There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Friday, February 1, 2008

A one year blogversary

Friday, February 2, 2007
A Regional Transit diary: Day 1

I've decided to start a second blog in order to write about my latest self-improvement project.

I've decided to leave my car at home and use RT to get around. I have a bus stop less than 50 yards from my front porch and my employer offers half-price monthly passes. The gas saved by parking one of the family cars should more than cover the monthly pass. And I'll have all that commute time to spend catching up on my reading.

Why do this?

My New Year's resolution was to walk every day, and I've been doing it every week day and most weekend days. Since there are four Starbucks within a half-hour walk from my office, I've got the entire midtown grid to wander about.

With my walking resolution success it occurred to me that I didn't need to drive. My son is now in high school, and I no longer have to drop everything and ferry him around. I also have been wanting to do more reading, but finding I'm unable to set the time aside. Since my workday runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., I don't have to compete with the morning crush of commuters.


I'm looking forward to the challenge of focusing on the benefits of riding transit and letting go of the concept that time is money and every second that isn't productive is somehow wasted.
That was then. This is now. And while it hasn't been a perfect year, it has been workable and at times even enjoyable.

Best of all, I was able to read 39 books while riding to and from work on the bus.
George Crile's "Charlie Wilson's War" (Jan. 27)
Joseph Cummins' "Anything for a Vote" (Jan. 8)
Bill Boyarsky's "Big Daddy" (Dec. 30)
Valerie Plame Wilson's "Fair Game" (Dec. 16)
Bob Drogin's "Curveball" (Dan. 7)
Marcus Luttrell's "Lone Survivor" (Nov. 29)
William Burg's "Sacramento's Streetcars" (Nov. 22)
David Halberstam's "Coldest Winter" (Nov. 19)
Terry Jones' "Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic" (Oct. 23)
William Burg's "Sacramento's Southside Park" (Oct. 16)
Kirsten Holmstedt's "Band of Sisters" (Oct. 12)
Paul Dickson's "Sputnik" (Sept. 28)
Seymour Hersh's "The Dark Side of Camelot" (Sept. 19)
Robert "Diesel" Kroese's "Antisocial Commentary" (Sept. 5)
Mariane Pearl's "A Mighty Heart" (Aug. 26)
Barbara W. Tuchman's "Bible and Sword" (Aug. 16)
Philip Caputo's "Means of Escape" (Aug. 3)
J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (July 26)
P.D. James' "The Children of Men" (July 19)
Genichiro Takahashi's "Sayonara, Gangsters" (July 17)
Walter Isaacson's "Einstein" (July 8)
Ethan Rarick's "California Rising" (June 21)
Richard Brautigan's "So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away" (June 10)
Richard Brautigan's "The Abortion" (June 6)
Richard Brautigan's "Revenge of the Lawn" (June 4)
R. Harris Smith, "OSS" (May 30)
Richard Brautigan's "In Watermelon Sugar" (May 19)
Richard Brautigan's "The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster" (May 17)
Richard Brautigan's "Trout Fishing in America" (May 17)
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.'s "The Crisis of the Old Order" (May 13)
Ishmael Beah's "A Long Way Gone" (April 30)
Rick Newman and Don Shepperd's "Bury Us Upside Down" (April 22)
Keith Lowell Jensen's "Oh Holy Day" (April 5)
Joe Mathews' "The People's Machine" (April 5)
George Black's "No Other Choice" (March 19)
Eva Rutland's "When We Were Colored" (March 4)
John Barron's "Breaking the Ring" (Feb. 28)
Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" (Feb. 24)
John Le Carre's "The Mission Song" (Feb. 8)


Jon Q. RT Driver said...

Happy Anniversary John, I have really enjoyed your blog this past year.

Also, I think you qualify one rung above "Rookie" Commuter, whatever that is.

John said...

I think I need at least another year before I can step up to journeyman commuter. The first year everything is new; the second year adds some perspective. If I make it to a third year, then I think I'll qualify as journeyman.

Even on the bad days, I don't see myself going back to driving. I save way too much money not driving, and I really enjoy reading so many books. Without the bus ride, which compels me to read, I wouldn't be able to find the time, no matter how much less time it took to get to and from work.

wburg said...

Congratulations on a year of riding and reading! I'm honored to have made your list twice--assuming I make my deadline I'll be providing more reading material by year's end.