This morning, I’m on a train to Milwaukee and catching up on Tweets and Blogs and a whole mess of interesting development arcana. Just yesterday, I was feeling frustrated by a short week with a bunch of travel for work thrown in. In particular, I was once again feeling pangs of guilt over not keeping my promise to myself to keep this blog going and my writing skills practiced.

As I was looking for the holes in my universe that are keeping me from reading more, writing more, learning more and generally just getting shit done, it’s hard to find anything that I would be willing to trade up on.

Over the last two years, I’ve been commuting on two wheels. The 2-stroke fumes and satisfying buzz of my Stella’s engine have become a daily ritual that is occasionally tedious, sometimes frightening, but mostly pretty damn cool. I’ve found close to the perfect route to and from the office, and have got to a point where I’m comfortable riding rain or shine. The only real downside of all this is that I’m now short an hour and a half of reading or more each day. The benefits of spending 8 hours a week on the CTA trains and buses are probably pretty obvious to anyone who lives in Chicago.

For a ravenous, speedy reader like myself, that 8 hours easily represents a pile of blog articles and O’reilly book or two and probably at least one 800 page science fiction novel.

On the train today, I’ve already ready a couple great articles from the Ajaxian Twitter feed and the NPR API documentation @xak posted a link to this morning. This gets me thinking that I’ve got to find a better balance. Work is for the most part non-negotiable, Wife and daughter time are definitely non-negotiable. Gym time is flexible, but tough enough to stay consistent on as it is. That pretty much leaves the commute. Ugh. I think next week, I’ll start an experimental 2 day a week train commute and see just how much I can get done, and how miserable the train experience makes me.

Those of you who are in my Facebook circle that have missed my CTA bitching status updates can look forward to a return to form on my part.