940 – Clouds That Look Like Trains
Another deep sleepy dive into niche podcasts, this one takes a look to our friends ridin' by high in the sky.
Episode 940 – Clouds That Look Like Trains
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary. Hey patrons, I don’t think I’m stretching it out to say thank you so much. I couldn’t do this without you. What do you say we get on with the show?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts, things you’re thinking about on your mind, thoughts, feelings, so anything coming up for you emotionally or physically; physical sensations, changes in time or temperature or routine, anything going on inside, outside, or nearby, in your vicinity, even…a lot of times it’s outside of my vicinity that’s keeping me up, but it could be something in your vicinity.
Vicinity’s a weird word. I never…has vicinity ever come up? Is that even the…is that the correct word? Scoots, when you say it, it sounds like fincinity. I say well, that sounds like a tangent we could go on later if I remember. Vicinity, right? Are you in my vicinity? Vis vorm vis…vis vos vis. I don’t know, is that…vicinity’s actually…I have no idea. It’s not a noun. Is that an adverb or an adjective? I think adjectives end in -ly or adverbs do. One of them. Well, I’m in the vicinity of a new listener, so I want to get to them. Hey, if you’re new, welcome. If you’re a regular listener, welcome back. So good to see you, too. But for you new listeners, I did want to go over a few things before you get too confused. Believe me, you’re gonna get confused.
So, a few things; first off, I just want to give you a warning and a heads up. This podcast does not…not only does this podcast not work for everybody; even the people it works for…did I forget part of the intro? Did I say I’m gonna send my voice across…? I already went off-topic. I think I went off-topic before I even got to…through the right part of the intro. Sorry about that, new listener. I’ll be right back. What I’m gonna do…what I’m here to do…oh, I guess this is…good, so the podcast does not work for everybody but even the people it works for, it…oh yeah, ‘cause I went off-topic about vicinity. I can get…I’ll get back to the intro. But yeah, not only does it not work for everybody but for the people it works for, it takes two or three tries. That’s one thing to know.
The other thing to know is that what I’m gonna try to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, like I said. The way I’m gonna do that is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. Basically, my voice isn’t super-soothing; it’s more ignorable. They say Scoots, you’re really…you’re the one person who could mix up…if they had a resume, you could think you were putting ignoble down but ignorable…where you’re…that would make sense. You say well, what are your job skills? Well, I’m ignorable. I’m not kidding, actually. That is one of my primary skills, keeping a low…how would you describe…? Well, I keep a low…I like to keep a low profile. Okay.
What was…? Oh, sorry. Yeah, I’m in the middle of a podcast intro. I have to come back to this interview. I guess I was in your vicinity, so I was…so, I’m here to keep you company as you drift off is the main thing if you’re new. If you’re skeptical, doubtful, or you’re not sure this podcast is for you, like I said, kinda just see how it goes. As most reviewers and listeners I hear from say, it takes two or three tries ‘cause at first you might want to figure this podcast out or you might be waiting for it to get started. It already kinda has and this is…you say well, when are you gonna get to the bedtime story? I’d say well, eventually we get there but you might be asleep before I even get to the bedtime story. That’s kinda one of the secrets of how the podcast just bare…this podcast just barely works.
That what makes…you say how come your podcast works so well? Well, ‘cause it kinda barely works. You say I don’t understand. I say yeah, neither do I. Neither do I. Okay, what was…I think I had…was trying to make a point in there, though. Oh, so if you’re new, yeah, just kinda look at this podcast like you would a cloud. Like, here’s the thing that…this…you know, for me, I overthink a lot. I have a lot of strong feelings. I tend to think in all-or-nothing patterns. A lot of times I feel pressure. I’m a people pleaser, right? I didn’t realize this ‘til just now but even when you look at clouds, for people like us — maybe you can relate, maybe you can’t — looking at clouds with other people can feel pressure-laden, at least to me. I’m not kidding. You say, well, what do you see up there?
I say oh boy, I better have the right…I better think of something good or this person’s gonna see right through me like I’m a cloud, and they’re gonna see a storm on the other…the storm that lives within me and not one of those cool storms. They say well, that’s a storm I’d rather not…so then I would try to…then it becomes…it’s less about watching the clouds than trying to…you say well, I better see something cool. Well, I already told them I saw that…the smiley face, so I gotta think of something else other than castles or clouds. Come on, come up with something, or profiles, or you…so, I don’t know if you can relate to that where you say sometimes…so this podcast is best like consuming…cloud-watching alone with no pressure ‘cause sometimes it’s just me by myself and I get that same vibe going where my brain says can’t you see any…I guess that’s the nana that lives within me.
She says well, don’t you see anything in the clouds? I say well, clouds, and nice puffy…oh boy, what kind of imagination do you have? You don’t…you know, brilliant people see things in the clouds. I say well, I was just looking at the clouds ‘cause they make me kinda feel good. Oh, so you’re just sitting around looking at clouds, not even practicing…oh boy. No wonder your imagination can’t see things in clouds. If you don’t see things in clouds, how are you gonna see things in clouds? I say okay nana, you’re right once again. But I was just trying to enjoy…I was just being in the moment. Remember how yesterday you told me I could never be in the moment? Then I started thinking tomorrow I’m gonna try to be in the moment. You said oh boy, you just don’t get it. But then I wrote it down.
