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John Klima
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:37 am:   

So, how was everyone's commute to work? Mine was long today, longer than normal, and I hope none of you were on the train in front of mine.

train1

To keep this relatively short, 10 people were treated for bumps and bruises (as of noon) and everyone else was just late for work. Apparently this is the same area of track where a head-on collision occurred in 1996.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:38 am:   

More images from the train derailment:

train02
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:38 am:   

train03
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:41 am:   

Last week, the Amtrak train in front of mine struck a trespasser and killed him. My train stopped just before the New Brunswick station. I couldn't figure out why they had stopped. I saw...well...I have to call them chunks of meat strew along the tracks. My brain wanted to say they were some sort of animal (there is a profusion of deer along the train line) but I knew that my conductor and an inspector would not be walking the length of the train, outside, if they had struck an animal. Our train was let through, but it was a nearly two-hour delay for most trains afterwards.

One of many reasons why commuting is not my favorite thing.

JK
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Mike S
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:21 am:   

Meanwhile, crime is down on the NYC subways and it's 20 minutes door-to-door for me to get to work... :-)
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 01:08 pm:   

Hey Mike! Did you make it to Readercon at all? I was late due to traffic. Sorry that I missed you if you were there!

JK
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Mike S
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 01:14 pm:   

Hey John! I missed you. I left at about 6, but I did get to meet (briefly) Mssrs. Chapman, Wexler, Barzak, Di Filippo, and Thomas.

I'm sure I'll see you around somewhere closer to home, though.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 01:57 pm:   

Took me four hours to get home on Monday. There was a brown-out in Philadelphia that caused no trains to leave NYC. So, I walked up to Port Authority to get on a bus. Since they are like, several million (literally) people who take trains to get home, now they were all trying to get on a bus. So, I had to wait until 7:30PM to get on a bus. Then, well, it's a bus. It's in traffic, it hits rush hour, stop lights, tunnels, tolls, etc. It's not fast. The good thing was that there was no bus that would take me to where my car was parked, and my wife has grad school on Mondays and Wednesdays, so she was not home to pick me up. So I took the bus to her school and went to the parking lot I thought her car would be in. It wasn't there. Fired up the cel phone. No one home. No one at her cel phone. Left messages at both places. Her class normally runs until 9PM, but sometimes it's early and sometimes it's late. It run late on Monday, and thankfully she checked her phone before she drove home. She came and picked me up (she had been in a lot closer to her class) and we went to the train station to get my car so we could go home. Very frustrating. However, NJ Transit is refunding all monthly passengers 15% of their ticket cost. At severl hundred $, this isn't a lot, but it's something. I'd prefer they keep the money and fix the problems, though.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 05:42 am:   

http://www.wnbc.com/traffic/2367508/detail.html

Grumble grumble grumble. At least when it occured my train was at a station last night so I could get off the train and have someone come pick me up. I was called by Mr. Minz later who was still stuck in Penn Station, and there were many people who were stuck on a train for HOURS.

JK
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 06:57 am:   

Man, this isn't boding well for my train trip to DC for World Fantasy, John...
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 07:01 am:   

You're coming from the south, though, right? All this stuff is happening between Philadelphia and NYC, which is made busier than any other sectino of track because of the NJ Transit (which I ride) that rent track from Amtrak. However, it is nearly always Amtrak trains that cause the delays. Since they own the tracks, the get precedence over anyone else on them.

Hopefully, by October, this crap is sorted out. I'm thinking of pushing for 'working from home' as being part of my contract renewal. This last seven months of train travel have been worse than my first four years of train travel combined.

JK
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 07:52 am:   

Bummer. Hope it gets straightened out.

See you at WFC. Have to figure out how to get to Baltimore from there to visit the kid. I'm sure somebody will know.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 09:06 am:   

John -- working from home sounds like the perfect answer. I've never understood, for my job at least, why I have to come to the office and sit in front of a computer when I could do the same damn thing at home! And not have to deal with co-workers! Everyone wins...!

Looking forward to WFC. I hope to meet you there, Ms. What. :-)
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:49 am:   

Just an update since Tuesday, Wednesday commuting went fine. No problems at all <knocks> and the trip was good this morning.

See, they lull you into submission with a couple good rides and then, BLAMM-O!

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 05:12 am:   

Wow.

Last night was...different.

Hope everyone is ok. I'll write more once I know everyone in NYC has power again.

JK
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 05:52 am:   

Yeah, that was awesome and worrying. It makes me wonder how such a thing can happen.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 07:35 am:   

Yeah, I think I got lucky connecting short trips to make my way home. Just spoke to Herr Minz from Tor and he spent the night in the Tor offices and was finally heading home this morning.

