Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
SACRAMENTO, La Riviera Dr. - The newspaper this morning was full of laments from people who commute from Sacramento to the Bay Area to work - a two-hour grind of a trip (each way) that usually features lots of traffic, more than a few pileups and overheated tempers.
As I write this, I'm sitting at my desk in my consulting office, 18 feet from where I rest my head every night. Admiral Fox is in in her office, too, though she has a longer commute, probably 40 feet and has two traverse two doorways.
How much is your time worth? In the same four hours that people spend in their cars getting to San Francisco, I can usually get my writing quota for the entire day done.
The only real commute I ever did was when I first joined the newsroom in Petaluma, Calif. I had to drive about 35 minutes each way, not a bad drive certainly, but I resented the cost of gasoline (30 cents a gallon!) and the wear and tear on my aged VW bus. It was the same bus that had carried me and my family across country years before. The great gas shortage of the mid 1970s ended that commute when I was forced to leave Napa.
The commute to the university is hardly tough, too. If I walk, it's about 30 minutes, driving it takes 10 - and five of that is walking from the parking lot up into my faculty office.
The photo with today's blog is of a fellow in a kayak heading down the American River right behind our condo. I've heard tales of people who commute by boat and even considered if I could do that in the fall.
But given that the American River flows at about 3 knots towards the university, I'll probably stick to getting the exercise of walking.