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Showing posts from April 4, 2011

AMTRAK Quiet (except for ME) Car

I ride AMTRAK trains to work and on trips to NYC 4 or 5 days each week.  Recently AMTRAK added quiet cars on the Keystone service between Harrisburg and NYC.  The rules on the quiet car are No Cell Phone Use, No Loud Talking.  But every other time I get on one of these cars, someone will talk on their cell phone.  Sometimes they are oblivious and did not see the signs on the door and every ten feet along the roof.  Sometimes.  Not often.

Mostly what they want is a quiet car for everyone but them.  They get to drone on about their latest deal or horrible date.  I know a guy who works in a bakery in Lancaster and commutes to Temple several days a week.  He is taking classes toward a PhD.  He sits in the quiet car hoping to do homework.  Then someone starts talking.  He said he waits up to 10 minutes to say something.  He likes having me on the train.  I wait up to three seconds before saying something.  Usually, "There are five other cars on this train, go there."

Since I thi…

Jealousy and Envy

When we were getting ready to go to Iraq, Colonel Perry spoke to the battalion in Oklahoma.  The most memorable part of his speech for me was when he said that envy ruins units at every level.

Of course, envy ruins every kind of community--civilian, military, secular, religious, law-abiding or criminal.  I got a dollar book at a used book store with the title "Envy."  It is one of a series on of seven books, each on one of the Seven Deadly sins.

I am just two chapters into this brief and entertaining look at one of the three worst of the seven sins and I plan to follow the authors advice in thinking about envy vs. jealousy.  Joseph Epstein "I am jealous of what I have, I envy what you have."  He makes clear that jealousy can be good, or at least appropriate, but envy never is.

God is jealous, the Bible says.  He wants to keep those who have chosen to love Him for Himself.  A spouse or lover can be properly jealous.  Of course we all know someone can be crazy with…