Saturday, December 24, 2005

Strange how time seems out

Strange how time seems out of control and I often lack motivation at night. Coincides with not going to yoga. Hmm...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Swing-and-a-miss...Strike Three!

HE struck-him-out (said in a Bill King voice)! Finally, the strike is over with.
I have to admit that it was a little bit fun, but I was getting tired of it
yesterday when I had to walk both to and from work in the frigid morning and
evening. The exercise was nice, but when I stop feeling my face, it's not quite
as much fun. And I was worried about how I was going to get to the airport today
without the $5 airtrain trip. That could have been a really expensive trip, if I
could even find a car to take me there!

I'm heading back to California for Christmas and my sister's birthday and I look
forward to seeing everyone. I wish everyone happy holidays!

J. Riley, the subway was nice and peaceful today

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Swing-and-a-miss...Strike Two!

The end of the first day of the strike came and I had to decide what route I was
going to take home. Do I dare try the buses again? Do I walk to midtown and try
to catch a different bus there? I left at about 4:00, an hour after most other
people left because they wanted to get on the buses early since they started
running again at 3:00. I went downstairs to catch one at 4:00 and people in
line said that no buses had showed up yet, so I guess the wrinkles hadn't been
ironed out yet. I was annoyed and fed up, so I decided to try walking home. It
turns out that it only took me an hour to walk home! That's roughly twice as
long as my commute, but that's still not too bad in my opinion. It was actually
kinda nice to get out and stretch my legs at the end of the shortened day and
listen to everyone on the street talk about the whole event. It made it
somewhat adventurous.

Day two of the strike came and again I had decisions to make. Rollerblades?
Buses? Walking? I was going to rollerblade, but the idea of going up a few
steep hills before arriving at work didn't sound hygenically friendly, so I
decided to try some permutations of my plans and headed up to 96th Street,
where cars were being checked to make sure they had four people in the car
before being allowed to enter the city. I heard that people were offering free
rides to other people if they would get in the car so that they would have the
four people necessary to pass. I thought this would be an easy way to get to
the bridge and I could make the 1/2 hour walk from there. As I got closer, I
noticed that there was a giant bus from my employer there, so that was even
better. I climbed aboard and thought maybe everything was running smoothly and
I could get a ride all the way to the office after making a bus connection in
mid-town. Things were going well until I hit 70th St. (I live on 91st) and the
traffic <b>stopped</b>. I dozed off a few times and woke up for good when we
neared the bridge at 59th St. It had taken an <b>hour</b> just to get there
because the traffic was so bad. I coulda been at work if I had walked! Some of
the other employees convinced the driver to let us off and it was another 1/2
walk over the bridge. But still much better than the previous day.

For the ride home, again, more permutations. There was a bus waiting out front
going to mid-town that I figured I'd take. Should be a quick ride over the
bridge, right? Wrong. The bus, for some unknown reason, decided the fastest way
to get to 53rd St. was to drive to the other side of Queens and take the Midtown
tunnel across the river to 34th St. and then drive up in massive congestion to
53rd St. rather than driving two blocks to the bridge, crossing it, and
entering Manhattan at 59th St, just a few blocks from 53rd! Good lord. So I
wasted about 30-40 minutes on that trip and ended up getting off early on 42nd
St. and walking home from there, which took me another hour. At this point, I
wasn't going to mess with traffic or the streets, my legs be damned! It was
coooold last night, too, which didn't make things too fun...

J. Riley, This is still an adventurous experience, but I'm getting worried about
finding my way to the airport on Friday....

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Swing-and-a-miss...Strike One!

Today New York's public transit came to a halt, creating chaos and madness everywhere. I left my apartment at 8:20 this morning and didn't get to work until 10:45. My client, a large bank, had rented buses and vans and had routes around the city to pick people up and drop them off at the large buildings that we work in, including the one I'm at in Queens, across the river.

So, with the temperatures hovering around 20 degrees (not including the wind chill), I walked down to the pickup location (not far from my apartment). After waiting in the weather for 20 minutes, a small van with our logo pulled up. Uhh...what about the huge coach buses that were supposedly going to pick us up? There were about twice as many people waiting for this bus as there was space for, so half of us, myself included, had to wait. Another ten minutes went by, and with no sign of another van or bus coming (they stopped running at 9:30), I decided to get a ride with some nice people that were taking the day off work and driving people around, asking only for gas money. 15 minutes later, I was at my next connection point at 53rd and 3rd Avenue (one of the offices), where we had buses and vans that were taking people into Queens. Or so I thought.

15 minutes of waiting there went by and the 100 people that were waiting were grumbling because they had only seen small vans coming by, and they were all full from people at the mass transit pickup spots, especially Penn Station (where New Jersey trains and buses come in. They were still running). Still no giant buses! Word on the street was that all the buses were stuck in Queens. In order to get into Manhattan, every vehicle had to have at least 4 people on board. Well, someone screwed up on our logistics and all the buses were stuck in Queens because after dropping everyone off, they didn't have the required people to get back into the city to get more people! Arrgghhh....

With no options really available, a coworker and I decided it would be faster to walk to work. So we left 53rd Street and walked up to 59th, crossed the Queensborough Bridge and got to work. It took about 40 minutes to walk and the weather was very nice and warm on the bridge (surprisingly enough).

I am not sure yet how I'm going to get home, but hopefully they have something figured out by then. And tomorrow? I might have to bust out the rollerblades and arrive at work all sweaty and freezing cold....

J. Riley, very few people at work today....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mass Transit

You gotta love mass transit - until the greedy unions decide that they want more money and go on strike. If they don't resolve their differences with the government organization that runs NYC's mass transit by midnight tonight, they will go on strike and life as I know it will stop. Not only will it inconvenience me, but it will also inconvenience the millions of other people in the city as well as people from outside the city that come in to work. People like grocery cashiers, laundry operators, etc. etc. All of this just because the union thinks that the starting salary of $50k per year is too low and that their workers deserve a raise of 8% per year for the next three years....

J. Riley, Guess I should stock up on food tonight.