Tags: commute

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (pt.3)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

I'm really enjoying my commute. Having a monthly pass makes things that much easier. But it's not without peril. A (two or more zone) monthly Caltrain pass is good for free VTA rides. This caused a moment of hesitation this morning when I looked out the train window and it was POURING! In the end, I made the right decision. I had my rain-gear on already, and it's faster for me to ride than take the light rail (!!)

I had a great ride in. Some of it was the pushing through the "inclement" weather, some of it was the exercise. I felt great when I got to work. Too bad I left my wallet & badge at home. :-/

A few weeks ago I broke down and downloaded an RSS reader. After poking around a bit, I settled on BlogBridge. It's OSS, cross-platform, and it seems to have most of the features I care about. One of the other readers I saw had the ability to use XSLT to transform it's look & feel, but I don't think it was OSS.

I played with it a bit. The UI is a bit odd. The keyboard controls aren't what I expected. But still, it was a novelty. I don't think it would have progressed beyond that if I hadn't had a flash of inspiration: since it caches the RSS feeds, It basically makes a a great offline news/blog/website reader!

I'm really enjoying using the time on the train to peruse the blogs (etc.) on which I used to waste my time at work. I've even found a few new blogs along the way. The one I've most enjoyed: The Traveler's Lunchbox. I'm really loving the way she writes, and the food porn & recipes are just icing. Go, check it out, see if she doesn't suck you in!

Update: Next step: hacking something so that I can get my $#%#@ing LJ Friends Page as an RSS feed!

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (pt.2)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Also written started on the train!

It would appear that I didn't take the 9:04 Baby Bullet yesterday. While they have started staggering the stops at which the 3xx trains stop, none of the southbound trains in morning (nor the northbound in the evening) have been staggered to stop at Sunnyvale. (The opposite configurations both have, *grumble*)

I guess the local express was running late, because I arrived after it should have left. The trouble was that there was a train pulling in just as I came down the stairs, and I still needed a ticket, so I didn't have too much time to scrutinize the situation too much.

Today, I definitely got on the right train. It was even better than yesterday. I hadn't been in the new bike cars yet. Facing seats with two power outlets for each set of 4 seats! It was wonderful!

Fortunately, the conductor called out the two next stops, which made me realize that this train wasn't stopping at Sunnyvale. That made me check the schedule, and realize the mistake yesterday. I rode in from Mountain View, rather than taking VTA. I'm pretty sure I beat the light rail to my office. Yay!

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (3/30)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

[Oops, forgot to post this last night... ed.]

I'm actually writing this on the train. Today was my first day back commuting on Caltrain.

This morning was fantastic! The trip to 22nd St. was all downhill, so it was a breeze. This was good because I got (at most) 4 hours sleep last night, and woke up with just enough time to make the last Baby Bullet at 9:04.

I've ridden the Baby Bullet before, and most of you have heard my "WTF, we're here already?!?" story. It was a very nice ride, but I realized I'd left the power brick for my laptop at home. It was time to get a spare, anyway.

I rode to Sunnyvale instead of Mountain View, to force me to ride in, and it was nice, fun, exciting near misses with stupid drivers yakking on phones while failing to aim their sublimated sexual inadequacies^W^W^Wurban assault vehicles. It was too short, I'm actually thinking I'd more enjoy riding from Mountain View.

Actually, I just realized that once the days get longer, I should consider getting off at San Antonio, and riding through the Baylands to the Stevens Creek Trail! I could have my (very) old commute back! I loved that ride! I still miss that ride.

On the way into work this morning I realized that I had left my light at home. Based on that, I decided to take VTA home rather than ride in the dark.I looked up this evening and realized it was nearly 6pm. I checked the schedules and realized that I had a slim chance (if VTA wasn't in any way delayed) of making the last Baby Bullet if I raced to catch the next light rail train.

The Caltrain wasn't pulling out as we pulled up, as I expected, but I needed to buy a ticket, and the machine didn't work, and it pulled out as I was running to the other one.

The next train didn't stop at 22nd St, so I waited 40 mins (total) for the next one.

Even with all of that, I'm very happy with my commute so far. I know it's still a honeymoon, and I may feel differently in a few months. But right now, I'm REALLY looking forward to working on my own projects (like blogging more regularly) and relaxing.

I may feel differently once I've scaled the hills back to my house.

Update: Holy crap, that hill kicked my ass! The cyclist in me is ashamed at how badly such a "short" hill got to me.

But it hasn't affected my enjoyment of the commute. If anything, I look forward to making that hill my bitch.