Coffee on a Sunday Morning

Here its a Sunday morning. I usually start my mornings with some excellent French Press brewed coffee in the Bodum Chambord.

 

chambord

The chambord is a really nice coffee maker. I also started experimenting with different blends for the morning Joe. Been through some breakfast blends and some other stuff I wanted to try. Believe it or not, a good place to order fresh bean is Amazon. I got the Chambord and the grinder at Amazon too but the choice of fresh coffee beans is pretty nice. You can sign up for a single installment or get a monthly subscription. I normally buy 2 pound bags which last some amount of time. As the storage container starts running down, I start marking coffee in my wish list and then decide based on customer reviews and how it looks.

I admit to this last time buying my blend based on name primarily and then on some rather great reviews on Amazon. The way it works with the blend is you usually get the coffee in about three days so part of my planning is to account for that.

blackbeard

 

This is the morning driver now and I really like it! You can find it on Amazon quite easily and the flavor is rich without being bitter. It goes with the French Press quite well and I can sit, listen to the news, and enjoy the aroma and flavor of my 2.5 cups or so of French Press brew.

Grinding the beans produce that release of aroma of the bean that you get first. Getting the coffee beans ground elsewhere and you miss that release of aroma. There is also the daily duty of it all. I think combining all these things and the French Press ends up being the best cuppa you can get. The French Press does not keep the coffee warm enough long enough so I have a nice carafe that I pour into after pressing. To me, the daily grinding and drinking are not so difficult or time consuming. Consider about 20 seconds to grind, about 2 to 3 minutes to get boiling water, and then about 4 minutes to get the coffee into the carafe and ready!

It all results in my Sunday morning being more manageable and enjoyable. I’m so glad I started doing the french press thing! The adventure to trying new blends, getting the right French Press, settling on a electric burr grinder which produces the right grind which is the coarsest setting all combine to make my morning.

In Other News

Again was asked to cancel a week’s vacation I had planned. I really hate when they do this to me. They did it last year too which was quite depressing. I can work 60 hour weeks and it only takes them minutes to ask me to cancel. There’s something wrong with the whole thing. I kept on thinking if I only had XX dollars, I would just quit. I guess I am getting tired of working. Most of all working at the rate it goes now. The other bothersome thing is the sense of accomplishment which falters and often just disappears and leaves me feeling rather empty even after I see us do amazing things with little or no management support besides guys that show up when something goes wrong and are never there to congratulate us when things go right. Most of all I’m tired of working. I feel that this job has produced a sense of job anomie in me. It bothers me because I don’t know of a solution to this. I can’t get the feelings up any longer and that worries me.

I started looking at how I do things in my little corner of the android and chrome world. I bought the Nexus 9 with high hopes to have a innovative tablet with interesting hardware that would stretch the boundaries. What I got was a device I really stopped liking and just flashed new things on it to see if things got any better. This has not happened. What has happened is I have come convinced that we have no real tablet vision as a platform. There is nothing out there which stretches our boundaries. I think the Asus Chromebook Flip coming out in June may be something fun and funky. I could never do another iPad Air anything. That ecosystem and platform is also disappointing. I don’t spend almost $600.00 to rent something that I can’t make mine. So I’ve reached the point of considering that my Nexus 6 is THE device for me that crosses the boundaries. With its almost 6 inch screen, how responsive it is, how the 64gb memory is a sweet spot, how android wear just works on it. Its all a fantastic phone and tablet experience and it lets me have a single device. Traveling will mean using wifi on it or my chromebook or getting a sim card in other places. Simcards are so easy in most places! I went to Hanoi and called the front desk at the hotel and they had one waiting for me. In Singapore, a trip to 7/11 with my passport resulted in one with a data plan on it. In India, it helps to have a friend get one but going to just about any phone shop in Chennai will result in an airtel or other sim card. My tmobile Nexus 6 is truly unlocked at the sim level so its easy to pop one in and start using it. Perhaps it actually gets down to a single device down the road. Just a so-called phablet. Maybe the next thing for me is the Samsung Note 5. I could go for a 6 inch to 6.5 inch phone screen. I doubt I will do another Nexus and the reasons to root a thing are even less these days. It used to be to get a certain application on it but these days, its not really necessary. Root is nice; but not a requirement.

