Friday Quick Hits: Metro (again), toys for guns, reader feedback

So it's Friday, a traditionally slow day in Blogland. There's a few interesting stories out there, mostly stating the obvious. In obligatory WMATA news, we get some details on the 'backup' system that was developed by BART and could be used here.

From the WaPo:
[Electrical engineer Rob] Tolmei's patent, which is not in use commercially, would check the rear-car receiver of one train to see what the speed code is right behind the train. Any speed code that is not zero would be an alert to a problem, he said. Tolmei said he wrote Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. a letter before the NTSB issued its recommendation but has not been contacted. Tolmei is the former manager of research and development at the San Francisco BART system and worked there when it installed a backup in the mid-1970s to address intermittent failure of track circuits.

"This is a simple solution that is not likely to cost very much and meets every one of the [NTSB] requirements," he said.
Sounds good to me. But I don't know, I think that might be too simple. And too cheap. GM John Catoe also mentions he's been getting a lot of email from people saying they have solutions to Metro's problem. He's been inundated, in fact. I also hear he has a foolproof plan to get more money from WMATA... he just needs to assist some friendly Nigerians (who heard about our tragic Red Line crash) with completing a wire transfer.

Also from the news today, not many people are taking up arms in DC. Legally at least. In fact, only 515 guns have been registered in the District since the Heller decision. Contrast that with the more than 2,000 illegal guns seized by police in the same period of time. The Washington Times also reports that none of the legally registered guns have been used (fired) or stolen.

Since the 'gun boom' really hasn't happened (and have those gun stores opened yet?), I think we should speed things up. How about mandatory conceal and carry? If everyone on the street was packing, wouldn't you think twice about mugging someone? Or randomly assaulting them? Or doing anything even moderately illegal? I kid, I kid, sort of. But a 'gun giveaway' from the seized weapons pool has a nice ring to it.

Anyhow, the commentariat around here has been quiet, likely due to the continuing 'registration' requirement for comments. I'll go on record as saying that probably should have been done a long time ago.

In any event, for those reading blogs on this lovely Friday, I've got a question for you. What is one thing you would change about DC that would make your life easier or better?


  1. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    The odd assertion that DC is a Southern town so we should all wear searsucker and have Alabama bangs.

  2. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    RE: Comments. Doods, just open a Google account in a fake name. Bing Bang Boom. Comment away.

  3. A. is right. They're not commenting because it's rather... insipid. What's to add?

    Post: Metro sucks.

    Comment: YEAH, it does.

  4. Hey, I talk about guns, too.

  5. I'm not saying you and M@ need to make up so he can get back to posting here--most of his shit was awful (but at least it was comment worthy)--but turning this space into your personal redundant activism blog is 18 different shades of lame. The incessent banging of the metro drum is such a waste of effort. You think you're the only one out there commenting on that stuff? You think the internets would miss your faux outrage?

    Let's try a mental excercise. Just a couple of questions followed by some simple instructions.

    1. What's going on in my life?
    2. What sucks?

    Write those lists down, find the intersection, cross out all references to metro, then expound upon what's left in a new post here. Could be a crappy date you had. Your landlord. The music scene. The rising price of 3" nails sold by the pound. Could be Marion Barry... no, nevermind him. Unless he failed to tip you Thursday night at Ruby Tuesday or something, or you walked into the stall after him and he forgot to flush. Those might be good intros to Marion Barry stories. Just about anything is more interesting than another metro post right now.

  6. Metro is an easy fall back. And while less people may comment on it, the actual number of people who read the articles doesn't change. It seems a lot of people are looking for information about Metro these days, and there aren't a lot of blogs covering it. I mean, for an exercise, compare the coverage here to say at "unsuck dc metro" which is an entire blog dedicated to Metro.

    In any event, I'm attempting to _AVOID_ a lot of use of personal stories. Perhaps I've gone too far in removing myself from the site, and have focused too much on 'news analysis' but somewhere along time line it became loud and clear that no one cares about those things.

    The most popular posts, and the biggest jump in readership has occurred since those types of posts have gone away.

    It's fun and easy to write more of the "intersection" between personal and DC but at the end of the day it's almost like "who cares."