Sunday, December 09, 2007

Train Wreck

A train traveling to Los Angeles leaves New York City at 10:00am, due west, at 100 mph. Another train, traveling from Los Angeles to New York City leaves at 2:00pm, due east at 110 mph. Assuming that neither train makes any stops and are traveling on the same track, at what time would they crash? (Note: all times are EST.)

That would be quite a train wreck, wouldn't it?

All things considered, Running in Circles had a pretty good gig last night. We were more pit crew than band prior to the gig, because the venue was hosting a benefit that ran 45 minutes late. Instead of staging our equipment and then setting up, we went into fast-forward mode. Hence, we were not allowed to bring in any equipment until folks cleared out. This worked against us in two ways:

- The place was packed...for the benefit. Which means it looked full before we started, and anyone who popped their head into the venue would see there were no tables available, and go elsewhere.

- We were hurried and not in good form on a couple songs in the first set. We recovered, but were somewhat frustrated. Our cover of American Girl, by Tom Petty, always goes over well. This time, we got our wires crossed during the intro, but too far into the song to declare a mulligan.

The result...train wreck. It was the only one. Looking back, I realize we hadn't had a good train wreck in over nine months. I guess we were due, but I would have preferred it to happen in the last set, and not in the first.

This is the second weekend in a row where I have been to a gig that occurred right after a benefit. Last week, I watched Disco Inferno go thru the same thing; crowd loss, first set not tight as it could be. Fortunately for us, a number of patrons actually approached us and the venue manager to compliment us on our performance and song selection. The manager liked us, too. Can't complain about that.

But this is Sunday, Rick. Isn't this the time you craft some wily, wooly Idiots of the Week post?

Of course. Let's talk train wrecks:

  • The one that almost happened by My Idiots, the Cleveland Browns. They forgot that the games run for four quarters again, and made a can't-miss win a nail-biter again. It seems to me the coaching staff is still learning on the job, too, based on some decisions they made in the second half. Neither the players nor the coaches know how to close out games they should win.
  • The Detriot Lions season. The Lions were 6-2 at one time, and have since lost the last five. That is not significant from the sports perspective, but from another. After the Lions won their sixth game, QB John Kitna, a born-again Christian, declared that God destined their team for the playoffs. I hate when people do that. I will not go further here, but you can add your thoughts as you post your comments.
  • The Miami Dolphins season. Terrible, absolutely terrible. The road to 0-16 is more interesting than New England's road to 16-0. It is ironic, too: the only team to go undefeated for an entire season was the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Now, for the Idiots:

Win - The Browns defensive coaching staff, for playing the prevent defense for practically the entire fourth quarter. It almost prevented another victory; they gave up twice as many points in the fourth quarter as they did the rest of the game.

Place - John Kitna, QB for the Detriot Lions. Shut your mouth, and play football.

Show - QB Derek Anderson. for the second consecutive week. He has problems throwing passes in less-than-optimal conditions. He had problems in this game, and in the Steelers loss. No nail-biting this game if he throws a couple good passes in the third and fourth quarters.

Honorable Mention - The Miami Dolphins, who are redefining "incompetence".


Jonathan said...

Ignoring the "due west / due east" comments and assuming road distance (2776 miles) is the same as train track distance...

I say they will collide sometime after 1:20 AM (but before 1:21 AM).

(I know this wasn't your point, but I couldn't help trying to figure out the mathematical challenge. My only disappointment is that I do not know the formula to do it the easy way. Do you?)

Scott said...

Taking the easy way out, there is no "same track" due east outta LA and due west outta NYC...


Rick said...


I do not remember the formula, either, but will need to recall it in a year or two. My daughter is about at that age where those type of story problems are used.


Good call. :-)

Jonathan said...

So. you're saying that I am at an aptitude just slightly under that of your young school-age daughter?

Rick said...


No, lol! I'd be there, too, since I do not remember the formula either.