I said ‘go and look at some clouds if there are clouds to be looked at, and just look at clouds in the moment.’ Am I doing it wrong? Oh boy. Well, you’re doing it wrong by saying that. Well, who says something like that about themselves? Okay nana, this is get…so, that’s my nana. Sorry about that. I didn’t know she would come in. That’s the nana that lives within me. She’s one of my…you say Scoots, what are the guiding principles that…I say well, there’s one of them. You just witnessed it. What belief…this is true; you say what belief system…well, the nana that lives within me. She’s one part of my belief system. This is not sarcasm. I have said this to a professional; I said how come some…that’s part of my belief system, huh? They just nodded knowingly and they said yep.
Seven years in, we still got about…a lot of work to do, fifty minutes at a time. But so, yeah, let’s dial it back in here. But I’m here to help, really. That’s where my experience comes from but I don’t know what I was talking about. The podcast doesn’t work for everybody…oh, just try to consume it like a cloud without the pressure stuff. I’m here and the reason you don’t need to feel any pressure, because I don’t expect you to perform. There’s no need. You don’t have to figure things out here. You don’t have to listen to me. This is the one podcast you don’t need to listen to and even if you do, it’ll barely make any sense. Even if I said okay, I have a cloud machine and we’re gonna make clouds that are like trains for the next twenty minutes, you’d say okay, well, interesting.
Maybe that’s what tonight’s episode…I think that’s what tonight’s episode will be about. Just kinda barely listen to me. [00:10:00] I guess that’s what I was saying. This is the one podcast you don’t need to listen to. If you do try to figure it out, maybe do that during the day because it really…that’s the one thing that makes the podcast not work so much, if you say well, when are you gonna get to the point? I say well, if you listen to two or three episodes, you’ll realize…or when’s this podcast gonna get…put me to sleep? I say well, that’s the other point I like to make, is that this isn’t really a podcast to put you to sleep. I’m the companion at your bedside or in your vicinity, your general vicinity, even, that’s here to just keep you company as you drift off.
I don’t so much put you to sleep as escort you while you drift off into dreamland. I just take your mind off of stuff. That’s kind of counterintuitive; this is a podcast you don’t need to listen to and it’s a podcast to put you to sleep that doesn’t really put you to sleep; it just keeps you company. But it’s true; I’m really applying…here’s the thing, I respect your vicinity even though I love saying that word. This is a strange thing to say but has there ever been a St. Vicinity? That’s hard to say. Or like, has there ever been a superhero called Vicinity? That would be handy, actually. Say well, she’s right here, she’s right…she’s always in the vicinity. That’s her power. It sounds very tiring. Maybe she could have…maybe she could be one of the superheroes that has…what are those things called? Franchises.
She said well, just…I’m not in the…that’s, whatever, Franchise 27BCQ. She’ll be there right away. She’s probably in your vicinity unless…oh wait, they’re not open today. That’s Vicinity, the hero that’s always nearby. That’s Vicinity, the heroine that’s always nearby. You say well, what’s her powers? Well, she’s always nearby, so she comes and helps in whatever way she can. Oh, makes sense. Yeah, it’s great. Anyway, where were we? I was…oh, so if you’re new, don’t try to…oh yeah, I’m here to kind of apply to be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-cuz, your bore-bestie, your bore-sib, your bore-bruh, whatever…wherever…if you’re on the beach, that’s what I could be. But whatever it is, I’m here to help, so those are two things.
The other thing that can throw new people off is the structure of the show which kinda makes sense once I over-explain it. Show starts off with a greeting; ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends beyond the binary, so everyone knows they’re welcome here and I’m striving to create a safe place for everyone. Then there’s business. That’s what keeps the show coming out twice a week. There’s about four or six minutes of business or something. Then there’s the intro. The intro is about twelve to twenty minutes of me trying to explain what the podcast is to a new listener which could kind of seem like it doesn’t make any sense. You talk about the structure of the podcast and introduce it for twenty minutes? I say yeah, ‘cause it also serves a purpose for the regular listener.
It’s reassuring ‘cause you say okay, there’s that intro where Scoots never gets to the point but he tries and then he gets fixated on a word like vicinity or he gets a call…then he goes in for a job inter…imaginary job interview, then he gets interrupted by his internal nana, then he has to explain what an internal nana is, then he tries to go back…it’s reassuring. It’s different every time. The reason it’s different every time is because in my experience, some of the stuff that keeps me up adapts, so I have to kinda keep changing things up so that it doesn’t…your thinking part of your brain doesn’t turn back on and say well, let me think about that stuff again. I guess it’s like that song, One Step Ahead of My Nana…My…One Step Ahead of My Internal Nana that wasn’t in the Aladdin musical but it could be.
