Friday, November 19

Into the Belly of the Beast

Well this certainly counted as a Blast from the Past.  For the first time in a year, since getting into the insurance business, I actually rode the LIRR today.  My wife had some business matters in the city and I went along for the ride, so to speak.  It didn’t really matter from an earnings standpoint because almost all of my remaining lead cards are residential calls, so there wasn’t much I could do during the day.  We got the 9:11 from Ronkonkoma to Penn, the first post-rush hour train and for that reason usually a busy one.  We were able to find a parking spot near the southeast corner of the south side lot.  We weren’t in the very last row, but close.  Parking lot crowding can be used as a reasonable measure of economic conditions.  It’s hard to say for sure because it’s been so long, but it was my impression that the lot was slightly more crowded than it would have been at the same time of day one year ago, but less crowded than it would have been in, say, 2006 or 2007.

My prediction, that the 9:11 would be crowded, was right on the mark.  The mid-consist car where we sat was about a third full when we left Ronkonkoma, and all seats were taken by the time we got to Jamaica.  Being a post-peak train, two things were immediately apparent: a) because most riders were traveling in groups of two or more, with many children, the noise level was substantially higher than it would have been on a rush hour train full of solo commuters, and 2) it made many, many stops.  Specifically, it made every stop to Hicksville, including Pinelawn Cemetery, then Mineola, finally Jamaica.  I was used to rush hour trains that skipped many stops.  We arrived in Penn right on time at 10:32.  Penn itself hasn’t changed much in a year, except for the totally renovated men’s restroom in the LIRR concourse.  It’s still one of the most gruesome places on earth, of course, but at least it’s a more esthetically pleasing gruesomeness.

We took a 3 train to Fulton Street, returning some hours later on a 2.  The subways haven’t changed at all in a year, as far as I could tell, with the notable exception of the most recent fare hike.  We then got the 4:51 to Ronkonkoma, and to my pleasant surprise it was an M-3 consist.  I didn’t think many of those were still left.  As I of course was sitting next to the same person as on the morning’s ride I could immediately notice the wider M-3 seats.  It’s not a huge difference, but it’s there.  By the way, as this was a rush hour train I also noticed two things that haven’t changed in a year, namely the Cows at the Slaughterhouse Chute Half-Moons on the platform and the Baby Elephant Walk once we got underway.  Guess some things are eternal.  The car was toward the west end of the consist and got quite crowded, with no more than a handful of vacant seats as best I could tell.  After the morning’s on-time performance I was half expecting all sorts of delays, but in fact we made it to Ronkonkoma on time.

Gym: I went very late, only about 45 minutes before the 10 pm closing, but got in a decent if unusual upper body session.  Bench press: 6 x 135, 4 x 185, 4 x 205, 6 x 3 x 225.  Neutral grip pull-ups: 6 x 4.  What was unusual is that I alternated the bench sets at 225 with the pull-ups.  Normally that wouldn’t be feasible, but as there was hardly anyone in the gym at that hour I was able to manage it.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 2:06 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Good post.

    Keep up the good work!

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