Wandering Ways – The Nomad in all of us

I’ve met only a few people in my so many years that do not have wanderlust. My friend Free seems to not have this. He’s good with living in a mobile home in Oregon and not tasting the exotic flavors of a life on the road or even on a road trip. I won’t pretend to understand how someone cannot wonder what’s around the next corner or be happy with a current thing. I admit to forever thinking when driving to or from work what it will be like next year when I hit the road. When my final constraints are loosened and work is a thing of the past. How will it be to wake up on a day in Osaka Japan waiting for the Ferry Boat to take me to Shanghai or on the train from Singapore to Chiang Mai Thailand. What will the wanderlust be like when I am wandering rather than thinking about it? I wandered some before for work and was able to spend months in India at a time. Treasured moments. Chennai is a frenetic, wonderful, strange place with people like none I have ever met. Being a nomad there was a wonderous and ever-changing feeling. I managed to log hundreds of thousands of air miles in some years and now I have sufficient miles on United to do what I want when I’m ready. No real costs for the long haul flights when I’m ready. That’s nice for the hobo in my soul.

The more basic part of this wandering is not the destination though. Its the getting there. When I rode Amtrak north to Portland and Eugene and even south to Santa Barbara; it was the movement that thrilled me. The destination was good but I wanted the being neither here or there. I remember sitting in the Changi Airport in Singapore feeling the same way. I sat eating a toasted bagel with egg and cheese and perhaps sausage thinking that at that moment, no one knew where I was and I did not have to explain my actions in a failing domestic environment to a spouse that was content to just leave. I did not have another person clamoring to know what I would do for them. How can it be that its so bad to have live to another’s expectations? That whole thing is contrary to the wanderlust. It ties a person down to a thing which is not even good. We are put here for a number of years, with a number of successes and failures, expectations and realities and we doom ourselves to a life of staying put. Like my friend Free. Lets just buy the big TVs and stereos and the furniture and carpeting and porch upgrades. Its all good. Its good for him and that’s fine. Its not good for me. Nothing about it is a thing I would do. I would rather have a limited income in Georgetown Penang and wander the streets, subways, and trains on the search for a thing than sit in a place and everything is known and figured.

Perhaps that’s the greatest thing I see when we do not live and only exist. Our current thing is never perfect or even close. We are not cosmic star things. We ar chained down to carpet upgrades and new storage shed roofs and our spirits are chipped away and pretty soon the things we wanted bear no resemblance to what we got. I think it all comes about when we try to make another person happy, when we try to live to another’s expectations. When we go no further than the tip of our noses. Somehow our moments become less.

We need the wanderlust. We are from hunter gatherer stock. Wanderers and nomads that traveled their worlds and learned how to interact. I watch my friend and I’m sad. I wonder whatever happened to him. How did he get to the place he is at now from what he was? We will never know because the wanderlust and nomad has left his soul.

Its sad. Its like a life that moved to a different drummer once that just stopped. Just because we get old is no excuse to become a fuddy duddy. We all can move forth and experiment and have dreams and see that life is not the next step but the next thousand.

Go forth and be a wanderer and don’t settle for another’s expectations of you. You know and you will always know. No one can fit inside you and no one can know your feelings. Be that wanderer with the figurative atlatl and kit. Never settle.

Hitting the Virtual Road from Starbucks

I go through a virtual exercise on Sundays quite a bit. Run a few errands. Get this or that done which is needed for the next week. Start considering the virtual road I would want to walk. I know the trail I would want to wander and the places to stop. I also know I may never get to those places and some other place may move in. I am downsizing my technology investments considerably and will end up next weekend with a single chromebook and will haul all kinds of stuff away to the recycler including furniture, an older TV, some lamps. Its all in the Mike Master Plan to slim my physical stuff down by next year to a single device I can use on the road. The device, most likely a chromebook, will do:

