Where We Are

Dear J-

There’s a bit of a rattle going on here in the south bike car (Nippon Sharyo, Train 102 running south with engine 918 “County of San Mateo” in a puller configuration) but like everything else it’s all good; we are getting along fine and thanks. Camp has been nice, and we have enjoyed our time doing outdoorsy activities. There’s a bit of a breeze today which makes it all very slightly uncomfortable but I think we’ll survive: late November and no snow? Thank you again, California. It’s been a good fall. Are we ready (tuned up? warm enough? steady ready?) for winter yet? Next week is Thanksgiving already and there’s a lot of things to think about this year.

I’m grateful for the patience that’s been extended my way, but I know I need to get more done in the time I have at work: there’s only so much hopeful anxiety I can stand as people come up to me with slightly worried looks and hope in their eyes, asking if it’s ready or if I’m done with that yet. I keep wanting to haul out the “I’m new! I don’t understand your ways!” excuse but it doesn’t seem right. Everyone’s new at some poing, and that hasn’t stopped them from being able to get it done, has it? There’s a million other things to learn all at once and I’m not sure who thinks I’m doing what but such is life, and the time I spend here is valuable in terms of trying to learn style and expectations.

I wonder about the infrastructure of this place: first came the old Spanish road, right — El Camino Real, which every city on the Peninsula has running through as a major north-south thoroughfare — then the train, and lastly the freeways stuck on the last available free spaces. I like to compare the geography with that of Kansai-area Japan: the Bay, like the Inner Sea bounding one side and the hills the other, with the ocean side over the hills sparsely populated with folks making their living from the ocean. I have yet to find a beach or walk to the bridges, but that will come in time I’m sure. I love having the opportunities to explore, even if there’s been no ability to do so.

Mike

P.S. I’m reading How I Live Now and yes I enjoy the style of Cormac McCarthy as much as anyone although I realize maybe the novel is not so much a clone but an homage but my God they invented punctuation for a reason and the affectation is getting on my nerves.

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