You know, One Jump Ahead of My Internal Nana Who Predicts…but so, that’s…what was I…oh, that’s what the…so, the intro is reassuring. It’s different every time but for the regular listener, it’s also part of a regular listener’s wind-down routine. Some people start it while they’re getting ready for bed. Other people start it while they’re in bed getting comfortable, and it just gives you a chance to slowly unwind and then the bedtime story starts so that as you’re getting cozy and comfortable, you say…you might already be asleep. This is the one podcast…you could sleep through it and maybe it’s still working, or you could set a sleep timer or you could start playing it before you get in bed, or some people listen all night, or there’s 2% of people that start the show at twenty minutes and then they listen from there.
There’s no wrong way to listen to it. That’s the intro. Then there’s business that keeps the show coming out twice a week, then there’s a bedtime story, and then there’s the thank-yous and goodnights. That’s how the podcast is structured. Then what else do you think…? I don’t think there’s anything else you need to know. I mean, this…the reason I make the show is because you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place of respite where you don’t dread bedtime. If I can provide that for you, it would be my honor. The reason it would be my honor is one, because you deserve it and the world will be a better place if you’re in a place to flourish and feel like, you know, rested. But also because I’ve been there tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep.
Yeah, I’ve been there, all those places. I know how it feels, especially…you say well, it’s 3:30; I don’t really feel like having a chat with my internal nana. So if I can interrupt that or make bedtime less of a rigmarole or give you something to look forward to or at least take the dread out of bedtime, then I’m doing my job. Now, the flip side is that just naturally, I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, so it doesn’t work for everybody. But we do have a lot of regular listeners who say hey, it took two or three tries, then I realized the podcast will never make any sense, and that’s when I loved it because I don’t have to listen, I don’t have to…I don’t…there’s…Scoots is in my vicinity but I don’t have to placate him by pretending that I’m aware that he’s…you know, I say oh yeah, I don’t have to interpret clouds for anybody anymore.
No one ever said that on a t-shirt about the podcast, but you know, I just said it. Nana, I don’t have to interpret my clouds for anyone anymore. She says, I don’t think that made…I said anyway, so that’s why I’m here. It’s really my honor to help, like I said. I work very hard. I yearn and I strive. I appreciate you coming by and here’s a couple of ways we’re able to bring this podcast twice a week.
Alright everybody, this is Scoots and this is a new episode we’ve never done before. It’s another…it’s…we did one of these. This is a different kind of podcast where I turn the podcast over to somebody for a podcast, and this is a famous podcast that no one’s really listened to.
I don’t quite understand why but the good thing is that today we’re…we get to do this and we get to talk about it and turn this…things over to this famous podcast never heard before, and this one is Clouds that Look Like Trains. Remember, this is a different show. It’s just Clouds that Look Like Trains, not Trains that Look Like Clouds. That’s a different podcast and a different person that makes it. This is the…this…yeah, let me just turn things over to Clouds that Look Like Trains.
Oh, thanks for having me on, Scooter. My name is Zeke and I’m happy to be here. I’m the host of Clouds that Look Like Trains and we’re talking about clouds that look like trains here where maybe you’ll learn something about clouds, maybe you’ll learn something about trains, or maybe the next time you look at a cloud you’ll wonder does that cloud look like a train? Could that cloud look like a train? Huh, that cloud looks like a train and maybe even…you know, that’s what…and that’s what we’re talking about. So, I wanted to bring up the first cloud that looked like a train today. Also, I title these clouds based on…usually based on songs or things and this first cloud is what you would call a cirrostratus cloud.
Just to give you a general idea of a cirrostratus cloud, the cirrostratus cloud…I don’t actually…I’m not a cloud expert so I don’t actually…cirrostratus clouds are clouds you see high in the stratosphere [00:20:00] and they’re very misty, like…almost like a high fog, though I don’t believe they are high fog. You’ve probably seen other versions of it, like an altostratus which is in the middle of the sky, and then a stratus cloud which would be a little bit lower. But we’re gonna talk about this cirrostratus cloud I saw. A lot of people say well, if it’s a cirrostratus cloud, what kinda train…and I say well, not all cirrostratus clouds look like a train. No, no, no, not at all. But this one did look like a train. This one, and…well, not…a train or a vehicle that goes on tracks.
Not only did this look like a train; it looked like a tram which is a type of train, a street tram you might see in any major city around the world. Maybe you’d call it a street car. I said hark the herald angels sing, because this cirrostratus cloud reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of street trams covered in different advertisements. I saw the different…’cause you say well, okay, but that’s not the…’cause this…I’m also trying to help overcome some objections people may have so that you can enjoy your cloud-viewing more fully, I guess, ‘cause this is just internal dialogue I have with myself. This is…well, that doesn’t look anything like a street tram. I say well, to you, but to me it looks exactly like a street tram. You see?
