SamTrans: Major Changes For San Bruno In New Year(Updated)

UPDATE (4 Dec 2013)
There are two other routes that effect San Bruno and either are being discontinued or modified.

This route currently goes from Colma BART to Skyline College. The alternative route suggested is 121, which serves Colma BART.

Currently goes from Serramonte Shopping Center to SSF BART, San Bruno BART via Huntington and terminates at Airport/Linden. Beginning 26 Jan 2014, this route will no longer go between Serramonte and San Bruno BART via Huntington Ave. The modifed 133 will run from San Bruno BART via Sneath, El Camino, Spruce and end at Airport/Linden. The 131 will replace a segment that ran into Serramonte Center. It will run between Serramonte & Airport/Linden.


Well we have all gotten used to the first phase of the new service plan SamTrans. Routes 390/391 were discontinued and merged into one route (ECR), which dropped San Bruno BART from its service. Route 140 saw some minor adjustments when some school runs were transferred to a new bus route (but the school day run to Parkside remained). Come January 26, 2014, the second round of changes takes place that involves routes ECR, 140, 141 and 398.

Good news! The ECR will be coming into San Bruno BART. Service was dropped when 390/391 were discontinued but obviously complaints from passengers and perhaps city leaders lead to the change. I suspect senior citizens were the loudest since it required a longer walk from El Camino Real to Tanforan. Now for the bad news. Direct ECR service to Millbrae BART is being discontinued. Right now they pick up and drop off passengers on the east side (transit center). The problem was the long traffic lights getting into that area and likely low numbers of pickups. And if you came up from the Caltrain side, a hassle to go all the way up the stairs, cross over, and then down. While it is longer walk for people getting to Millbrae BART southbound (you have to cross the street), for northbound you just walk out to El Camino from the west side of the station and pick up a bus there.

The major change is adding the San Francisco International Airport AirTrain stop at the car rental area. That means schedules will be revised to include this stop. No word on whether this is will be a limited run, all runs weekdays and weekends or some combination. Part of the reason, I suspect, is that airport workers who use the SamTrans/BART pay a lot on the BART end (there is a surcharge when exiting or entering BART from SFO). This would be a lower cost option. Also it allows travelers coming into San Bruno to use the bus to get to downtown area.

San Mateo Ave service is being dropped (which drops also the Angus/Third Street run) except for select trips (school days likely) as well as most of Jenevein. The route will realign on San Bruno Ave for more direct service to Crystal Springs area.

This limited route will run between Redwood City Transit Center and San Bruno BART via SF International Airport. The KX was going to do this (with a run into San Francisco) but they decided to split this section off.

Source: SamTrans

Black Friday Musings & Tips

Black Friday Shopping Photo: Public Domain
Black Friday Shopping
Photo: Public Domain

Local media had the usual. People started camping out the day before Thanksgiving at some stores so they could be the first in and snatch up those bargains. Nearly everything you can buy at the store can be purchased online, often with the same savings and sometimes even deeper discounts. Shop wisely. Shop smart. Never put your valuables or anything in plain view in your car (or even in a glove compartment like a garage door opener). Take your auto registration with you (if someone breaks into your car, they get where you live and if you have left the garage door opener, an easy way in). If putting stuff in trunk and returning to shop remember thieves watch for this so move your car to another location to foil them. And this ought to be obvious but needs saying:do not put your wallet in back pocket! Put in front pocket.

Happy Thanksgiving/President Lincoln’s Proclamation

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone will have a safe and happy day.

President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Grace (1942) Photo: Public Domain (US Library of Congress, digital id#fsa.8d10749)
Thanksgiving Grace (1942)
Photo: Public Domain (US Library of Congress, digital id#fsa.8d10749)

Thanksgiving was not an official national holiday until 1863. A letter from a 74-year magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, inspired President Abraham Lincoln to create a national holiday. She wrote in 1863 that we needed to have a national day of Thanksgiving so that everyone could celebrate it on the same day. At the time Thanksgiving was celebrated by the various states but not on the same date. She wanted President Lincoln to make it a national day so it would become a permanent part of “American custom and institution.”

According to Abraham Lincoln Online , other presidents had ignored such requests. Lincoln decided to act on her request and directed a proclamation be drawn up. On 3 October 1863, President Lincoln’s proclamation that establishes Thanksgiving as a national day was issued. It sets aside the last Thursday of November as a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Secretary of State William Seward actually drafted the proclamation which Lincoln signed. Thanksgiving became a national holiday and was celebrated on that date until 1939. President Roosevelt in 1939, 1940 and1941 changed it to the third Thursday (to extend the Christmas season) causing considerable controversy. A joint resolution of Congress in 1941 resolved it by decreeing Thanksgiving would fall on the fourth Thursday of November.