  • Wireless. That’s a given pretty much. Wireless is a standard in airports, hotels, coffee shops. It lets me have access to my cloudy environments like Google Drive and One Drive if I need.
  • Storage and Memory. I can see this changing with the Play Store on Chromebooks. Gone are the times that 2gb of memory and 16gb of storage suffices. We need devices with touch screens with 4gb of memory and 128gb of storage. They will soon be here but I bet the prices will remain low. We could use simply pluggin in an SD card and using that as well. I mean why not? What is really stopping the OS from us the SD card as storage allocated to the core?
  • Battery Life, Weight and Size. I require a chromebook which is small, light, has a decent keyboard, and battery life must be around 9 hours to make it work. I should be able to travel through airports, bus depots, train stations, and never worry about running out. The laptop must be small in weight too. I want something under 2 lbs.
  • Wireless Calling. I want to be able to make regular landline calls on the chromebook. I have a few choices now. Skype works and so does Google Voice. I’ll decide on one next year. Either will work.
  • Able to adapt different requirements and be replaced easily. This basically disallows Windows laptops. Its too hard to re-download all the apps and reinstall. I want a thing which remembers things and gives me the apps back. Like a chromebook does. If I “stupid out” and drop or lose or have the chromebook stolen, I want a replacement in minutes. I don’t want calls to activation and support centers. I want to walk into Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara and get a new thing.
  • Portability and Use Cases. Most of all I only want one device. I don’t want a phone. What’s the point in a phone if I have skype or Google Voice?

There you have it! A recipe for someone to hit the road and not worry about two devices and cables and plugs and adapters. The trip is not supposed to be about 110 to 240. Its about me and the world. I will have months but my infrastructure should last years and be ultimately simple to replace.

Thinking through Job Satisfaction and Accomplishment

The blog is primarily a self reflection and has never been really more. I keep it public because the writing of the life of Mike is rather cathartic at times and no one is forced to navigate their browser to this little corner of the web. I know the place and keep the door open instead of installing a privacy plugin which would not let anyone read my pitter-patter. Perhaps I think that you find some vicarious indulgence in reading about this Mike’s life. Perhaps you know from a previous endeavor and you visit once in awhile to see what’s going on. Maybe you want to leave spam but Akismet decides you are not worthy. So many conditions and possibilities for the blog. However, this one post is about something else. Something that has hounded me and perhaps you have felt this. You can read or leave now and no hard feelings.

When did work become so little of joy and so much of staying the course? I wonder this a few times as my days dwindle down doing IT Project Management. Some switch was thrown at some point and the whole joy of doing things, solving complex problems, proposing solutions which mitigated risk was replaced with the grim work of doing it to get paid. Is that its all supposed to be about? I am not sure. We seem to have that “quiet desperation” that Thoreau described so eloquently. Our work lives are quietly desperate and I wonder how many of us have home lives that are too. Is this just the sentence of unfulfilled conditions? I watch my friend Free valiantly go through his life in Salem. What motivates him I wonder? After a life of knowing other people its come to me that I don’t understand and really don’t like most of them. I’ve had friends, colleagues, a wife. Each one could have an “ex” in front of it which signifies a change. Friends become non-friends and stop being on LinkedIn or Facebook. They simply stop. Colleagues seem to fade away and the phone hardly rings from them. Its like there is a statute of limitations and I have crossed over it. In my smaller room on a Saturday night one might think pervading loneliness would strike me. Truth is I am happy. I was not happy from 2009 to 2014. That is 5 years. You ever been unhappy for that long?

I felt completely overwhelmed at home and the work thing seemed to be just a round robin of jobs which gave me money but no fun or gave me fun but less money or finally meant only grim survival and no joyful accomplishment. Here is where we get to the kernel of it all. That magnificent boot loader of feelings. We need to get joy and a sense of accomplishment from things. Yet IT does not do that. IT is a willful God demanding and demented in its requirements and frigid and inflexible in its priorities. Many have fallen by the wayside and found another thing. I am getting close to that. I could do another 6 months of this work and say good bye to it. It means a lot less than ever before. I would want another year of work for the money but why not do something that would give me a sense of happiness. I think sometimes handing out carts at Walmart would be more pleasant. Seeing the ebb and flow of people buying their goods and wants and needs would be better than demanding IT Gods that require more to be given than what a person has.

But the pervading sense of doom and hopelessness is all encompassing in what it does to me. I get no joy from a thing done any longer and I begin to hate the very thing that gives me the check every two weeks. I lose whatever little feelings I have for the God called IT and start hating what it has done to people. Friends have crashed and burned. Others have left it behind.

So here I am on this threshold. I could have but 5 months left to do this job before I would find something for a year to bring some sense of joy and pleasure. Save that money I will save but have a thing to do which is less or perhaps different. Maybe an outside job doing a thing which requires no skills with Visio and PowerPoint and Project. Maybe it requires a skill doing other things. Maybe it means I could feel the wind on my face and the sun kissing my skin.

I have much to consider on this final walk. IT is not a good thing. It pays but it does not benefit. I must solve this and find a thing which maybe does not pay so much but does benefit. Money is not the only benefit. Joy and fun and accomplishment of a thing I want back. I have lost those things and want to find them. They seem to have dissipated in the rush to define risks and mitigations, scopes and requirements generations.

