Laptops on a Train

I’m on the way home now on Caltrain—facing North, as always—and I clicked the button to turn on Internet Sharing through my new Verizon toy. I don’t really know if anyone is using the connection because there aren’t any manager tools built in. Oh well, what’s the worst that could happen?

I remember the days when I would walk into a coffee place with my PowerBook 1400cs and sheepishly open it while sitting in the corner to avoid being too much of a nerd. Now there are notebook computers everywhere, and one guy sitting a few booths back in this car has some huge setup that puts his laptop screen up at eye level. It’s a monstrosity. I know it’s ergonomically correct, but seriously, he’s taking up the whole table and there are too few stops on this be-oranged car because there’s a Giants game tonight in the City. Damnable beer-drunks, way too loud.

Bigger still, I’ve written twice in one day! This after writing no better than once a week for a while now. Yes, things are calming down some—and you Aperture users who have run Software Update today know why, but it’s just nice to have the online world at the ready.

I’d still be at the office, actually, if it weren’t for a rather unwelcome interaction between pain meds and migraine prevention meds. It’s like I’m rolling, except for it’s not fun.

I have a feeling I’m done for for the night when I get home. Siiiigh. Friday.

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Wakes on the Train

So yesterday a new gadget arrived, which marked several firsts for me:

  • I finally had some use for the extra cardslot on the side of a notebook computer (in the case of my MacBook Pro, it’s an ExpressCard slot (think of it as a much faster, much slimmer, much more user-friendly version of a PC/PCMCIA card slot)
  • I’m freakin’ surfin’ the web on Caltrain!

Here are a couple of pictures of it. One shows how small the card really is, and the other shows what it looks like plugged into a MacBook Pro (however, there’s a little flippy-antenna that is down in the image.



I did a speed test on it from home last night. Not too shabby:

Picture 2

On the ride down (I’m still on Caltrain, 17 minutes into a 42-minute trip—my god, we’re at Hillsdale already!) and I expectedly lost the connection when going through a tunnel, but unlike a typical Airport (802.11a/b/g to you PC folks), it didn’t timeout before exiting the tunnel, which means the connection was only interrupted, not lost. [spins propeller beanie]

Complaints? Less time away from the internet. Oh, and it flashes a green LED once a second when connected (it’s red when it loses signal). I still won’t ever understand how PC folks deal with all the flashing telemetry on a typical laptop computer. Why do I need to know the disk is accessing data? If I really need to know, there’s a handy utility to check on it. Oh, and it fucks with the clean lines of a MacBook Pro. There’s a little black green-light-flashing carbuncle with a like-colored acrochordon glommed onto the side of an otherwise elegant and shiny MacBook Pro.

Picture 5 Still, it’s worth it to be able to look up techie questions on Cocoabuilder or VPN into work, or mount the Mac mini at home onto my Desktop.

But the coolest thing of all? Mac OS X lets you easily share your own internet connection with others. And since this MacBook Pro now has Gigabit ethernet, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth and EVDO communications [spins propeller beanie], all I have to do is click a checkbox and give the Airport network a name and in Free Love mode, anyone else who is working on a laptop (including you PC folks!) within the vicinity of my Airport signal can use my verizon wireless connection to check your email or surf the web—but if you abuse the signal by downloading larger porn movies during your morning commute, I’ll shut you down. I’m too busy downloading my own. (kidding Mom!) (kinda).

Picture 3

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Normally I can’t be buggered to pick up the tagging gauntlet, especially these days when I’m so busy, but this isn’t just any tag. I’ve been tagged by Crashie-poo, so I must follow through.

This tag is “five things to do in your City” (ok, the capitalization was mine, but I couldn’t help it). Five things to do in San Francisco? Easy one, even though San Francisco is a more be-in place than a do-in place, to my way of thinking (which is always right and if you don’t agree then I’m judging you).