That’s all the news fit to print. Welcome to your Sunday if it is your Sunday. Enjoy your time. Go for a walk. See the sights. Treat yourself well. You deserve it.

Where Android Shines

I think there’s a sweet spot right now for Android and there’s a place where it does not really get there. The sweet spot to me is the Nexus 6 phone. It combines many of the best things of phone and tablet and should be looked at how people will get off tablets and get themselves to truly portable devices which combine screen size, attractive displays, communications abilities, and brute power. Where do the Android tablets fall down? I think it comes to a few things:

There is not a killer Android tablet out there right now. The Nexus 9 could have been but it lacks in key areas. The Nexus 7 is something that could have been IF Google did not do a Nexus 6 phablet form factor. Now the Nexus 7 is kind of unnecessary. The tablet landscape for Android seems kinda barren and at a crossroads these days. The OEMs seem lined up to take phones to the next landscape but where are tablets? I’ve seen the Dell but that has issues with the current OS on it but even after it gets Lollipop sweetness where does it go next? What are its killer approaches?

On the other hand, the Apple iPad Air 2 does have a spot and a following and its a killer by all functional areas. I don’t like it though. I don’t like its limitations and how Apple basically decides for us how we use it, what we do with it, how the apps interact. But you don’t see reports about back light bleed on Apple iPads or build quality issues. You see what I would call user frustrations. Why can’t we make Chrome and gmail the defaults? The apps are plenty good enough on IOS. Why can’t we sync pebble watches to Apple iPhones? Why are there so many “can’t” things? Very frustrating.

So, this leaves a person like me wanting something. A thing that bridges the gaps. Is this the new Microsoft slate? I looked at it and would go for it at the $500.00 level with a keyboard tossed in. I don’t particularly like Windows stuff but there are the desktop applications I’m used to and I understand its ecosystem pretty well. I’m tempted to just pre-order one and see if I like it or not.

On the other hand, I have the Nexus 6 and a more than average chromebook. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 fulfills and exceeds any use cases I have on a daily basis. Both of these things really fulfill the needs and the current crop of Android tablets don’t for whatever reasons. I won’t buy a iPad because I am more disappointed in them than the Android tablets.

What to do? Try out the MS Surface 3? I could like it and it could become something to take on trips, do evernote stuff, edit office documents. Install chrome on it and get google drive working. No big issues. Just install the things I want. But why? Well, one reason is because this stuff is fun and I have always liked trying new things to kind of vet the experience and get a sense of what they can do.

What do you think? Are we seeing the ebb of the whole tablet experience and the phones are growing to meet the demand? Do we need multiple connectivity devices with screen differences?

At this point, the Surface 3 looks cool to me. Guess I will cast about for awhile and decide if it would be fun to play around with. I don’t care about productivity needs. I have those things with the Nexus 6 and chromebook. This would be merely for fun and escape. I would always stream from a android device. The experience is much better. I do wonder how much the Surface 3 intrudes on the space I now have a chromebook for. I don’t need fancy office apps. I have a work laptop with those things that runs Windows. Come to think of it, there is no need. I have what I need.

But do I have what I want? :-)

The Walking Way

I’ve enjoyed walking for its own sake for some years now. I’m up to about 2 hours some days of primarily city walking. When I go on vacations, a lot of the time I go to see a city in a particular way. I’m interested in seeing whether its built for pedestrian tourism and if it is, how the streets and bikeways and trails combine to make for a memorable stay. I’ve found a number of cities which I think are pedestrian tourism friendly like Seattle, Sydney, Kyoto, Singapore, Tokyo, Eugene. I have a feeling that Portland is as well but have not done that trip. The other city that I think would be is Boston. I base this on walking groups, self-paced maps for different hikes around the city, historical sites, walking trails. There are probably thousands of cities which I will never get to which are as well. Each one has its particular distinction and its meme. It has its calling for someone like me. I liked reading a recent story by Jonas on hiking because it covers the why of things so well for the longer hikes.