Come back to me. I need the other things. I lost a great deal in 2009 to 2014 and I gained some of it back. Now I want some more.

Fiddling with Privacy

Finally, I fiddled with site privacy here. I thought about marking this blog as private. But what is gained by that. Its not private. My life may be but the blog was never meant to be. Its always a reflection in a pond of a life that spirals around seeking itself. I’m glad not so many readers come here. It makes it easier to write and let things sit in my little corner of the web.

Another Day; another PM

So its another day on the project which seems to have so many heads and tails and parts and pieces that its hard to keep up. I feel sometimes like these data center move projects have lives of their own. They are like dependency beasts; complex with moving parts that you know and some you don’t that suddenly rear their heads and tilt at you and dare you to solve the problem. There are constraints and risks and mitigations and you do X and then Y happens. Perhaps its a thing I truly enjoy if there is a good partner. Unfortunately, we don’t have a really good partner. I won’t mention names but I was there before and I never remember them being so disorganized and truly bad at delivering and executing as these guys are. We perhaps are not so organized either but at least when a thing needs doing we can assemble the right team. Its a true PM role this is where I lead the team to complete tasks but with this partner its more like we lead but where do they come in? They don’t follow and when they do they lose track of a few tenets like customer service, support, partnerships, values. Some days its escalation city and other days I get really frustrated because I feel like they should know better. When I did the work for company X we did. We would have never done a thing like they do; namely half-assed. Our chief architect would have had our scalps for supper if we lived that way. We lost system admins, architects, and others that acted that way. He would basically untether them and off they went to some other account or some other opportunity. 

Here we seem to be running at the windmills and just when we get close someone picks up the wand and shakes it and sprinkles magic pixie dust and suddenly nothing looks like it did. I wish I understood it better. It just seems stupid and its not a way to get things done.

In the mood for beer…

Yes its Friday AKA beer time. Time to shake off that pixie dust and find some drunken meaning to life that I will lose tomorrow. I’ve been giving thought to next year a lot. I pay off a debt soon and I could change careers for a year. Do something else where I simply go each day and come home at night and not make decisions and do things which I wonder about but yet do because I have to. Maybe I’m a resource at work or they will let me go when this is done. I don’t know. It feels like they will ask me to stay. You should never go by feelings when it comes to contracting. 

I won’t worry until around end of August and then I will have to start looking for another thing if they don’t commit to keeping me. Its painful for me because I really like the place and I could stay for another year and truly be done with work. Around September 2017 I will be done. I’ll leave for other shores and adventure forth here and there. When I get back after months (hopefully several), I think nothing will be the same here. I won’t own a ton of stuff and I’ll have some money in my account from saving. I’ll look around and perhaps catch the Amtrak across this good ole country. I would want that trip to last as long as I could. I don’t have a set of things to do but whatever things I end up I don’t want to be here doing them. I hate the bay area with a passion. Another thing I settled with because the ex-wife had to be here. 

So I’ll drink tonight and see what comes of it. I walked for almost 2 hours and the Google Fit said I did 5 miles. I felt that special peaceful expressive state like the feet and mind and music all combine to make me into a Mike of the next order.

That’s good BTW.

What its like to run Android on Chrome

There’s something liberating about seeing Android apps running on a laptop system. Its early on but the applications I’ve tried have worked pretty well. Here is what it looks like on this app. This is the Android WordPress app captured while writing the blog post.

Pretty cool, eh? The play store runs like you think it should and its icon shows up when you move to the dev channel on the R11, Flip or Pixel 2015.

And there’s the play store running on my Chromebook R11. Don’t believe me? Here’s the whole screen with some fancy art work background courtesy of a Chrome app.

You can see the chrome shelf running below the play store. Notifications all work as well. 

So its pretty cool but as you can expect with early developer things its not all perfect. I’ve read with some humor people bemoaning this or that not working. Folks. Chill out! The software model does not work like this. We need to test out what it does, its successes and failures, provide input. It will take months! This is something new.

So what’s it like using it? Its fun! When the last time you had fun on a computer? Chromebooks with android are fun. Do the apps run like you might want? No. They look different on a bigger screen and some work better on the Acer R11 in tablet form factor. Flipboard definitely does. Clicking with a track pad still needs some work. Scrolling in some apps is easier with the use of a finger. Some apps just don’t work well like OneNote.

