Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Day 2 of the new, temporary job at PharmaCo.

This morning, I decided I’d drive to the Metro station near my home and try the Park and Ride, metered parking feature. This, as opposed to the Kiss and Ride, the hop - a - bus - and - transfer, the walk - in - the - bitter - cold - of - January, or the drive - downtown - and - sell - your - first - born - to - pay - for - parking - near - your - office options. I left the house around 7:30 and arrived at the Takoma Station around 7:40. The Park and Ride lot was wide open; lots and lots of available spaces. Yippee! I thought.

Then I pulled into the lot and started to read the signs. Seven hour parking. Did I read that correctly? Seven hour parking?! Seven hour parking? Are they kidding?! (“They” being an unknown entity. Is “they” WMATA or the Republic of Takoma Park? It’s a mystery. Regardless, seven hour parking.)

I ask you: who among us—among those of us who ride the Metro into our jobs downtown—who among us works less than seven hours a day? Unless you’re an exceptional federal employee, none of us work less than seven hours a day. I have to be at work no later than 8:15, which means—taking into account possible (read: inevitable) Metro glitches, including trains going out of service, trains crashing into each others, and trains killing customers or employees—I’m on the train around 7:30. I can’t leave work before 5:15, which means—at the earliest—I’m getting back to Takoma Park around 5:45 (again, barring any unforeseen incidents.)

All told, I’m en route and/or at work at least 11 hours. That’s about four hours more than the seven-hour time limit at the Takoma Park Metro Station lot. Can someone tell me, for the love of all that is holy, why there aren’t 12-hour meters for me to feed? Can’t wait to see what my ticket is tonight when I get off the train. So help me, if it’s more than $25, I’m writing a letter to whoever “they” are. After that, I suppose I’ll figure out an alternate means of getting to Metro.

But here’s what really sticks in my craw. In this era of global warming, when more people should get out of their cars and into alternate modes of transportation if they can, organizations like WMATA (or the hippy, crunchy enclave Republic of Takoma Park, as the case may be) should be doing more to encourage the use of the Metro system. Putting in seven-hour-only parking meters isn’t much of an incentive to use more earth-friendly commuting alternatives.

Okay, Metro rant over.

Now for the good things about today.
  1. This morning’s sunrise, as seen through the picture windows of the train, was spectacular! Unlike the temperature outside, it was bright and warm and beautiful.
  2. Having ham and pineapple pizza for dinner. Yum! Of course, I had to share the pineapple with the Abyssinian.
  3. The Abyssinian who likes pineapple (not to mention anything meat, sour cream, cantaloupe, and Doritos. Yes, you read that right. A cat that eats Doritos) and seemed to like me tonight, as opposed to hissing and spitting at me.
Photo copyright: deviantArt


Mary Ellen said...

Did you get a ticket? I'd write a letter anyway about the idiocy of the 7-hour parking limit.

Haven't tried giving our Aby pineapple or Doritos, but he does love cantaloupe, bananas and French fries. And he's been known to steal unattended slices of pizza. It's like having a dog.

JMK said...

No, mercifully, I did not. However, I'm going to ask the station manager about it tomorrow. All I can figure is, they want to discourage commuters from using their lot for exactly the reasons I (and I'm sure others) do (are doing.) I have a feeling they want it to be for folks who want to run down town to visit a museum or go shopping at Macy's or things that require less then seven hours to accomplish. Lame, I tell you. Lame.

Abyssinians are just too weird for words. I mean, come on! A cat that eats Doritos and bananas! Strange.

Dr Lala said...

My cats have a thing for pizza. The problem is that they don't eat it, they just *lick* it. It's so wrong. And you can't tell tehy've done it. ew. They do it for the salt.

They also like buttercream frosting.

JMK said...

Dr. Lala: Ew is right. At least the Abyssinian eats stuff off of pizza. Although, given a chance, he'd probably just lick, too. Ick.

Swizzies said...

Cats suck. I've spent all day spray-bottling mine away from munching down my "gute Besserung" flowers.

Stupid bitch cat.

Liseysmom said...

No way!! We had a cat that LOVED Doritos. He'd go crazy for them. And donuts dipped in coffee.

JMK said...

Swizzies: Yeah. What you said. And what I want to know is, what was God thinking when she/he created cats?

Lisey's Mom: Isn't it just too bizarre? I mean, Doritos?!?! What the hell? Coffee and donuts, too, eh? Interesting. In its previous life, your cat was a cop!

dan said...

Hi DC blogger, here in Taiwan, nobody ever heard of this kiss and ride thing. read on:



"Kiss and ride" signs stump Taiwan rail passengers

by Ralph Jennings, Reuters reporter, Taipei

Mon Feb 5, 2007 10:29 AM GMT

TAIPEI, Feb 5 (Reuters Life!) - English-language "kiss and ride" signs at passenger drop-off areas along Taiwan's new high-speed rail line are confusing passengers in a society where sendoffs are normally not intimate.

White-on-blue signs at the seven stations along the 345-kilometre (214-mile) Taiwan high speed railway use the colloquialism seen at some U.S. stations and airports which refers to an area where drivers can drop off their passengers, usually a spouse, in the morning and pick them up in the evening, often with an embrace.

The Chinese-language version does not use the word "kiss".

"The English words 'kiss and ride' are a mystery to local people," said Danny Bloom, a U.S.-born English teacher in the Chiayi, which is on the train's route. "It implies that this is a place to kiss and then ride somewhere, but public kissing at train stations in Taiwan is a rarity."

A Taipei-based blog, http://blog.taiwan-guide.org, run by an English teacher from Australia, has generated comments that question as well as encourage the signs.

"I rather like 'kiss and ride'," one commentator said. "It's cute. It wouldn't hurt Taiwanese people to show a little affection once in a while."

The signs were posted about two years ago, a year after railway planners learnt that "kiss and ride" was used in Western countries, said a spokesman for the railway line operator, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp.

High-speed rail authorities say they do not see a problem with the signs. A few foreigners have complained at one station in Taipei County, a spokeswoman said.

The trains were launched on January 5. Taiwan's high-speed rail is the world's fastest track-based system along with Shinkansen lines in Japan.