A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Commuting Under the Weather

I've been under the weather for the past week or so, dealing with a hearty case of acute bronchitis. Blogging and most everything else have been sidelined for over a week. It's been mindless daytime television and a steady cough from the couch since the weekend before the Inauguration. My prescription has been lots of Tussin DM and water, as well as a daily dose of Levaquin.

BTW, does anyone go to the doctor anymore? It is routine now for me to call my doctor's office and get a "diagnosis" and Rx from the receptionist. I make sure I get in for the occasional checkup, but I can't tell you the last time I visited the doctor when I was actually sick.

I headed back to work on Monday after four sick days last week. It's never what you'd call a pleasant commute, given that it takes about an hour and a half each way into the Big Apple. But when you're getting over a bug and you have to stand on a cold platform and wrestle with the hoardes of commuters, it can be harrowing. I survived courtesy of my new iPod and some extra warm clothes. It's been in the low 20's, and that hasn't helped.

Yesterday I woke up to three inches of snow on the ground, so I wanted to curl back in bed. I called the office -- twice -- to see if they might offer a delayed opening, but no such luck. They have their own 800 number to see if things are operating normally or if the gods are granting some sort of reprieve. To be fair, when it comes to closing the office due to snow, it's tough to be an employer in New York City. Your employees live in Philadelphia, Stroudsburg, Bridgeport, Toms River, and Port Jefferson. Pick two employees and their weather circumstances will be different. But I can't be reasonable this week -- I'm feeling icky.

I took my time and left for work after the rush. But it wasn't smooth sailing. When I got to the Garden State Parkway, I ended up in a caravan of cars following half a dozen snow plows moving slowly towards the Raritan River bridge. They were talking bad weather on the radio, but it's all a matter of perspective and where you live.

When I got on the bridge, the snow turned to heavy rain. You see, anyone who's lived here very long will tell you the Raritan is some sort of weather dividing line. If it is snowing south of the river, it will be raining on the other side of the bridge. If it is steely gray skies in Woodbridge, it may be sunny and warm in Old Bridge. Rain wouldn't have been so bad if I had thought to bring an umbrella. It's been 22 degrees and the lake is frozen behind my house, so the umbrella is in the closet. So I guess my recuperation suffered a bit of a setback due to how wet I got that day.

I stayed home today to host the Cablevision installer. Yes, I've cast out the Verizon FIOS equipment after only a short but decisively negative trial. I can't say the Cablevision DVR is any better -- it is worse -- but I expect the tv signal will be better and the Internet service will be three times faster. I've switched back to my Linksys wireless-G router, which gives my wife and daughter a much better wireless signal than the absolutely awful Verizon router. I was personally at wit's end over the loss of two or three words in tv shows about every half hour. And the picture would break up. What's with that, Verizon? J D Power and Associates obviously never asked me about FIOS.

While I was home today I canceled my Asbury Park Press subscription, too. Why not pile on? We have had a new delivery person since December and service has been abysmal. If you have a newspaper tube mounted in front of your house, can't you expect the newspaper in the tube? Is that too much to ask? We've been retrieving the paper from snowy curbsides and from puddles in the depths of our yard. Those papers go right into recycling. We tried a couple of times to get the issue resolved, but alas the delivery person is stubborn. We tried a vacation stop for a few weeks, figuring to have a time out and give it another chance, but the papers kept showing up anyway. APP is history, at least for now. You'd think they'd be trying extra hard to keep customers. You'd think.

We went to Best Buy then had a nice dinner at Chili's Restaurant in Holmdel this evening. It's sad to see the old Romano's Macaroni Grill dark next door. Here's hoping they bring something fresh and exciting into that spot.


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