The Perfect Focus

Finding focus in a blurry world…

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Orientation and Mobility: SEPTA Regional Rail – Part 2


After we arrived at Market Street Station, we took a moment to look around. The train platform area is very large. Elaine took time to explain how the station was setup. There are two sides, in-bound and out-bound, with two tracks each (a total of 4 tracks), and an A-Section and B-Section. Depending on your destination, you need to be in either A-Section or B-Section and on Track 1, 2, 3, or 4. It’s really not too hard to understand, because one side is always IN, and the other side is always OUT. All the trains are also color-coded.

10_SEPTA reg rail car_SeptaWe identified the track numbers; they are clearly marked in huge letters above the trains stop area. I can read them with little trouble. We walked the length of the platform and located the A-Section and B-Section steps that lead to the main level of the station and all the shops above.

We went to the second level and looked around, again a very large open area, with shops and steps on the outside. Some areas of the station in this level are poorly lit. This is unsettling to me, because it’s even harder for me to see. Using the stations electronic signage is useless to me because of the way the LED’s are setup. By the time I get close enough to read a sign, the LED’s are no longer at a suitable viewing angle and they disappear. So much for using the schedule board.

We located the restrooms, newsstands, and small flower shop. These are good landmarks. We also noticed the entrance to The Gallery, an area of the station that opens to the major shopping store area above; a major attraction of the station.

Elaine explained how the station covered three city blocks underground from 10th Street to 12th Street. And we located the steps to venture up to street level. We did walk around some of the building at street level. The noise of traffic and the volume of people was a bit overwhelming. However, a street level lesson would come later. So we headed back into the station.

Elaine sent me around to locate different areas and the landmarks we saw. We also took the time to talk to customer service and see when the next train would be back to return home and Norristown Transportation Center. That being the 2:17, Track 1, Section A.

This concluded our lesson for the day. So I found the section I was to wait in and Elaine snuck off to blend in with the crowd and observe. Obviously she had to ride the train home with me but by blending in and observing it allows me to make my own decisions.

As I waited for the train, a large group of older ladies descended down the steps and milled around in front of me. I thought I was about to get swept up with a group of church ladies or something. One of them called my name! Very perplexed and wondering who the hell could it be… I knew the voice, but drew a blank on the face, as I often do… I come to find that it was Mrs. Landis, one of my former Pottstown Middle School teachers. Of all the people you’d never expect to meet, never in my life would I have thought about meeting her in the middle of Philly – at a train platform. She was in town with about 30 other retired Pottstown teachers (the large group) for an art tour and was heading home. Like me, to Norristown Transportation Center, then driving.

I explained to her what I was up to, and she was impressed, and proud that I’m getting out and about… The train pulled in, and we where off… I grabbed a seat near the front; the car was kind of full so Mrs. Landis took the seat next to me. At least now I’d have some one to talk to on the way home; and we did!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. As the train pulled into NTC, I said goodbye to Mrs. Landis and I left in a hurry with Elaine to help guide me to the bus, the connection time was less then 8 minutes! If I’d miss the bus, I’d be stuck at NTC for another hour!

She rushed me to the bus and I headed home. Still baffled of all things to see a former teacher of mine on the train!

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Ladies and gentleman I give you the presidents speech…


20090204_obama_school_33Incase any one actually would like to read the speech President Obama will be reading to the nations school children on September 8th. A full transcript has been posted.

Rob puts it best from his blog Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords – “Read for yourself the horrifying vision this man has for the future. Whatever you do, however, don’t let your kids read it. Or any persons with sensitive constitutions, particularly pregnant women. Obama will turn your fetuses into Socialists, too.

ENJOY! 😉

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Ladies and gentleman I give you the president…


Or not…

US-WhiteHouse-Logo

At least that’s what the fuss is about now. As if there is not enough floating around already. Incase you have been living under a rock, you probably already know that on September 8th, President Obama is to address the nations school children

The White House has provided schools with information and a “lesson plan” of sorts to guide them and the nations children during and after the speech. Suggested causes of action after the speech are essays and questions like “How can you help the president…” You can read the suggestions here

My understanding of the speech is that of a pep talk of sorts. About education and to get children excited to learn, and take pride in their education. – But since it is The President some brainless adults seem to think there is some sort of “political brainwashing” going on here. That this speech will be used to push an agenda. – Did I miss something, isn’t he already in office? That kind of means we are stuck with him for the next 3.5 years at least. And unless I was seeing things on election day, he won, by a frik’n landslide.

So what’s the problem? Many presidents have given speeches to the nations school in the past including President Ronald Reagan and others. Most schools to my knowledge also televised the inauguration; and as an example our own Pottstown School District HOSTED former president Bill Clinton when he was – formally campaigning for his wife! – DURING SCHOOL HOURS! – Allowing high school and middle school students to attend! – So what makes this speech so different? Maybe it was the money the district received from Clinton for the use of the gym…!

I for one don’t see a problem in this. The simple solution is… if you don’t like it, and you don’t want your child to listen to it… don’t send them to school that day… it’s a very simple concept. Many parents do not permit their children to take part in the mandatory Sex Education talk provided in most 5th grades; they can voluntarily opt-out. I see no one complaining.

Many schools no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance, or allow students that choose to remain seated… Come on people, we have better and bigger things to worry about here then the presidents speech – to encourage their education, so they are not part of the “dumbest” education system on the global scale – you should be HAPPY the president is taking an interest in today’s young people. After all, THEY are the future leaders of the world.

And by the way… if you didn’t vote… SHUT THE FUCK UP! … and if you voted for ‘the other guy‘ and lost… quit being a sore looser…

Isn’t free speech grand? People DIED for this right you know. Or perhaps you didn’t learn that in history class, because your too busy discussing Sex Education for 3rd graders like California.

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