There are so many reasons to walk and so many not to. Here are my reasons. Perhaps they all blend together into one.

I walk because I can do it. I cannot ride a bike well. Cannot run. Cannot jump out of airplanes or surf or hang glide. What I can do is walk. I can put one foot in front of other and not do it gain anything really at all from a sense of material or health or other gains. I do it because I love it and its meaningless and meaningful all at the same time. I do it because in my particular world, I see things clearly after an hour walking. I see a bird caressing a tree or a dog running to a fence almost accusing of me stealing the street extension to his property. I see a sky expecting rain and making those sounds or a evening demanding its color change. The red and yellows start swimming their strokes in the evening sky and my feet carry me to a place where I decide on a turn or a straight ahead. My music plays on and I sometimes pretend to be another person in another place or I remember being the same person in another place. I remember walking the streets of Kyoto with the precision of the blocks laid out and still getting lost. My feet getting tired after 7 hours of walking in Seattle and how good that evening beer happened to taste at the pizza place. Sometimes in Eugene I would come out on a walking trail that would lead up to the Willamette River pathway.

I would walk because I can walk and because there is no meaning to it and it creates no real meaning yet it drives me onward to other cities much like Jonas said in his story. I don’t do it to make a difference. I do it to be the difference. There is no meaningful thing I address when I walk. There is a indescribable thing I gain from the act of it. Hard to put into words but in each city I have walked a certain point in the day when I stopped and perhaps imbibed the iced coffee or Frappacino in a Starbucks. The world echoed by me and the young men and women of Seattle left their jobs and sashayed to perhaps a nite spot for the evening beer. The Tokyo day worker boarded the Metro Subway and went around in circles to his evening meal and maybe some beer. The young women in Kyoto rode by on their bicycles; horns bleating in a sad refrain.

Yet I would walk further. And each step I took was a new step even in a place I had walked before. One time in Tokyo I realized that I would never know what was on the next street and it was okay. I ended up in the Ginza at the Lion Beer Hall and realized with some gritty and giddy synapses from a long dead memory I had been there before. That connected me to a previous me.

Not all of us are made to be walkers I don’t think. Some need purpose and direction and perhaps need to strive for a weight loss or a muscle gain or some amount of cardiovascular exercise. Then there is me. The old me who is busy reinventing. Each day I walk is something new and the steps form the the life I have. I can stop to think and think to stop or I can just let it all go and let the music play or let the silence unfold and see that same bird that teases the leaf on the ground. The same squirrel who madly dashes to a new tree right in front of me. The sky colors that show me that the world is so much bigger than puny little me but it lets me see the moments of its wonder.

For the walking I am thankful. For the cities that unfolded to me and let me taste their beauty, I appreciate the memories and the photo’s on my Google Plus photostream of the times spent. Thanks to Jonas for writing as well. Never has the act of simply putting one foot in front of the other meant more and less to me.

Here and there on a Friday

My last post delved into the whole work thing. I had hoped to be considered seriously for a new position with new money and responsibilities. Company B decided to fill the role internally only after about a month of back and forth. Company C first was quite interested but then told me that a project manager must not have certain abilities that they themselves disagreed on. One of the interviewers said “looking for a person with technical qualifications but not only technical qualifications”. The second interviewer said “looking for a person with business analyst qualification and some technical qualifications”. What makes company C think that a project manager does not enjoy relating with business and application owners? I think its one of the primary joys of life. Getting out of those dusty cobwebs of project planning and scheduling and working with technical and non-technical owners was and is a great thing in my life. Gathering business and technology requirements, putting those into requirements and scoping, building the risks and change, mutual agreement on execution. Acceptance. All the steps to making a thing a thing. Company C did not strike me as being particularly switched on with what they think are the primary types of people. Hiring project managers is not though. They want a thing called a migration analyst with a mix of business and technical abilities but neither could agree on what the mix was. How much of this and that. I figure I wasted an hour and then figured out I’m better off at IBM. I work at home in PJs all the fooking day long. I can stop when I want. I’m spoiled. I have a great team even though sometimes they piss me off but now I know that’s normal. Or as normal as I am. That is not much BTW.

