Monday, November 24

It wasn’t the catastrophe I feared

When I heard that there had been a derailed train at Jamaica on Sunday afternoon it didn’t really register as significant.  It would be cleared up well before Monday, right?  My complacency began to diminish on Sunday evening, as the LIRR began warning of delays on Monday. Clearing up the mess was going to be taking more time than anticipated.  The LIRR’s site reported that several Monday morning trains would be canceled, though the only Ronkonkoma one affected was the lightly used 7:40 local to Flatbush Avenue.  Still, I was prepared for a long trip into work on Monday morning.  Reality turned out much less worse than feared.  The shuttle was on time at Medford, as was the 6:56 from Ronkonkoma to Flatbush Avenue.  It was a decent enough ride, marred only by a somewhat-larger-than-average older SCA who sat next to me at Mineola.  He was wearing a gray hat that really annoyed me, for reasons I can’t quite articulate and don’t completely understand.  But trust me that I had a strong urge to flick it right off his head.  Fortunately, he got up and sat elsewhere when many people got off at Jamaica.  Just east of the Jamaica platforms a M-7 sat basically sideways across three or four tracks.  I was surprised it had managed to stay uprights.  There of course were many workers and maintenance trucks surrounding it, and they had one end of the car jacked up clear of the tracks.  I couldn’t see the third rail damage, though the reports said there had been quite a bit.  This incident occurred just about the same distance east of the platforms as last week’s collision, though by tracks 6 through 8 as opposed to tracks 1 and 2 in the prior mishap.  We got through the scene without delays and actually arrived at Flatbush right on schedule.  I missed a 5 train by seconds, but the good news is that a 4 came along in just a few minutes; the bad news is that the 4 was horrendously crowded.  I was squished between several people in much closer proximity than I would prefer.

As the day went on it became evident that the effects of the incident were ongoing.  Several evening rush hour trains were canceled, according to the LIRR’s site, though none of them on the Ronkonkoma line.  I got to Penn reasonably quickly on an A, which unlike the morning’s 4 was sufficiently uncrowded that I was able to avoid intimate contact with any other people.  Whew.  While I got to Penn in time to catch the 5:22 to Ronkonkoma, I decided to wait for the 5:41 because the earlier train is not an official connecting train for the shuttle, meaning that the shuttle won’t be held if it is delayed.  It worked out well, because the 5:41 was uncrowded, in fact no one sat next to me the whole way.  I don’t know how much the lack of crowding reflected people adjusting their schedules to avoid delays and how much was because this is Thanksgiving week.  Whatever the case, I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak.  The errant M-7 was still mostly sideways at Jamaica, in fact it didn’t look as if much progress had been made in removing it, though now there were a couple of cranes on the scene.  We got to Ronkonkoma and the shuttle about five or six minutes behind schedule, which is reasonable all things considered.

Gym: it was back to weights tonight after a week off, and I’d have to say it didn’t go too well.  I started out with bench presses, using a barbell rather than dumbbells like last time because all three of the flat benches in the dumbbell area were in use.  It almost was shocking how weak I was: 6 x 135, 4 x 185, 2 x 205, 2 x 4 x 225, 2 x 3 x 225.  Yep, that’s right, only 14 total reps at 225.  I’m really hoping this is just a temporary setback.  At least my neutral grip pull-ups went much better: 2 x 8, 4 x 6.  I was going to do cable crossovers, but what with the crowded gym I could find only one handle, so instead I used the Hammer Strength decline chest machine for extra pecs work: 2 x 8 x 270, 2 x 6 x 270.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 4:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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