I woke up at 4:30 am after waking up at 1:30, 2:30, and 3 am--for the 5:35 train to NYC for a few meetings. Let's just say I was pretty tired when I went into the cold bathroom to shave and shower.
Hopped in the car, drove to the station (which is walking distance but I'm simply not ready for 22 degrees yet!) and parked.
Up the stairs, hit the ticket machine, and hey--it's sold out. Really. In fact all morning trains to NY were sold out.
I had the chance to prepay online, but I simply didn't want to fill out the form, and had never been blocked from a train before.
Back in the 90's we were able to catch a flight easily--just walk straight to the gate after the relatively light security, buy a ticket and hop on board. Seats were generally available, and flights on the West Coast were relatively affordable.
I take certain things as granted. Bridges won't collapse. Trains run on time and seats are always available. Cheap long-term airport parking is available. Open wifi is always available.
Alas, how wrong one can be :)