Thursday, September 13, 2007

Traffic Report

I live about ten miles from where I work, which gives me a little commute each day. When there isn't much traffic on the roads, it takes about 25 minutes to get to work. When there IS traffic (everyday it seems, now that school has started), it takes about 35-45 minutes to get to work each day. (Going home takes longer.) Luckily, I am able to carpool half the time, so that, at least, cuts down on my gas consumption.

Tuesday, L and I gave ourselves about 45 minutes to get to work. Plenty of time. About 2/3 of the way there, because we were making good time, we stopped for coffee. We were out in and out of the Starbucks in 5 minutes. We were about ten minutes from the library, and we had fifteen minutes until it opened. Still plenty of time. Until we ran into a huge bottleneck half a mile down the road, in which we sat for about ten minutes crawling along at a snail's pace, thus causing us to be a couple minutes late for work.

So, yesterday (that would be Wednesday), we decided to give ourselves a little more time and left for work 55 minutes before we needed to be there. A great idea. We made it about ten minutes down the road before we ran into another traffic jam. At first we figured that it was just a little road work, which has happened before, and that in a half a mile it would all open back up again.

But it didn't. Instead of opening back up, it got even tighter. It turns out there was a huge accident. We were detoured from a six-lane highway to a two-lane back road. For about forty minutes, we went absolutely nowhere. L was driving (she has a hybrid, thankfully), and when we looked at her energy consumption (one of the many cool things about a Prius is that you can do this), we realized that the car had not used any energy for about five minutes while we sat, completely still, on the road. Our fifteen minute grace period we had given ourselves disappeared, so that for the second time, we were late for work. This time, by about fifteen minutes. And to exacerbate the whole situation, we had two programs happening yesterday morning, made more complicated by the fact that three of us (another coworker comes from the same direction and got stuck in the same jam) were all late.

Life would be so much easier if we didn't have to go anywhere.

On the other hand, when you are spending 40 minutes sitting in a traffic jam, and someone else happens to be driving (please don't do this when YOU are driving), you can get about two inches of knitting done on when working with 115 stitches on size 7 needles.

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