October 29, 2008: Commuting from Peekskill

23 Days to Baby Day! (36 Weeks and Five Days Pregnant)

2 Work Days Left for Dominica.

One of the greatest feelings ever is waking up for the first time in your new home.  For us it was this morning even though we have actually owned the house for an entire week already.   Having four people staying in the house on our first night really highlighted just how much larger this house is than our apartment.  Everyone had more space last night than Dominica and I have alone in the Eleven80 apartment.  Having four people in the house was no problem at all – even with there only being a single shower ready for use.

Getting up this morning at the new house was great.  There was space to move around and, possibly my favourite feature, carpeting everywhere.  I am so used to the floor hurting my feet constantly.  Now I remember how nice it was in Geneseo with all of that carpeting.

Now that we have moved into the master bedroom we really have a feel for how much larger this room is than our bedroom at Eleven80.  The closet is huge in comarison (although not nearly as large as the closet that we had in Geneseo.)   We are talking about putting in a dresser yet, an armchair for reading and, once we have the funds available, a large LCD.  We loved having a large monitor in our bedroom at Eleven80 and don’t want to do without that again.  That is just so handy.  We are thinking that we will have a big 1080p monitor attached to a Mac Mini running Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) that comes out this winter and an XBOX 360.  That will give us movies, Internet and gaming from bed.  It will be our escape option.

Dominica called the clinic today and asked if there was any way that they could see her today even though yesterday they had said that they were full up.  They managed to squeeze her in around lunch which was really important as she already had today off and was in town.  Any other day and it would be a pretty major problem either because she would have to leave work and drive a significant amount or because it would be so long without seeing her midwife.  That was a major stress reliever for her.  We were really concerned after she had to cancel her appointment yesterday.

This morning was my time to experiment with Metro North between Peekskill and Manhattan.  I have read about the trains but have not had a chance to go to the station yet and don’t really know how ticket purchasing or anything else works so I am looking forward to finding out and being confident about riding the train.  Dominica drove me down to the train station and waited for me to get my ticket and to be sure that I knew what I was doing before she left me.  She said that it was a lot like dropping off a kid on their first day of kindergarten.

Using the Peekskill Metro North station was actually very, very easy and tomorrow it will be even easier as I learned a few little tricks today.  The ticket machines there are very simple and there is a ton of information posted all around.  You just need to go to the correct platform (north bound or south bound) and you just purchase a ticket by credit card.  Very easy.  The train comes roughly every half hour.

I caught the express which stops at Croton-on-Hudson and then zips all of the way to Manhattan going along the beautiful Hudson River waterfront the entire way.  The train ride is great.  Very comfortable and easy.  The time did not seem to be much longer than the ride from Newark to Summit when I am not on the Express.  The time is about 53 – 56 minutes on this stretch of the train from Peekskill to Grand Central Terminal.  I am going to be able to do a lot of reading.

The transfer from the Metro North Hudson line to the NY Subway 4 & 5 line was very easy.  I was worried that that would be confusing and difficult or, at the very least, require going outside but it did not at all.  The 4 & 5 connect inside of GCT so I just had to follow the signs from one to the other.  Very easy.  I was lucky enough to catch the Express 4 which took me down to the Wall Street Station pretty quickly.  Faster than I had anticipated.

The Wall Street Station for the 4 & 5 is actually at the head of Wall on Broadway near Trinity Church and the Borders at 100 Broadway.  So from there I still have to walk the length of Wall Street to get to the office but that really is not all that far.  It is very handy that the Express goes to the three stations about which I care: Grand Central/42nd, Wall Street and Bowling Green (in case I am coming or going from the gym and/or meeting Katie.)  That probably shaves five to ten minutes off of the commute time.

Dominica messaged me this morning around eleven thirty to tell me that the Internet access from Optimum Online (Cablevision) had been hooked up at the new house!  That was a major fear that something would go wrong with the hookup and that we would be isolated out there.  Without Internet access we have no phones or anything and I can’t work in the evenings, work from home or work on the weekends.  It would be awful if we were stuck without access for any length of time as last night proved.

Today for lunch I met up with some friends from work who are taking a class in Manhattan from Red Hat.  They came down and met two of us from the Wall Street office down on Stone and we all got pizza at Adrienne’s.  It is much cheaper to eat there than a lot of places in downtown.

Andy and I did a bit of work all morning to get things working again in the data center. We have been without email or IM for almost an entire day which is just awful.  I managed to get everything prepped for the services to come back on but it was almost one thirty before Andy actually got a hold of someone a the data center and made them power the server back up physically.  What a pain!  We have to be thankful, though, as this was not a total disaster and just a matter for turning things back on.  No data was lost or anything like that.

I found out today that another friend from the office is joining the gym where I go now.  Once Katie manages to join we will have four of us going to the gym more or less together.  That will really make it that much easier to always have someone with whom to go.  Much better motivation than going alone all of the time.  Dan is planning to go at lunch.  Katie, I think, is leaning towards lunch.  Suraj is going to do after hours.  I will have to do a mix of the two.