That’s the side of the street tram there and the sun is over our right-hand shoulder, so that’s the windows. You say well, those don’t look like windows ‘cause I can’t…you could say well, you could kinda people in them in the center top-third or second quartile of this cirrostratus cloud where those would be the windows of the street tram. But you’d say okay, because of the reflection of the sun on the windows, that’s why it doesn’t look like your just very clear window or very square. We’re dealing with some glare. Then below that is the body of the street tram and the body of this particular street tram is color…covered in advertisements for ketchup or catsup or ketchup, depending on how you spell it; a tomato-based condiment. Oh, condiment?
Sorry, I…oh boy, I guess…so, they…you see there’s a couple bottles of tomato, there’s some tomato pooling and being dipped into by some sort of potato product, I believe. Over there you could see a picture of what looks like some sort of plant-based patty and the tomato is being poured on it before it’s eaten. Now, you may even move over here to the left; I believe those are a scrambled egg with tomato ketchup being poured on there. That’s the main lower body of the car and you can see it kinda wraps around. Now, one thing to notice; this isn’t a…I mean, this is…looks modern and it’s a recent street car but it is not one of those modern wraparound…these are either decals or something painted directly on the body of the car, not one wrap. Not that I’m anti-wrap.
What I mean by wrap is nowadays, on…especially on buses and some street cars, you’ll see some sort of wrap applied that covers the entire car in one advertisement. It may just be a more efficient way, and they even can cover the windows but you could still see in and out of the windows, kind of. But that is…and you see…I don’t know what…maybe this is a holiday use of ketchup where it says Hark the Herald Angels Sing; Ketchup Makes You Feel Like A King. Maybe that seems…that doesn’t seem okay with me, taking that…that’s a religious song and then you’re using it to advertise ketchup, but luckily this is just a cloud and it’s just my projections onto the cloud and then reflecting my projections back to me within my mind.
So, that’s our first cloud and it makes me wonder where’s the…where is the street tram, this street car? I would like to be taking this street car maybe somewhere…I don’t know. I would like to be…maybe in Central America. I don’t know why, taking it and…well, I would be more taking it in, so I would be somewhere sitting at a table or a bench and just watching the street cars go by and saying oh, well, that’s…they’re a ketchup brand. I wonder if that’s related to my ketchup brand or not. But those are all things just in my imagination, of course, just within the cloud. Now, for this next cloud; now, this is a cloud…maybe it’ll come up more than once; a very popular cloud for cloud-viewing. I would say in the top three. If you’re gonna be cloud-watching, probably number one.
Maybe number one, maybe number two, and a lot of them are takes on this cloud anyway. That’s a cumulus cloud, the cloud that does look like puffy stuff, and that’s why it’s so popular. This one to me, I would call it Rachel, this cloud, like Rachel the train. You may ask me Zeke, do you watch Tom…are you a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and those…is that why you have such a thing for clouds and trains? I would say…now, this is a non-judgmental thing; I just never caught Thomas the Tank Engine. I’ve seen it a few times in passing and I never owned any Thomas the Tank Engine toys, and I was not a regular viewer. Now, that wasn’t by choice or non-choice. It just was by the way things worked out, that I just never was really exposed to it.
So, me naming…and I’m not sure, so I wouldn’t even know, other than Thomas…‘cause you might say well, why are you calling this cloud-train Rachel? I’d say well, maybe it was my subconscious ‘cause suddenly then I’m thinking about the…for a time, there was a type of hairstyle known I think as The Rachel which was based on Rachel from the TV show Friends. If you were gonna say well, which cloud looks like what my mind tells me The Rachel haircut looks like which was on Jennifer Anniston’s head or it was Jennifer Anniston’s hair styled…which cloud…I’d say well, this is a different question but I would say well, best bet, oh, boy, would be…a cumulus would be, again, in the top three clouds. I’d say which cloud could form where you could interpret it as a Rachel?
I’d say, you mean The Rachel haircut, the archetypal haircut of a character on the TV show Friends in a certain era of the 1990s? I would say the…a cumulus cloud. Now, you’d say okay, so which type of cloud would you say is a Rachel? Maybe influenced subconsciously by…now again, that was a show I did not consume a lot of. I probably consumed more Friends than Thomas the Tank Engine, but I didn’t consume a lot of Friends and I haven’t…it was more of people talking about it or people watching it. I know Scooter has a…he had to make a…I think a apology to his roommates publicly I think on the podcast and to Jennifer Anniston and mostly to his roommate and his roommate’s sister and his roommate’s mother, so Denise, Chris, and Meg. I think he made this maybe five or six years ago.
What a strange journey clouds that looks…trains that look like clouds that look like trains can lead [00:30:00] us on. So Scooter, once upon a time…now, before Jennifer Anniston was very popular in pop culture…and this was early 90s, oh boy, or maybe the mid-90s and history probably will back up Scooter’s memory in this case. Once upon a time there was an actress named Jennifer Anniston and I think she had probably been in a couple movies but she was on a pilot of a TV…two TV shows that pilots aired probably in the fall of 1992 or it would be my guess, and Jennifer Anniston was on both of these pilots. One was a TV show called Friends.
