around with a dog, who may or may not be able to sniff explosives.  Or drugs.  Or something.

The people watching is great.  These two guys may represent the apotheosis of the hipster beard, this years fad among the tragically hip:
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Three and a half hours of watching New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland roll past brought us to Union Station, DC.  Gas was $1.89 in Jersey.  It’s all green.  There are a lot of old cars in backyards along the railroad tracks.

Washington was hideously hot.  By the time I left there had been 5 consecutive days where the temperature stayed above 80º, day and night.  Finally, some serious thunderstorms broke the heat wave down to merely unbearable.

Time to go, I can only enjoy DFW so long.

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