Up around 6:30 after getting a pretty good night’s sleep. Kelly worked wonders on our bedroom, which is now about the most completely unpacked and setup room in the house. Had breakfast while watching Good Morning America on the new TV. Packed my lunch and then Kelly and I headed off to work.
What a pleasure it is to have a 5 minute drive! I do plan on riding my bike, but I need to get it tuned up first. Maybe this weekend? I also got a call from the vet letting me know that the food I’d ordered is in. I have to head up to Riverdale this weekend to pick it up.
I ran to the post office to send off my check for the online writing workshop. I sent it priority mail so it should be there Friday or Saturday.
I have a ton of trash in the kitchen to take out this evening. If I can get that cleaned up, and a few other things, the place will start to look lived in, rather than just-moved-into. I might even take some pictures this evening so you all can see what it looks like.
Lunchtime. I already ate my sandwich. I’m going to read for a while before my 2 hours of meetings start up.
This morning was my last commute into work.
After 6 years of taking the train from Prince George’s Plaza metro to Pentagon City; and before that 8 years of driving between Studio City and Santa Monica, beginning tomorrow, I will be living close enough to work where a commute is not necessary. The new house is 2 miles south of my office. I can walk there in 30 minutes, ride a bike in 10-15 minutes, and drive in 4-5 minutes. None of those can be considered a significant commute.
In the last 6 years, I estimate that I took the train into work roughly 1,320 times. Assuming that I have to return home each evening, that makes for 2,640 trips on metro rail, just for the purposes of commuting to work. In round numbers, and averaging for fare increases, these commutes have cost me roughly $7,920 over 6 years. If we add parking costs, the number goes up to $11,880. My company paid for about $4,680 worth of my commuting costs over 6 years so that my actual cost was about $7,200, or $1200/year, or $100/month. That might sound like a lot, but keep in mind that in all that time, I never had to sit in traffic, and I could make use of my time on the trains to read, sleep, or just relax. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that these days, if I were driving to work, I’d be spending well over $100 month on gasoline alone!
But all of that is over now. Next week, when I come into work, it will be from 2 miles away. I can sleep in later if I want and still get to work at the same time. I can leave work later if I want and still arrive home at the same time.
I can’t wait!
I just completed another 1,000 words of Graveyard Shift, bringing the total for the day to 2,000 words. The scene I wrote will be the last scene of Part I of the book. I wrote this scene out of order, however, skipping ahead several chapters because it was a fun, and emotional scene to write, and it sets up Part II of the story, so I can start to anticipate working on that.
My effort this evening brings my NaNoWriMo word count to 17,376.
I had dinner with Kelly after work today–California Pizza Kitchen. We won’t see each other until Sunday. She’s heading to New Jersey for Thanksgiving and I head to Los Angeles early Thursday morning. The train ride home was a drag. For some reason, the Green Line trains were running at 15-20 minute intervals, which is spread pretty far apart for 7 PM on a Tuesday evening. I got home shortly before 8 PM.
We were told work was going to let us out a little early tomorrow, which is good because I still have laundry to do, some chores to take care of, and I need to get to bed early tomorrow because I have to be up at 4 AM on Thursday. The car to the airport will be here at 4:30 AM.
I’m going to watch an episode of The West Wing and then it’s light’s out.
It’s going to be 70 degrees here tomorrow! Maybe he11o_sunshine is right.
Up at 4:20 AM and into the gym at 5:50 AM. The commute was a little strange. Normally, the second train of the morning is a Yellow line train that I can take all the way into work. The sign said yellow line, but then switched to Green line. When the train arrived, it said Green line. Rather than wait, I got on board, figuring I’d switch at Mt. Vernon Square. When we arrived at Mt. Vernon Square we were suddenly a Yellow line train. I don’t think I was the only one confused by the chameleon-like abilities of the DC metro trains.
Good lower body workout this morning. I did a total of 18,615 lbs. Compare that to the 15,240 lbs. last Wednesday and you can see as well as I can that I’m getting back into the swing of things pretty quickly.
White shirt and tie to work today in order to mix things up a bit. Only problem is that I don’t know what the dry cleaners used to clean my shirt. It smells a little musty–like it’s been sitting in a closet for a while.
Dinner with Kelly after work.
At Mt. Vernon Square, this afternoon, where I transfer to the Green Line, I let two Green Line trains pass because they were bursting at the seams. I finally got on the third train to come by. It meant a total of about 15 minute delay, but I was engrossed in The Reagan Diaries and didn’t really notice the passing time. (Packed trains were probably a result of back-to-school, plus residual fallout from a problem on the Red Line.)
When I got home, I had mail from Amtrak. As a “Select” member, they sent me two free upgrade coupons, a free “companion” coupon, and a free day’s access to Club Acela coupon. Next time I take the Acela up to NYC, I’ll be sure to make use of one or more those coupons. The rest of the mail was junk.
Still too tired (lazy) to cut the grass, but I’ve decided to do it Sunday morning, so I’m no longer stressing about it. Going to spend the evening reading, and maybe squeeze in a little writing too.
Just yesterday, I was telling someone how there are rarely delays on the metro lines on which I travel (yellow and green). So it should have come as no surprise that there were delays on the yellow line this morning. Twenty minute delays. I got to Mt. Vernon Square at the usual time, and then stood on the platform for 20 minutes, waiting for the next yellow line train. It meant, of course, that the train got very crowded, and that I got into the office at 6:50 instead of 6:30. Even so, it’s better than sitting in traffic in L.A. I passed the time nearly finishing Poul Anderson’s novelette, “The Man Who Came Early”.
