January 8th, 2008

Tricycle

Health Care Press Conference

This morning I attended a press conference. It was the kick-off for a petition drive to amend the Michigan state constitution with language requiring the state legislature to provide affordable health care insurance. For the first time in a long time I heard the phrase, "This country can land a man on the Moon, we can provide affordable health care." I certainly hope both halves of that sentence can be proved true.

Currently, about $6,000 per person is spent on health care in Michigan. It should be interesting to watch the Michigan Legislature struggle over this one if it passes.
  • Current Mood
    hopeful hopeful
Timbuktu

Nancy the Amtrak Lady or Smarter than a Computer

Unlike airplane flights that have numbers, trains have names. This summer I will be taking the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle and back with Wolverine service home to Kalamazoo from Chicago. While I have traveled over night in a train, I have never used a sleeping car before. Now I will be sleeping on the Empire Builder for two nights each way. The Empire Builder travels along the northern tier of states, skirting Glacier National Park among other things.

Like nearly every form of travel these days you can reserve Amtrak tickets on line. I reserved on-line the sleeping accommodations early for the late June trip to Seattle and Pondfilk because I have learned they sell out early. Unfortunately, the on-line reservation system is not good at reserving a round trip ticket for one person and sharing accommodations with a second person on the way back. Of course, that is exactly the way Peter and I want to travel.

So its on to the Amtrak telephone system to modify the reservation. In remarkably short order, I get a real human being, Nancy the Amtrak lady. Nancy got the tickets squared away so that Peter can fly to Seattle and ride the train home. Smart lady, Nancy. I will be riding the train both ways, testing out two different kinds of sleeping accommodations in the process.
  • Current Mood
    productive productive