27 January 2011

Gathering Data--Rail Runner, Gym Trips

I am a gatherer of data. I love reading about data trends and I love looking at graphs and maps. This is probably why one of my favorite websites is weather.gov. There is so much data on that site that I can look at. For example, right now I'm wondering what the lowest every temperature reached in Des Moines, IA is and then I'll compare it to Santa Fe, NM and Albuquerque, NM. The lowest ever reached temp in Des Moines was -30°F in 1884. The lowest in Santa Fe was -27°F in 1971 and -17°F in 1971 in ABQ. Most people think this is dumb and useless, I think it's totally fascinating.

I'm now gathering data on our gym trips. Lindsey, Joe and I have been visiting our local community center gym this month. I feel so much better about myself when I work out. I feel like I've accomplished one of my goals. My mind feels clear, my lungs feel good, I think I can even feel my blood improve. It's weird, but I my entire body feels better. I enjoy most gathering the data from my workouts and listening to music. It's not very often that I get to dedicate a time of my day to just really listen to music. I listen to how the album is recorded. Sometimes I make up my own music videos. Sometimes I just see colors moving. I can see the drummer playing. I can see the noise. So running is one of my favorite things to do. I'm using this app called Run Keeper to record all of my data. I'm also writing data on my iPod's notepad. My stats are probably terrible right now, I've been out of it for the past few years but I'm hoping to graph an improvement in February and March. 

On a completely different topic: there was a report released on how wasteful NM government is with our tax dollars. The biggest target was of course the Rail Runner. The report showed where money is going, how much it is costing and how much the train is making in ticket sales. I haven't researched this as much as I would like, but I was thinking that there is more data that you can look at. You have to keep in mind all data, not just how much it costs to lay track and how much ticket sales are bringing in. You don't see the entire picture. You have to look at census data. How much is Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Los Lunas, Belen projected to grow in the next ten to twenty years. How many of those people are likely to ride the train. Would a big factory that would provide thousands of jobs be more likely to placed in our area if there was a commuter train connecting communities? I don't know, but I think that would be a factor. The connecting of our communities couldn't be a bad thing for the local economies of the cities it goes through either. What about the cost of repairs for roads that will not have to be made because of less traffic? Does that count toward what the Rail Runner cost? What about the reduced number of traffic accidents and traffic deaths on I-25 that happen because of the reduced amount of traffic? I know that the Rail Runner has killed a few people that have tried to cross the tracks, that's really sad that those people died, but I don't think it's the train's fault. I don't know, I really like the Rail Runner and I'm happy to see there have been four million (4,000,000) riders since the train began. In New Mexico history the rail has never been a bad thing. People movers in Earth history has never been bad. The more people you move the more prosperous your economy will be. I would love to see the Rail Runner prove itself within these next 10 - 20 years. I believe nothing but good can come of this train. 
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