Some Fun New Things

I’m not entirely a creature of habit, but I do get in a rut sometimes. Last week was not one of those times as I did some things outside my habitual comfort zone…

One Thing

Last Thursday I went to the local WordPress group’s monthly meeting. I’d been seeing the meetings posted on the WordPress news feed for years now without any real interest, but the topic for this meeting (security) caught my eye, and since the meeting place is within walking distance — and they’d have free pizza — I decided to check it out.

There was some networking/social time before and after the presentation. I knew no one there, but they seemed like a pretty good bunch, split pretty evenly between young and old, male and female, and was a mix of hardcore techies and “I use WP in my web-design business” types. The presentation was likewise a mix of very technical information, and not-so-technical good practices that I found easy to implement here. It was a really pleasant and informative evening.

And Another

Saturday night we had a party, and later in the evening the discussion turned to old railroad rights-of-way. We all pulled out our phones and consulted our maps to look at the railroad in question — it was the line that crosses the Monocacy Trail just south of Burnside Plantation, something once called the Lehigh & New England. The evening ended not long afterward, but I guess we were still curious the next morning because Anne and I decided to do a little hike to check it out, and we got a text from Scott who wanted to do the same.

We met Scott at the trailhead near Union Boulevard, walked down the trail, and headed west when we reached the tracks. It was like being in another world: we walked through homeless encampments and past industrial sites both current and ancient, all in a little corner of town less than a mile from home. The tracks were in good shape for the most part, with rails still in place, but past Eighth Avenue it started to get overgrown with sticker bushes. We eventually cut through a truck yard to get back on regular roads, walked across an overpass, and suddenly we were back in the normal part of town, on a residential street only a few blocks from home.

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