August 5th, 2007

Pointless Arrow

Home Again

My flight home from PDX was on time. I wasn't at the gate long enough to do anything other than check my e-mail and answer one message before having to shut down and get ready to board. The flight was uneventful, and wonder of wonders, my checked bag was waiting for me when I got out to baggage claim, instead of arriving 40 minutes later as seems to have been the practice on my last couple of flights. That meant I could hop on the next AirBART bus and get to Coliseum station with enough time to walk over to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor station, where I arrived just as the train for Fremont and San Jose was scheduled to arrive. It was fifteen minutes late, but that still meant I got home quicker than I would have done had I had to take BART and a taxi home from the station.

I bought and paid for a discount round-trip ticket on the Capitol about a week ago, but I was never able to collect the ticket, because the ticket vending machine (which was recently replaced) in the Fremont-Centerville station has been out of service. The last time I checked -- Friday afternoon before leaving for Portland -- the screen on the TVM was still displaying nothing but a Windows XP logon screen. This is somewhat better than the TVM at Coliseum, whose screen was completely dead. So I got to pay cash fares on board, although the conductors did not charge me a penalty fare on account of there was no way for me to actually buy my ticket in advance by their own rules. But now I have in the Amtrak system another Centerville-Coliseum round-trip ticket for which I have no immediate use. Oh, well, I can either send it back for a refund or else I'll probably have another chance to use it within the next year, that being how long the ticket is good for on this train, one of the few remaining unreserved-seat trains in the Amtrak system.