Pondering the Commute

I remember one of my first arguments on commutes. It was with my college roommate when we decided to move out of the dorms and off campus. She wanted to be closer to her boyfriend (later husband but no matter) over in one of the big student dominated apartment complexes on the butt end of the undeveloped part of campus. I wanted to be close enough to campus to roll out of bed 15-20 minutes before class. I won and we got a 2 bedroom across the street from the active part of campus.
I believe then as I do now in living as close as you can to the place you have to drag yourself to most often. But in the 8 years I’ve lived at my house in Shaw, I’ve had three different duty stations, and I think I live as reasonably close to them. The commutes have ranged from 1 hour to 20 minutes, Old Town Alexandria to College Park, MD. I picked my neighborhood based on the idea that I would seek employment at certain agencies or places based on my profession. Nearby bus lines could directly take me to the Library of Congress, or Catholic U or Georgetown should any of those places have openings, and for a while a friend was strongly encouraging me to apply at the LC. My current employer the Bureau of Fight Club has locations along the green and yellow line so my current location really works for me, particularly when given cross department assignments. And my boyfriend who works up in College Park has been pondering some “what ifs”, including his commute should it come to his relocating to the house. I sort of win in this scenario because he’s a renter.
However when chatting with others, I’ve been lucky. Job changes or conditions may create a need for a car when the job moves or you’re reassigned to say Dulles from Alexandria. In two income households I’ve known one partner who may work in the outer regions may start looking for something closer in. Of course there are people who hate the city and won’t move in for love or money or even a better commute.

Ten Days of Truxtun- In the Navy

Day 7, in March of 1794 Congress decided grudgingly to support a Navy. The idea was 6 ships would be built, they would address the attacks from the Algiers on American ships, and once that’s done disband and go back to being a shiny new nation. Well that was the idea. Tom Truxtun agreed to be one of the 6 captains of this American navy which limited his income. He would make more money as a merchant seaman than as a captain in the navy. Each captain was in charge of overseeing the building of his ship and Truxtun chose Baltimore for his ship. Unfortunately there was a huge problem with finding suitable live oak, needed to build the type of ship needed, which created delays and it didn’t help that peace was achieved with the Algerians. In 1796 the US Navy was in danger of being dismantled, per the act of Congress that commission it, but was saved with the Navy bill signed by George Washington April 20, 1796.
Besides getting the Constellation built, Truxtun’s other great contribution to the Navy was creating a system of organization. The initial idea of the Navy was there would be 6 ships, six captains, and they would operate independently of each other. The nation was loathe to use signals and other customs from the Royal Navy, so Truxtun wrote a book in 1797 Instructions, Signals, and Explanations, Ordered for the United States Fleet. He stressed learning and the study of the naval arts in a profession that wasn’t known for it’s love of reading, or scientific study.