The other one was a TV show that took place in a diner and that’s all I can remember Scooter telling me other than that Scooter liked that show and he held…and the fact that that show got…didn’t get picked up but Friends did, and then that his roommate and…he…Scooter sometimes…he’s gotten better about this but he really wanted all…like a lot of people, he wants to be right. Sometimes he holds onto being right just a little bit too…especially when he was younger, a little bit too strongly. In this case, he was wrong about many things. One, the…he…we don’t know if the quality of the show was good or bad ‘cause he doesn’t remember that. He just remembers liking Jennifer Anniston on this diner-based TV show and not liking Friends. Now, that’s…let’s not judge Scooter on that.
I think he’s…accepts that Friends…the good and…he has…he respects everybody that loves Friends and thinks they’re very smart and they’re right and he’s not. So, let me just be very clear about that, but he…at the time, he was not a fan. Now, this was just their inaugural season when it was picked up, I think, and so him and his roommate had a disagreement about it because his roommate, his roommate’s sister and mom all liked Friends and Scooter was a little bit…he had a resentment I guess, we could say, and he probably said some things that he regrets, like I don’t think…Friends is gonna get canceled. He probably regrets that ‘cause he was very, very wrong…Jennifer Anniston was better on this diner-based TV pilot. Maybe she was great on both but without that, we wouldn’t have The Rachel haircut.
But this Rachel that I’m seeing — and again, that could be influenced by any of those things — this Rachel I’m seeing up there in the sky, in the lower atmosphere…one of my favorite types of clouds, almost everybody’s…one of everybody’s favorite types of clouds. This Rachel looks like a track-cleaning train to me. It’s not based on the Rachel for Friends except for maybe…I say well, it is kinda shaped a little bit like The Rachel haircut. It’s not quite an A-frame but more of…near an A-frame and it has a big window in front, flat…it’s flat. It doesn’t have the train sticking out the front, not that it has anything to do with hair, but it’s a…it’s there for cleaning the tracks so I’m sure the…you’d say don’t you know anything about trains? No, not really.
I know about clouds that look like trains…is that this train cleans the track by what method I don’t really know, because you say well, that’s interesting. Does it lubricate the track? Do train tracks need to be lubricated? Would the…I mean, maybe probably not because…but maybe every once in a while they’d like to be or you know, I don’t know. Would lubrication get in there and say well…then you say well, then you’re out in the elements all the time. How often do…are the tracks being cleaned or is the stuff in-between the tracks being cleaned? But I do know that this cloud looks like a track-cleaning train and it’s…I don’t know, it’s just that shape and I said well, that’s a track-cleaning train named Rachel. That’s just what popped into my head right when I looked at that cloud truck, truck, trucking along.
Now, this next one is…yeah, this is one we’ve kinda…you say didn’t you already cover this type of cloud? I say no, this is an altostratus cloud which is a little bit different than a cirrostratus. The cirrostratus may…is, in my opinion, normally spread out in a…an altostratus is a higher wispy, misty cloud but it tends to look like a prototypical train shape, but a misty train you’d say…like a train that goes after midnight. I’d say well, in this case I was thinking more of a train named The Harder They Come which makes me think of the trains…you’d say what’s the difference between a train and a funicular? I’d say, good question. This is a mountain train which is like a funicular but I think that a mountain train and funicular maybe are not always interchangeable.
I would say that a funicular is like…its track only goes up the mountain or a vertical incline where a mountain train goes through the mountains. It could go up like a funicular maybe not at the…quite an angle of a funicular but it could deal with some steeper angles than a typical train. Maybe it’s a cable car. In this case, in my opinion, it’s a cable car. Or, not a cable car; like a…you say, you really don’t know anything about trains do you, Zeke? I’d say well, this is my hobby, not my profession, thank you. But yeah, the…one of the trains that has…where it’s connect…it’s an electric train. That’s I guess one of the things I meant, and it’s connected to the electricity from above. You say well, what’s…tell me more about that.
I say well, The Harder They Come, that’s what I thought of, is a mountain train. These trains are always working and because of that you’d say well, that would consume a lot of energy so it’s better to be an electric train. Also in my mind I associate it with…I say oh, okay, those are those countries with fancy mountain peaks and…travel around there, so maybe they’re more electrified than…’cause I say well, it’s also better for the mountain air if it’s an electric train. I’d say well, that train really has to do a lot of work going up those mountains. You say whoa, take a break. You better watch your speed, as they say. It says well, I got a lot of work to do here but that’s my job as a mountain train, is to traverse the mountains.
I guess another probably thing…and this is just my pondering, that it would be why it’s electric is ‘cause it has to go through a lot of tunnels. That’s also better for everybody. You say okay, then you don’t have to think about what is…what else is propelling the train and you say well, we can have vents for all that stuff, like cars. You say okay, if it’s an electric train then there’s no exhaust to have to get out of the tunnel. Now you say okay, still want some air, fresh air, fresh mountain air in that tunnel. But it’s also pretty nice because…that you get to go through there, in my…I don’t know. That’s just what I think. I don’t have to always be right. Now, this next train is…I’m gonna tell you the title of it and I want to think…I want to see what it evokes in you ‘cause this next train is called Wait, W-A-I-T.
