Commute Helper

Found this post on a Personal Finance Advice blog about a guy who is a commute helper. What is that you ask? Well, he sits on the side of the road with a sign that reads “Traffic is Bad. Spend 2 hours or pay me $10 and get there in 20 minutes”. When someone picks him up, they qualify to ride in the HOV lane and they can then bypass all the traffic. When he gets to the destination, he simply goes out to the road and does it again to get a ride home. He does it 5-8 times a day and can clear $100-300 a day. Brilliant.

My Own Parking Spot

After waiting patiently for ten months, I have finally arrived. That’s right, I have finally gotten a parking spot at the transportation center in my town, where I pick up the bus to go to work every day. And while I won’t have my own personalized spot, I will be able to park in a lot far closer than where I park now. In addition to the benefit of being closer, it will also be cheaper on a monthly basis for me. Instead of paying $3/day to park my car, it will be $20/month or approximately $1/workday.

Bridge and Tunnel Support

Every day when I commute home from work, the bus I take drives past some apartments that overlook the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. Under one of the apartment windows is a “John Kerry for President” banner. At first, it was a pretty basic cardboard banner. But recently, they upgraded to a nylon type banner. And it seems that this apartment owner has been talking to their neighbors as now other apartments have election paraphernalia in and outside of their windows (all Kerry supporters). If Mr. Kerry is funding this effort, I do have to say that it is pretty impressive banner positioning. He gets a captive audience as they battle traffic into the Holland Tunnel.


On August 3rd, I started my new job at American Express at the HQ in NYC. Being that we are situated in East Brunswick, NJ at present, this means that I am now commuting into NYC on a daily basis. Overall, the commute is not that bad mainly because Suburban Transit has bus service to downtown Manhattan, saving a good 20-30 minutes off my commute since I don’t have to deal with Port Authority, and the Subway.

And in these short few weeks, my iPod has already paid for itself. It is a lifesaver for the commute as I just plug into my tunes and I am on my way. The biggest problem now is just finding the time to load up more songs!!

If you build it, he will come.

I have also been able to crank through the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (This is the book that the movie Field of Dreams is based on. If you are a fan of Field of Dreams, then I would highly recommend reading the book. Like any other book-to-movie story, the movie had to remove a ton of details and several characters that were pretty important to the original story). I am currently working on What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson. Not sure what books to take on next but I will figure that out in short order. Any suggestions?

Northern Virginia

I’ve been in Virginia for almost two weeks now and I have to say its good. The traffic is definitely heavy most of the time, and much of it is probably due to the vast amount of construction that is going on here. The one item that I am very concerned about is finding a decent neighborhood to live in. I drove up north of Route 7 to the Cascades and I was impressed by that area. It had the best neighborhood feel of any place that I have seen to date. All the houses were new and they all looked the same.