Nexus Plexus

The Nexus program seems to be not understood by the current crop of users out there. I remember when I started with the Nexus One. What a grand group of adventurers, flashers, rooters, and users. Combined with developers that wanted to stress the phone and the OS. Not a bunch of whiners who refuse to learn to flash a thing and complain about no OTA. Geez guys. Learn how to abuse your phones and tablets. Its highly unlikely you will brick your devices. If you do, use any ole factory image and get something back and then try again. Here is my menu of the first things to do with a Nexus device:

  1. Boot and turn on developer settings.
  2. Turn on USB Debugging.
  3. Get ADB working (on linux, this takes a minute)
  4. Boot to the bootloader and do a fastboot oem-unlock (erases everything)
  5. Now boot again and reset the developer settings and USB Debugging
  6. Use ADB to boot to the bootloader
  7. Flash the TWRP Custom Recovery
  8. Boot to TWRP and adb push the superSU zip
  9. Now reboot and install the root apps you need. Seriously look at Titanium Backup and Flashify on the store or take the nice restore option first and then do the root apps. Your choice.

After you get the goodness done, grab any ole factory images for the device. Current does not matter. You only need to recover from moments of stupidity. The Nexus Plexus is meant for moments of stupidity. Now go play for heaven’s sake. Go learn, break, fix, flash things that make the phone go bonkers.

To me, that’s what the program is all about. Its about crazy AOSP after-market ROMs and flashing them all again. ┬áIf you are sitting there waiting for something from Google, good luck with that. This ain’t a commercial program. This is the Nexus. Its a toy, a platform. Ever used Linux? Its like that. It never closes. If you like Linux you will understand the Nexus platform. If you don’t; buy a Samsung for heaven’s sake and go off and wait for OTAs to arrive.

I’m there to have fun and cause breaks and fix and flash and have fun with the things. The last serious thing is that these are not serious devices. They are developer platforms. Meant to be twisted and broken and reflashed.

Now go off and be a good Nexus boy or girl.

Its work and play

There really can be no mixing them and lately at work; its been more of the work thing and less play. I work too many hours in a day and have less time to unwind, do things I like to do, see my daughter and son. I’ve asked the question before about the whole work satisfaction thing and how we go through the phases. But I think many folks feel that work has taken over their lives and the travel, the fun, the exploration, the walking trips I like to do take a seat way behind the work requirements. I’m getting tired of that and I’m getting tired of having to hear from customers its still not enough. I’ve given a lot of thought to happiness lately because none of us have an unlimited amount of time on this earth. If we spend the lion’s share of the time unhappy or going through any of the phases from a failed relationship, a personal loss of a friend or pet, or whatever thing which makes us go through all those horrible phases; we know that they take over our lives and become the real reason we do everything.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the vast majority of people really are not worthy of consideration. They really are not worthy of me wasting time on or trying to find something of value in. They really have nothing to trade and friendships are not a one way street where you give and give and the other person takes and takes. Its a bartering thing. Each person has to give a thing and receive a thing and each party has to find a thing of value. Lost relationships I have seen have lost that trend. We go through the motions and never really understand. Its socially expected that we do a thing, act a way, respond a way.

I’m tired of all that. I think its time to make a basic change. I joked with a friend at work I’d like to be a life guard at a pool or do something so completely different that the challenge would be there again. The fulfillment and happiness and joy and sense of accomplishment. All of that is missing in technology for me. Its like a gritty survival dystopia where we are plotted against the machine and it simply does not care. I cannot live that way.

At some point, perhaps after this vacation in May, I’m gonna make a basic change and do a longer vacation. I’m going to take off for a month I think for some time on the road here. Work will always be around when I want it. Right now I don’t know what the work is that I want.

I imagine it will come back to me but I need the sense of the road beneath my feet and more miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost was right.

A few days with the Moto 360 Toy

The big Apple Watch day has come and gone and they have sold kazillions of them to all the Apple wearable community folks out there. I bought the Moto 360 on sale at Amazon though. Why? Why buy something that has already been outsold after one day of selling of the new apple gear? I can hear the question reverberating across the halls. Well, there are reasons. Like I don’t own no apple gear so what would I sync the watch to? I do own android gear so I can sync to my Nexus 6 pretty easily. Here’s some thoughts about the whole wearable thing from a rank newbie.

