Friday, May 29, 2015

An Irate TTIV

Sometimes you're irritable for no reason, and yesterday was one of those days. I was sitting in a three-seater on the aisle on the way into Manhattan, and the middle seat was empty. There was a man next to the window who wasn't doing anything so so terrible, but every move he made annoyed me.

Usually, I strive to be balanced and reasonable in my posts. But the night before I'd driven about 200 miles to western New Jersey and back to pick up something I bought on eBay. The traffic wasn't even that bad, quite frankly. I was simply tired. I had nothing to be grouchy about, but this was my state of mind. Thanks to the magic of blogging, I'm going to share with you the things that got under my skin.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stop And Smell The Roses

My oldest son is a fan of expressions and idioms. When I take him to school we have good chats for the mile or so drive. He recently told me that people don't often "stop and smell the roses."

You know what? He's right. I should stop and smell the roses more frequently. Of course, commuting takes up a lot of my rose-smelling time. But I'll make lemonade out of lemons and do the next best thing. If I don't have time to stop and smell the roses, I will take time to stop and write about the various smells on the Long Island Railroad.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Intern Season, But Hold Your Fire!

People all over the northern hemisphere are thrilled that it's spring. After the winter we’ve had, some good weather is in order. I'm so happy to see leaves on the trees and hear birds singing. I could live without the ragweed mess and endless potholes, but it’s part and parcel of this time of year. I’ll take it all.

What else comes with spring? The end of school. Final exams are finishing up and college students are looking forward to some real world experience.

That means my train will be populated with 1) regular daily warriors, 2) tourists en route to
Broadway shows, and 3) interns. Interns by definition know nothing. They exist to contribute at a low level and to soak up the experience. For the commute, this means a lot of mistakes until they understand the rules.

I've always had a yen for teaching, so I'd like to provide a few guidelines for the young commuters. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Coping With Sound Bombers

I’ve stated many times that headphones and music are the first line of trench defense. When opponents compromise your fortress, you’ll find yourself in battle. 

I know what you're going to ask. “Huh? What are you talking about?” I’m referring to vocal artillery fire. Commuting is war, and enemy cell phone abusers frequently detonate sound bombs. These mercenaries are armed to the teeth with discussion points about dinner plans and colonoscopy results, and they fire at will. Oftentimes, you have to take cover in a new trench.

We’ll now dispense with the military metaphors, as I never served in the armed forces. I’m sure TTIV readers who have will point out that I’m using them incorrectly.

My question today is, "what does it take to quiet a sound bomber?

Tuesday, May 05, 2015