And that’s all to be expected. This is not some fully baked thing yet folks. Its early and they gave us a view of how a thing might work when they use containers and full virtual Android systems. Things like screen views, full screen, some interactions with how an app can be clicked in; all require changes.

Stay tuned and I’ll try to update the blog with my adventures in using Android on Chrome!

The Traveler’s Sojourn and a train missed is one not taken

Years ago it seems I was a traveler in the air. I flew every three months to Asia one place or another. A flight caught to Vietnam, Japan, China, Singapore, India, Australia. I’ve been to Korea and Thailand, Guam, and others. But so many places I want to get to either for the first time or again. I want to visit Thailand and Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos. I want to visit Incredible India again because my soul is pained without seeing my second native place. Its like India offers this gift for me and I have not been able to unwrap it for awhile. Then there is Japan. The length and breadth of Japan invites me and my soul hungers for the place, the food, the beer, the people. Riding the rails, watching the day workers blend with those of the night in the red light district in Tokyo. Rappongi where the lights glare and the admitter offers a show. But my feet carry me clear of that. 

Singapore where the food hawkers offer a taste of a thing and to do what the Singaporeans like. Sit outside on a night and drink beer, eat food, and talk. Perhaps watch the evening settle down like a warm blanket studded with those mysterious galactic lights.

So many places gone and not gone and so many places that deserve more visits. Tokyo always deserves another visit because the street over from the one I walked that day in 2010 has another set of delights and puzzles and small shops and people nodding or smiling and laughing. The kindly businessmen who saw me to the subway station and the policeman who got me back to the hotel because I was wanting to be lost and I succeeded.

Then there are the trains. The trains here and there not taken. That train trip across this country that I almost did once in 2010. I had to go back to India and take care of a thing or two and I never got that trip back. I imagine Dennis the person I met last time on the train and his trip north and then east. Enjoying the moments on the train. The not arriving. The not being here or there.

Its the train we missed that puzzles us the most. What is there on it? What does the whistle sound like pulling into Reno, Denver, Chicago, Boston? Do the conductors and engineers get tired of that continental divide? I cannot imagine that being the case. It seems to me that great journey is like the virtual super highway. Amtrak provides the medium and the travelers the continuity and the story. We all miss trains out of choice or chance and we shall not know what that trip was like ever. We can do the trip one day and see what the train uncovers when we lunch together in a flight of anonymity and then suddenly we all find a thing in common and share. On my trip to Portland that happened. I found a set of 2 hour friends that talked the world but then we broke apart and each went out way.

And that’s the way the sojourn is and the train that calls us to other shores. We’ll miss that train but hopefully another pulls into a station in the future that we ride withour bags packed and our imaginations not left behind. 

I wait patiently for that trip and the one to Asia where every next thing is not the same as I imagined. Its the sojourn of the person who wants the travel yet cannot seem to yet reach the far shore. I’ll wait though and bide my time. The train whistles still blow as I sit in my room and wonder. 

More of the Weekend — News and Views and More on a Sunday

Now its Sunday morning and I’m doing laundry. I wake up early on Sundays and get a few of the chores done to prepare for work the rest of the week. I tend to not blog about things going on in the world or US because a lot of them are disheartening and sobering. Does not mean they do not occupy thoughts and emotions. I just choose to not blog about them here. The shootings in Dallas and around the US point out to me a fundamental flaw in how we deal with things. We resort to gun violence. We did this way back when when everyone packed iron. It seems to be a universal answer to a thing. Its a damned shame that we resort to this kind of thing. I don’t have an answer and I don’t know the question any longer. Do we have the right to carry these guns around? Does it matter if they are loaded or not? Can someone standing 10 feet away that makes a human decision know if your open carry rights include ammo? I don’t know how. I don’t like guns and I don’t like bullets. The two things combined take a piece of metal and plastic and wood and turn them dangerous. Take away one and people cannot be shot but this supposedly violates rights. I don’t know the answer.

Now on to more easily blogged targets for my Sunday post. We’re living in a time with technology where less is more. We want to carry a single device to do a multitude of things. We have these 2 in 1 devices like the Surface and others which seek to cross over. I’m typing this on the Surface Pro 3 now because there is a lot of it I like. It is a crossover device. For me, its a tablet with a pen/stylus and a laptop that I can use. The Asus Chromebook Flip will become that as the Play Store matures on the devices. Why do we want a single device? Just a year ago, I carried an iPad Air 2 which I either hated or liked depending on what I was doing and what I needed. Nothing has changed there. You can “remove” core apps but you cannot replace them with the app you want. I cannot use gmail as my default app, cannot use google calendar or another calendar that does google as my default, cannot use google maps as my default. Its useless to me without that level of customization and I’ll never dip my oar in the lake again. To earn my $$, let me own the devices and make my choices to what I want as defaults. I don’t need Apple’s help to decide. I’ve grown up dudes.