  1. Its pretty cool after learning I had to charge it past 91% to get the Lollipop update on it which made it much nicer all told. Delivering watch faces is fun and you can design your own, find some sites out there are compilations of them, and then use the site with an app like facer from the play store to build, send, share.
  2. I thought I would not like a big thing on my wrist. I was wrong. Its big and dark and colorful and reminds me of the play music I’m up to when walking, sync’s my endomondo information, does the call and SMS reminder things. It lets me do a bunch of stuff without actually reaching for the Nexus 6. That’s coolness and it means information is more readily available. Probably it also means you have to work harder at going “off the grid”. Used to be a watch was just that. Something you watched. You did not interact and receive anything besides time and alarms and stuff like that. Now you get more of a two-way thing going. That is good and bad depending on whether you want to be connected most of the time. I like the ever-present and omnipotent Google Now except for the times it creepifies me. Even then though, I really respect having maps, walking, music, stuff available to check on.
  3. There is a battery in these things and the battery can go fast. You may want to remember that. Its meant I believe to be charged every day but the times away from the charger are what counts for me. You don’t need to hump around a charger wherever you go. This is a connected companion device. Just remember what that means and you have to accept the idea of it before plopping down the money. That means the battery and the constant “on-ness” are the the things you want or desire. The beauty about the watch and the battery is that there is “off-ness” too. You can simply remove it and its done with you.

Finally, there is whether the platform is a success by numbers alone. People with android devices most likely will buy android wear or pebble watches. People with apple gear may buy apple watches or pebble gear. What do people with Blackberries do? How about windows phones? Not sure what happens there. I don’t think I would want either of those ecosystems though. There is a common thread though. Pebble watches. They work with both. I actually was a backer of the Pebble Time so I will get one of those as well and get it sync’ing my stuff and enjoying the supposed legendary battery life of a week almost.

Choice is good and I’ve felt since 2009 that Android in the end wins at a few levels because of choice. Apple perhaps maintains a status quo but as more and more people get connected and want cheaper options to stay that way; iPhones do not seem the viable path when compared with cheap android devices. My vision and dream is extending what android phones can do for education, medical support, ranching, farming, and growing. We have barely scratched the surface and I remember feeling that way in Chennai holding my first HTC Magic phone and feeling its tug. We have gained so much with Linux and open source. Its fuels how we do e-business, health, space travel, and perhaps one day even more. In 2009, living in Chennai it was merely a whisper almost so faint as not to be heard; but I prognosticated that the phones running android would persevere mainly because of choice. I think people by nature want open walls and fences and do not like closed gardens where choice is limited. There are those, in the millions that buy the apple watch gear. Good for them. Its what they want and it fits their ecosystem. I like the open nature of the ecosystem on Android more. There is room for us all out there. Like Google says “be together; not the same”.

Yeah baby. Off walking I go with the 360 and my forever learning how it all fits together.

Meet the New Gig… Same as the Old Gig

I’ve been thinking a lot about work lately. Wondering what it is I expect from it other than the paycheck which is nice. What do we all expect from it? Some folks have told me that there is a thrill and enjoyment to it when all the factors come together. Their lives are all in jive and all their indicators are pointing in the same direction with the same declination. How many of us are like that though I wonder. Doing Project Management, I’ve come away with a few things after so many years of the doing of it.

Its enjoyable and I get a sense of accomplishment as I turn the pages of the plan and see the teams coalesce into a single unit that delivers the required solution but goes an extra step out of pure joy. I worked for stupid company doing professional services consulting in Palo Alto and was told time and again to simply “delight the customer”. At the same time, when one of our consulting groups did not do that the sales executive and I were expected to bail them out. This happened more than once. But the company said what a delightful and fulfilling place. Blah, blah, blah. We could not wait to leave. So we did leave. I got little sense of the first pole of existence there. No markers to a team fulfilling its destiny. Just a bunch of people voicing their common desire to find joy but delivering much less. Perhaps it was just me though and my expectation at doing professional services consulting.