I just want to see oh, when you think of Wait as the name for a cloud that looks like a train, what does it make you feel, thinking about waiting? Just sit with that and say okay, Wait. I want to create a…we’re gonna talk about different kinds of waiting for trains, probably, ‘cause Scooter’s handing me notes about trains he’s waited for which is different than…it would be a different podcast; Trains I’ve Waited For. Maybe you should…okay, but…so, think about that and then I want you think about seeing a cloud called the cumulonimbus [00:40:00] because that is a cloud you may wait for, especially in the summertime, those of you in summery areas with humidity and rain that crops up in the afternoons and moisture. You may be familiar with seeing a distant cumulonimbus rising on the horizon.
Maybe it has a giant mushroom top pushing up all the way from the lower atmosphere to the upper atmosphere and maybe at the bottom there’s some darkness, but maybe this is on one part of the sky and the other part of the sky is clear, so you can clearly see oh, that there’s brightness there, but this cloud, this cumulonimbus casts a shadow as well. You’d say oh wow, that is a towering cloud. Is it…and then you say am I waiting? Is it coming our way? Is it a precursor to a storm? Should I get things prepared? What is this cumulonimbus bringing or is it just passing on its way? You might even say how high in the sky is that? I’d say well, you could…this could be up to five miles in the sky, from 1.2 to 5 miles, this cumulonimbus in the sky. In kilometers, that’s two to eight kilometers.
It may even get lower as it…if it eventually comes and brings the rain and your waiting has paid off in that way. Now, if you live in the US, you say well, waiting; I’ve taken a train in the US with…you say ‘cause I always wondered…man, the US must have those great trains. Now, taking the train is great but waiting for the train, we’ll be honest, is not great. I said Scooter, tell me about your waiting for the train so that I could…’cause I say okay, so this is a train that you’re waiting for. Now, there’s romantic waiting; you’re waiting for someone to arrive on the train you’re in a romantic relationship with. There’s romanticized waiting where you’re watching a movie or evoking something where the train is bringing something, or you’re departing on the train on either an adventure or a mystery or some sort of thing.
But then there’s just the waiting. I said okay Scooter, tell me about the times you’ve waited for a train here in the USA. He said okay, well, I can think of a few. He said well, the last train I took that wasn’t a mass-transit train in the US was the train that went from the Bay Area to Los Angeles which I believe is called the Coast Starlight. But that also might be the train that goes from Los Angeles to San Diego. I said oh, interesting, Scooter. Tell me more. He said well, I remember waiting for it. This one was a surprise, actually. It was for his daughter for her birthday at a certain age that Scooter doesn’t remember right now. It was a surprise and Scooter was with his brother and his mother and his daughter.
They were gonna take the train for fun and they said hey, we’ll just take the train…we’re just…that’s what he told his daughter, that they weren’t going anywhere other than a train ride to Los Angeles. He had gotten this idea from other people he had worked with when he was a librarian that had done this with their kids, but there was a destination. So, there’s waiting, and Scooter’s not the best at waiting, and especially because he had had other memories of other times he had taken the train; he would take the train from Syracuse to New York City sometimes and strangely enough, the train could be anywhere from fifteen minutes to six hours late. This was pre-device era, PDE.
So, you either had your book or you were a grouch which Scooter probably had both, or…and also portable…liked to listen to music, but those are the things you wanted to do on the train. I mean, to think of a time when you had to travel and you couldn’t watch a movie. Oh boy, what a…and then the train ride itself was about six hours, so Scooter would be spinning his wheels but it was at the time, a very affordable way to travel between Syracuse, New York, and New York, New York, so nice they named it twice. Scooter can recall times there. He also can recall times going to the Penn Station to meet people that were taking the train and waiting there. Again, this was pre-device era so you couldn’t say okay, what time is the train…how late is the train? I’ll just go to Penn Station.
You had to go there when the train was supposed to get there and then just wait until the train arrived. Maybe you could call, but then if you were…then what would happen if you weren’t there on time and your guests had arrived? That was one thing Scooter would do, but it was very similar if you took the bus. It was just a different…oh wait, was that Penn…no, that’s Port Authority would be where you’d go to meet the bus. Then there was the great family train trip that…because Scooter’s family, there’s eight people total. Flying by air was not a super-affordable…Scooter and his family had always dreamed of going to Florida. One time they went when it was buy one, get one free air tickets which I never heard of but at the time, that existed. Then they took the train one time.
Now, the train from…to get to Florida, Orlando, Florida from Syracuse, New York, you would take the train to New York City and then there was a train from New York to Orlando, I believe, that stopped in Orlando. I think all told, you’re talking about much longer than driving. It’s thirty-six hours, I think is the scheduled train time between the six-hour train ride and the thirty-hour train ride. But there was also the waiting. There was waiting to make sure you were gonna be on-time for the other train. It was in the winter, and waiting for the train was cold and boring. Scooter is not the person…sometimes he would accidentally make the most of it, but he didn’t always make the most of it on purpose, you know.
