Tea Fryme: Sabbatical

Part Three

~2013 time

Here's an old Patsy tune to set the mood:

Guys. Guys. Gals. Guys. So many things. Emily and I biked through redwoods, we attended a wedding on a beach, I started a radio station and two blogs, we camped in Joshua Tree National Park, I ate cake at Wikipedia and 3 eclairs at the Internet Archive, I hacked the planet at Noisebridge, I got cabin fever in Oakland, I sailed around Treasure Island, we shared a tiny home, I made PowerPoints for an astronaut, I met Ray Kurzweil, I'm on a train. Perhaps I'll finally return to recount these adventures in full. Perhaps this account wont even make it up! Several have been written which have not seen the light of pixels. Oh lame indecision, unable to pick a good CMS so I've gone without and woe is me.

But hey. There is ever ample traintime for travelogues. I began the trip so disgusted with my decision. What a waste without a loved one and a real camera! What a janky old train. Such stale, sooty air! The water, like from a hose! Surely a waste of my precious time!!

Eiffel tower

Good little kid, Isaac

But on the second day I awoke to plateaus. And mountains and valleys punctuated by intercomed trivia. So many people I've had the fortune to meet. A British history teacher and I get along well. He can say 'water' in American right well and will be bringing the use of 'douche-bag' back with him. My danish seat-mate also has a rail pass; he's reading Moby Dick. Intrigued by my iPad; he doesn't care for the cost of cyber cafes. Also iPad curious, two brothers will ask to play on it again ten times a minute when in their presence. I enjoyed talking about black holes with them until one told me about how heaven and 'down there' will be all that's left when the Earth is destroyed. Their toothless mother chimed in something about church that she couldn't remember. A British mother of a recent recipient of an avocado orchard, was unable to realize she couldn't stop talking about how vast America is.

Dined 'out' (as opposed to 'in' my canvas bag of nuts, fig newtons, avocados, bruised bananas and etc.) at the dining car today accompanied by the Brit, a hunky ex-Apple dev and his hunky Oracle BF. I always enjoy light nerd stories from inside Apple. Also got to talk shop with some Ausi iOS devs just back from GDC. When prodded about iOS 7 they echoed my excitement and corroborated the media's line that Apple's hard at work on it, adding that the iOS devs have special badges which allow them to cut the lines at Café Macs. It happened to them when they had dinner there. Today one of them coded an app on the spot to pull altitude and velocity data from his iphone in real time because a conductor mentioned that the train's speedometer was malfunctioning. Such adorable jankyness, the California Zephyr.

Yet, all the while rattled into my seat by the colossal land masses before us. And by the train jiggle.

Trains to me are the noblest transport so I always wear a tie when riding. It also seems to aid my chats with strangers. But on this trip, I feel a new occasion for the dress. I feel dressed for the mountains. To bear witness to colossal American earth forms, some only seen by train.

I wrote the above on the third day of the train before I met a farmer my age on his way to Sweden. We got along quite well and stuck together for the second leg. Here's a video I threw together about what it's like riding the train:

no speeds were altered.
Music is Paul Simon, Grizzly Bear and Brooks Strause.