Its fulfilling part of the time but the rest I suffer. There is some percent of time when I get a sense of accomplishment (this is not joy) but the rest of the time its marginal and I do it those times to get the money. I’ve done this a few times. The pay was good. The job sucked. The job was good. The pay sucked. Nothing has ever come close to being the joy I felt at doing archeology in the field with like-minded scientists. We crossed over this marker many times. Somehow in IT though the arrow points at the suffering part more than the fulfillment part. We somehow think we can just change jobs or contracting companies and it all will come back. Bad news. It does not. The current job will always suck and the last one is a faint memory and the next one rules.

Its merely survival and I could be a lifeguard at a county pool. When I reach this exciting zenith; I wonder why the hell I am doing what I am doing. It comes down to money. Money is the root of all evil but we need those roots. Lets face it. When we operate at this level, we really would prostitute ourselves. Become whores of the company. Take the $$ and run. Anyone care to speculate where this falls on your work spectrum in IT? Being a whore means perhaps an expectation of an orgasm at some point unless you just fake it all. The problem is that the job orgasm is soon over and you’re left with the other condition which takes most of the time.

Those are the things which I believe rules in IT. Perhaps our ride is across all three things and we never have time to adjust. When did I last enjoy the first thing? Probably at a startup I was with so many years ago. Life shadows this. Divorce comes along and it touches almost all the factors of life. It makes work, friendships, colleagues at work, home life, relationships at whatever level all suspect. Just like work. The divorce pole operates to take me down, sideways, then up again.

I need a vacation.

Migrating to Chrome (books/boxes) One User at a Time

Sometimes its not the major educational or other institutions which carve out the niche and use cases. Its more of a single user at a time that we can get to the platform and ecosystem with rational explanations. Its not about cost only and that’s why the cheapo Microsoft laptops will ultimately fail because simply “undercutting” does not battle the value proposition of the chrome devices. I believe the real value is in a few areas which will prove out with competition and the disruptive value that the OS has:

  1. The virus free proposition. For users like my friend Free, a user of the Apple OS and iMacs and whatever else Apple; its not running AntiVirus or Malware applications which suck up precious use times. This is a common use case I think and a value people really want that are not techno geek lords. Free is just a user type guy. He wants a device to browse the web, watch YouTubes, pay online bills.
  2. The synchronicity proposition. Who says that you have to initialize each and every device you happen to get? This use case syncs the applications, data, bookmarks, even wallpaper between multiple devices without an issue. Buy a new device? Get the apps you have already installed on one over to the new one by simply booting and logging in.
  3. The system update proposition. What does a user like Free want? Updates to just flow with no real issues. This works out so very well on chromebooks. People just take the whole process for granted and the updates flow. For a non tech geek lord user, the update process should be a given.

Important Propositions

The cloud proposition. If you are going to go to Chromebooks, use a cloud provider to store things even if you use things off the network. Don’t lose the cherished photographs, files, mp3s, whatever. Sign up and use one. I use Google Drive. Use Google+ for photos and Google Play Music for music files. This takes out the worry and heart/head aches with a failing hard drive in a more traditional use where everything is stored on the local drive and at the worst possible moment will fail.

The use proposition. Be sure to weigh in what you expect to use the device for. The worst thing for us habilis is to have a tool which does not work for a reason or two. You cannot proselytize a device which simply does not meet expectations and then walk away from that non tech geek user with no explanation. Everyone out there is not like you. They don’t know rsync from ssh. Be a good friend and tell the the truth.

The support proposition. I’ve found this one more than a few times in our shared home. I’m kinda looked at as the defacto network, tech support, and hardware technician. People have all kinds of devices and I cannot support them all nor do I really care to. Be comfortable for what you sign yourself up for. Chrome devices are easier to support I think because of the value propositions above. Non technical users I feel will find a browser-centric environment okay if that’s what they want to do. If what they want is to browse the web, watch videos, do online banking, then their use cases fit. If they want to run photoshop or heavy monolithic applications; its probably time for a gut check reality session.

