Early To Rise

Departure Time: 6:58 --yeah, I don't know wha' happened.
Arrival Time: 7:38
Weather as I call it: Sunny, no wind, warmer.
Paper Guy: Dressed for December
Shady Gas Price: $2.08
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Hey, All Hallows' Eve Ev'rybod!

So I got out the door pretty early today. Not sure why, I guess the stars were aligned just right.

Anyhoo...pretty easy drive today. It got a little interesting towards the end when a state police car started to tailgate slow drivers in the left lane on Soldier's Field Road. I wasn't sure what he was trying to prove or communicate, but I think if I saw a cruiser behind me I would get out of his way.


Why Aren't All My Clocks Turned Back?

Departure Time: 7;12
Arrival Time: 7:59
Weather as I call it: Sunny, not as windy as this weekend.
Paper Guy: Black wool hat, winter gloves
Shady Gas Price: $2.08
Yelled at other drivers: Nah
Feared for my life: No


Clocks on a network, like the one on the company's cell phone, are still an hour ahead. There is nothing more jarrring than having conflicting time pieces.

Gas Price is down a cent.

When I got to work today, I was amazed at how many cars there were in the parking garage. Then I thought to myself, these peeps still think it's 8:59 not 7:59...

I'm late.


Back On The Rise

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 8:03
Weather as I call it: Sunny and cold
Paper Guy: Winterized
Shady Gas Price: $2.09
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Happy Friday Ev'rybod! (That's the way I say "everybody")

A few programming notes:

Gas price went up 4 cents overnight. Huh?

As far as I know, my brake lights are working correctly. I fixed the "loose wire"...

See you on the flip side.


Exaggeration Is Your Friend

Departure Time: 7:10
Arrival Time: 7:55
Weather as I call it: Sunny, cold...the sun was blinding...let's turn the clocks back already.
Paper Guy: Brown winter hat, black coat, shades.
Shady Gas Price: $2.05
Yelled at other drivers: Yeah
Feared for my life: No


In the first segment of my commute (what I like to call the "in town" segment), I have to drive through 6 or 7 traffic lights. Any hesitation can throw off the entire rhythm. I cherish every green light that I do not have to wait for.

This morning, a woman hesitated while stopped at a red light. Typical distraction: she found whatever was fiddling with in her car's back seat to be more important than the road ahead at the moment the light turned green. Because it took her three seconds to situate herself behind the wheel again and accelerate from her stopped position, it caused me to miss the green and consequently the yellow light that she scurried her way through.

Her action caused a chain reaction of events that led me to be stuck at the next 3 red lights. It put 2 minutes on my commute. TWO MINUTES!

(I am exaggerating my feelings about this inconvenience for a humorous effect...is it working?)

P.S. I saw some guy in my rear view mouth the word "*sshole" after someone beeped at him.



Now Hiring Smiling Cashiers

Departure Time: 7:02
Arrival Time: 7:46
Weather as I call it: Partly sunny...but the sun was so low in the sky it was hardly a factor.
Paper Guy: MIA
Shady Gas Price: $2.05!
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


There's a Wendy's on the Medford line on Highland Ave that has a sign proclaiming "Now Hiring Smiling Cashiers".

That's quite a prerequisite. Plus, do you need to be smiling all the time or just when needed? See, they don't disclose that information on the sign. Probably because the sign isn't that big. I guess one would need to inquire further.

Shady gas price is tumbling down. I am calling for under 2 bucks by Nov. 10th.

Paper guy wasn't at his post when I passed. I was probably too early to catch him.


Gun Shy, Trigger Happy

Departure Time: 7:05
Arrival Time: 7:50
Weather as I call it: Cloudy, giving way to some sun. I wore my jacket for the first time this season
Paper Guy: Brown wool hat, shades, winter coat.
Shady Gas Price: $2.07
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: I was a bit shaky.


I had a scheduled vacation day on Monday...so this morning was my first trip back to work after the accident.

I would be lying if I said I was steady as a rock on the roadways today, especially on Soldier's Field Road....but I got through it.

I think leaving a bit earlier helped my anxiety. Less people, more space, better chances of a safe drive.

