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San Francisco Journalcon photos
Berkeley Solano Stroll

October 14th, 2002

Road To Palo Alto
Vast and indifferent, the world. Anyway it feels that way sometimes. I've often thought creepy feelings of impending doom come not because we are surrounded by impending doom (because we are), but because some chemical element in our body has gone out of whack and let the unfiltered outside in. That was the weirdness in LSD. A chemical that lets the outside world get in, the outside: unbuffered, not-so-feel-good, life as a crap shoot you can't control world we'd rather not think about, let alone discuss over dinner. Makes for nerves, creates an unbecoming pallor. Upsets moi.

So the outside world is getting in? Your chemicals are, um, bubbling?

Something like that. It feels chemical, but I suspect it's a product of the current world without. Just too many imponderables. This prostate thing, yes. I have an appointment with a well known best in the west surgeon tomorrow down in Palo Alto and that has me a little freaked, the old conveyor belt, you understand, the unrelenting trip toward the inevitable, but everything else has been turning to shit at the same time. We seem to live in a world where there's plenty of it to go around.

The job market is terrible and the company is going through a reorganization. Tension. Ups the pucker factor. They've blown up a bunch of people in Bali. I can sing Bali Ha'i and I can tell you it's located in the Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii and north of Australia (I think) but I can't point to it on a map. I can point to New York City. Oakland I can locate. What ties these places together? Modern times, my friend. Modern times, a state and a place I applaud, but it brings tension and a wild look into the eyes of passers by. Me-oh-my.

My appointment tomorrow in Palo Alto is at ten in the morning. That means leaving here at eightPanelist at San Francisco 2002 JournalCon and hoping I arrive by nine-thirty. This may happen, this may not. I live in a place that is near my office and commuting isn't a source of tension. I like to walk and shoot the occasional picture and walking and riding the bus on a weekend is easy, not many people out on the sidewalks. You can be laid back and take your time and get to where you want to go in an almost obsolete yet strangely civilized manner. Palo Alto is different. Traffic, the kind of traffic most of my coworkers put up with every day. Tension. More tension. But you get the drift. Living in modern end of the rainbow San Francisco is starting to suck. I grew up in a small town. Outside of a small town north of Seattle at a time where there weren't all that many bombers and snipers. I'm thinking I might like to return, with or without a prostate, with or without a DSL connection (but don't quote me on that).

So that is how my day has gone. Beautiful day out there as I write. It was a beautiful day before I arrived, it will be a beautiful day after I've gone. Got to grab on to the ones I have left, even the ones on the road to Palo Alto.

The banner photograph was taken at the Berkeley Solano Stroll. The second photo was taken at one of the JournalCon panels in San Francisco.