Final Expositions

Chromebooks are not being sold because they are cheap only although that could be a reason. There are value propositions which will mean they are sold in ever-increasing numbers even with cheapo windows laptops. The cheapo windows laptop is still a windows laptop after all. It still has the same foibles and curses and pluses and advantages but I believe the core issue is the core OS. My value propositions which make a chrome device win out can be done to a Windows system but it takes WORK. And its still a monolithic device.

Choose well. I did. My Toshiba Chromebook 2 is all I could ask and even more. But I know what I have asked it to do for me. If you are helping a friend be sure that you understand both systems. Don’t be a friend that steers a friend to a place where he cannot use the tools completely.

Sharing a House enables Insanity

I’ve lived in the same house with a rotating group of room-mates now for over a year. Its been as Charles Dickens could say “the best and worst of times”. Living with a bunch of people has a few drawbacks and a few positives. Never have I seen in my years such a collection of characters that have tromped in and out of this place. Some I think should have been given away to a state run institution way before they ever graced the doorstep of this place. Others have come and gone with eviction notices pinned to their doors.

Free and I are the only two left with any history of this place. Both of us here over a year now and its been a strange period of time. At the best of times, I have this bubble where I can escape to on a given Friday night. Drink my quantity of beer and not delve into the darker times. I am able to just get as drunk as I want to get without really concerning myself with the inner workings of the house. Other times, these distinct personalities emerge like characters in some shoddy fiction. Here abstracted for your enjoyment is a list.

Person 1. I have a slight case of bi-polarity but I am medicated so I can deal with society and its demands. I am doing much better now than before. I have things under control.

Person 2. I am a veteran. I lived in Tokyo and studied. I go to Thailand every year. I study eastern religions. I meditate every day. I actually am most likely crazy and I will call the police at the least notice and blame another person for stealing statues and pouring energy drink all over some briefcase or satchel. Other than that, I’m completely okay and will never bother anyone.

This is a cross-section of a piece of society which is out there. We almost had a Person 3 who really had some issues but luckily for us we stopped there and did not move forward with him. We almost had a Person 4 who made weird statements about the room.

I don’t know who else shares a house with others out there. This is the stuff that novels are made of folks. I’ll let you get on with Friday now. My plans are to eat the great food my house mate and buddy Free makes. Then drink copious amounts of beer. Then try to forget things after I go for a nice long walk this evening. The walk is important today. I want 2 hours out.

Upcoming travel

I will probably be taking off in a few weeks on a week long vacation and road trip. The plan at this point is to drive north of San Francisco along Highway One and see that part of the coast. I don’t remember seeing it before but I think my ex-wife and I did the drive and its locked away in some dusty synapses that don’t link properly any longer.

Surf-Driving-Map

I want to take my time and stop at a few of the smaller places for days if possible so I would do a longer in time drive and stop more frequently with less miles accumulated. One place I would stop for a few nights is Gualala which is not on the map. There’s a hotel there which looks to be the place for a few nights. The SeaCliff Motel looks stunning and I could imagine kicking back with a wood fire, some beverages, and just staring at the compelling land and sea scapes.

Its a few hour drive for me from the East Bay so I would most likely leave early on a Saturday morning in a Enterprise Rental Car and get there first. I could see spending two nights at the SeaCliff and doing absolutely nothing.

After the stop in Gualala, I’d start driving north again. My next stop could be in Fort Bragg up the coast a bit and I think the Surf Motel would be a likely candidate for a stop.

The idea with the drive is to go south to north along the Highway One route with no big hurry ups and no amount of miles to do. I may stop inbetween Gualala and Fort Bragg as well. I read a few sites about the drive north. Both offer a slow view of the drive. The first one spells out a longer drive which I would not do this time in the interests of seeing as much as I can. Budget Travel offers a nice view of the daily escapades of such a drive. Finally, one can never go wrong with reading up on the wikipedia for the entire route.

The best thing to me is to do this with no preconceived mileage ideas or travel times and just go until I say stop. I don’t want to tackle too much and then feel rushed at the end.

Coming back will most likely be along Highway 101 but I may swing over to Chico and see my friend Ed at the tail end of the trip. I’ll post some more about what is coming up that would make this trip possible. At this point, revelations may come this Friday. Still waiting to hear.