I'm working from home today, but with the New York office having no power, there's a limit to what I can get done.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 07:36 am:   

Here's the story of my trip:

Left work at 4:30, walked down 37 flights of stairs. Took about a half hour to get out of building. Walked from 46th St. and 6th Ave. to Port Authority to catch a bus and discovered Port Authority was closed. Walked to ferry station; you've no doubt seen images of the thousands of people standing and waiting for a ferry. I was in there. Got sick of standing in the heat with thousands of people, headed south. Walked from 42nd St. and 12th Ave. to 20th St. and 12th Ave. to Chelsea Piers. Found a local tour boat that was running people across the Hudson into Newport, NJ for gas money. (Thank you Chelsea Screamer!) Walked from Newport, NJ to Hoboken train station, maybe a few miles. At Hoboken, found a bus going to Newark Penn Station. Took that bus to Newark and discovered that some of the trains were running. Basically anything that came into Newark they turned around and sent directly back south. Got on a train and it took me to my regular station and I got in my car and drove home. We never lost power at my house. So my trip: foot, ferry, foot, bus, train, car.

JK
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RFW
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 10:13 am:   

What an ordeal. It's good you can stay home today (and have power).

Robert
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Laura Anne
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   

"Walked to ferry station; you've no doubt seen images of the thousands of people standing and waiting for a ferry. I was in there."

And I was downtown at the WFC pier, in the _other_ line of hundreds of people. Only we had a nice green park and ice cream vendors doing a 2-for-1 sale to keep us company.

When did you get to Hoboken? We probably passed in the masses (Peter came to pick me up, since we live relatively nearby).

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Laura Anne
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 02:34 pm:   

I should say that my "hundreds" is based on the people in front of us when we got there at around 6:00. By the time we loaded there were several hundred more behind us. I'll say this much for the ferry service, they kept things moveing. A ferry would arrive, load, and leave. Next ferry came. Repeat process.

We determined early on that whatever ferry came (Newport or Hoboken) we'd take. Fortunately, the Hoboken one arrived when we got to the head of the line, so I didn't have to do that walk, too.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:12 am:   

Sigh, and the beat goes on:

http://www.wnbc.com/traffic/3018013/detail.html

I must note that this particular incident this morning did not affect my commute, but there are many unfortunate people whose day was thrown into disarray by this. I feel for them.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:13 am:   

And here's some images from the aftermath:

train bumps
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:13 am:   

\image
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:14 am:   

OK, let's try that one again:

train
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:14 am:   

more:

train
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:15 am:   

And the last from me:

train
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Minz
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 07:32 am:   

Sondi & I walked right through this scene, coming out the doors in the second image about 30 minutes earlier. I sincerely hope those aren't the same two folks on stretchers that we saw (though I suppose that would mean they aren't seriously injured, just put on back boards with neck braces as a precaution).

There were over a dozen firetrucks and lots of personnel, though nobody was racing about. No panic, no urgency, which I took as a good thing. Because the little critter in the back of my brain instantaneously flashed a little "run for your frickin' life" moment that my rational side of the brain was able to quickly quash.

Life and times in the big city.

(And John, if you want any pointers on where some of the less obvious exits out of Penn might be, just in case you're there at a bad moment, let me know. I scouted out some of these long before 9/11, because the paranoid mind may be sick, but it's prepared.)
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 11:29 am:   

I was just doing a little math, and I figured out some disturbing things. On average (based on the average time I spend door to door getting to work: 1 hour 30 minutes), I will spend 32.5 days a year commuting to work.

At best (based on the quickest my trip ever is: 1 hour 15 minutes each way), I would spend 27 days.

And at worst (based on my worst times [not including the blackout etc.]: 2 hours each way) it's 43 days.

My last job (not in the city: 20 minutes) would have been 7 days, give or take.

That makes me sick.

JK
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 05:44 pm:   

John --

Since you ride the train, you can probably read regular books, but do you ever listen to audiobooks? They're great for making the commute productive.
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Ever-efficient Minz
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 09:56 am:   

Hey, you could both read a book _and_ listen to one, thereby doubling your output!
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 06:32 pm:   

Sounds like I need to read and kick some asses! :-)

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 06:36 pm:   

But seriously, I do read A LOT on the train. I even proofread on the train. But sometimes I sleep, and that's just as efficient in my eyes. (don't believe Minz for a second, as soon the train rocks once, he's out like a baby)

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:26 pm:   

Even with the fire knocking out the 'C' train and screwing up the 'A' and 'E' lines AND the weather making NJ Transit slower than normal, my commute is nothing like this:

wreckage

This is something I hope I never have to deal with. I hope some sort of normalcy can come to the lives of the people who were affected by this.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:26 pm:   

And a shot from above to truly show the scope of this:

aerial
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 06:45 am:   

Hey folks! Having trouble getting to work? Is your train ride faced with this:

fire!
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 06:46 am:   

Is your drive home stopped by things like this:

rubble

flintstone
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 06:48 am:   

My ride was like the first one. Here are a few more images:

burn

hot

But fortunately, I was home before the fire started. My commute in was about fifteen minutes later than normal, not too bad considering. And I slept through it, so it seemed like it took no time at all!

JK
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minz
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 07:29 am:   

Um, yeah, mine was like the first. I had gotten together with John Meaney last night, and ended up adding about three hours to my commute as a result of that fire, only to arrive at my train station around 2 in the morning and discover someone had stolen my bike.

Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug. KERSPLAT

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