I guess this is where there were delays taking the train home this afternoon. I was only delayed about 10 minutes, but the Green line trains were sharing the same track between Columbia Heights and Fort Totten.
I know I’m a few days behind my usually plethora of blog entries, but I promise I will be catching up in the next day or two. Since these will be back-dated posts, you’ll need to see them on my regular blog rather than your friends page (if you are interested).
I got to work late today, and because I didn’t want to park in the top of the Metro parking structure, I decided to walk to the Metro station this morning. It only takes about a half hour to walk and it was actually kind of nice. It means, of course, that I will be walking home, too, later this afternoon.
I had a nightmare last night. I suppose that most people have nightmares about their biggest fears. For some, it’s speaking in public or being buried alive. For me, apparently, it’s the disruption of the even tenor of my commute.
I dreamed that I had gotten to the metro station to go to work and that there was an unusually large crowd of people for that early in the morning. When I got down to the platform, I discovered that the tracks had been partially ripped up one one side and busses were being used instead. The metro signs that indicate outages said something like, “Due to poor budgeting, and last minute planning, this line will experience major disruptions over the next six months…” I couldn’t believe it. The even tenor of my commute was going to be disrupted for 6 months! Furthermore, no one could tell me how to get down to Arlington. No one seemed to know anything. I went back up to where the station manager’s office is and tried to get answers from them, but they didn’t have any. I went back down to the platform: still no answers.
Then I noticed a bunch of people hurrying upstairs because apparently, you needed a special ticket to ride the new line. I dropped my backpack and laptop case and ran upstairs with everyone else to get my ticket. At this point, a train entered that was going all the way down to Arlington so I raced back downstairs, picked up my backpack and laptop case and pushed my way into the train.
Something still told me things were not right. I opened my backpack and laptop case to discover that in the short time I’d been upstairs, my laptop and iPod had been stolen. This I took with a grain of salt. My laptop was password protected, and I’ve been wanting to get a new one anyway. My iPod I could replace. I was annoyed by the fact that I’d have to file a claim with my insurance company, but at least I was on the train into the office.
Except that we seemed to be heading in the wrong direction. And then it dawned on me that I’d have to be doing this every day for six months!
At that point I woke up and I was never so glad to get to the train station this morning to find the trains running as smoothly as ever.
Talk about a bad dream!
I was up at 4:30 and caught the 5:10 AM Yellow line train as usual. When we got to the Pentagon stop, however (one stop before I get off the train at Pentagon City) we were held there for fifteen minutes due to track work. Fifteen minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it meant that by the time I got up to my office, I would not have time for my full cardio workout this morning.
Rather than go after work today, I am planning on going at lunch. I talked to someone here who goes to the gym at lunch and says that it is not too busy. Mainly I want to get in my 40 minutes of cardio and if I can do that, I’ll be happy. We’ll see how it goes.
My work laptop was supposed to be imaged last night so that the image could be transferred to a new hard disk. I have a feeling it didn’t happen, or it didn’t work. When I picked up my laptop this morning, the screen seemed to indicate that the image creation process never got started. That would be annoying, but not surprising.
I should actually get some code written today on my main project, which would be nice for a change.
And it hasn’t started snowing yet, but the estimates are now anywhere from 1-3 inches.
I’ve been eager to re-read shunn‘s “Two Paths In the Forest Toulemonde” as part of my re-reading of SCIENCE FICTION AGE. I couldn’t get to it over the weekend because I was so busy, but I read it on the train into work this morning. While I will have more to say about the story when I make my post on the issue, let me just say two brief things:
First, it was as good as I remembered from 14 years ago. I was not disappointed.
Second, I started it with some trepidation that I might not finish before I had to get off the train. As it turns out, I completed the story as the train doors opened at my stop in Pentagon City. The problem was that the ending of the story made me, shall we say, misty-eyed, and here I was, standing in crowd of people trying to get off the train with tears in my eyes.
I can only wonder what they were thinking of me!
(And for those who have been waiting, I am hoping to get my thoughts on SF AGE Volume 2, Issue 1 out today. I’ve complete the issue and (obviously) started the next one. But I have a few thoughts to wrap up and I’m stuck in meetings most of the day today. Maybe this evening…)
We are having what is called an “ice storm” here today. In the 4-1/2 years that I have been in the DC area, this is my first ice storm. It was cool today but not cold. Temps were in the 20s and it drizzled throughout the day. Then about halfway through the day it started icing. This is different than snow or freezing rain. Tiny ice pellets, the size of small raindrops fall from the sky and hit the ground. On the grass they look like snow. But on the roads they don’t. It doesn’t accumulate on the roads either. Instead it turns them white. It essentially coats the roads in a thin layer of ice.
It is yet another reason to be glad that I have a great commute. The government closed early today to let people get home. Traffic was horrendous. I caught a 4 PM train and was home by 4:40. It took a little longer than usual because I drove at half my normal speed on the way home. My car slid on the road every time I made a slight turn, so you had to drive slowly. Regardless, I got home safely. But the roads are terrible.
There is supposed to be a brief warm front that passes through in the morning with some heavy rain. Then more cold and ice. It’s supposed to be an awful commute tomorrow but I leave early enough to where it shouldn’t be a problem.