Lincoln’s proclamation was written during the American Civil War, a terrible time in U.S. history. Today we forget why this day was made a national holiday. It was to thank God for the blessings of liberty but also to ask his help. In our politically correct times, this proclamation is not always read in full or edited. So here is the original proclamation. Read it and understand why Lincoln thought a national day of Thanksgiving was needed for the United States of America.

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
A. Lincoln

Happy Thanksgiving

Titanic Tidbits Before The Great Feast

Well Thanksgiving is nearly here for those of us in USA. Before I take time away to eat some turkey, watch some games, and catch a few movies, here are some Titanic odds and ends for the week.

1. The Sun-Sentinel (Florida) reminds readers that while Titanic may be at the South Florida Science Museum there are many other undersea treasures off Florida. Treasure hunter Terry Armstrong tells the Sentinel “There are probably 30 to 40 old Spanish ships, from the 1500s up to the late 1600s, that are sunk around Florida.” And many of them likely have lots of money to be found (gold, silver, and other precious cargo). Some ships are likely just historic rather than a treasure find though. Alas the days of finding and keeping such treasure thanks to federal and state regulations. And even if you find the treasure, it would belong to the state (although you might get compensation for it). Provided of course you had a permit to do the recovery.
Source: Titanic Amount Of Treasure Still Undiscovered Off South Florida (24 Nov 2013,Sun-Sentinel)

2. The movie Raise The Titanic(1980) is scheduled to come out on Blu-Ray in January 2014. The movie was adapted from the Clive Cussler best seller of the same name. Sadly it was a terrible adaptation changing key aspects of the story from the novel. Perhaps the best part is seeing Titanic raised from the ocean floor (when the book and movie were made the wreck had not been discovered yet). Aside from that, it is mostly a dud. If you want to see it, check your local library to see if it is available. It also might be available from an online streaming movie site (not Netflix, last I checked). I encourage you to read the book as it is quite exciting.
Source: Raise The Titanic’ To Surface On Blu-Ray(26 Nov 2013, High-Def Digest)

3. Iraq has suffered floods of late that have made it difficult for its citizens to get about. Due to the lack of rapid government assistance, many were forced into using makeshift rafts to get about on city streets. This caused many to post humorous pictures on social media sites that had, for instance, Jack and Rose from Titanic superimposed on top of a city bus trying the make its way through a flooded street. As one commentator noted, they know how the people of Venice get about.
Source: Fighting Floods, Iraqis Go Online To Bemoan Poor Public Services(24 Nov 2013,Oman Tribune)

Warning! Titanic Cliche Ahead
Warning! Titanic Cliche Ahead

4. Karl Samuda recently spoke in opposition to various tax measures being debated in Jamaica’s House of Representatives. Some of the benefits being debated include a reduction in corporate taxes. Samuda, noting the bills being passed said “Let us hold hands and sing and go down with the Titanic.” Yet another example of a politician using Titanic for political reasons.
Source: Sinking like the Titanic!(24 Nov 2013,The Gleaner)

A few tips on Thanksgiving (for turkey fryers)

*Do not even think about deep frying your turkey in your home or apartment balcony.
*Set up fryer outdoors and not close to any building. Make sure it is on a level surface.
*Oil is hot! Never forget that when cooking. Wear suitable clothing to protect when cooking in a deep fryer. Use safety gloves and avoid flip flops or shorts in case the oil splatters.
*Never let kids play around the turkey fryer. Attend at all times.
*Remember the expansion rule: do not overfill with oil. Allow for 6 inches of expansion when you add the turkey.
*Remember to pat dry the bird. Oil and water do not mix.
*And never, ever think about putting a frozen turkey into hot oil. Ever. See what happens here and view a State Farm video on turkey fryer danger.
*Safety experts recommend you turn off the burner when you put the turkey in and then turn it back on to cook.
*Hot oil will stay hot for several hours. Make sure it is in safe place and the burner is off when done. Safely discard the oil later after it has cooled but do not pour it down the drain. Check about where to properly dispose large amounts of cooking oil (some places will buy it and covert it to fuel).
*And watch that oil temperature. Do not let it go above 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If a fire should occur in the pot, turn off cooker and cover the pot. Many grease fires can be put out this way. Always have a fire extinguisher rated for grease fires handy.

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Wallace Hartley Colne Plaque To Be Unveiled Next Year

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

The Lancashire Telegraph is reporting that a plaque in honor of Titanic bandmaster Wallace Hartley will be unveiled next year in Colne. Hartley was born and raised in Colne. While there is a plaque near his former home, this one will be installed outside the Spa Theatre. The East Yorkshire Council has agreed to fund the new plaque. The unveiling is tentatively scheduled for 14 April 2014 and it is hoped Hartley relatives will attend.