But he can remember waiting for the train and being a little bit frowny-faced but also listening to music, then waiting on the train which was a whole ‘nother experience, and then there was getting to New York to, again, Penn Station. I think there were things that Scooter remembers about Penn Station where there was a Blimpie’s Deli; that’s probably where they ate and there was a Hula Hands, probably where people were more boisterous and having fun. Then it’s probably the same when he was waiting for trains. There’s a little wait…tended to be an area where you just waited and maybe there were some seats and maybe there weren’t seats. Of course, Scooter is like, you better stay here because you can’t go off on your own because…but he probably didn’t anyway; said well, I don’t want to walk around without…but…and saying well, where did they…they probably ate at Blimpie’s, if I had to guess, because Hula Hands, you probably eat and drink in Hula Hands.
There was probably a couple other places to eat but it’s tough to picture now and then taking the long train ride all the way back to…all the way to Florida. They didn’t have…this was…just some train travels romanticized. Some people…there’s a lot of good looking out of the windows, but they didn’t have…’cause you had eight kids; you just had your seats. But the seats on a long train like that are very nice. But Scooter can remember not…just like on a plane, being like, I can’t get comfortable, and then remembering waiting in line to eat at the train cafeteria where you’d…there was a cafe car but there was also a cafeteria where you wait in line and you get stuff and then you take it and you eat it. Oh, back to…Scooter, I should…probably have finished up this story.
Scooter took the train from Oakland [00:50:00] to LA, to Union Station. That train ride was kind of fun but then it had some moments that were a little bit less to do…also there’s a sight-seeing car but the sight-seeing car was always busy. Some people I guess that know…use it more often, they kinda…either in the hangout cafe spot, they kinda put their places out, or in the place where the observation car, they call it, and they kinda stake out their spots, so it was a bit of work to try to get a spot. Then when you’re with a younger kid at this time…’cause this was pre-pod…this was before Scooter even made the podcast; they would probably…what do you call it? The kids would…the kids, you know, they want to walk around the train and go do stuff.
So Scooter said well, I don’t know if I’d do that again just ‘cause…there was some good views but not a ton of good views. But then…oh, the surprise part is when you take the train, they switch…you switch from a train in LA. They took a train to Anaheim and again, that was some waiting and Scooter wanted to try to find some place to eat I think, ‘cause eating on the train is not super-value. I think they probably did eat somewhere in Union Station, then went down and got their train to Anaheim. When dealing with someone at Scooter’s level, there’s also catching trains…he has dyslexia, so he mixes numbers and things up like that.
He also doesn’t ask questions or ask for help very often but even though he doesn’t ask for help, he’s constantly…his brain bots are constantly letting him know that he’s not doing a good job at catching the right train and all of the impacts it’s gonna have on him in the…all the non-positive things. So, you know, he can always…you always want to double-check and take extra breaths when you’re with Scooter catching trains or buses to say oh, okay, well, this is definitely where we’re supposed to be waiting. It’s gonna be fine. Let’s just wait here. Let’s ask and double-check. Hey, is this where I catch the bus or the train? Thank you very much. Oh, do you know when it’ll be here? Those are things that make me think of waiting and a train, but you may think of something different.
But that is…when I look at that towering cloud with rain on the bottom but beautiful puffiness at the top, it also thinks…makes me think of…that’s a little bit what it’s like when I look inside Scooter and say what kind of cloud train is inside of you? Now, this next cloud train, you’d say which one is this? You say okay, what other ones do we still…? There’s so many to cover but I do want to cover cirrus. Those are very wispy clouds, almost…up in the high atmosphere. We’re talking even higher than a cumulonimbus sometimes; six miles, ten kilometers in the sky, up there with the cirrostratus and the cirrocumulus is the cirrus. Oh, like…you say is that a jet trail or is that a cirrus cloud? To me, those say the sound of silence. Oh, boy. You say well, what do you mean when you say the sound of silence?
I’d say well, in this case, the sound of silently waiting for a monorail because when I think about monorails, maybe mostly I think about Disney World or the Simpsons. Usually the Simpsons first and then Disney World. But I think of the sound of silence being the idea of a monorail, that it’s silently…and you say well, what about Seattle? I say okay, Seattle too. I think about that as well. But I think about that silent monorail gliding around and gliding through the air, gliding on that concrete beam, gliding across the sky. I think about that sound of silence. I think about the silent…the sound of silence after watching a Simpsons episode sometimes, after you’ve laughed. Then you think huh, what were they trying to say with that mashup of The Music Man and a monorail and maybe a little bit of Waiting for…which came first, that episode or Waiting for Guffman?
