Changing perception of distance
It’s back to a work location in Ridgefield, Connecticut, for just one week until my month-long (or longer) assignment in White Plains starts the day after Labor Day. When I spent one day in Ridgefield a couple of weeks ago I found the drive on the semi-rural NY 35 to be a welcome break from highway driving. It was about ten miles long but seemed to zoom right by. On Monday, however, some surprisingly heavy traffic on the Long Island Expressway and over the Throgs Neck Bridge meant that I didn’t exit onto NY 35 from I-684 until about 15 minutes before I was due to report at the customer’s work location. While being a bit late wouldn’t be the end of the world, I very much wanted to avoid that given how I’m the sort of person who hates being late for anything.
Now that I was under time pressure, the 10 miles (actually closer to 12) on NY 35 did not “zoom by” like they did two weeks ago. Quite the contrary. The drive seemed utterly interminable, with every thought that I was “almost there” quickly fading into the realization that there was still a very long way to go. Please note that there was no significant traffic or other factors that would delay my passage. And as far as I know there hadn’t been a sudden acceleration in plate tectonics such as might have physically lengthened the journey. It was all just a matter of the perception of time and distance. Were I more familiar with quantum physics I might be able to express this in a equation.
In any event, I arrived at the worksite about ten minutes late. I would have made it on time, or almost so, except for the fact that school must have started in Ridgefield and I was stuck behind a school bus for quite some time. What made this especially infuriating is that the bus seemed to stop at every other driveway. It makes sense, because Ridgefield is a very rich town, and door-to-door service for one’s progeny is sort of an entitlement. My lateness didn’t matter, and when I left in the early afternoon I made very good time and got home in under two hours.
Tuesday was a pretty ordinary day, no time pressures and thus no warping of the space/time continuum. My return trip in the early afternoon was slightly different, as instead of taking the Hutchinson River Parkway from the end of I-684 to the Throgs Neck Bridge I took I-287 eastbound for just a couple of miles to I-95, and thence to the Throgs Neck. I had heard that the Saw Mill Parkway was closed in Yonkers due to a water main break, and I was concerned that the Hutchinson might have heavy traffic as it (roughly) parallels the Saw Mill a few miles to its east. While I’ve been on the 2-mile stretch of I-287 that runs between I-95 and the Hutchinson/I-684 many times, as far as I know I’ve always driven it in the westbound direction. Today was my first eastbound trip that I can recall.
In any event, I made it back home early enough to get to the local DMV office to handle some pressing business. You get a numbered ticket upon entry and wait for it to be called. I was dismayed to see that there were over 50 numbers between the one currently being served and the one on my ticket. It actually turned out okay, with a wait of just over an hour. I think I know why. No new customers are allowed into the DMV office after 4pm. Of course there were many people already inside by that point, but the workers definitely picked up the pace and stopped their usual dawdling. Not out of any altruistic notions, of course, but merely because they wanted to get off work as soon as possible. Hey, I could care less about their motivations, all that matters is that the end result worked out well.
Gym: After too long doing just bench presses and some back work, on Tuesday I decided that starting right away I’d do a more varied routine. As a result, I did three upper-body exercises. I began with standing barbell presses, 8 x 100, 2 x 8 x 110, 8 x 100. A lazy way of doing these would have been with a barbell on the squat rack at shoulder height. I decided to expend a bit more effort and used two of the fixed-weight barbells and cleaned them into place. Just doing the cleans probably was a useful bit of exercise. Next, I did some bench presses, 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 3 x 4 x 225. As I believe my triceps may be holding me back on benching, I decided to isolate them and did some skull crushers, 3 x 8 x 60 with an EZ-bar. I haven’t done this particular exercise in years and was surprised at how hard it was even with a light weight.