The train trip was fairly uneventful. It was an hour late picking me up (after I was told all along it was on time - shortly outside of Dallas I guess they put a "heat slow order" on it - when it gets really hot, the metal tracks can expand unpredictably, and for safety's sake they only go 55 mph or so. We did make up that time overnight). I wound up eating dinner alone in the diner as it was between two "calls" and there were two full tables and then just me. I was just as happy to be eating alone, one table had a group involved in a (loud) politically pointy discussion (from what I overheard, apparently both people like Warren Buffett and union leaders are Teh Evil, according to the discussors). The other table had someone telling off-color stories. And that's something I so don't get. I suppose both of those tables were people traveling together, and that's part of it...but when I'm talking with a stranger, I so much prefer neutral topics (like the weather) or getting themselves to talk about themselves, like what they do for a living. The people I ate breakfast with were like that - when they found out I taught ecology and botany they asked me a lot of gardening-related questions, some of which I could answer, some of which I could not, and they talked about their own gardens and the CSA they participated in. (Apparently it was a pair of sisters and the husband of one of the women, I couldn't quite work out the relationship). That's a lot more fun - and ultimately tells you more about a person, I think - than arguing politics.
The loud political people were in a couple compartments down the hall from me. At one point the evening I was on, the car attendant came down, smelled the alcohol that *I* had been smelling, and told them, "It's okay to consume in your compartment but you're going to have to tone the noise down." (Again, I was just as glad - I was trying to read and their discussion impinged on my concentration.)
It's really dry up here. It's a good 15 degrees cooler than it is in Oklahoma, but everything's all frizzled up. The corn looked especially bad and a lot of the small local farmers who do CSAs and the like are really suffering because they don't have goods to send to their subscribers. People's lawns by and large are totally yellow...except for the few people who have been watering. (I don't think there are any restrictions on, especially not in the town where my parents live...but lots of people, my mom included, feel like it's kind of a big effort to try to keep up with watering the lawn). There MIGHT be rain Saturday. I hope there is.
I've been doing some knitting, mainly alternating between the "simple" socks I had on the needles and the Putney shawl. I'm resisting the temptation to cast on ALL THE PROJECTS I brought with me (a couple sets of sockyarn, and yarn for a pair of fingerless mitts). I don't know. If I get out to the new Michael's later on I might see if I can pick up another set of size 1 needles and another row counter and just go ahead and cast on.
I don't think I've quite decompressed from the summer semester yet. It was busier than I realized. My mom said it looked like I'd lost weight since the last time I was up there, and while I've kinda-sorta been watching what I eat, I suspect the higher activity level (on my feet for eight hours a week for labs alone) may be the contributing factor.