Each commute to and from home or work is different from every other. Weather and light conditions vary. Different things happen. Sometimes intersections get clogged and traffic backs up in front of you, other days the flow is smooth as a river but your parking ramp is full and you have to wait to get in until another car leaves.
One day you recognize most of the other people on your bus, the next day they're all strangers. Once in awhile, for the heck of it, you choose a different route to follow on your bicycle. Such day-to-day differences in your commute tend to be most noticeable when you're on foot. In 20 years of navigating the same basic corridor, I can't remember a better illustration of this than the study in contrasts I encountered one recent morning.
Early in the stroll, I observed a distant eastbound cross-country skier traversing snow-covered Lake Monona a short distance off its north shore, between Yahara Place and Olbrich Park, toward a narrow pressure crack that had appeared in the ice, as documented in the video clip that follows.
At that point, a westbound Wisconsin & Southern engine approaching the intersection of Blair, Williamson and Wilson streets with John Nolen Drive. "Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance," Paul Simon sings on his great but often overlooked 1983 album, Hearts and Bones. No mention of consensus regarding the sound of a cross-country skier in the distance or of a train in close proximity -- but the latter is mighty loud, as demonstrated in this brief video below.
By virtue of the contrast between the train in close proximity and the quiet skier in the distance, this proved to be an even more different commute than usual.