23 June 2018

How do you explain this?

Sharmila was driving down I-64 deep in the mountains of West Virginia. I was busy trying to take pictures with my camera.

Glanced at my phone to see if we had any connection. What I saw was very surprising… look at the top left corner of the pic.

The surprising part was NOT that we still had 4G connection in such a remote place. The surprising part was we are T-Mobile customers!!!

The phone has been on AT&T network for over an hour. In fact, I am posting this thru that connection….


22 June 2018

Gem by the roadside…

As you drive up north on 75 in Kentucky, you will come up against a small town called Berea. If you exit into that town, within a quarter mile, you will see a big sign for “Kentucky Artisanal Center”. If you have time, get in there.

Amazing arts center in the middle of nowhere. All featured artists are from Kentucky and you can see some really wonderful paintings, wax work, blown glass work, metals work and so on and so forth.

Sharmila and I spent over an hour enjoying the artists’ works…

22 June 2018

Question for all train experts

In Bryson City, while they were rearranging the coaches for the train, I noticed something. Growing up in India, every coach of a train used to have two huge buffers on either end. Looked like two big cylinders with two large plates in front (of course, with some humongous springs inside). I remember watching as they would attach one coach to the other how the train driver would back the train at very slow speed to the coach to be attached. The buffers from either side would eventually make contact with a large noise, the springs would give in and then eventually recoil.

I noticed that the coaches in the train in Bryson City had no buffers. In fact, as the driver backed in slowly, the trap mechanism eased into the vault that looked like a rack and pinion joint and almost seemed to autolock. There was no recoil whatsoever. More interestingly, when the driver pulled forward, there was no “give”. You know – like the first compartment would move a second earlier than the second one (till the springs got elongated enough to make it a taut connection) etc etc. Here the whole train moved simultaneously when it started as if it was one solid body.

I assume these connection technologies have changed over the years? In India, do we still have the “buffers?”. Were they ever in use in US?

Are there any train experts in this group?

22 June 2018

Stopped over at our friends’ place…

For the second night of the trip, we swing by our good old friend Budhu’s house in Knoxville. Ranjan-da came over too. We missed both Arpita (in India now) and Nita-di (in Davidson right now). A good relaxed evening on Budhu’s deck over some wine as he kept himself busy with the grill…