On a lighter note, I saw a woman flossing her teeth while stopped at a red light. I don't know how I feel about what I saw. Is it gross? Does it go against good driving manners? Does it matter?

I can say this: she can put on her resume that she is a true multi-tasker.

Flossing is Fun!


Major Accident

Departure Time: 7:20
Arrival Time: I really don't remember
Weather as I call it: Cloudy, some light rain in spots, wet roads.
Paper Guy: No hat, shades, windbreaker
Shady Gas Price: $2.07
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: YEP.


So it finally happened: I got into an accident.

Here's the scene: I was driving west down Soldier's Field road, right by the Harvard Square exit in the right lane. There was a blue Acura SUV who was tailgating me. He got behind me from the BU bridge and didn't let up until we went under N. Harvard St.

Once you get past that bridge, the road opens up to three lanes (my lane is now the middle lane). The blue Acura decides he is going to pass me on the right. As he passes me, he sees an accident in the process of being cleared up. This accident is blocking the right lane so he slams on his brakes. I am in the process of passing him when I am hit from behind. Although I didn't see him, there was a Jeep Liberty behind the Acura. He must have slammed on his brakes to avoid the blue Acura, and swerved into my lane.

The Jeep Liberty bumped me just enough to send my car spinning. I spun around until I was facing oncoming traffic. I am amazed I didn't hit anybody else or get hit again by somebody else.

I put my car in reverse and pulled over to get out of the way.

Everyone was ok. Both cars were drivable after the accident. Papers were exchanged...The state police officer on the scene of the first accident helped me to turn my car around.

Things could have been worse...a lot worse...but I am here...and I am typing about it.

Big wheel keep on turning.

Let's try to be more careful out there.


Loose Wire

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 8:08
Weather as I call it: Cloudy...50s
Paper Guy: No hat today...but the McDs windbreaker was on
Shady Gas Price: $2.07
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


First off, my passenger side brake light...turns out it's not a burnt-out bulb...but a loose wire. I bought a new bulb, installed it, and it still didn't work. I wiggled the casing a bit...and suddenly it worked.

When I checked it this morning, it wasn' working.


Lots of people were pulling in front of me today. I let the 18 wheeler in but the Taurus got the "Tough Luck" look.


Mr. Creeps

Departure Time: 7:09
Arrival Time: 7:54
Weather as I call it: Clouds giving way to sunny skies...warmer...don't need the coat today.
Paper Guy: Overdressed
Shady Gas Price: $2.09
Yelled at other drivers: meh
Feared for my life: No


I hate people who swing to the right to take a left turn. Idiot truck guy had to pull a bold move to get into a Dunkie Donut parking lot...by slightly turning right before taking a hard left. Since he had his blinker on, I was trying to get around him on his right. So, his stutter step freaked me out a bit.

I said, "Whoa there, daddy-o, what are you doing?"

I need to go to AutoZone this afternoon during lunch to get a new brake light.

Mr. Creeps is all right (see comments from yesterday's post).


VW Golf Multi-Tasker

Departure Time: 7:18
Arrival Time: 8:10
Weather as I call it: Partly Sunny
Paper Guy: Had the McDs windbreaker and winter hat on.
Shady Gas Price: $2.09
Yelled at other drivers: No, but some guy ticked me off a bit
Feared for my life: No


There is nothing worse than a guy who A) forces his way into your lane by sheer force and B) is on his cell phone the entire time he is in front of you so he's driving slower than the rest of traffic plus C) he's driving a stick shift, which adds to his slow acceleration after the green light is illuminated.

Thank you Mr. VW Golf for slightly annoying me this morning.

Other than that, good times on the roadways. Check out that shady gas price.


Cruising On Monday

Departure Time: 7:06
Arrival Time: 7:50
Weather as I call it: Sunny, colder - 40s
Paper Guy: Had his mind on his money (and his money on his mind)
Shady Gas Price: $2.11
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Paper guy was dressed for snow with his wool hat and heavy jacket, but the best thing to report about him today was the counting of his money. He had a huge wad of $1 bills he was rifling through...counting them as he moved them with his thumb from one hand to the other. A true gangsta.