Its also Sunday morning here in my techno device heaven and one of the things I enjoy early on is watching TV news on a weekend. I don’t have cable so I use an Over the Air Antenna which gives me free TV channels that are transmitted over the air. These are digital and HD channels but sometimes things get strange and signals come and go. That’s okay for free! I also have a richer streaming lifestyle with a Roku 3 player. People have said,

you are google boy. you should use a chromecast

There is a reason for no chromecast and for a roku.  The reason is choice. I do not get a native amazon prime video player nor is there Acorn or History Vault or a few other channels I subscribe to. The device with the best choice for me is the Roku. If you run to the chromecast or a fire TV or stick, good on ya! Its about choice and use and being a habilis in the world of today.

One choice which was not a real choice was losing Comcast TV when I moved almost a year ago. I could not have comcast TV in my new world. I don’t pay for internet either though so there are tradeoffs. My landlord often did not pay the bills at the last place so I constantly wondered if we would have electricity, trash pickup, and water. Comcast was a luxury! That had to be the stupidest place. Do not rent a room on Isle Royal Street in Fremont if you happen to see one which seems to sound too good to be true. It probably is and the landlord who wants scintillating conversation, offers a nice blend of music and a great life is the consummate BS artist and liar. Do not take him up on it. Its horrible and the house is falling apart. Consider this a warning.

Now I’m on to my second load of laundry and soon I’ll relocate to McDonalds for breakfast and their wifi for awhile. Its a change up for me since I can actually somewhere and have breakfast. With the new meetings starting at 7am, I eat on the go. I don’t like that much. I drive thru and hate it every morning. Now its almost 730am here in supposedly one of the best places to live. I don’t know how that can be. This place is not one of the best places unless best coincides with expensive. Why is gas more here? I can drive a few hundred miles and its cheaper. Of course! We live in a wonderful social and culture blend so we pay more for rent, food, life. I don’t like this place. At all. Nothing recommends it to me. At some point next year I will not live here any longer and I’ll dwindle down to a backpack with my worldly goods. I want to live that way. I want a challenge of life that I can own up to and hit the road for months and see some things I have not been able to as of yet. Most likely out of this so-called bubble of great life to cheaper places in Asia. When I get back, I’ll be back and life will show me what I do and I will make my choices. But living here in California is not the option. I hate it here.

I finally give some thought to seeing the daughter force once a week on a Saturday. Life has really changed there too. We often talk about the life before and I am so glad to not live in that house any longer. Distance is good. My little room is fine when compared with living there. I think I would be knocking on the doors of despair living there. My daughter is now an adult and she remonstrates against being called “baby doll” and “cutie pie” but she knows she is still both to us. Those are not demeaning terms and I told her yesterday that I particularly will remember her and use the endearing terms.

That’s all for a Sunday.


Blog post using the wordpress android app

On my Chromebook Flip! The app works really well and the material design elements come over really nicely. Its nice to have a set of the android applications I really like on this Chromebook. It will probably be nicer when it reaches the Acer R11 with its larger screen and better keyboard and more storage. So far I’ve installed gmail, wordpress, kindle, flipboard, google drive, the MS office applications and a few games like Bonza and Wordtower. I am not a big gamer and really like the puzzle and word games. So far the only app which was rather strange was Flipboard. I also installed some other news apps that I like.

I think this whole thing is really gonna change the nature of chromebooks. There is really no need of android tablets any longer if you want to be productice or do multitasking or use a bigger screen or only have one device. The Kindle app is simply gorgeous on the Flip BTW! The Flip feels like a tablet now but it has the full fledged browser right there too. I also have a Surface Pro 3 which is hardly used because it offers a certain crossover element. But nothing like what this does now. And this is only the start of doing this. Soon more chromebooks will launch which will offer more storage, more choices on tablet integration and maybe detachable keyboards like Pixel C. Now I really don’t understand the Pixel C at all. They should have used it as one of the foundation devices. How about offering it with the Play Store integration running Chrome? An alternate installable firmware. I think people would go for it!

