Stockton, CA

On my way up to Grass Valley to dig around in my storage unit, I found a little warrior.

He was a proud soldier, excited to join up, until he was assigned to his battalion. His brothers were all assigned to fight with the Harvesters.

"Nothing runs like a Deere," his brothers would taunt.

But a true soldier understands loyalty, even when it means standing alone.

Watching When Worlds Collide

I think I've discovered the actual trigger for my choosing an engineering degree.

Sure, my dad and my grandfather and my uncle and my cousin are/were all engineers, so it might seem that was my destiny to begin with. I don't think I ever saw this movie, but as I'm watching it tonight, I remember reading the book. This is a really old book, from around '33 or so.

The movie just spouted the following line. The world is facing complete destruction, and an elite team has been assembled to design and construct a rocket to send a group of survivors into space. Everyone else on earth will perish. And then there's this line, delivered from one of the characters to a group of engineers:

First, I want to say, you men were selected because you are the top engineering students here.

It's an almost quaint thought: you get to survive because you were smart and worked hard to make the ship. You and I know that in our reality the ship would be created by hardworking engineers and technicians, but every single seat would be taken by a rich jerk.

So I guess it's just as well I never actually did any actual engineering.


UPDATE: Oh, I forgot about this song. I pretty much wore out the cassette of the album for this song when I was in high school:

Birthday Tree

Well, it's over a month since my birthday, but I wanted to stick to my tradition of planting a tree at my birthday once I had a home again. Unlike the acre up at Nevada City, my new home in Cayucos has a yard of about 3.14159 square feet.

So I bought a whiskey barrel.

It held Kentucky bourbon, according to the stamp on the bottom. And it must have held it pretty recently because my car still reeks of alcohol.

Or is blessed with a glorious bouquet of bourbon, depending on your point of view.

In it, I planted a tree.

The label on the tree says "Bacon," but I'm pretty sure it's an avocado.

Everybody knows bacon grows on a vine.

Cayucos Life

Almost been a month since I bought this house, so I can pretty much say I'm an expert on Cayucos now.

(For those of you who have not been playing along at home for very long, it is important to note that the preceding sentence was intended to be sarcastic and self-deprecating.)

There are some similarities between Cayucos life and Nevada City life. Cayucos is about 2500 people and gets beset on the weekend with tourists who like to walk out into the middle of the road without looking.

Ok, that might be the only similarity.

Well, another one is this: Morro Bay holds the same position here as Grass Valley does for Nevada City. It's a bigger city, it is where the chain grocery stores (and fast food restaurants) are, and it is about 5 miles away.

Unlike NC/GV, it's pretty flat between us, so I have already biked over there and back without any problem. In spite of the similarity in situation (both Cayucos and Morro Bay are seaside towns along Estero Bay), the weather can be quite different and it takes me by surprise. It is generally warmer and sunnier in Cayucos than in Morro Bay, or so I'm told. To such an extent, in fact, that the cashier at the hardware store in Morro Bay just asked me without irony, "Is it as gloomy in Cayucos as here today?" and I could say, "Not when I left."

As far as I can tell, over the last month Google weather only once has said something that looked the same as what I see outside my window. It consistently states that the temperature is 60 in the middle of the day when my deck thermometer says (and it feels like) 75 or higher.

But it isn't always beautiful. In fact, as I've been typing this the fog has rolled in and hidden the hills from my view. Everything is getting a little bit spooky. I guess if I go back to the hardware store, I'll have to say, "Yes, yes, it is quite as gloomy in Cayucos."

But it won't be tomorrow, I'll bet.

The Ask And The Answer (Patrick Ness)

could be the offspring of


This is a second in the series (so I suppose the first parent was obvious). Still a good book, but not quite as gripping without the running to keep up the pace.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Patrick Ness)

could be the offspring of


Recommended. I was enthralled to the very last page.