Monday, October 27

Am I lucky, or what?

I was able to work somewhat shorter hours today, and it really worked out fine.  Couldn’t have been better, in fact. I drove to Ronkonkoma and got the 7:40 to Flatbush Avenue.  As noted before, this train is a gem (so to speak) because it’s far less of a cattle train than most other Ronkonkoma trains.  In fact, my main fear is that LIRR management will catch on and cancel it, though fortunately their incompetence has prevented that from happening.  Management is currently caught up in a pension scandal, as it’s come out that – brace yourself for this statistic – 97% of retired LIRR employees claim to be “disabled” and therefore collect extra-high pensions and get tax breaks.  Which isn’t to mention the fact that employees are allowed to retire at obscenely young ages, as young as 50 in some cases.  True, LIRR management is not directly responsible for granting these absurd disability pensions, that being handled by the federal Railroad Retirement Board, but they’re nonetheless in such damage-control mode that they’re not likely to be making any major operational decisions anytime soon.  Hence, the 7:40 should be safe, for the time being.  All this is a roundabout way of getting to the point that no one sat next to me on the 7:40 this morning.  I had a scare at Mineola, when an SCA stopped right next to where I was sitting and looked like he was going to take the empty seat next to me, but at the last minutes he changed his mind and went elsewhere.  Must’ve been all those “don’t sit here!” telepathic messages I was sending him.  I actually was able to enjoy the ride into Brooklyn, spending much of the time reading (The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene, one of my favorite authors; last week I gave up on Henry James’ The Bostonians halfway through, I just couldn’t get into it).  I missed a 4 train by a few seconds, but a 5 came along in a few minutes and I was at Fulton Street pretty quickly.  There was a noisy skell panhandling for the fake charity United Homeless Organization, I recall seeing him a week or so ago.  I wasn’t so much annoyed at him, as at two shabbily dressed women in late middle age who gave him a couple bucks each.  Appearances can be deceiving, but it’s a reasonable guess that these women didn’t have much money to spare.  If people didn’t give skells money, there’d be less begging.

I bit the bullet after work, so to speak, and took my chances on the Eighth Avenue line.  It worked out okay, as a C train arrived after just a couple minutes’ wait at Broadway-Nassau and it made its way to Penn without any significant delays or excessive dwell times.  Of course, one swallow does not a spring make, and one decent performance on the Eighth Avenue line doesn’t mean that it isn’t a wretched unreliable line. I had been planning to take the 5:22 to Ronkonkoma but actually made it just in time to catch the 5:01.  When I boarded it a couple minutes before departure I thought it was being taken out of service, it was so uncrowded.  But no, it really was far less busy than the 5:22 or 5:41.  I’ve taken it so rarely I really can’t recall whether this is the normal state of affairs.  Whatever the case, it was a very easy ride to Ronkonkoma, which of course means that no one sat next to me the whole way.  Two trains today, two empty seats.  It doesn’t get much finer than that.

Gym: No weights tonight.  I started out with a one-mile run on the treadmill, not much distance but okay as tonight was my fourth treadmill session in a row.  I then did 30 minutes on the stationary cycle at a very nice pace of 19.5 mph and mid-level resistance.

Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 2:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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