Huh, that’s a good question. I don’t know. Let me silently sit here and think about it. That’s one kind of silence. The other one is the silence of waiting for the monorail, like if you’re at a theme park or maybe even in Seattle and you’re taking a monorail for pleasure. There’s a different kind of waiting there, a silence…maybe it’s not a silence externally but internally, ‘cause you’re probably going…well, I guess there’s two kind of silences; the coming and the going. If you’re going, you’re silently waiting with baited breath and oh boy, where am I taking this monorail? To the theme park or to a hotel to look at a gingerbread house or just, you know, with Scooter just to walk around and look at stuff? They call that hotel hopping. Or you’re just taking it to take it.
Oh, that reminds me of that…maybe…and Scooter and Ray talked about this but maybe not; there was one time that…so, Scooter and his daughter…I don’t think they were with Ray, but maybe they were. They were at Disney World, the theme park which when we’re recording this isn’t even open. They did a day…I think it was their last day there. They went on spring break, the two of them, a father-daughter trip. On the last day — this was a year and a half ago, I guess — they went and they said okay, what if we try to take every form of transportation they have at this…that’ll be our fun for the day, like a challenge to see…and I think they didn’t decide this ‘til halfway through the day, but Scooter had had it in his mind. What if we try to go to all four parks and take every form of transportation that is possible?
She said yeah, let’s do it. Now, they were staying at a hotel that had buses so they took a bus, I believe. That was their first form of transportation. Probably, they went to the Studios Park. I’m just guessing at this, and from the Studios Park they took a…would that make sense? Because I’m picturing them waiting for a bus, though. But yeah, it must make sense. But yeah, from there they took a boat from the Studios to Epcot Center, or to a hotel. Now they even have gondolas but this was before they had the gondolas, so that would have given them one more form for a future trip, I guess. Then they probably walked and…walked around Epcot Center a little bit and probably got pineapple ice cream or no, what were they having back then? I don’t know, they found some soft serve that they both liked.
I think it probably was a pineapple soft serve. Then you could take the monorail from there all the way to the Magic Kingdom but I’m pretty sure that is not what happened, so I will have to back…no, I guess what probably happened is it happened in a different order because I can picture them at a hotel near Epcot Center, so they must have gone…taken a bus to the Animal Kingdom from the…from Epcot…one of the Epcot Center hotels that they took a boat from the Studios to because I remember that was one of the first times Scooter had…went to the customer service window and said hey, we tried to go on this thing yesterday and we waited for an hour and we couldn’t get on, and today’s our last day. Could we go on this? They said sure, why not?
Oh, ‘cause they have this FastPass [01:00:00] thing and they had used it but the…so they said sure, and it’s a ride where you get very wet. Maybe that was their last stop. I don’t know, but so…but that wouldn’t make sense ‘cause it was daytime. You’re right. But so, they took the bus there, then I guess…this would make sense that they took then the bus from the Animal Kingdom back to Epcot Center. No, because maybe they took one more boat. Maybe instead they took the bus to the Magic Kingdom which is a bit like Disneyland. Then they took the bus there and then they did something in Magic Kingdom, and then they left Magic Kingdom and they took another boat, a ferry boat which goes across the Seven Seas Lagoon, I think it’s called.
This is where we…don’t worry, we finally get to our train that looks like a cloud moment; up there, oh boy, so high in the sky, those wispy clouds. The sound of silence is silently waiting. Now, some people were silently waiting in anticipation. So, you get off the ferry and then you go to get the…you could take a monorail to the Epcot Center. So, there they were, Scooter and his daughter, silently waiting to then finally take the last piece of their transportation adventure which is a long, fun monorail ride to Epcot Center, though the monorail seems like it wasn’t even cost-effective for them, there, where they’ve moved to other forms where these gondolas…they say well, this makes more sense.
But other people were there ending their day and silent-waiting, the sound of silence after being at a theme park and you’re worn out. Then some people were just starting their evening. Maybe they had just flown in. Maybe it was the first half of the first day of their vacation and their sound of silence was waiting to get started on their evening fun and where Scooter and his daughter were just in the final stages of their evening and day-long adventure. That was their sound of silence and I guess my other point that I’m thinking is for me, it’s the sound of silence inside me when I’m sitting there either alone or with someone else or with one of my imaginary friends that likes to cloud-watch with me. There’s a silence in my spirit and my heart and my mind as I just look up at the sky and I see the different clouds.
That day, the clouds are what they are. They’re different than the day before, maybe even hours before. Now I’m seeing a cirrostratus. Later I’ll see a cumulonimbus. Maybe, I don’t know. That silence as I let my…if I can let go, and I say well, I’d like to see a…now, just because I have a podcast about trains and clouds doesn’t mean I always see clouds and trains in clouds and clouds in trains. So, sometimes I just sit in that sound of silence, taking in the train or the cloud or taking in the empty sky, saying oh, where oh where could my little cloud trains be? That’s probably my favorite thing about this pastime and make…being able to make this podcast, is those moments where I’m there and I’m taking in something that’s just so amazing and that I’m so grateful for.
It’s also so easy for me to miss or so easy for me to demand that it look like a train but when I find that silence, looking at the sky or waiting for a train or people-watching and watching trains, I don’t know, it feels pretty good, so I’m always happy to share that with you. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]