Anyways, last night I got the play store installed and today I am adding this and that app I want to test out and play with. Seeing the apps run alongside the chrome browser is a trip. Its really fun to play with and the applications just work most of the time. Word, Powerpoint, and Excel are a trip to see on the chrome platform!

Addendum And Apps

I’ve reached a really good point on the Chromebook Flip now with a balance on apps that work better using the chrome app and those that work from Android. I like gmail and hangouts better from the Play Store but the docs, sheets, and slides apps are better as windowed chrome apps.

Having access to both, seeing notifications come up on chrome for the android apps, being able to install and update as normal is a trip. I cannot wait to see how this all works on stable in some months when I can use a larger screen. We need more choices with more storage, touch screens, etc.

The story of the Wandering Chromebook Flip

I waited with the best of intentions to get the play store goodies on my R11. It was too much! So I bought the Asus Chromebook Flip from good ole Amazon and told them to ship same day. You have to love Amazon Prime. Its prime!

Now I have it and I’ve installed MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Flipboard, Android Central and some games. This is seriously cool. There is some work to be done with the apps and how they present on the screen but hiding the taskbar helps a lot. MS Word is flawless on the device. I added in the android Google Drive and now it will load up my google drive docs. The rest of the MS office suite including OneNote all just work. The Amazon Kindle app is beautifully done. This may become my reading device! I will need to get a micro SD card I think to extend things a bit. This is very cool though and it works.

Its fun to play with as well. Google does some seriously cool stuff with how they build the android support in a container and then gave us the whole thing. This thing will be a killer when the next generation of Chrome devices arrive. We need 64gb of storage or more. Memory is good it seems to me. Storage though is the thing.

I can only see this getting better as we get support for cross platform sharing and “intents”. I’m just playing now with the apps. There is nothing serious about this on a Friday night with beer and chips and old movies. It will get better though and I can see that there is no need for my kindle reader any longer with this. I only need a single device again for everything. The android kindle reader is beautifully rendered on the device.

So stand by and perhaps I’ll screenshot some of this later. Tonight its beer and Android and all that goodness.

Happy 4th of July

Its the 4th of July! Hope your day is going to be great. If you are with family or friends and got the grill going later, be careful and enjoy the day. I often write stuff about the holidays on these days and how things have changed either for the better or worse or stayed the same on some of the holidays. I don’t think people should believe all the hype that we all stride out to parades, wave flags, have that grill going with the tri-tip on it.

I take the day off from work. I do some laundry. I have no big celebrations with family because there really is no family to share the day. I will go forth after the laundry and find out what restaurants are open and what I can expect to do for dinner tonight. Its hard to cook for one so I don’t even try any more. Its easier for me to eat my few meals out all the time and budget the money for it. I also don’t like the clean up duties and chores.

So go forth and make it a day you want. If its just a day off, you earned it. If its a day of celebration and parades and BBQ that sounds fantastic too!

Addendum later in the day…

Its really difficult on July 4th to find a place to eat after sundown. I remember same thing happening on Thanksgiving. I almost ended up last year at Denny’s.  A place I had made a solemn pledge to never enter again. But when it comes to food and the only sign that says “OPEN” is Denny’s… Anyways, if you are a single guy or divorced or just want to find food, I found some at a Taco Bell that looked like it was closing. Last year, I bought some beer and a chicken salad sandwich and watched Netflix or whatever. Such is life.

Then it was our neighborhood’s time to set off illegal fireworks. Booms and blasts and car alarms and whimpering dogs. I suspect that over at the house the folks there are doing their fireworks now. I’m watching a classic Sci-Fi movie on YouTube Red. I don’t firework there any longer. I don’t firework at all. I just enjoy it all vicariously. My neighbors seem to have enough illegal stuff to last the night. Newark does allow the so-called “safe and sane” stuff but there is no way that what’s going off and going on now is safe or sane.

Life just goes on and tomorrow is a work day. Another week. A short week thank goodness. I just don’t get paid for today. Life of a consultant and all I guess. I’ll be glad in another year to just give up on the whole work thing. I’m tired of working and having to be in a place no matter how good it is and how much I enjoy it. I’m getting too old and arbitrary and capricious. And those are my best attributes.

I also had a nice walk with my good ole buddy the Nexus 6p. It has to be one of the best phones and digital companions and photo taker and application runner I have ever had. I will probably upgrade to what comes next because I like tracking the Nexus program and its changes. The walk was around the Union City area and through a few industrial park areas where there are nice sidewalks. Gone for an hour and twenty-some minutes Google Fit told me.

So again, enjoy the 4th! The air around here smells like gun powder.