A few pockets of congestion couldn't get me down this morning. Mostly, I was flying down the roads with other early birds - rocking Monday morning unlike the other schlubs trying to get their move on.

Mondays are tough.


Ten Thirteen

Departure Time: 7:10
Arrival Time: 7:52
Weather as I call it: Sunny and chill-filled --> 40s
Paper Guy: Same outfit as yesterday (and the day before that)
Shady Gas Price: $2.11
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Sometimes you see things on your drive to work that are little captures of time in other people's life. Today I was at a stop light that had a left turn only lane. This lane came equipped with its own green arrow signal, which to me are the best kind of turn only lanes.

I just happened to look to my left as the arrow turned green. There were these guys in this early 90's Mercury Grand Marquis. Young guys, they couldn't have been older than 22. They were fumbling around in the car; looking for something I guess. The driver, who wasn't paying attention, suddenly realized that the light had turned green, exclaimed "Oh sh*t!", and slammed on the gas to get through.

The look of surprise on his face was priceless. You can't pay for moments like that.


Shortcut Unnecessary

Departure Time: 7:09
Arrival Time: 7:58
Weather as I call it: Cloudy with wet roads
Paper Guy: Hat, jacket, shades...you tell me why.
Shady Gas Price: $2.13
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


It rained a lot last night. I didn't have too much trouble navigating the slippery roads until Soldier's Field Road (SFR) right before the Harvard Sq. exit. All traffic came to a screeching halt.

As I was sitting there momentarily in the stuck traffic, I had this revelation: I can avoid this mess by taking the Harvard Sq. exit, go over the Lars Anderson bridge, and take a left onto Memorial Drive.

As I got into the right lane to take the exit, traffic started to move again. Instead of being a jackass and forcing my way back onto SFR, I took the exit...but instead of taking a right off the ramp...I went straight and took the downramp back on SFR.

There was an accident that had been cleaned up. State police was on the scene with their blue lights on and there were two cars on a flat bed truck all smashed up.

Be careful on those wet roads.


Nerves of Steel

Departure Time: 7:11
Arrival Time: 7:55
Weather as I call it: Filtered sunshine as they said on the news.
Paper Guy: Winter hat, shades, jacket. Man, I didn't think it was that cold this morning.
Shady Gas Price: $2.13 - Hanging with Mr. Cooper
Yelled at other drivers: No, but I wanted to.
Feared for my life: No


Allright. I had a tough time today.

1. There was some dude who was in a real rush today in my town. He was trying to pass me on a one lane road. When we arrived at a red light, he used the "right turn only" lane to pass me and a white school bus van. I kept my eye on him throughout my trip. For all of his speeding and iratic driving, I was constantly only two cars behind him. All that rushing for not much gain.

2. There were two Middlesex County Sherriff cars in East Cambridge that decided they wanted to be a caravan that could not be separated. I felt like I was close to being sideswiped. It looked like they were transporting somebody. The thing is, if they wanted to be official and break the rules of the road...they should have had their blue lights on....instead of muscling me out of merging into a lane.

3. Some aggressive drivers in pickup trucks on Storrow today. I saw many Ford emblems fixed upon large chrome grills in my rearview. When peeps tailgate, it doesn't make me want to go any faster....it makes me want to slam on my brakes.

You gotta be tough to keep your nerve in this place.


Burnt Peanut Butter

Weather as I call it: Mostly sunny and temps in the 50s
Paper Guy: Sweater. Big smile. Waving to the pick up truck in front of me
Shady Gas Price: $2.13
Yelled at other drivers: Ish
Feared for my life: No


When the light turns green, and the line of cars in front of you makes it through the intersection...don't hestitate. Don't slowly roll towards the line as if you are perambulating down some Vermont back road on some casual leaf peeping expedition.

Instead, trying gunning it.

I (and the guy in front of me) had to get ourselves around a small station wagon so we could make a light at Wellington Circle. We saw the green light was getting stale. We revved up our engines and passed her on the left as she rolled through the intersection. I think the light was still yellow when we passed her (at least that's the story I'm sticking to).