Source: Plaque To Honor Colne’s Titanic Bandmaster Wallace Hartley(21 Nov 2013,Lancashire Telegraph)

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The Debate Continues On Whether To Laugh Or Not At Events Like Titanic

Photo: Public Domain (
Photo: Public Domain (

Many years ago I was in an office building in which a crazed man gunned down people several floors above. It was a terrible event and local media (and later national as well) all reported on it. Many months later an employee of the firm circulated a memo that, in part, made fun of the event. I was one of the few who challenged him about doing it, others simply ignored it or threw the memo into the trash bins. He got indignant, as I recall, when challenged about using the event as a joke (and using office resources to do it). At any rate, it forced management to put an end to sending out personal interoffice correspondence without approval. That was in the days before the Internet, email, tweets, and other social media that now permeate our world.

The events of 9/11 were seared into many who saw what happened that day. To this day the national media hides some of the more graphic sides, namely of people throwing themselves out of buildings since the choices was either burning/choking to death or a quick end by leaping out of the building. Then Mayor Rudy Giuliani recalls hearing this thudding sound outside of the building he was in. It was the sound of bodies hitting the ground. Now you can find this information, some are included in documentaries or in still photographs from that day. But generally media avoids showing this because of how awful it was. Few jest about what happened and jokes about 9/11 are generally avoided. And comics who go that route take a serious risk of alienating their audience and ending gigs lined up.

Titanic, because it has become iconic, has its own special place in history and culture. 1500 people died because the British Board of Trade never bothered to update regulations on lifeboats and because of complacency. Captain Smith never considered icebergs a problem and despite ice warnings, moved Titanic through an ice field at night when visibility was limited due to lack of moonlight and binoculars for the lookouts. So many what ifs can be pointed out that could have changed the outcome that night. Whole families were lost and families separated forever. What ought to have been a glorious day of celebration when Titanic arrived in New York was one of great sadness when the survivors came ashore. And the only thing left of Titanic were the lifeboats.

That happened in 1912, 101 years ago. Last year saw a major remembrance of the sinking and how still Titanic is part of our culture. Despite that you see things like tacky Titanic shaped ice cube molds. Or Titanic slides that kids slide down not understanding its implication. Then there are t-shirts out there that say “Titanic Swim Team.” And finally what drew the ire of many was Red Bull’s advert that made light of the tragedy. Red Bull says it was just in fun and certainly that was their intent. They got away with it because the uproar was light. They got what they wanted, publicity for an energy drink but it comes at price. The price being it turns off a lot of people who may never buy Red Bull again. It is one thing to do a show like MASH and poke fun at war but show its serious side but another to mock. Hogan’s Heroes was a show meant to get laughs out of showing the prisoners running a major underground operation right under the watchful eyes of Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz. Most people do not realize that it was purposeful to depict the Germans as idiots. And Werner Klemperer, whose father was forced to leave Germany when Hitler came to power, demanded that of the producers.

Some argue that over time we can be desensitized to past events we have no connection to.There is a point to this and sometimes it is ignorance or lack of empathy. When either occurs, it becomes all too easy to simply look at past tragedies and not care much. And that makes it possible for people to make light of tragedies and come up with dumb products or t-shirts. It means that those who do care have to work harder to remind people not to forget the human cost of the events they trivialize.

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Grave Of Titanic Engineer Needs Fixing Up

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

Joseph Bell (1861-1912), chief engineer of Titanic, perished when the ship sank in 1912. His crew is credited with keeping the power on for as long as possible during the last hours of its life. The family headstone in the churchyard at Farlam, near Brampton and Cumbria notes his death and heroism. However the years have taken their toll on the headstone, which has suffered damage needing repair. John Lightfoot, who heads up Solar Solve Marine but is semi-retired, is behind the effort to repair the gravestone and put up an information sign so that people know who Joseph Bell was and why he is a Titanic hero.

For further information about Joseph Bell:
1. Joseph Bell Encyclopedia Titanica
2.Joseph Bell, Chief Engineer on the R.M.S. Titanic
3.Joseph Bell, Titanic hero from Cumbria (

Source: Bid To Restore Titanic Grave(18 Nov 2013, Evening Chronicle)

Wallace Hartley’s Sheet Music On Display In Belfast

Photo: Wikipedia

Sheet music carried by Wallace Hartley is on display at SS Nomadic in Belfast. David Scott-Beddard of White Star Memories Ltd tells Belfast Telegraph “Out of the musicians, his was the only body recovered and more than 30,000 people attended his funeral in Lancashire.” The exhibition includes a photo of Hartley from his school days and “a rare first-class accommodation plan, showing the dining room table layout, Turkish baths and gymnasium, and a stateroom bed, bed linen and dining room clock from Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic.”

Source: A Titanic Exhibition Of True Note On SS Nomadic As Violinist’s Music Goes On Display(14 Nov 2013, Belfast Telegraph)

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