Utility

Dear J—

The train consists have been flip-flopped around: before the big switch that started this week, the morning train (SB102) was a six-car Bombardier consist and the evening train (NB261) was a five-car gallery. Now it’s the other way around, and adjusting to the new cars isn’t difficult, it’s just a bit more management and that’s okay as long as folks are cooperating. Seats on the gallery are a bit more isolated so you don’t have to talk with other passengers, or it’s easier to hide out as a gallery passenger if you want to put it that way. What it adds up to is less time to myself, I guess. I already have social obligations to what we’ve been calling “The Breakfast Club” (no food on board the trains though, right?) so it’s the afternoons that get eaten up a bit. Perhaps it’s better that I haven’t been doing much late-night work.

Time to yourself is a funny concept for someone riding public transit, I’ll admit, but it’s not an impossible one. You can choose to be as interactive – or not – as you like and it’s easy to make this the loneliest choice ever, to be putting all your thoughts aside for a while and plug in your headphones, tune out the world and bliss out to the soundtrack of your life. Or you could choose to see what the world brings in the morning.

I have two engineering jokes.

  • If you’re worried about the third significant digit, you’re already in trouble.
  • The extroverted engineer is the one who’s staring at YOUR shoes, not his.

These are true, mostly.

Mike

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