I ordered some games for the Playstation 3 today from Amazon which should arrive on Friday.  Dad is hoping to be able to mount the Westinghouse 32″ LCD in the living room above the fireplace either Friday night or Saturday morning.  Once that is mounted we will have the PS3 hooked to it as our BluRay player, streaming Internet player and video game console.  Temporarily it will be our main entertainment console unit along with the AppleTV.  So I ordered Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivions – Game of the Year Edition and Assassin’s Creed.  I was going to wait to get Assassin’s Creed on the XBOX 360 as that is supposed to be the better version but there are so few games that I want for the PS3 compared to the 360 that there seems to be some value in spreading them out and the PS3 version is just $19.99 new from Amazon so it seemed worth it.  That and it is something that we can use right away instead of waiting months on the 360.  There are so many things that I want for the 360 (five games at the very least) that it seems wise to just get this for the PS3.  I am thinking about Ridge Racer 7 and Gran Tourismo 5: Prologue for the PS3 yet.  We will see if I can find them inexpensively.  When the price comes down I will probably try Eternal Sonata as well.  That looks awesome.

I also ordered Heroes Season Two on BluRay.  It will be the first show of any sort that we own on BD.  We have been looking to see what movies we want to own but so far there is almost nothing on BD about which we really care.  Coming out really soon is the new Batman movie and the new Narnia movie Prince Caspian which, of course, we will be getting, but other than that we don’t really want very much.  I am hopeful that The Sound of Music will be out in BD pretty soon.

Dominica went to GameStop today and found Folklore used for the PS3 and bought that for herself.  We don’t know the game but there is nothing that Dominica knows that she wants for the PS3 and she wanted some game to call her own so she looked around and decided to give Folklore a try.

My day was fairly busy all day today.  Mostly caused by me trying to play catchup since I was out of the office yesterday.  Hundreds of emails backed up that I had to sort through to make sure that I was not needed.  I wasn’t exactly swamped, just busy.  I tried to leave the office a little on the early side so that I could ride the subway with Katie (it is literally just like one block farther to meet her at Bowling Green rather than taking the Wall Street subway stop) but she could not stay late and fifteen minutes before we were ready to leave I got stuck on a surprise conference call that ended up lasting quite a long time.  So my entire evening was spent on a conference call that wasn’t on my schedule.

Because Dominica was able to get into her appointment today and because the Internet access was hooked up successfully we decided that we could stay in Peekskill again tonight (that and we just really want to stay there rather than to go to our completely empty apartment in Newark.)  So tonight I will be trying the train ride on Metro North in reverse for the first time as well.

The conference call ended up going on for so long that I had to let my family go to dinner without me.  So much with visiting with the family.  At least Dominica got to spend some time with them.  I took the opportunity to catch up on my RIT classwork since I was stuck in the office so late.

Tomorrow we have no choice but to be at Eleven80.  I have to leave the office early to go let the maid service in to clean the apartment and will be stuck working from Dominica’s laptop on the floor until the end of the day.  Then we have to get every last thing in the apartment packed up into the car so that we can take it all to Peekskill.  This might be tough since so much of what needs to travel is plants.  We may easily be forced to get a load in the evening and then another load on Friday morning.  Not sure yet how we are going to move all of those plants logistically.  That might be a pretty serious problem.  Might need some special trips which is not what we need at this point but at least we are down to the very end of this type of stuff.

I have our move-out inspection scheduled for first thing Friday morning.  Dominica will head off to work on Friday then I will do the inspection with the resident manager of Eleven80 and then head to work myself.  Should be quick and easy.

We’ve decided that we have to skip, as you can see here, the Eleven80 halloween party on Thursday night.  It just isn’t possible for us to do that.  We didn’t really realize just how swamped we were going to be with the move this late in the game.  We were a bit overly optimistic.  It is very sad since Oreo has a custom pirate costume that his grandmother made him to show off at the party.  He is still going to wear the costume and go to the halloween party at Doggie Paradise on Friday but we had hoped that he would get to wear the costume twice.

To add to our confusion with so much stuff to schedule over the next several days we are now trying to figure out how Dominica and I can get out to Elmira, New York for her Papa’s funeral which we expect to be a week from Saturday.  We really want to be able to go but are not sure if she can safely go being that pregnant.  She will be 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant at that point which is 8 days past the full term mark and into the highly volatile “baby any day” period.  We are going to just have to play that by ear.  The weather will also be a significant factor.

My conference call ended up lasting for more than three hours!  What a long day.  Eight o’clock when I finally had a chance to walk out of the office on Wall Street.  It will be a race to make it uptown to Grand Central in time to catch the 8:29 train to Peekskill which is due to arrive at 9:23.  Hopefully I make the train or it will be long after ten when I get back into town.

I am posting early as I leave the office as I know that I will not have time to write after I get back to the house.  Dominica has to be up very early tomorrow, probably around five thirty in the morning.  She has to drive all of the way down to Wallington with Oreo to get him to daycare then back to Totowa to get to work then back to pick him up and home to Newark to the bare and empty apartment.  She is going to be exhausted.  Then we might have to make an additional run.  I am going to see if Oreo can just stay with dad and aunt Sharon during the day.  That will save time and money.

One good thing to come out of everything is that Dominica, being an actual employee and not a true consultant, gets three bereavement days from work.  That is important as we attempt to maneuver her driving, working, holidays, disability, etc.

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