I work from a home-office. Being a telecommuter is great. And working for a company that provides the technology to make working from a home office easier is even better. I work for Microsoft and it has been wonderful — I use LiveMeeting for both internal and customer meetings, Office Communicator if I need to make a phone call to a co-worker who’s online and a VPN to connect to internal corporate resources.

Now, in our family we have the requisite two cars — a 2001 Honda Odyssey and a 1998 Nissan Maxima. The Odyssey is my wife’s car and mine is the Maxima. Since we moved to Maryland back in November of 2002 I have put about 31,000 miles on my Maxima (about 5500 miles per year). But, that number belies the actual nature of the mileage. In the past two years I have put fewer and fewer miles on my Maxima to the point that this year I expect to only put about 3500 to 4000 miles on the car (which is good because it doesn’t get the best gas mileage and I’m waiting to see the 09 Prius before I get another car). However, I did recently start using a new “car” — it’s my old mountain bike that I bought back in 1998 when we lived in Austin and I used to work for a company called DejaNews (you may have heard of them at one point — they later became Deja.com and then they were split in two — the news engine and archive was sold to Google and became Google Groups and the buying engine was sold to eBay and became Half.com).

I really like my new “car”…it’s got a rack on the back with two panniers, it gets great mileage, and it’s impact on the environment is minimal — just my breathing. I started riding it to synagogue in the morning (I leave the house about 30 minutes before services start as the ride is about 2 miles and takes me anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes depending on traffic and I want to have a few minutes to cool down before services start). When I started riding it to synagogue last week I got the funniest looks…here I come in to the synagogue with bike shorts on, a racing jersey (I used to bike race in USCF races when I was younger), and my old Shimano mountain bike shoes. The first day everyone was unsure what to make of me…that was a monday. I didn’t get an aliyah to the Torah because the gabbai said my bike shorts were inappropriate. So, on Tuesday (and for the rest of the week) I wore my winter tights. Still didn’t get an aliyah on Thursday though…I even noted it to the gabbai that I “wore my long pants” just in case. He shrugged. Others wondered what the Rabbi would say if he saw me (fortunately we start too early — around 6:15 AM — for his liking so he doesn’t come to our minyan). Maybe he would institute a dress code — I’m ready for that. As soon as the nine days are over I’m going to buy a pair of sweat pants to put over my legs when I get to synagogue — assuming that the winter tights don’t cut it. Either way, if he tells me that I’m not dressed appropriately then I’ll just say that I’m doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint. šŸ™‚

I’m very happy about my new “car”…and I plan on using it to take me to more and more places. Now I just need to get my old Tommasini Prestige back out of the basement and fix it up. That’ll be my “sports car” šŸ˜‰

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