We’re back! Somehow …

We made it back from California. We were only a little late, but that worked in our favor. But that’s getting ahead of things.

I had two days worth of taco lunch, on Thursday and Friday. Also, on Friday, I did a little two-mile run. That’s two runs this week, and my first two runs of the year. I’ve been spending my time, of course, putting in base miles on the bike. All of which allows me to find ways to get to this old saw: When I see a person riding their bike, I always think, ‘Man, I wish I could ride my bike right now!’ I have never, ever seen anyone run and think, ‘Man, I wish I could go for a run right now!

My run was to the drug store. I should have bought some painkillers for my little run, but the purpose was to get some contact solution. I could have gone to a CVS four-tenths of a mile away, but that’s not a run. Not really.

Anyway, the first run this week was 1.5 miles on a beach boardwalk. This run was downtown, which is a run that, despite the red light, green light, wait for a clear intersection nature of it all, felt like it could go on for forever. Maybe those occasional breaks were why it felt that way.

I saw a bunch of friends, which was delightful. I bumped into a former coworker, who is about to leave the place where we met. She told me how difficult things have become there, which is unfortunate. But she’s excited for what’s next for her, starting next fall, which is exciting. She’s been stretched thin, it appears. Added duties, administrative issues and so on. It all sounds not good. I said, When you get there, and you’re doing just the work you’ve been hired for, the work you want to do, it’ll be a big improvement. And you will have earned that. You’ll just have to be let yourself come to realize that fact. When you do, you’re going to remember how to enjoy all of this again.

Sometimes, I sound like a sage.

The Yankee’s two presentations at the conference were great. Interesting research abounded throughout the conference, none more so than hers. We had a great dinner on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, we were up and out early. To the airport, Jeeves!

This is what happened next. The Los Angeles city government conspired to ruin everything. We’d received an email on Saturday from the car rental people warning us that construction between their lots and the airport was slowing everything down. Arrive early, they suggested. We did. Returning the car was easy. The shuttles to the airport were non-existent, stuck in traffic somewhere around wherever. This, despite an early morning flight, backed up customers at the rental car lot. On the third bus, we were able to board the bus. The driver was awesome, but she was flabbergasted. The construction project had reduced the lanes to the international airport to a minimal level. After a long, long, long time on the bus, we just got off and ran the last mile and change, backpack and suitcase in tow. (So look! Three runs in one week!)

After which, the federal government conspired to make it worse. At Terminal 5 at LAX, there are two TSA agents tasked with the important job of checking driver’s licenses. Yesterday morning, there was a man and a woman on the job. Around two corners — not counting the serpentine crown lanes — I managed to get in the woman’s line. This was good! The man’s scanner was barely working, which meant that every third passenger or so he had to walk over and borrow the woman’s gear. The woman, for her part, left her duty station three times. The time was ticking. And I missed the boarding window.

Fortunately, my flight crew was stuck in the nightmare outside, as well. And that was the only way I made that plane. When the first part of security theater had been satisfied and my ID was finally checked, an older woman came to the front of the line, asking if she could go ahead. Her flight was leaving in eight minutes and so on and so forth. Everyone was in this boat, I was sure of it. The TSA agent said she’d have to ask permission of everyone in front of her to cut the line. I knew my flight crew was still trying to fight their way in, so I invited her to break in line in front of me. With one authoritatively dismissive tone, I convinced the dismissive ID experts that she was with me.

At the take walk-around-in-your-socks portion of the security, the old woman said she’d lived here for 40 years and she’d never seen it like this. She said she, too, ran from the road. She said she was 75 years old.

She had time to tell me all of these things because the scanner image specialist left his duty station twice.

“Safety,” one of them tiredly said over and over, “is my priority.”

Somehow that explains why people kept leaving their posts.

Anyway, we made the plane, but I only made it because the flight crew had trouble getting in.

The flight was fine. Long, but short. Seemed to take an entire day, especially with jumping three time zones. On the other hand, we flew across the entire nation. Lunch was airport food on the plane, chewing quickly, hoping to avoid cooties. Dinner was from a rest stop Shake Shack at 11:30 p.m. But, hey, it’s milkshake season.

It was a great trip. Our only problem over the whole trip, as it turned out, had to do with getting home.

I have a lot of video from the trip, and that’ll be something I dole out over the next however long that takes. But I’ll give you a hint.


Come back, or better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed for many, many more videos from the Pacific Coast.

I shot, I dunno, maybe 15 or 20 videos that will just be Peacefully Enjoy The Moment videos. I suppose that speaks most of all to how pleasant the trip was. But I haven’t counted how many videos I have, so I’ve no idea how many and how long we’ll enjoy from that trip.

For example, I’m still adding video from our New Year’s diving trip. This one just has a lot of fish, and then a barracuda with great camera sense.


I’ve probably got a few more videos from that trip, and then maybe I’ll just pull out some single shots for posterity’s sake. Video runs never really end here, but this post must. I must finish my prep for this evening’s class.

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