Mass Transit

Last week I realized that there was a Caltrain station called Blossom Hill and I already knew there was one about 20 minutes walk from my office. So the question is - can I replace my commute with Caltrain? I spent about 30-45 minutes in the morning driving to work, and about an hour driving home. That's not intolerable or anything, but it is relatively dead time. I looked a bit at it, and decided I could. The train trip is 55 minutes each way, so it takes me longer, but I spend that time with my laptop, or with a book, or with my GBA. That's a win in my book. Thus begins the comedy. The only real issue is that 20 minute walk twice a day. That's not terrible, but the trains that stop at Blossom Hill are somewhat infrequent, and I can't quite make all of the times work out the way I'd like. So Sunday I go out and buy some rollerblades.

Mind you, I've never gone rollerblading, only gone ice skating once in college, and haven't been rollerskating since I was . . . six? So I try them out on Sunday evening, go around the block at home. Hmmm. Well I'll learn as I go right? I mean if I get tired or something I can always take the blades OFF and walk the rest of the way.

Monday morning I leave bright and early (that's sarcasm - I leave before sunup) and drive over to the Blossom Hill VTA stop. Only catch - there's no Caltrain here. WTF? I actually called Karin and had her look on the web - the "Blossom Hill" stop is on Monterrey Highway. (frown) So I drive out that way, but I'll end up missing the 6:30 train and the next train is like almost an hour later. No biggie, I'll just hop 101 and drive on Monday.

Tuesday - hah now I know the address. I'm unstoppable! And indeed I ride the train to Menlo Park and write on my Mac the whole hour-long ride, blocking out everything else with the handy combo of iTunes and my wonderful canalphones. Sweet! However, the Menlo Park sidewalks aren't very rollerblade-friendly for Mr. "This is the second time I've even put on rollerblades", and balancing my backpack with lunch, laptop, etc. is trickier than I anticipated. I did go almost the entire way before I decided I was tired enough to take them off. And I cut the 20 minute walk down to just half an hour! Yay!

So on the plus side I snarf the new Hitchhiker's radio episode at work, slap it onto the iPod and then during the walk and train ride listen to the first two episodes of series 3. Woot! Honestly even if I have to walk, this is still an awesome plan. After HHTG finishes I flip over to the lovely Classics Regrooved album mentioned before and read the latest issue of Analog SF magazine. Digging the train.

Plan B. I get a Razor folding scooter Tuesday evening. Right now it's Wednesday morning, slightly before 7 AM and I'm on the train writing this. I'll let you know how the scooter works out when I get to work :-)

(Later in the day) - The scooter gets a thumbs up! I only used it about halfway - apparently 32 years of video games doesn't leave you with the best physical conditioning! Who knew? But even so it cut down the walk time, and if I get into good enough shape to use it the ENTIRE way, then I'll be styling!