So here goes:

  1. Eat the scampi at Caffe Sport at Columbus & Green in North Beach.
  2. Climb a hill and soak it all in. Any hill. Seriously.
  3. Visit the Golden Gate Bridge. International Orange will be your new favorite color.
  4. Spend a day in Golden Gate Park and try to keep remembering that it’s all a human conceit. Every last bit of the flora and fauna and construct and feature.
  5. Go to Point Bonita Lighthouse. So much history is brought into specific relief just by its presence. And the footbridge to get to it is fucking scary. And the view of the City is spectacular. And the Pacific Ocean is the best Zazen wall in the world.

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Shallows Humor

I have a bellwether for everything—or maybe it’s just a bell—but the drift is the same: the knowing-when-to or, more importantly the knowing-when-not-to is usually preceded for me by some kind of internal ding! or click or klaxon (replete with echoes!) that gives me that required pause to step back, look at the bigger picture and if proceeding at all, lights my way from hither, thither with cautionary lamps.

So nearly infallible is this annoyingly objective ping that its lack of firing has often led me to conclude that this Next Thing should be grabbed with gusto and emotional abandon.

As you might imagine, while serving me well when it’s on its game, those few exceptions to reliability have been doozies.

The red flag for me (flaggot that I am) with respect to dating or forming a romantic relationship (I have yet to catch the homoknack of forming multiple, simultaneous romantic relationships—and nature is replete with examples of the one-and-only-one, if-and-only-if scenarios so I feel comfortable in my inability) is simply this: never ever do it when in shallow, situational waters.

When thinking about being alone and feeling lonely (two separate things to me) and pondering the possibilities, if I find myself thinking things like: I want a tall boyfriend. Or a short one. Or an Asian one. Or one who is an artist (because I have neglected my own oil painting for decades). Or one who is a top. Or a bottom. Or a daddy. Or submissive. Or has a convertible. Or is older, younger, thin, muscled, lean, beefy. Or, self-repellently, one who is HIV-. Or positive. One who is smarter than I am. Or significantly lower in IQ. Or dark haired. Or blue eyed. Or lives in San Francisco. Or doesn’t. One who has a hairy chest. Or shaves it. Or is cleanshaven or bebearded. Or a woman, just for the hell of it. Or a guy in the tech sector so that we have more to talk about or one who isn’t so that I don’t bring my work home with me any more than I already do.

See what I mean? For my own self (lest any of you think I’m judging you if you genuinely use these criteria in search of a soul mate and then proceed to accuse me of judging and then fly off the handle and then stage a unilateral nutty and then disappear from my life—again), these are clearly indications that I need to remain apart from involving myself in someone else’s life. Not fair to them. Too much of me wallowing in a guilty rectitude before having to back out of things. Too little real and lasting basis to be with that person.

Some of you might think I don’t belong in San Francisco, with all of this kind of thing. But that’s exactly why I belong: because no one really does belong except by the grace we make ourselves by our choice to belong.

So as solitude has yet to give way to hermitage and this man apart doesn’t fly apart, I’ll gingerly continue along this way which has no path, no destination and no origin. And if it all gets to nihilistic—or annihilistic—I’ll find some way to remind myself that the lack of purposiveness to the universe is the greatest gift of all: freedom of choice. White. A blank page or canvas. [My] favorite. So many possibilities.

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Shorn Star

I haven’t been beardless in a while. And while I’m not technically completely cleanshaven—I used clippers instead of a razor—it’s still showing a lot more face than I’m used to.

It wasn’t a plan, it just happened. That’s how it always happens. I’m not much tied to a facial-hair identity, but I must say that a beard hides a myriad of chinful sins. To say nothing of the jowels. Good lord, when did I become this?

Pardon this histrionics. I’m really not wigged out by it, of course. When I get called “Daddy” by those well-past-old-enough to drink, you kind of get used to being older. Or in gay years, just Old.

None of this is to say that I don’t still giggle like a little girl when I watch Korean melodramas. Or that I don’t see myself as honestly not much different to how I was at any age.

I lost my hair (well, above the ears at least) a long time ago so that was pretty much settled. The only big change that happens to me physically—besides the intentional getting-in-shape phases—is my facial hair. The face that looks back at me is a bit of a surprise. Then again, the silver hair makes the blue eyes bluer, and in the more aged adult man’s face I can still catch glimpses of the little girl I used to be.

And that’ll just have to do.

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