Let's try taking advantage of the opportunity green lights give us. The opportunity to GO!

As an aside, anybody else smell burnt peanut butter in East Cambridge today?

I did.


Calm Before Columbus Day Weekend

Departure Time: 7:19
Arrival Time: 8:05
Weather as I call it: Partly sunny...cool...50s
Paper Guy: Jacket and shades
Shady Gas Price: $2.13
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Fridays are a good day for the drive. I think a lot of peeps were making a 3 day weekend into a 4 day weekend.

Thanks for being off the roads. You didn't make me look like this guy:

Angry Driver

See you Tuesday.


Our Glass Friend

Departure Time: 7:08
Arrival Time: 8:02 -minus 5 minutes for gas fill-up
Weather as I call it: Mostly cloudy.
Paper Guy: Shades were back on...Jacket for cooler temps.
Shady Gas Price: $2.13
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


We had some rain last night. By morning, the clouds were breaking up and getting pushed off to sea. The sun shown through the slivers; silver sunbeams slicing through. The filtered light, from my vantage point ten miles away made the Hancock Tower seem incandescent.

Our tall glass beacon in Copley Square showing us the way, reflecting back at us.

30 years old and I can't imagine Boston without it.


Cheap Coffee at Dunkin' Donuts

Departure Time: 7:15 (second attempt)
Arrival Time: 8:04
Weather as I call it: Partly sunny...warmer...63 degrees.
Paper Guy: No shades...and he was having trouble with the sun.
Shady Gas Price: $2.13 (I knew this would happen)
Yelled at other drivers: Yeah-ish
Feared for my life: A little bit.


Rough start today. My first departure time was 7:06. After bringing the trash to the curb, I got in the car and took off. I was well on my way to work when I realized I forgot my lunch. I prepared a turkey sandwich with some reduced fat mayo and a slice of Processed American Cheese food on some organic whole wheat bread last night. This sandwich looked so good, I dreamt about it. I was 3 blocks away from my house when it finally dawned on me that I was without my dreamy sandwich.

I was at a crossroads. Do I turn back? Do I continue to work and when lunchtime rolls around I will go and buy some crappy Chicken Frontega SANDWICH??!?

Well, you already know what I did. I am happy with my choice.

Some dude in a box truck had a hard time staying in his lane. He almost ran over me. I had to beep my horn. I feared for my life.

Right before I walked into work...I went to Dunkin' Donuts. Hey, a medium coffee is only $0.49 ($0.51 with tax) at the Dunk today. I waited in the longest line evah to get mine. Normal wait time at DD is about 15 seconds. I was in line for 2 minutes. Sheesh.

Peeps were buying coffees 10 at a time. Crazy Dunkies.


Autumn in Boston

Departure Time: 7:10
Arrival Time: 7:59
Weather as I call it: Sunny...cooler...I still have not worn a jacket yet.
Paper Guy: Jacket and shades
Shady Gas Price: Holding steady at $2.15
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


The state police presence in Leverett Circle continues to be non-existent. Now, if drivers would realize you can in fact turn right on red without an officer waving you on...we would be rocking in the free world.

I wonder if there was a decision to pull the officers out of the area as of the 1st of October. If you know, let me know.

I can't think of anything that was out of the ordinary today. Volume was about right for a Tuesday. Traffic flowed, Paper Guy sold...Perfect autumn day in Boston.


State Police Directing Traffic in Leverett Circle--No More?

Departure Time: 7:12
Arrival Time: 7:54
Weather as I call it:Mostly Cloudy and 54 degrees
Paper Guy: Jacket and shades
Shady Gas Price: $2.15 but the station down the street has it at $2.13
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


If experience means anything, I have learned that Mondays tend to be the easiest commute day. I attribute this circumstance to either less people having to work on Mondays...or lots of people get a later start on Mondays. Not sure.

I have decided to compile the gas price/trip duration/weather data for 2006. I will make graphs. It will be awesome.

***News Bulletin***
There were no state police officers directing traffic in Leverett Circle today. Has this era in Boston traffic history come to a close?

I will let you know tomorrow.