The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Commuting Nightmares

The other day (Friday, I think) I ran across a news "story" (an opinion piece, really) on what we could, or are, doing to reduce our "carbon footprint." I left a comment wherein I said I reduced mine greatly in 2005 when I retired. No more daily 44 mile round-trip commutes, moved to the fine, small, city I now live in where virtually nothing is more than 15 minutes away and I wondered if a poor economy causes a reduction in these carbon footprints. After all, a higher unemployment rate means fewer people commuting anywhere.

Then I came across this:

Take the long way home

An article in what passes for a local paper (it's a section in the Tampa Trbune, our real local paper publishes 4 times a week... not a lot of news here) about people who commute out of county to jobs far away. It starts with a guy who works in Boca Raton and commutes 2.5 hours one way. But don't panic yet, it is only for one 24 hour shift a week as a fireman/EMT. He also works part time (presumably.. it did not say) as an EMT here in Highlands County and teaches
(the story did not mention how many days a week) at our local college (SFSC).

The other person featured in the story flies all over the country and works with a management consulting firm based in Chicago. The story implied that he flies out of Orlando to Chicago each Sunday afternoon. But it never confirms this. So it is possible that he doesn't. Or it is possible he flies to different cities on assignments each Sunday.

After my parents moved us to Dade County in 1956, my father (having sold his bicycle shop in Farmingdale, NY) got a job as a salesman. In that job, he traveled around the state one week a month (one week in four, actually). Even when he was in his seventies (he worked until he was 75) and working part time, he commuted some 35-40 miles each way to a job in Miami from his home in West Hollywood. That had to be at least an hour each way.

While my house was being built here in Paradise, I drove from Palm Beach County to here (about 2 hours) once a week... to check on the house, visit my mother in an assisted living facility here, and to play golf. I put a lot of miles on my car during that almost 2 years.

Commuting takes a toll on you. I knew of people who commuted to the Miami area from my neighborhood west of West Palm Beach. Most were firemen or professionals (Attorneys, mostly) Some took the commuter train (called Tri-Rail here), some drove, and a few flew (small private planes, mostly, but one person who lived a couple blocks from me flew a helicopter). And I, in 1977, spent 6 months traveling to various states for training with AT&T. That wore me out and helped end my first marriage. 

I hated commuting.


Tom Sightings said...

I commuted an hour by train and subway when I was in my 20s; half an hour by car when I was in my 30s; and 10 minutes by car when I was in my 40s and 50s.

Now I commute 10 seconds, on foot, into my office off the kitchen. My life is complete!

P.S. So you've noticed too ... how many so-called news stories are really opinion pieces.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I never had problems when I had to commute three hours a day, then two and in the end one hour.. I could read and be lost in dreams without feeling guilty about it. Of course, I didn't have to drive (not to mention drive a helicopter!). If I had, I would have become nuts (dunno about the helicopter). On the other end, meeting everyday people in trains and in the Roman Metro (subway) was enriching and helped me get my feet back to the ground.

Douglas said...

Commuting by train is great if you have a long commute; you can read, do puzzles, engage in conversations with other passengers and generally enjoy the ride. I have a problem with buses, I can't seem to relax on them (my paranoia about someone else driving, I guess). But commutes by car are stressful and I have always tried to keep them down to less than 30 minute trips.

These days, I only commute to the golf course.

Anonymous said...

So I am like you, dear Douglas, and definitely hate driving a car (being in buses can be ok), unless I am on a pleasure trip (this of course being not commuting). Flavia and I enjoyed our driving around Quebec immensely. It has been a pleasure hearing from you again. I also notice that your blogging activity has been resilient.